The 12 Jyotirlinga Shrines

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The Dwadasa Jyotirlinga shrines or the 12 shrines enshrining Siva in the form of a Jyotirlingam, have been held in reverence in the Indian system of beliefs. These are the places where God appeared in the form of light (Jyoti) lingam. There are twelve Jyotir Lingam temples, spread throughout India. Puranas say that Siva's presence exist in these shrines.

The southernmost of these is located at Rameswaram, while the northernmost is located in the snowy heights of the Himalayas at Kedarnath. These temples are closely linked with legends from the puranas and are rich in history and tradition.

  • Somnath is the foremost of the 12 Jyotirlinga Shrines of Siva (at Prabhas Patan in Saurashtra in Gujarat)
  • Sree Sailam - Mallikarjuna temple near Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh)
  • Ujjain - Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga shrine (Ujjain or Avanti in Madhya Pradesh)
  • Omkareshwar at Amareswara: an island in the course of the river Narmada in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Kedarnath - the Northernmost of the Jyotirlingas. Kedarnath, nestled in the snow clad Himalayas (UP). It is accessible only on foot, six months in a year.
  • Bhimashankar at Dakini - Associated with the legend of Siva destroying the demon Tripurasura. It is located in the Sahyadri hills of Maharashtra, accessed from Pune.
  • Varanasi - The Vishwanath temple in Benarus in Uttar Pradesh
  • Tryambakeshwar near Nasik - The origin of the river Godavari is intimately linked with this Jyotirlinga shrine near Nasik in Maharashtra.
  • Vaidyanath temple at Deogarh The ancient pilgrimage town of Deogarh is in the Santal Parganas area of Jharkhand.
  • Nageshwar near Dwarka
  • Rameswaram: This vast temple in the island of Rameswaram, in Southern Tamilnadu enshrines Ramalingeswarar, and is revered as the southernmost of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of India.
  • Grishneshwar at Ellora - Located in the vicinity of the tourist town of Ellora in Maharastra, which has several rock cut monuments from the 1st millennium CE.


The 12 jyotirlinga shrines