Lord Shiva; the creator as well as the destroyer of the entire Universe, he is known for being one of the most relevant and important Gods in the Hindu religion and is also one of the most revered Gods of the holy trinity. In many places Lord Shiva is worshipped as a powerful column of cosmic light or the ‘Jyotirlingam’.
There are 12 such revered Jyotirlingams all across the country and out of 12, 5 Jyotirlingams are present in the state of Maharashtra only. Devotees from various parts of the world come to visit these Jyotirlingams and offer their tribute to the almighty lord. Thus, in the itinerary of 12 Jyotirlinga yatra, the Jyotirlingas of Maharashtra hold a place of special importance. Read on to learn about the Jyotirlingas of Maharashtra:
The Bhimashankar Jyotirlingam came into being in the 18th century. The temple stands along River Bhima’s banks. The temple is located at a distance of 128kms from the city of Pune. The doors and pillars of the temple are decked with ornate carvings. One can reach the Bhimashankar shrine via the route of Manchar.
The Triambakeshwar Jyotirlingam of lord Shiva lies in the Nashik city of Maharashtra. According to myths, anyone who visits Triambakeshwar and bathes in River Godavari that has originated from this very place can attain salvation from the karmic cycle of birth and rebirth.
The Shiva lingam enshrined here is a three faced lingam consisting of the three faces of the holy trinity; i.e. that of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar. It took about 31 years for this temple to get completed and its construction was undertaken by Balaji Bajirao in the year 1755.
Grishneshwar Jyotirlingam shrines falls in vicinity to Daulatabad in the village of Verul. The placement of the lingam in the shrine is done in such a manner that when water is poured on top of the lingam during the Abhisekam ritual, the water always flows eastward.
The temple is placed gracefully on the banks of a sacred pond known by the name of ‘Shivaly’. Rani Ahilyabai Holkar had built this temple. Numerous interesting legends are linked to this particular Jyotirlingam of Lord Shiva.
Aundha Nagnath Jyotirlingam
Anudha Nagnath is the 8th among the 12th Jyotirlingams that the country has and is believed to have been constructed by the eldest of Pandava brothers, Yudhistira during their exile years. The shrine of Anudha Nagnath is located within Maharashtra’s Hingoli district.
This features Hemadpanthi architectural style and covers a sprawling 60,000sq ft of area. The main shrine is surrounded by small shrines making the temple campus a conglomeration of many temples. Among the smaller shrines, one is the shrine of Nandikeshwara dedicated to Lord Shiva’s conveyance; the Nandi bull.
By worshipping at the temple one can get rid of the deadly impact of poisons. The sanctum is located in the underground and one has to climb down steps to reach the lingam of Lord Shiva who is known here by the name of ‘Nagnath’.
Parli Vajinath Jyotirlingam
This Jyotirlingam shrine is located in Maharashtra’s Beed district and stands amid a grove of plenty of rare medicinal herbs. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as ‘Vadyanath’ or ‘doctor’. According to common beliefs, by touching the lingam you can get respite from complicated health issues.
The lord here is also known by the names of Amriteswari and Dhanvantari. Queen Ahilyabai is said to have renovated this temple around the 1700’s. According to legends, when the demon king Ravana was on his way to Lanka with the heavy Shiva Lingam, he kept the lingam on the ground for a while to take rest but by doing so he broke God’s commandment and the lingam, as a result, got fixed on that very spot where the Parli Vajinath temple stands today.