|*Map showing location of Jyotirlingas in Maharashtra.|
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India is a land of varied faith and religion. Thousands of people worship million gods every moment. Every single day there is a new celebration of faith. There are thousands of temples and pilgrim centers all over India.
For the followers of Lord Shiva there are 12 Jyotirlingas situated in different parts of India. The five most important of these 12 Jyotirlingas are located in Maharashtra. It is believed that Lord Shiva revealed himself to hid devotees in the form of light, so these pilgrims are named as Jyotirlingas.
The five Jyotirlingas of Maharashtra are Aundha Nagnath, Bhimashankar, Ghrishneshwar, Parali Vajinath, and Trimbakeshwar. Surrounded by thick dense forest, Bhimashankar is a major pilgrim place. About 25,000 pilgrims visit here to take part in the annual Maha Shivratri fair. Bhimashankar got its name due to the origin of River Bhima here. Trimbakeshwar is a very holy place of Maharashtra. It is situated near Nasik.
It is believed that Aundha Nagnath is constructed by the eldest Pandav while they were in exile for 14 years. The Aundha Nagnath has great significance as it is considered to be the 8th of the 12 Jyotirlingas.
Aundha Nagnath is one among the 12 Jyotirlingas of India. Among the 12 Jyotirlingas, 5 lie in Maharashtra. Aundha Nagnath is considered to be the first Jyotirlinga where Shiva is worshipped. It is believed that the Aundha Nagnath was built by Yudhisthira, the eldest Pandav, while they were send in an exile for 14 years.
The Aundha Nagnath has Hemadpanthi style of architecture spreading for over 60,000 sq ft area. The most unique part of this temple is that the idol of Nandi is not present in front of the shrine of Mahadeva. A separate Nandikeshwara temple is built beside the main temple. The main temple is surrounded by small temples of 12 Jyotirlingas on all four sides. In all total there are 108 Shiva temple and 68 shrines of Shiva are to be found here. Besides, there are idols and temples of VedavyasaLinga, bhandareshwar, Nilakanteshwar, Ganapati, Dattatreya, Muralimanohar, Dasavatar.
The temple of Bhimashankar dates back to the 18th century and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of India. About 128 km from Pune Bhimashankar can be reached via Manchar. Engulfed with natural beauty the Bhimashankar temple is the perfect destination for trekkers, bird watchers, and photographers. Bhimashankar temple with its Indo Aryan and Nagra style of architecture was built by Nana Fadnis.
The pillars and door frames are adorned with elaborate carvings of human figures, deities, and several scenes from mythology. The entrance is flanked by a statue of Nandi. There is also a small shrine of Shani Dev inside the temple. The sacred Shiva Linga is placed on the center of Garbagriha's floor.
Grishneshwar temple is located very near to the Ellora caves. One among the 12 Jyotirlingas, the Grishneshwar is 11 km from Daulatabad, in Aurangabad. The Grishneshwar temple was constructed by Ahilyabhai Holkar.
It is said that a woman named Kusuma worshipped the Shiva Linga everyday by immersing it in a water tank. Envious of her piousness, her husband's first wife murdered her son. Mourning with pain Kusuma continued worshipping the Shiva Linga. When she dipped the Linga in water Lord Shiva appeared in front of her and gave life to her son. Since then Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of Jyotirlinga Ghusmeshwar.
Trimbakeshwar is located at a distance of 28 km from Nashik. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. The most unique feature of the Trimbakeshwar temple is that the Shiva Linga here has three faces of the three almighty Gods of Hindu mythology - Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara.
It is believed that Trimbakeshwar is the holiest place of Hindu mythology. River Godavari originates from here and anyone is believed to have acquired salvation, once he or she visits to Trimbakeshwar. The construction of Trimbakeshwar was started in 1755 by Balaji Bajirao. The magnificent work of architecture was completed in 31 years.
Nearest airport are in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, and Aurangabad. Buses, Private cars and taxis, are all available. Frequent train services are available from Aurangabad and Mumbai and also other cities of Maharashtra. Package tours to these Jyotirlingas are also available.