The 12 Jyotirlingas in Indian mythology are of profound importance in Hinduism. They represent the sacred abodes of Lord Shiva. He is the supreme deity in the Trinity of Gods. These revered shrines are distributed across the Indian mainland. Each of them is a manifestation of Shiva as a Jyotirlinga. The Jyotirlinga symbolizes the infinite cosmic light.
The word “Jyotirlinga” is derived from “Jyoti,” meaning radiant
light, and “linga,” which symbolizes the formless, transcendent
aspect of Lord Shiva. The pilgrimage to the 12 Jyotirlingas, collectively known as the “Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Yatra.” It is considered sacred as it is believed to cleanse the soul. One is also liberated from the cycle of birth and death and blessed with divine grace.
Let’s See the List of 12 Jyotirlinga with Names and Places in India
|Name of Jyotirlinga
1. Somnath Jyotirlinga, Gujarat
Somnath Jyotirlinga is the first Jyotirlinga in India among all the Jyotirlingas. The temple is built in the Chalukya style temple architecture. This sacred temple is built at the shore of the Arabian Sea.
According to Hindu mythology, the temple was first created by the Moon God in pure gold. Later Ravana built it in silver. Lord Krishna made it in sandalwood and lastly, Bhimadeva built it in stone.
The Mythological Story Behind Somnath Jyotirlinga
According to the legend, the Moon God, or Chandra was married to 27 daughters of Daksha, the son of Brahma. Ironically, Chandra only gave attention to Rohini, which caused discomfort to the others. Daksha didn’t like this behavior of the Moon God and cursed him that the moon would lose all his light. This led to darkness in the entire world.
All Gods came together to find a solution and asked the Moon God to pray to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva blessed the Moon God with the ray of light back again. People believe that on moonless nights, the Moon God comes and dips in the holy water to shine again. Thus, the name ‘Sommeswar’ or Jyotirlinga came into existence.
What are Somnath Jyotirlinga’s Opening Hours?
The temple remains open from 6 AM to 9 PM. Arti is done thrice a day at 7 AM, 12 PM, and 7 PM. Timing for the light and sound show – ‘Joy Somnath’ is daily from 8 PM to 9 PM.
How to Reach Somnath Jyotirlinga?
The nearest railway station to Somnath is the Veraval, about 6 km away from the temple. The nearest airport is Diu Airport, which is about 80 km away from the temple. You can hire a taxi from the airport to reach the temple.
2. Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh
Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga in Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh is known as Kashi of the South. According to the Shiv Puran, the Mallikarjuna jyotirlinga is the united form of both Shiva and Parvati.
The word “Mallika” refers to Goddess Parvati, whereas Arjun refers to Lord Shiv. It is located in the Nallamala hill forests along the banks of the river Krishna.
The Mythological Story Behind Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga
Once upon a time, Shiva and Parvati could not decide which of their sons should marry first, Ganesh or Kartikeya. So, they asked their sons to go around the world. Whosoever came first will be married to Riddhi and Siddhi. While Kartikeya went around the world, Ganesha started encircling Parvati and Shiva as if they were the world for him. This gesture was loved by both Lord Shiva and Parvati, and they decided to marry Ganesha first.
Kartikeya was furious and went far to a mountain named ‘Kravunja’ and started living there. When Shiva and Parvati came to know this, they decided to pay a visit to their son Kartikeya. The Jyotirlinga came into existence at the same spot where they met Kartikeya.
What are the opening hours of Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga?
The temple remains open from 4:30 AM to 10 PM.
How to reach Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga?
The nearest railway station to Somnath is Markapur Road, which is about 84 km away from the temple. You can hire a taxi to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, about 200 km away from the temple. You can hire a taxi at the airport to reach the temple.
3. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
Located by the banks of the Kshipra River, the Mahakaleswar in Ujjain is the most powerful jyotirlinga and divine among the 12 Jyotirlingas. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is also among the seven Mukti-Sthal (places) in India. According to Hindu mythology, Mahakaal is an avatar of Lord Shiva.
It is believed that mortality and time do not affect Lord Shiva. The temple has the only Swayambhu Jyotirlinga. This means Lord Shiva is an immortal soul and he does not have a creator above him.
The Mythological Story Behind Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga
Chandrasena was a devout follower of Lord Shiva and ruled a kingdom. One day, King Ripudamana attacked the kingdom with the help of a demon named Dushan, who had the power to become invisible. Chandrasena feared defeat and prayed to Lord Shiva for help. Shiva appeared and promised to stay in the kingdom of Mahakaleshwar to protect it. People still believe that Lord Shiva resides here.
What are the opening hours of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga?
The temple remains open for devotees every day from 4 AM to 11 PM. Darshan can be done from 8 AM to 10 AM, 10:30 AM to 5 PM, 6 PM to 7 PM, and 8 PM to 11 PM.
How to reach Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga?
The nearest railway station to Somnath is Ujjain about 2 km away from the temple. The nearest airport is Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport, which is about 57 km away. You can hire a taxi at the airport to reach the temple.
4. Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga, Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh
Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga resides on an Om-shaped island called Shivapuri on the banks of Narmada River, Madhya Pradesh. The Omkareshwar temple is a magnificent three-storied temple supported by large pillars made up of carved granite stone.
There are two main temples of Lord Shiva here, one at Omkareshwar located on the island, and one at Mamleshwar located on the south bank of the Narmada River on the mainland. Almost every devotee considers both the temples as equally divine Jyotirlinga and visits both these temples as they are not far away from each other.
What is the Mythological Story Behind Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga?
Demons attacked the kingdom of King Mandhata once and a mighty mountain requested Lord Shiva to help the people. Mandhata also worshiped Shiva a lot. So, Lord Shiva helped them. He was so pleased by the king’s devotion that he decided to stay at Omkareshwar forever.
What are the opening hours of Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga?
The temple remains open for devotees every day from 5 AM to 10 PM.
How to Reach Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga?
The nearest railway station to Omkareshwar is the Khandwa Junction, which is about 70 km away from the temple. On arrival, you can hire a taxi to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport, which is about 85 km away from the temple. You can hire a taxi at the airport to reach the temple.
5. Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga, Deoghar, Jharkhand
Vaidyanath Dham or Baba Baidyanath Temple is one of the most famous Jyotirlingas in India. It is also known as Baba Dham. According to Hindu mythology, once Ravana praised Lord Shiva and asked him to visit Lanka. Shiva took the form of a Shivling and ordered Ravana not to put it down anywhere until he reached Lanka.
Ravana accepted the condition and started his journey to Sri Lanka. On the journey, Lord Vishnu interrupted Ravana in the form of Jaldevta and influenced Ravana to keep the Shivling at rest. Hence, Ravana forgot the condition and kept Shivling down. Since then Shiva has dwelled as Vaidyanath, in Deoghar town.
The temple complex consists of the main temple of Baba Baidyanath and the other 21 other temples. During the Shravan month, numerous devotees partake in an annual pilgrimage known as Kanwar Yatra, carrying holy water from Ganga to pour it on the Jyotirlinga at Baba Dham.
What is the Mythological Story Behind Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga?
Ravana was Lord Shiva’s great devotee so, to protect his kingdom, he started praying to Lord Shiva. One day, Shiva appeared and asked him his wish. Ravana asked a lingam to be placed in his kingdom. Shiva warned him that if he kept the lingam once on the ground, it would stay there forever.
He agreed and, on his way back, asked a local shepherd to hold it and not place it on the ground until he returned. The shepherd said if he did not come on time, he would leave it. Ravan failed to arrive and the shepherd kept the lingam on the ground where the Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple is situated today.
What are the opening hours of Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga?
The temple remains open for devotees every day from 4 AM to 3:30 PM and from 6 PM to 9 PM.
How to reach Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga?
The nearest railway station to Baidyanath Dham is the Jasidih Junction, which is about 8 km away from the temple. On arrival, you can hire a taxi to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Airport, which is also about 8 km away from the temple.
6. Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Pune, Maharashtra
Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Stotram states that Bhimashankar is the sixth jyotirlinga in the list of 12 Jyotirlingas in India. It is located near River Bhima. The temple has a black rock structure.
The temple has a Nagara architectural pattern. According to Hindu mythology, once upon a time, Lord Shiva became angry. He destroyed the devil Bhima to ashes. From there on, Bhimshankar resides here in the form of a Jyotirlinga.
What is the Mythological Story Behind Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga?
The story is about Karkati, who once told the little boy, Bhima that his father, Kumbharakhan was killed by a reincarnation of Lord Rama. He was angry and decided to take revenge for his father’s death. He worshiped Brahma to gain supreme powers but instead misused them to harm people.
He took Shiva’s devotee Kamarupeshwar under his power and was about to kill him when Lord Shiva appeared and killed Bhima. Gods asked Shiva to stay here to protect people.
What are the opening hours of Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga?
The temple remains open from 4:30 AM to 12 PM and from 4 PM to 9:30 PM.
How to reach Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga?
The nearest railway station to the temple is the Karjat Junction, which is about 147 km away from the temple. When you arrive, you can hire a taxi to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Pune International Airport, about 105 km away from the temple.
7. Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga, Rameswaram Island, Tamil Nadu
Rameshwaram is in seventh place among the sequence of 12 jyotirlingas. The temple has a splendid Dravidian style of architecture. Rameshwaram temple is located in a small town, on Pamban Island Tamil Nadu.
To show reverence to Lord Shiva, devotees take a holy bath in the two- water bodies before Darshan. The Temple has two jyotirlingas. One was made by Lord Rama and another was brought by Hanuman from Kashi. The jyotirlinga brought by Hanuman is a replica of the Kashi Vishwanath jyotirlinga.
What is the Mythological Story Behind Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga?
There are two Jyotirlingas at Rameshwaram. One was brought by Lord Hanuman and the other by Sita. Also, this was the place where Lord Rama worshiped Vishnu after killing Ravana.
What are the opening hours of Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga?
The temple remains open for devotees from 5 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 9 PM.
How to reach Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga?
The nearest railway station to the temple is the Rameswaram, about 1.5 km away from the temple. When you arrive, you can hire a taxi to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Madurai, about 177 km away from the temple.
8. Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, Daarukavanam in Gujarat
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga lies on the coast of Saurashtra in Gujarat, between Gomati Dwarka and Bet Dwarka. It is believed that it has the power of protection from all types of poisons. The temple is built with pink stone and the idol is named Dakshinamurti.
According to Shiv Purana, Lord Shiva killed a demon named Daruka and his army to rescue his imprisoned devotee, Supriya. Lord Shiva’s body was covered with snakes thus named Nageshwar. There is also a large statue of Shiva in a sitting position here.
The Mythological Story Behind Nageshwar Jyotirlinga
Supriya, a devotee of Lord Shiva lived in Dwarka. She was attacked by a demon called Daaruka and started praying to Shiva. He appeared, killed Daaruka, and freed Supriya from him. Thus, this place became the abode of Shiva.
What are the opening hours of Nageshwar Jyotirlinga?
The temple remains open for devotees from 5 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 9 PM.
How to reach Nageshwar Jyotirlinga?
The nearest railway station to the temple is the Dwarka Junction, which is about 16 km away from the temple. After arrival, you can hire a taxi to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Jamnagar Airport, about 127 km away from the temple.
9. Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Kashi Vishwanath temple was plundered many times in the past as it was made up of absolute gold. In the story of the Shiva Purana, once Brahma and Vishnu had a dispute about their domination.
To test them, Lord Shiva changed himself into an endless pillar of light and asked them to find its end. While Lord Brahma lied to have found the end, Lord Vishnu admitted his defeat. This turned Lord Shiva angry and he cursed Brahma that he wouldn’t be worshiped, whereas Vishnu, will be worshiped.
The Mythological Story Behind Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga
Kashi is known to be the oldest place on earth. Also, it is the abode of the trinity in Hinduism – Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh (Shiva). People believe Kashi to be the place where you get rid of all your sins and attain salvation. Devotees have a firm belief that Shiva created this place and the city that can never be destroyed.
What are the opening hours of Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga?
The temple remains open from 5 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 9 PM.
How to reach Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga?
The nearest railway station to the temple is Varanasi, about 5 km away from the temple. You can hire a taxi or auto to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, about 25 km away from the temple.
10. Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga, Nashik, Maharashtra
Trimbakeshwar is located on the banks of the river Godavari, near Brahmagiri Mountain, Nasik. Trimbakeshwar is among the four Hindu cities where the Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years.
The temple has a unique shape and is famous all over the world. The three pillars placed inside the temple represent the three supreme Gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh.
The Mythological Story Behind Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga
According to an ancient legend, once there was a sadhu named Gautam who lived with his wife, Ahilya. His devotion pleased Shiva, who blessed Gautam with a pit to create as much food as he desired. His rivals were jealous of him and sent a dead cow to the pit in anger. In sadness and agony, Gautam called Lord Shiva, who appeared and blessed the place with the Ganga to wash away the sins. It is believed that Lord Shiva eventually started living there.
What are the opening hours of Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga?
The temple remains open from 5 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 9 PM.
How to reach Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga?
The nearest railway station to the temple is Nasik, which is about 38 km away from the temple. The nearest airport is Nashik Airport, which is also about 50 km away from the temple.
11. Kedarnath Jyotirlinga, Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
Kedarnath is located on the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini River, Uttarakhand. It is also one of the major “Dhams” in Chardham. The other three “Dhams” are Gangotri, Yamunotri and Badrinath. It is believed that it was built by the five Pandavas.
It is believed to be 3,000 years old. The temple remains closed for 6 months. The samadhi of the famous Hindu saint Adi Shankaracharya is located just behind the main Kedarnath temple.
The Mythological Story Behind Kedarnath Temple
The Hindu epic, Mahabharata, states that the Pandavas wanted to let go of all their sins to go to heaven and started their journey to find such a place. They worshiped Lord Shiva and built the shrine, called Kedarnath Jyotirlinga Shiva Temple today.
What are the opening hours of Kedarnath Jyotirlinga?
The temple remains open from 4 AM to 12 PM and 3 PM to 9 PM. The opening of the temple also depends on climatic conditions.
How to reach Kedarnath Jyotirlinga?
The nearest railway station to the temple is Rishikesh, which is about 210 km away from the Gaurikund. The only way to reach the temple is to trek from Gurikund. You can also take a chopper ride to the temple. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, about 225 km away from Gaurikund.
12. Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Grishneshwar jyotirlinga is the last jyotirlinga among the 12 jyotirlingas in India. The temple is constructed with red and black stones. It has a five-storied Shikhara-style construction.
Beautiful carvings of Vishnu’s “Dashavatar” adorn the walls of the temple. In the main court hall of the temple, a huge Nandi signifies purity and justice. The temple is close to Ellora Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Mythological Story Behind Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga
Once there was a woman named Kusum who worshiped Lord Shiva by immersing him in the water tank. Her husband and the people of the village rejected her. In pain, her husband killed her son, but Kusum continued with her prayers. One day, Lord Shiva appeared in front of her and her son out of the water tank. Since then, the Jyotirlinga has always stayed here.
The opening hours of Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga
The temple remains open every day from 5:30 AM to 9:30 PM.
How to reach Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga?
The nearest railway station to the temple is Aurangabad, which is about 34 km away from the temple. The nearest airport is Aurangabad, about 41 km away from the temple.
The Jyotirlingas are a symbol of devotion and faith of millions of devotees who travel across the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent for divine grace. They are timeless and signify the rich cultural history of India which believes in self-discovery with the help of cosmic forces.
There are 12 Jyotirlingas in India: Somnath, Nageshwar, Bhimashankar, Trimbakeshwar, Grishneshwar, Vaidyanath, Mahakaleshwar, Omkareshwar, Kashi Vishwanath, Kedarnath, Rameshwaram, and Mallikarjuna.
Yes, Kedarnath is a Jyotirlinga located in Garhwal in the Himalayan mountain range. It is 3,583 meters above sea level and is the highest Jyotirlinga shrine in the country. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a popular pilgrimage site. It is believed that worshiping here will bring salvation today and always.
Jyotirlinga refers to the manifestation of Lord Shiva which is ‘Swayambhu’ (the one occurring on its own). The 12 Jyotirlinga came into existence on their own. According to Shiva Purana, wherever Lord Shiva appeared in the form of light and was impressed by his devotees, he manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga in that place. Hence, Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of Jyotirlinga at 12 different places in India
Whereas a Shivlinga is the mystic idol of Lord Shiva that can be either man-made or appears on its own. There are many Shivlinga across India and people worship them with great devotion.
A jyotirlinga is a representation of Lord Shiva. It is a Sanskrit word which means ” Radiance”. The Shiva Purana mentions about 64 Jyotirlingas. Out of these 12 are called Mahajyotirlingam or the Great Jyotirlingas.
- Somnath Jyotirlinga in Gir, Gujarat
- Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh
- Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
- Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh
- Baidyanath Jyotirlinga in Deoghar, Jharkhand
- Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga in Maharashtra
- Ramanathaswamy Jyotirlinga in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
- Nageshwar Jyotirlinga in Dwarka, Gujarat
- Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
- Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga in Nasik, Maharashtra
- Kedarnath Jyotirlinga in Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand
- Ghrishneshwar Jyotirlinga in Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Kedarnath – Kashi Vishwanath – Baidyanath – Mahakaleshwar – Omkareshwar – Grishneshwar – Bhimashankar – Tryambakeshwar – Somnath – Nageshwar – Mallikarjuna – Ramaeshwaram