In today's world of unforgiving rush and mental exhaustion, we are constantly in search of peace and relaxation. While these two could mean a plethora of different things to different people, but for many they refer to landing themselves in a soulful and serene environment where one can let go of the daily hassles and experience oneness with the supreme being. If you are fond of travelling, you have virtually a limitless world of aesthetically appeasing and spiritually fulfilling temples to explore.
Some of the most revered of those temples are the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India. Out of the 12, there are 5 in Maharashtra known as Pancha Jyotirlinga. Interestingly, these temples worship the same lord, but address him by different names and forms.
For instance, Lord Shiva is referred as 'Ardhanareeshwara' in Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, and with the river Bhima originating for this location, it is considered to be Siva's perspiration! On the other hand, Shiva is 'Vaidyanath' in Parli Vaijnath temple. This is due to the location of the temple among medicinal plants, and hence the belief of devotees in its healing properties. While Trimbakeshwar temple is considered one of the holiest place in Hndu mythology, Aundha Nagnath temple is believed to be the one where Lord Shiva was worshiped first. It is believed that the pilgrimage is incomplete without paying a visit to Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga. The uniqueness of these temples are evident from the fact that each one of them has its own significance in the spiritual journey.
Apart from serving as special connections between the Lord and his devotees, the Jyotirlingas of Shiva are known for their beautiful architecture and splendid natural locations making them a confluence of god, nature and man. This leads to the cleansing of the soul and mind of all worries, anxieties and apprehensions that we have become accustomed to in the modern world.
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