Today 1st March is Mahashivratri 2022. It is one of the Hindu festivals celebrated all over India with joy and prosperity. According to the Hindu calendar, the Mahashivratri is celebrated on Krishna paksha Chaturdashi of Falgun month. And that is the reason the date of Mahashivratri is not the same every year. There are several Stories related to Mahashivratri. But one of the most auspicious stories among all is that on this day Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married. And from that day we all started celebrating this as Maharatri, or Mahashivratri. Another story tells that during Samudra Manthan, a pot has emerged which has poison. The kind of poison that may destroy the whole universe with one of its drops. But Lord Shiva saved all by drinking that poison. And because of this incident, Lord Shiva is called Neelkanth.
Shiv, Mahesh, Chandradhar, Gangadhar, Shiv Shambo are some of the names of lord shiva among his 1008 names.
India is a land of temples, culture, and festivals. All over India, there are many Hindu temples that are major attractions for tourists and saints. For Lord Shiva temple, Jyotirlingas are the 12 famous temples that are very well known and widely spread across India. But for today we are going to share information about the top 7 Shiva temples in India other than jyotirlinga.
Pashupatinath Temple, Mandsaur
Pashupatinath temple is one of the divine Shiva temples in India. It is also called as Mandsaur Shiva temple or Ashtamukhi lingam temple. The statue of Shiva here is one of its kind. It is an eight-faced Shiva lingam from the first millennium; so rare to show the iconography from the ancient era. The huge Shiva lingam has faces sculpted in two levels; four each in the lower and upper level. The eight faces represent the various aspects of Shiva in regional Shaivism theology; Bhava, Pashupati, Mahadeva, Isana, Rudra, Sarva, Ugra, and Asani. The statue is 4.5 meters approx 15 feet tall and was discovered in the river bed of Sivana. It is located in the beautiful sight of Mandsaur Madhya Pradesh, India; a must-visit holy temple in the middle part of India.
Kailashnath Temple, Maharashtra
Kailash Shiva temple is situated in Ellora in India. It is situated about 30 km from the city of Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The temple is indeed a magnificent example of architecture from the Rashtrakuta dynasty; that ruled India between the 6th and 10th centuries. It is part of 34 great architectural temples that are present in the Ellora caves. This temple is created by Rock-cut and it is the largest rock-cut temple in India. The Kailash Temple is a standalone, multi-storeyed temple complex, made to look like Mount Kailash( the puranic home of Lord Shiva). This temple is listed among the world’s largest monolithic structures. The auspicious Kailash Shiva temple tells architectural stories from the incident era. It is a major attraction for pilgrims and tourists; one of the auspicious Shiva temples in India.
Vadakkunnathan Temple, Kerala
This is one of the most popular Shiva temples in India. It is located in Thrissur, Kerala temple; considered to be most auspicious. The reason is it is one of the major architectural sites that was built by the famous Sage Parshuram. The temple is situated on the hill lock which is around a large stone and shares an area of 9 acres. In this temple, Lord Shiva is worshiped as Vadakkunnathan.
The architecture of this temple is typical of Kerala style which is built with wood and stones. This temple is also the most popular place to visit in Thrissur. During Mahashivratri there are grand celebrations every year to celebrate this auspicious day with joy. There is also an old museum that is present inside the Vadakkunnathan Temple; reflecting the culture and art of Kerala. There are various wall paintings, wood carvings, and different magnificent art pieces that are preserved in the museum.
Murudeshwar Temple, Karnataka
The deity in the Murudeshwar temple is the second largest statue of Lord Shiva in India. It is located in North Karnataka. Lord Shiva is worshiped here in the form of Murudeshwar; that is the reason this temple is called Murudeshwar temple. The statue of Lord Shiva is located majestically near the Arabian sea; where the temple is surrounded by sea from three sides and a 20-stored gopuram temple is on the fourth side, The beautiful Gopuram was also created near Murudeshwar temple for people to visit. The creation of the Murudeshwar temple takes us back to the 16th century; which still is considered to be one of the finest architectural pieces present in India.
Tarakeshwar Temple, West Bengal
This temple is one of the most popular Shiva temples in India. And is also called Baba Tarak Nath temple; located in the Hooghly district of West Bengal. This place is just about 60 kilometers from Kolkata. This temple is one of the major tourist sites in Kolkata. It was constructed in the 18th century by Raja Bharamalla. Tarakeshwar is also referred to as Taraknath or Tarakeshwarnath. He’s a violent (Ugra) sort of Lord Shiva who drank venom (Vish) during Samudra-Manthan. This temple is also one of the finest architectural pieces depicting Bengal architecture. It was designed in the 16th century. Because of carvings and murals present on the wall of the temple, this temple has become one of the major attractions for pilgrims and tourists.
Kotilingeshwara Temple, Karnataka
This magnificent Shiva temple is located in Karnataka. As the name reveals, the Kotilingeshwara temple is famous for housing almost 6.5 lakh Shiva Lingas together in one place. Apart from these small Shiva lingams, a huge linga measuring 108 ft (33 m) tall and 35 ft (11 m) tall Nandi idol is also present. It is surrounded by lakhs of small lingams spread over an area of 15 acres. Near all these small shiva linga, a water tank is also present for devotees to offer water or to do Abhishekam to all the lingams. The temple is extremely famous because of the largest and tallest linga present in Asia. This temple is one of its kind and majestically beautiful.
Chidambaram Temple, Tamil Nadu
This temple is called the Nataraja temple or Chidambaram Nataraja temple. One of the finest Shiva temples in India, situated in Tamil Nadu. The temple was created during the Chola dynasty in the 10th century. The reason why this temple is called the Nataraja temple is that the statue here is in form of Nataraja Shiva. And also has 108 Karanas of Natya Shastra elaborately carved on the temple walls. This temple is an explicit example of art and spirituality together. This is a beautiful place and a majestic temple to visit during the time of Mahashivratri. An annual Nrityanjali is celebrated during the time of Mahashivratri; offering humble gratitude to Lord Shiva. It is an amazing form of dance as Lord Shiva is also called Natraja because of his Natraj dance.
We hope that by reading this article, you all are inspired to visit all of these majestic Shiva temples in India.
Have a beautiful and auspicious Mahashivratri.
Apoorva is a Data Analyst by profession, Data Enthusiast, and likes to work and analyze data. She is a published poet, writer, painter, art, and music lover. She likes to chant Vedas and loves reading books in several genres. She believes that life is a series of tiny miracles and we just need to notice them, we just need to enjoy the ‘life’ ride patiently.