The Dwarka-based Nageshwar Temple is one of India's 12 Jyotirlingas. It is situated on the coast of Saurashtra, Gujarat, between Gomati Dwarka and Bait Dwarka Island. Lord Shiva, also known as Nageshwar Mahadev, is the primary deity of this temple, also known as Nagnath Temple. According to the Shiva Purana, those who pray at the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga are free of all poisons, snake bites, and worldly temptations.
The enormous 80-foot-tall statue of Lord Shiva is a significant attraction at Nageshwar Temple. Unlike other Nageshwar Temples, this one has the statue or Linga facing south. The temple's architecture is characteristic of Hindu architecture. The Nageshwar Shiva Linga is fashioned of Dwarka Shila stone, which has tiny chakras on it. It's shaped like three Mukhi Rudrakshas.
The Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple has magnificent celebrations during the Maha Shivaratri festival, attracting worshippers from all over the world. The significance of Nageshwar Jyotirlinga derives from the fact that it is considered the first of India's 12 Jyotirlingas. According to Vaastu Shastra principles, the temple is built in the Sayanam (sleeping) position of the human body.
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga's Legend
Nageshwar is said to be in India's "Darukavana," an old forest, according to the Shiva Purana. Darukavana was named after a demon pair known as Daruka and Daruki, who lived hundreds of years ago (it eventually came to be known as Dwarka).
Daruka, a demon who worships Goddess Parvati, allegedly kidnapped a Shiva devotee named Supriya and imprisoned him and the rest of the demons in his capital Darukavana. Supriya asked the inmates to repeat Om Namaha Shivay, Lord Shiva's sacred mantra. Lord Shiva came in the shape of a Jyotirlinga from the soil, pleased by the devotion. He told Supriya and the other followers that he would defend them in the body of a linga, despite his inability to destroy the demon sanctified by his wife. This jyotirlinga became known as Lord Shiva's Nageshwara form.
Another, less well-known tale connects the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga to Mahabharat's Pandava brothers. Bhima, the strongest of the five Pandavas, discovered a river flowing with cream and milk in the center of a Swayambhu (self-manifested) lingam. The Nageshwar temple is said to be erected on a similar site.
The Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is built in the western style of architecture and adheres to Vaastu Shashtra principles. It is based on the human body's Sayanam (sleeping) position. It is split into five major sections or portions:
Mahadwar (feet): the main entrance of the temple, through which worshippers enter.
Entrance Porch (hands): it sits between Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesh's holy statues, symbolizing the two hands.
Sabha Mandapa (abdomen and chest): The main prayer hall, which has prayer chairs, is thought to represent the human abdomen and chest.
Antarala: Nandi, Lord Shiva's chariot, is worshipped here.
Garbhagriha (head): The Garbhagriha is the human body's head, and it houses the primary Shiva Linga.
The Gomugam faces east, whereas the Nageshwar Temple faces south. This is linked to another historical tale. Naamdev, one of Lord Shiva's followers, was singing bhajans in front of His statue one day when he was requested to shift aside to not impede the Lord's vision. He responded by inquiring what the one direction in which Lord Shiva did not exist. Out of fury, the angry worshippers abandoned him on the south side. Surprisingly, the Shiva Linga shifted to the south while the Gomugam remained in the east.
When is the best time to go to the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple?
The winter season, from October to February, is the best time to visit the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga. The mild weather during these months ensures that worshippers do not suffer from heat exhaustion while waiting in the (often) lengthy queue to see the Shiva Linga.
Those who don't mind crowds may go to Nageshwar temple during the Maha Shivaratri festival to enjoy the temple's most joyful and spiritual ambiance.
What is the best way to get to Nageshwar?
The Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is located on the coast of Saurashtra, Gujarat, between Gomati Dwarka and Bait Dwarka Island. To go to the temple, take an airplane or rail to Dwarka.
The nearest airport to Dwarka is Jamnagar, which is around 137 kilometers away. Jamnagar Airport is served by daily flights from Mumbai. The distance between the airport and Dwarka may be accomplished by cab, which would cost around INR 2000.
Train: Dwarka railway station has daily frequent trains connecting it to other areas of the country.
Nageshwar is around 18 kilometers (25 minutes driving) from Dwarka. From Dwarka, auto-rickshaws are readily accessible, costing approximately INR 300-400 for both directions. Taxis are also widely accessible, with two-way trips costing approximately INR 800-1200.
The Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is a religious location that attracts a large number of worshippers. It may be visited at any time of the year, but Maha Shivaratri is regarded as the ideal time to go. It is the time of year when the entire temple is lavishly decorated and thronged on a massive scale beginning in the early morning hours.
Also, keep in mind! Nageshwar Mahadev is a holy location, and visitors must adhere to specific guidelines before entering the temple. All worshippers should dress appropriately, no one should bring alcohol inside the temple, and no leather goods are permitted.