India is a country steeped in culture and unwavering devotion, so it comes as no surprise that it is also home to over three crore gods and goddesses. One such deity that is worshipped with the same zest all over the nation is Lord Shiva. Believed to be the creator, protector, and destroyer of the universe, Lord Shiva temples in India are revered pilgrimage spots that attract devotees from across the globe. There are 12 famous Shiva temples in India, some of which date back to the 10th century.
Take yourself on a spiritual quest from Kashmir to Karnataka as you witness breathtaking architecture at these sacred shrines.
7 Famous Shiva temples Of India:
1. Amarnath, Kashmir
A revered Shiv Dham, the Amarnath pilgrimage in Kashmir culminates at one of the most famous Shiva temples in India. Located at a height of 3888m in a cave, the trek to this pious spot is no easy feat, especially in the rocky terrain of Kashmir. The Amarnath Temple attracts ardent devotees who visit the religious spot to witness a naturally forming ice linga of Lord Shiva that happens only once every year.
Best Time to Visit: June to August
2. Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
One of the most famous Shiva temples in India, Kedarnath houses 12 Jyotirlingas at a staggering height of 3583m on the Garhwal Himalayan range. Among the four destinations of the Char Dham yatra, the climb to the Kedarnath temple is difficult but immensely rewarding. Encompassed in scintillating natural beauty, the holy shrine of Lord Shiva set against the majestic Himalayas is a sight to behold.
On your way back complete your spiritual quest by offering prayers at these must-visit ancient temples in Rishikesh.
Best Time to Visit: April to November
3. Mahakaleshwar, Madhya Pradesh
Ujjain, also known as the city of temples, is frequented by tourists all year long. One such revered spot in the spiritual city of Ujjain is the Mahakaleshwar Shiva Mandir. The idol of Mahakal sits in the centre of the temple, oozing grandiose and intense might. The deity is believed to be a Swayambhu Lingam, built on its own accord, and was originally named Dakshinamurti. Mahakaleshwar is a Jyotirlinga temple where the famous Bhasma aarti takes place every day.
Best Time to Visit: March to October
4. Kashi Vishwanath, Uttar Pradesh
Kashi Vishwanath is a famous shiva temple located in the sacred town of Kashi, now known as Varanasi. Frequented by tourists from across the globe, it is believed that breathing your last in Kashi will help you attain Moksha, freedom from the cycle of rebirths. The temple witnesses a daily footfall of around 3000 devotees that goes up to a lakh on special occasions. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga Shiva temples in India that is a must-visit, especially during the Maha Shivratri festival.
Also located in the state are the famous temples of Vrindavan that offer an equally enriching spiritual experience. If you have time on your hands, do visit these spots.
Best Time to Visit: February to November
5. Murudeshwara, Karnataka
Located in North Karnataka is one of the famous Shiva temples in India with the vast Arabian Sea as its breathtaking background. Housing the second-highest statue of Lord Shiva in the world, the temple is surrounded by sea on all three sides offering a picturesque landscape for tourists who visit the sacred spot. From the gopura, the temple’s entrance, which is perched at a height of 123 feet on Kanduka Hill, you can witness the mammoth statue against a charming setting of the sky and sea.
Here are 7 things to do in Murudeshwara , apart from visiting the temple, for an immersive holiday experience.
Best Time to Visit: May to October
6. Chidambara Nataraja, Tamil Nadu
The biggest Shiva temple in India, the Chidambara Nataraja or Thillai Nataraja temple is more than just a revered spiritual spot in South India. An architectural marvel from the Chola Dynasty, the temple dates back to the 10th century and houses Shiva in his dance form–Nataraja. The temple’s architecture showcases elaborate 108 karanas of Natyashastra that connect art and spirituality as one.
Best Time to Visit: March to October
7. Lingaraj, Odisha
The magnificent and famous Shiva temple, Lingaraj was built in honour of Lord Harihara, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Showcasing exquisite Kalinga-style architecture, the temple is the oldest Shiva temple in Bhubaneswar. Holding an important position in Hindu mythology, the temple is visited by locals and tourists from across India who come to offer prayers to the Lingaraj of Odisha.
Best Time to Visit: January to April
These 7 Shiva temples in India are known not just for their religious significance in Hindu culture but for resplendent architecture and breathtaking beauty. When planning a holiday to any of these