Jyotirlingam in Sanskrit means the pillar of light. It signifies places where Lord Shiva, the God of strength with powers to heal, is worshipped. These are considered to be very sacred and powerful places of worship. There are believed to be 64 but 12 are the most popular.
1. Somnath, Gujarat – Destroyed and re-built sixteen times, It is believed that even today on a moonless night Chandra comes and dips in the holy water of the sea here and starts shining again.
2. MallikaArjunaSwamy, Andhra Pradesh– is at the exact location where Shiva and Parvati visited their son Kartik, living there out of embarrassment that he failed his parent’s test.
3. Mahakaleshwar, Ujjain – It is believed that Lord Shiva still lives hereafter protecting Ujjain from the demon Dushan.
4. Omkareshwar, Madhya Pradesh – Beliefs say Lord Shiva had appeared here to defeat the danavas on request of the gods.
5. Kedarnath, Uttarakhand – It is believed to be built by the Pandavas, at the exact location where they saw Lord Shiva and were blessed by him and rid of their sins.
6. Bheemshankar, Pune – It was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1985.
7. Kashi Vishwanath, Varanasi – Believers say this city can never be destroyed. It is a place where Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh live here at the same time. Anyone can attain Moksha here. There is no sin on earth that cannot be washed here.
8. Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra – There are three lingas here signifying Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. It is said that it can fulfill all desires.
9. Vaidnath, Jharkhand – Devotees carry ‘Kanwars’ on their shoulders and complete their travel here.
10. Nageshwar, Dwarka – Some archaeological excavations claim five earlier cities at the exact site.
11. Rameshwar, Tamil Nadu– Famous for its architecture, it is exactly the place where Lord Rama worshiped Lord Shiva after he defeated Ravana.
12. Grishneshwar, Maharashtra – It is one of the Jyotirlingas mentioned in the Shiva Puranas.