An island surrounded by crystal waters and edged with delightful fishing villages, and a temple with endless pillars that houses one of India’s most holy shrines: Rameshwaram is a mandatory stop for anyone visiting Tamil Nadu.

The lingam is the symbol of the Hindu god Shiva. There are numerous lingams throughout India, but the twelve Jyotir lingams or ‘lingams of light’ are the holiest and most worshipped of all. Jyoti means ‘light’ and lingam means ‘mark’ or ‘sign’. According to Hindu tradition, the Jyotir lingams pilgrimage washed off bad karma and …

Grishneshwar is located near the Ellora caves, in a small village called Verul in the state of Maharashtra. There stands one of the 12 Jyotir Lingams or “Lingams of light”. It is believed to be the last Jyotir Lingam, where the pilgrimage round the Jyotir Lingams ends.

Omkareshwar is one of India’s holiest cities. It is the home of “the Lord of the sound Om“, one of the 12 Jyotir Lingams or “lingams of light”. At Omkareshwar the river Narmada divides into two channels around an island called Shivapuri. The island, 4km long and 2km wide, is said to be in …

Nageshwar Temple, 12 miles to the northeast of the holy town of Dwarka, houses the “lord of cobras”, one of the 12 Jyotir Lingams or “lingams of light”. The temple is way out in the countryside but can be seen from afar, particularly the huge 82-foot Shiva statue that watches over it.

The temple at Somnath houses the “Lord of the moon”, foremost of the twelve Jyotir Lingams or “lingams of light”. Somnath lies on the Gujarat coast at Veraval and attracts millions of pilgrims every year.

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