For Shiva devotees all around the world visiting shrines of Lord Shiva must be really special right? It gives a different kind of peace and tranquility to visit the most popular Shiva Temples. And of course India has so many of them already. One of the most revered sites of pilgrimage, the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the must visit temples in Gujarat. One of the 12 Jyotirlingas, this is one of the most important Jyotirlinga in India located in Dwarka. Also it is believed that this is the first of all the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. So if you are anywhere in Gujarat or visiting there then you must visit the temple. In this article I am going to mention all the important information that you would need to know to make a successful visit to the Nageshwar Temple. So keep on reading.
Location: Daarukavanam, Goriyali, Gujarat
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga timings: The Nageshwar temple timings are from 6 am in the morning to 12:30 pm and 5 pm to 9:30 pm.
Abhishekam- 6 am to 12:30 pm
Morning Aarti- 5:30 am
Afternoon Aarti- 12 pm
Shringaar Aarti- 5 pm
Evening Aarti- 7 pm
Entry Fee: The entry is free to this temple. However, if you are offering Pooja here then the Aarti Thali will cost around Rs. 150 to Rs. 300 depending on the type of thali and pooja you are opting for. Furthermore the donation slip for Abhishekam also ranges from Rs. 101 to Rs. 700 and more according to the type of Pooja.
How to reach Nageshwar Jyotirlinga
To reach the temple first you need to reach Dwarka. The airport close to Dwarka is Jamnagar which is around 137 km away. From there you will have to reach Dwarka first and then to the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple. Dwarka to Nageshwar Jyotirlinga distance is 18 km and you can reach there in 25 minutes.
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga nearest railway station is Dwarka railway station which is mostly connected to major cities. From there you can take shared rides or even autos to reach the temple. Auto rickshaws charge near about Rs. 300-400 and if you are opting for a taxi then it would cost you around Rs. 800- Rs. 1200 approximately.
The Nageshwara Temple is located on Gomati Dwarka and Bait Dwarka route on the coast of Saurashtra. You can drive through the city to reach the temple as well. Somnath to Nageshwar Jyotirlinga distance is 244 km.
Best time to visit the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
The best time when you can visit the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is during the winter months of October to February. During this time the temperature remains most comfortable and it will be easy for you to explore the area. Furthermore it will also be easy for you to stand in the queue during this time because many times the temple gets really crowded. Also if you don’t mind the crowd then you can surely visit here during the Maha Shivratri because at that time you can enjoy a different vibe in the temple. The whole temple lights up that time in the festive spirit which is quite a divine experience.
About Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
One of the 12 Jyotirlingas, the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is believed to be the first one. Jyotirlingas are temples where Lord Shiva has appeared in his Swayambhu form or self manifested form all by himself. That very reason makes the Jyotirlinga temples one of the most popular and most visited temples by the devotees of Lord Shiva. Furthermore the presiding deity here is of course Lord Shiva who is also known as Nagnath here and the temple is also known as the Nagnath Temple. According to legends from the Puranas those who offer their prayer to Nageshwar Mahadev can become free from all poisons, snake bites and all sorts of worldly attractions.
Furthermore, the Shivalinga here, unlike all other temples, faces the south in this temple. One of the key highlights of this temple is also the massive Lord Shiva statue which is 80 feet tall. The Shiva linga of the Nageshwar temple is made of stone known as the Dwarka Shila. They have small chakras on it and have the shape of 3 mukhi rudraksha.
Legend of Nageshwar Jyotirlinga
According to the Shiva Purana, Nageshwar is believed to be located in the Darukavana. Darukavana was an ancient forest in India at one point of time. It is said that once hundred years ago there was a demon known as Daruka. He and his wife Daruki used to reside in the forest. The area was known as Darukavana that later in times came to be known as Dwarka. However, the demon Daruka was a worshipper of Devi Parvati. Once he captured one of the Shiva devotees, Supriya and held him captive with many others in Darukavana along with poisonous snakes.
To get rid of the threat, Supriya asked everyone else to recite Om Namah Shivaya mantra. Furthermore seeing the devotion Lord Shiva appeared there in the form of Jyotirlinga from the Earth and stayed there in the Swayambhu form for everyone to worship him. He also promised that he would protect his devotees from all sorts of poisons in this Jyotirlinga form.
Furthermore there is another legend associated with the temple as well. It is said that Bhima, the strongest of the Pancha Pandava once found a river flowing with milk and cream with a Swayambhu lingam in the middle of it. It is believed that the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is built on that exact same spot.
Architecture of Nageshwar Jyotirlinga
The temple of Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is built with a specific western style of architecture. Following the Vastu Shastra this temple is built on the Sayanama or sleeping position of a man.
The first is the Mahadwar which represents the feet of the human body. This indicates that the devotees enter the temple through the main gates on their feet.
Second is the Entrance Porch that indicates the two hands of a human. This area falls between the two idols of Lord Ganesha and Lord Hanuman who symbolizes the two hands.
Third is the Sabha Mandapa that signifies the chest and the abdomen. Furthermore this is the main prayer hall with multiple seats for the devotees to sit and offer their prayer here. The seats here symbolize the chest and abdomen of a human.
Fourth is the Antarala. This is the place of worship of Nandi that is the vehicle of Lord Shiva.
And last and fifth is the Garbhagriha that symbolizes the head of a human body. Furthermore the garbhagriha houses the main deity here that is the Shiva linga.
One of the unique things of this temple is that the Shiva Linga of this temple faces the South while the Gomugam faces the east. There is a legend associated with this too. It is believed that once there was an ardent follower and devotee of Lord Shiva known as Naamdev. One day he was singing devotional songs or bhajans in front of Lord Shiva. However he was asked to move from the front by the other devotees and was asked to not block the view of Lord Shiva.
Naamdev however questioned the devotees and asked them to tell him about that one side where Lord Shiva is not present. But the devotees were furious at this question and out of rage they pushed him to the south. It is said that the Shiva linga also suddenly moved towards the south. That is the reason why the Gomugam faces the east but the Shiva linga here faces the South.
Furthermore the Shiva Lingam here in Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is a trimukhi rudraksha that is around 40 cm in height and 30 cm in diameter. Along with that you can also find the shrine of Goddess Parvati here in the form of Nageshwari. However the main attraction of the temple premise still remains the massive Shiva Statue which is 25 meters high. It is one of the astonishing features of this temple that attracts a lot of visitors on a regular basis. Certainly the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga images do not justify how massive and breathtaking the Lord Shiva Statue looks.
Temples like the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple are old and ancient and therefore hold a lot of historical importance. There is a specific reason why temples like this have survived for so long. And unless and until you visit here and explore everything with your own eyes you would not be able to gauge the massiveness of the architecture. Furthermore, not just the architecture but also the thought behind the formation of this temple, the legends associated with it and the historical and mythological relevance attached to it makes it one of the most important sites to visit in Gujarat.
So whenever you are visiting Gujarat make sure you are surely visiting this Jyotirlinga Temple. I am sure you will gain a lot of insight here. Furthermore the devotion of the devotees visiting here makes it one of the most powerful temples too. So don’t miss out on this one. Do let me know when you are planning a visit here. Also do not forget to tell me if this particular article was helpful for you planning a trip to the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga.