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The Twelve Holy Jyotirlinga Temples in India

Updated on July 4, 2017
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Sunilkunnoth loves spiritual sojourns and makes frequent travels to the pilgrimage centres across India.

Traditional flower offering to a Shiva Lingam.   Linga is a symbol of Lord Siva.
Traditional flower offering to a Shiva Lingam. Linga is a symbol of Lord Siva. | Source

What is Jyotirlinga? Jyotirlinga or Jyotirling or Jyotirlingam, according to information available in Wikipedia, is “a devotional object representing the God Shiva. Jyoti means ‘radiance’ and lingam the ‘mark or sign’ of Shiva, or a symbol of the pineal gland; Jyotir Lingam thus means The Radiant sign of The Almighty”. It is a hot topic for Shiviites.

There are twelve Jyotirlinga shrines or temples in India. The Jyotirlinga shrines are one of the most sacred places for Hindus and more so for the Shaivites. These holy places are spread across the vast expanse of India in different states and regions. Maharashtra is the most blessed land as far as Jyotirlinga sites are concerned for it has five locations. Seven out of the total 12 sites are in the triangular circuit of Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh-Gujarat.

It is believed that originally there were 64 Jyotirlingas. But only 12 of them are considered to be holy. Each site is known by the name of its presiding deity. The notable aspect of these sites is that you can see the image of ‘lingam’ here. It is also believed that Lord Shiva first manifested himself as Jyotirlinga. The Jyotirlinga shrines are places where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light.

Video of Jyotirlinga Prayer

The following are the 12 Jyotirlinga Temples in India. (The exact place & state are given in bracket).

  1. Somnath Temple (Gujarat)
  2. Mallikarjuna Temple (Andhra Pradesh)
  3. Mahakaleshwara Temple (Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh)
  4. Omkareshwar Temple (Madhya Pradesh)
  5. Vaidyanath (Baidyanath) Temple (Deogarh in Jharkhand)
  6. Bhimashankar (Maharashtra)
  7. Rameshwar (Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu)
  8. Nageshwar Temple (Dwaraka, Gujarat)
  9. Visweswar or Kashi Vishwanath Temple (Varanasi/Banaras, UP)
  10. Trimbakeshwar (Near Nashik, Maharashtra)
  11. Kedareswar (Kedarnath, Uttarakhand)
  12. Grishneshwar (Aurangabad, Maharashtra).

Photos of the above temples are given below for a clear comprehension. It is believed that those who chant the Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Sthrothram or prayer will attain salvation. Video of the prayer is appended above. A visit to any one of the twelve temples will be a rich experience and you will also be immensely blessed. If you are lucky enough to visit all these shrines, you are entitled to salvation and enlightenment. Some Hindu scholars claim that one who visits any of these sites gets all his wishes fulfilled. One thing is sure that the experience you get out of this spiritual tour will purify your mind and body.

A Video (TV Documentary) on Jyotirlinga

A Pictorial Tour to the sacred sites of Jyotirlinga

Grishneshwar, Maharashtra
Grishneshwar, Maharashtra | Source
Somnath, Gujarat
Somnath, Gujarat | Source
Mahakaleshwar, Ujjain, M.P.
Mahakaleshwar, Ujjain, M.P. | Source
Omkareshwar, M.P.
Omkareshwar, M.P. | Source
Bhimashankar, Maharashtra
Bhimashankar, Maharashtra | Source
Rameshwar (Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu)
Rameshwar (Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu) | Source
Nageshwar (Dwaraka, Gujarat)
Nageshwar (Dwaraka, Gujarat) | Source
Vishweswar (Kashi Viswanath Temple, U.P.)
Vishweswar (Kashi Viswanath Temple, U.P.) | Source
Trimbakeshwar (Near Nashik, Maharashtra)
Trimbakeshwar (Near Nashik, Maharashtra) | Source
Kedareshwar (Kedarnath, Uttarakhand)
Kedareshwar (Kedarnath, Uttarakhand) | Source
Mallikarjuna Temple (Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh)
Mallikarjuna Temple (Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh) | Source
Baidyanath Temple, Deogarh
Baidyanath Temple, Deogarh | Source
Ramanathar Temple, Rameshwaram, T.N.
Ramanathar Temple, Rameshwaram, T.N.

© 2014 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth


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    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 months ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Chitraji, Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your encouraging comments. Glad to know that you visited 6 of them. Hope you can visit the remaining in the future.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 months ago from New Delhi, India

      A very well written and illustrated hub giving important information about the twelve Jyotirlingas!

      I feel blessed to have visited six of them, a lifetime experience indeed.

      Thanks for sharing all the relevant details!

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      @swalia, thanks for stopping by and leaving some comments here. You are right these are beautiful temples and India is very much rich with such magnificent temples. I have done a couple of hubs featuring some of these great monuments.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 2 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this informative hub! I wish I could visit a few of these beautiful temples!

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)


      Thank you for stopping by and leaving some fine comments.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      The temples are very beautiful. Some powerful claims made about the benefits of visiting them. Thank you for sharing from your religious culture.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      You are lucky that you visited two sites of Jyotirlinga. Varanasi is my dream destination, there too you are a blessed soul as you had lived there not a few days but many years. I am happy that you loved reading my hub and learning about these sacred lands. Thank you for your comments.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      It is a great hub giving details of the 12 important jyotirlingas. Of these, I visited only two. One is Varanasi where we stayed for many years, as I was working there. The other one is Mallikarjunaswamy at Srisailam.

      It gives us great pleasure in learning about and viewing places like these.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)


      That's a painful experience that you miss our rich culture coz' you are in a foreign land. Why can't you make a visit? When a chance arrives, do come and experience all these. Thank you reading my hub and leaving comments.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I miss everything about my culture since in a foreign country I don't practice anything. I found this hub very interesting and useful.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Your visit and comments are appreciated. I hope and pray you can visit the entire 12 Jyotirlinga sites. Thank you so much for your insightful comments. God bless you.

    • profile image

      Surendran 3 years ago

      Am fortunate to visit 3 out of 12 of these temples, (Somnath Temple, Rameshwar and Nageshwar Temple.) May be I can, in future, for the rest of them. Thanks Sunil Kunnoth I remember my words, to my mom, though, I said casually to her, that I intend to visit 1008 Siva temples, after my retirement, that is spread from south to north of India . It is during these pilgrim voyages, that I am at ease, no hurry, no tension, no worry about meals, no wrist watch, like a breeze, I flow with time and visit the temple, pray, and give thanks to HIM. It's a unique experience in life.