India is known as the land of temples and festivals. And, Maha Shivratri is one of the most widely celebrated festivals across the length and breadth of the country. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, on this day, the Shiva Temples in India see many devotees flocking in to seek the Lord’s Blessings. 

As per Hindu beliefs, Lord Shiva is the supreme power, and Maha Shivratri is a celebration of the wedding day of the great lord and his consort, Goddess Parvati. On this day, the Shiva temples all over India celebrate the occasion in a grand manner and hold many special rituals and pujas. 

Whether you are an ardent Shiva devotee or not you must visit one of these popular Shiva Temples in India to witness and be part of the Shivratri celebration. It is a wonderful experience that you must have and will cherish for the rest of your life. 

Here are some of the most famous Shiva temples that you can visit in 2024 during Maha Shivratri.

Kedarnath, Uttarakhand

One of India's most famous pilgrimage destinations and Shiva temples, the Kedarnath temple is perched in the laps of the mighty, snow-clad Garhwal Himalayan Mountain ranges at the mouth of the Mandakini River. 

Part of the Chota Charm Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand, the foundation stone of this iconic temple in India, is believed to be laid down by the Pandava brothers. It was later revived by Adi Shankaracharya, the great sage and the propagator of Advaita Vedanta during the 8th Century. 

Visiting this temple requires you to trek up the mountain. And you can visit only between April and November, as it remains closed during the winter season. 

Somnath, Gujarat

Located on the western coast of India, in Gujarat, this magnificent temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples in India. An architectural masterpiece, the temple structure, built in the Chalukya architectural style, is a cynosure to the eye. One of the most prominent features of the temple is the Arrow-shaped pillar, which is known as Baan Stambh. 

A sacred pilgrimage site, this famous Shiva temple has a rich history. It has been constructed and destroyed over 15 times, which makes it even more special for the Shiva devotees and Hindu pilgrims. The temple complex also has a museum, and every evening, a light and sound show is held, which you must not miss seeing. 

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Uttar Pradesh

Talking about the most famous temples of Lord Shiva in India, you cannot miss mentioning the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. An ancient temple, it is an iconic temple that holds a significant place in the hearts of the Shiva devotees. Situated in the land of Gods, Varanasi, on the banks of the Holy River Ganga, at the temple, Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of Vishwanath, i.e., the protector of the universe. 

The temple has a long history of being demolished by the foreign rulers who reigned supreme in the region. However, the current structure of the temple was built by the great Queen of Indore, Ahilyabai Holkar, in 1780. Apart from its spiritual and religious importance, the temple is also known for featuring a 16-metre-tall gold spire and a marvellous dome that is made of pure gold. 

Amarnath Temple, Jammu and Kashmir

In India, you would find different kinds of temples, but none so unique as the Amarnath Temple. Located in a remote location of Kashmir inside a cave, the temple is one of the most important and highly revered pilgrimage destinations in India.

Every year, lakhs of devotees from all over India and overseas go on a gruelling and challenging trek through the most tough terrain and offer their prayers to Lord Shiva. The pilgrimage is a testament to the devotee's devotion to the lord, and while you trek up the terrain, your physical, mental and emotional strength will be put to the test. 

The shrine has a Shiv Lingam that is made of ice, and it is believed that it was formed on its own. The temple also represents an important part of Hinduism as it is believed that it was here that Lord Shiva revealed the secret of immortality to his consort, Goddess Parvati.  

Trimbakeshwar Temple, Maharashtra

Located close to Nashik, Trimbakeshwar Temple, at the origin point of the Holy River Godavari, is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples and is, therefore, one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in Maharashtra. The current structure of the temple was built by the Maratha King, Peshwa Balaji Bajirao, in the traditional Hemadpanthi style of architecture. 

The temple has a very distinctive appearance as it is made of entirely black stone, and the immersive sculptures add to its beauty. The most fascinating facet about this temple is that it houses three Lingas, which are dedicated to the three supreme Hindu deities, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Mahesh, a form of Lord Shiva.  

All three Lingas are beautifully decorated with precious gems and jewellery made of gold. Whether you are a devotee of Lord Shiva or you are not too spiritual, you must definitely visit this temple. The magical aura inside the temple premises and the ethereal outer beauty will surely fill your heart with immense joy and merriment. 

Omkareshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh

As the name says, at Omkareshwar Temple, Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of Omakar, which means the lord of the sound 'OM.' The temple is located on an island called Madhata, which itself is considered holy by Hindu communities and Shiva devotees as it is supposed to be in the shape of the ‘OM’ symbol. 

Everyday elaborate puja rituals are conducted at the temple, and whether you are an ardent devotee or not, you must experience seeing these rituals. It is an amazing experience that will remain etched in you forever. Apart from its importance from a spiritual point of view, the temple also has a fascinating legend associated with it. 

As per Hindu legends, it was at this place that Lord Shiva appeared in front of Vidya after being pleased by his worship. 

Brihadeshwara Temple, Tamil Nadu

One of the largest Hindu temples in the world, the Brihadeshwara Temple, is located on the banks of Holy River Kaveri. An exceptional work of Dravidian architecture, the temple is included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The magnificent temple structure is as much visually appealing as it holds religious significance for the devotees. 

A noteworthy feature of this temple is that the dome on top is made of a single stone, and it weighs about 80 tons. The temple was built by the great emperor Rajaraja I of the Chola dynasty. The term Brihadeshwara translates to 'great Lord big Shiva', and therefore, it is also commonly referred to as 'Periya Koil’ or big temple by the locals in the region. 

Ramanathaswamy Temple, Tamil Nadu

The Ramanathaswamy Temple is one of the most popular Shiva temples in South India for all the right reasons. Located in Rameswaram, the temple has an interesting story attached to it. It is believed that the temple is standing at the same spot where Lord Rama prayed and worshipped Lord Shiva to seek his forgiveness for committing the sin of killing Ravana, a Brahmin. 

Apart from its spiritual importance, the temple is also known for its exquisite beauty and intricate work of carvings on the pillars inside and the outer structure. The temple also has the distinction of having the largest corridor in the world. 

Apart from the Shiva temples mentioned above, there are many more temples around the country with unique features and fascinating tales associated with them. These temples are not just a place of worship but an integral part of your rich culture. Visit as many of these temples as you can and each time; you will have an amazing experience, we bet!

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