Jai Durga Temple at Baidyanath is the place where Sati’s Heart had fallen. Here Sati is worshipped as Jai Durga and Lord Bhairav as Vaidyanath or Baidyanath. The Shakthi Peeth is popularly known as Baidyanath Dham or Baba Dham. Since the heart of Sati fell here, the place is also called as Hardapeetha. Lord Bhairav as Vaidyanath is worshipped as one of the important twelve Jyotirlingas.
Devi Jai Durga temple is located in Deoghar district, Jarkhand. Baidyanath dham is surrounded by dense forests, mountains like Nandan and Trikoot and Rivers like Yamunajor and Gharula flow here. The Mayurakshi River is also located close by. Baidyanath Dham or the Shakthi peeth temple is 7 kms from Jasidi Railway Station on the main line of the Eastern Railway from Howrah to Delhi. There is a small railway branch line from Jasidih to Babadham which is called as Baidyanath Dham station. State run buses are available from Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Hazaribag, Bhagalpur, Dumka, Patna, Gaya, Munger, and other places in Jharkhand and Bihar to Deogarh, besides easy access to private transport. Babadham (Deoghar) to Kolkatta is 373 kms, Giridih 112 kms, Patna 281 kms, Dumka 67 kms, Madhupur 57 kms, Shimultala 53 kms etc. Nearest Airports are – Ranchi, Gaya, Patna and Kolkata. Jai Durga Shakthi Peeth is located exactly opposite the main temple of Baidyanath in the same complex.
Other places of Tourist interest
a) Tapovan is the place where Mahirishi Valmiki prayed/ meditated. It is located on a mountain 9 kms from Deoghar.
b) Trikoot has a Shiva temple. Several sages have prayed/ meditated here. It is about 15 kms from Deoghar.
c) Vasukinath is the place where the gods released the snake, Vasuki used during the churning of the ocean (Samudra Manthan). There is also a granite idol of Lord Krishna. Locals consider this place as Nageshwar Jyotirling.
d) Mandar Parvat located about 70 kms from Deoghar is the mountain used for churning the ocean.
Jai Durga Shakthi peeth is also known as Chitabhumi. When Lord Shiva was wandering with the corpse of Sati, Devi’s heart fell here. Lord Shiva cremated Sati’s heart at this place, hence the place is known as Chitabhumi.
Another puranic reference is that, once Ravan meditated upon Lord Shiva and requested him to reside at Lanka to protect his capital. Ravan attempted to lift Mount Kailash and take it to Lanka. However, Lord Shiva crushed Ravan with his finger. Ravan realized his folly and meditated upon Lord Shiva to get His mercy. Lord Shiva was pleased with Ravan’s penance and gave away one of the Jyotirlingas with the condition that the linga would get rooted, if kept on the ground. While Ravan was carrying the Jyotirlinga back to Lanka, Lord Varun entered his belly and created discomfort. Lord Vishnu came in the form of a lad and offered Ravan help to hold the Jyotirlinga till he relieved himself. By the time Ravan was back, the Jyotirling was placed on the ground and the linga was rooted. A disappointed Ravan undertook severe penance to appease Lord Shiva and cut off his nine heads. Shiva pleased with Ravan’s penance joined the nine heads as a Vaidya (physician). Thus the place gets the name Vaidyanath. Gokaran in Karnataka also has the same puranic reference.
Another puranic reference is that the temple was re-discovered by a cowherd Baiju, and hence the name Baijnath.
This place is also believed to be a panacea for all diseases (specifically leprosy) and all miseries and sins. Hence the place gets the name Baidyanath or Vaidyanath or Kaamna ling.
Matsya Purana refers to this place as Aarogya Baidyanath, as Lord Shiva relieves people of all the dieases/ sickness.
About The Temple and the Deities
Baidyanath Temple facing east is a 72 feet tall ancient stone structure with twenty two other temples in the complex, dedicated to various gods and goddess. All the temples have fine architecture on its walls. The temples built by Vishwakarma(the architect of gods)are in Nagara style of architecture. Some of the other temples within the temple complex are that of goddess Kali, Tara, Bagala, Sandhya, Saraswathi, Annapurna, Jagatjanani etc. The temple comprises of three parts, viz., the main temple of Baidyanath (Jyothirlinga), the middle part of the temple and at the entrance of the main temple is the idol of the Nandi. The sanctum is covered by a tall Shikara or gopura. Inside the temple is the Chandrakant Mani (a gem). Shivaganga Lake (built by Akbar’s General Man Singh) is near the temple. Another belief about the temple is that the lake is formed by the imprint of Ravan’s foot. The temple is also sanctified with Chandrakoopa well at the main entrance which is built and consecrated with water brought by Ravan from several thirthams (sacred water).
Deogarh is also known as Vaidyanath/Baidyanath, Haritaki Vana, Ketaki Vana and Ravana Vana.
The twelve Jyotirlingas are Somnath in Gujarat, Bhimeshwar, Grushneshwar, Nageshwar and Triyambakeshwar in Maharashtra, Vaidyanath in Deogarh (or in Parali in Andhra Pradesh), Sree Sailam in Andhra Pradesh, Rameswaram in Tamilnadu, Benares in Uttar Pradesh, Ujjain and Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh and Kedarnath in the Himalayas. There is also a belief that the Vaidyanath near Parali in Andhra Pradesh is the Vaidyanath Jyotirling. There is another belief that Kiragram in Punjab and Dabhoi in Gujarat are the Vaidyanatha Jyotirlinga temples.
Inside the Jai Durga temple are the idols of Maa Durga (Bagalmukhi) and Maa Parvati (Jai Durga) on a rock. People have to climb the rock to offer flowers and milk to the goddess. The linga is surrounded by eight lotus petals and is broken on the top, as Ravan tried to uproot it forcibly.
A red coloured silk thread connects the shikara/gopura of Jai Durga temple and Baidyanath temple. There is a belief that Lord Shiva and Parvathi will bless the couple with a happy family life for those who bind the two tops (gopuras) with the silk thread.
Baidyanath dham is a popular Siddhapeeth or seat of Tantric Sadhana. Many Tantriks worship Devi Jai Durga and Lord Baidyanath for Tantric Sadhana. There is also a Kund which is ever flaming where tantrik rituals are performed for Shakti Sadhana. Here Devi Jai Durga is worshipped in two forms viz., Tripura Sundari / Tripura Bhairavi with Ganesh as Rishi and Chinnamasta with Ravan as Rishi.
Fairs and Festivals
Shravan Mela at Baidyanath Dham held in (July- Aug) is celebrated with great fervor. Devotees get water from the Ganga for Jyotirling from Ajgaibinath (Sultanganj) located about 105 kms from Deoghar.
Shivarathri and Vasanth Panchami celebrated in Magha masa (Feb- March) is when special pujas are offered to Lord Shiva.
Makar Sankranti celebrated on Jan 14 or 15 is the time when devotees take a dip in Shiv Ganga Lake and worship Lord Shiva.
A huge fair is held on Bhadra Poornima.
For Devi Jai Durga, festivities are held during Chaitra Navaratri (March- April) and Ashviyuja Navaratri (Sep- October). People offer chuda, peda and Mukundana to the deities.