Unveiling the Sacred Jyotirlingas in Maharashtra: A Spiritual Odyssey

Jyotirlingas in Maharashtra: Unveiling the Ancient Shiva Temples

The concept of the holy Jyotirlingas holds immense spiritual significance in Hindu traditions, especially for devotees of Lord Shiva. Several revered shrines call Maharashtra, a state rich in cultural and religious heritage, their home, making it a coveted destination for spiritual seekers. Therefore, there are five Jyotirlingas in Maharashtra.

The Legend of the Jyotirlingas

The Legend of the Jyotirlingas

As per ancient Hindu mythology, once Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu had an argument over the supremacy of creation. To settle this dispute, Lord Shiva appeared as a towering column of fire, the Jyotirlinga, which pierced the three worlds. While Brahma and Vishnu failed to find its ends, they realized the infinite nature of Lord Shiva. The column of fire then took the form of 12 Jyotirlingas spread across India.

Devotees believe that these self-manifested lingams, which are representations of Lord Shiva, hold immense spiritual powers and energies, and they attract devotees seeking profound experiences.

Significance in Hindu Mythology

In Shaivism and other Hindu philosophies, the Jyotirlingas hold great reverence:

  • Embodiments of the Supreme Reality and Cosmic Truth
  • Gateway to liberation and awakening of kundalini energies
  • Bestowers of spiritual enlightenment and wishes fulfilled

Jyotirlingas in Maharashtra

Out of the 12 revered Jyotirlingas, 5 reside in the state of Maharashtra, making it a hub for sacred Jyotirlinga pilgrimages. These spiritual gems are:

Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga

Jyotirlingas in Maharashtra

Shri Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga resides in the town of Trimbak, within the Trimbakeshwar tehsil of Nashik district, Maharashtra, India. Legend has it that when the column of fire emerged, Lord Brahma claimed supremacy, infuriating Shiva who struck off one of Brahma’s heads at this site. The ancient Trimbakeshwar temple has intricate architecture with ornate carvings.

Key Points:

The temple’s unique feature is its three faces, embodying the divine trinity of Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma.

Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga

Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga Temple

Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, is an ancient Shiva temple located in the Sahyadri hills of Maharashtra, India. You can find mention of this jyotirlinga in the Shivapurana. Bhimashankar as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas holds immense significance, as they are the holiest abodes of Lord Shiva, considered by many. Let’s delve into the details:

  • Location and History: The temple is located in the village of Bhimashankar, near Pune in the Pune district of Maharashtra. Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Bhimashankar to annihilate the demon Tripurasura, according to Hindu mythology The battle between good and evil lasted for several days, eventually resulting in the triumph of righteousness.
  • Spiritual Significance: The Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, revered as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, holds the highest sanctity among the abodes of Lord Shiva. The temple enhances the serene and natural ambiance by its location within the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. Devotees flock here to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva and experience spiritual bliss.
  • Architectural Details: The temple follows the Nagara architectural style. Its elevation stands at 934 meters (3,064 feet) above sea level. The Shiva lingam within the temple is one of the three Jyotirlingas of Maharashtra. The Maratha empire statesman Nana Phadnavis added structures such as the shikhara (spires) in the 18th century.
  • Visit and Explore: Bhimashankar offers a serene and picturesque setting amidst the Sahyadri Mountains. Capture the spiritual essence of this ancient temple and share your experiences on your travel blog, Cosmo Snapshot! Don’t forget to explore the nearby Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary and immerse yourself in nature’s beauty.

Ghrishneshwar Jyotirlinga

Ghrishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple

The sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, known as Grishneshwar Temple or Grushneshwar Jyotirlinga Mandir, is a place of worship.It is located near the Ellora Caves in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India.

Possession by a holy spirit during the Shravani Somvar festival is a renowned ritual here.

  • Significance: Lord Shiva himself established Grishneshwar as the twelfth and last Jyotirlinga (linga of light). The temple’s main attraction, the eastward-facing Shiva lingam, is believed to be self-manifested.
  • Etymology: The word Ghrneshwara translates to “lord of compassion,” signifying Lord Shiva’s benevolence towards devotees who worship him with sincerity and devotion.
  • Historical Background: According to Puranic legends, in the south country, there lived a bright ascetic Brahmin named Sudharma near Devgiri Mountain. His wife, Sudeha, desired children, but astrological calculations indicated that she couldn’t bear any. Urged by Sudeha, Sudharma married her younger sister, Ghushma, who was a humble and virtuous woman and a devoted worshiper of Shiva. Ghushma made 101 earthly Shivalingas daily with true devotion. It was this intense devotion that led to the manifestation of the Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga.
  • Temple Location: Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga is situated on the banks of a stream called Shivalaya, considered a tributary of the holy river Ganga. The temple is approximately 20 kilometers from Daulatabad and is adjacent to the Ellora Caves.
  • Reconstruction: The temple structure faced destruction during various historical conflicts, including the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal-Maratha conflict. It was rebuilt in its current form in the 18th century under the sponsorship of Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore after the fall of the Mughal Empire.
  • Devotee Practices: Devotees can enter the temple premises and its inner chambers. However, to enter the sanctum sanctorum core (garbha-gruha), local Hindu tradition demands that men must go bare-chested.

Aundha Nagnath Jyotirlinga

Jyotirlinga Tours

Aundha Nagnath Temple, also known as Aundha Nagnath Jyotirlinga Mandir. It is an ancient Shiva temple located in the Hingoli district of Maharashtra, India.

This Jyotirlinga holds great importance in the Nath tradition of yogis and is believed to be self-manifested. The sprawling temple complex includes meditation halls and spaces for sacred rituals like ‘Panchagni Sadhana’.

  • Significance: Aundha Nagnath is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, which are considered sacred abodes of Lord Shiva. Devotees believe that visiting these Jyotirlingas brings spiritual blessings.
  • Historical Background: The present temple is said to have been built by the Seuna (Yadava) dynasty and dates back to the 13th century. According to legends, the first temple was constructed during the time of the Mahabharata by Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandavas. They built it during their 14-year exile from Hastinapur. The temple was originally a seven-storeyed structure, but it was later sacked by Aurangzeb.
  • Reconstruction: The temple faced destruction during Aurangzeb’s conquests. The present standing temple was rebuilt by Ahilyabai Holkar, a revered historical figure.

Aundha Nagnath Jyotirlinga remains a must-visit pilgrimage site for devotees seeking spiritual solace. Witness the archaeological marvel and connect with the divine! 

Parali Vaijnath Jyotirlinga

Parali Vaijnath Jyotirlinga

Parli Vaijnath Temple, also known as Parli Vaidyanath Temple, is located in Parli, in the state of Maharashtra, India. It is one of the twelve sacred Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. As per legend, a poor Brahmin couple discovered and worshipped a lingam here, now the Parali Vaijnath temple. Renowned for its annual Bhavlya fair, it attracts thousands of devotees during Shravan Shivratri.

  • Significance:The Vaijnath Linga within the temple is also known as Dhanavantari and Amriteshwari.Legend has it that Lord Vishnu concealed both the Amrit (nectar of immortality) and the Dhanavantari (the divine physician) within this Linga. As a result, anyone who touches the Linga is believed to receive the power of Amrit.
  • Temple Timings:The temple opens at 5:00 AM in the morning and closes at 9:00 PM in the evening. Rituals such as abhishekafternoon pooja, and bhasma pooja take place during these hours.
  • Healing and Benefits: Devotees are allowed to touch the Parli Vaijnath Linga during worship, which is believed to aid in healing and provide various health benefits. The temple welcomes devotees from all walks of life, castes, and religions without discrimination.
  • Historical Connection: According to Puranas, Lord Vaidhyanath blessed the sage Markandeya, granting him immortality. Rani Ahilyabai contributed to the temple’s renovation by bringing special stones from the Trishul Devi mountain range.

Parli Vaijnath Jyotirlinga remains a sacred pilgrimage site where devotees seek blessings and healing. May your spiritual journey be blessed!

Here’s the comprehensive Jyotirlinga Tour of Maharashtra itinerary, covering all the five Jyotirlingas along with relevant details:

Day 01: Mumbai to Bhimashankar (200 km / 5-6 hrs) & Bhimashankar to Ahmednagar (170 km / 4 hrs)

  1. Arrival in Mumbai: Upon your arrival at Mumbai airport or railway station, our representative will greet you outside the exit gate. From there, we proceed to Bhimashankar Temple, the first stop on your five Jyotirlinga tour of Maharashtra.
  2. Bhimashankar Temple: Situated in its eponymous village, Bhimashankar, in Pune district, this temple is a key pilgrimage center and one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in the world. Seek blessings at the Shiva lingam.
  3. Post Darshan and Lunch: After the temple visit, we drive to Ahmednagar, a historic city in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.
  4. Overnight in Ahmednagar: Check-in to the hotel and rest for the night.

Day 02: Ahmednagar to Parli Vaijnath (240 km / 5 hrs) & Parli to Nanded (140 km / 4 hrs)

  1. Parli Vaijnath Temple: Post breakfast, check-out from the hotel and proceed to another important Jyotirlinga in the state. The Parli Vaijnath temple is located in the Beed district of Maharashtra and is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  2. Nanded: After darshan at Parli Vaijnath, drive to Nanded, an ancient historic city in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra.
  3. Overnight in Nanded: Check-in to the hotel and rest for the night.

Nanded to Aundha Nagnath (70 km / 1.5 hrs) & Aundha to Aurangabad/Sambhaji Nagar (210 km / 5 hrs) – Day 03:

  1. Hazur Sahib Gurudwara, Nanded: After breakfast, visit Hazur Sahib Gurudwara in Nanded, one of the five most sacred Gurudwaras for Sikhs.
  2. Aundha Nagnath Temple: Proceed to Aundha Nagnath temple, the eighth Jyotirlinga among the twelve famous Jyotirlingas. Located at Aundha Taluka in Hingoli District of Maharashtra, this temple is said to date back to the 13th century and was built by the Seuna (Yadava) dynasty.
  3. Sambhaji Nagar (Aurangabad): Drive to another historical city, Sambhaji Nagar (formerly known as Aurangabad), for an overnight stay. Check-in to the hotel and rest for the night.

On Day 04: Aurangabad – Grishneshwar – Ellora (40 km / 2 hrs) and Ellora – Aurangabad (110 km / 1.5 hrs)

  1. Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple: After breakfast, proceed to the darshan of Grishneshwar Temple. It is a Jyotirlinga temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage sites in India.
  2. Ellora Caves: Explore the magnificent Ellora Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These rock-cut caves house inscriptions dating from the 6th century CE onwards and represent multiple religious traditions. Note that Ellora Caves are closed on Tuesdays.

On Day 05: Ellora to Trimbakeshwar (170 km / 3-4 hrs) and Trimbakeshwar to Mumbai Drop (180 km / 5 hrs)

  1. Ellora to Trimbakeshwar: After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and proceed for darshan at Trimbakeshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga not only honors Lord Shiva but also the other two gods in the Holy Trinity: Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. The temple, built with black stone, houses the naturally emerged Shivlingam.
  2. Trimbakeshwar to Mumbai Drop: After darshan, drive to Mumbai. On arrival in Mumbai, drop off at Mumbai airport or railway station.

Spiritual Travels and Etiquette

To truly experience the divine energies of these sacred Jyotirlinga shrines, proper spiritual etiquette is essential:

Dress modestly covering arms/legs

  • Remove footwear before entering temples
  • Carry requisites like coconuts, milk, etc. for rituals
  • Maintain silence and avoid photography inside shrines
Temple EtiquetteDescription
Appropriate AttireCover arms, legs fully (no shorts/sleeveless)
Remove FootwearTake off shoes before entering inner shrines
Avoid PhotograhyRefrain from clicking photos inside main shrines
Observe SilenceSpeak softly, avoid loud noises near shrines

Top tour companies like Ghum India Ghum based in Delhi offer specialized Jyotirlinga tours covering all the sacred sites along with temple rituals, accommodation, transportation, and guides to ensure a hassle-free spiritual experience.

Nearby Attractions

  • In addition to the Jyotirlingas, you can enrich your spiritual journey by visiting:
  • Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary with ancient rock-cut caves
  • Shri Kshetra Trimbakeshwar – ashrams and temples
  • Nagnatheshwar Shiva Temple in Aundha Nagnath
  • Lenyadri Caves & Ganesha Temple near Ghrishneshwar

Best Times to Visit

While the Jyotirlingas in Maharashtra are open year-round, some periods are especially auspicious:

  • Shravan/Shravani Mondays in July-August
  • Mahashivratri in February-March
  • Avoid monsoon months of July-September for travel convenience

Soul-Stirring Jyotirlingas Experiences

Many devotees and travelers report feeling inexplicable divine energies and profound spiritual awakenings upon visiting these Jyotirlinga Shrines. From experiencing visions to being overwhelmed by devotional ecstasy, each site seems to leave an indelible impression.


Maharashtra is truly blessed to house some of the holiest Jyotirlingas revered by millions worldwide. Each shrine has its own unique legend, spiritual significance, and mystical experience to offer devotees.

So whether you embark on a Jyotirlinga pilgrimage to seek spiritual enlightenment, experience divine energies, or simply be awed by the architectural marvels, the Jyotirlingas in Maharashtra promise to leave you spellbound. As you plan your sacred journey, don’t forget to reach out to trusted travel experts like Ghum India Ghum to ensure a seamless and meaningful spiritual sojourn.

Posted by Sarika Chauhan

Ghum India Ghum is one of the leading travel company in Delhi which offers tours for all parts of India. We have our destination expert for all important destinations in India and Abroad. Our journey started in 2014 with a prime motive of providing hassle free services to all our guests.

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