A Jyotirlinga is the devotional representation of Lord Shiva. It is considered to be sacred and holy. Many devotees of Lord Shiva visit the 12 traditional Jyotirlinga shrines in India.
These shrines are sacred and holy, and have interesting legends to them. Hop on to this spiritual tour as we take you on a journey to the stunning 12 Jyotirlingas in India.
Where are the 12 Jyotirlingas situated in India?
Jyotirlingas in North India
1. Kashi Vishwanath
The Kashi Viswanath is called the Golden Temple of Varanasi and is situated on the banks of the river Ganga.
It is famous for housing one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India. Legend has it that Shiva actually lived at the temple; hence it is believed to be one of the holiest temples in India. Devotees believe that the Jyotirlinga at the Kashi Viswanath brings peace, joy and liberation.
- Location: Varanasi
- Temple opening hours: Daily 2.30 am to 11 pm
According to legend, Lord Shiva and Vishnu appeared to people in the form of Jyotirlingas. It is believed that this happened because of the severe penance done by Nara and Narayana.
The Jyotirlinga at the Kedarnath temple is open for only six months of the year and during this time, many devotees make a pilgrimage to the sacred site as they believe that praying here fulfils all their desires and needs.
- Location: Uttarakhand
- Temple opening hours: Daily 4 am to 12 pm and 3 pm to 9 pm
Jyotirlingas in South India
The southernmost Jyotirlinga in India is located at the Rameshwaram Temple. This holy shrine is located in the heritage town of Rameshwaram and it is believed to be worshipped by Lord Rama.
The temple is often visited by those who embark on the Char Dhams of India and is famous for its beautiful façade and long corridors. This Jyotirlinga is closely connected with Lord Rama’s victorious return from Lanka.
- Location: Rameshwaram
- Temple opening hours: Daily 5 am to 1 pm & 3 pm to 6 pm
The Mallikarjuna is a praiseworthy Shiva temple in South India because of its amazing structure and divine ambience.
The temple houses one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India and it also has idols of the deities Bhramaramba and Shiva. This temple is also one of the 52 Shakti Peethas of Sati, so it sees many tourists visiting regularly.
- Temple opening hours: Daily 4.30 am to 10 pm
Jyotirlingas in West India
The Jyotirlinga at the Nageshwar Temple is significant because devotees believe that it protects man from poison and danger.
Many visit the temple to prayer because they believe that doing so rids them of all evil from the world. Other highlights of the temple are the large statue of Lord Shiva and lush gardens.
- Location: Daarukavanam
- Temple opening hours: Daily 5 am to 9 pm
According to scripture, Gautami Rishi and the Godavari river pleaded with Lord Shiva to make Trimbakeshwar his home and hence Shiva appeared in the form of a Trimbakeshwar.
Unlike the other 11 temples, the Jyotirlinga here has a different shape. There is no shrine at the temple, but there is a void with three pillars representing the Gods, Maheshwar, Brahma and Vishnu.
- Location: Nashik
- Temple opening hours: Daily 5.30 am to 9 pm
This temple was built by Bhima, the son of Kumbhakarna. The temple has a lot of history behind it and is a famous pilgrimage site. Visit the temple to check out the stone facade of the building covered in Nagara architectural patterns and to offer prayers to Lord Shiva. The famous Kamalaja temple is also located close by.
- Location: Pune
- Temple opening hours: Daily: 4.30 am to 12 pm & 4 pm to 9 pm.
This temple is constructed in true Shikhara architectural side out of red rock. It is famous for housing one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India.
At the temple you can also spot a Nandi bull and a carvings of different Indian Gods and Goddesses. The highlight attraction at the temple is Vishnu’s Dashavatar, that is carved entirely of red rock.
- Location: Aurangabad
- Temple opening hours: Daily: 5.30 am to 9.30 pm
The Jyotirlinga at Somnath has an interesting story, it all begins with love. Love between the moon and Rohini, the daughter of Daksha Prajapati.
They both had a lot of trouble in their relationship, but it was saved by Lord Shiva, who appeared as Somnath and saved them. Since then Shiva is believed to have made Somnath Temple his home after he appeared as a fiery column of light.
- Location: Gir Somnath
- Temple opening hours: Daily: 6 am to 9 pm
Jyotirlingas in East India
Omkareshwar is where Lord Shiva appeared to defeat the Danavas who came to fight the Devas. Located on the banks of the river Narmada, the temple is located on an island that is believed to be rooted in mythology and Hindu culture. Visit to seek devotion of Lord Shiva and explore the temple.
- Location: Khandwa
- Temple opening hours: Daily: 5am to 10pm
The Mahakaleshwar has one of the most popular Jyotirlingas in India. There are many legends behind how the Jyotirlinga came to being at this temple.
One of them is about a boy who kept worshipping a stone, pleased by his devotion, God Shiva came down as a Jyotirlinga and settled in the town. The Mahakaleshwar is also popular for being one of the seven “Mukti-Sthal” in India.
- Location: Ujjain
- Temple opening hours: Daily: 4 am to 11 pm
This temple is one of the 52 shakti peethas shrines of Sati. It is also a one of the places where Shiva appears and thus there is a Jyotirlinga at the temple.
Devotees believe that coming to the temple helps them get rid of misery and suffering. For a unique experience, visit during the Shravan month.
- Location: Ujjain
- Temple opening hours: Daily: 4 am to 3.30 pm
The 12 Jyotirlingas in India are a must visit for anyone interested in religion and culture. Visiting all of them brings blessings, joy and it will be a great experience.
If you are keen to explore the nearby places and are looking for suggestions on what to see and do, we can help with suggestions, send us your queries in the comments below and we will get back to you with a reply.