Nageshvara Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana. Nageshvara is believed to be the first such shrine.
Address: Jamnagar, Gujarat, Daarukavanam, Gujarat
Phone: 094881 71984
Important festivals: Maha Shivaratri
Primary deity: Shiva
How to get there
By road: Dwarka is on the state highway from Jamnagar to Dwarka. Direct buses available from Jamnagar and Ahmedabad.
By rail: Dwarka is a station on the Ahmedabad-Okha broad gauge railway line, with trains connecting it to Jamnagar (137 km), Rajkot (217 km) and Ahmedabad (471 km), and some trains that continue all the way down the coast through Vadodara, Surat, Mumbai, Goa, Karnataka, to the southern tip of India in Kerala.
By air: Nearest airport is Jamnagar (137 km).
Located on the route between Dwarka city and Beyt Dwarka Island on the coast of Saurashtra in Gujarat is this important Lord Shiva Temple. It is enshrined by one of the 12 swayambhu (self-existent) jyothirlingas in the world, in an underground sanctum. A 25 m tall statue of a sitting Lord Shiva and a large garden with a pond are major attractions of this rather serene place. Some archaeological excavations claim five earlier cities at the site.
Nageshwar was believed to be known as 'Darukavana', which is an ancient epic name of a forest in India. Below are two well-known legends attached to this mystical temple:
According to the first legend, 'Balakhilyas', a group of dwarf sages worshipped Lord Shiva in Darukavana for long a time. To test their devotion and patience, Shiva came to them as a nude ascetic wearing only nagas [serpants] on his body. Wives of sages got attracted to the saint and went after him, leaving their husbands behind. Sages got very disturbed and outraged by this.They lost their patience and cursed the ascetic to loose his linga [one of the limited meanings is Phallus, but it has has a deeper theistic symbolism]. Shiva linga fell on the earth and the whole world trembled. Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu came to Lord Shiva, requesting him to save the earth from destruction and take back his linga. Shiva consoled them and took back his linga. [From Vamana Purana CH.6th & 45th]. Lord Shiva promised his divine presence in Darukavana as 'jyothirlinga' for ever.
Another story goes hundreds of years ago in the Shiv Purana, about a demon couple named Daruka and Daruki, after whom was named Daruka Van (forest), later known as Dwarka. Daruki was a devotee of Parvati and was blessed by her. He misused her blessings and tryranized the local folks. One day he captured a Shiva devotee called Supriya who was one of the pilgrims on a boat. The demon imprisoned her along with several others at his capital Darukavana. Supriya advised all prisoners to recite the Shiva mantra ‘Aum Namaha Shivayay’ to protect them. When Daruka came to know about this he ran to kill Supriya. Instantly Lord Shiva appeared in the form of a jyothirlinga from the earth. He could not kill the demon who was blessed by his own wife, Parvati, but he assured Supriya that he would protect him in the form of a linga. The linga here thus came to be revered.
Two other sites in India, one near Audhgram near Purna in Andhra Pradesh and another near Almora in Uttar Pradesh also enshrine temples to Nageswara Jyotirlingam. According to the Shiv Purana, any one who ever with devotion reads the birth and greatness of this Jyotirlinga shall beget all material happiness and divine status in the end.
Specialities of Nageshvara Temple
The architectural beauty of the Nagesh Temple is simply exquisite. This temple built with stones during the Pandava period is strong. The four walls of the temple are very strong and the corridors are large. The court hall is supported by eight pillars. It is oval shaped. Both this and the Nagesha Lingamurthy is located in the small internal Garbhagriha.
Here, there is no Nandi idol in front of Mahadeva. There is separate Nandikeshwara temple back of the main temple. On all the four sides of the main temple, smaller temples for the twelve JyotirLingas are constructed. Apart from these, VedavyasaLinga, bhandareshwar, Nilakanteshwar, Ganapati, Dattatreya, Muralimanohar, Dasavatar temple and idols etc., are there. In all, there are 108 Shiva temples and 68 shrines are located here.
The structure of the Naganath temple is very beautiful. Inside it, there is another shrine called Runamochan teerth. Both these shrines are called “Mother-in-law- Daughter-in-law” shrines. Every 12 years, at the time of Kapila Shashti, kashi Ganga offering as “Padarpan” is performed. During this the water in the teerth kund looks crystal clear. Again at a specific time it becomes ‘Shivala Yukt”.