India is the land of Gods & Goddesses. However, Lord Shiva is worshipped as Mahadeva. He is also considered the most important and supreme power as per the Hindu religious beliefs. In fact, Shiva is the most revered god by Hindus all around the globe. Lord Shiva is the main Hindu god worshipped by Shaivites.
Lord Shiva has so many different avatars such as Nataraaj, Nandi, Veerbhadra, Ashwatthama, Durvasa, Yathinath, Grihapati, Bhikshuvarya avatar and so on.
Since Lord Shiva occupies a special space in the minds and hearts of tons of Indians, there are a number of Shiva temples all around India. In this blog, I’m going to discuss about 10 most famous Shiva Temples in India.
1. Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand
This place does not need any kind of introduction. The temple of Kedarnath is located at Garhwal Himalayan Range of Uttarakhand near Mandakini River. It is considered as one of the most esteemed Shiva temples of Hindus across the world. this Shiva temple is counted among the four destinations of Chardham Yatra of Uttarakhand along with Yamunotri, Gangotri and Badrinath.
Address: Kedarnath, Uttarakhand 246445
Timings: Morning Darshan: 4 am to 3 pm, Evening Darshan: 5 pm to 9 pm
2. Somnath Temple, Gujrat
Somnath actually means ‘protector of the moon god’. It is said that the moon god had originally built this temple in gold in worship to Lord Shiva. After it was destroyed, it was built again in silver and the reconstruction cycle continued. This famous temple is one the twelve Jyotirlinga temples which were dedicated to the mighty Lord Shiva. One of the prime reasons behind the popularity of the Somnath Temple is that this Shiva temple experienced a number of historically significant events which occurred a long time back. The Somnath temple is indeed popular due to its rich heritage and the unique history it manifests of sustenance and victory.
Address: Somnath, Veraval, Gujarat 362255
Timings: 6 AM – 9:30 PM. Light and Sound show, 8 – 9.
3. Kashi Vishwanath Shiv Mandir, Varanasi
Kash Vishwanath temple is located at the banks of Ganges (the river Ganga). It is considered as the shelter for all devoted souls. According to legends, one who takes his last breath in this temple is released from the cycle of rebirth. Shiva is believed to himself drive the mantra of moksha directly into the ear of his devotees taking their last breath in this holy place.
Address: Lahori Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001
Timings: Darshan timings are 4 AM – 11:15 AM, 12:20 PM – 7:15 PM and 8:30 PM – 9 PM.
4. Ramanathaswamy Temple Shiva, Tamilnadu
It is the southern most jyotirlingam of India. This holy pilgrimage site is believed to be closely related to Ramayana and Rama’s victory. Ramanathaswamy is of significant importance to the Shiavaities mainly because of its location as the temple. It’s said to be built on the same spot where Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva. It also has a huge historical significance for curious explorers and is admired for its Dravidian architecture.
Address: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu 623526
Timings: Morning: 5 am to 1 pm, Evening: 3 pm to 9 pm
5. Amarnath, Jammu & Kashmir
This is located at the height of 3888 meters at Kashmir. The main attraction of this place is naturally appearing the Shiva linga by ice. People believe it to be the home of Lord Shiva on earth. According to the legend, Shiva entered the cave with Parvati to share the secret of creation and immortality with her. The beautiful setting of the snowy surrounding mountains shall leave you with an enhanced touch of serenity and divine bliss. However, be aware that trekking up here is not exactly hassle free and one should come well stocked and prepared for the extreme weather conditions and topography.
Address: Baltal Amarnath Trek, Forest Block, Anantnag, Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir 192230
Timings: 9 Am – 5 PM
6. Vaidyanath Temple, Deoghar
The name of this temple is very comforting as ‘Viday’ means ‘doctors’ and ‘nath’ means ‘Lord’. The combined meaning of the whole word ‘Vidyanath’ means the Lord who plays the role of the doctors. The tale goes that Ravan at this very site prayed to Lord Shiva and got his boons gifted from him that he later used to destroy the world. He had offered his ten heads to Shiva one after the other as a sacrifice and flattered by this, Lord Shiva himself came down to the earth to cure him. Since he acted like a doctor in this case, this holy place has derived its name and significance from this episode and become immemorial since.
Address: Pera Gali, Shivganga Muhalla, Deoghar, Jharkhand 814112
Timings: 4 am to 3:30pm, 6:00pm to 9 pm
7. Lingaraj Temple, Odisha
One of the oldest temples of Bhubaneswar city, its main deity is the Tribhuvaneswar (Lord of Three Worlds). It is a highly popular Shiva pilgrimage site and a tourist destination alike. Representing the specimen of Kalinga Architectural Style, the Lingaraj Temple is dedicated to Lord Harihara, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Tribhuvaneshwara and Goddess Parvati is worshipped as Bhubaneshwari.
Address: Rath Rd, Lingaraj Nagar, Old Town, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751002
Timings: 5 AM – 9 PM
8. Kailashnath Temple: Maharashtra
Ajanta & Ellora is a well known place in India and Kailashnath temple in the Ellora Caves attracts tourists, religious devotees and historians alike. This is because of its special architecture, majestic size and sculptured mechanisms. It was built in around the 8th century and is one of the biggest rock-cut Hindu temples of ancient India.
Address: Ellora, Maharashtra 431102
Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM. Closed on Tuesdays
9. Srikalahasti Temple: Andhra Pradesh
The temple is captured in a setting as picturesque and stunning as it gets. The Shiv Lingam here is encompassed by the beautiful Dakshina Kailasa Mountain at the back. And in the front, there’s the Swarnamukhi river adding to the magic. This place is said to have tons of devotees in the form of saints, sinners, gods and sages who have come here in worship and attained salvation in the past. It is one of the most revered Shiva sites due to the legendary tale that links Mahadev to this historic site.
Address: Srikalahasti, Rajampet, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh 517644
Timings: 6 AM – 9 PM
10. Bhojeshwar Shiva Temple: Madhya Pradesh
This temple has 7.5 feet hight Shiva Linga. The temple’s construction is believed to have been started in the 11 century, however, the temple even now till date remains incomplete in its structure and creation. In fact, what’s more intriguing is that the architectural plans for its construction have been found engraved on the surrounding rocks. The construction materials left at the site had also been reclaimed.
Address: Raysen Bhojpur, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 464993
Timings: 6 AM – 8 PM
Feature Image Courtesy: Belur Ashok
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