Vaidyanath

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Situated in Deoghar in the Santal Parganas region in the state of Bihar, Vaidyanath is also known as Baidyanath dham. It is mostly known for its famous Shiva temple. It has been attracting millions of pilgrims world over for many many years. It is fine to visit Vaidyanath at any time of the year, but October through February is the best time to visit.
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.
Various festivals like Makara sankranti and Mahashivratri are celebrated with great vigor here.
Shivganga, Nandan Pahar, Basukhinath, Sastanga Ashram, Tapovan and Naulakha mandir are other attractions in and around Vaidyanath that are worth a visit.

History Legend Behind Vaidyanath Temple
Legend has it that demon King of Lanka, Ravana meditated upon Lord Shiva, as he wanted to request him to come over to Sri Lanka and make his capital invincible. It is said that Ravana attempted to lift Mount Kailash and take it with him to his capital. However, Lord Shiva crushed it with his finger. Ravana prayed to him and sought his mercy, after which Bhagwan Shiva gave him one of the twelve Jyotirlingams on the condition that if it were placed on the ground it shall fix itself to the ground and shall remain there for eternity. Ravana thanked Lord Shiva and holding the Linga carefully started of to the Lanka. However, Varuna the God of Water, entered his belly and caused him to feel an urgent need to relieve himself. Vishnu then came down in the form of a lad and volunteered to hold the Jyotirlingam as he relieved himself. Before Ravana returned, Vishnu placed the Jyotirlingam on the ground and it became rooted to the spot. A disappointed Ravana offered severe penance to Shiva here, and cut off nine of his heads. Shiva revived him and joined the heads to the body, as if by the work of a Vaidya or a physician, hence this Jyotirlingam goes by the name Vaidyanath.
According to another legend, Vaidyanath is one of the 52 Shakti Pitha shrines of Sati. It is believed that the heart of Sati fell here, when her half burnt body being carried by Shiva at the end of Daksha's Yagna was chopped to pieces by Vishnu's discus. Some people believe that this temple was re-discovered by a cowherd Baiju and hence named Baijnath.


How to get there:

By Air

The closest airport is at Patna. You can reach Patna via Bombay to Patna, Calcutta to Patna, Delhi to Patna, Ranchi to Patna, Lucknow to Patna and most of the major cities across the country.

By Rail

The nearest rail head is at Deoghar, which is connected via rail to other cities in Bihar and outside like Kolkata, Giridih, Patna.

By Road

There are many transport buses that connect Vaidyanath with other cities in Bihar.
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