Nageshwar temple is located near the coast of Saurashtra in Gujarat, India. As mentioned in the Shiva Purana, Nageshwar is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas and the first one among all. The linga in Nageshwar temple is popularly referred to as Nageshwar Jyotirlinga. It is said that the Nageshwar is located in Darukavana, an ancient name of a forest in India. According to the Hindu mythology, this Jyotirlinga symbolizes freedom from all poison. Being located in Dwarka, Nageshwar is one of the most breathtaking pilgrimage centres in India. Popular stories say that even Lord Krishna used to offer his prayers in Nageshwar.
Mythological stories report that a group of dwarf sages used to worship Lord Shiva in the forest of Darukavana. Lord Shiva pleased by their penance, decided to test their patience. He appeared in the form of an ascetic (Digambara) in the forest. He was wearing snakes all over his body. The wife of the sages were very much attracted by his appearance and hence went after him. The sages infuriated by this act cursed Shiva to lose his linga. When Lord Shiva's linga fell on the earth the whole world trembled and even the Gods feared that the world would come to an end. They pleaded Lord Shiva to take back his linga. Though Shiva took back his linga, he decided to reside here in the form of a Jyotirlinga forever. The Shiva linga here came to be known as Nageshwar. Vasuki worshipped this linga here for many years.
Story also tells that a demon named Daruka, king of snakes, imprisoned a devotee of Shiva named Supriya along with some other people in his city of Darukavana. Supriya with other accompaniments started calling Lord Shiva upon which he appeared and rescued them. Since then he resided here in the form of a Jyotirlinga.
The linga in Nageshwar temple faces south. Unlike other black rounded of lingas, this linga in Nageshwar is made of a stone known as Dwarka Shila. It has small chakras on its top and looks like a tri-mukhi rudraksh. It is said that when Aurangzeb attacked Nageshwar for demolition, thousands of bees attacked him. He and his army had to leave. Nageshwar temple is also a tourist spot filled with astounding architectural masterpieces.
There are many more temples in and around Dwarka like Dwarkadheesh temple which dates back to the early 16th century. Some other temples worth a visit is Rukmini temple, Gayatri temple, Geeta Mandir, Brahma Kund, Hanuman Mandir and so on. The auspicious eve of Mahashivratri is celebrated with great pomp and grandeur here.
By Road: Both state transport and private buses connect Dwarka to major cities in the state as well as outside.
By Rail: Ahmedabad (458kms) is the nearest rail head to Dwarka. This railway station is well connected to all major railway stations in the country.
By Air: Jamnagar (137kms) is the closest airport near Dwarka. This airport is well connected to major airports like Mumbai. Buses and taxi ply from Jamnagar to Dwarka on a regular basis.
A visit to Nageshwar will not only provide serenity of soul, but will also provide a chance to see the heavenly city, Dwarka. It is a city of legends, the city of Lord Krishna.