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Indian Mythology Lord Shiva Temple

Mallikarjun Jyotirlinga – Lord Shiva’s temple

The Jyotirlinga of Mallikarjun : Lord Shiva Temple at Srisailam

Mallikarjun at Srisailam is one among the twelve Jyotirlinga, situated at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh.  Mallikarjuna is an ancient temple of Lord Shiva that is architecturally and sculpturally rich.

Srisailam Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna swamy temple

Story behind Mallikarjun Temple

Once, Shiva and Parvati decided to find suitable brides for their sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya. They argued as to who is to get wedded first. Lord Shiva said that the one who goes round the world in Pradakshinam could get married first. By the time Lord Kartikeya could go round the world on his vahana peacock, Lord Ganesha went round his parents 7 times. Lord Siva got Buddhi(intellect), Siddhi (spiritual power), and Riddhi (prosperity) married to Lord Ganesha. Lord Kartikeya on his return was enraged and went away to stay alone on Mount Krouncha in the name of Kumarabrahmachari.

Lord Shiva and Kartikeya

On seeing his father coming over to pacify him, he tried to move to another place, but on the request of the Devas, stayed close by. The place where Lord Shiva and Parvati stayed came to be known as Shrisailam. Lord Shiva visits Lord Kartikeya on Amavasya day & Parvati Devi on Poornima.

Another story

Once, a princess named Chandravati decided to go to the Jungles to do penance and meditation. She chose Kadali Vana for this purpose. One day, she witnessed a miracle. A Kapila cow was standing under a Bilwa tree and milk was flowing from all of its four udders, sinking into the ground. The cow kept doing this as a routine chore everyday. Chandravati dug up that area and was dumb founded at what she saw. There was a self-raising Swyambhu SivaLinga. It was bright and shining like the sun rays, and looked like it was burning, throwing flames in all directions. Chandravati prayed to Siva in this JyotirLinga. She built a huge Shiva Temple there. Lord Shankara was very pleased with her. Chandravati went to Kailash wind borne. She received salvation and Mukti. On one of the stone-inscriptions of the temple, Chandravati’s story can be seen carved out.

Mallikarjun as a Shakti peeth

Srisailam or Mallikarjun is one among the Maha shakti peeth. It is believed that Sati Devi’s upper lip has fallen here.  It is a place where Shakti peetha and Jyotirlinga are together.

Visiting this JyotirLinga not only blesses one with innumerable wealth, but also name and fame and fulfils all the desires. Mahashivratri is the main festival celebrated at Srisailam Mallikarjuna Swamy temple.

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Indian Mythology

Jyotirlinga – Mallikarjuna at Srisailam

Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga temple

 

Sri Mallikarjuna is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva which is a very important pilgrim site for Hindu devotees. This Jyotirlinga is situated on hills at a place called Srisailam and has got an interesting legend. This temple has the looks of a fort and has got sculptures on walls which sometimes gives illusion of an art gallery.

Legend

Once Lord Shiva and Parvati decided to find suitable bride for their sons. Ganesha and Kartikeya argued as to who is to get wedded first.

Lord Shiva decided that one who complete his journey round the world first will will get married first. By the time lord Kartikeya could go round the world on his vahana, Lord Ganesha went round his parents seven times. In shastra going round one’s parent is equivalent to going round the world .

Lord Ganesha got married to shiddhi and Buddhi. When Kartikeya came back from his journey and heard about Ganesha’s married this angered him and despite being consoled by his parents and other Gods he left for Krounch mountain.

Lord shiva and Parvati decided to goto krounch mountain, but when kartikeya came to know that his parents are coming he went further away .

Lord Shiva and Kartikeya

Eventually, Lord Shiva assumed his the form on linga and resided there in a quest to be close to Kartikeya. Mallika means Parvati and Arjun is another name of Shiva.

It is believed that Shiva and Parvati visit this palce on Amavasya (No moon day) and (full Moon day) Poornima, respectively. Visiting this Jyotirlinga not only blesses one with innumerable wealth, but also name and fame and fulfils all the desires.

Temple of Mallikarjuna

Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga

 

Mallikarjuna Shivlinga

 

Bhramaramba Shrine

Located adjacent to the Mallikarjun Temple is a shrine dedicated to Goddess Jagdamba who is known as Bhramaramba here. The Bhramaramba shrine is considered to be of great significance. Legend has it that Durga is said to have assumed the shape of a bee and worshipped Shiva here, and chose this place as her abode. One can hear the buzzing of a bee through a tiny hole in the Brahmaramba temple, where Parvati, in the form of a bee, slayed the demon Mahisasura.

How to reach

Nearest airport is located at Hyderabad (175 km).

Nearest Railway stations: Markapur road, Ongole, Nandyal.

Hyderabad – Mahbubnagar (NH 7)- Srisailam temple / Ongole – Markapur – Srisailam temple / Gooty – Nandyal – Atmakur – Srisailam temple.

 

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Indian Mythology Temple

Kedarnath – Jyotirlinga

Kedarnath temple

One of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to the Lord Shiva and is located on the near Mandakini river. Here, Shiva lingam is pyramid shaped and hence is unique among Shiva temples. Pandavas are believed to have built this temple.

Due to harsh weather conditions, the temple is open only between the end of April (Akshay tritya) to Kartik Purnima (the autumn full moon, usually November) every year. During winters, the vigrahas (deities) from Kedarnath temple are brought to Ukhimath and worshipped there for six months.

Kedarnath is located on a ridge which juts out at right angles from below the 23000 feet high snowy peak of Mahapanth. Kedarnath is located on the Rudra Himalaya range. The Rudra Himalaya range is also known as the Pancha Parvata; its five peaks are Rudra Himalaya, Vishnupuri, Bhramapuri, Udgari-Kanth and Swargarohini. It is believed that four of the Pandavas died on the last of these peaks.

 

Kedarnath Temple

Legend behind Kedarnath Jyotirlinga

Two incarnations of Lord Vishnu by the names of Nara and Vishnu did penance at Badrikasharama. Both of them used to worship the idol of Shiva daily. Lord Shiva used to arrive in his subtle form and accept their offerings without being noticed by them.
One day Lord Shiva appeared before them. Nara and Narayana eulogized him and requested to remain at that place forever. Lord Shiva accepted their request and established himself as ‘Kedareshwar jyotirlinga’.

There is another legend related to Pandavas. After the culmination of Mahabharata war, Pandavas wanted to be absolved of their sins which was due to killing of their own relatives in the war of Mahabharata.

Giving up all their belongings and ties, the Pandavas and Draupadi , accompanied by a dog, made their final journey of pilgrimage to the Himalayas in search of Lord Shiva .
Meanwhile at Kedarnath a very healthy and good looking bull joined them.  Shiva has taken the form of the bull, as he was unhappy with the Pandavas for their deceit during the war, and hence loathe to give them darshan.
The Pandavas sort of had the gut feeling that the buffalo was Shiva in disguise.  Bhima as usual jumped the gun and tried to catch the buffalo by its tail.  Lord Shiva just disappeared into the ground.

Then Bhima went after the buffalo with his mace. The buffalo was clever and Bheema could not catch it. But Bheema managed to hit the buffalo with his mace. The buffalo had its face hidden in a crevice-in the earth. Bheema started to pull it by its tail. In this tug-of war, the face of the buffalo went straight to Nepal, leaving its hind part in Kedar, a  hump above the ground as a Lingam,  and a blazing fiery column of light sprouted. This is why only the Kedarnath Shiva Lingam is a sort of a  hump.

The face of the buffalo is Doleshwar Mahadev located in Sipatol, Bhaktapur, Nepal.

It is also believed that Arjuna, one of the Pandavas worshipped Lord Shiva to attain the divine weapon, Pashupatastra.

Some important and famous places close to Kedarnath mandir

Badrinath – Badrinath which is near the Kedarnath is also a significant pilgrimage spot for the devotees of Lord shiva. The Neelkant peak behind the Badrinath temple is an abode of Lord shiva – like how the Mount Kailash is. It is called Indra Neel Parvat.

Gaurikund – Base for a trek to Kedarnath & serves as a roadhead, the village has hot springs & a temple dedicated to Gauri.

Gandhi Sarovar – A small lake from where Yudhishthir, the eldest of the Pandavas, is said to have departed to heaven. A km trek from Kedarnath, floating ice on the crystal clear waters.

Vasuki Tal – 6 km. At 4135 mtr. above sea level, this lake is extraordinary, surrounded by high mountains and offering an excellent view of the Chaukhamba peaks.

Gauri Kund – 15 km. The trekking base to Kedarnath and the road head, this village has a temple dedicated to Gauri and also thermal springs of medicinal value.

Gupt Kashi – 49 km. Famous for the temples of Ardhnarishwar and Vishwanathji.

Ukhimath – 60 km. Winter home of Lord Kedarnath temple, and the seat of the Rawal of Kedarnath during winter months.

Agastmuni – 73 km., Has a temple dedicated to the sage Agastya.

How to reach

By Air : The nearest convenient Air port is Jolly grant at Dehradun (121 Kms).

By Road : Kedarnath is connected by road with Badrinath (242 KM), Dehradun (268 KM), Delhi (450 KM), Haridwar (250 KM), Kotdwar (256 KM), and Rishikesh (226 KM).

Route : Rishikesh to Kedarnath vai Rudraprayag :- Rishikesh -> Rudraprayaga -> Agastamuni -> Kund -> Gupta kashi -> Phata -> Soneprayag -> Gauri Kund.

Gauri Kund to Kedarnath is 14 KM. This distance has to be covered by foot, ponies, palkies.

By Rail : The nearest convenient railway station are Dehradun and Haridwar. These are well connected with Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and rest of India through Rail network.

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Festival Lord Shiva Shravan

Deoghar, Baidyanath dham and Shravan festival

The Shravan festival

The festival of Shravan or Kanwar festival is the most auspicious one for lord Shiva devotees. During this month, devotees from various parts of Bihar and Jharkhand observe strict rituals. They carry holy water of Ganges (Gangajal) from Sultanganj to Deoghar for Lord Shiva.

Pic. – Baidyanath Dham Mandir

This month normally falls in July – August according to english calendar and hindu devotees travel to Baidyanath Deoghar to worship Baba Baidyanath ( Lord Shiva).

How Lord Shiva came to Deoghar

There is an interesting story that Ravana once worshipped Lord Shiva so that he awarded him saying that I will stay with you in form of Shivlinga. This posed a problem for Devtas who thought that this would make him invincible. They used a ruse which forced Ravana to put the Shivlinga in Deoghar and it became Lord Shiva’s permanent abode. Since because of Ravana only Shiv has came to Deoghar, Ravana is treated with respect here.

Why Gangajal is offered to Baba Baidyanath

The custom of carrying holy water from Sultanganj on Kanwar and offering to it Shiva started in the Treta Yuga. This yuga was the silver age of Hindu mythology. Lord Rama had carried the holy ganges water from Sultanganj in a kanwar and offered to Lord Shiva at Babadham.

Another legend says that when the churning of oceans – Samudra Manthan – took place, this was in the month of Shravan. During manthan, fourteen different types of rubies came out. Thirteen of these were distributed amongst the deamons, except Halahal (poison). Lord Shiva drank the Halahal and stored it in his throat. Hence the name Neelkantha (meaning blue throat) is attributed to Shiva.

To reduce the strong effect of poison, Lord Shiva wore the crescent moon on his head. All the Gods, thereafter started offering the Ganges water to Lord Shiva to make lessen the effect of poison.

This happened in the month of Shravan. The Shiva devotees offer the Ganges water in this month and Shravan festival is observed. This festival and Baidyanath Deoghar is one of the holiest ones for Hindu devotees.

Baidyanath jyotirlinga temple

Importance of Gangajal from Sultanganj

In Sultanganj, the Ganges flows to the North. This is why, the devotees collect water in their kanwars and carry the holy Ganges water, with the kanwars on their shoulders. They walk 109 km up to Baba Baidyanath temple at Babadham reciting Bol Bam on the way.

Importance of Belpatra

Lord Shiva has three eyes – Mother Parvati, Lord Kartik and Ganesh. Lord Shiva is also called Mahadeva, the god of gods and his three eyes- Trinetra are his identification. Three eyes, three virtues, three truths, three swords of the Trident (Trishul) and three leaves (Belpatra) are very dear to Shiva. Lord Shiva becomes pleased if one offers Ganga water with Belpatra.

 

pic – Mandir at Night

Bol – Bam and its importance

The word Bam is a short name for Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The letters BA came from Brahma and Vishnu and M came from Mahesh.

It is a long efficacious mantra (a hymn). When it is chanted during the way, it generates energy and enthusiasm amongst the kanwarias and gives them the psychological strength to carry on walking and succeed in covering the long distance from Sultanganj to Babadham.

According to the Skand Purana, those who complete the holy journey by reciting Bam-Bam obtain the virtues of Ashwamedha Yajna. According to the Puranas, the demon king Ravana had brought the Ganges water from Haridwar and offered to Lord Shiva.

During their journey from Sultanganj to Deoghar, kanwariyas are supposed to observe strict vrata:

To maintain celibacy (Bramhacharya)
To remember Lord Shiva by keeping mind, heart and speech pure
To speak the truth
To be inspired by charity and service
To take bath before taking the kanwar
To recite Bam – Bam
Not to use oil and soap
Not to wear shoes
Not to take any article made of leather
To avoid dogs. (dogs should not be touched)

Pilgrims to the temple later visit the Basukinath temple.

Where to stay and how to reach: Lot of hotels and dharamshalas are available in Deoghar. During the month of Jul-Aug, there is great rush, so this is advisable to book prior to your journey. Closest railway station is Jasidih, which is on howrah main line. Nearest airport is Ranchi/ Patna.

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Temple

Jyotirlinga Somnath temple

Somnath Mandir (temple)

Somnath is the foremost of 12 jyotirlinga located in Prabhas patan in Saurashtra in Gujrat. In this temple there is a small cave in which a lamp burns continuously.

 Pic. Somnath in Gujrat

Legend

Moon God Chandra being vary of his beauty was cursed by his father in law Daksha to wane. When he begged forgiveness Daksha said only Lord Shiva could free him from curse. Moon God came to Somnath and prayed to Lord Shiva for 4,000 years. Lord Shiva said he could not fully absolve him of the curse instead, he would wane in 15 days, but would grow again.

History and details of current temple

It is said that Somnath temple was first built with gold by Moon God, with silver by Ravana, with sandalwood by Lord krishna and with stone by Bhimdev.

This temple is the symbol of resilience as this has been destroyed by several muslim invaders. Ghazni, Alauddin Khilji and Aurengzeb among few of them. Current (seventh) temple is an effort of Sardar vallabhbhai Patel and KM Munshi, ministers of independent india.

The seventh existing temple is built in the Kailas Mahameru Prasad style.  The temple is consisting of Garbhgruh, Sabhamandap and Nrityamandap with a 150 feet high Shikhar. The Kalash at the top of the Shikhar weighs 10 tons and the Dhwajdand is 27 feet tall and 1 foot in circumference. The Abadhit Samudra Marg, Tirsthambh (Arrow) indicates the unobstructed sea route to the South Pole. The nearest land towards South Pole is about 9936 km. away. This is a wonderful indicator of the ancient Indian wisdom of geography and strategic location of the Jyotirling. The temple renovated by Maharani Ahalyabai is adjacent to the main temple complex.

Somnath Mandir – Jyotirlinga

Parshurama and Pandavas

Here is the Parshuram Tapobhumi, where Bhagvan Parshuramji carried out penance and he was relieved from the sin of Kshatriya killings. The Pandavas have said to have visited this place and taken holy bath in the Jalprabhas and built five Shiv temples.