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Jageshwar-First among the Dvadasa Jyotirlingas


Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Stotra

The version of the stotra posted above is the Dwadasa Jyotrilinga Stotra longer version.There is a shorter version of the same Stotra

Saurashtre Somanaatham Cha Sree Shaile Mallikarjunam
Ujjayinyaam Mahaakaalam Omkaare Mamaleswaram
Himalaye to Kedaram Daakinyaam Bhimashankaram
Vaaranaasyaam cha Viswesam Trayambakam Gowtameethate
Paralyaam Vaidyanaatham cha Naagesam Daarukaavane
Setubandhe Ramesham Grushnesam cha Shivaalaye.

This stotra is an immensely blessed stotra and one is assured of definetly finding mental peace by chanting this stotra once every day with a faith filled heart. The Jyotirlingas are literally shrines of Lord Shiva which are eternal pillars of light. Each Jyotirlinga has its own unique sthala purana and finds reference in various puranas. The Shiva Purana and Nandi Upapurana contain many of the sthala puranas for the Jyotirlingas. There are additional five pancha maha bhoota linga shrines in the country and they are not be confused with the Jyotirlingas. These temples were built by advanced mystics and Siddhas who consecrated the Shiva lingas here to serve as meditationl and transformation tools for the ages to come. Each Jyotirlinga has a specific benefit and six of the Jyotirlingas deal specifically with balancing each chakra of the human body and will confer the particular health and material benefit controlled by the specific energy.

Two of the Jyotirlinga sites are disputed with multiple places laying claim to the fame. The first and oldest among the Shrines is the Nageshwara Linga mentioned in the second last line of the stotra above.

“Naagesham Daarukavane “….

There are three prime contenders for the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga.

1.Nageshwara Shrine Gujarat ( Between Dwaraka and Bet Dwaraka )

2.Jageshwar Shrine -Kumaon Mountains Uttarkhand

3.Sadanga (Audh) in Maharashtra

The Nageshwara Shrine has two interesting stories both running in parallel themes. During the time of the Pandavas there occurred a match of dice between Yudhishthira and Duryodhana where the latter resorted to cheating and banished the Pandava princes to a 13 yr period of exile. During the course of their travels the Pandavas arrived in a Darukavana ( Deodhar Tree=Daru Vriksha ) which was very thick. They set up a hermitage in the forest and were living peacefully. Bhima used to attend to the grazing of the cows and he started noticing that the cows did not drink water from a particular river and were returning thirsty. Bhima thought this was probably due to a powerful creature inhabiting the depths of the river and decides to investigate. As soon as the pandava prince enters the river he notices the middle part of the river is seething with heat being given out by a object at the bottom of the river. He dives into the river and retrieves the object and on examination finds it to be a Shiva linga. This Shiva linga was then established in a temple and this became the Nageshwara Linga.

The second story talks of a Demon by the name of Daruka terrorizing the denizens of the cities of Dwaraka . Daruka’s atrocities grow day by day and he does not spare the sages meditating in the nearby forests as well. With great frustation at his activities the sages complain to the Rishi Aurava who curses the demon with destruction if he torments any more earth living people. The Demon thinks of a plan to escape this curse and with his magical powers lifts the city and places it in the middle of the ocean and grows content thinking the curse will not apply to him. The demon continues his activities and grows boldened and starts attacking the ships that pass by the island as well. He captures many of the merchants travelling in the ships . During one of his attacks on the ships he captures a merchant by name Supriya who is a great shiva devotee. Supriya is put to a lot of torture at the hands of the demon and the merchant cries out to Lord Shiva to save him from the demon. With all the factors of fate aligning Lord Shiva emerges in a seething fury of heat from the bottom of the ocean and kills the demon and frees the denizens of the city. In his honour the Nageshwara Linga is built near Dwaraka.

However two things stand out from the stories, there does not seem to be any forest near Dwaraka in the past 300 or 400 years. Even if there was the presence of a forest it could not have been the Darukavana since the Deodhar trees only grow in the upper regions of the himalayas and are not native to peninsular India.

That leaves us with the two contenders .Jageshwar and the temple at Audh.

Jageshwar is surrounded by the beautiful Kumaon hill and thick forest of Deodhar trees. This temple is very beautiful and is one of the oldest shrines to Lord shiva .Vasuki the king of snakes is said to have spent a lot of  time worshipping the Linga at this place and that is how the Linga is known as Nageshwara or the Lord of Snakes.

Now why is this place Jageshwar. Lord Shiva wandered the earth after the demise of Sati devi in the Daksha Yagna and he meditated for a long time in this place. This is the only shiva linga in entire India which has the third eye present in the Shiva linga.The two eyes of a human being always perceive duality , when the third Jnana Netra of the Lord opens it results in the end of duality .This is the inner meaning of the story of Manmadha getting burnt by the opening of the third eye of Lord Shiva. Since the Lord himself meditated here with his third eye open the place got the name Jageshwar.

Location: 36 Km from Almora in the Kumaon region UttaraKhand

Temple : Cluster of 130 small and large temples.

Age : 8th to 13th Century AD

Presiding Deities: Maha Mrityunjaya ,

Other Deities :  Dandeshwar,Vridh Jageshwar,Jageshwar,Nandi Deva, Chandika ,Nava Durga

Surroundings : Located at height of 1870 mts in the Jataganga river valley ( Jataganga means the Ganga falling from the matted locks of Lord Shiva )

The chand kings of the Kumaon valley were patrons of the Jageshwar shrine and Adi Shankara himself is said to have visited this shrine and performed many rituals at this place.The temple architecture is in the Nagara style.The malla kings and Katyuris also donated to the temple and many inscriptions can be found on the walls of the temple.

Both Jageshwar and Nageshwara shrine in Gujarat are Dakshina Mukhi Lingas. Among the gods Shiva is the only god facing the direction of death for that is his natural direction and is praised as Dakshinamurthy.

I will let the pictures speak for themselves….

Road to Jageshwar- Beautiful Sky

View of the Kumaon Valley

View of the Himalayas at 1870 mt from Jageshwar Road

Lo Behold the Temples from Afar

The picture from the top of the temples

Notice the beautiful Deodhar (Darukavana ) trees

Inside the cluster of temples

Dwarapalakas of the main temple

Main cluster of Temples

Smaller cluster of temples in the valley

Beautiful view of the valley and temples

Sculptures on the walls of the temple

These pictures are sourced from various places on the net and all credit to original uploaders. The only intent here is to share the immense and incredible beauty of the Indian temples with a wider audience.

I pray the divine grants all of us a chance to visit these wondorous places atleast once in a lifetime….

One Comment leave one →
  1. 11/08/2010 4:34 PM

    This is the best site for knowing about Dwadasha Jyotiralingas in India I am a Brahmin from Gujarat and a devotee of Lord Shiva

    The worhsip of Lord Shiva is always effective.You are doing the best work to spread spirituality
    in the whole world.

    I have finished my book ‘on Twelve Jyotiralingas in India ‘ When printed I will place it on internet
    Please let me for any work for review any literature
    Ohm Namasha Shivaya Namaha /

    Truly Yours

    Shankerprasad S Bhatt M.Com
    Author of “Prayers of all Faiths of the World
    Author of ‘Twelve Jyotirlingas in India
    Can you write review of my book ?

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