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5 Jyothirlingams of Maharashtra

1. Bhimashankar

2. Triambakeshwar

3. Grishneswar

4. Aundh Nagnath

5.Parali Vaijnath

We visited all 5 Jyothirlingams of Maharashtra in last November (2019) .

It was a 4 days trip . This trip too we planned it through Sanjay tours .

What is the difference between jyotirlinga and shivling?
Basically a “Linga” is an Image of Lord Shiva . 
For the sake of his devotees , Shiva manifested himself as Jyotirlingas . A Jyotirlinga generally means pillar of light and it contains the Athma of that supreme Lord residing in it.
The Legend of the “Jyotirlinga” is mentioned in the Shiva Purana . When Lord Vishu and Lord Shiva were debating over who is supreme, Lord Shiva had produced a vast pillar of light and asked both of them to find the end of the light in both directions. To which, Lord Brahma lied that he found the end, but Lord Vishnu accepted defeat. Lord Shiva then cursed Lord Brahma that even though he is the creator of the Universe, he won’t be worshipped. And the Jyotirlingas here are believed to have appeared from that infinite pillar of light produced by Lord Shiva.

First we visited Bhimashankar Jyothirlingam as it consisted of 330 steps we had to get down those steps, both the sides there were shops , selling pooja articles, spiritual books, sweets , flowers and even chat items . The steps were wide and we could easily get down .

The Bhimashankar Temple is located in the Sahyadri region of Pune, Maharashtra.

It lies on the banks of Bhima River and is considered to be a source of this river.
The legend about the existence of this Jyotirlinga is related to Kumbhakarna’s son Bhima. When Bhima learned that he was the son of Kumbhakarana who was annihilated by Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Lord Ram, he vowed to avenge Lord Vishnu. He performed penance to please Lord Brahma who granted him immense power. On achieving this power , he started creating havoc in the world . He defeated the staunch devotee of Lord Shiva- Kamrupeshwar and put him in the dungeons . This angered the Lords who requested Lord Shiva to descend Earth and put an end to this tyranny. A war ensued between the two and Lord Shiva ultimately put the demon to ashes. All the Gods then requested Shiva to make that place his abode. Shiva then manifested himself in the form of Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga. It is believed that the sweat which poured from Lord Shiva’s body after the battle is what formed the Bhima River .

After having the divine dharshan ( we were able to do milk abhishegam and put vilvam leaves by ourselves to this Jyothirlingam) of this Jyothirlingam we had to climb up the 330 steps , which we felt little exhausted as most of them were above 50 years . Our tour organizer Mr. Manivannan Krishnan said that is the reason I choosed this Jyothirlingam visit to be the first ,”As this is the first day of the trip all of u will get down and climb up with full josh later u may feel tired “.

Entrance of Bhimashankar jyothirlingam
In front of the temple
Backside view of the temple

That day night our stay was put up in Hotel Krushna inn walkable distance to Triambakeshwar Jyothirlingam at Nasik .

Next day we got up early, freshened up and were waiting for the temple doors to be opened in Triambakeshwar . As only few people stood with us we succeeded within 10 minutes after they opened the temple .

We were able to see the Nirmalya ( before keeping the silver head on the Lingam ) dharshan of this Jyothirlingam . This Jyothirlingam has 3 small lingam formations within it , after abishegam ( a ritual done for the lingam before they decorate with flowers and clothes ) they cover it with a silver head . These 3 formations are considered as Lord Shiva Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma . Water was over flowing from the linga .

The Trimbakeshwar Temple is located about 30kms from Nasik in Maharashtra near the mountain named Brahmagiri from the river Godavari flows. This temple is considered to be a source of the river Godavari which is known as “Gautami Ganga”- the most sacred river in South India. According to the Shiva Purana, it is on the earnest request of River Godavari, Gautam Rishi and all the other Gods , Lord Shiva decided to reside here and assumed the name Trimbakeshwar. Gautam Rishi earned a boon from Varuna in the form of a pit from which he received an inexhaustible supply of grains and food. The other Gods were rendered jealous by him and they send a cow to enter the granary. The cow was mistakenly killed by Gautam Rishi who then asked Lord Shiva to do something to purify the premises. Lord Shiva asked Ganga to flow through the land to make it pure . Everyone thus sang praising the Lord who then resided beside Ganga in the form of Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga . Hindus believe that this Jyotirlinga in Maharashtra is the one which fulfils everyone’s desires .

Triambakeshwar jyothirlingam temple
This is how the main deity looks this was at the entrance of the temple
See the 3 lingas within the hollow

After this we visited Shirdi sammadhi mandir of Saibaba it was VIP dharshan arranged by our tour organizer.

By evening we saw Girishneswar Jyothirlingam temple .

The Ghrishneshwar Jyotirlinga is located in a village called Verul , which lies 20 km from Daulatabad , near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Located near this temple is the famous tourist site – Ajanta & Ellora caves. This temple was built by Ahilyabai Holkar who also rebuilt the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. The Ghrishneshwar temple is also known by other names like Kusumeswarar, Ghushmeswara, Grushmeswara and Grishneswara. According to the Shiva Purana, a couple named Sudharm and Sudeha resided on the Devagiri Mountain. They were childless, and thus Sudeha got her sister Ghushma married to Sudharm. They bore a son who rendered Ghushma proud and Sudeha jealous of her sister. In her jealousy, Sudeha threw the son in the lake where Ghushma used to discharge 101 lingams. Ghushma prayed to Lord Shiva who ultimately returned her the son and told her of her sister’s deeds. Sudharm asked Lord Shiva to emancipate Sudeha which left Lord Shiva pleased with his generosity. On Sudharm’s request, Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of the Jyotirlinga and assumed the name Ghushneshwar .

As photography prohibited we took this pic with the help of temple photographer

We travelled to Aundh Nagnath as our stay was put up there that night . We reached by midnight .

Early morning milk abhishegam was arranged by our tour organizer and we gathered in the temple before 7am . They charged rs.500 per couple after milk abhishegam we all did archana to this Jyothirlingam telling our name , naksthram and gothram .

The twelve jyotirlingas are the most significant places of pilgrimage for Hindus in India. Five of them happen to be in Maharashtra. Shiva has been worshipped in these places for centuries. The entrance of this main deity is only 2 feet height , one could not stand inside . We should crawl and go inside and sit .We as couples went performed abhishegam and came out then the next couple went inside .

Aundha-Nagnath is one of them. Anudha Nagnath is in the Hingoli District .
This pilgrim center is of great significance , since it is considered to be the Eighth (adya), of the 12 jyotirlingas. It is believed that Dharmraj (eldest of Pandav) has constructed this beautiful temple while they were expelled for 14 years from Hastinapur .
The temple of Nagnath has exquisite carvings . 
We were offered vibhoothi (hindus apply on their fore head) and panchamirtham ( mixed fruit offered to the Lord ) and milk .

Aundh Nagnath abhishegam
After alangaram Aundh Nagnath
Inside the temple of Aundh Nagnath
Aundh Nagnath
Aundh Nagnath
Aundh Nagnath
Aundh Nagnath

After breakfast we started to Parle Vaijnath , the last Jyothirlingam in our Maharashtra Jyothirlingam trip .

We reached by evening 4pm and had the dharshan of this Jyothirlingam .

Legend Of Parali Vaijnath Temple
(some say this as jyothirlingam others Vaidyanath in Jharkhand )
It is in Parali Vaijnath Lord Vishnu successfully helped the Devas to obtain Amrit. Therefore, this place is also known as ‘Vaijayanti”.

Once the Demon King Ravana went to Kailasa mountain and did a severe penance to please Lord Shiva . Put up with cold, heat, rains and fine and even then when Lord Shiva did not appear before him, he began to cut his head off in order to offer it to the Shiva Linga . Then the Lord appeared after Ravana tried to offer his tenth head . He restored all of Ravana’s heads and granted him boons. Ravana expressed his desire to take Lord Shiva to Lanka as a boon. He said, “I want to take you to Lanka”. Lord Shiva , who is very soft hearted to His devotees, agreed to accompany Ravana to Lanka. He told Ravanan, “You must carry my Linga with care and devotion, but do be careful not to put it down on the earth until you reach your destination, or else, it will stay at whichever place you put it down” Lord Shiva cautioned .

Lanka King Ravana began the journey homeward carrying the Shivalinga . On the way, he wanted to relieve himself by urination . He bid a cowherd boy to hold the Linga while he relieved himself. The cowherd was not able to bear the weight of the Linga and when he could no longer hold it , he put it down on the earth. And the Shiva Linga put there stayed as Lord Shiva already ordained and came to be known as Vaidyanatheswar.

Here, the gods were sad about Ravana taking away Shiva to his Lanka. They requested saint Narada to do something . Narada met Ravana and said to him by way of praising his penance and Tapas . “You made a mistake in trusting Lord Shiva. Believing Lord Shiva’s word was wrong. Go to him and slander him and get your way. Go to Kailasa and move it entirely. Your success will be gauged by your art of moving Kailasa from there”. Ravana was tricked into believing Narada . Ravana promptly carried out Narada’s bidding . Lord Shiva saw the ego driven mischieves Ravana and told him: “A unique power is soon going to born which will destroy your pride in the strength of your arms”. Narada informed the Gods of these tidings and his success in his mission. The gods were relieved and were happy. In the meanwhile, Ravana too was happy with the boon he received from Lord Shiva. He returned and was in a trance and was under the influence of Lord Shiva’s mythical power. He was heady and drunk with power. He decided to conquer the entire universe. To subdue his ego only God had to descend on the earth in the Avatar of Rama .

Parli Vaijnath
Parli Vaijnath
Parli Vaijnath

Next day we visited Kolhapur Mahalakshmi , Sattara (vada Chidambaram) and returned back back to Pune airport .

Kolhapur Mahalakshmi
Satara Vada Chidambaram

Though we had to travel from one Jyothirlingam to other atleast 300 kms per day had divine dharshan of all 5 Jyothirlingams .With a contented happiness we returned home safely .

Published by Ranjini Madhavan

Iam a homemaker who like to travel to spiritual places and like to share my spiritual tours , pictures and my personal tour experiences .Though am not expressive to put it in words thought it would be easy for others who likes to travel these places so that they may know what all places to be covered and a sweet memories for myself.

4 thoughts on “5 Jyothirlingams of Maharashtra

  1. Enjoyed reading many times, the pictures give a clear image. feeling blessed to share the precious moments.


  2. Ranjini first let me thank you for your travel blog. I am not a great traveller so I am able to get to know first hand information and also enjoy the darshan from home. I am feeling blessed.


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