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6 Must-Visit Shiva Temples

Last updated on: March 08, 2024 14:32 IST
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All photographs: Mayur Sanap/

Mahashivratri exalts the divine energy of Lord Shiva, revered as the Supreme Being. Hindus across the country mark the day with fasting, all-night prayers, and pilgrimage to Lord Shiva temples.

We showcase India's six temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.


Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameswaram

Located in Tamil Nadu, the impressive Arulmigu Ramanathaswamy temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga sites in India. One great reason for visiting is because the beautiful shrine boasts the longest temple corridor in the world!

The island of Rameshwaram and nearby places have several legends related to Lord Rama. Many incidents depicted in the Ramayana have happened right here. This is the site where Lord Rama did penance by praying to Lord Shiva on his return from Sri Lanka after killing Ravana -- thus marking the confluence of Saivism and Vaishnavism.

The temple has 22 teerths or holy wells and it is auspicious to bathe with the well water before entering the main temple. It is thought that the water from these wells possesses medicinal properties.

How to reach: Rameshwaram island has its own bus stand and railhead, which are easily accessible from the mainland. The nearest airport is in Madurai, about 170 km away.

Nearby tourist attractions: Dhanushkodi, Pamban bridge, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial, Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai.



Chauragarh Mahadev Temple, Madhya Pradesh

Nestled amidst the Satpura hills, near the quaint and scenic hill station of Pachmarhi in Madhya Pradesh, Chauragarh is also a stunning hiking trail with a Shiva temple at the top.

One has to ascend nearly 1,300 steps to reach the age-old Shiv mandir, which is surrounded by lush valleys and breathtaking mountain views.

The biggest attraction here is the thousands of trishuls on the temple premises, offered by ardent Saivites over the years.

Each year, a number of devotees queue up at the holy shrine during Nag Panchami and Mahashivratri, carrying heavy trishuls as part of a religious custom.

How to reach: The nearest railway station is Pipariya, about 50 km away, and Bhopal airport is 220 km from Pachmarhi.

Nearby tourist attractions: Dhoopgarh, Jatashankar Temple, Panch Pandav caves, numerous waterfalls and lakes.

Bhairaveshwara Temple, Karnataka

How pretty is the location of this Shiva temple! Tucked away in the thick, deep green forests of the Western Ghats in Uttara Kannada district, Bhairaveshwara is a gorgeous temple, that has black limestone rock formations of Yana Caves as its backdrop.

The Shivling is believed to be swayambhu and water drips naturally on to it from the rocks above, making for a perfect aura.

Thanks to its picturesque natural setting, the temple is frequented by both the religious and adventure seekers alike.

How to reach: The closest airport to Yana caves is at Mangaluru, about 260 km away. Kumta is the nearest railhead at 30 km.

Nearby tourist attractions: Vibhooti Falls, Mirjan Fort, Sahasralinga, Gudavi Bird Sanctuary.


Ukhimath Omkareshwar Temple, Uttarakhand

High in the Himalayas, the ancient temple of Omkareshwar in Ukhimath, Uttarakhand, is one of the most visually awe-inspiring temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.

When Kedarnath temple is covered under thick blanket of snow during peak winter season, the deity, known as Baba Kedarnath, is brought down to this temple in an 'utsav doli' and worshipped here.

Omkareshwar is well-known for its annual Mahashivratri festival, when throngs of devotees and tourists visit. Mahashivratri is also the day when the opening of the Kedarnath shrine is announced at this very temple.

How to reach: Dehradun is the nearest airport to Ukhimath, situated at a distance of 198 km. The nearest railway station is Rishikesh, at 180 km.

Nearby tourist attractions: Mandakini river, Deoria Taal (lake), Tungnath Temple, numerous easy to moderate hiking trails for unforgettable Himalayan vistas.


Bijli Mahadev Temple, Himachal Pradesh

Located at a staggering height of 7,500 feet in the Himalayan region of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh, Bijli Mahadev is one of the most revered temples in the area and is known for a strange phenomenon.

The shrine's name is derived from the fact that lightning (bijli) is said to strike the Shivling inside the temple once every 12 years, shattering it into pieces. The temple priests then carry out special puja and apply locally-made adhesive to the Shivling to re-shape it back to its original form.

Many Shiva bhakts show up here during Mahashivratri and celebrations take place with great enthusiasm.

How to reach: It's a 3 km-long trek from Chansari village, which is 20 km away from Kullu. The nearest airport is at Bhunter, which is 10 km away from the main town of Kullu. Joginder Nagar is the closest railhead, 120 km from Kullu.

Nearby tourist attractions: Great Himalayan National Park, Jana Falls, Prashar lake, Lord Ramchandra Temple.


Shri Kaal Bhairav Temple, Madhya Pradesh

Situated on the banks of the Kshipra river in Ujjain, the Shri Kaal Bhairav temple is known for a unique tradition.

Kaal Bhairav is an aspect of Lord Shiva. The temple has a custom of devotees offering liquor to to the deity.

Naturally, shops selling bottles of liquor along with regular puja material for the deity have sprouted up on the temple premises.

How to reach: The temple is located at the distance of 7 km from Ujjain railway junction. Indore is the nearest airport, at 70 km.

Nearby tourist attractions: Mahakaleshwar Temple, Ram Ghat, Triveni museum, Bhartrihari caves, Jantar Mantar.

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