Pilgrim Places, Jharkhand

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Home to a complex of 22 temples of which the biggest and the tallest at 72-ft is the Temple of Baidyanath that houses one of the 12 revered jyotirlingas in the country, Deoghar is the most sacred place in Jharkhand. It holds great sanctity among Hindus because it is believed to be the only kamanalingam - a lingam that has the power to fulfil all dreams. Every year, in the month of Shravan (July-August), devotees undertake an arduous 100 km trek from Ajgaibinath (Sultanganj) to Baidyanath Dham. The pilgrimage ends at Basukhinath, a hilly, scenic town about 43km from Deoghar. At the Deoghar complex, also visit the temples associated with tantric practices and Shakti worship like Ma Sandhya, Mansa, Ma Bagla and Ma Kamakhya. Before leaving don't forget to make an offering of meetha dahi to Lord Baidyanath. Naulakha Temple is situated 1.5km from the Baidyanath Temple. The yoga centre (Ashram) at Rikhia is worth a visit and is situated about 8Km from Deoghar.



According to Hindu mythology, Ravana went to Mount Kailash and prayed to Lord Shiva, who gave him a Jyotirlinga to take to his land, with the promise not to place the lingam any where else. In case that happened, the lingam would remain fixed on that spot forever. The gods, who were unhappy at the prospect of the divine lingam being established in the enemy kingdom, which would render them powerless against their adversary, worked a trick on Ravana. He mistakenly handed over the lingam to a brahmin, who grounded it at Deoghar. Ravana did his best to uproot it but beyond breaking the tip he was unsuccessful. In deep remorse, he used to come to this place everyday and worship the lingam by offering water from the Ganges. Historically the temple is dated to 1596.

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