12 Jyotirlinga Temples in India – Saga, Locations, Timings

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Ancient Barah Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India

Jyotirlingas are believed to be incarnations of Lord Shiva who is the supreme god among the other Hindu gods of India. The word ‘Jyothi’ means ‘light’ and ‘Linga’ means ‘sign of Shiva’. Jyotirling represents the Infinite Pillar of Light of Shiva. 

There are around 64 Jyotirlingas in India and out of them, 12 are considered more significant. Out of the 12, three Jyotirlingas are in Maharashtra, two are in Gujarat. Further two Jyotirlingas are in Madhya Pradesh. While Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu each have 1 Jyotirlinga respectively.

Many devotees visit the 12 Jyotirlinga temples to have blessings of Mahadev. It is believed that when one visits all the 12 Jyotirlinga temples in India then that person will get spiritually enlightened and liberated from the cycle of life and death.

Legendary Mythological Saga of Jyotirlingas

According to the legendary saga, once Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma were having an argument regarding who is more powerful amongst them. To get a solution for this argument, Lord Shiva took a form of a pillar of light and said whoever will find the end of the linga will be proved supreme. No one was able to find the end however Lord Brahma lied that he found the end. This angered Shiva and he cursed Brahma. This Pillar of Light today is known as Jyotirlinga. Furthermore, these 12 Jyotirlingas are also known as ‘Dwadash Jyotirlinga’.

All the 12 Jyotirlinga Temples in India have significant importance and the architectural style of them is blissful. Here is the list of 12 Jyotirlinga Temples in India.

Somnath Jyotirlinga, Veraval, Gujarat

 Somnath Jyotirlinga of Gujarat
Somnath Jyotirlinga, Gujarat

The Somnath Jyotirlinga is the prime one among the other 12 Jyotirlinga temples of  Lord Shiva. And according to the Skanda Purana, Somnath Jyotirlinga temple is 7,99,25,105 years old. This temple is located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat. Somnath Mahadev temple was destroyed many times due to foreign invaders, however, it was rebuilt back with more grace than before by the devotees.

Puranic Saga

According to the legendary saga, Moon was married to 89 daughters of Daksha Prajapati who was the son of Lord Brahma. Out of his 89 wives, he loved only Rohini the most. This created jealousy to the other 88 wives, so they all went to their father Daksha to make complain of him.

Daksha Prajapati after hearing the complaints from them got angry and cursed the Moon that he will lose his glow. To get his glow back, he prayed to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva got happy by his dedication, thus he broke the curse. And out of respect for Lord Shiva, he built a temple for him and named it as Somnath. The literal meaning of Somnath is “Lord of the Moon” Hence from that day onwards, Mahadev is being worshipped as Somnath. 

Spirtual Events

Every night from 8 to 9, the sound and light show titled “Jay Somnath” takes place on the premises. However, the event doesn’t happen in the rainy season.

Other major events that occur consist of Mahashivratri, Golokdham Utsav, Kartik Purnima Fair (5 Days) and Somnath Sthapana Divas.

Nearby Attraction

The temple also has a beach near to it named as Somnath beach. This beach is good to have a walk and not for swimming. On the beach, you can play sports like jeep parasailing, quad biking, horse riding, and camel riding.

Somnath Temple Timings

Temple Timings: 6 AM to 9 PM

Morning Aarti Timings: 7 AM

Afternoon Aarti Timings: 12 PM

Evening Aarti Timings: 7 PM

Best Time To Visit Somnath

November to February

These are the months which will be full of comfortable weather and hence will be best to take darshan of Somnath Jyotirlinga. Furthermore, the temperature will be cool and pleasant. Also, For your stay in these months or any months, there are Dharamshalas provided by the Shree Somnath Trust. The Dharamshalas consists of more than 200 rooms including dormitories, economical guesthouses and a VIP guest house.

Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh

Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga of Andhra Pradesh
Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, Andhra Pradesh
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Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga is also called as “Kailash of the South” and It is a temple where Mahadev is depicted by the Lingam and his wife Parvati is represented as Brahmaramba. It is the only Shiva temple where devotees are allowed to touch the holy shrine.

The significant aspect of this temple as compared to the other 12 Jyotirlinga temples in India is that it is a temple having both Jyotirlinga and Mahasakthi under one roof. There are only three temples in India having a Jyotirlinga and a Shakti Peetha under one roof. Mallikarjuna shrine is one of this place.

Mesmerizing Architecture Style

The architecture is of the Dravidian style that has beautiful pillars known as “gopurams” and a magnificent hall known as “Mukha Mandapa”. The walls of this temple have inscriptions of the stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana. 

This is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples whose architecture style was constantly modified by the king Harihara Raya of Vijayanagar, Reddy kings of Kondaveedu dynasty, and Chhatrapati Shivaji of the Hindavi Swarajya during their respective realms. 

Shivaratri and Navratri are the major festivals of the temple.

Mallikarjuna Temple Timings

Temple Timings: 4.30 AM to 10 PM

Morning Aarti Timings: 5.30 AM

Evening Aarti Timings: 5.00 PM

Best Time To Visit Mallikarjuna

October to February

The October to February months will be full of comfortable winters. you will get a pleasent darshan if you visit in these months. The other months March to May will be full of humidity and the months June to September will be full of rain. Hence October to February are the best months to visit Mallikarjuna Temple.

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga of Madhya Pradesh
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Madhya Pradesh
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Among the 12 Jyotirlinga temples, Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is the most powerful Jyotirlinga in India. It is located in central India. This temple is situated on the abet of the Rudra Sagar lake in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. 

It is said that whoever visit Mahakaleshwar temple gets liberated from sufferings(Mukti-Sthal). This temple is not only home to a Jyotirlinga but it is also home to Shakti Peeth.

The temple is facing south and has a remarkable Shree Rudra Yantra hanged in the sanctum sanctorum just above the Shiv Linga.

In 1234-5, Sultan Shams-ud-din iltutmish invaded Ujjain and destroyed the temple but it was rebuilt again by some devotees. In  1734 CE, Ranoji Scindia- A Maratha general built this magnificent structure that you can see today.

The important aspect of this temple is the ritual known as ‘Bhasm-Aarti’ that is performed in the morning. It is the ritual where ash from a fresh funeral pyre is applied to Shivlinga as a bathing process.

Puranic Saga

Legendary saga says that a five-year-old boy named Srikar started worshipping a stone. Everyone made fun of him but he was determined in his faith. So sometime later, Lord Mahadev got impressed by his dedication and he gave darshan to that boy and converted that stone in a Jyotirlinga.

Mahakaleshwar Temple Timings

Temple Timings: 3:00 AM to 11:00 PM

Bhasma Aarti Timings: 4 AM

Morning Aarti Timings: 7.00 AM to 7.30 AM.

Evening Aarti Timings: 5.00 PM to 5.30 PM

Shree Mahakaal Aarti Timings: 7.00 PM to 7.30 PM

Best Time To Visit Mahakaleshwar

November to February

November will be the month of pleasent temperature hence a good time to visit the Mahakaleshwar Temple. If you want to enjoy the sweet winters then you can visit the temple From December to the first half of February. Don’t visit in the second half month of February because the weather might give you an air of hotness.

Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga, Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh

Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga of Madhya Pradesh
Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga of Madhya Pradesh
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Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples in India which is situated on an Island. It is located on Mandhata island in Madhya Pradesh. This island is mysteriously shaped as “ॐ”. This is a symbol which is considered sacred in Hindu Mythology. 

Puranic Saga

It is said that visiting Omkareshwar is similar to visiting Kedarnath and Panch Kedar. And hence, it is one of the best destinations in Madhya Pradesh that will help you in attaining spirituality.

According to the legends, every night, Lord Shiva comes here to sleep. And hence for this purpose, a Shayan Arti is done here.

Two rivers called Narmada and Kaveri meet each other near the premises of the temple.

The architecture style is very attractive and you will find mural carvings and painting at the temple.

Nearby Attraction

There is one more temple located near to Omkareshwar. The temple’s name is Amareshwar and the literal meaning of the name is “God of Immortals”. This temple is also dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located on south bank of the Narmada river. Rameshwar temple is as important as Omkareshwar temple.

Omkareshwar Temple Timings

Temple Timings: 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Morning Aarti Timings: 5.00 AM to 5.30 AM.

Evening Aarti Timings: 8.20 PM to 9.05 PM

Best Time To Visit Omkareshwar

October to February

Dussehra is the best festival to visit Omkareshwar temple as besides getting the darshan of Mahadev, you will also get to participate in the Dussehra festival where the temple lightens up and Madhya Pradesh brightens up. It is a festival celebrated in honour of good defeating bad. The festival falls in the month of October. Also, October to February will be full of cool and pleasent temperature.

Kedarnath Jyotirlinga, Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand

Kedarnath Jyotirlinga in Uttarakhand
Kedarnath Jyotirlinga, Uttarakhand

Kedarnath Jyotirlinga has beautiful snow-clad peaks, mesmerizing meadows and amazing forest in its vicinity and is one of the best places in Uttarakhand.

This is the only mandir out of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples in India which is open for only six months in a year from the month of April or May. It is closed for the rest of the year because of extreme weather conditions.

The temple is situated at a height of 3,584 meters near the Mandakini river in Rudraprayag. Kedarnath Jyotirlinga is also one of the sacred pilgrimage sites of the Char Dham of Uttarakhand.

Puranic Saga

According to the legendary saga, Pandavas wanted redemptions from Lord Shiva for the devastation caused during the Kurukshetra war. but lord Shiva wanted to test them hence he took a form of a bull and hid. When they found the bull, he tore himself into pieces. His hump was fallen here hence Pandavas built a temple here which is today known as Kedarnath. This temple was later modified by Adi Shankara in 8th AD. It is believed that whoever worships at this temple gets all his desires gratified.

Mesmerizing Architecture Style

The shrine was made using a grey stone and the exterior of the temple is constructed using white marble. The marble indicates harmony and peace. 

According to the geologists, Around 1300-1900 AD, the temple was under snow. The snow cleared and the temple became visible after 400 years. The architecture of the temple is made in such a way that it has withstood natural calamities like avalanches, floods, and earthquakes.

In 2013, A devastating flood hit Uttarakhand that destroyed the surroundings of the Kedarnath temple, but the temple was saved because of a giant rock that guarded the temple against it’s back.

Kedarnath Temple Timings

Temple Timings: 4.00 AM to 9 PM

Morning Aarti Timings:  4.00 AM to 7 AM

Evening Aarti Timings: 6.00 PM to 7.30 PM

Best Time To Visit Kedarnath

March to May

It’s best to visit Kedarnath during summers as the temperature will be comfortable. March to May are the months full of sweet summers and are best to take the darshan of Lord Shiva. Avoid winters as the temperature will be freezingly cold. Monsoon season should also be avoided as there will be heavy rainfall in Uttarakhand.

Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Pune, Maharashtra

Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga in Maharashtra
Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Maharashtra
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Bhimashankar temple is surrounded by exuberant hills, magical waterfalls, and charming forests and is surely one of the best destinations of Maharashtra.

Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is located in the lush Sahyadri range, 50 km northwest of Khed, Pune. 

Puranic Saga

According to some legendary saga, Lord Shiva defeated demon Bhima in this place, so all the gods requested him to stay here. Hence Lord Shiva took the form of Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga and resided here. 

Mesmerizing Architecture Style

The temple is constructed in the style of Nagara architecture that dates back to the 13th century. In the 16th century, the temple structure was influenced by king Shivaji and later on general Chimaji Appa, and after that by minister Nana Phadnavis of the Maratha Empire.

Chimaji Appa after defeating the Portuguese presented a huge Portuguese architecture style bell to the temple that is put between the two pillars in its premises.

Nana Phadnavis built Gopura-shikhara that enhanced the beauty of the temple more than before.

There is also a Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary having diverse flora and fauna. This sanctuary will be the best spot for wildlife photography.

Bhimashankar Temple Timings

Temple Timings: 5:00 AM to 9:30 PM

Morning Aarti Timings: 5.05 AM

Afternoon Aarti Timings: 3:15 PM to 3:30 PM

Evening Aarti Timings: 7.30 PM to 8 PM

Best Time To Visit Bhimashankar

June to February

After taking darshan of the Jyotirlinga, if you want to enjoy the mist surroundings and waterfalls then June to September are the best months to visit Bhimashankar temple. And if you want to enjoy a pleasent temperature without getting wet and an amazing view of greenery, then October to February are the best months to visit Bhimashankar temple. January and February are the spiritual months. In January, Makar Sankranti is celebrated and in February, Mahashivratra is celebrated. Both are the best months to take darshan of your beloved god Mahadev.

Kashi Vishwanath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Kashi Vishwanath of Varanasi
Kashi Vishwanath of Varanasi
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Kashi Vishwanath is one of the three temples where a Jyotirlinga and a Shakti Peeth is located at one place. This temple is located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh and the deity is named as Vishveshvara or Vishvanatha.

Puranic Saga

According to the Purans, One who visits the temple of Ruler of the Universe and takes a bath in holy river Ganges will have no hurdles in the process of Moksha (liberation)

Mesmerizing Architecture Style

Kashi Vishwanath Temple is built in a quadrangle shape by the Maratha Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore in 1780. She was the one who took the initiative to build the temple again after it was destroyed by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

The temple is also titled as the “Golden Temple of Varanasi” because the three domes of the temple are made up of pure gold which was given by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1835.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple Timings

Temple Timings: 2:30 AM for 11 PM.

Mangala Aarti Timings: 3 AM to 4 PM

Bhog Aarti Timings: 11:15 AM to 12:20 PM

Sandhya Aarti Timings: 7 PM to 8:15 PM

Shringara Aarti Timings: 9 PM to 10:15 PM

Shayana Aarti Timings: 10:30 PM to 11:00 PM

Best Time To Visit Kashi Vishwanath

November to February

These are the best months to visit Kashi Vishwanath as the temperature will be cool and pleasent. November to February are the best months to have a comfortable darshan of Lord Vishveshvara.

Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga, Nasik, Maharashtra

Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga in Nashik
Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga, Nashik
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The major significant feature of the Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga is its three lingas that represents three supreme gods known as Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh.

The sacred Trimbakeshwar temple is located at the foothills of the Brahmagiri mountain in Trimbak town of Nashik and one who visits the temple is blessed of getting purified by washing all of his past regrets and sins.

The lingas has a gold crown and according to the legends, the crown is from the Pandavas period. You can see the crown on major festivals and on every Monday from 4 to 5 PM.

Mesmerizing Architecture Style

The architecture style of the temple is of Nagara style where the temple is constructed with the black stones. On the arches and pillars, you will get to see fascinating drawings of the gods, flowers, humans, and animals.

In the temple, you will also get to see a wonderful Kunda which is regarded as the source of the Godavari river.

Trimbakeshwar Temple Timings

Temple Timings: 5:30 AM to 9 PM.

Mangal Aarti Timings: 5:30 AM to 6 AM.

Rudrabhishek, Mrityunjaya Mantra and Laghu Rudrabhishek Puja Timings: 7 to 9 AM.

Madhyana Pooja or the Noon Pooja Timings: 1 PM.

Sandhya Pooja or the Sayam Pooja Timings: 7 PM – 9 PM.

Best Time To Visit Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga

October to March

These are the best months to visit Trimbakeshwar because the temperature will be cool and pleasent.

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, Dwarika, Gujarat

Lord Shiva Statue at Nageshwar Jyotirlinga in Gujarat
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, Gujarat
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One of the significant aspects of the Nageshwar temple is the grand statue of seated Mahadev which is 25 m tall.

This temple is located on the path between the Baid Dwarka Island and the Gomati Dwarka on the coast of Saurashtra, Gujarat.

Puranic Saga

According to the Shiva Purana, Supriya who was a prisoner of demon Daaruka, suggested all other prisoners to chant “Aum Namah Shivaya” to get released from the demon’s tyranny. Thus Lord Shiva became pleased with the dedication of the prisoners and hence appeared and killed Daaruka. And so the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga came into existence.

Legends say that those who worship Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is protected from all types of poison.

Mesmerizing Architecture Style

The architectural style of the temple is mesmerizing as it is constructed on the basis of the anatomy of Sayanam of the Human Body. The main gate is considered as feet, the entrance veranda is considered as human hands, the Prayer hall is considered as abdomen and chest, the worship place of Nandi is considered as neck and sanctum having Shiva linga is considered as the head.

The western architecture style of the temple has mesmerizing arches, lotus themed capitals, and rounded flute shaped columns.

You will also get intrigued by the splendid Arabian sea view and esthetic large garden.

Nageshwar Temple Timings

Temple Timings: 5 AM to 9 PM.

Shayan Aarti Timings: 7:00 PM.

Best Time To Visit Nageshwar Jyotirlinga

December to February

December to February will be the months full of pleasent weather and wonderful winters. Hence, these are the best months to take darshan of Nageshwar Jyotirlinga.

Baidyanath Jyotirlinga, Deoghar, Jharkhand

Baidyanath Jyotirlinga in Jharkhand
Baidyanath Jyotirlinga in Jharkhand
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The one who worships Baidyanath Jyotirlinga is believed to get free from all of his difficulties. Baidyanath Jyotirlinga is located in Deoghar, Santhal Parganas, Jharkhand. The temple has stunning stone walls and there are more twenty-two other temples on the premises.

Puranic Saga

According to the legendary saga, Ravana cut off his 10 heads so as to prove his devotion to Lord Shiva. By being impressed with him, Lord Shiva rejoined back the heads of Ravana. As Lord Shiva did a work of a doctor hence this Jyotirlinga is referred to as Baidyanath (Meaning: Doctor).

According to some other legends, Ravana wanted to take the linga to his home, Sri Lanka. But it was difficult to uproot it so in trying the top of the Jyotirlinga was broken. 

Baidyanath Temple Timings

Temple Timings: 4 AM to 3.30 PM and 6 PM to 9 PM.

Shodashopachar Pooja Timings: 4 AM and 3.30 PM

Shrinagar Pooja Timings: 6 PM

Best Time To Visit Baidyanath Jyotirlinga

October to December

These are the comfortable months to visit Baidyanath as the temperature will be cool and mesmerizing.

Rameshwar Jyotirlinga, Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu

Rameshwar Jyotirlinga in Tamil Nadu
Rameshwar Jyotirlinga, Tamil Nadu

Rameshwar Jyotirlinga temple is famous for its huge towers, splendid corridors, and 36 Theerthams. It is located on Rameswaram island in Tamil Nadu.

This Jyotirlinga is also called as ‘Varanasi of the South’ and is surrounded by sea. The Rameshwar Jyotirlinga is also one of the Char Dhams of India.

Puranic Saga

According to the legendary saga, Ram’s wife Sita created a small lingam from the sea sand. This linga is kept in the sanctum. There is one more linga here that was brought by Hanuman from Kailash which is known as Vishwalingam. 

It is said that first, you have to take blessings of the Vishwalingam before worshipping the small linga.

Rameshwar Temple Timings

Temple Timings: 5 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 9 PM

Palliyarai Deepa Arathana Timings: 05:00 AM

Spadigalinga Deepa Arathana Timings: 05:10 AM

Thiruvananthal Deepa Arathana Timings: 05:45 AM

Vila Pooja Timings: 07:00 A.M

Kalasanthi Pooja Timings: 10:00 AM

Uchikala Pooja Timings: 12:00 PM

Sayaratcha Pooja Timings: 06:00 PM

Arthajama Pooja Timings: 08.30 PM

Palliyarai Pooja Timings: 08:45 PM

Best Time To Visit Rameshwar Jyotirlinga

November to February

November to February will be the months where there will be no heat and rain. These will be the months full of comfortable winters, hence it will be pleasent to visit Rameshwar Jyotirlinga anytime between November to February.

Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga of Aurangabad
Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, Aurangabad
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Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga is the last one among the other 12 Jyotirlinga temples of India. It is located in Ellora, Aurangabad.

This temple was destroyed in the 13th and 14th centuries by the foreign invaders. In the 16th century, the temple was rebuilt by the grandfather of King Shivaji known as Maloji Bhosale of Verul. But during the 27 years-long war between the Mughals and the Marathas, the temple was destroyed by the Mughals. However, in the 18th century, Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga temple was rebuilt by the Hindu Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore.

Mesmerizing Architecture Style

The temple was built in South Indian architectural style by using red stones. The carvings on the pillars consist of legends and mythologies of Shiva.

The Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga is the smallest one and the temple consists of a five-tier shikhara. A man has to go bare-chested while entering the sanctum sanctorum core.

Grishneshwar Temple Timings

Temple Timings: 5:30 AM to 9:30 PM.

Mangal Arati Timings: 4 AM

Jalhari Sanghan Timings: 8 AM

Maha Prashad Timings: 12 PM

Jalhari Saghan Timings: 4 PM

Evening Aarti Timings: 7:30 PM

Night Aarti Timings: 10 AM

Best Time To Visit Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga

October to February

Summers will be full of heat and monsoon will be full of rain, hence it is best to visit Grishneshwar anytime between October to February as the temperature in these months will be cool and comfortable.