Most famous Mahadev Shiva temples in India pilgrims should visit

Satyam Shivam Sundaram” is not just a group of three words but a truth that Lord Shiva is the beauty incarnate. Lord Shiva annihilates the creation when it reaches the apex of decadence. Associated with no feeling of fear or death, he is the ‘Nataraj’, the cosmic dancer, who destroys the evil, saves righteous, and makes his devotee ‘Mrityunjay’, a winner over death. With 1008 names and worshiped in the form of lingam; he is also omnipresent and Yogi of Mount Kailash. Mahadev Shiva is a part of the Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh) and his temples are found in every nook and corner of India. Among them, some are ancient Shiva temples. Almost every Hindu is a worshipper of Lord Shiva. To visit the most famous Mahadev Shiva temples, all Hindu pilgrims should visit the following famous pilgrimage circuits at least once.

  • 12 jyotirlinga temples
  • Amarnath temple yatra
  • Panch Kedar (5 temples)
  • Pancha Bhuta Sthalams (5 great elements)

Lord Shiva Temples Tours

Chardham yatra, Kanwar Yatra, Maha Shivratri, and Jalabhishek to Lord Shiva in Shravan (July) are also deeply associated with lord Shiva. The following article will offer a long list of famous and well-known temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in all parts of the world. From Amarnath temple in Kashmir to Elannummel Shiva temple in Kerala and from Somnath temple in Gujrat to Kirateshwar Mahadev Temple in Legship, Sikkim, there is a long list of most revered and highly visited Shiva temples in India that all Hindu pilgrims should visit at least once in a lifetime.

JYOTIRLINGS TEMPLES IN INDIA

Twelve in number, all jyotirlingas are dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Supreme rescuer of innocents. These jyotirlingas are considered as the most revered temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in India. Visiting these temples make devotees free from all sins of the world. Let’s have a look at these 12 sacred temples that take devotees to the abode of almighty. 

SOMNATH Temple

Somnath or Pattan Somnath is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and was built by the Moon God for the purpose of getting rid of Daksha’s curse. The temple is believed to have been renovated by the Ravana, Shri Krishna, and Bhima. The temple has been ruined and looted by foreign invaders many times. An Arrow Pillar, known as Baan Stambh, is the prime attraction of the temple and Hindus should visit this temple before they die. Last time, it was reconstructed after 1947 by Vallbhbhai Patel, the first Home Minister of India. Panch Pandava Gufa is also a famous attraction of this city.

Somnath Temple

  • Location: Prabhas Patan, near Veraval, Gujarat
  • Nearby religious places: Suraj Mandir, Parsuram Temple, Lakshminarayana Temple, Gita Mandir
  • Best season to visit the temple: Winter (October-March)
  • How to reach: Keshod Airport, Keshod (47 km); Veraval railway station (7 Km) from Somnath; Regular bus services from all districts of Gujarat
  • Accommodation: Budget, standard, deluxe, and luxury hotels, resorts, inns, and traveler stays in Veraval
  • Tour package: Gujrat pilgrimage tour package

 

MALLIKARJUNA SWAMY Temple

Popular as ‘Kailash of the South’, it is another holy and most popular Jyotirlinga shrine situated on the bank of the River Krishna. The temple looks outstanding with its great architecture. Built by King Harihara Raya about 6 centuries back, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of Mallikarjun and Goddess Parvati. This temple has a famous tale associated with Lord Ganesha and Kartikeya. This temple is believed to emancipate pilgrims from all sins and get out of the fierce cycle of life and death.

Mallikarjuna

  • Location: Srisailam, the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh
  • Nearby religious places: Bhramaramba Devi temple
  • Best season to visit the temple: Winter (October-March)
  • How to reach: Hyderabad airport; Kurnool railway station (97 Km) from Somnath; and regular bus services
  • Accommodation: Budget, standard, deluxe, and luxury hotels, resorts, and inns Srisailam
  • Tour package: South India pilgrimage tour package

MAHAKALESHWAR MAHAKAL Temple

The deity of this one of the 12 jyotirlinga temples is Mahakal who is also the Lord of the death of all three Lokas: heaven, earth, and Hades. This temple is a sacred spot of Hindu divinity for millions of pilgrims and also an ideal destination for Nirvana seekers, experience seekers, God lovers, and spiritual seekers. Swayambhu Lingam or Dakshinamurti is the presiding deity of the temple. The prime attraction of the temple is the Bhasma Arati. Come to this place to seek blessings of Lord Shiva and visit a must see religious site for all Shiva devotees.

Mahakaleshwar

  • Location: Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
  • Nearby religious places: Bade Ganeshji ka Mandir
  • Best season to visit the temple: Winter (October-March)
  • How to reach: Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport, Indore (50 km); Ujjain railway station; regular buses from Delhi, Jaipur, Pune, Mumbai, Ahmadabad
  • Accommodation: Budget, standard, deluxe, and luxury hotels, resorts, and inns in Ujjain
  • Tour package: Ujjain pilgrimage tour package

 

OMKARESHWAR Temple

Near the confluence of Narmada and Kaveri, Omkareshwar Temple is one of the 12 jyotirlinga temples. It is a 5-storied building that looks like “OM” shape. Tourists and devotees from all over India and rest of the world flock to this temple to pay respect to Hindu Lord Shiva. Built in Northern Indian style of architecture, this temple is considered a highly sacred place by the Hindus as Lord Shiva emerged here in the Jyotirlinga form to defeat the Danava.

  • Location: Indore, Madhya Pradesh
  • Nearby religious places: Siddhnath Temple, Satmatrika Temples, and Kajal Rani Cave
  • Best season to visit the temple: Winter (October-March)
  • How to reach: Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport (77 km), Indore; Indore railway station; regular buses from Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Shirdi, Bhopal, and Dhule
  • Accommodation: Budget, standard, deluxe, and luxury hotels, resorts, and inns in Indore
  • Tour package: Pilgrimage tour package

KEDARNATH Temple

One of the twelve holiest Hindu shrines of Lord Shiva Kedarnath is a popular destination not only for Hindu pilgrims but also for tourists. This holy temple was constructed by the Pandavas where the presiding deity is Kedarnath, the ‘Lord of Kedar Khand’. It is one of the greatest Shaivite shrines in India that was in news in 2013 for a natural disaster caused by a sudden melting of iceberg, floods, and landslide. In the greatest tragedy, around 5700 people were dead. This temple is also one of the four destinations of Chardham Yatra of Uttarakhand. It is also one of the five temples comprising the Panch Kedar.

kedarnath

  • Location: Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
  • Nearby places: Chandrashila and Son Prayag
  • Best season to visit the temple: Winter (October-March)
  • How to reach: Jolly Grant airport (239 km), Indore; Rishikesh railway station (221 km)
  • Accommodation: Budget, standard, deluxe, and luxury hotels, resorts, and inns in Kedarnath
  • Tour package: Char Dham tour package, Uttrakhand pilgrimage tour package

BHIMASHANKAR Temple

Bhimashankar is a revered religious site for millions of Hindus as it is the place where Lord Shiva incarnated in the form of Ardhanarishwara to kill demon Tripurasur. Built in Nagara architectural style, the temple observes low temperature during monsoons. It is likely that one may experience heavy rainfall during the same season. There is another mythological story associated with the Kumbhakarna’s son Bhima and this temple. Come to this place to take the blessing of lord Shiva.

  • Location: Pune, Maharashtra
  • Nearby places: Sahyadri wildlife sanctuary
  • Best season to visit the temple: September-January
  • How to reach: Pune airport; Pune Railway Station (111 Km)
  • Accommodation: Budget, standard, deluxe, and luxury hotels in Pune
  • Tour package: Pune pilgrimage tour package

KASHI VISHWANATH Temple

Come to this place if you want to get real freedom from the vicious cycle of rebirth. It is said that one who takes breathes his last here reaches heavenly abode. This holy temple is one of the most popular pilgrim destinations in India among the twelve Jyotirlingas and is believed that is it also dearest to Lord Shiva. Mughal king Aurangzeb had destroyed this temple, but it was reconstructed in 1780 by Maratha monarch, Ahilya Bai Holkar.

  • Location: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
  • Nearby temples: Bharat Mata Mandir, Thai temple
  • Best season to visit the temple: Oct-March
  • How to reach: Varanasi airport; Varanasi railway station and Kashi railway station
  • Accommodation: Budget, standard, deluxe, and luxury hotels in Varanasi
  • Tour package: Varanasi pilgrimage tour package

TRIMBAKESHWAR SHIVA Temple

One of the twelve eminent Jyotirlinga temples in the country, Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is highly respected and adored by millions of pilgrims in India. At the source of the Godavari River, this temple was supposed to be built by Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao in the classic Hemadpanthi style. This Shiva temple is made of black stone. The lingam you see inside the temple depicts of three faces symbolizing Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Rudra garnered with three distinct golden crowns.

TRIMBAKESHWAR SHIVA

  • Location: Trimbak, near Nasik, Maharashtra
  • Nearby temples: Kedareshwar temple, Gorkhnath Gufa
  • Best season to visit the temple: Oct-March
  • How to reach: Gandhinagar Airport, Nashik (29 km); Nashik railway station
  • Accommodation: Budget, standard, deluxe, and luxury hotels in Nashik
  • Tour package: Nasik pilgrimage tour package

VAIDYANATH Temple

Baba Dham or Baidyanath Dham is considered as a place where demon king Ravana sacrificed his 9 heads to please lord, Shiva. In turn, Lord Shiva gave 9 heads back to Ravana after Ravana tried to take Mount Kailash to Sri Lanka with him. Like a Vaidya (doctor), lord Shiva joined the head and body of Ravana and this jyotirlinga became famous as Vaidhyanath Dham. This place is also famous as kamalingum for fulfilling the wishes of devotees.

  • Location: Deogarh, Jharkhand
  • Nearby temples: Naulakha Mandir, Basukinath Temple, Baiju Temple and Maa Shitala Temple
  • Best season to visit the temple: Oct-March
  • How to reach: Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport, Patna (272 Km), Baidyanathdham (BDME) and Deoghar (DGHR) railway stations; regular buses from Deoghar to Bokaro, Dhanbad, Ranchi, Jamshedpur
  • Accommodation: Budget, standard, deluxe, and luxury hotels in Deogarh
  • Tour package: Pilgrimage tour package

NAGESHWAR Temple

It is one of the 12 jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva on the coast of Saurashtra that is believed to be first ever jyotirlinga on earth. This holy Nageshwar Mahadeva temple has a beautiful 25 m tall Lord Shiva statue and devotees come to this great temple to become free from poison. It is also famous as a destination where Lord Shiva killed the devil named Daruka.

  • Location: Dwarka, Jamnagar, Gujarat
  • Nearby temples: Dwarkadeesh Temple
  • Best season to visit the temple: Oct-June
  • How to reach: Jamnagar airport (137 km); regular bus services to Dwarka from Ahmadabad, Vadodara, Gandhinagar, Somnath, and Rajkot
  • Accommodation: Budget, standard, deluxe, and luxury hotels in Jamnagar
  • Tour package: Dwarka pilgrimage tour package

 

RAMANATHASWAMY Temple

Existed on the island town Rameshwaram, Ramanasthaswamy temple is a holy site for the followers of Lord Shiva, Vishnu, and Panchayatna. Famous for its architecture, corridors, and 36 theerthams, this Jyotirlinga is concerned with Ramayana when Lord Rama made a linga of sand and worshiped it to seek Lord Shiva’s blessings to defeat Ravana.

Rameshwaram

  • Location: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu
  • Nearby temples: Dhanushkodi Temple, Kothandaramaswamy Temple,
  • Best season to visit the temple: Oct-April
  • How to reach: Madurai Airport (149 km); Rameshwaram railway station
  • Accommodation: Budget, standard, deluxe, and luxury hotels in Rameswaram
  • Tour package: South India pilgrimage tour package

GRISHNESHWAR Temple

Built upon a bed of rocks by Maratha patron Ahilyabai Holkar, the Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga temple is one of the most preferred tourist destinations in India that is known for its architecture carved-statues, art works, and paintings. Kusumeswarar, Ghushmeshwara and Grushmeswara are other popular names of this holy shire for millions of Hindu pilgrims. This temple is associated with an interesting story of Shiva devotee Grushma we find in the Shiva Puran.

  • Location: Ellora, Maharashtra
  • Nearby attractions: Ellora caves
  • Best season to visit the temple: Oct-April
  • How to reach: Chikkalthana Airport (30 Km); Aurangabad Railway Station (30 Km)
  • Accommodation: Budget, standard, deluxe, and luxury hotels in Ellora
  • Tour package: Ellora pilgrimage tour package

 

PANCHA BHOOTA STHALAS in South India

 Jambukeshwar temple

Jambukeshwar temple, built by Chola kings 1,800 years ago, is famous as water manifestation of Lord Shiva in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu. This Dravidian style temple is the place where Lord Shiva is worshiped here with his consort Parvati.

Arunachaleswar temple

Arunachaleswar temple is famous as fire manifestation of Lord Shiva in Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. It is one of the largest temples in India dedicated to Annamalaiyar or Arunachaleswarar.

Kalahastheeswar temple

Kalahastheeswar temple is one of the most famous temples in Srikalahasti, Andhra Pradesh, where Lord Shiva has been manifested as air. There is a story associated with this temple where Lord Shiva granted his devotee Mukti after a holy Saivite saint offered his eyes to cover blood erupted from the Shiva linga.

 

Ekambareswar temple

Built in the 9th century by Chola rulers, the Ekambareswar temple is famous as earth manifestation of Lord Shiva in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.

Nataraja temple

Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Nataraja temple is famous as sky manifestation of Lord Shiva in Chidambaram, Cuddalore District, in Tamil Nadu.

Nataraja temple

 

LORD SHIVA TEMPLES AROUND THE WORLD

Like India, there are lots of Lord Shiva temples in all parts of the world. All these temples are popular and have been established by Hindus living in foreign countries, after having permission from the concerned authorities.

  • 9th century old Prambanan Temple in Java, Indonesia
  • Arulmigu Sri Raja Kaliamman Temple in Johor Baru, Malaysia
  • Katasraj Temple (where Pandavas took refuge during their exile) in Chakwal, Pakistan
  • Mukti Gupteshwar Temple in Minto, Sydney, Australia
  • Munneswaram Temple (where Lord Ram prayed to Lord Shiva) in Munneswaram, Sri Lanka
  • Pasupathinath Temple (Built by Jaidev) in Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Shiva Hindu Temple in Zuidoost, Amsterdam
  • Shiva Temple in Muscat, Oman
  • Shiva Temple in Zurich, Switzerland
  • Shiva Vishnu Temple in Livermore, California
  • Shiva Vishnu Temple in Melbourne, Australia
  • Shivan Koil (Shiva Temple) in Lenasia, Johannesburg
  • The Sivan Kovil in Lewisham, London

NEELKANTH MAHADEV TEMPLE

Close to the Nar-Narayan Hill Range and the convergence of Pankaja River and Madhumati River, there is a holy shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva called Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. This temple is famous for Kanwar Yatra in the month of Shravan. At this shrine, people worship Lord Shiva Neelkanth, the God with Blue Throat. This one of the most famous temples dedicated to Lord Shiva has a mythological significance when Lord Shiva’s throat turned blue after almighty consumed all the venom came out of Samudra Manthan. The temple also has a natural spring where Shiva devotees can take a holy bath before entering the temple. At this ancient temple, Lord Shiva is worshiped as the presiding deity in a phallic form a ‘Shiv Lingam’.

NEELKANTH MAHADEV

 

  • Location: 32 km from Rishikesh in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand
  • Nearby temples: Ram Jhula, Lakshman Jhula, Triveni Ghat, Bharat Mandir, and Trayambakeshwar Temple
  • Best season to visit the temple: Throughout the year
  • How to reach: Jolly Grant airport; Rishikesh Railway Station; Regular bus services from Delhi, Haridwar, Dehradun
  • Accommodation: Budget, standard, deluxe, and luxury hotels in Rishikesh
  • Tour package: Rishikesh pilgrimage tour package; Uttrakhand pilgrimage tour package

 

AMARNATH YATRA

As the moon waxes and wanes, the size of ice Siva-linga changes its size in the Amarnath Temple or Cave existed at 55 Km from Kokernag and 141 km from Srinagar. This cave is usually remained closed throughout the year, except the summers when it is opened for devotees only for a few days. At this holy and most famous Lord Shiva temple in India, you will find a naturally occurring ice Shivlinga. Amarnath temple, surrounded by thick snow around, is an important pilgrimage destination for the followers of Lord Shiva. Interestingly, Shiva linga of this temple is a stalagmite. When water drops dripped from the roof on the floor, it gets a solid structure on the floor.

Amarnath Yatra is not open for all. You have to prove your ability to take part in the holy Yatra. Recently, the yatra was in news owing to a terrorist attack on pilgrims traveling in a bus.

  • Location: Baltal Amarnath Trek, Forest Block, Anantnag, Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Best season to visit the temple: May-September
  • How to reach: Srinagar International Airport (72 km); Jammu Railway station (178 km); Take a helicopter from Srinagar and land at Panjtarni (2 km)
  • Tour package: Amarnath yatra package

 

LORD SHIVA TEMPLES IN INDIAN STATES

Apart from 12 jyotirlingas and Pancha bhoota sthalas in South India, there are thousands of big and small and new and old temples in India, dedicated to the supreme destroyers. Find out the top most temples in the following Indian states and pay your respect to the ultimate ruler of the world.

 

LORD SHIVA TEMPLES IN GOA

  • Mahadev Temple, Tambdi Surla
  • Mangueshi Temple, Mangeshi village
  • Nagueshi, Nageshi
  • Saptakoteshwar Temple, Narve
  • Vimleshwar Temple, Rivona

 

LORD SHIVA TEMPLES IN ASSAM

  • Kedareswara Temple, Hajo, Assam
  • Umananda Temple, wonderful “Peacock Island”
  • Maha Bhairav Temple

 

LORD SHIVA TEMPLES IN MAHARASTRA

  • Babulnath Shiva Temple, Mumbai
  • Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
  • Vaijnath Shiva Temple, Parali
  • Kopeshwar Shiva Temple, Kolhapur
  • Aundha Nagnath Temple, Hingoli
  • Kailash Shiva Temple, Ellora
  • Shiv Mandir, Maharashtra, Vangaon
  • Walkeshwar Temple, Mumbai
  • Ambarnath Shiva Mandir, Ambarnath

 

LORD SHIVA TEMPLES IN GUJRAT

  • Bavka Shiva Temple, Chandwada Village, around 14 km from Dahod
  • Koteshwar Temple, 165 km from Bhuj, Kachchh District
  • Shiva Temple at Polo, 70 km from Idar, Sabarkantha District
  • Kumbeshwar Mahadev, Ambaji, Banaskantha District
  • Galteshwar Temple, 15 km from Dakor, Kheda district
  • Bhavnath Mahadev, Mount Girnar, Junagadh district
  • Malika Arjun Temple, Chikhli, Navsari district
  • Utkanteshwar Mahadev, Kapadvanj, Kheda district
  • Nishkalank Mahadev Temple in Koliyak, Bhavnagar, Gujarat (in the Arabian Sea)

 

 

LORD SHIVA TEMPLES IN KARNATAKA

  • Dharmasthala Manjunatha Temple, Dakshina Kannada, Dharmasthala
  • Gokarna, Kumta taluk, Uttara Kannada
  • Kadri Manjunath Temple, Dakshina Kannada
  • Kotilingeshwara, Ghattakamadenahalli, Kolar
  • Murudeshwara, Bhatkal Taluk, Uttara Kannada (Associated with Ravana)
  • Srikanteshwara Temple, Nanjangud

 

LORD SHIVA TEMPLES IN UTTAR PRADESH

  • Balkeshwar Mahadev Mandir, Kamala Nagar, Agra
  • Lodheshwar Mahadev Mandir, Barabanki
  • Pura Mahadev temple (built by Sage Parsurama) in Baghpat
  • Waneshwar Mahadev Temple (built by Daityaraj Wanasur), Banipara Jinai, Kanpur

 

LORD SHIVA TEMPLES IN MADHYA PRADESH

  • Bhojeshwar Temple (Built by Bhoja kings), Bhojpur
  • Kal Bhairav temple (Built king named Bhadrasen) Ujjain
  • Pashupatinath temple, Mandsaur

 

LORD SHIVA TEMPLES IN TAMILNADU

  • Natarajar Temple in Chidambaram
  • Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai
  • Nellaiappar Temple in Tirunelveli
  • Sri Vadaranyeswarar Temple in Thiruvalangadu
  • Kutraleeswar Temple in Kutralam

 

LORD SHIVA TEMPLES IN KERALA

  • Bhavaneeswara Temple, Palluruthy
  • Elannummel Shiva temple
  • Jagannath Temple, Thalassery
  • Mahadeva Temple, Chengannur
  • Mahadeva Temple, Vaikom
  • Rajarajeshwara Temple, Taliparamba
  • Thiruvairanikulam Temple
  • Vadakkunnathan Temple, Thrissur

 

LORD SHIVA TEMPLES IN ODISHA

  • Ajaikapada Bhairava Temple in Jagatsinghpur
  • Astasambhu Siva Temples (8 Hindu temples) in Bhubaneswar
  • Gupteswar Cave temple, Jeypore
  • Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar
  • Mukteswar Temple, Bhubaneswar
  • The Leaning Temple of Huma, Sambalpur

 

LORD SHIVA TEMPLES IN UTTRAKHAND

  • Baghnath in Bageshwar and Binsar Mahadev Temple in Almora
  • Budha Kedar Temple in Tehri Garhwal
  • Gauri Shankar Temple and Bilkeshwar Mahadev Temple in Haridwar
  • Gopinath Temple and Rudranath Temple in Chamoli
  • Koteshwar Mahadev Temple, Madhyamaheshwar Temple, Omkareshwar Temple, Tunganath Temple and Agasteshwar Mahadev in Rudra Prayag
  • Lakha Mandal Temple and Tapakeshwar Temple in Dehradun
  • Patal Bhuvaneshwar Temple (home to 33 crore gods and goddesses) in Pithoragarh district
  • Vishwanath Temple and Kaleshwar Mandir in Uttarkashi

 

LORD SHIVA TEMPLES IN ANDHRA PRADESH and TELANGANA

  • Amaralingeswara Swamy temple in Amaravathi
  • Bheemeswara Swamy Temple at Draksharamam
  • Bhimesvara Swamy temple in Draksharama
  • Komrelly Mallanna Temple in Komuravelly Village, Cheriyal Mandal, Warangal
  • Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy temple in Palakol
  • Kumara Bhimeswara Swamy temple in Samalkota
  • Mahanandishwara Temple in the district of Kurnool
  • Raja Rajeswara temple in Vemulawada
  • Ramappa Temple in Palampet, near Warangal
  • Someswara Swamy temple in Bhimavaram
  • Sri Kalahasti near Tirupati
  • Sri Raja Rajeswara Swamy Temple at Vemulawada
  • Srikalahasteeswara Temple in the town of Srikalahasti
  • Thousand Pillars Temple in Hanmakonda, Warangal

 

Although there are numerous Lord Shiva temples all over the world, including India, yet all mentioned-above temples have a historical and mythological reference. That is why they are considered as most important destinations for all Hindu in a candid manner.

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