Shiva Temples of India


Shiva Temples of India

India is a country with over 3 crore Gods and Goddesses. The Shiva temples in India embody this spirituality and faith that runs across the country. Shiva temples are known to be especially powerful and sacred, thereby attracting a very devoted crowd.

Here is the list of 33 Shiva Temples of India

1. Kashi Vishwanath Temple - Jyotirlinga Of India - Most Sacred Shiva Temples in India

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Kashi Vishwanath Temple is regarded as one of the most sacred Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in India. Located in the heart of Varanasi, the temple is a core of faith for millions of Hindus. Being one of the most famous temples of Varanasi, the temple witnesses around 3,000 devotees on daily basis and the footfall increases to 1,00,000 on special occasions. The importance of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple also stems from the fact that it finds mentions in several holy scriptures of the Hindus.

2. Kedarnath Temple - Jyotirlinga Of India - Most Sacred Shiva Temples in India

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Kedarnath is the highest among the 12 Jyotirlingas. This temple, over a thousand years old, is built of enormous stone slabs over a large rectangular dais. The present temple is believed to be re-built by Adi Shankaracharya, originally built by the Pandavas. It is believed that after the war of Kurukshetra, the Pandavas sought redemption from Lord Shiva here who hid in a bull-form. The halls of the temple today tell this story on its walls. Devotees believe that a visit to this temple can free them from the cycle of life and birth. The inner walls of this Shiva temple in India are carved with figures of various deities and scenes from mythology.

3. Mahakaleshwar Temple - Jyotirlinga Of India - Most Sacred Shiva Temples in India

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Mahakaleshwar temple is the temple dedicated to Shiva as Mahakala. it is built on a spacious courtyard and is surrounded by massive walls. It has five levels, one of which is underground. It is said to be one of the twelve sacred Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. The abode of Lord Shiva, the temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, which are considered to be the sacred dwelling place of the Lord.

4. Bhimashankar Temple - Jyotirlinga Of India - Most Sacred Shiva Temples in India

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Bhimashankar Temple is a Jyotirlinga shrine located 50 km northwest of Khed, near Pune, in India. It is one of the well-known Jyotirlinga among the twelve Jyotirlingas situated all over India. This makes it a very sacred Shiva temple in India for devotees. In recent times, it has gained immense significance and has been declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary.

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5. Murudeshwar Temple

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Located in Karnataka, this magnificent shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This Shiva temple in India boasts of the second highest statue of Lord Shiva in the world and the sheer magnanimity of the statue will fill you with a sense of awe. This temple is built on the Kanduka Hill which is surrounded by the Arabian Sea on three sides. The main temple's entrance, also called the 'gopura' stands at 123 feet and you can witness the breathtaking view of the Shiva statue from the top of the gopura.

6. Tungnath Temple

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One of the world's highest temples perched at an altitude of 3680m; Tungnath temple has many myths and legend in its bag. It is believed that this temple was established by Arjuna of Mahabharata after Adi Shankaracharya founded a Shiva Linga at the same site. It is an ancient holy town about more than 1000 years old and is popular among the pilgrims and devotees.

7. Mahabaleshwara Temple, Gokarna

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A Shiva Linga known as the Atmalinga is worshipped in this Mahabaleshwar temple. Built using white granite, it is a classic example of the beauty of Dravidian architecture. A 1500 years old carved stone Lord Shiva idol in the standing position represents the main deity.

8. Meenakshi Amman Temple

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This is a historic Hindu temple located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River, Madurai, Tamil Nadu. It is primarily dedicated to Parvati, known as Meenakshi, and her spouse, Shiva. What makes this Shiva temple in India different from others is the fact that both God and Goddess are worshipped together.

9. Brahadeshwara Temple

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The biggest attraction of Thanjavur - The Brahadeshwara Temple, also known as the Big Temple. Built during the reign of the Great Chola emperor, Raja Raja Chola, this Shiva temple in India is an architectural marvel. Protected by deep trenches on either side and the Grand Anaicut River running through another, this temple is a favourite among the pilgrims.

10. Lingaraj Temple

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The Lingaraj Temple is an ancient temple with great religious importance. Dedicated to Lord Shiva as the name suggests, it is visited by a huge number of devotees throughout the year. It is highly revered because of the fact that the Linga here, which is the phallic form of Lord Shiva, is believed to have appeared naturally.

11. Talakadu, Mysore

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Nestled on the banks of River Cauvery, Talakadu is a town known for its sand dunes. With a rich past and heritage, the town is also quite famous among the devotees who come here for special worship at the Shiva temple. Steeped with rich past and heritage, it is famous for its Vaidyanatheshwara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

12. Omkareshwar Temple - Jyotirlinga Of India - Most Sacred Shiva Temples in India

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The Madhyamaheshwar Omkareshwar Temple is an integral part of the great Panch Kedar and is dedicated to Lord Shiva in India. It is simply known as Ukhimath Omkareshwar Temple and is one the most prominent Shiva temple in India. During the winters, the idols from Kedarnath temple and Madhyamaheshwar are brought to Ukhimath and worshipped here for six months. Ukhimath is a small pilgrimage town in the Rudraprayag District of Uttarakhand.

13. Bull Temple, Bangalore

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Bull temple is associated with mythological & religious significance, the shrine is a renowned worship place. It is one of the calm, peaceful and oldest places in Bangalore. It is dedicated to Nandi bull, the vehicle of Lord Shiva.

14. Lepakshi Temple, Lepakshi, Karnataka

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Lepakshi Temple is an ancient temple displaying the relics of Vijayanagara style of architecture with its roots going back to 16th century India. The temple complex comprises of three shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Veerbhadra and Lord Vishnu.

15. Mahabaleshwar Temple, Mahabaleshwar

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Situated at a distance of 6km from the main city of Mahabaleshwar, this Shiva temple in India is an ancient shrine and an example of the Maratha heritage. The temple is guarded by a five feet wall and is divided into two sections. The inner part has Shiva as the presiding deity. The site has two more temples nearby - the Atibaleshwar temple and Panchganga temple. Mahabaleshwar is one of the most sacred Shiva temples in India.

16. Draksharamam, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh

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Located on the eastern bank of Godavari, Draksharama is one of the five most powerful and prominent Shiva temples in India. 40kms away from Rajahmundry, the temple is said to be dating back to the 11th century. Draksharama is perfect for a religious getaway, the scenery around the temple is pleasant and the road journey to the temple is nothing short of beautiful.

17. Naina Devi Temple, Nainital, Uttarakhand

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The Temple of Shri Naina Devi Ji is situated on a hill top in Bilaspur Distt. Of Himachal Pradesh. Situated at a height of 1219 m above sea level, it was built by Raja Bir Chand in the 8th century. The temple is dedicated to Devi Sati's eyes. According to Hindu mythology, the temple is built on the exact spot where Goddess Sati's eyes fell on the Earth after Lord Shiva carried her charred body after taking it out from the fire of the yagna that was performed by Sati's father- Daksha.

18. Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple, Srisailam

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On the southern bank of River Krishna, is a temple, the town Srisailam is known for. The Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple, is the most celebrated temple of the town and finds it roots 6 centuries in history, when it was built by King Harihara Raya of Vijayanagar.

19. Grishneshwar Temple, Aurangabad - One of the 12 Jyotirlingas

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A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Grishneshwara Temple is known as one of the 12 sacred Jyotirlingas. Grishneshwar Temple is a 13th Century Shiva Temple located in Ellora. It has been mentioned in the Shiva Purana, which forms an integral part of the Shaivism Literature, as the 12th place of worship in the country. The original temple was a prehistoric monument which was later destroyed by the Mughals. What is seen now is a structure which was rebuilt twice after the Mughals were defeated. So, apart from having religious importance, Grishneshwar Temple also has a historical significance. The temple architecture also draws several tourists to the site. At present, it is recognized as an active place of worship for followers of Lord Shiva and a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site.

20. Baidyanath Dham, Deoghar

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The Baidyanath Jyotirlinga temple, commonly referred to as the Baidyanath Dham, is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India and is considered to be the most sacred abode of Lord Shiva. Located in Deoghar division of the state of Jharkhand, the large and magnificent temple complex comprises of the main temple of Baba Baidyanath, where the Jyotirlinga is installed, along with twenty-one other significant and beautiful temples. The giant temple complex is a fantastic place to be at, for the tranquillity and peace that it offers. The procession of devotees in the Hindu calendar month of Shravan is especially spectacular, as they carry water from the Ganges River in Sultangaj 108 km away, to the temple. The line of devotes is rumoured to stretch the whole 108 km, without an interruption!

21. Trimbakeshwar, Nasik

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Trimbakeshwar Temple houses one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, a form of Lord Shiva. Perched on the foot of Brahmagiri Hills, this Shiva temple in India is situated in the city of Trimbak (Dist Nashik in Maharashtra), 28 kms from the main city of Nashik. The temple finds its mention in the powerful Mrityunjaya Mantra that bestows immortality and longevity. Built-in, the 18th century by Maratha ruler, Peshwa Nana Saheb, the temple, is a perfect epitome of classic architecture. There is a Kusavarta or Kunda in temple premises that is considered to be the source of river Godavari

22. Yaganti, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh

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Yaganti, in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh, is the famous Sri Yagantiswamy Temple (also known as the Uma Maheshwara Temple) dedicated to Lord Shiva. Constructed by the first Vijayanagara Sangama King Harihara Bukka Rayalu in the 15th century, this Shiva temple in India ebbs deeply of culture and traditions even today. Yaganti houses the idol of Shiva & Parvathi, called Ardhanareeswara carved out of a single stone. This is probably the only place where Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of an idol instead of Shiva Linga.

23. Marundeeswarar Temple, Chennai

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Marundeeswarar Temple, in Tiruvanmiyur, near Chennai has the temple deity Shiva in the form of Marundeeswar or Aushadeeswarar, the God of Medicines. Given the name, Marundeeswarar Temple has been a place of worship especially for people with diseases and those facing various problems with their health. A fine specimen of Dravidian architecture, this temple is a must visit for anyone visiting Chennai or nearby cities.

24. Umananda Temple, Guwahati

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Umananda Temple is a Shiva temple located on Peacock Island, in the middle of river Brahmaputra. Peacock Island, which houses the Umanada Temple, is known as the smallest inhabited riverine island in the world. Country boats are available all the time during the day, on the banks of Brahmaputra, to take the visitors to the island. The mountain on which the temple has been built is known as Bhasmacala.

25. Bhagsunath Temple, Mcleodganj

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Surrounded by beautiful pools and lush greenery, this temple is located at a height of 1770m above sea level and attracts a huge number of devotees and tourists throughout the year.

26. Amarnath Cave, Amarnath

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Located in Jammu and Kashmir, the Amarnath Cave is a Hindu Shrine and is visited by lakhs of people every year. It is located at an altitude of 3,888 m. The Amarnath falls into the categories of the most famous Hindu Shrines. Lakhs and Thousands of devotees make a pilgrimage to the cave during summers, while it is open, as they cross challenging mountain terrains to reach to the ice stalagmite formed inside the cave.

27. Mukteshwar Temple

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One of the most popular shrines, Mukteshwar temple, is an ancient Shiva temple in India which is almost 350 years old and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Perched on top of the highest point in Mukteshwar (which is a beautiful hill station that got its name after the shrine), the temple lies approximately 2312 m above the sea level. This grand temple is identified as one of the eighteen most important temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in the Hindu scripture.

28. Somnath Temple, Somnath

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The Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple is first of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. It is located on the western coast of Gujarat and is one of the oldest temples of the country. It has been mentioned in ancient texts like Shreemad Bhagavat Gita, Skandpuran, Shivpuran and Rig-Veda which signifies the importance of this temple as one of the most celebrated pilgrimage sites. The temple is located on the ancient Triveni Sangam or the confluence of three rivers - Kapila, Hiran, and Saraswati.

29. Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Mandir, Dwarka

Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Mandir, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is an ancient temple, some 5000 years old, which was built around a self-manifested Shivaling found in the Arabian Sea. The temple gets submerged in the sea every year during monsoons, which devotees believe to be nature's way of performing the religious process of Abhishekam. For the rest of the year, the temple is visited often for its divine vibe and the scenic beauty of the attraction.?

30. Rameshwaram Temple, Rameswaram

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A perfect blend of mind-boggling architecture and spiritual significance, Rameshwaram Temple, also known as Ramanathaswamy Temple of Tamil Nadu is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This Shiva temple in India also boasts of being one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples of India. Not just spiritually, Rameshwaram Temple is appealing architecturally also. With the longest corridor of the world and immaculate carvings on pillars, it is definitely a treat for your eyes.

31. Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram

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Built during the 7th century, Shore Temple is one of the oldest South Indian Shiva temple in India constructed in the Dravidian style and depicts the royal taste of the Pallava dynasty. The work of the temple has been listed amongst the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. It is located in Mahabalipuram and is one of the most photographed monuments in India situated on the shores of Bay of Bengal.

32. Annamalaiyar temple, Thiruvannamalai

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Annamalaiyar Temple, a breathtaking temple complex dedicated to Lord Shiva, is located in the bustling town of Thiruvannamalai, at the base of Annamalai Hills in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. As you walk closer to the grand temple complex, you'll notice how marvellously the structures have been built. This 25-acre complex is sure to mesmerize you with its beauty and elegance. There are numerous intricately adorned shrines and halls within the entire temple complex which is also considered as one of the largest temple complexes in India. Do make it a point to see the splendid eastern gopuram (tower), which is one the tallest temple towers in India as it stands 66 metres tall and the gorgeous thousand-pillared hall that extends serenely in the temple complex.

33. Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple, Lansdowne

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Located atop a hill at 2092 meters, Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple is believed to be one of the ancient holy sites or SiddhaPitas dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Mahashivarathri festival draws a huge crowd from across the country.

Which of these Shiva temples in India caught your attention?

This post was published by Surbhi Parashar

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