From the northern valleys of Kashmir to the southern coast of Tamil Nadu, India is a place where you will find several temples throughout the city and towns with one temple at each corner. Having said that travelers from all over the world visit various ashrams and Shiva temples in India only to get the best experience of spirituality and why they shouldn’t, the blessed country is known for a reason. Here is a list of top shiva temples in India. Everyone must visit these famous shiva temples in India.
1. Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand
Located in the Garowal Himalayan Range in Uttarakhand near the Mandakini River, the Kedarnath Temple is a highly revered Shiva temple for Hindus around the world. Located at an altitude of about 3583 meters, this Shiva temple is considered as one of the four destinations of the Chardham Jatra in Uttarakhand including Jamunotri, Gangotri and Badrinath.
Kedarnath is one of the five temples of Panch Kedar and Dev Bhumi is located in Uttarakhand. Due to the high altitude, the temple receives high snowfall in winter and is open from late April to mid-November. Kedarnath Mandir is one of the highest shiva temples in India.
2. Omkareshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh
Located on an island shaped like the Hindu spiritual symbol Om, the Omkareshwar temple is located on the river Narmada in Madhya Pradesh. One of the most popular pilgrimage sites in India, the temple is a five-storey building that encloses the seats of other Hindu deities besides the chief deity Omkareshwar. The deity is worshiped here three times by different priests in three eras instead of the head of the same temple.
The morning puja is performed by the temple trust, the mid day puja is performed by the priest of Scindia state and the evening puja is performed by the priest of Holkar state. The idol of Lord Omkareshwar is three-faced and its appearance is supported by significant Puranas. To see the most colorful faces of this temple, tourists should visit here on Monday or during the fifth month of Shravan in the Hindu calendar.
3. Bhimashankar Temple, Maharashtra
Bhimashankar Temple, a Jyotirlinga temple located in Pune, Maharashtra, is found at the place where the river Bhima begins its journey. Built in the Nagara architectural style, the temple shows modest and eye-catching temple architecture. According to Hindu mythology, Tripurasura, a demon performed austerities in the deep forest of Bhimashankar and pleased Lord Shiva who blessed him with the gift of immortality.
He was told to use the blessing for the betterment of the people, otherwise he would lose his life. In time, he forgot the conditions and began to disobey the orders of the gods. To stop his evil deeds, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati took a new form called Ardhanarishvara who eventually killed Bhimashankar. Soon after this incident, Bhimashankar became a revered religious place.
4. Kashi Vishwanath Mandir, Uttar Pradesh
One who breathes his last in Kashi Vishwanath is liberated from the cycle of rebirth and that is why Vishwanath is the refuge of all devotional souls. The temple of Kashi Bishwanath is located in Varanasi and is counted among the twelve Jyotirlingas.
Kashi holds an important position in the world of Shaivism and the temple is decorated in its best form during the Shiva Ratri festival. It is worth mentioning here that the city of Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in the world and has a high historical significance.
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5. Somnath Mandir, Gujarat
The historical temple of Somnath is located in the Prabhas area near Veraval in Saurashtra. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and enjoys a dignified position among the Hindus. The temple witnessed serious historical events and was destroyed by foreign invaders for its exclusive collection of gems and jewels. The recent temple at Somnath was rebuilt in 1947. The temple is built in the Chalukya style and is built right next to the beach. The scenic part of the temple is an arrow pillar, known as the forest pillar.
6. Trimbakeshwar Mandir, Maharashtra
Located at a distance of about 28 km from the city of Nasik, Trimbakeshwar is a Jyotirlinga temple found at the source of the Godavari river. The Trimbakeshwar temple was believed to have been built by Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao. Built in the classic Hemadpanthi style, the temple is made entirely of black stone and is considered one of the most popular Shiva temples in India.
The linga of Shiva in the temple depicts three faces depicting Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma and Lord Rudra. The lingas are adorned with three gold crowns adorned with diamonds and precious gems. Trimbakeshwar Mandir is one of the famous shiva temples in India.
7. Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple, Andhra Pradesh
Located in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh, Mallikarjun Swami Temple is another Jyotirlinga temple on the banks of the river Krishna. The temple has a golden wheel and it looks stunning for its silver doors and ornate pillars. The temple of Mallikarjun Swami was built by Raja Harihar Roy of Vijayanagar state about 6 centuries ago, so history lovers can get enough material in this temple to fill their bank of knowledge.
8. Mahakaleshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh
The god Mahakala is the owner of the death of three people, namely heaven, earth and hadith. He is considered to be the fierce form of Lord Shiva, the destroyer of all evils. The chief deity of the temple is Swayambhu Lingam which is called Dakshinamurti. The main attraction of this Jyotirlinga temple is the Vasma Aarti which is definitely a religious place for the devotees.
9. Vaidyanath Temple Deoghar, Jharkhand
Vaidya means doctor and Nath means Lord, so Vaidyanatha literally means the Lord who acted as the doctor. The temple is associated with the mythology of Ravana who sacrificed his ten heads to please Lord Shiva. Vaidyanatha Dham or Baba Dham is one of the Jyotirlinga temples and is located in the Santal Pargana division of Jharkhand. The temple complex has 22 temples of different heights dedicated to different deities.
10. Nageshwar Temple Dwarka, Gujarat
Nageshwar on the Saurashtra coast of Gujarat is a 5 historically rich temple that stands in place of the 5 cities that were destroyed earlier. The temple is found on the road between the city of Dwarka and the island of Bait Dwarka. Apart from religious and mythological significance, the temple has several notable attractions such as a 25 meter tall statue of Shiva and a large garden with a pond. Nageshwar is described in ancient scriptures as Darukavan.
11. Ramanathaswamy Temple, Tamil Nadu
The Ramanathaswamy Temple is located on an island in Tamil Nadu called Rameshwaram. Highly revered by Shaivite and Vaishnava believers, this temple was built at the same place where Lord Rama worshiped Shiva to get rid of his sins, killing the Brahmin Ravana.
The temple has significant religious value and is of paramount importance for establishing the longest temple corridor in the world among art and architecture lovers. It is believed that the idol (the largest) of Lord Shiva was originally brought by Rama devotee Hanuman Kailash. This is one of the top shiva temples in India.
12. Grishneshwar Temple, Maharashtra
Grisheneshwar is believed to be the last Jyotirlinga temple in the world, located in a village called Bhrul near Daulatabad (Devagiri). The temple is about 30 km from Aurang Rangabad and very close to Ellora Cave. It is made of red stone and designed in a pre-historic architectural style. This is one of the best shiva temples in India. The temple was built by Ahlavai Holkar.
The structure of the temple is associated with a very interesting story of Shiva Purana, about the devotion of Grusma and how he got back his son who was killed at the hands of his jealous sister. The name of the temple is derived from this incident and is thus also known as Ghushmeshwar or Grushmeshwar.
13. Amarnath Temple, Jammu and Kashmir
A religious tour in India that requires no acquaintance among Indians, Amarnath takes spiritual tourism to India to a different level. Located in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, this temple is located in a sacred cave at an altitude of 3888 m which is known as Lord Amarnath.
The main attraction of this religious place is the naturally displayed ice penis of Lord Shiva which is made once a year. Amarnath Temple is one of the best shiva temples in India. Amarnath Temple is also one of the highest shiva temples in India.
14. Brihadeswarar Temple, Tamil Nadu
Located in Thanjavur (Tanjore), the Great Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built by King Raj Chola. The greatest example of the Dravidian style of temple architecture, the Brihadeshwara temple adorns the Bimanam (temple tower) which is considered to be the tallest temple tower in the world.
The temple of Brihadeshwara is surrounded by a huge statue of Nandi which is carved out of a single rock. The main deity of the temple is Lord Mahadev, the outer part of the temple has images of other popular deities like Dakshinamurti, Sun and Moon. It is one of the temples where the idols of Ashta Dikpala are found.
15. Daksheswara Mahadev Temple Haridwar, Uttarakhand
Haridwar, about 4 km from Kankhal, is a small town famous for the temple of Dakshineswara Mahadev. The temple is named after Dakshin Prajapati, the father of Goddess Sati, the incarnation of Goddess Durga. The temple was originally built by Rani Dhankaur in 11010 and later renovated in 122. Daksheswara Mahadev Temple is one of the top shiva temples in India. The temple is designed in Nagara style. Maha Shivaratri is the best time to see the lively face of this temple.
Also Read: Top 20 Shiva Temples in Uttarakhand
16. Annamalaiyar Temple, Tamil Nadu
One of the five Bhuta sites found at the foot of the Annamalai Hills in Tiruvannamalai, the Annamalai Temple is a famous religious site for the Shaivites. The temple complex covers a huge area and it is known in the country for its huge shape and elevated height. The temple was the inspiration behind many Tamil scriptures.
The Annamalai temple has four gateway towers known as Gopuram. The temple was built mainly during the Chola period and was later renovated by the Saluva and Tulua dynasties. The temple witnesses five rituals in one day and if you want to see the most pleasing view of this temple, you should come here during the Kartigai Deepam festival.
17. Shore Temple, Tamil Nadu
Located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal at Mahabalipuram, the Shor Temple is a specimen of the 8th century Christian temple style. It is one of the oldest stone temples in South India. The main deity of the temple is Lord Shiva, although one can see a huge idol of Lord Vishnu lying on the temple premises. So, travelers trying to taste the architectural genius of South India should visit this temple.
18. Lingaraj Temple, Odisha
Dedicated to Lord Harihar, the incarnation of Lord Shiva, the temple is believed to have been built by the kings of the Sombamsi dynasty and later changed to the rulers of the Ganga dynasty. Here Shiva is worshiped as Tribhuvaneshwar and his wife as Bhubaneswari. Lingaraj Temple is one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. Everyone must visit these famous shiva temples in India.
19. Kotilingeshwara Temple, Karnataka
Literally about one crore Shivling temples, Kotilingeshwar temple is located in Kamasandra village of Kolar district. The main attraction of this temple is the huge Shivling which is about m meters long. Nandi, the mountain of Lord Shiva is about 11 meters long. The Shiva linga found in this temple is considered to be one of the most well known Shivlings in the world.
20. Murudeshwara Temple, Karnataka
The Murudeswara temple is located in the Bhatkal taluk of Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka. Situated on a hilltop surrounded by the waters of the Arabian Sea, the temple is a 20-story building. The temple has the world’s second tallest statue of Shiva which spreads a mysterious glow in the evening as the sun sets. The statue is about 37 meters long and it is estimated that it took about 2 years to make this statue.
21. Vadakkunnathan Temple, Kerala
Located in the city of Thrissur in Kerala, the Vadakkunathan Temple is a popular Shiva temple in South India. Lord Shiva is known here as Vadakunnathan. It is believed that the Vadakunnathan temple is the first temple built by Lord Parasurama. Everyone must visit this shiva temples in India.
The idol of Lord Shiva is worshiped here every day by offering a lot of ghee. As a result, fans today can see a huge ounce of ghee here instead of the proper sex. The ghee used for the daily anointing of Lord Shiva is later given to the devotees to return home as prasadam.
22. Bhavnath Mahadev Temple
A temple that takes you on a tour of ancient India, the Bhavanath Mahadev Temple is located in the Junagadh district of Gujarat. Located at the foot of Girnar hill, the temple is a revered pilgrimage site for Hindus and Jains. The best attraction of this temple is Bhavanath Mela which is mostly held in January-February. Try to be a part of this festival and you will be blessed in the presence of the Nag Saints.
23. Tarakeshwar Temple, West Bengal
Associated with hundreds of deep religious beliefs of Hindu devotees in West Bengal, Tarakeswar is located in Hughli district. Everyone must visit these most popular shiva temples in India. The chief deity of the temple is Shiva who is believed to be the savior of all religious souls.
It is believed that the real sex worshiped in this temple was found in a forest by the beggar brother of King Vishnu Das. The temple that is visible today was built by King Vishnu Das, whom Lord Shiva instructed in his dream to build it. It is believed that those who fast in this temple even without taking water fulfill their wishes by Tarak Nath.
According to Hindu religious beliefs, Shiva, the supreme power, has played an important role in shaping Indian culture. Known as Shiva or Mahadev in the north of the country and Thillai in the south, the deity is considered to be one of the three main forces behind the formation of this universe.
Mostly presented in the Puranas as a yogi or a peaceful being, Shiva is also described in ancient scriptures as a fierce deity in the form of Bhairab or Nataraja. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Saurashtra to Assam, he has been revered in various forms as the destroyer of evil and the savior of the innocent.