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Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple

Baidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple, also known as Baba Dham and Baidyanath dham is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the most sacred abodes of Shiva. It is located in Deoghar in the Santhal Parganas division of the state of Jharkhand, India.
The Vaidyanath temple houses one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India. It is believed that if a devotee sincerely worships the Vaidyanth Jyotirlinga he or she will attain moksha and happiness. Legend has it that Ravana, the king of Lanka, meditated to Lord Shiva and requested him to come to Lanka to protect his capital. Lord Shiva gave Ravan a Jyotirlinga and ordered him to hold on to it till he reaches Lanka and told him that if he placed the lingam anywhere along his journey it will get permanently rooted there. Ravana took off on his journey to Lanka with the Jyotirlingam. The other gods took objection to this as they felt that this would give Ravana immense power and make him invincible and that his evil ways may destroy the world. Hence the gods made a plan to pervert Ravana from taking the lingam back to Lanka. Ravana was offered water by Parvati, who then directed the water from three different rivers (Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) to his stomach. Hence Ravana felt an immediate need to relieve himself. Ganesha then came down in the form of a man and offered to hold the lingam while Ravana relieved himself. Ganesha immediately laid the lingam down on the ground and it was permanently rooted. Ravana tried to move the lingam but failed to do so. In the process he chipped of a small piece of the lingam.
The present shrine at Vaidyanath has many temples within the temple complex. The complex is surrounded by a stone wall. The temple has been built in the Nagara style of architecture. The Jyotirlingam is enshrined in the main sanctum. The sanctum is covered by a tall shikhara. The temple has a large square mandapa hall. There is a porch in front of the mandapa which rests on four pillars. At the entrance of the porch resides an idol of the Nandi. The walls of the temples are adorned with beautiful images and carved intricately with pictures of various gods and goddesses.

The legends about this Shiva temple are various. One legend is that in the Treta Yuga the demon Ravana, king of Lanka , propitiated Lord Mahadeva and wanted him to come over to Lanka. Mahadeva did not agree to this prayer but told Ravana that one of the twelve emblems of His divinity. Jyotirlinga, would be quite as effective as His presence and that he might take it away on the condition that there should be no break in the journey and the lingam would not be deposited anywhere on the earth. The condition was that if the lingam was put anywhere on the earth in the course of the journey, it would be fixed to that spot for ever. The legend is that Ravana agreed to this condition and took the lingam and started his journey back to Lanka. The gods dreaded the effect of the lingam being established at the seat of the demon king. A ruse was devised and Varuna, the god of the waters, entered the stomach of Ravana and the demon had to descend to earth to relieve himself. Later, Vishnu, in the garb of an old Brahmin, appeared before Ravana, after his descent to the earth, and began to converse with him. Ravana requested the Brahmin to kindly hold the Jyotirlinga for a few minutes so that he could relieve himself. Lord Vishnu readily agreed to it and, as soon as Ravana turned his back to relieve himself, he left the Jyotirlinga on the spot and vanished. When Ravana came back, he found that the Jyotirlinga was firmly fixed to the earth and realised that a trick had been played on him. He even tried violence to remove the lingam and thereby broke a piece off the top of the lingam. However, failing to remove the lingam, he made his obeisance to the lingam and daily worshipped it. The spot where Ravana came down to the earth has been identified with Harlajuri, about four miles north of Deoghar and the place where the lingam was deposited is known as Deoghar.
The present nomenclature, of the lingam is Baidyanath and there is a legend about it. According to the Padma Purana, a Brahmin in the garb of Lord Vishnu, after taking the lingam from Ravana, consecrated it in due form with water from a neighbouring tank. There was a Bhil present, who was instructed as to what should be clone. The Bhil had informed Ravana as to the disappearance of the Brahmin. Ravana is supposed to have excavated a well with an arrow and brought into it the waters of all the sacred pools of the earth. It is said that the lingam, after the death of Ravana, used to be worshipped by a hunter Baiju, and the lingam came to be known by Baijus name as Baidyanath.
The story of Baiju giving rise to the name of Baidyanath is more prevalent as a Santhal tradition. There is another legend to the effect that when Sati, the consort of Shiva and daughter of Daksha, committed suicide because of the discourtesy shown towards her husband by Daksha in not inviting him to a Yajna, Lord Shiva stuck the corpse of his wife on the point of his trident and roamed about in a frenzy of fury. Lest Shivas anger and frantic movements should destroy the world, Vishnu cut the dead body with his discus into fifty-two parts which fell in different parts of India and became Mahapithasthans. According to the legend, the heart of Sati fell at Deoghar. It is, however, peculiar that there is no shrine at the other fifty-one places to commemorate this occurrence.

Architecture Of The Temple
Vaidyanath Temple at Deogarh houses a spacious courtyard bound by stone walls. In the temple complex are twenty-two other temples. The Baijnath or Vaidyanath temple faces east. The top of the Shiva Lingam is slightly broken, keeping with the legend that it chipped away when Ravana tried to uproot it. Near the temple is the Shivaganga Lake.
The Vaidyanath premises consists of 22 temples in the complex, which are painted in white and it gives a very beautiful look. There are shrines to Parvaati, Jagatjanani, Ganesh, Brahma, Sandhya, Kalbhairav, a, Manasha, Saraswati, Surya Lakshman-janki, Ganga, Jahanvi, Anand Bhairav, Gourishankar, Narmadeshwar, Shiva, Tara, Kali, Annapurna, Laxminarayan, Neelkantha and Nandi.
The temple of Vaidyanath of Shiva is the most important of all the temples in the courtyard. The temple faces the east and is a plain stone structure with a pyramidal tower, 72 feet tall. The top contains three ascending shaped gold vessels that are compactly set, and were donated by the Maharaja of Giddhaur. Besides these pitcher shaped vessels, there is a Punchsula (Five knives in Tridenta shape), which is rare In the inner top there is an eight pettaled lotus jewel called Chandrakanta Mani.
The lingam installed inside, is of a cylindrical forming about 5 inches in diameter and projects about 4 inches from the centre of a large slab of basalt. It is not possible to ascertain how much of the lingam is buried. The top is broken and has uneven surface (this is because when ravana pulled the lingam with force it happens). There are different porches in the temple. One porch leads to the cell where the lingam is fixed. The second porch is in front with a row of pillars spanned by blocks of basalt and on the right side there is a sandstone image of nandi.

Other Places to see
  • Nandan Hills,
  • Naulakha Temple,
  • Kundeshwari Temple,
  • Nav Durga Temple,
  • Satsang Ashram,
  • Mahadeo Falls,
  • Harila Joria (8 km),
  • Tapovan(10 km),
  • Trikut Hills(17 km)
  • Mandar Hills (69 km)
  • PagalaBaba Temple (7kms),
  • Ramkrishna Mission Ashram (4kms),
  • Arogyaa Bhavan (5 kms) etc
How to Reach
By Air - Nearest Airport is Patna
By Rail -The nearest Railway Station is Baidyanath Dham (Deoghar) which is a terminal station of a 7 kms branch line orignating from Jasidih Jn.
By Road - By road Baidyanath Dham (Deoghar) to Calcutta 373 kms, Giridih 112 kms, Patna 281 kms, Dumka 67 kms, Madhupur 57 kms, Shimultala 53 kms etc.

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