List of the 12 Jyotirlinga Temples in India

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List of the 12 Jyotirlinga Temples in India

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Shiva permeates the entirety of the cosmos, imbibed in each speck of the stardust universes are built of. Shivlinga is meant to be an aniconic manifestation of this all-pervasive nature of the consciousness of the Divine Masculine, Shiva Himself. Shiv Purana asserts that although a point in any space-time realm where Shiva isn’t an absurdity in itself, He has chosen to specifically manifest at 12 sacred places as Jyotirlingas. Thus, Jyotirlingas can be considered as heightened focal points of Shiva’s grace upon the earth. As the very name suggests, Shiva manifests as Jyoti, illuminated columns of Supreme Light, at each of this Shivling. It is suggested that those on the higher gradients of spiritual evolution can see the blazing streams of light piercing the earth at each of these Shivlingas.

12 Jyotirlinga Temples in India

1. Shree Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple, Gujarat

Somnath Mandir
One knows Chandra, rather Soma deva, as always adorning the locks of Lord Shiva. Shiva is venerated as the ‘Lord of Soma’ at Somnath. The temple mythology cites its origin to belong to an era unbeknownst to human estimation. Chandra Deva, who was cursed by his father-in-law Daksha Prajapati for the negligence of his wives other than Rohini Devi, performed penances to seek Lord Shiva’s grace at this very site. Lord Shiva freed the deva from the curse of darkness that befell upon him following which the moon had to follow its interminable cycles of waxing and waning. Combine this with the waxing and waning of the tides at this seashore causated by the gravitational pull of the moon, and the myth comes alive with such luminosity here.

Somnath Temple has been through many such cycles of destruction and reconstruction too, the present structure having been built by the combined efforts of K M Munshi and Vallabhbhai Patel. The temple is a true example of architectural splendor with its magnificently built pillars in the Chalukya Temple architecture style.

This beautiful temple, resting along the seashore of western Gujarat, at the city of Prabhas is foremost among the pilgrimage and historical attractions not just of the state, but of the whole nation. Another famous temple of the state known for its historical and mythological importance is Dwarakadheesh Temple worshipping God Krishna. Dwaraka was allegedly ruled by Krishna Himself in the Treta Yuga, and the temple’s flag with pictorial representation of the sun and moon testifies to the belief that His essence would dwell in the place as long as the sun and moon exist.

  • Address: Somnath Mandir Rd, Somnath, Gujarat 362268
  • Timing: 6am-10pm
  • Opened: May 1951
  • Architectural styles: Hindu temple architecture, Māru-Gurjara architecture
  • District: Gir Somnath district
  • Creator: (Many reconstructions)
  • Affiliation: Hinduism Wikimedia Foundation
  • Function: Hindu Temple
  • Deity: Shiva

2. Mallikarjuna Temple, Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh

Mallikarjuna Temple
Rather Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple to be precise is located in Andhra Pradesh, in its district of Srisailam. The temple is venerated both as a Shakti Peeth and Jyotirlinga, making it a very important pilgrimage stopover. Both Bhramaramba, the form of Maa Parvati, and Mallikarjuna, the embodiment of Shiva rest conjugally in this rather magnanimous temple with four gopurams spread across two hectares.

This is cited to be the site at which Maa Parvati and Lord Shiva resided in their attempts to pacify their enraged son Kartikeya who left for Mt Palani. Another legend suggests a princess named Chandravati discovered the pious subterranean Shivlinga from the miraculous behavior of a cow overflowing its milk at the same site every day. Later, the temple was built to house the Jyotirlinga which emanated sun-like rays in all directions and her supreme devotion brought her Mukti too.

  • Located in: Shri Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Temple
  • Address: Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh 528101
  • Timing: 5:30am-9:30pm
  • Temple(s): 1
  • District: Nandyala
  • Festivals: Maha Shivaratri
  • Deity: Shiva, Parvati

3. Mahakaleshwar, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

Mahakaleshwar Temple
The only Dakshinamurthy (South facing idol) of all the Jyotirlingas, Mahakaleshwar is said to have been ‘Swayambhu’, its power being derived from itself as opposed to being ingrained by mantra-shakti. The temple forms the crux of the beautiful city of Ujjain. Also, the temple is revered as a Shakti Peeth, as it is said to have been the site at which Maa Sati’s upper lip fell.

Lord Shiva is said to have embodied the form of Mahakala to protect the city of Ujjain, Avantika then, against one of the attacks aimed at it, in which the ruler Chandrasena evoked Shiva’s protection as per Puranic legends. Therefrom, Lord Shiva exists as Ujjain’s guardian deity. The present temple structure is said to have been constructed in the early eighteenth century.

  • Address: Jaisinghpura, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh 456006
  • Timing: 3am-11pm
  • Function: Hindu Temple, Shrine, Place of worship
  • Deity: Shiva

4. Omkareshwar Temple, Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh

Omkareshwar Temple
The Om-shaped island of Shivpuri/Mandata carved by the River Narmada venerated as Shankari, an allusion to her being Shiva’s daughter, houses two beautiful Shaivite Shrines – Omkareshwar and Amareswar (Mamleswar). Both the shrines are considered representative of the Jyotirlinga attributed to the site.

The island is said to have been where Adi Shankara met his Spiritual Teacher Guru Govindapada. The cave which held the momentous meeting still exists adjacent to the temple. The temple legend attributes its origin to Vindya, the deity of the mountain ranges of Vindyachala, worshipping Shiva using Shivlinga built of clay and sand. Lord Shiva appeared in the forms of Omkareshwar (Lord of Omkar sound) and Amaleswara (Immortal God) before him as he was pleased with the devotional worship.

  • Address: 64XR+6VJ, Markandeya Ashram Rd, Omkareshwar, Madhya Pradesh 450554
  • Timing: 5:00 AM to 9:30 PM
  • District: Khandwa district
  • Function: Hindu Temple, Temple
  • Deity: Shiva

5. Kedarnath Temple, Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand

Kedarnath Temple
An integral pilgrimage stopover of the renowned Char Dham Yatra, Kedarnath Temple opens for Darshan only during half of the year. The temple housing the Lord of Kedar Khand is accessible only after a strenuous trek of 16-19 km from Gaurikund. The temple mythology links its conception with Pandavas while its revival is attributed to Adi Shankaracharya. The temple is also the main shrine in the Panch Kedar conglomerate.

  • Address: Kedarnath, Uttarakhand 246445
  • Timing: 4am-9pm
  • Elevation: 3,583 m (11,755 ft)
  • Creator: Pandavas
  • District: Rudraprayag
  • Deity: Shiva
  • Festivals: Maha Shivaratri

6. Bhimashankar Temple, Khed, Maharashtra

Bhimashankar Temple
Located amidst the dense forests of Sahyadri Mountain Ranges, Bhimashankar Temple offers one an ideal spiritually serene retreat away from the hustle-bustle of modern life. River Bhima which originates here flows southeast to merge with Krishna River. Built gracefully in the Nagara architectural style, the present temple is said to have been constructed in the thirteenth century. The ancient shrine is inexorably linked to the legend of Bhasmasur, the son of Kumbhakarna, from whose evil tyrannies Lord Shiva saved the world and agreed to make this region his abode. Bhimashankar is popular not just among Shiva devotees, but also among wildlife enthusiasts and trekkers.

  • Address: 3GCP+Q9G, A/p, bhimashankar Bhimashankar wadi Tal – khed , dist, Maharashtra 410509
  • Timing: 5am-9:30pm

7. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Banaras, Uttar Pradesh

Kashi Vishwanath Temple
This is the major Shaivite shrine in the city venerated as Shiva’s abode by millions of Indians. The city truly emulates what it is known as the city of death, rather ‘holy’ death, for death in its premises assures salvation as per the beliefs, with its many Ghats dedicated to the holy cremation of those who chose to burn away their dead incarnate bodies. The construction of the present temple structure is attributed to the very saintly Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore.

  • Address: Lahori Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001
  • Timing: 4am-11pm
  • Function: Hindu Temple
  • Completed: 1780
  • Deity: Vishveshwar or Vishwanath (Shiva)

8. Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple, Nashik, Maharashtra

Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple
The ancient temple of Trimbakeshwar is unique for its Jyotirlinga is not just dedicated to Lord Shiva, but to the entire trinity. Its three faces embody the creative, preservative and destructive aspects of the Universe personified as Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. The architecturally beautiful temple is constructed quite near the actual origin of the river Godavari. Kusavarta Kund is venerated as the source of this sacred river of peninsular India. The temple encapsulated by the hill ranges of Brahmagiri, Nilgiri, and Kalagiri is particularly beautiful when monsoon blooms its verdant landscape. The temple is marked for the many holy water bodies it contains – Amritvarshini, Bilvateertha, Vishnuthirtha, and Mukund Tirtha among them. Also, its premises are blessed with the presence of several samadhis of monks and monasteries. The temple mythology tells us of the inexorable link of its conception with Gautami Ganga, or rather River Godavari, as per which the river is said to have emerged from Ganga herself to purify the land upon the request of Gautam Rishi and Shiva agreed to stay close by in his Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga.

  • Address: Trimbakeshwar Jyotirling Mandir, Trimbak, Maharashtra 422212
  • Timing: 6am-9pm
  • District: Nashik
  • Deity: Shiva

9. Baidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple, Deoghar, Jharkhand

Baidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple
In a temple complex consisting of about 21 temples, Lord Shiva’s Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga is considered supreme. The temple mythology links its connection with the demon king Ravana, who was an ardent believer in Lord Shiva. The king supposedly sacrificed ten of his heads as an offering to Lord Shiva. The benevolent deity could not help but come to his aid as ‘Baidyanath’, a doctor. Certain controversies do exist regarding the actual location of the ninth Jyotirlinga though. The temple is said to have been an important Tantrik seat in earlier times. Also, the temple is equally noteworthy for its being one of the 51 Shaktipeeths too, it is at this site that Maa Sati’s heart fell.

  • Address: Shivganga Muhalla, Deoghar, Jharkhand 814112
  • Timing: 6am-9:30pm
  • Temple(s): 22
  • Creator: Raja Puran Mal
  • District: Deoghar
  • Deity: Shiva

10. Aundha Nagnath, Hingoli, Maharashtra

Aundha Nagnath Temple
Prepare to be enchanted by the intricately carved Hemadpanti architecture of this ancient temple at Hingoli. The present temple dates back its conception to the Yadav dynasty of the thirteenth century. The credit for the initial conception is attributed to King Yudhisthira of Dwapara Yuga. One has to descend two feet below ground and sit down to have the Darshan of this Jyotirlingam. The temple is also called as Hari-Hara temple as its sanctum worships Lord Vishnu as well.

  • Address: G2QR+CCM, Nanded – Aundha Rd, Aundha Nagnath, Maharashtra 431705
  • Timing: 4:00am-10:00pm
  • Population: 14,801 (2011)
  • Weather: 29 °C, Wind E at 5 km/h, 32% Humidity More on
  • District: Hingoli
  • Local time: Tuesday, 12:47 pm
  • Nearest City: Hingoli (26km), Parbhani (45km)

11. Rameshwaram Temple, Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu

Rameshwaram Temple
The temple is as much an architectural marvel as it is a spiritual abode. This magnificently built temple sprawling across many acres has the longest corridor among all the temples in the world. One gets to hear a thousand praises regarding the spiritual sanctity of the temple. As per the legend, the shrine was first built by Lord Rama to seek Lord Shiva’s blessings before embarking on his mission to cross the ocean and reach Lanka to free his abducted wife Sita from King Ravana’s captivity. There exist 22 Teerthas in this temple which is situated on the island of Rameswaram while the Sea Bay of Bengal itself is considered the foremost of them all – Agniteertha.

  • Address: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu 623526
  • Timing: 4:30am-1pm, 3-8:30pm
  • Creator: Pandya and Jaffna kings
  • Function: Hindu Temple
  • District: Ramanathapuram

12. Grishneshwar Temple, Ellora, Maharashtra

Grishneshwar Temple
Lord Shiva is worshipped as the Lord of Compassion in His Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga situated in Ellora. This beautiful illustration of south Indian architectural style is located quite adjacent to the iconic Ellora caves. The last of the Jyotirlingas is also the smallest of the entire conglomerate. Apart from procuring the blessings of Lord Shiva, enjoy the beautifully carved depictions of Lord Vishnu’s Dashavatar, and myriad portrayals of Goddesses and Gods.

  • Address: Verul, Maharashtra 431102
  • Timing: 5:30am-9pm
  • Deity: Shri Grishneshwar (Shiva)