India’s history of mythology is a vast array of tales. Of all the deities that Hindu devotees worship, Lord Shiva is the one who is known as a representation of both power and calmness at the same time. Across India, there are thousands of temples where people kneed their heads and seek blessings from Lord Shiva, whose name means ‘the auspicious one’. Lord Shiva is a big deal in Indian stories—he’s all about things breaking down and starting fresh, like the circle of life. The Lord Shiva temples in India are like powerhouses of strength and spirituality where people come and experience the love and blessings of the divine power. The temples aren’t just artifacts in the form of beautiful buildings but special places for those who wish to seek blessings and thank lord Shiva for his mercy. With Mahashivratri, one of the most famous festivals in India, around the corner, people visit the lord Shiva temples to offer prayers and thank Shiva for his blessings. Let’s give you an insight into the list of 12 famous Shiva temples in India to unfold the senses of history and devotion perfectly blended into these temples.
12 Famous Lord Shiva Temples in India
Placed in the laps of high mountains and snow-covered peaks, the Kedarnath Temple in Uttarakhand is a place that calms the mind and heart of the devotees. The temple is known for its charming beauty along with the spiritual energy that the temple holds. Kedarnath is not just any temple but an important place devoted to Lord Shiva, who is one of the principal deities in Hinduism. The large mountains and peaks make the journey of devotion and prayers even more special as the temple is situated at an elevation of 3,583 m. When one is on the way to the temple, the view is nothing but worth an experience. Every year, rabbles of people come to the holy shrine to witness the beauty of this temple and pray for their loved ones.
Timings: 4 am – 9 pm
Google Map link: Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
Kashi Vishwanath Temple
It wouldn’t be fair to make a list of lord Shiva temples in India and not mention the iconic and one of the most famous temples, Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Kashi Vishwanath temple is one of the highly famous 12 jyotirlingas in India. The temple is situated in the holy city of Varanasi. The Maratha ruler Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore constructed the temple’s present architecture around 1780. Undoubtedly, Kashi Vishwanath stands as an important pillar of spiritual significance for the Lord Shiva devotees. According to mythological beliefs, Lord Shiva actually stayed at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple for a while. Around 7 million devotees visit the temple every year to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva and seek his blessings.
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Google Map link: Domri, Uttar pradesh
Situated in Ujjain and located on the shoreline of the holy river Shipra, Mahakaleshwar temple is another jyotirlinga out of the famous 12 jyotirlingas. Embracing the divinity of Ujjain, which is popularly known as the temple city of India, Mahakaleshwar Temple is considered one of the sacred places related to Lord Shiva. Other than the spiritual spirit that this temple holds, another fact that makes this place highly popular among the Shiva devotees is the Bhasma aarti. Every year, thousands of devotees travel to Ujjain to witness the Bhasma aarti of Mahakaleshwar Temple. The lingam present at this temple is known as ‘Swayambhu’ as it was self-born.
Timings: 4 am – 11 pm
Google Map link: Ujjain, Uttar Pradesh
Known for its complex carvings and detailed architecture, next up on this list of Lord Shiva temples in India is the Trimbakeshwar Temple. Dedicated to the deity of power and patience, Shiva, this temple is also a part of the 12 jyotirlingas. There are so many things about this temple that make it special and a magnet among the Lord Shiva devotees. The beauty of this temple is enhanced by the architecture and sculptures which are nothing but a work of art. The temple is entirely embellished with gold, gems, and other precious stones and materials. Within the Shiva linga at the temple, there are three faces to the linga, each one representing the divinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Mahesh.
Timings: 5:30 am – 9 pm
Google Map link: Trimbak, Maharashtra
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Every spiritual place in India has a mythological tale behind it and Tungnath Temple is one such devotional spot. Situated on the great hills of Rudraprayag and known as one of the highest temples in the world, Tungnath was founded by the Pandavas while they were in search of Lord Shiva. Not only this, the temple’s importance increases even more because it is also the highest among ‘the Panch Kedar temples’. Tungnath is a name that means ‘the king of the peaks’, which simply signifies the grandeur of the celestial energy of Lord Shiva. Even though it is situated at 3,690 meters (12,106 feet) above sea level and directly below Chandrashila’s peak, people can easily travel to this Lord Shiva temple in India. Not only this, but this temple also holds a special place as a tourist attraction among those who like to trek and adventure.
Timings: 6:00 am – 7:00 pm
Google Map link: Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand
Kailashnath or Kailasa Temple
If one were to witness beauty and spirituality in one place, Kailashnath Temple or Kailash Temple would be the place. One of the finest and oldest Lord Shiva temples in India, Kailash Temple comes forward as a charming amalgamation of 34 temples that together form the temple. The beauty of this temple is beyond words. Located in the Ellora region of Maharashtra, the exceptional stone-cutting details are one of a kind and make this temple one of the finest Shiva temples. The building of this temple took place during the 6th and 10th century AD, when India was under the rule of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty, according to whose architecture, the design of the temple came into existence.
Timings: 9 am – 5 pm (Tuesday closed)
Google Map link: Ellora, Maharashtra
One of the major tourist sites on the sacred day of Mahashivratri is the Somnath Temple which is another part of the 12 famous Lord Shiva temples in India, also known as the 12 Jyotirlingas. Enhancing the beauty and importance of Gujrat, Somnath Temple is believed to be the first among the jyotirlingas. The temple holds a significant history of events where it was built, demolished, and rebuilt again not once or twice, but over a period of 15 times. The dynamic embellishments of the temple have also been attacked many times for robbing by attackers. With the series of such events, the importance and beliefs of the temple for the devotees have increased over time.
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Google Map link: Badalpar, Gujarat
Next up on this list of famous Lord Shiva temples in India is the Amarnath Temple which is located at an altitude of 3888 m in Jammu and Kashmir. As a testament to Hinduism, the Amarnath Temple is known to be one of the highly regarded pilgrimage shrines to the devotees of Lord Shiva. The journey (also known as yatra) to the Amarnath Temple is considered one of the most challenging spiritual journeys due to the way that endures the steep terrains of the snow-filled mountains of Jammu and Kashmir. Not only this, every year during the snowfall, an ice lingam forms at the temple once representing the presence of divine energy according to the believers.
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Google Map link: Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir
Indian temples have a major role to play in the history tales too. While some rulers demolished the significant temples, there were others who built them. One name in such lord Shiva temples in India is the Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneshwar. As one of the most popular temples in India, it has its own story to tell. The temple was built by the Somavamsi Dynasty and features the architectural details of the famous Kalinga construction. Lingaraj is one of the biggest Temples in Bhubaneshwar. During the days of Mahashivratri, not just the temple but the whole city is decorated like a fair. The temple was renovated afterward by several dynasties as the time passed. It is also one of the popular historical places in India.
Timings: 6:00 am – 7:00 pm
Google Map link: Bhubaneswar, Odisha
Located in the southern region of Tamil Nadu is the Ramanathaswamy Temple. This is one of the most famous lord Shiva temples in India, which particularly has devotees coming from the nearby areas to offer prayers to Lord Shiva. This sacred site, which attracts Shiva admirers from both Shaivite and Vaishnavite traditions, holds a rich history. According to old beliefs, the temple is made right in the place where Lord Rama offered self atonement by offering prayers to Shiva after he killed Ravana, who was a Brahmin, as a part of an old custom. The grand and enchanting hallway of the temple is what makes it famous around the world for being the longest. This is another reason why tourist devotees are attracted to the temple.
Timings: 4 am – 1 pm and 3 pm – 8:30 pm
Google Map link: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu
Daksheswar Mahadev Temple
Situated in Kankhal, which is just a few kilometres away from the ghats of Haridwar is Daksheswara Mahadev Temple. As far as the name is concerned, the temple was named after Sati’s (an embodiment of Goddess Adishakti) father, Kind Daksha Prajapati. The temple is quite famous among the devotees of Lord Shiva and witnesses a huge crowd during the holy month of Shravan (or sawan) and also on the day of Mahashivratri. According to Hindu mythologies, Daksha insulted Lord Shiva in front of Sati due to which, Shiva beheaded Daksha in anger. The existence of this temple has a significant place in Hindu mythology.
Timings: 6:00 am – 7:00 pm
Google Map link: Kankhal, Haridwar
Kal Bhairav Temple
There are many forms of Lord Shiva in Indian mythology and the next one on this list is a temple which is admired by many of the Shiva devotees. As a part of the Saivati tradition, Bhairava is a form of Shiva which is worshipped as a protector of the city of Ujjain, Lord Kal Bhairav. The temple is one of the famous Lord Shiva temples in India and a pilgrimage where thousands of devotees come and offer their prayers. Another factor that makes this temple stand out from others is that liquor is offered to the lord Kal Bhairav. This is a ritual which is followed at the temple.
Timings: Open 24 hours
Google Map link: Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
As Mahashivratri is approaching, it is time to get dissolved in the devotion of Lord Shiva and ask for his blessing with a pure heart. Shiva is known as the embodiment of the destroyer of evil and the epitome of cosmic energy. ‘Aum’, which is known as one of the most powerful chants in the universe, is his name. As we are nearing the end of our blog, these auspicious Lord Shiva temples in India are places where devotees come with aspirations and seek blessings from the higher power, Shiva. While these temples hold significance related to Hindu mythology, people even consider these places of worship to be miraculous when their prayers come true. Representing the entire circle of life, from birth to death, Shiva has a major role in Hinduism and is known to be the most powerful deity. These temples shift into energetic centers of devotion as Mahashivratri gets near, serving as a constant reminder of Lord Shiva’s eternal and spiritual presence in the hearts and thoughts of his devotees.