Lord Shiva is known to have emerged as the god of creation, preservation, and destruction. Temples to Lord Shiva are popular with Hindus all over India. In several cases, they are also well known for their architecture and design. Mahadev, Shiva is referred to as the destroyer of evil. He is often worshiped with a head of a bull, wears tiger skin, and has a trident in his hand. Temple wise, there are as many as 108 temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. A few of these temples are quite well known for their architecture and design.
The list below contains the 12 must-visit Temples of Lord Shiva.
- Somnath Jyotirlinga in Gir, Gujarat- The Somnath Temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. Being the first temple built by Lord Shiva, it boasts exquisite architecture.
- Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh- Also known as the Dakshin Kashi, the Mallikarjuna Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is famous for housing more than a thousand Shiva Lingas.
- Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh- One of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, the Mahakaleshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has a special significance in Hindu Mythology.
- Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh- One of the most well-known Jyotirlingas, Omkareshwar Temple is situated in Khandwa and is famous for housing one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India.
- Baidyanath Jyotirlinga in Deoghar, Jharkhand- It is located at Deogarh in the Santal Parganas region of Jharkhand. This is one of the highly revered Jyotirlinga shrines, and the devotees believe that the sincere worship of this shrine relieves a person from all his worries and miseries.
- Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Maharashtra- The Bhimashankar Temple is located in Bhainsdehi and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is located on the banks of the Manjira River and is also known for housing one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. The legend about the existence of this Jyotirlinga is related to Kumbhakarna’s son Bhima.
- Rameshwar Jyotirlinga, Tamil Nadu- Situated in the Kumili, Jhongri, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The legend behind its existence says that the river Manjari, known for its confluence with the Manimathi River and flowing from one water source to another, was impeded by rats and mice. The Lord decided to sit on a pair of white horses at this place and provide protection so that no one should be harmed by these animals.
- Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, Gujarat- The Nageshwar Temple is also known as Aashva Tirtha. This Jyotirlinga temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. The entire town of Nageshwar and its surrounding areas are named after this temple.
- Kashi Vishwanath, Varanasi- The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Some of the main features that make this a popular temple are its 104 years old structure and the 30-meter long Shiva lingam. More than the Ghats and Ganga of Varanasi, the Shivalinga remains the devotional focus of the pilgrims. It is believed that Banaras is the site at which the first Jyotirlinga manifested its supremacy over other gods, broke through the earth’s crust, and flared towards heaven.
- Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga, Nasik- The Trimbakeshwar Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. It is located in the Trimbakpur taluka of Nasik district and is situated on a hilltop. The main features that make this a popular temple are its ancient building structure, 1000-year old Shiva lingam, and its proximity to the Meghdoot and Parvati. This temple is considered to be a source of the river Godavari which is known as “Gautami Ganga”- the most sacred river in South India. According to the Shiva Purana, it is on the earnest request of River Godavari, Gautam Rishi, and all the other Gods that Shiva decided to reside here and assumed the name Trimbakeshwar.
- Kedarnath Jyotirlinga, Uttarakhand- Located in a high mountainous region, the Kedarnath Temple is the most celebrated temple amongst the Jyotirlingas. The temple is located on top of the Kedarnath Mountain. Some of the main features that make this a popular temple are its ancient building structure and its location at an elevation of more than 10,000 ft from sea level. Though it is located in a very remote area, it remains one of the most popular shrines amongst Hindus and attracts thousands of pilgrims every year from across India.
- Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, Aurangabad- The Grishneshwar Temple is also known as the Sonai Ghats and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. The temple is situated on top of a hill and is about 5 km from Sonai, which also houses a bus stand. This temple has several small shrines built near it, which have been built over some time by different rulers. This temple attracts thousands of pilgrims every year from across India.
Lord Shiva is often worshiped with a head of a bull, wears tiger skin, and has a trident in his hand. Temple wise, there are as many as 108 temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. A few of these temples are quite well known for their architecture and design. You can visit the temples and the history as well!