Focused on the popular Lord Shiva, the Jyotirlinga word is used to refer to the powerful deity Lord Shiva. The word Jyoti means radiance while Linga means a powerful symbol or a sign. Hence, the word Jyotirlinga constitutes the powerful radiance of Lord Shiva. There are a total of 12 Jyotirlingas in India every devotee of Shiva has a wish from heart to explore the places where these Jyotirlingas are located and knowing more interesting ancient stories about them. So today in this article, we are going to explore the history behind each of them. So are you keen to know them? Let’s begin.
- Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga: Situated in the city of Srisailam of Andhra Pradesh, Mallikarjuna is one of the most visited jyotirlingas. Every year millions of devotees visit here with their families. As we know every jyotirlinga has a history and so does this. When Lord Shiva and Parvati were finding suitable brides for both sons Kartikeya and Ganesha, Lord Shiva gave them a little task. Ganesha won while Kartikey did not win and furious by his brother’s win, he went to the isolated Mount Kravunja to stay alone and Parvati and Lord Shiva used to visit during Amavasya and Poornima. Hence, it got named as Srisailam and Mallikarjuna.
- Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga: Located on the banks of Rudra Sagar Lake in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is also one of the Lingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. Prominent for its traditional ritual and ancient beautiful architecture, Mahakaleshwar Linga depicts its own story. This Linga is known as one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in the country and it is believed that Shiva carried the corpse of Sati. Corpse means body parts and they had fallen down in different locations and each part was turned into Shakti Peetha. At Mahakaleshwar Temple, its believed that Sati’s upper lip part had fallen and thus it got named as Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga.
- Kedareshwar Temple: Situated in the mesmerizing state of Uttarakhand, Kedarnath is the most favorite pilgrims and jyotirlingas among all. According to the historians, Kedarnath was named after King Kedar. He had a daughter named Vrinda and she was a partial incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. She used to spend hours in meditating and worship Lord Shiva. So, this was later formed as Kedareshwaram Jyotirlinga.
- Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga: Situated on the outskirts of Aurangabad city, Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga is the last jyotirlinga among all the others. This jyotirlinga was demolished and reconstructed several times. The temple is beautiful and once a devotee found the treasure inside the snake box and devoted all the money for building this temple. The Grishneshwar jyotirlinga is situated in Ajanta and Ellora caves.
- Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga: Located on the banks of river Chandrabhaga in Pune, Bhimashankar is one of the very beautiful jyotirlingas just like others. It is said that while Ravana handed over the Atmalinga to Brahmin boy (Lord Ganesha) during his journey to Sri Lanka. Lord Ganesha kept the linga there itself and thus Bhimashanka Jyotirlinga was formed.
- Nageshwar Jyotirlinga: Located in the Darukavana city, the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the famous jyotirlingas among 12. As per history, a demon named Daruka kidnapped all the innocent villagers and villagers prayed Lord Shiva. Shiva himself came and saved all the prisoners. He also fought with Daruka and Shiva won and thus, this was named as Nageshwar behind the victory of Lord Shiva.
- Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga: Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga is situated on the banks of Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh. When Brahma and Vishnu had an argument regarding hand behind the creation of the Universe. Lord Shiva pierced three world or pillars of light which was Jyotirlinga. Both had to find a ray of light and thus, both tried their best but nobody won. The infinite pillar was then called Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga.
- Rameshwar Jyotirlinga: Situated in the Gulf of Mannar, Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga Temple is one of the most beautiful Lingas in India. Just like every other jyotirlinga, it has its own story. According to the Hindu mythology, it was Rameshwaram where Lord Rama and his monkey army had built a setup or a bridge in order to reach King of Lanka who had kidnapped Sita.
- Somnath Jyotirlinga: Located in Saurashtra, Gujarat state of India, Somnath Jyotirlinga has a special place into 12 jyotirlingas. There lived a Shiva devotee who wanted Shiva to come to his original place. Lord Shiva had come and so this place is called Somnath. This was rebuilt many times.
- Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga: Trimbakeshwar is located in Nashik and it is a famous pilgrim place. It is a land of munis, rishis, and sages. Here, Gautam Rishi and Ahilya Bai had resided in those days and they used to worship Lord Shiva.
- Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga: Also known as Baidyanath, Vaidyanath is another attractive jyotirlinga which was called a funeral place in the past and post-death ritual was performed where Lord Shiva was worshipped.
- Visweswar Jyotirlinga: Located in the Varanasi city, Visweswara Jyotirlinga is among the 12 Lingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva had appeared as a fiery of light and it is located inside Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Vishwanath means “Ruler of the Universe.”
These were epic history behind 12 jyotirlingas of India. There are still more stories related to these places which will not only build an interest within you but also excite you to visit these beautiful places.