Lord Shiva has his presence in every state of India. We have famous Shiva temples in India that are visited by devotees and pilgrims from all over the country. With the forthcoming Mahashivratri 2022, Hindus all over India are getting ready to celebrate this spiritual festival in honour of the prominent deity.
Moreover, these famous Shiva temples in India are a divine representation of the Jyotirlinga. It is said that Lord Shiva appeared in the form of a radiant pillar known as Jyotirlinga. As per ancient texts, there are 64 Jyotirlingas, but only twelve are famous. Scriptures say that a part of Shiva lives in these Jyotirlingas.
Jyotirlinga can be split into two words, Jyoti and Linga. Jyoti stands for divine light, and Linga means pillar. So, together, they mean a divine light pillar. Jyotirlinga is seen as a devotional representation of Lord Shiva.
A Legend says that, in a bid to show their supremacy, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu went to war. Accordingly, Shiva emerged in front of them in the form of a pillar of light. Astonished by the huge pillar, both Brahma and Vishnu decided to find the ends of it.
Brahma went upwards, and Vishnu flew down. However, both the deities could not find the end of the pillar. In an attempt to outdo Vishnu, Brahma decided to lie about reaching the end of the pillar. Soon after, Shiva emerged from the pillar of light and cursed Brahma.
As per the curse, Brahma won’t be worshipped till the end of eternity. However, Shiva blessed Vishnu for his honesty and piousness. So, the pillar of light came to be known as the Jyotirlinga.
Are you looking to visit one of the famous Shiva temples in India? We have curated a list of some of the most famous Shiva temples that you can visit this Mahashivratri.
If you go searching for the Adi Yogi, you are sure to find glimpses of him residing in some of these famous Shiva temples. During Mahashivratri, Shiva temples in India decorate Lingas with flowers, and offer the pillar fruits, bael leaves, and milk.
Most Famous Shiv Temples In India
Lord Shiva has many names. Regarded as an ascetic, Adi Yogi, Adi Shakti, destroyer of evil, warrior, leader, lord of the universe; Shiva has 108 names.
1. Amarnath Temple, Kashmir
Situated at a height of 3888m, the Amarnath Temple is located in a cave in Jammu and Kashmir. The temple is known for the naturally formed ice Linga of Shiva that happens once a year.
It is visited by devotees and is also, considered as one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas. The best time to visit Amarnath Shiva Temple during the Amarnath Yatra is between June, 27th 2022 to 11th August 2022.
2. Kashi Vishwanath, Uttar Pradesh
One of the most famous Shiva temples in Varanasi, it is also known as the Golden temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Kashi Vishwanath was constructed in the year 1780 by the Maratha monarch, Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar, of Indore.
Located near the banks of the Ganga, the best time to visit Kashi Vishwanath Shiva Temple is between November and February.
3. Kailasnath Temple, Maharashtra
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The largest of the rock-cut Hindu temples at Ellora Caves, Kailasnath Temple is known for its vertical excavation. It is one of the most famous examples of Rashtrakuta architecture from the Rashtrakuta Dynasty.
The timings for visiting the Kailasnath Temple are between 9 am to 5 pm. Moreover, the best time to visit the temple is between June to March
4. Somnath Temple, Gujarat
However, the temple was reconstructed every time, and its latest design, completed in 1951 bears a resemblance to the Chalukya Style Architecture. It is known as the Eternal Shine and has a beautiful panoramic view of the sea.
The best time to visit Somnath Temple is between October and March.
5. Brihadeswara Temple, Tamil Nadu
Situated on the banks of the river Kaveri in Tanjore in Tamil Nadu, the Brihadeswara Temple is one of the finest Shiva temples in India. Constructed by the popular king Raja Raja Chola between 1001 AD and 1010 AD, it is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The best time to visit Brihadeeshwara Shiva Temple is between October and March.
6. Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
One of the most famous Shiva Temples in India, Kedarnath is amongst the 12 Jyotirlingas. It is located at a very high altitude and the pilgrims have to trek for 22 km to reach the temple.
Pilgrims visit the temple during their Chota Char Dham or Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand. It is situated in the Garhwal Himalayan Range. The best time to visit the temple is between April and November.
7. Nageshwar Temple, Dwarka
One of the most legendary Shiva temples, Nageshwar is located in Devbhoomi Dwarka. It is one of the 12 jyotirlingas temples in India.
The red temple is a short distance from the town. At the end of the hall is the main sanctum with the shivalinga. Moreover, another spiritual place close to the temple is called Gopi Talav Tirth. The best time to visit the temple is between November and February.
8. Murudeshwara Temple, Karnataka
Situated in Karnataka, Murudeshwara Temple has the second tallest statue of Lord Shiva right next to the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea
Near the statue, there is a 20-storey temple for Shiva. Moreover, devotees can view the Shiva statue by taking a lift to the top of the Raja Gopura The best time to visit Murudeshwara Shiva temple is between October and May.
9. Lingraj Temple, Odisha
Built in the 11th century A.D, the Lingraja Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated in the city of Bhubaneshwar and was built by Somvanshi King Yayati I.
A temple built in the classic Kalinga style of architecture, it is divided into four sections called Garbha Griha, Yajna Shala, Bhoga Mandap, and Natya Shala. The best time to visit the Lingaraj Shiva Temple is between January and March.
10. Baidhyanath Temple, Jharkhand
Commonly referred to as the Baidyanath Dham in Jharkhand, the temple is also one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India. It is regarded as a sacred abode of Lord Shiva, where pilgrims take an annual Kanwar yatra.
According to Hindu beliefs, Ravana worshipped Shiva at this temple in order to get power. The best time to visit Baidhyanath Temple is between January and March.
11. Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra
Located in Nashik district of Maharashtra, it is one of the most famous Shiva temples for Hindu devotees. It is said to have been constructed by the third Peshwa, Balaji Bajirao (1740-1760). Moreover, it is 28 km from Nashik City and is well connected by state transport buses.
Trimbakeshwar is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga sites, and houses a three faced Jyotirlinga. The best time to visit is between October and March.
12. Mahakaleshwar, Madhya Pradesh
Located in the city of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Mahakaleshwar is located near the holy river Shipra. The linga placed in this temple is south facing and it is believed that the lingam is Swayambu, meaning that it derives power from within itself, as opposed to other lingams that are placed after rituals and chanting mantras.
During Mahashivratri, there is a huge fair near the temple, and the festivities go on till the night. The best time to visit is between October and March.
13. Daksheswara Mahadev Temple, Haridwar
Located in South Kankhal town in Haridwar, Daksha Mahadev temple is one of the oldest Shiva Temples in India. Named after the King, Daksha Prajapati, it is a place where devotees visit in numbers during Mahashivratri.
The present form of the temple was rebuilt in 1962, and it has a Das Mahavidya Temple located near the main temple for Mahavidyas. The best time to visit the temple is during Mahashivratri.
14. Vadakkunnathan Temple, Kerala
The Vadakunnathana Shiva Temple is one of the most prominent Temples in Kerala devoted to Lord Shiva. It is located in Trisshur and is said to be built by the famous sage Parashurama.
Built in a Kerala Style Architecture, the temple uses wood and stones with huge four legged towers along with a kuttambalam. During Thrissshur Pooram, the temple is heavily visited by devotees from Kerala. Hence, the best time to visit the temple is during the Pooram between April-May
Our list includes some of the most revered Shiva temples in India. Known as Mahadev or the greatest God, Shiva is the embodiment of longevity, selflessness, and energy. On this Mahashivratri, devotees can visit, worship Shiva by visiting some of these famous temples and getting their wishes blessed by the deity.
FAQs Around Famous Shiva Temple in India
Mundeshwari temple in Bihar is the oldest Hindu temple in India. It was built in 1915 and is protected as one of the oldest monuments by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India).
Telangana’s iconic Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple was inscribed by the UNESCO committee as a World Heritage site.