A Jyotirlinga, Jyotirling or Jyotirlingam ( ज्योतिर्लिङ्ग) is a devotional object representing the God Shiva. Jyoti means glow and lingam the ‘mark or sign’ of Shiva, or a symbol of the pineal gland; Jyotir Lingam means “The glowing sign of The Almighty”.
It is supposed that God Shiva first manifested himself in Jyotirlinga form on the night of Aridra Nakshatra, so the special worship for the Jyotirlinga on Aridra Nakshtra is auspicious.
- Two on the sea shore.
- Three on Banks of river.
- Four on mountain heights.
- Three in villages located in meadows
The twelve Jyotirlingas are spread out like this.
Those who chant the “Dwadasa JyotirLinga Stotram” or prayer will attain salvation. That person will free from this cycle of human existence with all its travails.
By worshipping these Lingas, people irrespective of castes, creeds and color would be at liberty from all difficulties. By eating the holy offering made to these Lingams (Naivedyam) one would be get rid of all the sins right away.
1. Somnath JyotirLing in Saurashtra (Guj)
Somnath is considered the first pilgrimage site in the Dwadash Jyotirlinga pilgrimage. This temple was destroyed and re-built sixteen times; it is worshiped throughout India and rich in legend, tradition, and history. It is located at Prabhas Patan (Somnath – Veraval) Saurashtra, Gujarat.
2. Mallikarjun jyoptirling in Srisailam (A.P.)
Mallikārjuna, also called Srisaila Mallikarjuna, is located on a mountain on the river Krishna, in Kurnool District, Andhra Pradesh. Mallikarjuna is an ancient temple that rich in architecture and sculpturally. It is the place where Shakti peetha and Jyotirlingam are found together. Adi Shankara composed his Sivananda Lahiri here.
Mahakal, Ujjain (or Avanti) in Madhya Pradesh is home to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple. The Lingam at Mahakal is Swayambhu, the only one of the 12 Jyotirlingas to be so. This is the only Lingam facing south and also the temple to have a Shree Yantra hanging upside facing down at the ceiling of the Garbhagriha (where the Shiv Lingam seated). It is also the place where Shakti peeta and Jyotirlingam are together.
4. Omkareshwar jyotirling in Shivpuri / mAmaleswara (M.P.)
Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh on an island of Narmada River and home of Mamaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple.
Two temples here, one is Omkareshwar (means “Lord of Omkara or the Lord of Om Dhawni”) and another one is Mamleshwar or Amareshwar (means “Immortal lord” or “lord of the Immortals or Devas”).
5. Kedareswar jyotirling in Kedarnath / Himalayas (Utt)
Kedarnath in Uttarakhand is northernmost and the nearby Jyotirlinga to Lord Shiva’s eternal dwelling of Mount Kailash.
This is supposed to be 1/2 jyotirlinga, half of Kedarnath is Pashupatinath in Nepal. Kedarnath forms a part of the smaller Char Dham Yatra in Hinduism. Kedarnath, housed in the snow-clad Himalayas, is an ancient shrine, rich in legend and tradition. It is reachable only by foot, and only for six months a year.
Shiva unspecified the form of wild boar and dived into the earth at Kedarnath to appear at Pashupatinath. Pure ghee is applied at Kedarnath lingam because of the boar was injured.
6. Bhimashankar jyotirling in Dakini (Mah)
Bhimashankara temple near Sahyadri range, Pune in Maharashtra, is referred to as Daakini country, Kashipur in Uttarakhand was also referred to as Daakini country in ancient days and a Bhimashkar Temple known as Shree Moteshwar Mahadev is present there. The Bhimashankar temple near Guwahati, Assam is the jyotirlinga according to Sivapuran. Thus Bhimashankar is very much debated.
7. Visweswar (Vishwanath) jyotirling in Varanasi (U.P.)
Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh is dwelling of Vishwanath Jyotirlinga shrine, holiest of all Shiva temples, which is perhaps the most sacred place in Hindu shrines.
Where at least once in life a Hindu is expected to do pilgrimage, and if possible, also pour the remains of cremated ancestors in the River Ganges, as this temple stands on the Western bank of Ganges.
The god Shiva here knew by the name Vishwanath or Vishweshwara denotation as Ruler of the universe. The temple town, which is the oldest living city in the world, near about 3500 years of documented history, is also called Kashi and so this temple is popularly called Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
Trimbakeshwar Temple, near Nasik in Maharashtra, is a Jyotirlinga temple associated with the origin of the Godavari River.
The miraculous feature of this Jyotirlinga at Trimbakeshwar is having three faces symbolizing God Brahma, God Vishnu and God Rudra (Shiva).
This is the only place to perform Kaalsarp dosh puja, Pitru dosh Nivaran puja and Tripindi Shraadha to Kaalsarp Dosha and Pitru Dosha.
9. Vaidyanath jyotirling in Parali (Mah)
King Ravan worshipped Shiva for years and requested god Shiva to come to Lanka. Shiva manifested as shivaling and asked Ravan to not to put down anywhere until he reaches Lanka. Vishnu intercepted Ravana in between and influenced him to keep it on earth for some time. Since then God Shiva resides here as Vaijanath (Vaidyanath) in Deoghar, which is now known as Parli (Vaidyanath), in Beed Maharashtra.
10. Nageswar (Naganath ) Jyotirling, in Darukavanam (Mah)
Nageshvara is supposed to be the first Jyotirlinga on the earth. There are other three major shrines in India which are understood as identical to this Jyotirlinga. Those are Jageshwar temple Almora in Uttarakhand state, the Nageshwara temple near Dwaraka in Gujarat state, and the Nagnath temple in Aundha in Maharashtra state.
11. Rameshwar jyotirling in Setubandanam / Rameshwaram (T.N.)
Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu is dwelling of the cosmic Ramalingeswar Jyotirlinga temple and is well-regarded as the Southernmost of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of India. It enshrines the Rameśvara (“Lord of Rama”) pillar.
Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga Temple is associated closely with the Ramayana and Bhagwan Rama’s victorious come back from Sri Lanka.
12. Ghrishneswar jyotirling in Devasrovar (Mah).
Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga is the Last (twelfth) of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines on the earth as mentioned in the Shiva Purana. This pilgrimage place is located at a village Verul which lies at 11 km from Daulatabad and 30 km from Aurangabad. It is at close nearby to the world famous Ellora caves.
Some of the other major Shiva temples that are not listed as Jyotirlingas are Amarnath in Jammu and Kashmir, India, Pashupatinath in Kathmandu, Nepal.