Temples

These 18 Shiva Temples in India are Your Pilgrimage Bucket-List

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India is the land of gods and goddesses and rightly so. However, of all these gods, Shiva is considered the most important and supreme. In fact, Shiva is the most revered god by Hindus all around the globe. Lord Shiva is the main Hindu god worshipped by Shaivaities. So why is Shiva one of the most important gods in the Hindu religion? Hinduism revolves around the Trimurti concept where the three main superpowers in the divine realm are said to be responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the universe. Shiva in this Hindu triumvirate is known as the destroyer of the world. The other two main gods are Brahma (creator) and Vishnu (preserver). Shiva is worshipped in the form of a shivlinga. Devotees bathe the linga with milk so as to circulate positive energy. Shiva is known to bless his true devotees with ultimate salvation. 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. Some of these were constructed by famous personalities and some of them hold a substantial amount of facts regarding the birth of the universe. Whether a true devotee of Mahadev himself, or whether just curious about the Hindu religion in general, a tour around these soulful Shiva temples is an enchanting journey one must take. Here we have you covered with a list of some of the most significant and revered Shiva temples in India. Start ticking them off your list and who knows, you might just find yourself closer to the divine!

lord Shiva Temples In India

Biggest and Oldest Shiva Temples in India:

Here are some of the ancient lord Shiva temples in India that one must visit.

1. Kedarnath Temple: Uttarakhand

Now this place needs no introduction, one of the most revered yet difficult pilgrimage sites, it is every Shiva devotee’s ultimate dream. Lord Shiva is known to have manifested as jyotirlingam or ‘cosmic light’. There are 12 of these, out of which Kedarnath is the highest (3581mts) and probably the most historical and valued. In fact, the origin of this temple can actually be observed in the Mahabharata too. It forms one of the famous char dhams and the most sought after pilgrimage sites in general. This Shiva temple built in 8th century AD still stands strong in Uttarakhand. It is situated in a beautiful site near Mandakini River and in the Rudra Himalaya range. Imagine praying to the Mahadev surrounded by snow-capped peaks and dewy green meadows. It is one of the most picturesque sites to worship till date. This temple forms a part of the five temples of the Panch Kedar. Located on the Dev Bhumi in Uttarakhand this temple is open for visitors from April to November. It’s shut the rest of the year due to extreme weather conditions. There’s never actually summer here plus oxygen levels can drop. The site is usually drowned in snow when shut. Thus before taking on a journey here, one needs to prepare themselves. It’s a good idea to be stocked up with glucose, medicines and warm clothes while trekking up. Indulge in yoga and exercise to get in shape well in advance of your trip

  • Address: Kedarnath, Uttarakhand 246445
  • Timings: Morning Darshan: 4 am to 3 pm, Evening Darshan: 5 pm to 9 pm
  • Dress Code: Warm and easy going clothing. Women are advised to avoid sarees and wear salwar kameez or trousers instead. It is cold plus on quite an altitude so dress accordingly. Gloves, sweaters, socks, mufflers and an umbrella is a must.
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 Hours
  • How To Reach: By Air: The Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, 260 km. By Rail: Nearest rail head is at Rishikesh, 243 km. By Road: Well connected to Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun and Delhi.
  • Temple Website: http://www.badarikedar.org/
  • Best Time To Visit: May to October excepting monsoons. Badri Kedar festival in June brings together skilled artists from all around the country and is held for 8 days.
  • Other Attractions: Gandhi Sarovar (2kms away) with the floating ice on the crystal waters is too stunning. A dip at Gaurikund with their medicinal thermal springs is a must try. Shankaracharya Samadhi is also just behind the temple. Picturesque trekking opportunities and village explorations are in plenty.

2. Somnath Temple: Gujarat

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. The Somnath Shiva Temple is located in Gujarat. 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. It was raided by invaders such as Mahmood of Ghazna, Afzal Khan and other foreigners. Its riches were plundered and it was attempted to be destroyed around seventeen times. However, it has still survived over time and stands strong even now. Thus 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.
  • Dress Code: Traditional wear would be most apt. Mini skirts and disrespectful clothing is not allowed.
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1 Hour
  • How To Reach: Somnath is 95 km by road from Diu. You can take a flight to Diu. Somnath is well connected by rail and buses to all major destinations. The nearest stations are Somnath (0.5 Km) and Veraval (7kms from Somnath), connected to Ahmedabad and other major cities.
  • Temple Website: http://www.somnath.org/
  • Best Time To Visit: You can attend its major fair on the full moon of Kartik Purnima in November/December. Shivratri is also a major day for the temple.
  • Other Attractions: Gir National Park is 43 km away and a must visit as the home of the last Asiatic lions.

3. Mallikarjuna Swamy: Andhra Pradesh

Mallikarjuna Swamy temple is located in Andhra Pradesh and is one of the jyotirlinga shrines. This temple is another one with a beautiful setting, tucked picturesquely at the Nallamalai Hills Srisailam at an altitude of 476 meters above sea level. It is known as the abode of Lord Shiva. The environment is stunningly serene with the bank of Krishna River as the setting adding to the charm of it all. This temple too is of immense historical importance and is one of the most visited religious sites in the country. The temple was constructed by King Harihara Raya. Its considered as one of the most ancient Kshetras in India.

  • Address: Srisaila Devasthanam, Kurnool Dist, Atmakur Mandal, Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh 518101
  • Timings: 6:30 AM – 3:30 Pm, 6 PM – 10 PM
  • Dress Code: Traditional wear or decent clothing
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 3 Hours
  • How To Reach: By air – nearest airport is Hyderabad (230 K.M.) from where you can easily find a bus to Srisailam. By rail – Markapur station (91 Km) from Srisailam.
  • Temple Website: http://www.srisailamonline.com/index.html
  • Best Time To Visit: cultural programs are organized every Saturday and Sunday evenings.
  • Other Attractions: Holy river bath at the river Krishna (750 steps involved).

4. Lord Shiva Mahakaleshwar Temple: Madhya Pradesh

In Madhya Pradesh, Ujjain, there is a famous three-storeyed Shiva temple known by the name, Mahakaleshwar. It’s located beside the Rudra Sagar lake. Grand and majestic, carved craftsmanship with beautiful motifs and pillared porches create a mesmerizing atmosphere. It is very much one of the 12 jyotirlingas. Mahakal is considered as lord of death for the earth, hell, and heaven. Mahakal is basically the fierce figure of the mighty Lord Shiva who is considered as the terminator of all evils. The temple’s exact origin time cannot be traced, however, it’s said to be existent since pre-historic times according to the Puranas. Several ancient texts by poets of the time also have the mention of Mahakal temple.

  • Address: Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh 456001
  • Timings: 5 am to 3:30pm, 6:00pm to 10 pm
  • Dress Code: Sarees for women and dhotis for men as certain areas and aarti only have an entry with strictly this attire.
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 Hours
  • How To Reach: Ujjain is in the western railway zone. You can take a train from any of the major cities to Ujjain. It is very well linked with Indore too by road and rail. A bus from Indore would be 55Km. The nearest airport is at Indore (60Km away).
  • Temple Website: http://dic.mp.nic.in/ujjain/mahakal/default.aspx
  • Best Time To Visit: Mahashivratri is when the temple comes to life like no other day in the year. If you want to see the ling of Nagachandresvara, you should visit the temple on Naga Panchami as only on that day is that allowed.
  • Other Attractions: Explore Indore and visit the Lal Bagh palace in the city.

5. God Shiva Temple Omkareshwar: Madhya Pradesh

Again one of the 12 jyotirlingas, this is another Shiva temple located in Madhya Pradesh. It stands on an island-shaped area on River Narmada, called Mandhata or Shivapuri. The shape of this island is said to resemble that of the Hindu holy symbol of ‘Om’. This is one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in the country. In this temple, the pujas are held during mid-day and the morning worship is done by the temple trust.

  • Address: Omkareshwar Mandir Road, Mandhata, Madhya Pradesh 451115
  • Timings: opens at 5 AM in the morning and evening darshan starts from 4 PM. Sleeping view of god from 9 – 9:30 PM.
  • Dress Code: No particular dress code is specified.
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 Hours
  • How To Reach: The Nearest airport is at Indore (80kms away). By rail, one can reach via the Khandwa Railway station or the Indore Railway station, both around 78 Kms. By bus also, the temple is easily accessible from all major cities. State and privately owned buses are in plenty from Indore (77km), Khandwa (78km) and Ujjain (135km).
  • Temple Website: http://shriomkareshwar.org/
  • Best Time To Visit: Maha Shivratri Mela, Karthik Utsav and Narmada Jayanti.
  • Other Attractions: The island is surrounded by mountains. Take a tour around the island for breathtaking views. Island parikrama itself is said to be very auspicious and a way to wash away one’s sins

6. Bhimashankar Temple: Maharashtra

The Bhimashankar temple in Maharashtra is situated in the Sahyadri hills surrounded by dense forests. Bhimashankar is the starting point of the Bhima River. It has gained even more prominence since it has been declared as a wildlife sanctuary. One of the important 12 jyotirlingas, it lies near Pune city and enjoys a good number of devotees thronging the temple gates year on year. Being constructed in Nagra architecture fashion this temple educates the visitors how Tripurasur was defeated by the combined form of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati.

  • Address: Maharashtra State Highway 112, Bhimashankar, Maharashtra 410509
  • Timings: Morning: 5 am – 3 PM, 4 Pm – 9:30 pm
  • Dress Code: Traditional wear suggested
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 Hours
  • How To Reach: Nearest airport and railway station are at Pune, 125 Km away. Buses can be taken from Pune, Ghatkopar and Kalyan too.
  • Temple Website: http://bhimashankar.in/
  • Best Time To Visit: September to February. For the adventure junkies, the monsoon is a great time.
  • Other Attractions: You can explore the Bhaja caves or the Imagica Theme Park in Khopali the next day.

7. Kashi Vishwanath Shiv Mandir: Uttar Pradesh

Kashi Vishwanath temple is located in the holy city of Varanasi and the banks of the River Ganga. A setting as pure as it gets, 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. Located in the city of Varanasi, this temple gets visitors from people all over the world including seriously devoted Shivaities. Its also known as the golden temple and was built in 1780 by the Maratha Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore. This temple also goes back to ancient times with mentions in Hindu scriptures and more. It is said that the original structure was Kashi was constructed by Hari Chandra in the 11th century. Post which, it witnessed invasions and was destroyed a number of times and the present temple was what was finally constructed in 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.
  • Dress Code: Mini skirts are not allowed. Conservative clothing is encouraged.
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 3 Hours
  • How To Reach: Varanasi is connected to all major cities of India by air, road and rail. Nearest rail station to the temple is the Varanasi city stop just 2 km away. By road, it is located on the NH2 from Calcutta to Delhi covering many major cities. Direct flights from Delhi and connecting from most cities can be booked to Varanasi. Autos, Taxis and rickshaws are easily available at the airport to reach the mandir or hotel.
  • Temple Website: http://www.shrikashivishwanath.org/
  • Best Time To Visit: Rangbhari Ekadashi, Mahashivratri and Kartik month
  • Other Attractions: Dip and bathe in the holy Ganga. Vishwanath Gali for affordable shopping and buying puja related goods. Gorge on some of the best street food you shall find in India. Kalvaurav temple is 1.5 km away and its said you must offer your prayers here too. Sarnath and Allahabad are two nearby cities to explore.

8. Vaidyanath Temple: Deoghar

This temple is located in Deoghar, Jharkhand. 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. It consists of a temple complex where there is the main temple, Baba Baidyanath, where the Jyotirlinga is installed, and 21 other temples.

  • Address: Pera Gali, Shivganga Muhalla, Deoghar, Jharkhand 814112
  • Timings: 4 am to 3:30pm, 6:00pm to 9 pm
  • Dress Code: Traditional wear
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 Hours
  • How To Reach: By Rail: Nearest railway station is Jasidih (10 km away). By Air: Nearby airports are Ranchi, Patna, Gaya and Kolkata which are connected to all major cities of India. Babadham is thereby connected by road from these cities.
  • Temple Website: http://babadham.org/
  • Best Time To Visit: World famous for its Shravan Mela in July and August.
  • Other Attractions: Explore the Naulakha Mandir 1.5 km away.

9. Ramanathaswamy Temple Shiva: Tamilnadu

Located in a small island in Tamilnadu, Rameswaram, it is the southern most jyotirlingam of India. This holy pilgrimage site is believed to be closely related with 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’s also believed that Rama had built a bridge from the island across the sea to Lanka to get back Sita from Ravana. Thus immensely popular and at par with Varanasi, this temple and town are highly revered by Shaivas and Vaishnavas. 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
  • Dress Code: Easy going and conservative clothing that you can bathe in. Carry a change of clothes as darshan is not allowed in wet ones.
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 Hours
  • How To Reach: the nearest airport is 163 km away at Madurai. Rameshwaram is also connected by rail and road with Coimbatore, Chennai and other major cities.
  • Temple Website: http://www.rameswaramtemple.tnhrce.in/
  • Best Time To Visit: On Maha Shivarathri and floating festival (Thai Poosam night).
  • Other Attractions: 22 theerthams in the form of wells for bathing in. Each is said to have specific gifts and medicinal properties. Adams bridge and Dhanushkodi Beach in Rameshwaram.

10. Amarnath Temple: Kashmir

The Amarnath temple is high up around 3888m and 45 Kms from Pahalgam, Kashmir and is popular mainly due to its natural formation of a Shiva Linga from snow. It consists of the holy Amarnath cave which is considered as one of the holiest shrines of Hinduism. 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. Humungous crowds of devotees indulge in the holy Amarnath yatra in the months of June and August. It is believed that Lord Shiva calls out to his devotees to come to visit this pious snow clad cave where he can shower them with his love and blessings. 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
  • Dress Code: Comfortable woollen clothes are a must as you trek here and it is always cold. Monkey caps, raincoats, gloves etc are a must.
  • Approx. Visit Duration: >3 hours
  • How To Reach: There are two routes, one from Baltal and one from Pahalgam. Baltal is only 14 km from the Cave, which can be covered by road and by helicopter. Pahalgam is 47 km from the cave and the starting point of the trek. Both the starting points are well connected with Srinagar. Srinagar is the nearest airport and Jammu the nearest rail station.
  • Temple Website: http://www.shriamarnathjishrine.com/
  • Best Time To Visit: Amarnath Yatra only takes place in July and August. Advisable to skip the first week of the yatra which may start in June end and be messier.
  • Other Attractions: Pahalgam is a scenic town to explore that shall leave you mesmerized. Shri Shankar Acharya temple is also relatively near.

11. 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. It was built between the 10th-11th century and is known as the “the truest fusion of dream and reality”. The whole temple is covered by exceptionally skilful carvings leaving no space of the 55 meters high structure empty. It is adorned by Kalinga style architecture. However, only Hindus are permitted inside the temple.

  • Address: Rath Rd, Lingaraj Nagar, Old Town, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751002
  • Timings: 5 AM – 9 PM
  • Dress Code: Decent, tradition clothing would work best
  • Approx. Visit Duration: around 20 minutes for only the main Shiv Mandir and 2-3 hours for all the small temples inside the premises
  • How To Reach: local taxis and autos from anywhere in Bhubaneswar shall drop you off right at the gates of the temple
  • Temple Website: http://bmc.gov.in/TouristAtcton.aspx
  • Best Time To Visit: Chandan Yatra, Rath yatra and Shivratri
  • Other Attractions: Parasurameswara Temple is 0.7 km away and Vaital Deul Temple just 0.2 km away.

12. Kotilingeshwara Temple: Karnataka

This Shiva temple is located in the village of Kammasandra. It lies in the Kolar district of Karnataka. It features one of the largest shiv lingams in the world and hence extremely popular too with the devotees. In fact, it is the largest and the tallest (33meters) Shiv lingam in Asia attracting around 2 lakh bhakts year on year to the shrine. The main linga is surrounded by a multitude of smaller lingams, a project involving the construction of a number equal to 1 crore. Devotees can install lingams at their own names for a charge and the usual prayers will be conducted by the governing authorities on a daily basis at these two. Free mass marriages are also conducted every year with festivities and fun.

  • Address: Kodilingam Temple Road, Ghattakamadenahalli, Kolar-563121
  • Timings: 6 AM – 9 PM
  • Dress Code: Modest Clothing
  • Approx. Visit Duration: Around 20 minutes for only the main Shiv Mandir and 2-3 hours for all the small temples inside the premises
  • How To Reach: Kolar is 2.5 hours from Bangalore. The nearest airport is at Bangalore from where cabs to Kolar can be hired. Rail network is well connected on the Bangalore – Hubli line.
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: between July and January. Shivratri is celebrated with a lot of fervour.
  • Other Attractions: Mediation hall for devotees that would like to focus in peace. Antharagange Caves is 2.2 km away.

13. Daksheswara Mahadev Temple: Haridwar.

The origins of this temple are mentioned in the Shiv Puranas. The tale goes that it was this very site where Sati had jumped into the flames of the Yajna held by her father King Daksha Prajapati. She was enraged at Shiva not being called for the Yajna by her father. Lord Shiva sent in his bravest warrior to avenge King Daksha and later was called upon by all deities including Vishnu to this very spot. It is thus said that’s how the lingam appeared here. Named after the father of the goddess Sati, King Daksha and Lord Shiva, this temple goes back in history and is revered to a great deal by all staunch Mahadev bhakts. It is located in Kankhal, 4 Kms from the holy Haridwar in Uttarakhand.

  • Address: MK Gandhi Road, Ahead of Chowk Bazaar, Kankhal, Haridwar, Uttarakhand 249408, India
  • Timings: 6 AM – 8 PM
  • Dress Code: easy going traditional
  • Approx. Visit Duration: Minimum 1 hour
  • How To Reach: Take a cab from Haridwar. Nearest railway stations are the Haridwar railway station (03 km) and the nearest airport is the one at Dehradun (38 km).
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: Maha Shivaratri and Navratri
  • Other Attractions: shops at the entrance for buying shivlingams, gems and stones. Daksha ghat with an opportunity to dip in the holy Ganga. Har Ki Paur.

14. Vadakkunnathan Temple: Kerala.

Another immensely awe-strucking temple, this ones devoted to Lord Shiva and located at Thrissur, Kerala. Imagine typical Kerela style architecture. Murals of episodes from Mahabharata and majestic towers on all sides. It’s a must visit for historians and art lovers for its exclusive carvings and craftsmanship alone. It’s believed to have been built by Lord Parasurama. For those unaware, the legend goes like, the land of Kerala was actually reclaimed from the sea by Parasurama. Rich legacy, historic relevance and traditions reeking in from every corner, this place of worship is truly wondrous and also extremely well preserved.

  • Address: Swaraj Round N, Kuruppam, Thekkinkadu Maidan, Thrissur, Kerala 68000
  • Timings: 4 AM – 10:30 AM, 5 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Dress Code: easy going traditional
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1 hour
  • How To Reach: By rail – nearest railway station is Thrissur (1.5 km away)
  • By air – nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport (47 km away)
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: Annual Pooram festival famous for its elephants and fireworks show (April-May). Shivratri time.
  • Other Attractions: Charpa Falls and the Punnathurkotta Elephant Sanctuary

15. 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. The tale goes that it is here where Kannappa offered his eyes to cover the bleeding lingam. However before he could do this, Shiva intervened and granted him Moksha instead. Therefore devotees throng this temple as their holy place for the fulfilment of wishes and to attain Mukti.

  • Address: Srikalahasti, Rajampet, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh 517644
  • Timings: 6 AM – 9 PM
  • Dress Code: conservative clothing for darshan. Certain dosha poojas have a dress code so check at the ticket counters in advance.
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 3-4 hours
  • How To Reach: Srikalahasti Bus Stand, is just 2 kilometres away. Public transport is available at the stand. The nearest Railway Station is Srikalahasti Railway Station( 3 Kms away) Tirupati Airport, a 45-minute drive away is the nearest.
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: November – February is the most pleasant weather vice.
  • Other Attractions: Pathala Ganapathi underground temple in the complex and the Bharadwaja Tirtham. The Dravidian architecture here is an excellent specimen for understanding the typical southern Indian style.

16. Chidambaram Nataraja Temple: Tamil Nadu.

This is yet another famous Shiva temple dedicated to the god himself called as Natarajar (shiv as the lord of dance). With mythical roots, this is one of the five sabhas where Shiva is said to have done the cosmic dance. The architecture of the temple also makes it unique. It is inspired by the art of Bharatnatyam, the speciality dance form of the state of Tamil Nadu. It consists of 9 gateways, 4 towers and a Sikaram covered with Gold creating nothing short of grandeur and an insight of a rich heritage.

  • Address: East Car Street, Chidambaram | Vijay Gems, 608001, India
  • Timings: 6 AM – 12 PM, 5 PM – 10 PM
  • Dress Code: Decent clothing. Avoid skin showing attire and stick to light ethnic if possible. No strict code of sarees or dhotis is there but men need to take off their shirts if going near the idol.
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
  • How To Reach: Tiruchirapalli (195 km) and Chennai (245 km) are the nearest airports. It also now connected with rail to Trichi and by road to all major cities.
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: Annual dance festival is held every year on Maha Shivratri which is a must experience.
  • Other Attractions: Explore the surrounding pichavaram mangrove forest.

17. Bhojeshwar Shiva Temple: Madhya Pradesh.

With a 7.5 feet high Shiv Linga, this temple in the Bhojpur village is famous for a rather unique reason. 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. However, no clear conclusion on the reason behind the discontinuation of its construction has been able to be established. None the less, it has thrown immensely significant insights our way about the way constructions of such sites were planned back then in that period. It has thrown light on the temple building techniques of the 11th century and helped the scholars dive into the secrets of the architectural skills back then. Thus this temple has been of great importance to us and has been designated as a Monument of National Importance by
the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

  • Address: Raysen Bhojpur, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 464993
  • Timings: 6 AM – 8 PM
  • Dress Code: Decent clothing would work
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
  • How To Reach: Bhopal (30Km away) is connected by air and rail to all major cities. You can take a taxi or bus from Bhopal to the temple.
  • Temple Website: NA
  • Best Time To Visit: November to February to escape the heat and Mahashivaratri to enjoy the great festivities and crowd.
  • Other Attractions: Explore the Bhimbetka caves

18. Kailashnath Temple: Maharashtra.

One of the most famous cave temples in India, The Kailash or Kailasanatha 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. Thus what’s most intriguing is how it was carved off from a single gigantic piece of rock. It forms one of the largest of the 34 excavations at Ellora which took something around a century to complete. The carved panels show episodes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana. is one of the largest Indian rock-cut ancient Hindu temples located in the Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India. A megalith carved out of one single rock, it is considered one of the most remarkable cave temples in India because of its size, architecture and sculptural treatment.

  • Address: Ellora, Maharashtra 431102
  • Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM. Closed on Tuesdays
  • Dress Code: No strict dress code as such, but easy-going semi-casual attire would work best.
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
  • How To Reach: 0.3 Kms from Ellora Bus station. The nearest airport is at Aurangabad (30Km away). Direct trains from all major Maharashtrian cities available.
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: Go in for the annual Ellora festival of music and dance held around November-December usually
  • Other Attractions: Explore all the 34 caves of the Ellora and also the nearby Ajanta caves. Shop at the open air markets for Buddha sculptures, silver ornaments and paintings.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:

Are there more Shiva temples in India other than the above, which are like hidden gems and worth knowing?

Yes. There are even more temples dedicated to the Mahadev and some of these have an incredible history to share. Interesting themes and customs that make them stand out even from this exhaustive list above. They are basically hidden gems but yet with a great legacy, incredible locations and significance. For instance, Pahari Baba Mandir in Ranchi is a special mention due to its association with the martyrdom of the Indian freedom fighters. It is located in the same place where many of them were hanged by the British in the pre-independence times. Stambheshwar Mahadev temple in Gujarat is another one, indeed standing out due to the temple itself appearing and disappearing throughout the day. Yes, you can only visit this shiv temple during low tides as otherwise it is completely swallowed up by the Arabian sea waters due to its location. Yet, it remains popular with devotees who muster up the courage to seek blessings here as well. Another instance is The Tungnath Mandir in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It is the highest Shiva temple in the world at 12000 feet above sea level and yet lesser known.

Which Temple Other Than Amarnath is Said to Have a Natural Shiva Ling?

The lesser-known, Ambikeshwar Temple in the Amer Fort of Jaipur. It’s believed that the shivling here is natural, which was once found 22 feet under the earth. After the shivling was extracted from the underground, King Kankil Dev ordered a temple to be constructed here and the same shivling is said to lie at its place. A circular hole surrounds the lingam now and thus devotees need to peek inside for darshan. It’s also said that in the monsoons, 10 feet water appears from nowhere and submerges the lingam.

Which Shiv Temple is Said to Witness The Increase in Height Year on Year?

Bhuteshwar Nath Temple or the Bhakura Mahadev temple at Marauda Village, Chhattisgarh is said to have powerful divine powers even now. This village has become popular for its ever-growing shivlingam. The linga here is said to grow in height every year. The surrounding forests setting adds up to the mystery and magic yet more. The locals say that the shivlingam’s height increases by 6 to 8 inches every year.

Shiva is the god of all emotions and known to embody passion. He’s the lord for those seeking ultimate moksha. However, as we have outlined above, this pilgrimage around the Shiva shrines of India are not only for staunch Shiva Bhakts. In fact, each temple has so much more on offer in terms of architecture, history and legendary mythological tales. Truly an insight into our rich cultural past, these stories are not only intriguing, but they bring one closer to their roots. If you want to embark on this exciting journey, start exploring which of these options sound the most interesting and get set go! Awaken your religious self or the archaeologist in you…but be sure to share what you loved the most with us. Happy touring and may the blessings of Shiv be with you always.