JYOTIRLINGAS OF INDIA
The Dwadasa Jyotirlinga shrines or the 12 shrines enshrining Shiva in the form of a Jyotirlingam, have been held in reverence since time immemorial in the Indian system of beliefs. The southernmost of these is located at Rameswaram, while the northernmost is located in the snowy heights of the Himalayas at Kedarnath. These temples are closely linked with legends from the puranas and are rich in history and tradition.
A beautifully carved Shiva temple. It is said that Lord Shiva destroyed the tyrant called Tripurasura who was spreading misery among residents of the locality and the Linga stands at this spot. It is endowed with beautiful scenery and healthy climate.
Trimbakeshwar is about 28 Km south west of Nashik. In the sanctum of this temple is a small depression full of water in this water stands the Swyambhu Linga.
Once every twelve year a big Sinhastha Fair (Kumbh Mela) is held in Trimbakeshwar which draws people from all over India.
Aundh Nagnath is supposed to be the first Jyothirlinga. It is considered to be the first or 'Adhya' linga supposedly installed by the Pandvas and is an important pilgrim centre for devotees of Lord Shiva. Apart from the religious significance of the place, the temple of 'Nagnath' built in the Hemadpatnti style of architecture, is worth seeing for its exquisite carvings.
The temple of Parali Vaidyanath was renovated by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar. Parali Vaijnath is also one of the biggest markets of Cotton and Tobacco.
Every year, a fair is held here on Mahashivaratri day.
Omkareshwar, the Sacred island, shaped like the holiest of all Hindu symbols, "OM", has drawn a hundred generation of pilgrims. Here at the confluence of the rivers Narmada and Kaveri, the devote have gathered to kneel before the Jyotirlinga at the temples of Shri Omkar Mandhata.
Mahakaleshwar, is believed to be a Swayambhu (self - created) Jyotirilinga. The unique feature of this Majestic Shrine is the idol which faces south, a positioning upheld by tanric tradition and found only in Mahakaleswar among the 12 Jyotirlingas in India.
Somnath also known as Prabhas Patan is a legendry Temple site and is belived to have been built of Gold by "Soma" the Moon God.
Srisailam, also known as Sriparvata is situated in the Rishabgiri Hills on the southern banks of the river Krishna in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh.
A fine example of South India architecture, the Sri Ramanatha Swamy Temple is renowed for its many pillared corridors, about 1220 m in length.
Varanasi or Kashi is belived to be the eternal abode of Shiva or Vishvanath and is one of the sacred religious places in the country.
Kedarnath, one of the twelve Jyoptirlingas is surrounded by snow clad Himalayan peaks. The legend goes that it was built by the Pandavas to atone their sins after the great war of the Maharashtra.
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