Worship of shivalinga is considered the prime worship for the devotees of Lord shiva. Worship of all other forms is considered secondary. The significance of the shivalinga is that It is the resplendent light (flame) form of the Supreme - solidified to make the worship of It easier. It represents the real nature of God - formless essentially and taking various forms as It wills. More details on the shiva linga significance could be found at Shaivam A Perspective
The Dwadasa Jyotirlinga shrines or the 12 shrines enshrining Shiva in the form of a Jyotirlingam, have been held in reverence since time immemorial in the Indian system of beliefs. The southernmost of these is located at Rameswaram, while the northernmost is located in the snowy heights of the Himalayas at Kedarnath. These temples are closely linked with legends from the puranas and are rich in history and tradition.
Shlokam below describes the 12 jyothirlingas:
"Saurashtre SomanaathanchaSree Saile Mallikarjunam
Ujjainyaam Mahakaalam Omkaare Malleswaram
Prajwalyam vaidyanathancha dhakinyam bheema shankaram
Setubandhetu ramesham nagesham darukavane
Varanasyam tu Viswesam Tryambakam Gautameethate
Himalayetu Kedaram ghrushteshancha Vishalakae "
Location of the jothirlinga temples:
Two on the sea shore, three on river banks, four in the heights of the mountains and three in villages located in meadows; the twelve Jyotirlingas are spread out like this. Every place has been described in glorious words by many detailing the surroundings etc.
Those of us who go to these temples of Shubhankar Shankar- Jyoti-Sivasthan, receive the holy blessings of the Lord, and come back happy, peaceful and blessed. This in indeed depends on one’s devotion and experience too.
- Somnath JyotirLing in Saurashtra (Guj)
- Mallikarjun jyoptirling in Srisailam (A.P.)
- Mahakaleshwar jyotirling in Ujjain (M.P.)
- Omkareshwar jyotirling in Shivpuri / mAmaleswara (M.P.)
- Vaidyanath jyotirling in Parali (Mah)
- Nageswar jyotirling in Darukavanam(Mah)
- Kedareswar jyotirling in Kedarnath / Himalayas (Utt)
- Tryambakeswar jyotirling in Nasik (Mah)
- Rameshwar jyotirling in Setubandanam / Rameshwaram (T.N.)
- Bhimashankar jyotirling in Dakini (Mah)
- Visweswar jyotirling in Varanasi (U.P.)and
- Ghrishneswar jyotirling in Devasrovar (Mah)
As a matter of fact, we do the Darshan of the JyotirLingas as a part of our daily life. Sun, Fire and Light etc., are indeed a part of that great Light. “Om tatsavituvarenye” these magical words of the Gayatri mantra or chant invoke this Supreme light only. By chanting this powerful Mantra, humans can obtain divine power to their life-light or Atmajyothi.
Thus, by taking a Darshan of these twelve JyotirLingas, the auspicious air surrounding them and the holy pilgrimage, will bring happiness, peace and satisfaction to all.