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Sri Baidyanath Temple is one of the Jyothirlingams, which is located in the Deoghar in the Santhal-Parganas division of the state of Jharkhand, India. It is one of the temples of Lord Shiva, where the Demon Ravana did severe penance to worship Lord Shiva. Since Lord Shiva descended from heaven to cure Ravana, he was referred to as Baidyanath. Baidya/Vaidya is referred to as a cure, and Lord Shiva is regarded as the king of cures. Sage Adi Sankaracharya has visited this shrine and has praised this shrine in his works. Kanwar Yatra is the pilgrimage to this shrine, where the devotees fetch water from various parts of the river Ganga and carry it to the shrine. It is regarded as one of the important shrines of Lord Shiva in India.
The temple of Baidyanath has close connections with King Ravana of Srilanka. He was a devotee of Lord Shiva. Due to his severe austerities, Lord Shiva gave a powerful Lingam to him and instructed that, if it is kept on the ground, it will be difficult to uproot it. Since the Devas, and the demigods did not want the Shiva Lingam to be taken to Srilanka. Lord Vishnu came to King Ravan and promised to look after the Lingam, while he was away to ease. Lord Vishnu kept the Lingam on the ground, which got affixed. King Ravan, even after trying so hard, was unable to remove the Lingam, so he performed severe austerities in the temple.
Baidyanath Temple is located in a large temple complex. The temple faces east direction. It houses almost 21 shrines inside the temple. It is built in Pagoda-styled architecture, where there are minute carvings on the stone. The compound walls of the temple are also high and built with stones. It is important to note that the shrines of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva are connected by strings, which denotes the unity of souls among the deities.
It is to be noted that the top of the Shiva Lingam is slightly damaged. When King Ravana tried to uproot it, he failed in the mission. Since then, the Lingam of Lord Shiva is not replaced in the temple complex. Near the temple, there is a sacred temple tank called Shiva Ganga, where all the water required for performing the austerities are drawn from.
The temple celebrates a lot of festivals and fairs. Shravan Mela is a special celebration, where millions of devotees gather in the month of Shraavana. Shiva Ratri is one of the biggest events which is celebrated during March. The festival of Shiva Ratri is celebrated with pomp, and people from various places flock to see it. Other festivals celebrated in this temple are Deepavali and Navaratri.
This place is also called as Arogya Baidyanath temple, as the Lord cures all his devotees, and heals their ailments. Goddess Parvati assists Lord Shiva. Devotees and pilgrims often carry ‘Kanwars' on their shoulders, which is considered to be an important form of worship and complete their travel here. In this shrine, devotees can themselves perform the Abisheka and worship Lord Shiva.
The nearest international airport is in Patna. It is advisable to resort to roadways and reach the temple from the airport.
The nearest railway station is the Jasidih railway station, which is seven kilometers near the temple premises. People can resort to local transport from the railway station to the temple.
The city of Baidyanath Dham is well connected to most of the cities. Local transport is available in plenty. The city offers frequent bus services and connects most of the important cities.
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