JYOTI RLINGA THE RADIANT SIGN IN INDIA AND ITS IMPORTANCE
About Shiva’s Jyotirlinga:
shiva is known as the destroyer of evil. Shiva’s Jyotirlinga is highly revered among the Hindus. A Jyotirlinga is a shrine where Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlingam. Also, did you know that The word ‘Jyoti’ means light and ‘linga’ means sign? Jyotirlinga is the light of Lord Shiva. It is one of the most religious and significant aspect in India, and not just here. But now it has got many other followers from abroad too. Especially those who travel. "Jyotirlinga" is mentioned in the Shiva Purana. When Lord Vishu and Lord Shiva were debating over who is considered to be the supreme. Not just it, Lord Shiva had produced a huge pillar of light and asked both of them to find the end of the light in both directions. As a result, Lord Brahma lied that he found the end, but Lord Vishnu accepted willingly that he hadn't. That’s why, Lord Shiva then cursed Lord Brahma that even though he is the creator of the Universe, he won't be worshipped. And the Jyotirlingas here are believed to have appeared from that infinite pillar of light produced by Lord Shiva. So now you know why it is so important and it holds so much significance. There are so many mysteries related to lingams. So many controversies ad so many different understandings and interpretations. Still, because of its strong meaning it holds so much value. And every single individual can connect to it. There are 12 Jyotirlinga in India. It is believed that Lord Shiva first manifested himself on Earth on the night of the Ardra Nakshatra, thus the special importance and role for the Jyotirlinga. It is believed that those who see these lines as columns of fire piercing through the earth after you reach a high level of spiritual attainment. Originally there were 64 Jyotirlingas out of which 12 are considered to be highly auspicious and holy. The 12 Jyotirlinga temples in India take the name of the presiding deity. Either you are a traveller, a photographer, a historian, religious believer or an explorer you must include and plan a trip to these 12 Jyotirlingas.
Places to visit to explore the auspicious Jyotirlingas In India:
Somnath Jyotirlinga, Gujarat. Here the timings are For darshan 6.00AM to 9.00PM, Aarti at 7.00AM, 12.00Noon and 7.00PM and Jay Somnath sound and light show from 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm. And it is believed that according to Shiva Purana, Daksha Prajapati married his 27 wives to the moon. But Moon loved Rohini the most. So, Daksha Prajapati saw ignorance of her other 26 daughters and he cursed Moon that he’ll lose all his glow. So after being cursed Moon and Rohini came to Somnath and worshipped to Lord Shiva and was blessed so he regains all his power and glows. So, the Moon requested Lord Shiva to reside there and was thereafter known as Somnath. But with growing time Somnath temple has been broken and re- created many times during different kingdoms and rulers. This Jyotirlinga is near Veraval town in Kathiawad District and it is one of the most reputed in the nation.
And the best time to explore Somnath is during the winter season, that is from October till march. The temperatures are relatively comfortable and is apt for sightseeing. On the other hand summers are quite harsh and not recommended. And also during the months of July to September, this place receives heavy rainfall. So its not advisable to plan a trip during those months.
Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, Andhra Pradesh. Here the timings for the temple to be opened is at 4:30AM and closes at 10:00PM every day. Darshan for devotees is allowed between 6:30AM to 1:00PM and 6:30PM to 9:00PM. It is is one of the famous Shiva temples in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Located on Shri Shaila mountain on the banks of the river Krishna. It is also one of the most worshiped deities in Andhra Pradesh and is also known as “Kailash of the South''. Every year numerous people or devotees throng to this place to worship Shiva who is known as Mallikarjuna and Bramhadeva here. It is believed that the one who sees the top of the mountain, he will be freed from all his sins in life. Because it’s not just a mere mountain top, it has so many historical events related to it. It is said that Lord Ganesha got married before his elder brother Kartikeya so he got angry and went to Kraunch mountain.
And the best time to explore the city is between October to February, officially it’s the winter season. The temperature remains quite pleasant between 15°C and 32°C, making it a great time to go sightseeing. June to September is mostly off-season because the region receives heavy rainfall, but it can be a good time for temple visits and short trips for tourists.
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Madhya Pradesh. Even this place has so many times and schedules such as The temple opens at 4:00AM and closes at 11:00PM every day. Darshan for devotees is allowed between 8:00AM to 10:00AM, 10:30AM to 5:00PM, 6:00PM to 7:00PM and 8:00PM to 11:00PM. Mahakaleshwar aarti at 7:00PM or 7:30PM. So make sure to plan your trip timings accordingly so you wouldn’t miss anything. Mahakaleshwar temple is situated in the holy city of Ujjain on the banks of river Kshipra in between the Mahakal forest. The temple is one of the most worshiped temples in Central India. And this temple has ample amount of mythological connections too related to Jyotirlinga.
And the best time to explore the city is between October to march. Since it is the winter season, the weather is pretty much pleasant and calming to explore and travel around. Summers are very harsh with temperatures reaching as high as 45-degree Celsius like other parts of Madhya Pradesh, making it really uncomfortable to explore around. From July to September , which is monsoon season the temperatures remains between 20-30’s. The best part of monsoons in Ujjain is taking a dip in the holy Shipra River as the fresh water is refreshing. So if you are someone who loves to make a trip during monsoon then you must plan your itinerary accordingly.
Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga, Madhya Pradesh. Since the timings are quite different for Darshan and aarti you need to follow the mentioned time schedule accordingly. The temple opens at 5:00AM and closes at 9:35PM every day. Darshan for devotees is allowed between 5:30AM to 12:20PM, 1:14AM to 4:00PM and 4:00PM to 8:30PM. Mangal aarti and naivedya bhog at 5:00AM, sayan aarti at 8:30PM. The mythological stories states that once there was a war between Devas and Danavas i.e. Gods and Demons resulting in Demons as winner. With this Devas decided to pray to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva seeing this got pleased and emerged in the form of Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga and defeated the Danavas. So, he resided there and it became one of the most worshiped temples. There many beliefs and depending on that different level of faith of an individual. So much of history and myths, makes the place more interesting to explore. You can plan this temple visit with Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga too. Since both of the temples are in Madhya Pradesh.
And the best time to explore the city is between October to march. Since it is the winter season, the weather is pretty much pleasant and calming to explore and travel around. Summers are very harsh with temperatures reaching as high as 45-degree Celsius like other parts of Madhya Pradesh, making it really uncomfortable to explore around. From July to September , which is monsoon season the temperatures remain between 20-30’s.
Baidyanath Jyotirlinga, Jharkhand. With not so much time resistance here, the temple opens from 4:00AM to 3:30PM and 6:00PM to 9:00PM every day for people. During religious occasions, the darshan timings are extended. But this place also have some of the olden days history and culture related to lord shiva. It is situated in Deoghar, Jharkhand. Devotees believe that all worries and fear disappear if someone truly prays here within. Also, devotees believe to attain salvation here by praying with true and earnest heart. Every year thousands of devotees make visit to Deoghar for this reason.
And the best time to explore the city of Deoghar is during the winter season. That is October until March. Summers are hot in Deoghar which is not so apt and pleasant or comfortable for local journeys and outdoor activities. July to September is counted as the monsoon season. Since right after rainfall, the temperature decreases while the humidity increases. This is one reason which makes this time not suitable for pilgrimage tours and temple visits. Nature lovers can make the most out of their visit to Deoghar during monsoons. Even though this period is not ideal for tourism.
Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Maharashtra. Names itself sounds huge, and this place has various kinds of worship timings too, so make sure to follow the schedule accordingly so that you can witness the thing you desired or planned for. The temple opens at 4:30AM and closes at 9:30PM every day. Darshan starts at 5:00AM in the morning and continues till 9:30PM. During madhyan aarti at 3:00PM darshan is closed for 45 minutes. Kakada aarti at 4:30AM, madhyan aarti at 3:00PM and aarti at 7:30PM. It is situated beside the banks of river Bhima and is also believed to be the source of this river. The story of this temple is related to the Kumbhakarna’s son Bhima. Again, there are so many war stories and myths related to the temple which makes it important to witness it at least once in a lifetime as a pilgrimage.
The best season to visit Bhimashankar is the winter season. The temperature remains comfortable during October to march. Temperature ranges between 13°C to 30°C which is pretty much pleasant to roam around and make important visits. summers in Bhimashankar are hot and are not recommended to make a visit during that time.
Rameshwar Jyotirlinga, Tamil Nadu. Temple timing here is between 5:00AM to 1:00AM and 3:00AM to 9:00PM. Darshan can be done till 8:00PM only. This temple is the southernmost of all the Jyotirlingas. This temple is located on the island of Rameshwaram, off Sethu Coast of Tamil Nadu. The temple is famous for its Architecture. Not only in Bollywood even Hollywood films have some glimpse of this temple in the movies. It’s long corridor, 36 theatres, are all filled with art which resembles the culture of South India. This art is even compared with that of Banaras temple. This temple is fully associated with Ramayana. That's what makes this place so vivid and famous. And it is guided to the tourists to plan your itinerary and include the majority of the places since it will be the trip of a lifetime. Rameshwaram is located in the southern part of India and it is in many people's bucket list.
The best time to explore and visit this place is from October to April. It is a perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities such as sightseeing, shopping, and experimenting with many local cuisines. Summers remain hot here with temperatures soaring up to 42 degrees. So Its not so comfortable to explore during that time.
Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The Temple timings to open is from 5:30AM to 9:30PM daily. However during Shravan, the temple starts early from 3:00AM in the morning and remains open till 11:00Pm in the night. The Grishneshwar temple is situated in a village Verul, 20 km from Daulatabad, near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Also, This temple is also known by Kusumeswarar or Grushmeswara or Grishneswara or Ghushmeshwar Has been pronounced among natives. It has a lot of stories and histories related to Mughal period too. And thousands of devotees visit this place to admire the architectural beauty, the ambience and to gain certain spirituality. Here is a trip, to avoid the crowd, try to visit before 10 am in the morning.
The best time to explore and to make a visit to this place is from October to April. That is the winter season. Summers are too hot and humid to bear.
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, Daarukavanam, Gujarat. Here the temple opens at 5:00AM and is closed at 9:00PM everyday. Devotees can go for darshan between 6:00AM to 12:30PM and 5:00PM to 9:00PM. This Jyotirlinga is renowned for having a special boon of having protection from all types of poison. History defines about a devotee named Supriya who was captured by a demon name Daaruka. He imprisoned Supriya into his kingdom known as Darukavana with many others in the bars. She advised everyone present there to recite “Om Nama Shivaaya” with every breath. This temple is renowned for the protection. Here is a pro tip, you can plan your trip during Mahashivratri, to witness many other events.
The best time to visit is between November and February, that is winter months and especially during Shivratri. Summers are very hot and not recommended to explore during those months since the temperatures soar very high.
Kashi Vishwanath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. One of the most famous and most visited every year. There are many different timings here. Such as Temple opens at 2:30AM after which Mangala Aarti is done from 3:00AM to 4:00AM. Then from 4:00AM to 11:00AM temple is open for darshan. Then bhog aarti is done from 11:15AM to 12:20PM and again the temple opens for devotees from 12:20PM to 7:00PM. From 7:00PM to 8:15PM sapta rishi aarti is held after which darshan is again possible from 8:30PM to 9:00PM. Then from 9:00PM to 10:15 PM shringara aarti is done after that Darshan is possible only from outside. And at last shayana aarti starts at 10.30P.M. and the temple closes at 11P.M. so make sure to plan it according to it. This temple is situated near the bank of river Ganga in the city of Banaras. People believe that if a body is burnt here after death, his soul would be sent to heaven. That's why many people desire to be brought here. The best time to visit is during winter months again.
Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga, Nasik, Maharashtra. Darshan can been done from 5:30AM to 9:00PM. Special pooja is held from 7:00AM to 9:AM, madhyana pooja from 1:00PM to 1:30PM and golden crown of SHiva from 4:30PM to 5:00PM. Try to attend the special session, when you visit here. Trimbakeshwar Temple is located 30kms from Nashik in Maharashtra. This temple is believed to be the source of river Godavari also known as “Gautami Ganga”, the most sacred river in Southern India. People believes that coming and worshiping here would release them from their sins and they seek salvation here.
Kedarnath Jyotirlinga, Uttarakhand. And who doesn’t know this. Lakhs of people literally want for months to open it. And this temple has some stunning backdrop of snow capped Himalayas. Kedarnath Temple is one of the holy pilgrimages located at the higher altitude of around 12000 ft in the Himalayan range on a mountain named Kedar. It is around 150 miles from the sacred place Haridwar. Due to high altitude and drastic changes in weather, this temple is opened only for six months in a year. Opening hours is from 4:00AM to 12:00PM and 3:00PM to 9:00PM.
Food preferences of the devotees while visiting Jyotirlinga and also while offering are:
Milk, or any sweet made with milk is offered on Shivratri. Devotees bathe Shiv Linga with milk, water and honey. So it’s one of the most ritualistic cultures followed across the nation among the shiva lovers.
Panchamrit is also one of the favourite bhog of Lord Shiva. The bhog is a mixture of five major ingredients including milk, honey, ghee, sugar and curd –in equal proportions. It is also eaten as Prasad after worship.
Bhaang is known as the favourite food of Lord Shiva. The drink is made from crushed hemp leaves. It is also said that the drink helps to cure many ailments and get rid of all sorts of pain. This is also taken by devotees especially on the occasion of Holi to commemorate and enjoy at the same time.
Rice, or anything made up of it or prepared by it. Also it is offered to the lord to ensure a long life and fulfilment of desires.
Saffron, the aromatic flavoured spice offered up with milk. And even among the devotees it’s quite famous to have the milk with saffron on many events for the auspicious events, festivities, celebrations and even in marriages.