Hey there, are you a devotee of Lord Shiva? If yes, then the holy month of Sawan is here, and it’s time to plan a trip to some of the most famous Shiva temples in India.
In this month of rain, the temples are buzzing with devotees and festivities. Visiting these ancient temples of Lord Shiva will not only give you a chance to seek blessings but also marvel at their architectural grandeur. Shiva temples are spread across India’s diverse landscape, from the snow-clad mountains to the sandy deserts. We have compiled a list of the top 10 most famous Shiva temples in India; you must visit this Sawan to feel the divine presence of Bholenath.
List of 10 Most Famous Shiva Temples in India to Visit in Sawan
1. Kedarnath Temple
If you’re in India during Sawan, you can’t miss visiting Kedarnath Temple. This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and sits at the base of the Kedarnath mountains in Uttarakhand state.
According to legend, the Pandavas from the Mahabharata epic built this temple over 1000 years ago. The temple’s architecture is a stunning example of stonemasonry, with intricate carvings adorning its walls. You’ll have to trek 14 km uphill to reach it, but the scenic vistas and spiritual experience make it worthwhile.
The main attraction is the 3-foot Shiva lingam inside, which is believed to change colors according to the seasons. During Sawan, the lingam is bathed in waters from the Mandakini River as a ritual offering.
Pro tip: The temple is only open from May to October due to heavy rains. The trek can be arduous, so go with an experienced guide. Also, pack essentials like a raincoat, walking stick, woolens, medicines, and a torch.
A visit to Kedarnath Temple during Sawan will be a memorable pilgrimage. Brave the elements and the trek, offer your prayers to Lord Shiva, and embrace the sacred vibrations of this holy place. You’ll come away with experiences and blessings that stay with you for life. Kedarnath Temple is one of the most beautiful Shiva temples in India.
2. Amarnath Cave Temple
Located in the Himalayas, the Amarnath Cave Temple is one of the holiest shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. As indicated by Hindu convictions, here Shiva uncovered the mystery of life and endlessness to Adhi-Shakti.
During the Sawan month, thousands of devotees trek to pay their respects. At the heart of the temple is a stalagmite Shivling that grows and shrinks with the seasons. You can see it at its largest during Sawan. Amarnath Cave Temple is one of the most ancient Shiva temples in India.
To get there, you must travel through breathtaking mountain scenery with glaciers, gushing streams, and lush meadows. The trek begins at the village, covering 14-16 km. While challenging, the trek is very rewarding.
Once at the cave, you enter a small opening into a larger chamber. There, you’ll find the natural Shivling, with a constant stream of ice-cold water trickling over it. Witnessing the Shivling and being in this sacred space is a profoundly moving experience for any devotee.
The temple is only open to the public during Sawan, so this is the best time for any Shiva devotee to journey. Be prepared for basic facilities and sub-zero temperatures. But the opportunity to connect with Lord Shiva in one of his most divine abodes is worth any hardship. A trip to Amarnath Cave Temple will stay with you forever.
3. Somnath Temple
The Somnath Temple in Gujarat is one of India’s most famous Shiva temples. According to legends, the Somnath temple was built in gold by the moon god Soma, in silver by the sun god Ravi, in wood by Krishna, and in stone by Bhimdev. This legendary temple of Somnath has been destroyed and rebuilt several times in the past. The present temple was rebuilt in the year 1951.
Somnath temple is known for its beautiful architecture, the main shrine, and the arrow that points towards the North Star. At the temple’s entrance is a huge statue of Nandi bull. The lingam inside the garbhagriha is believed to be swayambhu (self-originated). Devotees flock to this temple to pray to Lord Shiva during the holy month of Sawan.
The Somnath Temple is open every day. The best time to visit the temple is morning and evening aarti. The dress code for men is dhoti or pajama kurta, and for women, it is saree or salwar kameez. You can take a bus or hire a taxi to reach Somnath Temple, located in Prabhas Patan town of Junagadh district in Gujarat. Somnath Temple is one of the best Shiva temples in India to visit in Sawan month.
4. Mahakaleshwar Temple
One of India’s most famous Shiva temples is the Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. This ancient temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva, making it an important pilgrimage destination for Shaivites.
The Mahakaleshwar Temple is known for its lingam made of precious stone, said to be swayambhu or self-manifested. The lingam is believed to be facing south, a rare feature. The temple itself has a distinct Shikhar or spire typical of Nagara-style architecture. Within the temple complex are also shrines to other deities like Ganesha, Parvati, and Nandi. Mahakaleshwar Temple is one of the most famous Shiva temples in India.
The temple holds great religious significance, especially during the holy month of Sawan. Thousands of devotees flock to the temple to offer prayers and Gangajal abhishekam to the lingam. The temple remains open from 4 am to 11 pm, so you can visit anytime and experience its spiritual ambiance. Witnessing the elaborate pujas and aartis in the evening is a moving experience you should not miss.
5. Trimbakeshwar Temple
The Trimbakeshwar Temple is one of the holiest ancient Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Located at the source of the Godavari River in the town of Trimbak, in the Nashik district of Maharashtra, this temple is considered one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva.
During the holy month of Sawan, thousands of devotees flock to this temple to offer prayers to Lord Shiva. The temple’s main attraction is the beautiful Shiva Linga, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. The Linga is made of black stone and placed in the inner sanctum’s center. Devotees gather around the Linga, offer bilva leaves flowers, and chant the name of Lord Shiva.
The temple architecture is stunning, with intricate carvings, sculptures, and paintings. The towering spire of the temple can be seen from miles away. According to legends, Gautam Rishi penanced at this place to please Lord Shiva. Impressed with his devotion, Lord Shiva appeared before him as a Linga of light. Gautam Rishi requested Lord Shiva to take a permanent place in the Linga.
A visit to this holy temple, especially during Sawan, is a must for any devotee of Lord Shiva. The spiritual ambiance, the devotees’ enthusiasm, and the place’s divinity will fill you with devotion and peace.
6. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is situated in the Pauri Garhwal area of Uttarakhand. It is 1330 meters, encompassed by thick forests and mountain ranges. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is worshiped as Neelkanth, meaning the one with a blue throat.
According to Hindu mythology, the temple got its name from an event in the Samudra Manthan, when the deity Shiva drank the Halahal poison to save the universe. After consuming the poison, Shiva’s throat became blue, thus giving him the name Neelkanth. The temple is visited by thousands of pilgrims, especially during the Sawan month, to offer prayers to Lord Shiva.
The temple has beautiful architecture with intricate carvings on stone. The main shrine has an idol of Lord Shiva in a meditating posture. A natural spring inside the temple is believed to have medicinal properties. Devotees take a holy dip in the spring before offering prayers to the deity. The scenic beauty and serenity surrounding the temple fill the mind with peace. A trek to the Neelkanth Mahadev is a rejuvenating experience for both body and soul.
7. Kashi Vishwanath
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi is one of the most famous Shiva temples in India. As one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, devotees consider the lingam at the temple especially sacred.
During the holy month of Sawan, thousands of pilgrims flock to the temple to pray for Lord Shiva. The temple premises are decorated beautifully, and special pujas are performed. Witnessing the Ganga aarti along the ghats of the Ganges River in the evening is a spectacular sight.
Visiting the Kashi Vishwanath Temple during Sawan is a truly spiritual experience. The energy of devotion and faith is palpable as you walk through the narrow lanes leading to the temple. Once inside, the lingam is bathed in milk, honey, and bel leaves. Chanting, ringing bells, and conch shells create an atmosphere of mysticism.
A visit to this ancient temple, especially in the month of Sawan, is a must for any devout Hindu or someone interested in spirituality and culture. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple gives you a glimpse into the heart of Hinduism and an opportunity to connect with the divine. Kashi Vishwanath is the most famous lord Shiva temples in India to visit in Sawan.
8. Omkareshwar Temple
The Omkareshwar Temple is one of the 12 jyotirlinga sanctums of Lord Shiva. Omkareshwar means ‘Lord of Omkaara’ or the lord of the Om Sound. Located on an island in the Narmada River, the island’s shape is said to resemble the Hindu symbol ‘OM.’
This ancient temple has great religious significance and attracts many devotees, especially during the holy month of Sawan. The main temple is located at the meeting of the Narmada and Kaveri rivers. Within the temple complex are other smaller shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha, and the Navagrahas.
Devotees flock here during Shravan month to offer prayers and take a holy dip in the sacred Narmada River. The serene and spiritual atmosphere, especially during the monsoons, makes it an ideal place to find solace and seek blessings. A visit to this sacred temple, one of the holiest Shiva shrines, will surely fill you with divine bliss.
9. Lingaraj Temple
The Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar is one of India’s most famous Shiva temples. Built-in the 6th century, it is the largest temple in Bhubaneswar and depicts the Kalinga architectural style.
The temple has a 180-foot-high deal or shrine and a sprawling campus covering over 25 acres. The shrine has an octagonal spire and is made of sandstone and laterite. The temple walls are covered with exquisite carvings depicting religious themes. The temple also has two gateways, an open hall, and a dance hall.
The presiding deity here is a lingam, the phallic form of Lord Shiva, called ‘Lingaraj.’ The lingam is bathed daily with water, milk, and bhang and adorned with flowers. Devotees flock to the temple during Shivratri and Sawan to offer prayers.
Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple but can view it outside. The temple architecture and carvings are truly a sight to behold, showcasing the artistic excellence of the artisans of that era. A visit to Bhubaneswar is incomplete without seeing this magnificent temple, especially if you want to experience the religious fervour of Sawan.
10. Baba Baidyanath Temple
The Baba Baidyanath Temple, also known as Baba Dham or Baidyanath Dham, is one of India’s most sacred Shiva temples. Located in Deoghar, Jharkhand, this temple is especially important during the holy month of Sawan. Baba Baidyanath Temple is one the most visited Shiva temples in India in Sawan.
According to legend, Ravana worshipped Shiva at this spot. It is said that Ravana offered his ten heads one by one to Shiva as a sacrifice. Pleased with his devotion, Shiva appeared before him and granted him a boon. Ravana requested the Atmalinga, which God Shiva gave him with the condition that it should not be placed on the ground.
This ancient temple attracts thousands of pilgrims, especially during Sawan. Devotees carry the holy water of the Ganges on their shoulders and head to the temple to offer it to Lord Shiva. The Kanwariyas, as they are called, travel miles barefoot to reach the temple.
The lingam at the Baba Baidyanath Temple is considered one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, representing the infinite column of fire. A visit to this sacred temple, especially during Sawan, is a dream for many Shiva devotees. The zeal and devotion of the pilgrims, combined with the holy atmosphere, make it an unforgettable spiritual experience. The Baba Baidyanath Temple is a highly crowded Shiva temples in India during the Sawan month.
So there you have it, the top 10 most famous Shiva temples in India to visit during the holy month of Sawan. Any of these magnificent temples would be an amazing place to experience the festivities and pay your respects to Lord Shiva. Whether you’re looking for a quick day trip from Delhi or Mumbai or want to plan an epic pilgrimage touring multiple temples, India has no shortage of stunning Shiva temples to discover.
What are you waiting for? Start planning your trip now and experience the wonder of these ancient holy Shiva temples in India. Don’t forget to pack light, stay hydrated and keep an open mind – India will surprise you in the best ways. Happy travels! May Lord Shiva bless you?