Nageshvar is one of the legendary temples mentioned in the Shiva Purana. It is located in Dwarka, Gujarat.
About Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
It is enshrined by one of the 12 swayambhu (self-existent) jyotirlingas 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.
Close to the temple is another important spiritual spot called Gopi Talav Tirth, a lake that is connected to the legends of gopis visiting Lord Krishna and eventually offering their lives to merge with the soil here.
History Of Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
Based on Shiva Purana, Nageshwar is believed to be in the “Darukavana”, an ancient forest in India. The legend dates back hundreds of years ago to a demon couple called Daruka and Daruki, after whom Darukavana was named (it eventually came to be known as Dwarka).
The demon Daruka, a staunch devotee of Goddess Parvati, once captured a Shiva devotee – Supriya – and imprisoned him along with the others in his capital Darukavana. Supriya urged all prisoners to recite Om Namaha Shivay, the holy mantra for Lord Shiva. Pleased by the devotion, Lord Shiva appeared in the form of a Jyotirlinga from the earth. Though he could not kill the demon blessed by his own wife, he assured Supriya and the other devotees that he would protect them in the form of a linga. This jyotirlinga came to be worshipped as Nageshwara form of Lord Shiva.
Another, less popular legend, links the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga to the Pandava brothers of Mahabharat. Bhima, the strongest of the five Pandavas, found a river flowing full of cream and milk with a Swayambhu (self-manifested) lingam in the middle of it. It is believed that the Nageshwar Temple is built on the exact spot.
The Architecture of Nageshwar Temple
Built in the western style of architecture and following the principles of Vaastu Shashtra, the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is planned on the Sayanam (sleeping) posture of the human body.
It is divided into 5 main parts/portions:
- Mahadwar (feet): the main gate to the temple, devotees enter through the feet.
- Entrance Porch (hands): it falls between the two sacred idols of Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesh symbolising the two hands.
- Sabha Mandapa (abdomen and chest): The main prayer hall comprising of prayer seats is believed to symbolise the human abdomen and chest.
- Antarala: This is the worship place of Nandi, Lord Shiva’s vehicle.
- Garbhagriha (head): Housing the main Shiva Linga, the garbagriha is the head in the human body.
The Nageshwar Temple faces south while the Gomugam faces east. There is another historical legend related to this. One of Lord Shiva’s devotees, Naamdev was one-day singing bhajans in front of His statue when he was asked by other devotees to move aside and not block the Lord’s view. To this, he asked the one direction in which Lord Shiva did not exist. The enraged devotees, out of rage, left him on the south side. Astonishingly, the Shiva Linga suddenly moved toward the south, while the gomugam was facing east.
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple Timings
Darshan Timings: 06:00 AM – 12:30 PM and 5:00PM to 9:30 PM
Abhishekam: 6:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Morning Aarti: 5:30 AM
Afternoon Aarti: 12:00 PM
Evening Aarti: 7:00 PM
Shrinagar (Afternoon): 5:00 PM
Best Time To Visit At Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
The best time to visit is between November and February, and during the Shivratri.
How To Reach Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
Nageshwar Temple is 18 km from Dwarka city.