Nageshwar is thought to be the Darukavana, an ancient forest in India. The legend dates back hundreds of years to the story of a demon couple called Daruka and Daruki, who gave it its name.
The story of Nageshwara, the Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva, is about a demon Daruka who captured his devotee Supriya and imprisoned her along with many other devotees in his capital Darukavana. Under the urging of Supriya to remember and recite one mantra, Om Namaha Shivay, that can save them from their captivity, Lord Shiva granted them their freedom by appearing before them in the form of a jyotirlinga that was worshipped in his idol form.
Another legend says that the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is linked to the Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata. Bhima, the strongest of the five Pandavas, spotted a river full of cream and milk while wandering around in the middle of nowhere. It is believed that it's on this exact spot where they built it and thus constructed the temple.
Nageshwar Temple, which is situated in Dwarka, India, is one of 12 Jyotirlingas in the country. It is located on the route between Gomati Dwarka and Bait Dwarka Island on the coast of Gujarat. The main deity here is Lord Shiva, also known as Nageshwar Mahadev. According to the Shiva Purana, those who pray at this temple will become free from all poisons, snake bites, and worldly pleasures.
Unlike other Nageshwar Temples, the Linga here faces south. The temple itself is characterized by typical Hindu architecture. The huge 80-foot-tall statue of Lord Shiva is located in front of the main temple. It's made out of stone and it's shaped like a six-faced conch shell with small chakras on it that contains mysterious "Mukhi" Rudraksha stones inside of it.
The Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is believed to have been made first of the 12 jyotirlingas in India. Designed on the principles of Vaastu Shastra, it's built in a Sayanam posture that follows the human body's position at rest. The temple has a grand celebration of the festival of Maha Shivaratri, drawing gatherers from around the world.
When people visit the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga during the winter months, from October to February, they can enjoy a pleasant temperature that doesn't get too hot. The long lines might seem intimidating, but it's worth it to have an experience that you won't forget.
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