Baidyanath Jyotirlinga is located at an ancient funeral place (chithabhoomi) in the North Eastern part of the country. It was a place where corpses were burnt, post death ceremonies and even tantric rites were performed. Here, Lord Shiva is worshipped in a form where he is smeared with ashes of burnt bodies residing in a crematorium.
According to the ancient myths, Baidyanath Jyotirlinga was the place where Ravana carried out his worship of Lord Shiva to gain boons to rule the world. Ravana was a devout worshipper of Lord Shiva and he even offered all his ten heads one by one to please him. Lord Shiva pleased by this act appeared on Earth, healed him and showered him with boons. As Lord Shiva acted as a doctor, here he is referred to as a 'Baidya'. The name of the temple Baidyanath was derived from this very source.
Characteristics Of The Temple
Baidyanath Jyotirlinga has an imposing structure of 72ft on the hills facing east. The lingam in this temple is made of Shaligram stone (a type of fossil stone) and while entering, one can see a huge hall without pillars made of Sagwan wood. This temple is also very famous because Lord Shiva resides with Goddess Parvati and it has a very beautiful idol of Nandi too. The lamps burning on all the four sides of this Hindu Pilgrimage never go out.
Fairs, Festivals And Other Attractions
Shravan Mela (fair) attracts more than a million devotees in the months between July to August (Shravan season). People in saffron coloured clothes offer the water of Ganges to this Jyotirlinga.
Vijay Dashmi, Gudhi Padwa and Maha Shivaratri are celebrated with such grandeur here that people from all over India and abroad visit the holy pilgrimage during this time. A few temples worth a visit in the nearby places are Vaijnath Temple, Baijnath temple, Basukinath temple and Someshwar temple.
By Road: Bus services are prompt from all nearby cities to Deoghar. Connecting buses can easily be plied from cities like Kolkata (373kms), Patna (281kms), Dumka (67kms), Giridih (112kms), Madhupur (57kms) and Shimultala (53kms).
By Rail: The nearest railway station is at Baidyanath Dham, Deoghar which is just 7kms away from the city. The terminal railway station is known as Jasidh Junction (JSME).
By Air: The closest airport to Deoghar is Patna (281kms from Deoghar) which is well connected to all other major airports in the country.
A visit to a pilgrim place as such is worthwhile. The Jyotirlingas are the holiest places of Hindu Pilgrimage and one should definitely take up the endeavour of visiting at least some of them.