Baidyanath or Vaijanath Jyotirlinga is located at Deogarh in the state of Jharkhand. It is also called as Baba Dham. This is a highly revered Jyotirlinga and devotees believe that a person who sincerely prays at this temple is relieved off all his worries and problems and attains moksha.
Legend has it that Ravan, the King of Lanka had pleased Mahadeva with his strict penance. Mahadeva appeared before Ravana and asked him to ask for a boon. Ravan then requested Shiva to come to Lanka with him and always protect Lanka. Mahadeva gave a Shivalinga to Ravan to take with him to Lanka and warned him that he should not place the Shivalinga on the ground; otherwise the Shivalinga would be installed permanently at that place. The Devas were perplexed on seeing this as if the Shivalinga was successfully transported to Lanka it would make Ravan invincible. While returning home Ravan needed to relieve himself urgently. Seeing this Vishnu assumed the form of a young boy and appeared in front of Ravan. Ravan told the boy his predicament and asked him to hold the Shivalinga for him and instructed him to not place it on the ground at any cost! The boy who was Vishnu in disguise said that he was in a hurry, he would wait for some time, if Ravan did not come back quickly he would place the Shivalinga down & leave. Ravan agreed & left promising to come back soon. The boy waited for some time but when Ravan was still not back he placed the Shivalinga on the ground and disappeared. When Ravan came back & tried to lift up the Shivalinga it did not budge! The Shivalinga was thus permanently installed at that place and could not reach Lanka. A frustrated and angry Ravan cut off nine of his heads as an offering to the Shivalinga. Shiva was pleased by his sacrifice and descended there and cured Ravan’s injuries like a Vaidya (doctor), hence the name Badiyanath. He also restored all of Ravan’s heads back.
The Shravan mela here which happens in the months of July – August is very famous. Kanwar Yatra happens during this time in which thousands of Shiva devotees carry the holy water of the Ganga from Sultanganj, Bihar which is 108km from Deogarh and offer it to the Baidyanath Shivalinga. The devotees do not stop even for a single moment after collecting the water at Sultanganj and walk barefoot to reach Baidyanath.
Apart from Shiva, the temple premises also has a temple dedicated to Parvati, Shiva’s wife. The two temples are tied together by many red threads showing the union of Shiva – Shakti. Legend also states that the heart of Sati fell here after her burnt body was cut into pieces by Vishnu. Hence the temple is also a Shaktipeeth. The Matsyapuran calls the place as Arogya Baidyanathithee, the holy place where Shakti lives and assists Shiva in freeing people from incurable diseases.
The nearest railway station is Jasidih railway station which is 7km from Baidyanath temple while the nearest airport is Deogarh airport.
You can visit Baidyanath while visiting Kolkata or while visiting Jagannath Puri & Bhubaneshwar. All the four places viz Baidyanath, Kolkata, Puri & Bhubaneshwar can also be covered in a week long trip.
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