Most Famous Lord Shiva Temples In India

The Destroyer, the Transformer, Mahadev, Bholenath; Lord Shiva is addressed with several names by his devotees. Lord Shiva, along with Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma form a trinity which is known to be primary aspects of divine in Hindusim. He is represented as an omniscient Yogi of Mount Kailash, residing with his wife Parvati and two sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya. Shiva is the patron god of Yoga and arts. He has a third eye on his forehead, his snake Vasuki around his neck, River Ganga flowing from his matted tress (jata), a crescent moon further prettifying it. Damru and Trishul are two things he holds. Often he is worshipped in the form of Shiva Linga.

In this article, we describe the most famous Shiva Temples in India. In addition to being important pilgrimage destinations, these temples are a great source of spiritual comfort and transcendental bliss. With the thought of Lord Shiva in mind, read about popular shiva temples to find a source of inspiration for your next visit.

Kedarnath, Uttarakhand

Located on the Garhwal Himalayan Range of Uttarakhand near Mandakini River, Kedarnath Temple is a highly esteemed Shiva Temple for Hindus across the world. Perched at a height of around 3583m, this Shiva shrine is counted among the four destinations of Char Dham Yatra  Of Uttarakhand along with Yamunotri, Gangotri and Badrinath. Kedarnath is also one of the five temples constituting the Panch Kedar and is located in Dev Bhumi, Uttarakhand. Due to its high elevation, the temple receives high snowfall in winter and remains open from April end till mid November.

Somnath Temple, Gujarat

One of 12 Jyotirlingas, Somnath temple yatra holds great prestige and reverence, it is one of the major destination of Char Dham yatra. This historic temple is located in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra, near the sea shore. The architecture of Somnath temple is in the beautiful Chalukyan Style. Thus it is not only important religiously but it is also an impressively beautiful temple.

Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple, Andhra Pradesh

Another one out of twelve jyotirlingas, Mallikarjuna Swamy is datable to more than six centuries ago. This also is one of 275 Paadal Petra Sthala, which are revered in the verses of Saiva Nayanars. It is believed that the carrier of Lord Shiva, Vrishbha performed penance here and Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati appeared before him. This beautiful temple is built by Vijayanagar Empire in their signature architecture. There are many other temples near Mallikarjuna Swamy, dedicared to Hindu Gods like Nataraja, Nandi and Sahasralinga.

Mahakaleshwar, Madhya Pradesh

The temple of Mahakaleshwar is located in the city of Ujjain in Madhyapradesh. The deity Mahakal is the Lord of death of all three Lokas, i.e., heaven, earth, and hades. He is considered to be the fierce form of Lord Shiva, who is the destroyer of all evils. The presiding deity of the temple is a Swayambhu Lingam which is called Dakshinamurti. The main attraction of this Jyotirlinga Temple is the Bhasma Arati which is a must see religious site for the devotees.

Nageshwar, Gujarat

Located on the route between Gomti Dwarka and Bhet Dwarka, The Nageshwara Temple is source of divine peace and tranquility for thousands of devotees. Mentioned in the Shiva Purana, the Nageshwar temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas and the Lingam is a Swayambhu, i.e. self-originated or manifested.
The region in which the temple is located was called “Darukvana”. According to the legends, it was to protect His devotee Supriya along with others, who had been made prisoners by a demon that this Jyotirlinga came into existence. Worship to this Jyotirlinga is said to protect devotees from poison. The wonderful temple that was built over this Jyotirlinga is said to be constructed in 15th century.


Omkareshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh

Located on an island shaped like the Hindu spiritual symbol Om, Omkareshwar Temple is situated in the Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh. One of the popular pilgrimage destinations of India, this temple is a five storeyed building that encloses the seats of different Hindu deities other than the presiding deity Lord Omkareshwar. The deity is worshipped here three times a day by different priests instead of the same temple head performing it at all three times. The morning worship is done by the temple trust, the Puja at mid day is done by the priest of Scindia state while the evening one is performed by the priest of the Holkar state. The idol of Lord Omkareshwar is three-headed and its appearance is backed by significant mythologies. To see the most colourful face of this temple, tourists should travel here on Monday or during Shravana, the fifth month of the Hindu calendar.

Bhimashankar, Maharashtra

A Jyotirlinga temple located in Pune, Maharashtra, Bhimashankar Temple is found at place from where the river Bhima starts its journey. Built in Nagara architectural style, the temple depicts modest and graceful temple architecture. According to Hindu mythology, Tripurasur, a demon did penance in the deepest jungle of Bhimashankar and pleased Lord Shiva who blessed him with the gift of immortality. He was told that he should use the blessing for the betterment of humans or else he will have to lose his life. In the course of time he forgot the condition and started disobeying the order of the Gods. To stop his evil deeds, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati took a new form called Ardhanarishwara who ultimately killed Bhimashankar. It is after this incident that Bhimashankar turned into a revered religious site.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi

Kashi Vishwanath is located in one of holiest and oldest cities of the world, Varanasi. This jyoritlinga temple’s main deity is Vishwanatha or Vishweshwara, which means ruler of the universe. Like Somnath Temple, this too has been destroyed and built a lot of times. The last time it was demolished was by Aurangzeb, when he commissioned Gyanvapi mosque here. However, the current structure was built in 1780 by Maratha monarch, Ahilya Bai Holkar.

Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra

Located at a distance of around 28km from the city of Nashik, Trimbakeshwar is a Jyotirlinga Temple found at the source of Godavari River. The temple of Trimbakeshwar was believed to be built by Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao. Built in classic Hemadpanthi style, this temple is completely made of black stone and counted among the most popular Shiva temples in India. The lingam of Shiva in the temple depicts three faces embodying Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma and Lord Rudra. The lingas are adorned with three distinct golden crowns jaded by diamond and expensive gems.

Vaidyanath Temple, Deoghar, Jharkhand

Vaidyanath  Jyoritlinga is also known as Baba Dham or Baidyanath Dham. As per the beliefs Ravana (the devil from epic of Ramayana) worshipped Lord Shiva here and offered sacred water of Ganga as a ritual. Another name of the temple is Kama Lingam which addressed to the deity as a wish-fulfiller.

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