Deogarh :The Home of God

The fame of Deogarh rests upon the sanctity of Lord Baidyanath temple and its importance as sacred tirtha (place of pilgrimage). The ‘Purans’ refer to this temple as fit place for funeral obsequies. The Siva Puran links it to Ravana, who felt that his capital should be graced by the presence of Shiva. Accordingly, Ravana went to Mount Kailash where he entreated the god to riside in his territory. Shiva was pleased by his submission but did not accede to his request and instead, offered him one of the 12 jyotirlingas, which was quite as effective. However, there was a condition attached to the transfer of the divine emblem. Ravana was not supposed to break his journey and place the lingam any where else. In case of such a mishappening, the lingam would remain fixed on that spot forever. The gods were most unhappy at the idea of the divine lingam being established in the enemy kingdom, which would render them powerless against their adversary, Ravana. A strategy was soon worked out to outwit the enemy. The god of water, Varuna entered Ravana’s body and urged him to relieve himself. Meanwhile, Vishnu disguised as an old brahmin, befriended Ravana and offered himself to hold the jyotirlinga for a minute. Ravana realised his folly when he returned to see the lingam on the ground with the Brahmin nowhere to be seen. Ravana did his best to uproot the lingam but beyond breaking the tip he was unsuccessful. He finally prostrated before the invincible lingam, which has ever since remained rooted at Deogarh. In deep remorse, Ravana used to come to this place everday and worship the lingam by offering water from the Ganges. Historically the temple is dated to 1596 when a hunter by the name of Baiju, discovered the lost lingam. Since then it came to be known as Baidyanath and people also call it Kamma Lingam - the desire fulfilling lingam.
¤ Other Temple Attractions The main temple of Baidyanath is the oldest one and is surrounded with various other temples. The male temple of Shiva is connected to the female temple of Parvati from the summit with colourful silken ropes. ¤ The Holy Yatra To The Shrine The pilgrimage to Baidyanath commences in shrawan (July/August) when the land turns green with the first monsoon showers. Piligrims first gather at Sultanganj to fill their pots with the holy water. Sultanganj is called Uttarbahini or where the Ganges run towards north, instead of usual south and then proceed to the temples of Baidyanath and Vasukinath.Pilgrims are usually saffron clad and they consider Monday to be the most auspicious day for worshipping Shiva. The pilgrims carry their water pots, well balanced on a stick and ensure that the pot or water does not touch the ground even while they pause for a break or rest for the night. Some of the pilgrims move at an express speed as they cover the distance between Sultanganj and Baidyanath in just-24 hours. Such pilgrims, called Dak bams get precedence over others. On the other hand there are bhoomi parees who are keen to cover the distance with utmost reverence. They lie flat on the ground, stretch their hand above their heads, offer salutations and ricite their prayers and again prostrate before taking their next step. ¤ In and Around Deoghar
Trikut16 km from Deogarh on Dumka Road lies the picturesque hill dotted with various caves and waterfalls. Pilgrims, while returning from Baidyanath temple to Vasukinath temple, prefer to halt at his hill adorned with various temples. Naulakha TempleThe beautiful temple on the outskirts of Deogarh is worth a visit for its sheer architectural appeal. It was built by one of the disciples of Balanand Brahmachari, who used to meditate at Tapoban, 8 km from the city. Tapoban is an equally fascinating place famous for its hill top temples and caves. Nandan PaharThe beauty of the hill lies in the cluster of temples dedicated to various gods. Atop the hill there is a tank where people often flock for picnics.

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