Top 9 Most Visited Lord Shiva Temples In India

Lord Shiva is one of the main three supreme gods in Hinduism, called the trinity or trimurti. He’s responsible for destroying and restarting the universe at the end of time. This endless cycle of birth and rebirth of the cosmic creation is the core fundamental belief of Hinduism, where destruction is inevitable, be it the life of living beings, planets, or the universe as a whole. 

Everything and anything that exists physically in the universe must be destroyed for the new creation to form. Lord Shiva, being the supreme lord of destruction, is thus worshiped by millions of devotees worldwide. According to the ancient scriptures of Hinduism, he’s the only eternal who exists even when all the creations cease to exist.

Therefore, it’s needless to say that Lord Shiva is an inseparable part of the entire Hindu belief system. And it can be seen just by the sheer number of temples Lord Shiva has to his name throughout India. Here, you will find Shiva temples in every nook and corner of the country, but in this post, I’ve curated a list of the top 9 most visited Shiva temples that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

Kedarnath Temple

Location: This famous temple of Kedarnath is located on the Garhwal Himalayan range, near the Mandakini river in the state of Uttarakhand.

Opening Time: The Kedarnath temple only opens six months a year from April to November. The temple opens daily around 7 am, performs the morning aarti, and closes between 3-5 p.m. The evening aarti begins at 6:30 pm, and the temple closes for the day around 8:30 p.m.

Facts Of Kedarnath Temple:

  • According to legend, the Pandavas from the Mahabharata built this kedarnath temple nearly 5,000 years ago, but it was Adi Shankaracharya who restored the temple and its glory in the 8th century A.D., or 1200 years ago. 
  • The Kedarnath temple is one of India’s 12 established Jyotirlingas.

Somnath Temple

Location: Somnath temple is also known as the Somnath Jyotirlinga temple. It’s located in the western Indian state of Gujarat.

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Opening Time: Anyone from any caste or race can enter the temple, but only the temple priests are allowed to enter the main sanctum. The temple opens daily at 6 am and performs the morning aarti at 7 am. After completing the evening aarti at 6:30pm, the temple closes at 10 pm.

Facts Of Somnath Temple:

  • The Somnath Temple is a Shiva temple, but many people get confused because of its name. Actually, Lord Shiva is also known as Somnath, whose literal meaning is The Lord Of The Moon.
  • The temple is famous because it’s believed that Lord Krishna ended his life at this place and returned back to his adobe, called Vaikuntha Dham.
  • In 1025, Mahmud Ghazni looted the immense wealth of Somnath Temple on his 16th attack on India.

Omkareshwar Temple 

Location: Omkareshwar temple is located at the Khandwa district in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

Opening Time: Visiting the Omkareshwar temple is free and open all days of the month. Throughout the day, the temple opens twice: at 5 am to 12 pm, and at 5 pm to 10 pm.

Facts Of Omkareshwar Temple:

  • According to the legend, the linga of the Omkareshwar shiva temple was brought from Kashi.
  • One of the rulers of the Kodagu kingdom, king Linga Raja the second built the temple in the 19th century.

Kashi Vishwanath Mandir

Location: This famous temple of Kashi Vishwanath Temple is located on the western bank of the Ganges river in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Opening Time: The temple is open daily from 2 a.m. in the early morning to 11 p.m. at night. Throughout the day, the temple performs five times. 

Facts Of Kashi Vishwanath Temple: 

  • Despite being located in Varanasi, the temple is called Kashi Vishwanath Temple as the city was once called Kashi in ancient times. The temple thus has been carrying forward the legacy of the place. 
  • Hindus believe that whoever dies here in this sacred place and gets cremated along the banks of the holy river, breaks the cycle of endless rebirth and attains the ultimate freedom, the moksha.
  • The Kashi Vishwanath temple is one of India’s twelve established Jyotirlingas.
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Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple 

Location: The temple of Mallikarjuna Swamy is yet another Jyotirlinga based on the bank of the Krishna river in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Opening Time: 04:30 am – 10:00 pm

Facts Of Mallikarjuna Temple:

  • The Mallikarjuna Swamy temple was built during the Hoysala empire in 1234 A.D. under the rule of Narasimha the Second.
  •  The temple is strategically located at a point where both the traditions of Shaivism and Shaktism meet, because it’s both referred to as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, and one of the eighteen Shakti Peethas in India. 
  • Devotees worship Lord Shiva in his Mallikarjuna form and Goddess Parvati as Bhadrakali.

Mahakaleshwar Mandir

Location: Mahakaleshwar Temple is located in the city of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh.

Opening Time: The temple is open daily from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. Devotees are encouraged to take part in various rituals performed throughout the day, such as three times aarti in the morning, midday and evening.

 

Facts Of Mahakaleshwar Temple:

  • Mahakaleshwar, one of the fierce forms of Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of the temple, hence the temple’s name.
  • The Mahakaleshwar temple is one of India’s twelve Jyotirlingas.
  • In ancient times, ash from funeral pyres was used to make bhasma aarti. However, in modern times, the bhasma is made from cow dung.

Kailashnath Temple

Location: Situated at Ellora, near Aurangabad, Kailashnath temple is a remarkable example of Rashtrakuta architecture.

Opening Time: There are no visiting fees, and the facility is open for two shifts a day, from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. and then from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Facts Of Kailashnath Temple:

  • The Kailashnath temple is made by cutting and sculpting one single mountain rock from top to bottom. The temple was built during the Rashtrakuta empire by the king Krishna the first in 756-773 C.E.
  • According to legend, the temple can not be destroyed. Aurangzeb, one of the mughals who looted and destroyed thousands of Hindu temples in India, also sent around 1000 people to destroy this Kailashnath temple in the year 1682, but failed miserably after trying hard for 3 years.
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Amarnath Temple

Location: Situated in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India, this Amarnath temple is located in a hallowed cave, also known by the name of Lord Amarnath.

Opening Time: From June to September is the best time to visit the Amarnath temple. Because only at this time of the year does the famous Amarnath yatra begin.

Facts Of Amarnath Temple:

  • The Amarnath temple is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in India.
  • All throughout the year, the temple’s presiding Shiva Linga is covered with natural snow, except for a short time in summer.
  • According to legend, Rishi Bhrigu first discovered this cave and named it. The Amarnath cave is thus believed to date back to some five thousand years, making it the most ancient sacred cave in the world. 
  • The Amarnath cave is so ancient that its mention can be found in several ancient Hindu texts, such as Amarnath Mahatmya, Bringish Samhita, Nilamata Purana, etc.

Tarakeshwar Temple

Location: Located in the state of West Bengal, the Tarakeshwar Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Hundreds of thousands of devotees visit this temple each year. 

Opening Time: The temple is open all days of the month, and the entry fee is free. The temple conducts worship of the presiding deity twice a day, one in the morning and another in the evening. 

Facts Of Tarakeshwar Temple:

  • The Tarakeshwar Temple is one of the most well-known temples in the entire West Bengal state. This temple is very ancient and is believed to have been built in 1729 by King Bharamalla the Second.

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