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21 Must-Visit Shiva Temples in India for Shiva Devotees

Sri Shiva, the supreme power in Hinduism, is known to bless his devotees with a happy married life and generous boons. He has played a significant role in Indian culture and mythology due to his contrasting personalities as a peaceful entity and fierce deity. Lord Shiva is worshipped in various forms in different states of India, which has led to the creation of several temples dedicated to him throughout the country. The festival of Mahashivratri celebrates the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi, and grand celebrations are organized in various Shiva temples across India. Explore the top 21 Shiva Temples in India to witness the grandeur of this special occasion.

1) Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Ujjain, MP

Sri Mahakaleshwar Ujjain

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is a revered Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingams. Situated in the ancient city of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, India, the temple is known to be one of the holiest abodes of Lord Shiva. The temple is built on the banks of Rudra Sagar Lake and boasts magnificent architecture. The main deity of the temple is Lord Shiva, in the form of a lingam, who is believed to emanate currents of divine power within himself. A visit to Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is considered to be an important pilgrimage for Lord Shiva devotees.

2) Brihadeeswara Temple, Thanjavur, TN

Thanjavur Brihadeeswara Temple

Brihadisvara or Brihadeeswara Temple in Thanjavur is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is a magnificent example of Dravidian architecture, featuring a large colonnaded corridor and one of the largest Shiva lingams in India. The temple is renowned for its exceptional sculptures, including the brass Nataraja. Additionally, the temple has shrines dedicated to Nandi, Goddess Parvathi, Lord Kartikeya, Lord Ganesha, Sabhapati, Dakshinamurti, Chandeshvara, Varahi, and more. It is not only one of the most popular Shiva temples in South India but also a top tourist attraction in Tamil Nadu, drawing visitors from all over the world.

3) Omkareshwar Temple, Shivapuri, MP

Omkareshwar Temple

The Omkareshwar temple is a famous shrine of Lord Shiva in India. It is located on Shivapuri island in the Narmada River and is one of the 12 revered Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. There are two temples of Lord Shiva here – one of Omkareshwar located on the island and the other of Amareshwar situated on the southern bank of the Narmada River on the mainland. The temple’s location near the water bodies offers a beautiful view to visitors. The temple provides ample facilities for its visitors, including food, parking, accommodation, and medical aid.

4) Bhimashankar Temple, Pune, Maharastra

Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga Temple

The Bhimashankar Temple is a famous Jyotirlinga shrine of Lord Shiva, located in the Ghat region of the Sahyadri hills, 127 km away from Shivaji Nagar. The temple’s Nagara style of architecture combines both old and new structures, showcasing the excellent skills of Vishwakarma sculptors. The temple’s construction dates back to the 13th century, while the sabha mandap was built by Nānā Phadnavis in the 18th century. Its elegant design and historical significance make it a must-visit attraction in the city.

5) Kedarnath, Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand

Kedarnath, situated in the Uttarakhand state of India, is a renowned Shiva temple and a prominent destination of the ‘Chardham Yatra.’ Located on the Garhwal Himalayan Range, near the Mandakini River, it is a highly revered Shiva temple among Hindus worldwide. The temple stands at an altitude of about 3583 meters and experiences heavy snowfall during winter. The auspicious occasion of Mahashivratri is celebrated grandly here.

6) Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple, Nashik, Maharashtra

Trimbakeshwar Rudra Abhishek

The Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple is a Hindu temple situated between three hills – Brahmagiri, Nilagiri and Kalagiri, and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is home to three lingams representing Shiv, Vishnu and Brahma. The temple as it stands today was built by Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao and features a sacred pond called Amritavarshini, along with other water bodies. The Shiva temple is frequented by many devotees on a daily basis.

7) Vaidyanath, Deoghar, Jharkhand

Baba Baidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple

The name Vaidyanath means the Lord as a doctor. According to legend, Shiva healed the slashed heads of Ravana as a physician after he had severed them to please Lord Shiva. Baidyanath Dham is a Jyotirlingam located in the state of Jharkhand, India, and is one of the most popular Shiva temples in the country. The temple complex consists of 22 temples with different heights dedicated to various deities. Antique elements can be seen in this temple. The auspicious occasion of Mahashivratri is celebrated here with great enthusiasm.

8) Vadakkunnathan Temple, Thrissur, Kerala

Thrissur Vadakkunnathan Temple

The Vadakkunnathan Temple is a renowned Shiva temple located in the southern state of Kerala, India. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Shiva, who is worshipped as Vadakkunnathan. It is believed that the temple was constructed by Lord Parshurama, making it one of the oldest temples in the region. The temple is famous for the offering of a large amount of ghee to the deity during worship. The ghee is distributed as Prasadam to the devotees. The Maha Shivaratri festival is the main celebration of the temple, where cultural and musical programs are held. The festival is marked by the lighting of over one lakh temple lamps.

9) Somnath Temple, Veraval, Gujarat

Shree Somnath Temple

The Somnath temple, a historical temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples of India and is highly revered by devotees. The temple has a tumultuous past, having been attacked and looted numerous times by foreign invaders. The current temple was built in 1947 and features a Chalukya style of architecture. It is situated near the seashore and attracts visitors during the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivratri.

The temple complex also houses several other smaller temples dedicated to various deities. The serene atmosphere of the temple and its scenic location make it a popular tourist destination as well. The temple offers various facilities to its visitors, including accommodation, food, and parking.

10) Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Jamnagar, Gujarat

Nageshwar Jyothirlinga Temple

The Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is a highly respected Shiva temple in India, and it is also one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Located on the route between Dwarka city and Bet Dwarka Island on the coast of the Saurashtra region in Gujarat, this temple is regarded as a sacred site in the region. One of the main highlights of this Lord Shiva temple is the 25 meters tall statue of a sitting Lord Shiva. In addition, the temple boasts a large garden and a pond, which are popular attractions for visitors seeking a peaceful experience. If you plan to visit, the eve of Maha Shivratri is an especially auspicious time to do so.

11) Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameswaram, TN

Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple

The Ramanathaswamy Temple is a significant Hindu temple located on the Rameswaram Island in Tamil Nadu, India. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples of the deity. Originally built by the Pandya Dynasty, the temple was expanded during the 12th century and underwent restoration under the Jaffna kingdom. The temple is famous for having the longest corridor among all Hindu temples in India, making it a popular destination for visitors.

12) Grishneshwar Temple, Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Grishneshwar Temple

The Grishneshwar Temple, also known as the Ghrneshwar Jyotirlinga or Dhushmeshwar Temple, is among the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines that are highly revered by the Shaivism sect of Hinduism. Located around 1 km away from the renowned Ellora Caves, this temple has been reconstructed and destroyed multiple times due to the Mughal-Maratha conflict. Despite the tumultuous history, it remains an important pilgrimage site for Hindus and draws in numerous devotees every day.

13) Kal Bhairav Temple, Ujjain, MP

Ujjain Kaal Bhairav Temple

The Kal Bhairav Temple is a highly venerated Shiva temple in India, where Lord Shiva is worshipped as Lord Kal Bhairav, the protector deity of the city. The temple is located on the banks of the River Shipra and is considered one of the busiest temples in the city, drawing hundreds of devotees daily. One of the unique features of this temple is the practice of offering liquor to the temple deity.

14) Kashi Vishwanath, Varanasi, UP

Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is a highly revered Shiva temple in India, situated in the holy city of Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is also counted among the twelve Jyotirlingas, making it an important pilgrimage site for devotees of Lord Shiva. The temple holds a special place in the hearts of his followers and is beautifully decorated during the Maha Shivratri festival.

15) Lingaraja Temple, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Lingaraj Temple Bhubaneshwar

The Lingaraja Temple is a well-known Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, serving as a significant landmark in the city of Bhubaneswar and an important tourist attraction of the state of Odisha. With a towering central spire that stands at 180 feet, the temple is a prime example of the Kalinga architectural style and represents the pinnacle of the city’s medieval architectural traditions. Built in the Deula style, the temple comprises four main components, namely the Vimana (sanctum), Jagamohana (assembly hall), Natamandira (festival hall), and Bhoga-Mandapa (hall of offerings). The temple complex is surrounded by a vast compound wall and features around 50 shrines. For devotees of Lord Shiva, a visit to this temple is highly recommended.

16) Mangueshi Temple, Goa

Mangueshi Temple

Mangueshi Temple, situated in Mangeshi Village of Ponda taluk in Goa, is one of the most popular temples in the state dedicated to Lord Manguesh, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The main deity of the temple is Shivlinga, making it one of the most prestigious Shiva temples. The visitors are required to follow a dress code while visiting the temple. Apart from the Shivlinga, the temple complex also features the idols of Goddess Parvathi and God Ganesha, along with many other gods and goddesses. It is a significant pilgrimage site for the followers of Lord Shiva.

17) Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a renowned Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, worshipped in the form of Nilkanth. It is considered to be one of the most revered Shiva temples in India. The temple is nestled amidst dense forests and is located near the Nar-Narayan mountain ranges. The temple is situated at the confluence of the Pankaja and Madhumati rivers, offering a picturesque setting surrounded by beautiful valleys. Visiting this temple on the occasion of Shivaratri is highly recommended.

18) Amarnath Temple, Srinagar, JK

Sri Amarnath Temple

The Amarnath cave, situated in Jammu and Kashmir, is one of the most revered Shiva temples in India. Positioned at an altitude of 3,888 meters, the shrine holds immense significance for the followers of Hinduism. The cave is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and remains covered with snow for most of the year, except during summer when it is open for pilgrims. Thousands of Hindu devotees challenge the mountainous terrain to visit this pilgrimage center every year.

19) Nellaiappar Temple, Tirunelveli, TN

Tirunelveli Nellaiappar Temple

The Nellaiappar Temple is a Hindu temple in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The deity is worshipped as Nellaiappar in the form of a lingam, while his consort Parvathi is represented as Kanthimathi Amman. The temple, situated on the northern banks of the Thamirabarani River, covers an area of 14 acres. One of the highlights of the temple is its 850 feet long and 756 feet wide gopuram. It is a significant pilgrimage site for the followers of Lord Shiva.

20) Maheswaram Temple, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Maheswaram Sri Sivaparvathi Temple

The Maheswaram Temple is a stunning temple dedicated to Lord Shiva where the festival of Maha Shivaratri is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Also known as Maheswaram Sri Sivaparvathi Temple, it is built using Krishna Stone and wood in the traditional architectural style of Kerala. The temple is open to everyone, regardless of their caste, creed, or religion. It boasts 70 pillars adorned with intricate sculptures, making it a must-visit destination for both art and religion enthusiasts.

21) Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai, TN

Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple

Arunachaleswarar Temple is a significant Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in the town of Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is one of the largest Shiva temples in the world and attracts thousands of devotees every year. Lord Shiva is worshipped here in the form of a lingam, and the temple complex includes several other shrines dedicated to different deities. The temple is particularly famous for its annual festival, Karthigai Deepam, which involves the lighting of a huge lamp on top of the Annamalai hill, visible from miles away. For those seeking spiritual solace or architectural beauty, Arunachaleswarar Temple is a must-visit destination.

Girivalam is a Hindu pilgrimage that involves circumambulating the sacred hill of Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai. The word ‘Girivalam’ means ‘circumambulation of the hill.’ It is believed that circumambulating the hill during the full moon day will cleanse one’s sins and fulfill their wishes. The path is about 14 kilometers long and passes through several important temples, such as the Arunachaleswarar Temple, and natural landmarks, like the Pancha Bhuta Sthalas. Thousands of devotees from different parts of India and abroad participate in the Girivalam pilgrimage every month. The path is also open for regular walking and jogging activities outside of the full moon day.

21 Must-Visit Shiva Temples in India for Shiva Devotees

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