Monday, 14 November 2011

12Jyothirlingas - Dwadasa Jyothirlingas


“Saurashtre Somanathamcha Srisaile MallikarjunamUjjayinya Mahakalam Omkaramamaleswaram Paralyam Vaidyanathancha Dakinyam Bheema Shankaram
Setu Bandhethu Ramesam, Nagesam DarukavaneVaranasyantu Vishwesam
Tryambakam GautameethateHimalayetu Kedaaram, Ghrishnesamcha shivaalaye
Etani jyotirlingani, Saayam Praatah PatennarahSapta Janma Kritam papam,
Smaranena Vinashyati”
As per this shloka there are 12 Jyothirlingas and the details of which are given below. If you go to the individual blogs you can get the details of the each Jyothirlinga and how you can reach there.

2.Sri Saila Mallikarjuna

1. Somanath Jyothirlinga

Somanath Jyotirlinga

Jai Somnath

Somanath Temple

1) Somanath Jyotirlinga is in Gujarat and it is the first Jythirlinga as per the shloka. The place is called Prabhas. You can reach there  by Somanath express(trainNo1464) which goes from Jabalpur to somanath via Bhopal, Ujjain, Ahmedabad, Rajkot. Somanath is 79 Km from Junagudh.The temple is rebuilt by Maharani Ahilya Bai of Indore in 18th century.The original temple was destroyed by Md Ghajani in 1025 and rebuilt immediately by King Bhima of Gujarat and King Bhoja of Malwa.Later It was destroyed by Md Allauddin Khilji in 1300 and rebuilt by King Mahipala. Later it was destroyed number times and finally by Aurangzeb. It is said that the original shivalinga was hidden by the locals and was reinstalled in the temple built by the Maharani Ahilya Bai.
The story about Somanath
Daksha Praja pathi was  having 27 daughters. These twenty-seven  daughters were married to the moon-god Chandra. One of these wives was named Rohini and Chandra loved Rohini more than he loved the other wives. The other wives felt neglected and they complained to their father. Daksha repeatedly warned his son-in-law to devote himself equally to all twenty-seven wives. But Chandra was in no mood to listen.

Daksha thereupon cursed Chandra that he would gradually fade away. Chandra didn't know what to do. He went and sought advice from Brahma and Brahma told him that the only rescourse was to pray to Shiva. Chandra went to Prabhasa tirtha and made a linga on the banks of the river Sarasvati. He prayed to Shiva for six months.

At the end of the tapasya Shiva appeared before Chandra and offered to grant him a boon. Chandra explained what the problem was.

Well, said Shiva, Daksha's curse cannot be entirely ignored. Let us have a compromise. During krishnapaksha you will wane. And during shuklapaksha (the bright part of the lunar fortnight) you will wax. That should satisfy everybody.

Chandra was delighted. The linga to which Chandra prayed is Somantha, the first of the jyotirlingas. Shiva is always present at that tirtha.
The old mandir was destroyed by muslims and the present new mandir was built by Sardhar Vallabhai Patel immediately after the independance.
Other places of interest are Gita mandir,Laxminarayana mandir and Parshuram mandir. It is said that Bhagawan Parshuram is relieved of his curse of killing Kshatriyas by Bhagawan Somnath.
Dwaraka is another Jyotirlinga in Gujrat which is 233 Km by road from here.

Stay: Good hotels are not available for accommodation at Somnath and one can stay at Veraval which is 7 Km from Somnath.

Food :Dokala a delicious gujarati dish is available in break fast. Raw khajoor is availble in the season which we may not find in any part of the India except Rajasthan. Thali is available for Rs40.

Near by places: Bakhla Tirth 5 Km from Somanath where lord Krishna has left his body when he was hit by arrow made by stone tip by a Bhil tribal. Famous Gir forest where you can find Asiatic Lions.You need at least two days to see the Gir forest. Gir forest is 42 Km from Junagudh and almost same distance from Somanath. Veraval beach is 5 Km from somnath. Porbandar, the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi is 103 Km from here. Veraval beach is 5 Km from Somnath.
Nearest Air Port : Porbandar

2.Srisaila Jyothirlinga


Sri Saila Temple

2)Srisailam Jyotirlinga : It is in Andhra Pradesh and it is well connected by road than train. One can go by bus or taxi to Srisailam from Hyderabad. The distance is nearly 232 Km .Nearest railway stations are Vinukonda(120Km), Markapur(85Km) and Kurnool(190Km). Markapur is in Guntur -Hubli route. Here the deity is called as Lord Mallikarjuna. It is said that Adi Shankaracharya has visited this temple and composed Sivananda Lahari here. You can perform abhisheka your self by purchasing the ticket.The goddess is Bhramarambika Devi and it is one of the 18 shaktipeethas. Neck part of goddess sati has fallen here.APSRTC runs a package tour to Sriailam and Nagarjuna sagar on week ends in the season.

The Story of Sri Saila Jyothirlinga :

You already know that Kartikeya felt cheated when Ganesha got married. He decided that he would not live with Shiva and Parvati any longer, and began to live on the mountain Krouncha.

Parvati was miserable that her son had left her. She sent gods, sages, gandharvas and apsaras to bring her son back. But Kartikeya would not return. Shiva and Parvati then went to visit Kartikeya themselves, but Kartikeya would not let them get too close.

Shiva and Parvati started to live at a place that was about six miles away from where their son was living. They are always there, so as to be near their son. This place is known as Mallikarjuna.
Nearest places: The famous Srisailam dam which is 512M length and 270M height and it is a major hydro power station of Andhra Pradesh. Alampur Jogulamba temple is 24 Km from Kurnool. It is one of the 18 shaktipeethas.
Airport : Hyderabad

Stay: Accommodation is available easily like Hotels /dharma salas (chowltries)/srisailam trust guest house.

3.Ujjain Jyothirlinga

Maha Kaleswara Temple

3)Ujjain Jyotirlinga : The deity is called as Mahakaleswara. Ujjain is 50Km(2hrs) from Indore. Or you can drop at Ujjain while going to Somanath by train.You are allowed to touch the jyotirlinga when rush is not there. The decoration of the linga is different in the morning and evening. One should not miss the evening decoration which is made with the clay from the river shipra. It is said that the Vibhodhi used in the temple comes from the burial ground.

Bhasmarchana : One should not miss the Bhasmarchana which is performed early morning at 05.00Hrs. It is performed with hot ash received from the near by burial ground  of the last pyre of previous night. The ash is taken into a thin cloth and archana is performed. It is an half an hour programme and a gallary is made for the devotees to sit and watch the archana. The tickets for this archana are free but one has to collect it in previous day by submitting the Id proof at 11 AM  and collect the passes in the evening at 19.00 hrs.

The story of Mahakaleswara :
The city of Avanti is on the banks of the river Kshipra (Shipra).

A brahmana named Vedapriya used to lived in the city of Avanti. He used to worship Shiva everyday and he had brought up his four sons to do the same. These sons were named Devapriya, Priyamedha, Suvrita and Suvrata.

Not very far away, on a hill named Ratnamala, there used to live an asura named Dushana. Dushana was evil, he could not stand the idea of the Vedas being read and the religion prescribed in them followed. He went about destroying this righteous religon wherever he could. Dushana got to know that in the city of Avanti there lived four brahmanas who followed the righteous religion and worshipped Shiva. These were Devapriya, Priyamedha, Suvrita and Suvrata. Their father Vedapriya had died by then.

Dushana and his cohorts came and attacked the city of Avanti. They threatened to kill the four brahmanas, but the brothers were not at all perturbed. They continued to pray to Shiva. They bowed in obeisance before the linga.

Suddenly a tremendous sound was heard and a pit appeared in the ground in front of the linga. Shiva himself appeared in this pit. Dushana was burnt into ashes from the force of Shiva's roar. And Shiva put all of Dushana's soldiers to flight.

The brahmanas prayed that Shiva might always be present at that place and Shiva agreed. This is the place that is known as Mahakala.
Near by places:
Hara sidhi mata temple which is one of the shaktipeethas is very close to main temple. Upper lip of goddess sati has fallen here. In the hall next to temple one can see the rare potriats of The great King Vikramaditya, Kali das, Varaha Mihirula.
Other temples : Ujjain is place of historical importance and there are many places of tourist interests like Ghat Kalika(Kalidas aradhana devi ) temple,Char Dham mandir, bethala pipale tree, temple built by king Vikramaditya and Kala Bhirava temple where liquor is offered as prasada, Bada Ganapathi mandir ,Mangalanath Temple, Gopal mandir,Iskon mandir,Sandeepani Ashram and Bhookhi mata temple.

Stay : Mahakalewara trust Dharma sala which is neat and clean.Local tourist bus is available which takes 4 hours to cover the above places. MP tourism bus charges Rs50 and private bus charges Rs36.
Food : Pooha is availble in the break fast. Near the main temple Idli is available in the hotel Shivam. Neat Gujarati/Maravari khana is available easily.
Air Port : Indore

4.Omkareswara Jyothirlinga


Omkareswara Temple

4)Omkareswar Jyotirlinga:The god is called here as Omkareswara. Omkareswaram is 77 Km(Rs50) by road from Khandwa from where very frequent buses are available. It is 80 km(Rs50) from Indore. Nearest railway station is Omkareswara road which is 12Km from the town. You can perform abhisheka your self in the temple. The temple is on the banks of river Narmada. We find many Kanwarias carrying water from Narmada to Mahakaleswar temple by walk. MP Road transport runs direct bus to Ujjain daily twice at 11.30 and 14.30 hrs from Omkaleswar.

Sthala Purana :
Narada had once gone on a visit to the mountain Vindhya. Vindhya worshipped Narada. But because Vindhya was slightly proud, he also said. I am full of all the desirable objects that one can think of.

Perhaps, replied Narada. But Mount Sumeru is superior to you, becaue the gods are always there. Vindhya decided to become the equal of Sumeru. He began to pray to Shiva. For six months he prayed. When Shiva appeared, Vindhya desired that Shiva might always be present there so that he might become the equal of Sumeru.

The linga that Vindhya worshipped as called Omkara.
The present temple is built by Maharani Ahilya Devi of Holkar.

Mamaleswar Jyothirlinga

Mamaleswara Jyothirlinga : Mamaleshwar temple is a very old temple. After stepping down in Omkareshwar Bus stand, There is a straight road to Narmada river ghat. After taking a holy dip in Narmada river we have to climb some steps up to reach Mamaleshwar temple. The way is fully occupied by stalls selling Bilwa patras, flowers, and sweet packets used to offer to Lord Parameshwar.
Near temple you can see some Pandas, performing Pardhiva Shiva linga puja. They will do Sahasra linga puja, that is worshiping 1000 shiva lingas. This is famous in here. They plant 1000 shivalingas on a wooden board and perform puja.
Mamaleshwar temple is not a big one. There is a hall and a sanctum. Lord Shiva is present in the center of sanctum. We can touch Mamaleshwar jyotirling and do Abhishekam to Shiva by ourselves. Idol of Parvati mata is present on the backside of Shivaling in the wall. There are many small temples of Lord Shiva around main temple of Mamaleswar.

Mamaleswar Temple

Sthala purana :

Once upon a time Narada maharshi visited Vindhya. In the discussion between them Vindhya told that, he was full pledged and there is nothing to be possessed for him. Narada observed the proud (Ahamkara) of Vindhya and said with a smile, yes you are full pledged, but Meru Parvatha is thinking that he is the supreme of all Parvathas (Hills), because devathas are living on the top of Meru and even Sun is rotating around its Sikharam every day. Vindhya felt guilty with these words and he decided to prove his greatness. He did tapsya for Lord Shiva for six months. Every day he did Parthiva Linga puja. He did tapsya with out moving. He stood like a stone (Sthanu). After six months Lord Shiva was pleased and gave Darshan to Vindhya. Then Vindhya was very happy and praised Lord Shiva, and got a chance to get boons from the Lord. Vindhya asked a boon that he should get energy and wisdom (Budhi) to fulfill his desires. Lord Shiva agreed for that and thought of Vindhya so that these boons may not be used to harm any body. At the same time Devathas, Maharshis came and praised the Lord and requested to stay in that place. Shiva accepted and stayed in that place as Mamaleshwar Jyotirling.

After getting boons from Mamaleshwar, Vindhya grew up enormously to prove his greatness. He crossed Meru parvatha's height and obstructed the path of Sun. Sun god became shocked for this and stopped. All the people in the south are in dark and facing never ending nights. North people are suffering with continuous day light and Sun heat. All Devathas went to Vaikuntha for a solution. Lord Vishnu told that Vindhya was a growing Sadhaka and no one can stop him except his Guru Agastya. In that time Agastya maharshi was living in Kasi along with his wife Lopamudra. Devathas went to Kasi and told the condition and requested him to stop his student (Vindhyachala). Agastya maharshi accepted that. He said to his wife, "we got a vighna for living in Kasi and we have to leave Kasi now". He worshiped Lord Viswanath and left Kasi with a sorrowful heart. He came to Vindhya Parvatha in the Akasa marga. By seeing his Guru Vindhya shrunken himself and invited Agastya. Then Agastya maharshi told that he was going towards south and Vindhya should stay like this, without growing, till he returns back. Vindhya followed his Gurus order and remained as it is. Then Agastya maharshi visit several places in South and built his Ashram in Srisailam.

It is said that unless this temple is visited the Jyothirlinga darsan of Omkareswar is not completed.

 The Jyotir Lingam split into two, and there are two Siva lingams, Omkareswarar & Mamaleshwar (Amareshwarar).
Mandhata was a great Emperor of the Ishvaku clan who ruled this land.   He did great penance in this land & there is an ashram called Mandhata ashram here.
This spiritual and all powerful jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva is at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. There Lord Shiva came in the form of Mahakal out of the linga that split and killed the demon. Therefore all those who pray to this linga will never fear death and if their faith is true they will be out of the chakra of life and death.
The Omkareshawar temple  is built in the North Inidan style of architecture, with high spires.  Devotees consider worship to Panchamuga Ganesha, to be very auspicious.  There is a shrine for Annapoorani.  Siva Lingas of various sizes are sold in great numbers in this place. It is said that once, sage Naradar during his visit to the Vindyas, sang the praise of mount Meru to Mount Vindhya.  On hearing this, Mount Vindhya prayed to Lord Siva to gain in importance.  Lord Siva blessed him & appeared here as Omkareshwarar & Amaleshwarar and gave the boon of grwoing, but without hindering Siva devotees..  But the Vindhyas did not stop growing, and even obstructed the sun and the moon.  Sage Agasthyar subdued its growth by saying it should not grow till he gets back there.  He never went back & hence the growth was arrested. Omkareshwar is situated on the Mandhata hills in Madhya Pradesh, known in ancient times as Shivpuri.  The temple dates back to the Krita Yuga.  River Narmada flows here around the Mandhata hill in the form of an Om (Omkaram).
Stay :Best place is Gajanana samsthan very neat and less expensive.

5.Vaidyanath Jyothirlinga


5)Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga : There is a dispute about this jyotirlinga. Some people say it is in Deogarh district in Jharkhand state. Others say it is in Parli in Maharashtra. In both places you will find a plaque made by the respective government saying that it is one of the 12 jyotirlingas. So better to visit both these jyotirlingas to have satisfaction. It increases your count to 13. It is said that Demon King Ravana has offered his heads one by one to Lord Shiva. Pleased with this Shiva descended to earth and cured Ravana who was injured with his act. As Lord Shiva has acted as Vaidya(Doctor) the place is called Vaidyanath.

Sthala Purana :Ravana, the king of the rakshasas, meditated in the Himalayas so as to please Shiva. First he prayed on Mount Kailasa, but Shiva did not appear. He then went to a place named Vrikshakhandaka which was a little towards the south. He prayed there, but Shiva did not appear. Ravana next dug a pit in the earth and started to pray inside the pit. He established a Shiva linga inside the pit. Shiva still not appear.

Ravana therefore decided that he would immolate himself. Ravana, as you know, had ten heads. He lit a fire and severing his heads, began to offer them one by one to the fire. When nine of the heads had thus been offered, Shiva appeared.

Enough is enough, said Shiva. What boon do you want?

Please grant me the boon that I may be very strong. And please restore my nine heads, replied Ravana.

These boons Shiva granted and the place where Ravana prayed is known as Vaidyanatha.

The gods were not at all happy that Ravana had become so strong. They were afraid tha the rakshasa might start to oppress them. They therefore sent Narada to create some mischief. Narada met Ravana and asked him why he was looking so happy. Ravana related the story of the boon.

Boon, exclaimed Narada. Who believes in Shiva? Let me see if you can lift up Mount Kailasa. If you can do that, I shall indeed believe that you have become strong.

Incited by Narada, Ravana returned to Kailasa and lifted up the mountain. As the mountain shook, Shiva and Parvati were disturbed. Shiva cursed Ravana that soon a being would be born who would kill Ravana. This being was of course Rama, Vishnu's incarnation.

Vaidyanath Temple, Deogarh

5a)Vaidyanath,Deogarh(Jharkhand): Nearest rail way station is Jasidih junction which is 7Km from Vaidyanath temple.Jasidh is 311 Km from Howrah/Sealdah in Patna route. As per Siva puranam Vaidyanath is in Chithabhoomi which is the ancient name for Deogarh.It is well connected by road /bus from Ranchi,Gaya,Bhagalpur and Hazaribagh. You can perform abhisheka your self.
Here the Deity is called Baba Baidyanath. It is a huge temple complex having 22 temples. The main one is Baba Baidyanath which is 72 feet from the ground and it is lotus shaped. The other temples are of Maa Parvathi, Maa Kali, Maa Jagat Janani, Kal Bhairav and Lakshminarayan. You will find Maa parvathi temple is tied up with main temple with huge dagha (please see the photo)
The water used for abhisheka is brought from the river Ganga which is 117 KM from the temple from the place called Sultanpur. The water is brought by the Kanwarias who carry the water in Kavadi and walk all the distance by bare foot. You find large crowds walking all the way carrying water.
Road Route: By road Babadham is 373 Km from Kolkatta,112 Km from Girdhi, 281Km from Patna, 67 Km from Dumka and 57 Km from Madhupur. It is 6 hrs distance from Ranch and 4 hrs from Bhagalpur.
Stay : Moderate hotels are available.
Places of Interest: Budh Gaya which is 300Km from here by road. Sarva Mangala Gowri shaktipeetha is also there near Gaya where breast part of goddess sati has fallen.

Parli Vaidyanath Temple

5b) Parli Vaijnath: The temple is 2Km from the Parli rail way station.It was rebuilt by Maharani Ahilya Bai in 1776. you can perform abhisheka your self by paying Rs 101. Men have to remove their shirts while performing the abhisheka. Out side the temple, Dakshin mukh Ganesh temple is there. Rani Ahilya Bai's (who has renovated many jyotirlingas ) statue is there in the temple complex. The temple water tank is also constructed like shiva linga only.
It is also well connected by road from Nagpur and over night super deluxe buses are available.Bus takes 10hours.
Railway station : Parli vaijnath, which is connected by direct trains from Secunderabad (340Km), Kakinada, Manmad, Visakhapatnam and Bangalore. Parbhani rail way station is 70Km from here which is on Nagpur-Mumbai train route.
Airport : Nanded
Places of interest : Ganghakher is 31 Km from Parli where Dattatreya temple is there. Nanded is 107 Km from here. It is famous for gurudwara.

6.Bhima Shankar Jyothirlinga

Bhima Shankar Temple

6) Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga :It is one of the jyotirlingas which is not connected by train. you can reach it by road from Pune or Shirdi or Mumbai . It is 120 Km from Pune and 170 Km from Shirdi. There is no proper accommodation for stay at Bhimashankar and one has to stay at Manchar which is 35Km from Bhimashankar on the way to Pune. Buses are available from Pune,Shivaji nagar bus stand(5Km from rly station) to Bhimashankar directly. First bus (Rs82) starts at 5.15AM.It is ghat road and journey is very enjoyable.
Sthala Purana :You know about Rama and Ravana from the Ramayana and you also know that Rama killed not only Ravana, but also his brother Kumbahakarna.

A rakshasa woman named Karkati used to live on the mountains named Sahya. Karkati had been married to Kumbhakarna and her son was named Bhima. One day, Bhima asked Karkati, Mother, whose son am I?

Why do we live alone in this forest?

Karkati said, Let me tell you my sad story. I used to be married to the rakshasa Viradha. But Rama killed Viradha. Later on, Kumbhakarna came and married me here and you were born. Kumbhakarna had promised to take me to Lanka. But he was killed by Rama and I never got to see Lanka. That is the reason we live here alone. We have nowhere else to go.

Bhima was very sorry to hear this story. He resolved to avenge himself on Vishnu because he knew that Rama had been an incarnation of Vishnu. For a thousand years he prayed to Brahma with his hands raised up to the sky. When Brahma appeared, Bhima wished for the boon that he might become very strong. This boon Brahma granted.

The first target of Bhima's attention was the king of Kamarupa. The king's crime was that he was devoted to Vishnu. Bhima attacked the king, stole all his belongings, conquered his kingdom and imprisoned him and his wife. He then proceeded to conquer the rest of the world.

In their prison, the king and his wife started to pray to Shiva. This news was brought to Bhima by the rakshasa guards and Bhima decided to kill the king. He found the king praying before a Shiva linga. When Bhima raised his sword to cut off the the king's head, Shiva appeared from the linga and repelled the sword with his trident. Bhima flung a spear at Shiva, but this too was driven back by the trident. Whatever weapon was used by Bhima, Shiva's trident destroyed them all. Finally, Shiva killed Bhima and all his rakshasa cohorts.

The gods were gratified and they craved that Shiva might always remain in the place in the form of the linga.