Travel: Lord Shiva's reputation is renowned for bestowing his devotees with a joyful and harmonious married life, and his followers hold him in high esteem for his benevolent blessings. According to Hindu religious beliefs, Lord Shiva is the ultimate authority who has played a crucial role in Indian culture. In this article, we will know the Top 20 Famous Shiva Temples in India that Shiva Bhakt must visit.
In mythology, he is known for his dual personality, being both a peaceful being and a fierce deity. Lord Shiva is worshipped in various forms in different states of India, which is why there are numerous temples dedicated to him throughout the country.
Mahashivratri is a festival commemorating the nuptials of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. The occasion is marked with elaborate celebrations and worship of the Shivlingam, with many people choosing to observe a fast on this day. Numerous Shiva temples across India also host grand festivities to mark this special occasion. Discover the top 20 Shiva temples in India to experience the grandeur of this festival.
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Ujjain
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is a revered Hindu Shiva temple, recognized as one of the twelve Jyotirlingams, and devoted to Lord Shiva. Situated in the ancient city of Ujjain in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, this temple is regarded as one of the holiest dwelling places of Lord Shiva. Built on the banks of Rudra Sagar Lake, the temple enshrines the main deity of Lord Shiva in the form of a lingam, believed to emanate powerful currents of energy.
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Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur
The Brihadisvara Temple, located in Thanjavur, is a renowned Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered a prime example of fully-realized Dravidian architecture. The temple boasts a vast colonnaded corridor and is home to one of the largest Shiva lingams in India. Renowned for its exceptional sculpture, the temple features a brass Nataraja and also includes shrines dedicated to Nandi, Goddess Parvathi, Lord Kartikeya, Lord Ganesha, Sabhapati, Dakshinamurti, Chandeshvara, Varahi, and others. Not only is it among the most popular Shiva temples in South India, but it is also a major tourist attraction in Tamil Nadu.
Omkareshwar Mahadev Temple, Shivapuri
Omkareshwar is a renowned Shiva temple in India situated on an island called Shivapuri in the Narmada River, and is regarded as one of the twelve revered Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. The temple complex comprises two separate temples of Lord Shiva: the Omkareshwar temple located on the island, and the Amareshwar temple situated on the southern bank of the Narmada River on the mainland. Due to its proximity to the water bodies, the temple offers stunning views. It also provides a range of facilities for visitors, including food, parking, lodging, and medical services.
Bhimashankar Temple, Pune
The Bhimashankar Temple, located in the Ghat region of the Sahyadri hills and 127 km away from Shivaji Nagar, is one of the most renowned temples of Lord Shiva and is also a Jyotirlinga shrine. The temple is an exquisite blend of old and new structures in the Nagara style of architecture, showcasing the remarkable skills of the Vishwakarma sculptors. Though the elegant temple dates back to the 13th century, its sabha mandap was constructed by Nānā Phadnavis in the 18th century. A must-visit attraction, the temple is highly popular among tourists.
Kedarnath is a renowned Shiva temple in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and is one of the key destinations of the 'Chardham Yatra'. Located on the Garhwal Himalayan Range near the Mandakini River, it is highly revered by Hindus worldwide. The temple is situated at an altitude of approximately 3583 meters and experiences heavy snowfall during winters. The auspicious occasion of Mahashivratri is celebrated grandly at the temple.
Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple, Nasik
The Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and situated amidst three hills named Brahmagiri, Nilagiri, and Kalagiri. The temple has three lingams that represent Shiv, Vishnu, and Brahma. Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao constructed the present-day temple, which has a sacred pond called Amritavarshini, along with other water bodies. The temple is visited by numerous devotees on a daily basis.
Vadakkunnathan Temple, Thrissur
The Vadakkunnathan Temple is a renowned Shiva temple located in the state of Kerala in South India. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Shiva, also known as Vadakkunnathan. According to legend, it was the first temple built by Lord Parashurama. A significant offering made to the deity during worship is a large quantity of ghee, which is distributed to devotees as prasadam. The temple celebrates the festival of Maha Shivaratri with great enthusiasm and hosts various cultural and musical events. On this occasion, the temple is adorned with more than one lakh lamps, creating a magnificent sight.
Somnath Temple, Veraval
The Somnath temple is a renowned Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples in India. The temple has a rich history of being repeatedly attacked and looted by foreign invaders. The present temple, located near the sea shore, was built in 1947 and is designed in the Chalukya style of architecture. The temple attracts many devotees and visitors, especially during the festival of Maha Shivratri.
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Jamnagar
The Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is a highly respected Shiva temple in India, and it is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is a sacred site in the region and is situated on the road that connects Dwarka city and Bet Dwarka Island on the coast of the Saurashtra region in Gujarat. The temple is home to a 25-meter-tall statue of a seated Lord Shiva and a vast garden with a pond, which are the main attractions of this peaceful location. Visitors can experience the serene atmosphere of this place and join in the festivities on the occasion of Maha Shivratri.
Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameswaram
The Ramanathaswamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is located on Rameswaram Island in Tamil Nadu, India, and is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples. It was expanded during the 12th century by the Pandya Dynasty, and the main shrine sanctum was restored by Jeyaveera Cinkaiariyan and his successor Gunaveera Cinkaiariyan of the Jaffna kingdom. The temple boasts the longest corridor among all Hindu temples in India and is a popular attraction for visitors.
Grishneshwar Temple, Aurangabad
The Grishneshwar temple, also known as Ghrneshwar Jyotirlinga or Dhushmeshwar temple, is among the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana and holds great religious significance for the Shaivism sect of Hinduism. Located just 1 km away from the renowned Ellora Caves, the temple has undergone multiple demolitions and reconstructions during the Mughal-Maratha conflicts. Today, it remains a major pilgrimage site for Hindus, drawing a large number of devotees daily.
Kal Bhairav Temple, Ujjain
The Kal Bhairav temple, located on the banks of the River Shipra, is one of the most venerated Shiva temples in India where Lord Shiva is worshipped as Lord Kal Bhairav, the guardian deity of the city. Despite being a lively temple that draws hundreds of devotees daily, one of the unique practices here is that the temple deity is offered liquor as a form of worship.
Kashi Vishwanath, Varanasi
The Kashi Vishwanath temple, situated in the holy city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh state, is one of the most venerated Shiva temples of India and is also counted among the twelve Jyotirlingas. It holds a significant place in the hearts of Lord Shiva's followers and attracts a large number of devotees. The temple is beautifully decorated during the Maha Shivratri festival.
Lingaraja Temple, Bhubaneswar
The Lingaraja Temple, located in the city of Bhubaneswar, is a renowned Hindu temple devoted to Lord Shiva. It is a significant attraction of the state and a major landmark of the city. The temple's main tower is an impressive 180 feet tall and represents the essence of Kalinga architecture, epitomizing the city's medieval architectural traditions. The temple is built in the Deula style and comprises four main parts - the Vimana (sanctum), Jagamohana (assembly hall), Natamandira (festival hall), and Bhoga-Mandapa (hall of offerings). Additionally, the temple complex houses around 50 shrines and is enclosed by a large compound wall. The temple is a must-visit for followers of Lord Shiva.
Mangueshi Temple, Goa
Mangueshi Temple, situated in the Mangeshi Village of Ponda taluk in Goa, is dedicated to Lord Manguesh, an incarnation of Lord Shiva, and is among the most popular temples in the region. The temple is renowned for its Shivlinga, which is the main deity. A dress code is required for visitors to the temple. The complex also includes shrines dedicated to Goddess Parvathi and God Ganesha, as well as numerous other idols of gods and goddesses.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Rishikesh
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a highly regarded Hindu temple devoted to Lord Shiva in the form of Nilkanth. It is a prominent holy site among Shiva devotees. The temple is nestled amidst dense forests and is located in close proximity to the mountain ranges of Nar-Narayan. The temple is situated at the confluence of the rivers Pankaja and Madhumati, surrounded by picturesque valleys. Visiting the temple during the festival of Shivaratri is highly recommended.
Amarnath Temple, Srinagar
The Amarnath cave, situated in Jammu and Kashmir, is one of the most revered Shiva temples in India. Set at an altitude of 3,888 meters, this shrine holds great significance in the lives of Hindu devotees. The cave is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and remains covered in snow for most of the year, except during the summer months when it is open for pilgrims. Despite the challenging mountainous terrain, Amarnath attracts thousands of Hindu devotees every year, who come on a pilgrimage to this sacred site.
Nellaiappar Temple, Tirunelveli
The Nellaiappar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, situated in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is devoted to Nellaiappar, an aspect of Lord Shiva represented by the lingam, while his consort, Parvathi, is depicted as Kanthimathi Amman. Spanning over 14 acres on the northern banks of the Thamirabarani River, the temple showcases a magnificent 850-foot-long and 756-foot-wide gopuram.
Maheswaram Temple, Thiruvananthapuram
Maheswaram Sri Sivaparvathi Temple, also known as Maheswaram Temple, is a stunning temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple, built using Krishna Stone and wood in the traditional Kerala architectural style, celebrates Maha Shivaratri with great enthusiasm. Open to all, regardless of caste, creed, or religion, it boasts 70 finely-sculpted pillars. For those who appreciate both art and religion, this temple is a must-visit.
These are the Top 20 Famous Shiva Temples in India, Bhakt must Visit. Also, we would like to know your local temple so do not forget to tag us @bgsraw while uploading videos and let us know why it is been popular there.
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FAQs Related to Top 20 Famous Shiva Temples in India
Q: What are some of the famous Shiva temples in South India?
A: Some of the famous Shiva temples in South India are Meenakshi Amman Temple, Brihadeeswara Temple, Annamalaiyar Temple, and Murdeshwar Temple.
Q: What is the significance of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples of Lord Shiva?
A: The 12 Jyotirlinga temples are considered the holiest shrines of Lord Shiva and are believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva in his purest form. The Jyotirlinga symbolizes the infinite nature of Lord Shiva and his superiority over all other deities.
Q: Which is the oldest Shiva temple in India?
A: The oldest known Shiva temple in India is the Hatakeswara Temple, which is located in Kankhal, Haridwar, and dates back to the 5th century CE.
Q: How many Shiva temples are there in India?
A: It is difficult to determine the exact number of Shiva temples in India, as there are thousands of them spread across the country. Shiva is one of the most revered deities in Hinduism, and his temples can be found in every part of the country, from the Himalayas to the southern tip of India.
Q: What is the dress code for visiting Shiva temples in India?
A: The dress code for visiting Shiva temples in India varies from temple to temple, but generally, visitors are expected to dress modestly and cover their heads before entering the temple premises. Some temples may require visitors to remove their shoes before entering the inner sanctum. It is always advisable to check the specific dress code of a temple before visiting.