With the advent of Sawan or Shravan month all we think about is rain and lots of rain. The colour green is at times associated with this month of. Different sections of people celebrate the month of savan in their own way. Women wear green bangles and put henna on their palm whereas. Devotees flock in temples dedicated to Lord Shiva to seek his blessings. Children have their own way of celebrating this month. They make swings, sail paper boats and relish this auspicious month.
This month has a very spiritual importance for the worshippers of the Shaiva tradition. Devotees from all of India come and flock in temples devoted to Lord Shiva and the busiest of them all are the 12 famous Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva.
The word Jyotirlinga is composed of two words- Jyoti means light and linga is an aniconic representation of Lord Shiva. It’s a dream of every diehard Shiv bhakt (devotee) to visit all the 12 Jyotirlingas. With the feeling of love for their God, devotees get on with their expedition swallowing every hurdle and obstacle that comes their way chanting the slogan ‘Har Har Mahadev’ (everybody is Mahadev).
Science behind the Worship of Lingas
The 12 Jyotirlingas are not man-made but have come out naturally from the earth’s surface. Around the month of savan these natural bodies start emitting radiations. These radiations are harmful for the health and well-being of and indivisual. Pouring water and milk on these bodies curbs the effect of the radiation. Thus came the concept of pilgrimage to these locations and the holy practice of offering milk and water to the Lingam.
The 12 Jyotirlingas are situated in different parts of the country. So, let’s go on a rollercoaster ride of these scenic temples and experience the Mahadev within.
The temple of Somnath is located in the state of Gujarat in India. It is also known as the Shrine Eternal. The specialty of this temple is that it is considered to be the first of the 12 Shrines of Lord Shiva. It has been invaded and then reconstructed several times. The present temple was reconstructed by Vallabhbhai Patel in the year 1951.
The Somnath temple is magnificent. The central hall is shaped as an octagonal Shiva Yantra. Another specialty of this temple is that it has sea-protection walls i.e. there is no land between the temple and the South Pole at a particular longitude. The Shiv Linga inside the temple is adorned with flowers and garlands with makes it look as beautiful as a lovely dream.
Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple is located at Srisailam in Andra Pradesh. The temple is dedicated to the deities Shiva and Parvati. It is the only temple in India which is both a Jyotirlinga and a Shaktipeeth. Lord Shiva is worshipped as lingam in here. The festival of Shivratri is celebrated with great pomp and show here. The temple looks as beautiful as a newly wedded bride. Devotees ranging from children to adults take part in this prestigious festival.
The architecture is beautiful and intricate. The Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga temple walls are bestowed with some exceptional sculptural work.
Being in an environment like this takes a devotee through multiple feelings of love and devotion for the supreme.
The Dravidian style of architecture never fails to capture the attention of the visitors.
Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
This divine Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga temple is situated in Madhya Pradesh. The temple enjoys a perksof having a picture-perfect location. It is situated on the island of Shivapuri on the river Narmada. The most fascinating thing about this place is that the island on which the temple stands is shaped like the Hindu symbol ‘om’. It is more of a religious tourist site.
During the festival of Mahashivratri the Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga temple encounters lakhs of devotees from all over the country.
Being a major tourist destination, the place is more developed now and has various hotels to welcome the incoming tourist and pilgrims.
A visit to this temple equals a little of everything. The cool breeze mixed with a sense of divinity makes this place a must for every indivisual.
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is one of the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva. It is located in the ancient city of Ujjain in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Visitors can experience the beauty of the Rudra Sagar Lake too as the temple is one the side of it. The idol at Mahakaleshwar is known be dakshinamurti which means that it faces the south. This one feature is unique to all the 12 Jyotirlingas present.
According to the ancient Puranas the city of Ujjain was called Avantika and was famous as the devotional epicenter.
Once in the city, the link between the mortal and the supreme can be felt in the bones.
Kedarnath Jyotirlinga Temple
Kedarnath Jyotirlinga temple is on the Gharwal Himalayan range near river Mandakini in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand. It is regarded as the most famous of all the Jyotirlingas. Lord Shiva is worshipped as Kedarnath, the ‘Lord of Kedar Khand’, the historical name of the place.
The temple is housed in between mountains. The structure of the temple ain’t very magnificent but the very essence of spirituality at the place, adds glory to it. A trip to Kedarnath tests one’s physical abilities. A trip to Kedarnath gives the visitors the delight of walking on the Himalayan landscape. There’s no home for pollution and disturbance in this region. Tourists just dwell in the divinity of the place.
Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga Temple
It is located near Pune & one of three Jyotirlinga’s in Maharashtra, India. Bhimashankar is the source of the river Bhima.
This temple exhibits some excellent skills of the Vishwakarma sculptors. It is a modest yet graceful temple. The pillar and doors of this temple showcase intricate designs.
It is closely related associated with the legend of Shiva slaying the demon Tripurasura.
This place is definitely a pilgrim’s paradise as it portrays the rare amalgamation of the divine with the Mother Nature.
Vishwanath Jyotirlinga Temple
This grand temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. The river is situated on the bank of the holy river Ganga. The main deity is known by the name Vishvanatha or The Ruler of Universe.
The city of Varanasi was formerly known as Kashi and thus the temple is also referred to as the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
The main temple is a quadrangle and is surrounded by shrines of different deities.
The Kashi temple receives around 3,000 visitors on a daily basis. This number reaches extreme heights in case of festivals.
Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
Trimbakeshwar temple is located on the banks of Godavari river in Trimbak, Nashik & one of three Jyotirlinga’s. The unique specialty of this temple is that has three faces exemplifying Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
The temple is a loved destination of pilgrims as it has several monasteries and samadhis of saints.
It is located between three hills namely Brahamagiri, Nilagiri and Kalagiri.
The temple marvelous structure. The black stone details adds to the antiquity of the structure.
Baidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple
The Baidyanath temple is located in the holy city of Deoghar, Jharkhand.
According to legend the demon king Ravana worshipped Lord Shiva on the current site of the temple to get the boons he had received from him.
The temple complex is huge and magnificent. It has a major influx of devotees around the time of savan.
The temple complex has a main Shiva temple which houses the sacred lingum and there exists a smaller Parvati temple at some distance from it. These two temples are joined together by the ‘holy knot’ or ‘the holy gathbandhan’.
One gets energized by the love and enthusiasm of the visitors there and it takes no time to fall in love with the divine in there.
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
It is located near the city of Dwarka in Gujarat. It is believed to be the first Jyotirlinga shrine to be mentioned in the Shiva Purana.
Rameswaram Jyotirlinga Temple
This temple is located in the Tamil Nadu, India. It is also one of the ‘Char Dham’ sites in India.
It is known for its picture-perfect landscape and religious significance. It houses the longest temple corridor in the world, which is 197m long and 133m broad and stands with 1200 massive granite columns. The feel of the temple is enticing to the mind, body and soul. The architectural excellence of this places has the ability to leave the visitors spellbound.
Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
It is located in Verul (Ellora), Aurangabad district & one of three Jyotirlinga’s in Maharashtra and is very close to the famous rock-cut Ajanta-Ellora caves. The word Grishneshwar means ‘Lord of Compassion’. The temple has gone through several rounds of re-constructing.
The temple showcases South Indian architectural style and structure. I t is built of red rocks.
The temple houses carvings and sculptures of many Hindu gods and goddesses.
The temple has a peculiar majestic touch to it. The beautiful carvings and sculptures makes one wonder of the skill of the artisans of that era.
The 12 Jyotirlingas are unique and majestic in their own way. Some are located in between hills and mountains and others on the banks of rivers. They architectural style is marvelous. These temples are an asset for our country. Visiting these places is very man’s dream. It’s a diversified religious experience. An expedition to these shrines has the ability to influence a person’s perspective towards life. It’s a trip everyone must take in search of the divine and ultimately oneself.