The Incredible Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Dwarka

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Dwarka @www.lemonicks.com

Jyotirlinga is a reverential name given to 12 most important manifestations of Shiva, the lord of destruction. Jyotirlinga is combination of two Sanskrit words, Jyoti – meaning light (brilliance) and Linga is the spiritual symbol of Shiva, the Shivalinga. Jyotirlinga means column of brilliant light which has no beginning or the end. It is said that while most of the Sivalingas are man made , the 12 jyotirlingas have emerged on its own from the earth, that is Swayambhu (Swayam – Self , Bhu – Earth). These twelve jyotirlinga temples are located at various places in India and Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is one of them and is in the district of Devbhumi (Devbhoomi) Dwarka, about 17 Kilo Meters from the holy city of Dwarka, Gujarat.

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Nagnath Mahadev or Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple in Devbhumi Dwarka

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga temple is located in a place called Darukavanam, about halfway between Dwarka main city, where Shri Krishna administered and Beyt Dwarka, the island where He was supposed have resided.

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Dwarka @www.lemonicks.com
Main entrance for the Nageshwar Jyotirling Mandir at Darukavan

The Gateway

A statue of Lord Shiva came to view, well before we reached the main entrance. As we entered gate and walked towards the statue, ignoring the cacophony of the pigeons and other visitors, it suddenly felt as if it was growing in size, all the while following us with his benevolent eyes and soon had us in its power. Such was the feeling of positive energy of Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Mandir. This statue is not the idol that is worshiped but is there to let the people know that there is a mystical power within these premises. It is about 26 Metres high (85 feet) and all the pilgrims, old and young, without fail come to this statue first to take the all important selfie with the god.

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Dwarka @www.lemonicks.com
The Huge Statue of Lord Shiva near the entrance of the Nageshwara Jyotirlinga Temple. Note the half moon above the head.

The Temple building

The red painted temple, located on the right of the statue looks quite new, especially considering that this temple was supposed to have been there even during Mahabharat period! Soon one of the priests helped us understand. The original temple was a dilapidated structure and the Shiva Linga was below the ground level. On a pilgrimage of all the 12 Jyotirlingas, Mr Gulshan Kumar (of T-Series music audio and video fame) reached this Nageshwar Jyotirlinga and seeing the sad state of the temple, decided that he would donate the money required to build a new building over the old. A new hall for the devotees was built and externally several towers to signify the importance of the temple was also built. The Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) was left at the original place, below the ground level.

Nagnath Jyotirlinga Temple, Dwarka darukavanam @www.lemonicks.com
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple Darukavanam Dwarka

Photography is prohibited inside the temple, unless you have special permit, which we had. Even then, we double checked with the priest if we could take photos and did so only after he agreed.

Garbha Griha

The Shivalingam is protected by the hood of a silver serpent while Parvati stands behind watching us and the other devotees. The priest said that the Lingam is shaped like a tri-mukhi rudraksha. It is a belief that a tri-mukhi rudraksh is very powerful and makes the wearer healthy and strong. However we could not see it as the Shivalingam was covered with flowers.

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Dwarka @www.lemonicks.com
The Shivalingam of the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple

The Shivalingam faces South which is quite surprising as in most temples the deity faces any of the other three directions, never South. Read about the reasons here.

There is a small lake behind the temple which does offer a spot of scenic beauty with all the fishes vying to get to the tidbits offered by us and other devotees.

Nagnath Temple, as it is also referred to sometimes, is dedicated to one of the three main gods, Shiva and he manifests here as the Lord of serpents. Naga means serpent in Sanskrit. It is said to be one of the first Jyotirlingas to appear and is ardently worshipped by the devotees. It is said that if one is bitten by a snake then praying here would protect them from the ill effects venom or in fact any kind of venoms or poisons.

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Dwarka @www.lemonicks.com
The godly family! Shiva & Parvati with Ganesha and Kartikeya in their laps at Nagnath Temple at Darukavan

Myths and Legends Surrounding the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple

Once there was a demon named Daruk ruling over the forest of Darukavanam. He once imprisoned an ardent devotee of Shiva called Supriya, along with a few other devotees. Seeing the atrocities of the demon, Supriya started chanting the mantra, Om Namah Shivaya and encouraged all the prisoners to do the same. Soon Shiva appeared as a jyotirlinga and the demon was vanquished. This temple was later constructed in that place dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Some people also claim that the name Dwarka has evolved from Daruka.

Nageshwar Jyotirlingam faces South. Once a very ardent devotee of Shiva, Namdev, was praying and singing in front of the Shivalingam and inadvertently obstructing the view of other devotees. The people angrily asked him to move to which he retorted he would gladly move to a place where the God does not face. The people forced him to face North as no Hindu deity faces South. To the surprise of all the devotees the Shivalingam now faced South towards Namdev.

Useful Information about Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple

Important Events or Festivals at Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Dwarka

The most important event and festival at this temple is the Maha Shivaratri festival. It is an annual event in the honor of Lord Shiva held at all the Shiva temples in India and with more fervor in the Jyotirlingas. The scriptures say that on this day Shiva performs his Taandav or the celestial dance. This year it falls is on Thursday, 11th of March 2021.

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Dwarka darukavanam @www.lemonicks.com

Temple Timings

6:00 AM to 12:30PM and 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM on all days

There are also Morning Aarti, Evening Aarti and Abhishekam timings which can be found out by calling them upfront.

Entry Fee or Tickets

There is no fee for visiting and praying. However, if you wish to make an offering of milk, flowers and prasadam, you will have to bring your own or buy from the shops outside.

There is also rate list for many types of Poojas that may be performed by the devotees.

Time Needed

30 Minutes to 1 Hour depending on the number of pilgrims. During special Hindu festival days it may take a few hours more.

Contact Information

Address: Daarukavanam, Gujarat 361345

Phone Number – +91 79 23977200 . This is the phone number of Gujarat Tourism.

Tips and Tidbits

Devotees are allowed to touch the Shivalingam if they are in proper attire. That is Dhoti for males and Indian traditional dresses for women.

Rudraksha is a Hindu prayer bead and rudraksha mala is several of them strung together and used for praying . It is a similar to a Rosary.

How to reach Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple Devbhumi Dwarka

From Dwarka city to Nageshwara Jyotirlinga temple is about 17 KM and the best way would be to hire a cab. However, if you don’t mind the crowd you may take the bus also which is quite inexpensive.

Best time to visit Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple

Best time to visit Nageshvara Jyotirlinga Temple is during the winter months, that is November to February. It starts becoming warmer after that.

If you wish to experience the religious fervour and throngs of devotees then visit during the Maha Shivaratri Festival.

Where to stay in Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Dwarka

While there a few guesthouses, hotels and dharamshalas, it is always better to stay in the city of Dwarka which has better and more accommodation options.

Booking.com : Hotels in Dwarka . Book your hotel now!

More information on Jyotirlinga Temples of India

List of Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Mandir or the Twelve Jyotirlinga temples

1. SomnathVeraval, Saurashtra, Gujarat
2. MallikarjunaSrisailam, Andhra Pradesh
3. MahakaleshwaraUjjain, Madhya Pradesh
4. OmkareshwaraOmkareshwar, Madhya Pradesh
5. KedarnathKedarnath, Indian Himalayas, Uttarakhand
6. BhimashankaraBhimashankar near Pune, Maharashtra
7. VishveshwaraVaranasi, Uttar Pradesh
8. TryambakeshwaraNashik, Maharashtra
9. Vaidyanatha (Vaijanath)Deoghar, Jharkhand
10. Nageshwara (Nagnath)Darukavan, Dwarka, Gujarat
11. RamanathaswamyRameshwaram, Tamilnadu
12. GrishneshwarNear Ellora Caves, Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Some other articles on Gujarat

Click here to read more articles on Gujarat on this website.

33 thoughts on “The Incredible Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Dwarka”

  1. OH, wow! That temple is absolutely beautiful. I love the architecture. I think it would be amazing to see it in person one day.

  2. What a lovely place! I love your photos. And thank you for the story about the temple — I find that knowing the backstories about different sites make it more interesting when you go visit.

  3. Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is an interesting place. I really wish to visit there after reading your post. Thanks for sharing the tips on visiting and the background story.

    1. I like visiting religious buildings as I am interested in historical architecture. I visited a Hindu temple only once, it was the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London. This temple also looks beautiful.

      1. Yes it is. Actually There are umpteen things t do in Dwarka and this is just one of them . There is also a blue flag beach!

    2. I would love to I visit this place as I love history and this sees to be a place rich in it. I cannot wait and am so overdue for a vacation and once it is safe…. I am for sure taking a road trip to Yellowstone National Park. My kids are buggin me to go there and I have never been myself so it is a win win! Maybe rent an RV 🙂

      1. Thanks. I understand the travel craving. In India only domestic travel is allowed that too with some conditions. It is not yet known when tourism will be thrown open so that international tourists may visit. Vaccination has commenced so I do see light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.

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