Baba Dham at Deoghar, Jharkhand… Vaidyanatha Jyotirlinga temple
August 23, 2020
It is faith that brings millions of devotees from different states of India to Baba Dham. Faith invigorates us and makes us invincible. It gives us immense strength to vanquish the evils of our life. It is the beam of light that guides us to walk smoothly through darkness.
The 12 jyotirlinga in India are
Somnath Jyotirlinga in Gir, Gujarat
Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga in Khanda, Madhya Pradesh
Baidyanath Jyotirlinga in Deoghar, Jharkhand
Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga in Maharashtra
Ramanathaswamy Jyotirlinga in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga in Dwarka, Gujarat
Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga in Nasik, Maharashtra
Kedarnath Jyotirlinga , Uttarakhand
Ghrishneshwar Jyotirlinga in Aurangabad, Maharashtra
It is one of the 12 jyotirlinga of India and one of the Shakti peeth. It is one of the sacred places where jyotirlinga and shaktipeeth are housed together. It is located in Deoghar in the state of Jharkhand, India. It is predominant pilgrim site of Deoghar which drags devotees in hordes throughout the year.
In Matsyapuran, Baba Dham is mentioned as “ArogyaBaidyanathitee”. It is the holy place where maaParvati assists Lord Shiva for treatment of people suffering from incurable diseases. Lord Shiva is presumed as doctor or healer who can heal up every injury. So, many frail devotees come here for betterment of their health.
Inside the temple complex, there is the temple of mother Parvathi, wife of Lord Shiva. The spire of both the temples, Baba Baidyanath and mother Parvati, are tied together with red sacred threads. This symbolizes the strong bonding of eternal love and the unity of Shiva and Shakti.
Climbing the spire to tie the red threads is worth watching. The stories regarding Baba Dham in Shiv Purana narrates that the temple resembles the “unity of Soul”. And thus the temple is considered very sacred for Hindu marriages.
Pandas are the integral part of the temple that performs the pujas for devotees.
Shrawanmela at Deoghar is the longest Mela of the Asia. The Mela is organized at the month of Shrawan and has a special religious significance. Shrawan isthe fourth month according to Hindu calendar and is the most auspicious month of the year for worshipping Lord Shiva. Millions of devotees across India come in Shrawan month for Baidyanath Darshan. They bring holy Ganga water from the Ganges to offer Lord Shiva in bare foot wearing saffron or red clothes.
History of Baba Dham
According to mythology, there is an interesting story behind Baba Dham. Ravanis mythical multi headed famous evil king. He is the most revered devotee of Lord Shiva. He was the king of Lanka and was a magnificent ruler and scholar. He earned the reputation of despotism. He had the capability to rule whole world. In ancient Hindu text it is mentioned that he ruled almost the three worlds and many Gods were his slaves.
One day Ravan thought to bring Lord Shiva permanently to his house that is in Lanka. So, to fulfill his obstinate desire, he went to Mount Kailash where Lord Shiva used to live with his beloved family.
To please his adorable God and mentor, Ravanadid many penances. Lord Shiva got pleased by Ravana’s penance and decided to settle down in Ravan’s place. Shiva agreed with Ravana’s proposal but he had one condition. Lord Shiva will go to Lanka with Ravana in his lingam form and Ravan won’t keep the lingam anywhere on earth until he reaches his home. And if Ravana breaks his promise due to any reason and put the lingam on earth, then Ravan will not be able to uproot the lingam anywhere from that place.
Ravana accepted the deal and was happy to take away his Lord to his own home. But all other God in devlok was scared due to Shiva’s whimsical decision. They were worried that if Lord Shiva will live in evil king’s house, and then no one will be able to defeat him. And one day the evil kingRavan will become Supreme ruler and will capture the whole dev-lok that is the heaven. Either he will make the Gods his slave or will expel them from dev-lok.
” Panchakshari Shiva Mantra – ” OM NAMAH SHIVAYA”
The most common mantra of Lord Shiva which means I bow to Lord Shiva. And if this mantra is chanted 108 times every day, then Lord will shower his blessings on you.
All the Gods at heaven got united and they want a solution how to get rid from this disaster. So, they had a plan which will compel Ravana to place the lingam on earth before reaching Lanka. With the help of Ganga they executed their plan.
When Ravana was travelling with lingam, God forced him to piss off before reaching Lanka. Vishnu disguised as a shepherd was there. Ravana requested the shepherd to hold the lingam. The shepherd agreed but warnsRavana to return early otherwise he will place the lingam on earth. It was not easy to pass Ganga from his body so quickly. It took lot of time to pass Ganga from his body. As Ravana’s didn’t return early, the shepherd placed the lingam on land.
When Ravana returned, he was annoyed to see the lingam on ground and used his all powers to uproot the lingam from the land. But all his effort went in vein. In anger, he pressed the lingam beneath the soil. And this is how the jyotirlinga of Baba Dham came into existence.
“It is very difficult to reconcile science and religious beliefs, but deep faith can do it well.”
The temple is sprawling in large area. The temple compound comprises the main Baba Bidyanath temple and other 21 temples.There are three entrances in the temple. The temple is east facing.
As it is our tradition to visit temple in barefoot, so at the entrance there is ample space to put off the shoes.
There is a well at northern fringe near one of the entrance. The water of the well is considered very holy. The devotees who couldn’t bring water from Ganges, they can use this holy water to offer the Lord Shiva.
The spire of the Baidyanath Temple is a pyramidal Shikhara. At the top of the shikhara, there are three gold vessels set together which were donated by the Maharaja of Giddhaur. There are also 05 knives in trident shape. There is Chandrakanta Mani at the inner top, an eight petal lotus jewel.
The height of the temple is approximately 72feet.There is a big screen where the live-stream performance is shown.
Outside the temple, there are myriad of shops selling puja accessories and other items like bangles, handicrafts, sweets, tea etc. Peda, the very famous and special sweet of Deoghar, is mainly offered for the puja.
The lingam is about 5 inches in diameter and shaped like cylindrical. It projects outward about 4 inches from a slab.The whole temple is white in colour.
There is a big courtyard inside the temple compound. And there are waves of devotees in the courtyard almost all the time of the day.
The temple premise is filled with Pandas, the ritual performer at sacred places. To guide devotees and to perform pujas, devotees can seek Panada’s help.
” It is the fervour of devotees that makes this place so divine. The gloomy faces of the devotees becomes glorious after visiting Baba Dham.
Devotees come here with great devotion and display their griefs to the Lord. And Lord in return blessed them invincibility. “
There is an influx of devotees every day. For darshan of the Lord, one has to stand in long queue.
As ringing bell or ghanta is an integral part of worshipping, so in Baba Dham, enormous bells or ghanta are installed. The sound of ringing bell is considered very auspicious. Devotees rung the bell before entering garbhagriha. While performing the puja, priests also rung the bell. It is said that bell ringing during the prayer, helps the devotees to get focused and also controls the wandering mind of the devotees.
There are enormous stall inside the temple compound who sales puja samagri.
For any donation and contribution , donation box are there.
The temple opens at 4am in the morning. From 4am-5.30am, the head priest performs Shodashopachar and he pours water upon the lingam. After this, devotees are allowed to worship lingam and pour water, flowers, Bilva leaves upon the lingam. The puja ritual continues till 3.30pm and then the temple is closed. It doors reopens again for the devotees at 6pm in the evening and Shringar puja is performed. And in normal days it finally closes at 9pm.
The temple opens at 4am and closes at 3.30pm. Again it opens in evening at 6pm and closes at 9pm on normal days.
How to reachBaba Dham
By Air:The nearest airport is LokNayakJayaprakash Airport, Patna, located approximately 270 km away from Deoghar.
By Train: There are two railway stations to reach Deoghar. One is Baidyanathdham (BDME) and the other is Deoghar (DGHR) which is connected with maximum states of India.
By Road:Deoghar is well connected with major states like Kolkata, Patna and Ranchi.
Minimum 02 days are required for Deoghar sightseeing
Day 01- Start your morning by offering puja on Baba Dham. Then visit Naulakha Temple. After lunch visit Satsanga Ashram. Rest is your leisure time.
Day 02- After breakfast start your journey for Trikut pahar. After enrouting Trikut Pahar, proceed for Tapovan Hill.Evening is your leisure time.
As Deoghar is a very popular Hindu pilgrimage site, so myriad of hotels are available from varying range.
Best time to visit
It can be visited throughout the year. Bur winter is preferable. The longest ‘Mela’ of Asia is organized in Deoghar in the month of Shrawan. So, to enjoy the longest ‘ShrawanMela’, visitors can come in between the month of July and August.
Peda– It is like sandesh which is made with of milk. This sweet is the main attraction of Deoghar.
Tilkut– This is the specialty of Deoghar. It is a sweet made of til and sugar.
Paratha–It is made of flour stuffed with sattuor potato and cooked with pure deshi ghee.
Pickle – This place is paradise for pickle lovers. There is a wide variety of pickle available here.
Toto, auto rickshaws are easily available to reach Baba Dham.
Naulakha Mandir, another landmark of Deoghar is just few kilometers from Baba Dham. The temple is famous for its splendid architecture.
It takes 20-30 minutes from Baba Dham to reach Sat Sanga. The three prominent destinations, Baba Dham, Naulakha Mandir and Sat Sang can be covered in one day.
‘Pada’, the famous sweet of Deoghar are available onsweet shops just outside the temple.
Try bangles. They are available in variety of colours and designs.