12 Jyotirlingas

12 Jyotirlingas

12 Jyotirlingas

Originally there were believed to be 64 jyotirlings while twelve of them are considered to be very auspicious and holy. Each of the twelve jyotirlinga sites take the name of the presiding deity, each considered a different manifestation of Shiva. At all these sites, the primary image is lingam, representing the beginningless and endless stambha pillar, symbolising the infinite nature of Shiva.


1. Somnath

Veraval, Saurashtra, Gujarat

Somnath is traditionally considered the first pilgrimage site: the Dwadash Jyotirlinga pilgrimage begins with the Somnath Temple. The temple, that was destroyed and re-built sixteen times, is held in reverence throughout India and is rich in legend, tradition, and history. It is located at Prabhas Patan, Veraval in Saurashtra region of Gujarat state in western India.



2. Mallikārjuna

Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh

Mallikārjuna, also called Śrīśaila, is located on a mountain in Kurnool District in Rayalaseema. It enshrines Mallikarjuna in an ancient temple that is architecturally and sculpturally rich. It is a place where Shakti Peetha and jyotirlingam are together. Adi Shankara composed his Shivananda Lahari here.




3. Mahakaleshwar

Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

Mahakal, Ujjain (or Avanti) in Madhya Pradesh is home to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple. The Lingam at Mahakal is believed to be Swayambhu, the only one of the 12 jyotirlingams to be so. It is also the only one facing south and also the temple to have a Shree Rudra Yantra perched upside down at the ceiling of the Garbhagriha (where the Shiv Lingam sits). It is a place where Shakti Peetha and jyotirlingam are together. 

Mahakal Temple Ujjain.JPG

4. Omkareshwar

Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh

Omkareshwar is in Madhya Pradesh on an island in the Narmada River and home to a jyotirlinga shrine and the Mamaleshwar temple. 

Omkareshwar Temple 01.jpg

5. Kedarnath

Kedarnath, Uttarakhand 

Kedarnath in Uttarakhand is revered as the northernmost and the closest jyotirlinga to Lord Shiva's eternal abode of Mount Kailash. Kedarnath forms a part of the smaller Char Dham pilgrimage circuit of Hinduism. Kedarnath, nestled in the snow-clad Himalayas, is an ancient shrine, rich in legend and tradition. It is accessible only for six months a year. It is also one of the Paadal Petra Sthalam of Vada Naadu mentioned in Thevaaram. Shiva assumed the form of wild boar and dived into the earth at Kedarnath to emerge at Doleshwor in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Pure ghee is applied at Kedarnath lingam as the boar was injured.

Kedarnath Temple.jpg


6. Bhimashankar

Khed taluka, Pune, Maharashtra

Khed taluka is also referred to as the Daakini country, hence this temple is also called Daakini temple.



7. Kashi Vishwanath

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

The Kashi Vishwanath (Vishweshwar) Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh is home to the Vishwanath Jyotirlinga shrine, which is perhaps the most sacred of Hindu shrines. It is also one of the Padal petra stalam of Vada Naadu mentioned in Thevaaram. The temple is situated in Varanasi, the holiest city for Hindus, where a Hindu is expected to make a pilgrimage at least once in his life, and if possible, also pour the remains of cremated ancestors on the River Ganges. The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganges, and is one of the twelve jyotirlingas. In fact, it is a place where Shakti peeta and jyotirlingam are together. It is the holiest of all Shiva temples. The main deity is known by the name Vishwanath or Vishweshwara meaning Ruler of the universe. The temple town, is considered the oldest living city in the world, with 3500 years of documented history, is also called Kashi.

Benares- The Golden Temple, India, ca. 1915 (IMP-CSCNWW33-OS14-66).jpg

8. Trimbakeshwar

Trimbak near Nashik, Maharashtra

The Trimbakeshwar Temple, near Nashik in Maharashtra, is a jyotirlinga shrine associated with the origin of the Godavari River.

Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple, Trimbak, Nashik district.jpg

9. Nageshwar

Near Dwarka, Gujarat

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana and the Dvādaśa Jyotirliṅga Stotram, says one of the jyotirlinga namely Nagesh is situated in Daruka-Vana and most probably the present day Dwarka region. Other claims to the Nagesh Jyotirlinga status come from - Aundha Naganath (Hingoli District of Maharashtra) and Jageshwar (Almora District of Uttarakhand)

Nageshwar Temple.jpg


10. Baidyanath

Deoghar, Jharkhand 

Vaidyanatha Jyotirlinga temple, also known as Baba Baidyanath dham and Baidyanath dham is one of the twelve jyotirlingas, the most sacred abodes of Shiva. It is located in Deoghar in the Jharkhand state of India. It is a temple complex consisting of the main temple of Baba Baidyanath, where the jyotirlinga is installed, and 21 other temples.

According to Hindu scriptures, the demon king Ravana worshipped Shiva at the current site of the temple to get the boons that he later used to wreak havoc in the world. Ravana offered his ten heads one after another to Shiva as a sacrifice. Pleased with this, Shiva descended to cure Ravana who was injured. As he acted as a doctor, he is referred to as Vaidhya ("doctor"). From this aspect of Shiva, the temple derives its name.

 Baba Dham.jpg

11. Rameshwaram

Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu

Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu is home to the vast Ramalingeswarar Jyotirlinga temple and is revered as the southernmost of the twelve jyotirlinga shrines of India. It enshrines the Rameśvara (God of Rama) pillar. It is also one of the Padal petra stalam of Pandya Naadu mentioned in Tevaram.


12. Grishneshwar

Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, referred to as the Grishneshwar temple in Shiva Purana, is one of the 12 jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana. According to Shiv Puran, Grishneshwar is one of the Shiva Jyotirlinga which is situated Ellora, less than a kilometer from Ellora Caves in Maharashtra.

Grishneshwar temple in Aurangabad district.jpg


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