In this trip to Gujarat, we had the good fortune of getting Mahadev’s blessings at Nageshwar and Somnath. India has 12 Jyotirlingas. The word Jyoti means light and Linga means sign or symbol. The Jyotirlingas are bright light of Mahadev or a radiant sign of Bhagwan Shiva.
- Somnath in Gir, Gujarat
- Mallikarjuna in Srisailam, A. P
- Mahakaleshwar in Ujjain, M.P
- Omkareshwar in Khandwa, M.P
- Baidyanath in Deoghar, Jharkhand
- Bhimashankar in Maharashtra
- Ramanathaswamy in Rameshwaram, T.N
- Nageshwar in Dwarka, Gujarat
- Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi, U.P
- Trimbakeshwar in Nashik, Maharashtra
- Kedarnath in Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand
- Ghrishneshwar in Chattrapati Sambhaji Nagar, Maharashtra
Of the 12, I have had darshan of six Jyotirlingas and Krishnan has had the darshan of five. I have been to Kedarnath with Amma and Appa when I was in school.
Before this trip, we have been to Ramanathaswamy in Rameshwaram, Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi, Ghrishneshwar in Chattrapati Sambhaji Nagar.
Sept 13, 2023 – Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, Dwarka, Gujarat
In the morning of Sept 13th we had the darshan of Dwarkadhish and after having our brunch at Shrinath Ji Restaurant we just went back to Club Mahindra and slept for a couple of hours. The heat and humidity was unbearable.
We went out again around 3.30 to visit Beyt Dwarka, but the driver said, Nageshwar Jyotirlinga was on the way. So we stopped here. There is a massive murti of Shiva and you have a lot of cows inside the temple complex. Devotees feed the cows here.
As you can see there is a huge queue so we kept debating whether we should go in or just wait for sometime for the queue to thin out. When we realised that the queue was moving quickly, we went in.
The Queue management system here is much better than at the Dwarkadhish mandir but then, the crowds here were a little lesser. Once again, men and women had separate queues. We had a good darshan of the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga and were out of the mandir in about 15 minutes.
The story of Nageshwar – A demon by the name Daruka had imprisoned Supriya, a Shiva devotee in a city under the sea. This city was full of sea serpents. Supriya and the other prisoners continuously prayed to Bhagwan Shiva, who answered their prayers by killing Daruka and setting them free. He stayed on in this place as Nageshwar Jyotirlinga since he is indeed the King of Nagas (snakes).
This mandir too was not as clean as we would have liked it to be. There was cow dung everywhere since cows were being fed within the temple premises and some people had also spit paan. It’s just sad to see this state of affairs.
Sept 20, 2023 – Somnath Mandir
Exactly a week later we were at Club Mahindra Gir and we received the blessings from Somnath Ji. This Mandir is stunningly well organised… from several kiosks to deposit your phones and footwear, to buying Prasad, Ganga Jal and different poojas, everything is well organised.
It’s a long walk till the entrance, so there are golf carts that ferry senior citizens or differently abled devotees. We entered the temple by 8.30 am so there was hardly any crowd. Krishnan and I were very emotional … this is the temple that was ransacked and plundered by Mahmud Ghazni and thousands of our ancestors were massacred on this very ground.
The massive 8 foot Shiva Linga was broken into pieces and taken back to Ghazni and the steps of the Jami Masjid were paved with it.
Mahmud Ghazni succeeded the 12th time … we need to remember that our ancestors offered stiff resistance to these barbarians who only knew plundering and destroying places of worship. History books exaggerate that Mahmud Ghazni invaded 17 times and our ancestors just turned tail. The remains of the old temple are within the renovated temple complex.
We went in twice to get Somnath’s darshan.
For me it was a special memory .. Amma, Appa and I had visited Somnath mandir in 1987 along with my cousins Anu, Ambi and Shantha. Here is that special picture. At that time, we could go near the sea but now there are walkways created and the sea can just be seen from the temple.
There are several photographers waiting to click your picture and laminate it for you as you enter the temple after depositing your phones in the locker. The above picture was taken by one such photographer .. the lamination work is not so good but it’s a nice memory of our visit.
Do visit the Somnath Mandir, its deeply spiritual. No barbarian can destroy our faith. Read more about Somnath Ji at Shree Somnath Jyotirlinga temple.
Har Har Mahadev !