Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. But.. Just like some other jyotirlingas, there is a conflict about the true location of the jyotirlinga of Nageshwar.
Nagnath of Aundha Nagnath, Nageshwar of Dwarka and Jageshwar of Almora are in the contest of the jyotirlinga. Placed in the three distinct directions and regions of India, the temple claims are backed by either the story of purana or the meaning of the words.
This post is not to decide the true jyotirlinga but to provide details of the conflict. Let’s see why these three temples are worshipped as Jyotirlinga and what’s their claims:
Mythology of Nageshwar from Puranas:
Daruka, the demon, was a great devotee of Lord Shiva & Parvati. But used to trouble hermits of the forest (as his nature of demon suggests). The dense forest was called as Darukvan.. the forest of Daruka. People took refuge at great Orvamooni’s place. Orvamooni cursed the demons and summoned Devas to help. Devas attacked the demons.
Afraid of Deva’s attack Daruka lifted the entire forest and placed it in the middle of the sea. He could do so with the special boon blessed by Goddess Parvati. Even after such immigration, Daruka wouldn’t stop his bad deeds and he started imprisoning innocents. “Supriya” one of the sufferer of Daruka’s misdeeds too was great devotee of Lord Shiva. She continued praying Lord Shiva even in the prison of Daruka and became liable for punishment of death. Lord Shiva appeared for her prayers and destroyed all the demons. While dying, Daruka repented for his sins. He prayed to be remembered forever as a warning for others. Lord Shiva accepted his prayers and stayed in the Darukavan in the form of jyotirlinga as a Nageshwara and Parvati as Nageshwari with him.
Above said myth story from Puranas became base for the claims of Aundha Nagnath and Nageshwar temple of Dwarka.[divider]
Aundha Nagnath – Maharashtra:
The temple was situated in dense forest called Daruka Van (Daruka’s forest). Aundha is used to be that scary forest. The first temple is said to be built by eldest pandava “Yudhishthira” during their expulsion (vanvasa) from Hastinapur for 14 years.
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga – Dwarka – Gujarat:
Legend talk about Daruka moving the entire Darukavan forest to sea. This version is the base for Nageshwar Temple’s claim which situated at sea shore near Krishna’s Dwaraka nagari.
Jageshwar Jyotirlinga – Uttarakhand
Interestingly, this claim is away from the pouranik story of demon Daruka.
Darukavan means the forest of demon Daruka. But it also means the forest of Deodar trees. Jageshwar temple is situated in Almora of Uttarakhand is amidst the forest of Deodar trees. Thus satisfies the claim of the temple.
Finally – It’s all about the faith!! Aundha Nagnath temple is oldest Jyotirlinga temple. The current temple dates back 13th century.
- Nageshwar Temple – Gujarat Image: incredible-india.sanjeevnitv.com
- Jageshwar Temple Image: uttarakhand-tourism.com
- Jageshwar Lingam Image: triptojageshwar.blogspot.in