There are twelve Jyotirlingas and they are the major places of worship of Shiva.
The twelve jyothirlinga are:
- Bhimashankar in Maharashtra
- Baidyanath in Deoghar, Jharkhand
- Grishneshwar in Aurangabad, Maharashtra
- Kedarnath in Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand
- Mallikarjuna in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh
- Mahakaleswar in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
- Nageshvara in Dwarka, Gujarat
- Omkareshwar in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh
- Ramanathaswamy in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
- Somnath in Gir Somnath, Gujarat
- Trimbakeshwar in Nashik, Maharashtra
- Vishwanath in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Lord Shiva is worshiped in form of a Shiv Lingam and Maha Shivratri is a specific day that is devoted to Lord Shiva when all the devotees of Lord Shiva worship him. People give bath to Shiv Linga with fruits, milk, bael leaves, curd, honey and water. This ritual of giving bath to Shiv lingam is very important, as it is believed that this Lingam is a symbol of fruitfulness.
There are twelve jyotirlingas that are located in different parts of the country. It is believed that these jyotirlingas are true form of Lord Shiva and therefore people worship Shiv lingams on Maha Shivratri.
The twelve Jyotirlingas are:
It is located in in the ghat region of the Sahyadri hills in the village of Bhavagiri, near Pune in Maharashtra.
It is llocated in village called Verul, which lies 20 km from Daulatabad.
The temple of Lord Kedarnath is located on the banks of River Mandakini that is towards the west side of Kedar Mountain in Himalayas and is bordered by snow.
It is located in Andhra Pradesh on the mountain Sahila and is also known as the “Kailash of the south”. It is said that Lord Shiva acquired the form of Jyotirlinga and existed on the mountain by the name of Mallikarjuna and thereby the temple is devoted in the honor of Lord Shiva.
It is a well-known place that is visited by the devotees of Lord Shiva and is located in Ujjain. The jyoitrlinga is large in size and is surrounded by a silver snake; it is located in under the ground in a Garbha Griha. On one side of the Shiv Lingam there is a statue of Lord Ganesha and on the other side, statue of Parvati and Kartikeya.
It is llocated on the route between Gomati Dwarka and the Bait Dwarka Island on the coast of Saurashtra in Gujarat. It is said that those who pray to the Nageshwar Linga become free of poison.
The temple of Omkareshwar is located in between Indore and Khandwa, on the banks of River Narmada in Madhya Pradesh. One has to go through two rooms before getting inside the temple. Jyotirlinga of Omkareshwar is not set to the ground but by nature is set up there with water surrounding it.
Jyotirlinga is located on the peninsular tip of Rameshvaram by Lord Rama, on his way to Ravana. There is a big Shiv lingam along with other idols and you will also find statue of Nandi (bull), vehicle of Lord Shiva.
It is one of the holy places of worship Lord Shiva that is built by the Moon God. It is said that the temple was built in gold and later Ravana built it in silver, Lord Krishna in wood and Bhima in stone. Legends tell that moon idolized the Kalabhairava shiv linga at Prabhasa and therefore the Lord is known as Somnatha.
It is llocated 30-km from Nasik in Maharashtra near the mountain named Brahmagiri from which the river Godavari flows.
The temple of Lord Viswanath is located in Varanasi that was previously known as Kashi and Benares. The city is situated on the banks of the river Ganga and is one of the sacred places in India. The name Varanasi comes from the two streams of the Ganga namely Varuna and Asi and it is located between the two. It is also said that Lord Shiva found the city. The best places to visit in Viswanath are the Ghats and Temples. Varanasi has approximately hundred Ghats.
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