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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
30 Minutes to 1 Hour depending on the number of pilgrims. During special Hindu festival days it may take a few hours more.
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.
More information on Jyotirlinga Temples of India
List of Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Mandir or the Twelve Jyotirlinga temples
|1. Somnath||Veraval, Saurashtra, Gujarat|
|2. Mallikarjuna||Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh|
|3. Mahakaleshwara||Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh|
|4. Omkareshwara||Omkareshwar, Madhya Pradesh|
|5. Kedarnath||Kedarnath, Indian Himalayas, Uttarakhand|
|6. Bhimashankara||Bhimashankar near Pune, Maharashtra|
|7. Vishveshwara||Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh|
|8. Tryambakeshwara||Nashik, Maharashtra|
|9. Vaidyanatha (Vaijanath)||Deoghar, Jharkhand|
|10. Nageshwara (Nagnath)||Darukavan, Dwarka, Gujarat|
|11. Ramanathaswamy||Rameshwaram, Tamilnadu|
|12. Grishneshwar||Near Ellora Caves, Aurangabad, Maharashtra|
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