Lord Shiva’s divine places, where he resides in many incarnations, are known as Jyotirlingas. This word’s meaning is similar to that of the previous one. ‘Jyoti’ means ‘light,’ also known as ‘radiance,’ and lingam or linga means sign,’ or ‘picture.’
Jyotirlinga literally means “Radiant Signs of Lord Shiva.” There are currently 12 primary Jyotirlingas in India, each with its own story of how they came to be.
- 1 The Legend of Jyotirlinga’s Inception
- 2 Somnath Temple, Gujrat
- 3 Mallikarjuna Temple, Andhra Pradesh
- 4 Mahakaleshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh
- 5 Omkareshwar Temple and Mamleshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh
- 6 Baidyanath Dham, Jharkhand
- 7 Bhimashankar Temple, Maharashtra
- 8 Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram
- 9 Nageshwar Temple, Gujarat
- 10 Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi
- 11 Trimbakeshwar Temple, Maharashtra
- 12 Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand
- 13 Grishneshwar Temple, Maharashtra
The Legend of Jyotirlinga’s Inception
You will learn about an incident that occurred thousands of years ago in the Shiv Purana. When Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma were debating who was the highest being, their conversation devolved into a quarrel. Then Lord Shiva appears to put an end to their quarrel.
He manifested an infinite pillar of light there, which pierced all three realms when it appeared. Lord Shiva then told them both that whoever found the light first would be the ultimate God.
They both headed in the other way and, after a while, neither of them could discover the pillar’s end. So Lord confessed defeat and informed Lord Shiva he couldn’t find the end of the pillar, while Lord Brahma lied and said he did.
Lord Shiva became enraged when he saw him lying and cursed Lord Brahma. No one will worship Lord Brahma, even though he is the creator of the universe.
In his rage, Lord Shiva manifested himself as Lingodbhava, an infinite pillar of light that appeared on the earth in 64 locations.
Only 12 of the 64 locations are major, and they are today recognised as India’s 12 principal Jyotirlingas. Lord Shiva resides in some sort of deity in each Jyotirlinga and blesses all the people.
List of 12 Jyotirling Temples in India
- Somnath Temple, Gujarat
- Mallikarjuna Temple, Andhra Pradesh
- Mahakaleshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh
- Omkareshwar Temple and Mamleshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh
- Baidyanath Dham, Jharkhand
- Bhimashankar Temple, Maharashtra
- Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram
- Nageshwar Temple, Gujarat
- Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Uttar Pradesh
- Trimbakeshwar Temple, Maharashtra
- Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand
- Grishneshwar Temple, Maharashtra
|S. No.||Name of the Jyotirlinga||Place of the Jyotirling||Description|
|1||Somnath Temple||Veraval, Saurashtra, Gujrat||It is one of the 12 prominent jyotirlingas in India, and it is thought to be the first one that the god received.|
|2||Mallikarjuna Temple||Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh||It is also considered one of Sati’s 52 shakti peethas.|
|3||Mahakaleshwar Temple||Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh||The Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the country’s seven Mukti sthals.|
|4||Omkareshwar Temple||Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh||Omkareshwar, a renowned jyotirlinga perched on the Narmada River, literally translates to “Lord of the Om Sound.”|
|5||Baidyanath Dham||Deoghar, Jharkhand||As a sacrifice, Ravana presented each of his ten heads to Shiva one by one. Shiva descended, pleased, to heal Ravana, who had been wounded. He is referred to as Vaidhya because he acted as a doctor. The temple gets its name from this attribute of Shiva.|
|6||Bhimashankar Temple||Khed Taluka, Pune, Maharashtra||Bhimashankar is perhaps one of Maharashtra’s most popular hiking destinations. However, the presence of one of the jyotirlingas is one of the reasons for its popularity. The jyotirlinga is thought to have been built by Bheema, Kumbhakarna’s son, and is surrounded by lush flora on all sides.|
|7||Ramanathaswamy Temple||Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu||One of the twelve sacred Jyotirlingas can be found at the Ramanathaswamy Temple. The temple is an outstanding example of exquisite architecture. Majestic towers, sculpted pillars, and opulent passageways will take your breath away. Lord Rama’s unwavering devotion to Lord Shiva is symbolized through the Ramanathaswamy Temple. The name Ramanathaswamy, which means Master of Rama, bears witness to this.|
|8||Nageshwar Temple||Near Dwarka, Gujrat||The temple is a sign of protection from all forms of venom and poison and is considered to be one of India’s strongest and most potent jyotirlingas.|
|9||Kashi Vishwanath Temple||Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh||It is a location where both Shakti peetha and Jyotirlingam can be found. It is considered to be the holiest of all Shiva temples. Vishwanath or Vishweshwara, which means “ruler of the universe,” is the name of the major god. Kashi, the temple town, is also known as the world’s oldest living city, with 3500 years of documented history.|
|10||Trimbakeshwar Temple||Trimbak, Nashik, Maharashtra||Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga, located near the Brahmagiri mountain, is also the source of the famed Godavari River. Dakshini Ganga and Gautami Ganga are two other names for it. The Godavari River and Gautami Rishi are said to have asked Lord Shiva to live at Trimbakeshwar, resulting in the god’s transformation into a jyotirlinga. Interestingly, unlike other Jyotirlingas, the one in Trimbakeshwar is shaped differently, with three pillars representing Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwar, the three highest powers.|
|11||Kedarnath Temple||Kedarnath, Uttarakhand||Kedarnath is part of Hinduism’s minor Char Dham pilgrimage circuit. The ancient sanctuary of Kedarnath, hidden in the snow-capped Himalayas, is steeped in legend and tradition. It is only open for six months of the year. It is also mentioned in Thevaaram as one of the Paadal Petra Sthalam of Vada Naadu. Shiva took the appearance of a wild boar and dove into the earth in Kedarnath before emerging at Doleshwor in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley. Because the boar was hurt, pure ghee was applied to the lingam at Kedarnath.|
|12||Grishneshwar Temple||Aurangabad, Maharashtra||One of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines listed in the Shiva Purana is Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, also known as the Grishneshwar temple. Grishneshwar is one of the Shiva Jyotirlingas, according to the Shiv Puran, and is located in Ellora, Maharashtra, less than a kilometre from the Ellora Caves.|
Somnath Temple, Gujrat
Somnath is one of the 12 prominent jyotirlingas in India, and it is thought to be the first one that the god received. Pilgrims and devotees hold Somnath in high regard and consider it to be the pinnacle of spiritual knowledge.
It’s no surprise that it’s India’s most revered pilgrimage spot. The temple complex’s architecture is Chalukya-inspired, including a fairly beautiful Lord Shiva shrine. Lord Shiva is said to have visited this sanctuary, according to legend. It has an intriguing quality to it because there are numerous stories associated with this particular Lord Shiva shrine.
The legend related to Somnath Temple
According to tradition, the Moon God ‘Somdev’ had 27 wives (daughters of Daksha Prajapati), but only loved Rohini and ignored the rest. Daksha Prajapati cursed the Moon God, saying that the darkness of night will destroy his brilliance.
Moon God, bereft of life, pleaded to Lord Shiva’s Jyotirlinga for 4000 years at the site of today’s Somnath Temple.
Lord Shiva was so pleased with Moon’s dedication that he granted him the blessing of only waning in brilliance for 15 days each month. The Moon God built this shrine in thanks to Lord Shiva after recovering his splendour.
Lord Brahma is reported to have instructed Moon-god to construct a shrine for Lord Shiva. The temple is thought to have been constructed between the years 320 and 500 AD.
The temple was originally said to be made of pure gold and silver, but it was heavily damaged by Arab and Afghani invaders, as well as the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, at various times.
These attacks robbed the temple of its whole treasure. Even after all of these attacks and destruction, the religious place’s glory remained unblemished.
On Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s directions, the temple was renovated in 1947, and the Jyotirlinga was placed by then-president Dr Rajendra Prasad.
Temple Timings – 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Mallikarjuna Temple, Andhra Pradesh
The Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga temple is positioned on the hilltop of the Shri Saila Mountain and is the last of India’s 12 jyotirlingas. The temple, which is decked out with outstanding architecture and sculptures, has a glimpse of the River Krishna.
Andhra Pradesh’s Jyotirlinga is also considered one of Sati’s 52 shakti peethas.
A pilgrimage to these jyotirlingas in India would be the most spiritually rewarding experience you could have. It’s as well-rounded as it is gratifying.
The legend related to Mallikarjuna Temple
Arjuna, one of the Pandavas from the Mahabharata epic, is claimed to have built the Lord Shiva shrine. The nearby Kumbala River adds to the peaceful environment and natural beauty of the area.
The temple is embellished with stunning wall sculptures and carvings depicting scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics. The temple’s beautiful statues display the great sculpting skills of the Hoysala artists of the time.
One of the most exciting attractions to see in this temple is the Yakshagana Performance, which takes place every evening.
According to the Shiv Purana, Lord Shiva took the appearance of Jyotirlinga on the Krauncha Mountain when he and his wife, Goddess Parvati, came to see their son, Kartikeya, to console him over his displeasure about his younger brother’s marriage to Lord Ganesh before his.
Mallikarjuna (God Shiva) and Bhramarambha are represented at the temple (Goddess Parvati). This is the only Shiva temple where visitors are permitted to touch the idols, which is prohibited in all other Shiva temples.
Temple timings- 4:30am to 10:00pm
Mahakaleshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh
The Mahakaleshwar Temple, located in Ujjain’s Mahakal forest, is said to have been built by Srikar, a five-year-old kid. The temple is located on the banks of the Kshipra River, and the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the country’s seven Mukti sthals.
The ‘Bhasm-Aarti,’ which is the first-morning ceremony in which the Shivling is showered in ashes gathered from a fresh cremation pyre, is the temple’s main attraction.
Thousands of pilgrims visit this temple from all over the world, especially during the month of Sawan and on Nag Panchami.
The legend related to Mahakaleshwar Temple
There are several legendary traditions surrounding the Mahakaleshwar Temple, but the most popular is that Lord Shiva emerged in Ujjain from the ground to defeat a demon named Dushana, whose tortures of the people and Brahmins of Ujjain had gone beyond all bounds.
Lord Shiva adopted the shape of Jyotirlinga after destroying the demon, and he has been staying in this holy city, showering his heavenly blessings, ever since.
Temple Timings: 3:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Omkareshwar Temple and Mamleshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh
Omkareshwar, a renowned jyotirlinga perched on the Narmada River, literally translates to “Lord of the Om Sound.” The shrine is renowned for its mythological importance. There was a conflict between the Devas and the Danavas, according to legend.
As the Devas appealed to Lord Shiva, Lord Shiva chose their side and appeared as Omkareshwar to assist them in their victory against the evils.
On the occasions of Shivratri, Mahashivratri, and Kartik Poornima, thousands of devotees flock here to see Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga. The holiness of these sanctuaries is enhanced by the serene vibes and magnificent vistas of the sacred Narmada River.
A short ridge separates Mamleshwar’s temple from Omkareshwar.
The legend related to Omkareshwar Temple
The Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga has three tales according to Hindu mythology. According to the first mythology, ‘Vindhya Parbat’ did penance to please Lord Shiva, and as a result, Lord Shiva appeared here and granted the Vindhya Parbat his request to be larger than ‘Meru Parbat.’
On the request of gods and sages, the Linga worshipped by Vindhya Parbat was divided into two pieces, ‘Omkareshwar’ and ‘Mamleshwar.’ Omkareshwar and Mamleshwar temples are thought to be single manifestations of the same Shiva Lingam since then.
A second myth claims that King Mandhata and his two sons performed penance. Lord Shiva manifested as a Jyotirlinga in response to their devotion. According to the third narrative, Lord Shiva conquered the Asuras in the guise of Omkareshwar during a horrific fight between Devas and Asuras.
Baidyanath Dham, Jharkhand
Vaidyanath, another famed jyotirlinga in Jharkhand, has a fascinating origin tale. It is, in fact, rather popular. According to legend, Ravana, a devout follower of Lord Shiva, sought for years to summon him to Lanka.
Ravana was harmed during this time as well. Ravana was not in the best of health when Lord Shiva arrived to visit his devotee. Lord Shiva took it upon himself to heal Ravana, earning him the moniker Vaidyanath.
Every year, a large number of pilgrims visit the temple, notably during the Maha Shivratri and Shravana months.
The legend related to Baidyanath Dham Temple
Ravana is said to have sacrificed his ten heads here to obtain Lord Shiva’s favour, according to tradition. The heads were later reunited by Lord Shiva, who posed to be a Vaidya (Doctor), and the location was given the name Baidynath Dham.
According to common belief, praying in this temple guarantees worshipers a healthy and prosperous life. This temple attracts a large number of devotees during the monsoon months (July and August).
Temple Timings- 4:00am to 9:00pm
Bhimashankar Temple, Maharashtra
Bhimashankar is perhaps one of Maharashtra’s most popular hiking destinations. However, the presence of one of the jyotirlingas is one of the reasons for its popularity. The jyotirlinga is thought to have been built by Bheema, Kumbhakarna’s son, and is surrounded by lush flora on all sides.
Surprisingly, it is also located on the banks of the Bhima River. During Maha Shivratri, the site transforms into a carnival-like sanctuary, with devotees flocking from all across the state. Easily one of India’s most well-known jyotirlingas, a visit here is highly recommended.
In its Nagara (Indian Aryan architecture) style, the temple’s Garba Griha is a stunning blend of Rajasthani and Gujarati influences. Scenes from the Shiv Leela, Krishna Leela, Ramayana, and Mahabharata are depicted on the temple’s outer walls.
Nana Phadnavis developed this captivating object of devotion in the 18th century. Thousands of devotees visit during the Shivratri and Maha Shivratri celebrations.
The legend related to Bhimashankar Temple
According to the Hindu Puranas, Lord Shiva donned a Rudra form to defeat Tripurasura, a cruel demon who was hell-bent on destroying the three realms of existence: Heaven, Hell, and the Nether World (Patal).
The Lord sat down in the Sahyadri Mountains to rest after destroying the demon. It was at this point that his sweat began to flow and converted into the Bhima River. Lord Shiva, in the avatar of Jyotirlinga, resided in these mountains at the request of the Devas.
Temple Timings: 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram
Rameshwaram, a sacred town in Tamil Nadu, carries tremendous religious significance for Hindus and is considered one of the ‘Char Dham’ pilgrimage locations.
One of the twelve sacred Jyotirlingas can be found at the Ramanathaswamy Temple. The temple is an outstanding example of exquisite architecture. Majestic towers, sculpted pillars, and opulent passageways will take your breath away.
Lord Rama’s unwavering devotion to Lord Shiva is symbolized through the Ramanathaswamy Temple. The name Ramanathaswamy, which means Master of Rama, bears witness to this.
After returning from Lanka, it is stated that Lord Rama sanctified Rameshwaram by worshipping Lord Shiva, who destroyed the demon Ravana for kidnapping his wife Goddess Sita.
He intended to worship Lord Shiva in the shape of Shivling to atone for his sins. As a result, he dispatched Lord Hanuman to the Himalayas in search of the largest lingam. Goddess Sita made a Shivalinga out of sand because Lord Hanuman took so long to fetch the Shivling.
The legend related to Ramanathaswamy Temple
The original shivling here is thought to have been created by Maan Sita and worshipped by Lord Rama on his way back to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana.
The temple edifice was expanded in the 12th century by monarchs of the Pandya Dynasty. Sri Lankan rulers also contributed to the construction of the shrine. The main shrines were repaired by the Jaffna kingdom’s Jeyaveera Cinkaiariyan and his successor Gunaveera Cinkaiariyan.
The current building of the Rameshwaram temple that we see today is the culmination of countless generations of Lord Shiva worshipers working together. The Setupatis of Ramanathapuram is primarily responsible for the construction of the temple.
It all began in the 17th century with the construction of a part of the great eastern Gopuram by Dalavai Setupati. Muthuramalinga Setupati built the world-famous third corridor (known as “Chokkatan Mandapam”) in the late 18th century.
Vijayanagar’s kings constructed composite columns showing Virabhadra with a sword and a trumpet about the year 1500.
In and around the island of Rameswaram, there are 64 Tirthas (holy water bodies), of which 24 (as recorded in Skanda Purana) are of high importance. It is thought that going to Rameswaram for a pilgrimage is the same as doing penance.
Within the Ramanathaswamy temple, 22 of these tirthas are found. The number 22 is significant because it represents Rama’s quiver, which contains 22 arrows.
The first and most important tirth is located in the sea and is known as ‘Agni Thirtham.’ In this tirth, people take a sacred dip. It is said that childless couples who bathe in this tirth and pray to Lord Shiva will be blessed with children.
Purnima (full moon day) and Amavasya (new moon day) are the most favourable days to bathe here (new moon day)
Temple Timings: 4:30 AM to 8:30 PM
Nageshwar Temple, Gujarat
Nageshwar is another prominent jyotirlinga in India that may be found in the West, located on the shore of Saurashtra, Gujarat. The temple of Nagnath, which is flanked on both sides by Gomai Dwarka and Bait Dwarka, attracts a large number of pilgrims and visitors who are drawn to the temple’s intriguing structure and setting.
The temple is a sign of protection from all forms of venom and poison and is considered to be one of India’s strongest and most potent jyotirlingas.
The temple’s exact date of construction is uncertain, but it was rebuilt in 1996 by Late Gulshan Kumar. Every year, thousands of pilgrims flock to the temple to seek blessings from Lord Shiva, who is worshipped here as ‘Nagdev.’
This temple’s main feature is a 25-meter-tall statue of Lord Shiva in a seated pose, which makes for a lovely backdrop for a memorial photo.
The legend related to Nageshwar Temple
According to the Shiv Purana, Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva’s wife, blessed a demon named Daruka. Daruka tyrannized the locals by abusing her blessings and imprisoning a Shiva devotee named Supriya and a few others.
To defend themselves from Daruka, everyone began chanting the Shiv Mantra, as advised by Supriya. Daruka became enraged and ran to kill Supriya when Lord Shiva appeared in the shape of Jyotirlinga to protect her and the other devotees.
The Jyotirlinga has been worshipped in the Nageshwar Temple since then.
Temple Timings: 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi
Kashi Vishwanath is one of India’s most revered jyotirlingas. The jyotirlinga is thought to have been created as a result of a dispute between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva would be adored equally, while Lord Brahma would be ostracized for lying, according to Hindu legend.
Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are worshipped at this temple!
Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar restored the current temple in the year 1780. The temple’s towers are gold-plated, with a golden chhatri on each one. During the holidays of ‘Makar Sankranti,’ ‘Kartik Poornima,’ ‘Shivratri,’ ‘Maha Shivratri,’ ‘Dev Diwali,’ and ‘Annakoot,’ pilgrims from all over the world flock to Kashi.
The legend related to Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Lord Shiva emerged in the form of an infinite pillar of fire, according to mythical stories, to put an end to Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma’s ongoing war for sovereignty. When Vishnu and Brahma saw the pillar, they headed out in different directions to reach the pillar’s end.
While they both couldn’t find the ends, Lord Brahma claimed to have discovered the pillar’s end. When Lord Shiva saw this, he became enraged and condemned Brahma, saying that he would not be revered by anyone and bestowing the title of highest being to Lord Vishnu.
The fire pillars dissipated, but a little portion of it remained in the form of the Vishwanath Jyotirlinga in Kashi.
Temple Timings: 3:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Trimbakeshwar Temple, Maharashtra
Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga, located near the Brahmagiri mountain, is also the source of the famed Godavari River. Dakshini Ganga and Gautami Ganga are two other names for it. The Godavari River and Gautami Rishi are said to have asked Lord Shiva to live at Trimbakeshwar, resulting in the god’s transformation into a jyotirlinga.
Interestingly, unlike other Jyotirlingas, the one in Trimbakeshwar is shaped differently, with three pillars representing Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwar, the three highest powers.
The legend related to Trimbakeshwar Temple
Legend has it that sage Gautam once accidentally killed a cow in his monastery. To atone for his crimes, he worshipped Lord Shiva and requested that he be cleansed by the River Ganga. River Ganga was renamed River Godavari as it flowed down.
When the gods saw this, they chanted praises to Lord Shiva and demanded that he stay here as Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga.
According to another tradition, Lord Shiva resides here in the shape of three lingas representing Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh, therefore the name ‘Trimbakeshwar.’ Pilgrims take a holy dip at ‘Kushavarta,’ the sacred spot where River Godavari originates, in addition to seeing Jyotirlinga.
Temple Timings: 5:30 AM to 9:00 PM
Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand
Another famous jyotirlinga in India that is inaccessible for the majority of the year is Kedarnath. The temple is closed to pilgrims due to the harsh climate, which includes cold temperatures and snowfall.
A dip in the holy water of Gangotri and Yamunotri from the pond within the Kedarnath temple is said to cleanse you of all your problems and troubles.
The legend related to Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand
The Pandavas conducted a penance after the Mahabharata war to erase their sins of killing their kin, according to tradition.
They were urged to seek Lord Shiva’s forgiveness to do so. They sought high and low till they found Lord Shiva at the current location of the jyotirlinga in Kedarnath.
Lord Shiva is reported to have hidden from the Pandavas because he was unwilling to forgive them for their deception and misdeeds during the conflict. He disguised himself as a bull and vanished beneath the earth.
Bhimasena, the second Pandava, sought to get him out of the ground by yanking on his tail and rear legs. Lord Shiva, on the other hand, dug himself deeper and only resurfaced in sections in several locations, including the hump in Kedarnath, arms in Tungnath, navel and stomach in Madhyamaheshwar, face in Rudranath, and hair and head in Kalpeshwar.
The Pandavas built temples to worship Shiva in these five locations, known as the Panch Kedar. This absolves them of their transgressions.
Lord Shiva also pledged to remain as a triangle jyotirlinga in the sacred site. This is why worshippers hold Kedarnath in such high regard.
Temple Timings: 4:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Grishneshwar Temple, Maharashtra
The Grishneshwar Temple, built in the Shikhara architecture with gods and goddesses engraved on the walls, is also mentioned in the Shiva Purana. The jyotirlinga is said to have been erected by Ahilyabai Holkar and is located near the Ajanta and Ellora caves.
The temple complex is incredibly impressive, with stunning carvings, sculptures, and other features. It is equally stunning, and the temple construction will leave you mesmerized.
Ghushma, according to the Shiv Purana, was a woman whose son was murdered by her own sister. She began to pray to Lord Shiva in her sadness, and Shiva, pleased with Ghushma’s devotion, blessed her with a son.
Shiva, in the avatar of Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, stayed here forever at Ghushma’s request.
The legend related to Grineshwar Temple
There are several legends around this jyotirlinga.
According to folklore, a woman named Kusuma used to worship Lord Shiva every day, immersing the Shiva Linga in a tank along with her prayers. Her husband’s first wife was envious of her love and as a result, her son was slain.
Even though Kusuma was grieving, she maintained her faith and commitment to the Lord. Lord Shiva is reported to have been so moved by her devotion that he resurrected her son. Lord Shiva showed himself as a jyotirlinga hereafter Kusuma requested that he stay.
According to another tradition, there was a Brahmin named Brahmavetta Sudharm who resided in the Devagiri mountains with his wife Sudeha. Sudeha got her sister Ghushma married to her husband because the pair didn’t have any children.
Ghushma would create lingas, worship them, and then immerse them in the neighbouring lake, following her sister’s suggestion. She was ultimately given the gift of a baby son. Sudeha grew envious of her sister over time, murdering her kid and tossing him into the same lake where her sister would immerse the lingas.
Even though Ghushma’s daughter-in-law told her that Sudeha was involved in her son’s death, Ghushma resumed her daily rituals, trusting completely in the Lord’s mercy.
And, according to her beliefs, she saw her son approaching her as she walked to immerse in the linga. Lord Shiva appeared in front of her and informed her of her sister’s evil deed.
Ghushma prayed to the Lord for forgiveness for her sister. The Lord was pleased and granted her a boon. He showed himself as Ghushmeshwar, a jyotirlinga because she wanted him to stay in that location. Shivalaya was the name of the lake where Ghushma plunged the lingas.