Vaidhyanath (Jyotirlinga) temple, Maharastra

Vaidhyanath Jyotirlinga.
Vaidhyanath Jyotirlina shrine is one among the 12 famous shrines in India and  this particular  Jyotirlina  is at three different places - Parli, near Nanded, in Maharashtra,  Deoghar in Jharkhand state  and Santa Paraganas region in Jharkhand state. These three jyotirlingas are considered as one. Among the three, the one at Parli, near Nanded is well known and is being visited by lots of devotees. 

Vaidhyanath Jyotirling. Vaidyanath Parli, Travel Portal Of India
The jyotirlinga shrines enjoy  a special status in Maharashtra  and one will be surprised to know that out of 12, five are in this state alone.  They are Aunda Nagnath, Parli Vaidyanath, Bhima Shankar, Trayambakeswar and Grishnewar. lots of people visit these shrines and religious and tourist places like Pandarapur, Tuljapur etc in Maharashtra. 

Parali, an ancient village located near three rivers, Brahma, Venu and Saraswati, is famous for the Jyotirlinga and it is also known by various names -  Kantipur, Madhyarekha Vaijayanti or Jayanti. It is 26 kilometers from Ambejogai in the Beed district.This village is located on the slopes of Meru or Naganarayana. It is interesting to note that  Kanyakumari, Ujjain and Parali fall on the same straight line.
Jyotirlina shrines, Maharastra, Aurangabad Taxi
The are some interesting legends about this temple. it was here Yogeshwari of Ambejogai  was to marry Lord Vaidyanatha (Shiva) of Parali. The marriage party, that was supposed to reach the venue of wedding at the right auspicious time, did not reach the place on time and the right time had already passed. As a result, the people of the marriage party turned into stone statues. Yogeshwari was waiting away from Parali.

According to the Hindu mythology, when  the Gods and Demons were churning the sea of milk ( Amrit Manthan ), out came fourteen gems, including  Dhanwantari and Amrit Ratnas in it. if one had Amrit (Amritham), one could attain immortality. The moment the demons tried to lay their hands on them, Lord Vishnu, knowing the consequences, hid  Amrit and Dhanwantari in the Shiva Linga (Lord Shankara). When the demons tried to go near the Linga,  huge tongues of flame began to  emanate. Fearing death,  demons ran away.  However, the devotees of Sankara  had easy access to Amrit from the linga. 

It is here that Lord Vishnu successfully helped the Devas get Amrit. Hence this place is also known as ‘Vaijayanti”.

Even today,  here in this temple,  devotees are allowed to touch the Shiva Linga  and there is no room for  caste, creed or color. Anyone can come and visit this  temple for prayer and blessing. The devotees can touch and perform abhisekam and pooja. As the Sivalinga is believed to have Amrit and Dhanvantari, the deity is known as Amriteshwar and Dhanvantari. An amazing aspect  of this place is lots of medicinal herbs are available in the mountains, jungles and  on the banks of the rivers. That is why Parali JyotirLinga is also known as Vaidyanatha.

According to  yet another belief: Demon king Ravana  did penance on lord Shiva in Mt. Kailash, barring severe cold conditions, etc. As part of his penance, Ravana, without hesitation, offered  his ten heads one after another to Shiva as a sacrifice. Pleased with his  devotion,  Shiva granted the boons and restored his lost heads. Upon his request to come to Lanka, the lord agreed and asked him to carry his Shivalinga  till the final destination without ever putting it down on the earth.  After a long journey, Ravana gave the Shivalinga to a cow head so that he could  relieve himself. The boy, unable to bear the weight,  put the Shivalinga on the ground. Shivalinga remained there for good and later came to be called Vaidyanath   as the lord himself acted as a medicine man and restored the severed heads of demon Ravana.

The temple is  made of stones with strong boundary walls all around. The stairway, leading into the temple was built in 1108 AD and the temple was renovated in 1706 by the devotees. The dwajasthambam is huge and impressive. The Shivalinga in the sanctum is made of saligram stone and the sanctum itself is below the ground level.  On all  four sides of the temple, there are Nanda Deepams` - oil lamps that  keep burning. The main gate or the Mahadwar has a minaret like structure nearby and   is called a Prachi or Gawaksha, i.e., window. Special pujas are held for Sun God, based on  where the Sun rays  are falling through these windows, directly on  the Lingamurthy. Within the prescient of the Vaidyanath temple itself, there are eleven more shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva.The water from the Harihar Teerth is brought for the daily worship of Vaidyanath.


Vaidyanath jyotirlinga is located at Prajwalika Nidhanam (meaning funeral place i.e., Chithabhoomi) in the North-Eastern part of the country. Deoghar is far located in east compared to Parli which is in west central part of the country. Also Chidabhoomi indicates that, in olden days, this was a funeral place, where corpses are burnt and post-death ceremonies were performed.

Major festival days are  Chaitra Padva, Vijayadashami, Tripuri Pournima, Maha Shivaratri and Vaikunth Chaturdashi,  and during these celebrations, Mahadev is offered Tulsi leaves and Vishnu is offered Bel (bilva) leaves. Such a  practice is rare except here. Rudrabhisheka Mantrochchar is chanted in the rainy season (Sravan). 

It was here  Markandeya,  received the boon of immortality from Vaidyanatha. According to Shivapuranam, Markandeya, not blessed with a long life was chased  by Yama - the demi god of death. At last Markandya hugged the Shivalinga with his hands. When Yama threw his Pasakkkayar (death rope), it also fell on the Shivalinga. Immediately Shiva appeared and  released Markandaya  from imminent death and blessed him with immortality. There is a pond here that is  named after him and it is believed that this incident took place here.  Great saints like Dhundiraj, Yamaraj, Vishweswar, Guru Lingaswamy, et al lived in Parali. 

The above legends and other facts mentioned here enhance the divinity and sanctity of this place. This is the reason why Parali is a popular place in Maharashtra.