The Baidyanath Jyotirlinga temple, commonly referred to as the Baidyanath Dham, is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India and is considered to be the most sacred abode of Lord Shiva. Located in Deoghar division of the state of Jharkhand, the large and magnificent temple complex comprises of the main temple of Baba Baidyanath, where the Jyotirlinga is installed, along with twenty-one other significant and beautiful temples. The giant temple complex is a fantastic place to be at, for the tranquillity and peace that it offers. The procession of devotees in the Hindu calendar month of Shravan is especially spectacular, as they carry water from the Ganges River in Sultangaj 108 km away, to the temple. The line of devotes is rumoured to stretch the whole 108 km, without an interruption!
The Baba Baidyanath Temple at Deoghar has a remarkable and rich history attached to it. The temple finds mention in several ancient scriptures and continues to be mentioned even in modern day history books. The story of the origin of this Jyotirlinga goes back to the Treta Yuga, in the era of Lord Rama. According to popular Hindu beliefs, the demon Ravana, king of Lanka, worshipped Shiva at this very site, where the temple is currently located. Interestingly, Ravana offered his ten heads one after the other, as a sacrifice to Lord Shiva. Pleased with this act, Shiva proceeded to descend to the Earth to cure Ravana, who was injured. Since Lord Shiva had acted as a doctor, he is referred to as 'Vaidhya', and it is from this aspect of Shiva that the temple derives its name.