The Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is located in Daarukavanam between Gomti and Dwarka on the coast of Saurashtra in Gujarat, is believed that Lord Shankaracharya laid the foundation of his Western Math at Kalika Peetha here.
There is a huge statue (25m) of Lord Shiva in a sitting position, a large garden, and a pond in this temple. The linga is made of Dwaraka Shila and has small chakras on it. It is in the shape of a tri-mukhi rudraksha (sacred beads representing Lord Shiva) and faces south, while the temple faces east.
It is believed that a demon called Daruk lived in the forest along with his wife, Daruka. The demons, due to the boon by Mata Parwati, became powerful and arrogant, they started creating havoc and destruction to disturb Hindu festivals. They even captured and imprisoned a great devotee of Lord Shiva – a merchant named Supriya. Supriya was Lord Shiva's devotee, she continued his shiv puja even in the prison wearing rudraksha and chanting Shiva mantra. Lord Shiva, being impressed by Supriya’s devotion, appeared in front of her and slew all the demons. The place where the demon was killed is called Daarukavanam.
It is said that the Lord placed the Shiva Linga (called Naganath) there to establish his residence there.
It is also believed that Lord Krishna himself used to worship Lord Shiva here; he is said to have performed the rudrabhishekam here
Another story takes us back to Dwapar Yuga, which revolves around the Pandava brothers. The strongest of them, Bhima saw a river full of cream and milk, he along with his brothers found Syambhu (self-manifested) Lingam in the middle of the river. It was the exact spot where Nageshwar Temple was built.
Special Features and it's significance
It is believed that those who worship Nageshwar Jyotirlinga and meditate here will be freed from all poisons – both physical and spiritual (like anger and temptation) ones.
There is some confusion about the actual site of the jyotirlinga. There are two other temples that have shrines for Nageshwar – Nagnath at Audhgram near Purna in Andhra Pradesh, and Jageshwar temple near Almora in Uttar Pradesh.
There is an interesting story behind why the linga faces south. It is said that once a devotee, Namdev, was asked to step aside and not hide the Lord while chanting his name. Namdeva asked others to suggest a direction where Lord doesn't exist. This made other devotees angry, they carried him to the south and left there. They were perplexed to see Linga was also facing south.
It is also believed that those who pray in this temple, the Jyotirlinga protect them from all kinds of poisons especially snake poisons. This reference is also mentioned in sacred Rudra Samhita. It is mentioned that meditation with a pure mind obtains freedom from all physical and spiritual freedom (Maya, Sin, Anger, and Temptation). These deeply rooted beliefs give this temple its own significance and attract devotees from all over the world.