Maha Shivaratri also known as Maha Shivratri, Shivratri or Sivarathri is a famous Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Shiva.
As per hindi calendar, Maha Shivaratri is celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day of the Maagha or Phalguna month.
In 2016, Mahashivratri will be celebrated on Monday, 7th March 2016.
12 Jyotirlinga Temples of Shiva in India :
Jyotirlinga Temples, also spelled Jyotirling temples or Jyotirlingam temples, are the 12 temples of Shiva where Lord Siva is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlingam or “the Lingam of Light”. These Jyotirlinga Temples or Dwadasa Jyotirlinga shrines are located in various parts of India. Please find below details of these temples.
India Map showing all Jyotirling Temples of Lord Shiva :
Somnath – Jyotirlinga temple
Somnath is the first amongst the holy shrines and traditionally, the Dwadash Jyotirlinga pilgrimage begins with the Somnath Temple. It is the prime abode of Lord Shiva and is considered to be holiest of all the Jyotirlingas. It is located at Prabhas Patan (Somnath – Veraval) in Saurashtra in Gujarat.
Mallikarjun Jyotirlinga Temple :
Mallikārjuna, also called Śrīśaila, is located on a mountain on the river Krishna. Srisailam, in Kurnool District in Andhra Pradesh enshrines Mallikarjuna in an ancient temple that is architecturally and sculpturally rich. Adi Shankara composed his Sivananda Lahiri here.
Mahakaleshwara Jyotirlinga Temple :
Mahakal, Ujjain (or Avanti) in Madhya Pradesh is home to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple. The Lingam at Mahakal is believed to be Swayambhu, the only one of the 12 Jyotirlingams to be so. It is also the only one facing south and also the temple to have a Shree Yantra perched upside down at the ceiling of the Garbhagriha (where the Shiv Lingam sits).
Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga Temple :
Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh on an island in the Narmada River is home to a Jyotirlinga shrine and the Mamaleshwar temple.
Kedarnath Jyotirlinga Temple :
Kedarnath in Uttarakhand is the northernmost of the Jyotirlingas. Kedarnath, nestled in the snow-clad Himalayas, is an ancient shrine, rich in legend and tradition. It is accessible only by foot, and only for six months a year.
Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga Temple :
Bhimashankar is very much debated. There is a Bhimashankara temple near Pune (pictured) in Maharastra, which was referred to as Daakini country, but Kashipur in Uttarakhand was also referred to as Daakini country in ancient days and a Bhimashkar Temple known as Shree Moteshwar Mahadev is present there. Another Bhimashankar is in the Sahyadri range of Maharashtra. Bhimshankar temple near Guwahati, Assam is the jyotirlinga according to Sivapuran.
According to “LINGA PURAN”, Bhimasankar temple in Bhimpur near Gunupur of Rayagada Dist in South Orissa is also believed as Bhimasankar Jyotirlinga, which is situated at the western part of the holy Mahendragiri mountains and at the river bank of Mahendratanaya(which is also believed as the Daakini area by many historian), was excavated in the year 1974, having quadrangular Shakti around the Linga and decorated by a Upavita as per the puran.Please visit official website of Bhimasankar Jyotirlinga.
Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga Temple:
Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh is home to the Vishwanath Jyotirlinga shrine, which is perhaps the most sacred of Hindu shrines.
Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga Temple :
Trimbakeshwar Temple, near Nasik in Maharashtra, is a Jyotirlinga shrine associated with the origin of the Godavari river.
Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple :
The location of Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga is also debated. Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga also called Baidyanth Temple is in the Santhal Parganas division of the state of Jharkhand. It is the only place in India where the jyotirlinga and the saktipeeth are together. They lay side by side. Baijnath Shivdham in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh and Parli Vaijyanath in the Beed district of Maharashtra also claim as Jyotirlinga of Vaijyanath also associated with Ravana.This is located at Gokarna in Karnataka.
Nageshvara Jyotirlinga Temple :
Nageshvara Jyotirlinga shrine in Daruka Vana. The location of this jyotirlinga is in dispute with Jageshwar (pictured) near Almora in Uttarakhand, and Aundha Nagnath in Hingoli district of Maharashtra, all claiming to be the correct location;
Rameswaram Jyotirlinga Temple :
Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu is home to the vast Ramalingeswarar Jyotirlinga temple and is revered as the southernmost of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of India. It enshrines the Rameśvara (“Lord of Rama”) pillar.
Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple :
Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga shrine, in Aurangabad district, Maharashtra, is located near the rock-cut temples of Ellora. This shrine is also known as Ghushmeshwar.
Significance of Jyotirlinga and Jyotirlinga Mantra :
The Puranas vociferously sing the praises of the greatness of the Jyotirlingas. By reciting the name of this, one can eliminate all the sins. The Sadhaka becomes calm, chaste and pure. He becomes illuminated and enlightened with supreme and divine knowledge. The names mentioned for the benefits of all:
Saurashtra Somnatham Cha Shrishaile Mallikarjunam ||
Ujjainyam Mahakalomkare Mammaleshwaram ||
Parlyam Vaijnatham Cha Dakinyam Bheem Shankaram ||
Setu Bandhe Tu Ramesham Nagesham Daruka Vane ||
Varanasya Tu Vishwesham Tribakam Gautamitate ||
Himalaye Tu Kedaram Ghurmesham Cha Shivalaye ||
Aetani Jyotirlingani Sayam Prataha Pathennaraha ||
Sapta Janma Kritam Papam Smaranen Vinashyati ||
One who recites these 12 names regularly in the morning and evening he washes all the sins committed in the previous 7 births and attains all the powers and Siddhis.