Lord Shiva first manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga on the night of the Aridra Nakshatra, thus the special reverence for the Jyotirlinga. The Puranas vociferously sing the praises of the greatness of the Jyotirlingas. By reciting the name of this, one can eliminate all the sins. The Sadhaka becomes calm, chaste and pure. He becomes illuminated and enlightened with supreme and divine knowledge.
The names and the locations of the 12 Jyotirlingas are mentioned in the Shiva Purana (Satarudra Samhita,Ch.42/2-4). These shrines are:
1) Somnath is the foremost of the twelve Jyotirlinga Shrines of Shiva. It is held in reverence throughout India and is rich in legend, tradition, and history. It is located at Prabhas Patan in Saurashtra in Gujarat.
2) Mallikarjuna, also called Srisaila, is the name of the pillar located on a mountain on the river Krishna. Srisailam, near Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh enshrines Mallikarjuna in an ancient temple that is architecturally and sculpturally rich. Adi Shankara composed his Sivananda Lahiri here.
3) Mahakal, Ujjain (or Avanti) in Madhya Pradesh is home to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple. The Lingam at Mahakal is believed to be Swayambhu, the only one of the 12 Jyotirlingams to be so. It is also the only one facing south.
4) Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh on an island in the Narmada river is home to a Jyotirlinga shrine and the Amareshwar temple.
5) Kedarnath in Uttarakhand is the northernmost of the Jyotirlingas. Kedarnath, nestled in the snow-clad Himalayas, is an ancient shrine, rich in legend and tradition. It is accessible only by foot, and only for six months a year.
6) Bhimashankar, in the Sahyadri range of Maharashtra, contains a Jyotirlinga shrine associated with Shiva destroying the demon Tripurasura.
7) Varanasi (Benares) in Uttar Pradesh is home to the Vishwanath Jyotirling temple.
8) Trimbakeshwar, near Nashik in Maharashtra, has a Jyotirlinga shrine associated with the origin of the Godavari river.
9) Baidyanathdham in Deoghar, Jharkhand Vaidyanath Temple, also called Vaijnath Temple and Baidyanth Temple is located at Deogarh in the Santal Parganas region of Jharkhand in the south west of Keeul Station.
10) Nageshwar Temple, Dwarka in Gujarat is home to the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga temple. However, the term "daruka vane" in the shloka (religious verse) for Nageshwar has also been interpreted for Jageshwar, also situated in the Himalaya. Daruka vane means deodar forest.
11) Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu is home to the vast Ramalingeswarar Jyotirlinga temple and is revered as the southernmost of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of India. It enshrines the Ramesvara ("Lord of Rama") pillar.
12) Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga shrine, in Aurangabad Maharashtra, is located near the rock-cut temples of Ellora.
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Lord Shiva first manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga on the night of the Aridra Nakshatra, thus the special reverence for the Jyotirlinga.