Mahadev, Maheshwara, Gangadhara are a few names by which Lord Shiva is addressed by his devotees while they pray to him. Travelers from all across the globe come to visit the various ashrams and Shiva temples in India just to experience spirituality at its best. While you wait to plan an all-inclusive spiritual holiday, take a look at this list of famous Shiva temples in India to add more peace in your vacation!
1. Amarnath Temple, Kashmir
Amarnath Temple, is located at an elevation of 3,888 meters approx, about 29 kilometers from Pahalgam. Inside the cave is a Shiva Lingam, considered to be the most holy symbol by Hindus all across the globe. Devotees visit it in large numbers from June to August, with the pilgrimage tour famously known as Amarnath Yatra, which begins from Chandanwari. According to legends, Bhrigu Muni, a famous sage in Hinduism, was the first person to have discovered this holy site. At that time, the entire Kashmir Valley was submerged under water, and Kashyap Muni, another powerful sage, drained the waters with his divine powers. As the waters cleared, Bhrigu Muni was the first person to have the site of the Shiva Lingam.
How to Reach
- The shorter route starts from Chandanwari base in Pahalgam & goes through Baltal, Domial, Barari & Sangam. It is 14 kilometers long & allows you to complete the trip in 1-2 days.
- The route to Amarnath Cave via Pahalgam is the longer route & takes 3-5 days one way. This route is much wider than the Baltal route & is easily covered by the pilgrims.
- You can also reach Amarnath Temple via a helicopter ride. After arriving in Srinagar, drive up to Baltal & board the helicopter which will take you up to Panchtarni. From Panchtarni, you will have to trek only for about 6 kilometers, or you can hire a palki/horse ride.
2. Kailashnath Temple
The Kailasha temple is one of the well-known and the largest temples of the Hindus and is located in the city of Ellora in Maharashtra in India. Because of it implausible size, sculpture, architecture, it is considered as one of the most outstanding cave temples in India. The 16 caves of the Kailashnath temples are of the 32 cave temples collectively known as caves of Ellora. Its construction is related to the 8th century under the rein of Krishna I of the Rashtrakuta during the time 756- 773 CE. The architecture of the temple is also reminiscent of the Chalukya and Pallava styles.
How to Reach
- By Train: The nearest railway station to the temple is the Aurangabad railway station. The distance between the temple and the Aurangabad railway station is around 30kms.
- By Bus: A plenty of buses and taxis are available to reach in Aurangabad to help reach the temple.
- By Air: Aurangabad airport is located at around 15 kms from the Kailash temple and is the closest airport to the Kailash temple.
3. Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
Kedarnath town is nestled in the mighty Garhwal Himalayas. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the ancient temple has exquisite architecture and is built of extremely large but evenly shaped grey stone slabs. The Kedarnath temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is a part of Char Dham pilgrimage circuit, and is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India. The historical name of this region is “Kedar Khand” and legend says, the Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata, after having defeated the Kauravas, felt guilty of having killed so many people and sought the blessings of Lord Shiva for redemption. The Lord eluded them repeatedly and took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull. The Lord dived into the ground, leaving his hump on the surface at Kedarnath. The remaining portions of Lord Shiva appeared at four other places and are worshipped there as his manifestations. The arms of the Lord appeared at Tungnath, the face at Rudranath, the belly at Madmaheshwar and his locks (hair) at Kalpeshwar.
How We Reach
By Train: There is no railway station at Kedarnath. Rishikesh Railway Station is the nearest railway head from Kedarnath. Located about 210 km from Gaurikund, Rishikesh Railway Station is well connected to almost all the major cities of India.
4. Kashi Vishwanath, Uttar Pradesh
Kashi Vishvanath Temple is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganga, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shivatemples. The main deity is known by the name Vishvanatha or Vishveshvara meaning Ruler of The Universe. Varanasi city is also called Kashi, and hence the temple is popularly called Kashi Vishvanath Temple.
How to Reach
- By Air: There is direct daily flight connection between Varanasi and New Delhi.
- By Train: Varanasi is an important and major rail junction. The city is served by trains from all metros and major cities across the country.
5. Somnath Temple, Gujarat
Somnath located near Veraval, Gujarat is considered above all by all Jyotirlings. He is named after the Moon who worshiped Shiva to get rid of a curse put on him by his stepfather, Daksha. By obtaining the blessings of Shiva, the moon regained its light and that is why this city is also called Prabhas. The original Somanth temple was built by the moon in pure gold and later rejuvenated by Ravana in silver, by Krishna in sandalwood and finally by Bhimadeva in stone. The temples lies at the meeting of Kapila, Hiran and Sarasvati rivers and the waves of the Arabian Sea ebb and flow touching the shore on which it is constructed.
How to Reach
- By Air: Nearest airport is Diu Airport. Somnath 63 km away Diu Airport (DIU), Diu, Daman And Diu Somnath 114 km away Porbandar Airport (PBD), Porbandar, Gujarat
- By Train: Somnath is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular trains.
Kotilingeshwara Temple, Karnataka
Kotilingeshwara Temple is a temple in the village of Kammasandra in Kolar district, Karnataka, India. The temple has one of the largest lingams in the world. The temple has one of the largest lingams in the world. The Shivalinga is 33 mts and is the tallest in the World. It has an accompanying Basava statue which is 11 mts tall and is surrounded by a large number of Shivalingas spread across the area. This temple has been constructed by Swami Sambha Shiva Murthy in the year 1980. The first linga was installed in 1980 and since then there have been many lingas present in the temple. There is also a huge and tall Nandi installed beside the linga. The Nandi is 11 mt tall and sits over a huge platform.
How to Reach
- By Air: The nearest airport to Kolar is located at Bangalore. From the airport, travelers can hire cabs or rely on public transport to reach Kolar.
- By Train: There is a well-connected rail network from Bangalore, Mangalore, Hassan, Kolar and Hubli.
- By Bus: If you want to reach the temple by road, you need to head through Kolar. Kolar is at a distance of 2.5 hours from Bangalore.