Vaidyanath Temple, also called Vaijnath Temple and Baidyanth Temple is located at Deogarh in the Santal Parganas region of Bihar in the south west of Keeul Station. Baidyanath shrine is revered as one of the twelve Jyotirlingams of Shiva. It may be noted that some schools of thought believe Vaidyanath near Parali in Andhra Pradesh to be the Vaidyanatha Jyotirlingam.
Devotees of Lord Shiva believe that by sincere worship of Vaijnath Jyotirlinga a person is relieved of all worries and miseries in life. It is also said that by worshipping in the shrine a person attains Moksha and all types of happiness. As a tradition, devotees carry ‘Kanwars’ on their shoulders and complete their travel here. The Temple of Lord Baijnath is situated in Bihar. Deoghar (Devagriha), or the abode of the Gods, is the headquarters of the Sub-division of the same name in the district of Santhal Parganas, and is located four miles to the south-east of Jasidih Junction on the main line of the Eastern Railway from Howrah to Delhi. There is a small branch line of the same railway from Jasidih to Deoghar.Deoghar has a picturesque location. To the north of the town there is a wood called Data Jungle after a fakir; to the north-west is a low wooded hill called Nandan Pahar; and to the east about 10 miles away there is a low range of hills known as Tiru or Trikutaparvata. There are a number of small hills to the south-east, south and south-west. There are two rivulets Yamunajor and Dharna near the town. The countryside around Deoghar has an attractive set-up with undulations, water courses and small hills. The climate is dry and congenial and Deoghar is considered to be a health resort Deoghar or Devagriha has a large number of temples within the circumference of a few miles. The temple of Baidyanath or Shiva is the most important of all the temples and attracts a large number of pilgrims all the year round.
Vaidyanath Temple at Deogarh houses a spacious courtyard bound by stone walls. In the temple complex are twenty-two other temples. The Baijnath or Vaidyanath temple faces east. The top of the Shiva Lingam is slightly broken, keeping with the legend that it chipped away when Ravana tried to uproot it. Near the temple is the Shivaganga Lake.
Interestingly, the same shrine of Vaidyanath is considered as one of 51 sakthi peethams, where 'yoni peetham' of jyotirlinga itself is considered as the shakti peetham.
- Temperature (Max./Min.) Deg C: Summer - 36.9/23 Winter -27.7/7.4.
- Best Season: October to February
- Languages Spoken: Hindi, Bengali and English.
- Clothing: Summer - Cotton/Tropical, Winter - Light Woolens.
Shravan mela or fair is held at this holy place, more than a million pilgrims visit this shrine every year. It is famous for the mela of Shrawan (a Hindu month), between July and August. About 7 to 8 million devotees visit the place from various part of India and offer holy water of Ganges to the deity collected from Sultangunj, which is almost 105 km from Deoghar. An unbroken line of people in saffron-dyed clothes stretches over the full 104 kms for the month. Some of them cover the distance within 24 hours. These pilgrims are called Dak Bam and they do not stop even once in their journey from Sultangunj to Vaidyanath.
Shiva Purana describes the greatness ofThe legends about this Shiva temple are various. One legend is that in the Treta Yuga the demon Ravana, king of Lanka , propitiated Lord Mahadeva and wanted him to come over to Lanka. Mahadeva did not agree to this prayer but told Ravana that one of the twelve emblems of His divinity. Jyotirlinga, would be quite as effective as His presence and that he might take it away on the condition that there should be no break in the journey and the lingam would not be deposited anywhere on the earth. The condition was that if the lingam was put anywhere on the earth in the course of the journey, it would be fixed to that spot for ever. The legend is that Ravana agreed to this condition and took the lingam and started his journey back to Lanka. The gods dreaded the effect of the lingam being established at the seat of the demon king. A ruse was devised and Varuna, the god of the waters, entered the stomach of Ravana and the demon had to descend to earth to relieve himself. Later, Vishnu, in the garb of an old Brahmin, appeared before Ravana, after his descent to the earth, and began to converse with him. Ravana requested the Brahmin to kindly hold the Jyotirlinga for a few minutes so that he could relieve himself. Lord Vishnu readily agreed to it and, as soon as Ravana turned his back to relieve himself, he left the Jyotirlinga on the spot and vanished. When Ravana came back, he found that the Jyotirlinga was firmly fixed to the earth and realised that a trick had been played on him. He even tried violence to remove the lingam and thereby broke a piece off the top of the lingam. However, failing to remove the lingam, he made his obeisance to the lingam and daily worshipped it. The spot where Ravana came down to the earth has been identified with Harlajuri, about four miles north of Deoghar and the place where the lingam was deposited is known as Deoghar.
The present nomenclature, of the lingam is Baidyanath and there is a legend about it. According to the Padma Purana, a Brahmin in the garb of Lord Vishnu, after taking the lingam from Ravana, consecrated it in due form with water from a neighbouring tank. There was a Bhil present, who was instructed as to what should be clone. The Bhil had informed Ravana as to the disappearance of the Brahmin. Ravana is supposed to have excavated a well with an arrow and brought into it the waters of all the sacred pools of the earth. It is said that the lingam, after the death of Ravana, used to be worshipped by a hunter Baiju, and the lingam came to be known by Baijus name as Baidyanath.
The story of Baiju giving rise to the name of Baidyanath is more prevalent as a Santhal tradition. There is another legend to the effect that when Sati, the consort of Shiva and daughter of Daksha, committed suicide because of the discourtesy shown towards her husband by Daksha in not inviting him to a Yajna, Lord Shiva stuck the corpse of his wife on the point of his trident and roamed about in a frenzy of fury. Lest Shivas anger and frantic movements should destroy the world, Vishnu cut the dead body with his discus into fifty-two parts which fell in different parts of India and became Mahapithasthans. According to the legend, the heart of Sati fell at Deoghar. It is, however, peculiar that there is no shrine at the other fifty-one places to commemorate this occurrence.
Places to visit nearby
Nandan Hills, Naulakha Temple, Kundeshwari Temple, Nav Durga Temple, Satsang Ashram, Mahadeo Falls, Harila Joria (8 km), Tapovan(10 km), Trikut Hills(17 km) are major tourist attractions.
Other places of interest are Mandar Hills (69 km) which is believed to have been used by the Gods to churn Oceans and Sultanganj (100 km) which is situated between the two banks of the holy river Ganges.
PagalaBaba Temple (7kms), Ramkrishna Mission Ashram (4kms), Arogyaa Bhavan (5 kms).
Getting there and Around
By Air: Nearest airport is Patna 281 km which is well connected with rest of the country.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Baidyanath Dham (Deoghar) which is a terminal station of a 7 kms branch line originating from Jasidih Rail Junction (15 km).
By Road: Deoghar is connected by road to Calcutta 373 km, Giridih 112 km, Patna 281 km, Dumka 67 km, Madhupur 57 km, Shimultala 53 km. Regular direct bus services are available from Bhagalpur, Hazaribagh, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Gaya.
Where to stay
The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation provides best accommodations, that suit all budgets, in its Tourist Bungalows Natraj Vihar and Baidyanath Vihar in Deoghar and Basuki Vihar in Basukinath.
- Tourist Bungalow: Baidyanath Vihar, Deoghar-814113.
Facility: Coach/Car Parking.
Types of Room available:
- Tourist Bungalow: Natraj Vihar, Deoghar-814113.
Facility: Coach/Car Parking, Restaurant.
Types of Room Available: Economy Room,Dormitory Bed
- Tourists Complex, Deoghar.
Types of Room Available: Economy Room available only.
- Tourist Bungalow: Basukhi Vihar, Basukhinath.
Types of Room Available: Economy Room available only.
- Tourist Bungalow: Massanjore