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Pilgrimages of Shiva

  1. Jyotirlingas:
  2. Pancha Kedaras

  3. Pancha Bhoota Sthalams:
  4. Astha Veerattha Sthalams
    • Tirukkurukkai Veerateswarar Temple (Tamil Nadu) Burning Kamadev
    • Thirukandiyur Brahmasirakandeeswarar Temple (Tamil Nadu) Cutting Brahma's head
    • Thirukkadaiyur Amritaghateswarar Temple (Tamil Nadu) Vanquishing Yama
    • Tiruvirkudi Veerateswarar Temple (Tamil Nadu) Killing Jalandhara
    • Tiruvatikal Veerateswarar Temple (Tamil Nadu) Killing Tripurasuras
    • Tirukkovalur Veerateswarar Temple (Tamil Nadu) Vanquishing Andhakasura
    • Tiruppariyalur Veerateswarar Temple (Tamil Nadu) Destroying Daksha Yagya
    • Tiruvazhuvur Gaja Samhara Moorthy Temple (Tamil Nadu) Killing Gajasura

  5. Paadal Petra Sthalams 275 Shiva temples whose praises has been sung by the Nayanmars

  6. Amarnath (Jammu & Kashmir)
  7. Sudh Mahadev (Jammu & Kashmir)
  8. Manikaran (Himachal Pradesh)
  9. Eklingji (Rajasthan)
  10. Dharmasthala (Karnataka)
  11. Nanjangud (Karnataka)
  12. Ettumanoor (Kerala)
  13. Vaikom (Kerala)


Jyotirlingas from Shiva Purana:

Sri Shiva The Jyotirlingas (literally Lingams of Light) are 12 sacred places where Lord Shiva manifested in response to ardent prayers of devotees, and thereafter made that place His abode on the request of those devotees. Lord Shiva is now worshipped in each of these places in temples. The references to Jyotirlingas are available in Shiva Mahapurana, Linga Purana and other puranas. The Jyotirlingas are spread throughout India, from Kedarnath in the north, Rameshwaram in the south, Somnath in the west and Vaidyanath in the east. The Jyotirlingas are located in varied natural landscapes - Kedarnath in the Himalayas, Somnath and Rameshwaram in the sea coast, Nageshwara and Bhimashankar in the forest, Narmada on river island and so on. Thus these Jyotirlingas define a part of the sacred geography of Bharatavarsha. Read Dwadasa Jyotirlinga slokas in sanskrit.

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  • Somnath Jyotirlinga: One of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Shiva located in the Prabhasa Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra (Gujarat Coastal Plain). According to Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva relieved the curse of Chandra Deva in this place. Chandra Deva was afflicted with Kshaya Roga (disease of consumption) when Daksha cursed him for showing special love to only one of his wife (Rohini) and neglecting the others. Chandra Deva performed tapas for six months in Prabhasa Kshetra to get rid of his disease and got the darshan of Lord Shiva. At the request of the devas, Shiva stayed in Prabhasa Kshetra as Someshwara (Somnath Jyotirlinga). Somnath Jyotirlinga is located in the Gir Somnath district of Gujarat.
    - Somnath Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya



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  • Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga: One of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Shiva located in Srisailam in the Nallamalai hills (Andhra Pradesh Ghats). According to Shiva Purana, Shiva-Parvati came here to meet their son Kumara. Kumara had earlier left Kailasha and gone to Krauncha mountain after he was defeated in a game by Ganesha. Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati came to Krauncha mountain to see Kumara and abided there in the form of a Jyoti. Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga is located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh.
    - Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya







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  • Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga: One of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Shiva located in Avanti or Ujjain (Malwa Plateau). According to Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva protected Veda Priya from demon Dushana in this place. Demon Dushana after getting a boon started tormenting the people. Veda Priya was a very noble brahmin living in the city of Avanti. When demon Dushana started tormenting the brahmanas in Avanti, Veda Priya and other brahmanas took refuge of Lord Shiva and worshipped a Parthiva Linga. Lord Shiva manifested in the terrible form of Mahakala and destroyed demon Dushana with a humkara. At the request of the brahmanas, Lord Shiva stayed in Avanti in the form of Mahakaleshwar. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is located in the Ujjain district of Madhya Pradesh.
    - Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya



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  • Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga: One of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Shiva located in Omkareshwar on the bank of river Narmada (Narmada Trough between the Vindhya and Satpura range on the south of Malwa Plateau). According to Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva granted a boon to Vindhya mountain in this place. Vindhya mountain had performed a penance to get a boon to grow at his will (to surpass the Sumeru mountain). At the request of the devas and sages, Lord Shiva stayed there in the form of a Jyotirlinga. The earlier Linga Omkara became of two forms. Shiva abided in the Omkara Linga and came to be known as Omkara Shiva. Shiva also abided in the Parthiva Linga and came to be known as Parameshwara. Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga is located in the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh.
    - Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya



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  • Kedarnath Jyotirlinga: One of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Shiva located in the Himalayas (Uttarakhand Himalayas). According to Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva gave darshan to Nara and Narayana (two incarnations of Hari) in this place. They worshipped Lord Shiva in a Parthiva Linga. When Shiva gave darshan to them they requested him to abide there so that they can worship him. At their request, Lord Shiva stayed there in the form of Kedareshwar (Kedarnath Jyotirlinga). Kedarnath Jyotirlinga is located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand.
    - Kedarnath Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya





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  • Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga: One of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Shiva located in the Sahyadri hills (Maharashtra Ghats) near the origin of river Bhima. According to Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva protected king Sudakshina (king of Kamarupa) from demon Bhima in this place. Demon Bhima after receiving a boon became very powerful and defeated the devas. Thereafter he imprisoned king Sudakshina who was a great devotee of Shiva. King Sudakshina made a Parthiva Linga and worshipped Lord Shiva in the prison. When demon Bhima tried to harm him, Lord Shiva manifested in the form of Bhimeshwar and killed demon Bhima. At the request of the gods and sages, Lord Shiva stayed there in the form of Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga. Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is located in the Pune district of Maharashtra.
    - Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya



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  • Vishwanath Jyotirlinga: One of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Shiva located in Kashi or Varanasi (in Middle Ganga Plain) on the bank of river Ganga. According to Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva himself created Kashi and held it on his trident. Lord Vishnu had performed tapas in this place for a long time during the creation of this kshetra on the instruction of Shiva. Shiva himself established the Avimukta Swayambhu Linga in this kshetra on the tip of his trident, and then placed the Kashika kshetra from his trident in the mortal world. Kashi does not get destroyed even after a day of Brahma. At that time, Shiva holds it on his trident. Vishwanath Jyotirlinga is located in the Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh.
    - Vishwanath Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya



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  • Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga: One of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Shiva located in the Brahmagiri hills (Maharashtra Plateau). According to Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva gave darshan to Gautam Rishi in this place, and released the Gautami Ganga (Godavari) here (from his matted hairs). Earlier Gautam Rishi was falsely accused of killing a cow by some brahmanas. They told him to atone the sin by bringing Ganga in that place. Gautam Rishi worshipped Lord Shiva in a Parthiva Linga in Brahmagiri hills. Lord Shiva gave darshan to him and told him about the false accusation by the brahmanas. At the request of the rishi, Lord Shiva made the water of Ganga flow down in Brahmagiri hills which came to be known as Gautami Ganga (Godavari). Also at the request of the rishi and gods, Lord Shiva abided there as Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga. Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga is located in the Nashik district of Maharashtra.
    - Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya

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  • Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga: One of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Shiva identified with three places - Baidyanath Dham or Babadham in Deogarh (Chhotanagpur Plateau), Parli Vaidyanath in Parli (Maharashtra Plateau) and Baijnath near Palampur (Himachal Himalayas). According to Shiva Purana, the Atma Linga of Lord Shiva got fixed in this place which was carried by Ravana to Lanka. Ravana had performed severe tapas in Kailasha and offered his nine heads to Lord Shiva. When he was about to offer his tenth head, Shiva gave him darshan and a Shiva Lingam to take to Lanka. However Lord Shiva told him that wherever the Shiva Lingam is placed on the ground, it will get fixed there. While carrying the Shiva Lingam to Lanka, Ravana felt a great urge to ease himself due to Shiva Maya. Seeing a cowherd boy, he gave the Linga to hold for sometime. But the cowherd boy was unable to hold the Linga for long and placed it on the ground. The Linga got fixed there and came to be known as Vaidyanatheshwar (Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga). Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga is identified with three places - Baidyanath Dham or Babadham in Deogarh district of Jharkhand, Parli Vaidyanath in Beed district of Maharashtra and Baijnath in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.
    - Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya

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  • Nageshwar Jyotirlinga: One of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Shiva identified with three places - Nageshwar in Saurashtra (Gujarat Coastal Plain), Aundh Nagnath in Hingoli (Maharashtra Plateau) and Jageshwar in Almora (Uttarakhand Himalayas). According to Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva protected his devotee Supriya (a vaishya or of merchant class) from demon Daruka in this place. Once when Supriya and other merchants were out in the sea for business, demon Daruka captured their boats and imprisoned them. Supriya worshipped Lord Shiva in a Parthiva Linga inside the prison. When demon Daruka tried to harm him, Lord Shiva appeared and gave him a Pashupata astra by which he killed all the demons. Lord Shiva thereafter stayed in Daruka vana to protect his devotees in future. Nageshwar Jyotirlinga identified with three places - Nageshwar in the Devbhoomi Dwarka district of Gujarat, Aundh Nagnath in the Hingoli district of Maharashtra and Jageshwar in Almora district of Uttarakhand.
    - Nageshwar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya

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  • Rameshwar Jyotirlinga: One of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Shiva located in Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu Coastal Plain). According to Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva appeared before Sri Rama in this place and gave him the blessing of victory against Ravana (who was also a great devotee of Shiva). Sri Rama worshipped Lord Shiva in this place in a Parthiva Linga with sixteen types of ritualistic worships, and prayed to him with great devotion to bless him for victory against Ravana. Lord Shiva gave him darshan and the blessing of victory. At the request of Sri Rama, Lord Shiva stayed there in the form of Rameshwar Jyotirlinga. Rameshwar Jyotirlinga is located in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu.
    - Rameshwar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya



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  • Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga: One of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Shiva located near Aurangabad (Maharashtra Plateau). According to Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva brought back to life the dead son of Ghushma in this place. Sudeha, the elder sister of Ghushma had killed her son out of jealousy as she herself could not bear a child. Ghushma was a great devotee of Shiva. She worshipped Lord Shiva daily by making one hundred and one Shiva Lingas, worshipped them, and then consigned them in a nearby lake. On the day when her son was killed, Ghushma remained unperturbed and continued to worship Shiva. She said that the one who has given the boy will also protect him. When she consigned the Shiva Lingas in the lake as usual, she found that her son was standing on the bank of the lake. At the request of Ghushma, Lord Shiva stayed there in the form of Grishneshwar or Ghushmeshwar Jyotirlinga. Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga is located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra.
    - Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya

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    Pancha Kedaras:

    Kedarnath According to legend, after the Kurukshetra battle, the Pandavas wanted to get the blessings of Lord Shiva to atone the sins of killing their kith and kin. Lord Shiva was unwilling to meet them and eluded them repeatedly. When Lord Shiva hid in Kedarnath in the form of a bull, the Pandavas followed Him there. Lord Shiva dived inside the ground leaving the hump on the surface. Shiva reappeared at four other places which are worshipped as manifestations of Shiva - Arms at Tunganath, Face at Rudranath (Rudraprayag), Navel at Madmaheshwar and Head (with Locks) at Kalpeshwar. These together form the Pancha Kedaras.

    The Pancha Kedara:
    1. Kedarnath (Hump)
    2. Tunganath (Arms)
    3. Rudranath (Face)
    4. Madmaheshwar (Navel)
    5. Kalpeshwar (Head)


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    Pancha Bhoota Sthalams:

    Shiva Lingam The Pancha Bhoota Sthalams are five sacred temples of Shiva, each representing a prime element of Nature. They are:

    1. Earth element: Ekambareswara Temple at Kanchipuram representing the Prithivi Lingam.

    2. Water element: Jambukeswara Temple at Thiruvanaikaval representing the Apas Lingam.

    3. Fire element: Arunachaleswara Temple at Thiruvannamalai representing the Agni (Taijasha) Lingam.

    4. Air element: Sri Kalahasteeswara Temple at Sri Kalahasti representing the Vayu Lingam.

    5. Space (or Sky) element: Nataraja Temple at Chidambaram representing the Akasha Lingam.


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  • Ekambareswara (Kanchipuram): One of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalas of Shiva located in Kanchipuram which represents the Prithivi or Earth element. According to legend, Devi Parvati performed penance here under a mango tree on the bank of river Kampa. She worshipped a Parthiva Lingam (Earth Lingam) of Lord Shiva. Devi Parvati had previously got separated from Lord Shiva for closing his eyes in a jocular mood. During her penance, Lord Shiva tested her devotion in various ways. Finally he took her back as his consort. Their divine marriage is celebrated here in the month of Phalguni on the 10th day of Uttiram. Kanchipuram is located in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu.
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya

    - Sarva Mangala Mangalye
    - Ya Devi Sarvabhutesu
    - Jai Ambe Gauri
    - Stotras of Devi Parvati
    - Pilgrimages of Devi Parvati

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  • Jambukeswara (Thiruvanaikaval): One of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalas of Shiva located in Thiruvanaikaval which represents the Jala or Water element. According to legend, Devi Parvati performed penance here under a Jambu tree on the bank of river Cauvery. She worshipped a Jala or Appu Lingam (Water Lingam) of Shiva created from the water of river Cauvery. Devi Parvati was previously instructed by Lord Shiva to undertake the penance at Thiruvanaikaval to clarify certain doubts. Water can be seen oozing out of the Lingam even today. At the proper time, Lord Shiva gave darshan to the Devi and cleared her doubts. Devi Parvati is shown here facing Lord Shiva in the posture of taking upadesha. Thiruvanaikaval is located in the Tiruchirapalli district of Tamil Nadu.
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya

    - Sarva Mangala Mangalye
    - Ya Devi Sarvabhutesu
    - Jai Ambe Gauri
    - Stotras of Devi Parvati
    - Pilgrimages of Devi Parvati

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  • Arunachaleswara (Thiruvannamalai): One of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalas of Shiva located in Thiruvannamalai which represents the Agni or Fire element. According to legend, Lord Shiva appeared here as an infinite Taijasha Linga before Brahma and Vishnu. They requested Shiva to manifest in a visible form so that the devas, siddhas, ordinary human beings and others could worship him and become blessed. Shiva granted the boon and manifested as Sona-Shaila, the great Arunachala mountain. Arunachala is located in the Thiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu.
    - Arunachala from Skanda Purana
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya

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  • Srikalahasteeswara (Srikalahasti): One of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalas of Shiva located in Srikalahasti which represents the Vayu or Wind element. According to legend, the Linga was originally worshipped by Vayu in Maha Kailasha on the peak of Sivanandaikanilaya. The Linga was thereafter worshipped by many devas and sages in different yugas. In Tretayuga the Linga was worshipped by a Spider (Sri), a Serpent (Kala) and an Elephant (Hasti).

    The Spider (Sri) worshipped the Shiva Linga by decorating its vicinity with cobwebs spinning in the shape of chariots, mandapas, towers, thrones etc. Lord Shiva tested his devotion by reducing all his creations to ashes. The spider in great dissapointment ended his life by entering into the flame of a lamp. Lord Shiva gave him darshan and he finally merged with the Vayu Lingam.

    In a separate period, the Serpent (Kala) and Elephant (Hasti) also worshipped the Shiva Linga. The serpent used to worship the Shiva Linga every morning with precious stones. The elephant used to worship the Linga at noon time with tender leaves and fragrant flowers. The serpent removed the flower offerings of the Lord thinking that the thorns will cause pain to the Lord. Similarly the elephant removed the offerings of precious stones thinking that they were heavy burden on the idol. A conflict ensued between them in which both of them died. Lord Shiva gave darshan to them and they finally merged with the Vayu Linga. The Lord named the kshetra as Srikalahasteeswara associating the name with Sri (spider devotee), Kala (serpent devotee) and Hasti (elephant devotee). Srikalahasti is located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.
    - Srikalahasti from Srikalahasteeswara Sthala Purana
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya

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  • Nataraja (Chidambaram): One of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalas of Shiva located in Chidambaram which represents the Akasha or Space element. According to legend, once Lord Shiva went to Darukavana in the form of a mendicant to remove the pride of learning of the rishis there. Shiva was having a begging bowl in his hand and He was accompanied by Mohini (Lord Vishnu in disguise). The wives of the rishis were greatly attracted by this beautiful pair. The rishis became angry because of this and tried to destroy them through supernatural powers. They sent a tiger. Shiva killed it and wrapped the tiger skin on His waist. Then they sent a poisonous serpent. Shiva tied it around His neck. Thereafter they sent Apasmara Muyalaka. Shiva crushed him under His feet. The rishis became humble and confessed defeat. Shiva was pleased and started to dance the great Tandava dance before the gods and the rishis. Lord Adisesha hearing the description of the great Tandava dance of Shiva yearned to see it himself. He performed penance and had the darshan of Shiva. Shiva directed him to go to the forest of Tillai. Adisesha incarnated as Patanjali and went to the forest of Tillai. Rishi Vyaghrapada joined him there. Both of them started worshipping Shiva in the form of Swayambhu Linga. (The hermitage of Patanjali is at Ananteeswaram and Vyaghrapada at Tirupapuleeswaram in Chidambaram). When the time was ripe, Lord Shiva appeared there in the form of Nataraja and performed the Ananda Tandava in the presence of Sivakamasundari, the gods and the rishis including Patanjali and Vyaghrapada. The Chit Sabha, the innermost portion of the temple is the place where Lord Shiva performed His Ananda Tandava. Chidambaram is located in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu.
    - Om Namah Shivaya
    - Nagendra Haraya Trilocanaya

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    Astha Veerattha Sthalams:

    Lord Shiva The Astha Veerattha Sthalams are eight sacred pilgrimages of Shiva where Shiva performed heroic deeds. They are:

    1. Burning Kamadeva: Tirukkurukkai Veerateswarar Temple.

    2. Cutting Brahma's head: Thirukandiyur Brahmasirakandeeswarar Temple.

    3. Vanquishing Yama: Thirukkadaiyur Amritaghateswarar Temple.

    4. Killing Jalandhara: Tiruvirkudi Veerateswarar Temple.

    5. Killing Tripurasuras: Tiruvatikal Veerateswarar Temple.

    6. Vanquishing Andhakasura: Tirukkovalur Veerateswarar Temple.

    7. Destroying Daksha Yagya: Tiruppariyalur Veerateswarar Temple.

    8. Killing Gajasura: Tiruvazhuvur Gaja Samhara Moorthy Temple.


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    Paadal Petra Sthalams:

    Sri Shiva The Paadal Petra Sthalams are 275 Shiva temples whose praises has been sung by the Nayanmars. These songs are recorded in Thevaram, the sacred scripture of the Shaivites.
    • Andhra Pradesh: Tirupparuppadam (Srisailam) - Sri Kalahasti

    • Karnataka (Tuluva Naadu): Gokarna (Gokarnam)

    • Kerala (Malai Naadu): Thiruvanchikkalam

    • Tamil Nadu (Chola Naadu) (North of river Kaveri): Koyil (Chidambaram) - Tiruvetkalam - Tirunelvayil - Tirukkazhippaalai - Tirunallurperumanam - Mahendrappalli - Ten Tirumullaivayil - Kalikkaamoor - Tiruchaaikadu - Pallavaneeswaram - Tiruvenkaadu - Keezhai Tirukkaattuppalli - Tirukkurukaavur - Sirkazhi - Tirukkolakka - Pullirukkuvelur (Vaitheeswaran Koyil) - Kannaar Kovil - Tirukkadaimudi - Tiruninriyur - Tiruppunkur - Tiruneedur - Tiru Anniyur - Tiruvelvikkudi - Edirkolpaadi - Tirumanancheri - Tirukkurukkai - Karuppariyalur - Kurakkukka - Tiruvaalkoliputrur - Tirumannippadikkarai - Omampuliyur - Tirukkaanaattumullur - Tirunaarayur - Kadambur - Pandanainallur - Kanjanoor - Tirukkodikka - Tirumangalakkudi - Tiruppanantaal - Tiruvaappaadi - Tirucheignalur - Tirundudevankudi - Tiruviyalur - Kottaiyur - Innambar - Tiruppurampayam - Vijayamangai - Tiruvaikavur - Kurangaaduturai - Tiruppazhanam - Tiruvaiyaru - Tiruneittanam - Thirupperumpuliyur - Tirumazhapadi - Tiruppazhuvur (Aalanturai) - Tirukkaanoor - Anbilalanturai - Tirumaanturai - Tirupaatrurai - Tiru Aanaikkaa - Tiruppainneeli - Tiruppachilaasramam - Tiruveengoimalai - Tiruveengoimalai

    • Tamil Nadu (Chola Naadu) (South of river Kaveri): Vaatpokki - Kadambar Kovil - Tirupparaaitturai - Tirukkarkudi (Uyyakkondan Malai) - Uraiyur - Tiruchirappalli - Tiruverumbur - Nedunkalam - Melaittirukkattuppalli - Tiruvalampozhil - Tiruppoonturutti - Tirukkandiyur - Tiruchotrutturai - Tiruvedikkudi - Tenkudittitai - Tiruppullamangai - Tiruchakkrappalli - Tirukkarukavoor - Tirupaalaitturai - Tirunallur - Aavoor Pasupateeswaram - Satthi Mutram - Patteeswaram - Pazhayaarai Vadathali - Tiruvalanchuzhi - Tirukkudamookku - Tirukudandaikeezhkottum - Kudandaikkaaronam - Tirunageswaram - Tiruvidaimarudur - Ten Kurangaaduturai - Ten Tiruneelakkudi - Vaikanmadakkovil - Tirunallam - Tirukkozhambam - Tiruvavaduturai - Tirutturutti - Tiruvazhundur - Mayiladuturai - Vilanagar - Tiruppariyalur - Tiruchemponpalli - Tirunanipalli - Tiruvalampuram - Tirutalaichandaadu - Aakkoor - Tirukkadayur - Tirukkadavur Mayaanam - Tiruvettakudi - Tiruttelicheri - Dharumapuram - Tirunallar - Tirukkottaru - Ambar - Ambar Maakaalam - Tirumeeyachur - Tirumeeyachur Illamkovil - Thilataipati - Tiruppaampuram - Sirukudi - Tiruveezhimizhalai - Tiruvanniyur - Karuvili Kottitai - Penu Perunthurai - Narayur Sidheeswaram - Arisirkaraiputtur - Sivapuram - Kalayanallur (Saakkottai) - Tirukkarukudi - Tiruvanchiyam - Nannilam - Tirukondeeswaram - Tiruppanaiyur - Virkudi - Tiruppugalur - Tiruppugalur Vardhamaneeswaram - Ramanadeeswaram - Tiruppayattrankudi - Tiruchenkattankudi - Tirumarugal - Tiruchattamangai - Nagaikaronam - Sikkal - Keevalur - Tiruttevur - Palliyin Mukoodal - Achaleswaram - Tiruvarur - Aarurparavaiumandali - Vilamar - Karaveeram - Peruvelur - Talaiyalankadu - Tirukkudavaayil - Tirucherai - Tirunaalurmayaanam - Kaduvaaikaraiputtur - Tiruvirumpoolai - Aradaiperumpaazhi - Avalivanallur - Paridiniyamam - Tiruvenniyur (Koyil Venni) - Tiruppoovanur - Paadaaleeswaram - Tirukkalar - Tiruchitremam - Tiru Usaattaanam - Tiruidumbavanam - Kaddikulam - Tandalaineeneri - Kottur - Vanduturai - Tirukkollampudur - Pereyil - Tirukkollikkadu - Tenkoor - Tirunellikka - Tirunatyattankudi - Tirukkaaraayil - Kanraappur - Tiru Valivalam - Kaichinam - Tirukkolili - Tiruvaimur - Tirumaraikkaadu - Tiru Agathiyaanpalli - Kodikkarai - Tiruvidaivai

    • Tamil Nadu (Kongu Naadu): Avinashi - Tirumuruganpoondi - Tiru Nana - Kodimaadachenkunroor - Venchamaakoodal - Paandikkodumudi - Karuvoor Aanilai

    • Tamil Nadu (Nadu Naadu): Tirunelvaayil Arratturai - Pennaagadam - Goodalaiyatrur - Erukkattampuliyur - Tiruttinai Nagar - Tiruchopuram - Tiruvatikai - Tirunaavalur - Tirumudukunram - Tirunelvennei - Tirukkovalur Veerattam - Arankandanallur - Tiruvidaiyaru - Tiruvennainallur - Tirutturaiyur - Vatukur - Tirumaanikuzhi - Tiruppaadirippuliyur - Tirumundeeswaram - Puravaar Panankaattur - Tiru Aamaathur - Tiru Annamalai

    • Tamil Nadu (Pandya Naadu): Aalavaai (Madurai) - Aappudaiyaar Kovil - Tirupparankunram - Tiruvedakam - Tirukkodunkunram - Tirupputhur - Tiruppunavayil - Rameswaram - Tiruvaadaanai - Tirukkaanapper - Tiruppoovanam - Tiruchuzhial - Kutralam - Tirunelveli

    • Tamil Nadu (Tondai Naadu): Kachi Ekambam - Kachi Metrali - Onakanthan Tali - Kachi Anekatangapadam - Kachi Nerikkaaraikkaadu - Kuranganilmuttam - Tiru Maakaral - Tiruvothur - Panankattur - Tiruvallam - Tirumalper - Tiruvooral - Ilambiankottur - Tiruvirkolam - Tiruvalankadu - Tiruppaasur - Tiruvenpakkam - Tirukkallil - Tiruvotriyur - Tiruvalithaayam - Tirumullaivayil - Tiruverkaadu - Tirumayilai (Mylapore) - Tiruvanmiyur - Tirukkachoor - Tiruvidaichuram - Tirukkalukunram - Tiru Acharapakkam - Tiruvakkarai - Arasili - Irumbai Maakalam - Irumbai Maakalam

    • Uttarakhand: Gowrikund (Anekatangavadam) - Kedarnath

    • Nepal: Indraneelaparvatam

    • Sri Lanka (Eezha Naadu): Tirukkonamalai - Tirukketheeswaram

    • Tibet: Kailasam (Tiru Kailayam)

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    Amarnath in Liddar (or Lidder) Valley of Kashmir Himalayas (3888 m):

    Amarnath - An ancient cave pilgrimage of Shiva as well as a Shakti Peetha in Liddar Valley of Kashmir Himalayas: Amarnath (3888 m) is an ancient cave pilgrimage of Shiva as well as a Shakti Peetha situated in the farther end of the Liddar (or Lidder) Valley of Kashmir Himalayas. A natural Ice Shiva Lingam forms inside this cave every year. According to legend Lord Shiva told the Amar Katha (secret of Immortality) to Devi Parvati in this place. Amarnath is also identified as one of the Shakti Peethas known as Kashmira Shakti Peetha. Thousands of pilgrims undertake the annual Amarnath Yatra during the summer season. Amarnath Cave is reached by two trekking routes, one from Pahalgam which is the longer route and the other from Baltal which is the shorter route.

    - Natural Ice Shiva Lingam: A natural ice Shiva Lingam forms inside this cave every year which is the main attraction of the pilgrimages.

    - Amar Katha: According to legend Lord Shiva told the Amar Katha (secret of immortality) to Devi Parvati in this place. To ensure that nobody listens to this secret, Lord Shiva left His Nandi bull at Pahalgam, He released His Moon at Chandanwari, He released His snakes at the banks of Lake Sheshnag, He left His son Ganesha at Mahagunas Parvat and He left the Five Elements at Panchtarni. But while narrating the secret, a pair of pigeons overheard this and became immortal. Many pilgrims report seeing a pair of pigeons here.

    - Kashmira Shakti Peetha: Amarnath cave is identified as one of the 51 Shakti Peethas known as Kashmira Shakti Peetha. The Devi is Mahamaya and Bhairava is Trisandheyeswara.
    (Refer to the list of Shakti Peethas - Refer to Shakti Peetha Stotram)

    - The Trek: Amarnath cave is reached by two trekking routes, one from Pahalgam and the other from Baltal.

    The trekking route from Pahalgam is as follows:
    • From Srinagar to Pahalgam (96 km).
    • From Pahalgam to Chandanwari.
    • From Chandanwari a trek of 12 km passing through spectacular countryside and overlooking the Sheshnag mountain (with seven peaks and resembling the serpent Sheshnag). The pilgrims camp at Wavjan near the blue waters of Sheshnag lake.
    • From Sheshnag a trek of 12 km climbing the winding Mahagunas pass (4600 m) and then descending to the meadow land of Panchtarni.
    • From Panchtarni the last 6 km trek to reach the holy cave of Amarnath.

    The trekking route from Baltal is as follows:
    • From Srinagar to Sonmarg (Srinagar-Leh road)
    • From Sonmarg to Baltal (15 km) (3000 m). Baltal is a small valley on the foothills of the Zojila pass.
    • From Baltal a day's steep trek to the holy cave of Amarnath.

    - Reference: Amarnath is mentioned in Kalhana's Rajatarangini (12th century AD).

    - Amarnath is located in the Anantanag district of Jammu and Kashmir.


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    Sudh Mahadev temple near Patnitop in Kashmir Himalayas:

    Shiva Sudh Mahadev Temple - A famous temple of Shiva near Patnitop in Kashmir Himalayas: Sudh Mahadev Temple is a famous temple of Shiva near Patnitop.

    - Legend of devotee Sudheet: The Sudh Mahadev temple is associated with the legend of devotee Sudheet. According to this legend Sudheet was devotee of Lord Shiva who was a demon in his previous birth. Therefore he had frightening demoniac looks. Once, when he came to pay respectful obeisance to Mother Uma, She shrieked. Lord Shiva threw His trident which hit Sudheet fatally. Realising His mistake Shiva offered to resuscitate Sudheet, but he preferred death in the hand of the Lord. Touched by his devotion, Shiva named the place after His devotee Sudheet.

    - Trident of Shiva: The trident which killed Sudheet is still kept in the temple.

    - Sudh Mahadev is located in the Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir.


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    Manikaran in Parvati Valley of Himachal Himalayas:

    Manikaran - A famous pilgrimage of Shiva-Parvati in Parvati Valley of Himachal Himalayas: Manikaran is a famous pilgrimage located in the Parvati Valley of Himachal Himalayas between the rivers Beas and Parvati northeast of Bhuntur at an altitude of 1760 m. It is 45 km from Kullu.

    - Legend of Shiva and Parvati: According to legend, once Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati were wandering in the forests of the Himalayas. They came to a beautiful place where the high mountains locked lush green forests within them. They were charmed by that place and lived there for eleven hundred years. Once when Shiva-Parvati were resting beside the beautiful waters of a stream, a jewel (mani) from the ear-ring of Devi Parvati dropped somewhere and got lost. She was highly distressed. The jewel could not be found even after a thorough search by the attendants of the Lord. Lord Shiva was enraged and his third eye opened. Due to this ominous event, there was commotion in the universe. The serpent god Shesh Nag was deputed to subside the anger of the Lord. Shesh Nag went there and hissed repeatedly. The streams became hot and water started boiling. From inside the boiling water came out a number of precious stones of the type of the mani of Devi Parvati. Shiva was pacified.

    - Hot springs and temples: Manikaran is famous for its many hot springs which are considered very auspicious. The place has a very old Shiva temple which got tilted during the earthquake of 1905. There is also a famous temple of Lord Raghunath in Manikaran village, the idol of which is said to be brought from Ayodhya.

    - Manikaran is located in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.


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    Eklingji:

    Eklingji Eklingji Temple - Famous pilgrimage of Shiva: Eklingji Temple is a famous temple of Rajasthan located in the town of Eklingji or Kailashpuri. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built in 734 AD by Bappa Rawal but renovated several times after that. The temple complex of Eklingji is comprised of 108 temples. The main idol is that of Shiva made of black marble, which has four faces and is around 50 feet high. The east-facing face is that of Surya, the west-facing face is that of Brahma, the north-facing face is that of Vishnu and the south-facing face is that of Rudra. The image is garlanded by a beautiful silver snake.

    - Eklingji is located in the Udaipur district of Rajasthan.


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    Dharmasthala:

    Sri Shiva Dharmasthala Majunatha Temple - Famous pilgrimage of Manjunathaswamy: Dharmasthala is associated with the legend of Pergade family. According to this legend, several centuries ago Dharmasthala was known as Kuduma and was located in Mallarmadi village in South Kanara. There lived a Jain chieftain Birmanna Pergade and his wife Ammu Ballalthi. Their house was called Nelliadi Beedu. They were simple, pious and affectionate people, and were known for their generosity and hospitality towards all.

    One day the guardian angels of Dharma assumed human forms and arrived at Pergade's house. They were searching for a place where Dharma was being practiced and from where Dharma can be propagated. The Pergade couple welcomed the guests and extended their warm hospitality. The Dharma Daivas were pleased by their sincerity and generosity. They appeared in the dreams of Birmanna Pergade and explained their purpose of visit. They instructed him to vacate the house for the worship of the Dharma Daivas and dedicate his life for the propagation of Dharma.

    Without any question, Pergade vacated his house (Nelliadi Beedu) for worship of the Dharma Daivas. The Dharma Daivas again appeared before Birmanna Pergade and instructed him to build separate shrines for four Dharma Daivas - Kalarahu, Kalarkai, Kumaraswami and Kanyakumari; Also to choose two persons of noble birth to act as the oracle of the Daivas and four worthy persons to assist Sri Pergade in his duties. In return the Daivas promised Sri Pergade family - protection, abundance of charity and renown for the "Kshetra".

    Sri Pergade built the shrines and invited brahmin priests to perform the rituals. The priests requested him to install a Shiva Linga beside the native Daivas. The Daivas sent their vassal Annapa Swami to procure the idol of Lord Manjunatheshwara from Kadri, near Mangalore. Subsequently Sri Manjunatha Swamy temple was built around this idol.

    Around 16th century, Sri Vadiraja Swamy of Udupi reconsecrated the Shiva Linga there. Pleased by the observance of the vedic rites and Heggade's charity towards all, the Swamiji named the place Dharmasthala, meaning the abode of Dharma.

    - Dharmasthala is located in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka.


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    Nanjangud:

    Srikantheswara Nanjangud Temple - Famous pilgrimage of Srikantheswara: According to the legend, during samudra manthana (churning of the ocean) when the dreadful halahala poison emerged, the devas and danavas ran away to save their lives. But the effect of this dreadful poison was bringing destruction. Lord Maheshwara drank this poison to save the world. Devi Parvati held the throat of Shankara tightly so that the poison could not go down the throat. The poison stagnated on the throat and made it blue. So Shiva is known as Srikantha (one with poison in the throat) and also Nilakantha (one with a blue throat). The place where it happened was called Galapuri or Garalapuri, the present Nanjangud.

    - According to another legend, when Devi Lakshmi emerged during samudra manthana (churning of the ocean), She desired to marry Vishnu. She expressed Her desire to father Samudraraja. Samudraraja advised her to go to Galapuri and perform penance to please Lord Shiva. She performed deep penance and propitiated Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared before her and told her to ask for a boon. When Devi Lakshmi expressed her desire, Lord Shiva mediated and arranged for the wedding of Mahalakshmi and Mahavishnu. Therefore this place fulfils the desires of the devotees who worship the Lord with pure devotion.

    - According to another legend, during the episode of samudra manthana (churning of the ocean), Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Mohini to distribute the amrita (nectar) among the devas and the danavas. When Mohini was distributing the amrita to the devas, demon Keshi mingled among the devas to get the amrita. Lord Vishnu as Mohini knew his deceit and gave him poison instead. But because Keshi got the poison from the hand of Mahavishnu, he did not die, but on the other hand became more powerful. Keshi establised his kingdom here and started harassing the sages. When their lives became unbearable they sought the refuge of Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma took them to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu in turn took them to Lord Shiva. Moved by their pathetic condition, Lord Shiva told the sages to perform a yagya at the sangam of Kapila and Koundini rivers to attract there. When the yagya started Keshi came there with a group of demons to destroy the yagya. Lord Shiva appeared there assuming Rudra rupa. There was a tough fight between them. Finally the Lord caught hold of the hair of Keshi and threw him into the yagya kunda. The demon was burnt by the flames but the poison started coming out of his burnt body which raised cries of agony all around. Lord Shiva swallowed the poison and saved the lives of all.

    - According to another legend, when Parashurama killed his mother Renuka Devi with his axe at the command of his father, the sin of matricide came over him (although Renuka Devi was rejuvenated later). To get rid of this sin he went from place to place and finally came to Garalapuri. He was attracted by the sublimity of the place with thick woods and decided to perform penance here. When he was clearing the woods to make free space, he unknowingly hit Lord Vishnu who was performing penance there. Blood flowed from the body of Vishnu and would not stop. Parashurama was greatly aggrieved. Lord Vishnu told him to bring soil from the place where Lord Shiva killed demon Keshi. The soil from the holy spot stopped the flow of blood of Vishnu and at the same time removed the sin of matricide of Parashurama. Therefore the place is also known as Parashurama Kshetra. People come here for expiation of their sins.

    - Nanjangud is located in the Mysore district of Karnataka.

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    Ettumanoor (Ettumanur) Shiva Temple:

    Sri Shiva Ettumanoor Shiva Temple - Famous pilgrimage of Shiva: Ettumanoor (Ettumanur) is associated with the legend of Khara. According to a legend, Khara (the asura of Ramayana) performed intense penance and propitiated Lord Nataraja of Chidambaram. The Lord granted him boons along with three Shiva Lingas. Khara held two Lingas in his hands and third in his mouth, and went southwards journeying in the sky. On the way, he descended to take some rest in a place. There he put the Linga on his right hand on a sacred spot. The Linga got fixed on the ground and Khara could not remoce it. At this juncture, sage Vyaghrapada appeared there. Khara entrusted the Linga to the care of the sage and proceeded further. This is the famous Shiva Linga of Vaikom.

    Khara installed the Linga on his left hand at Ettumanoor (or Ettumanur), 25 km away.

    Khara set the Linga on his mouth at Kaduthuruthy, midway between the two places.

    - According to another legend, once Khara performed intense penance and propitiated Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared before him and told him to ask for a boon. Khara asked the boon that Shiva should be always with him. Once Khara took the form of a deer and started roaming around freely. Shiva kept following the deer but finally got exhausted. So he carried the deer in his hands. In Malayalam Ettiya means carried, Maan means deer and Ooru means place. So the place came to be known as Ettumanur.

    - The Shiva in Ettumanur is considered to be of Aghora (Fierce) form (in conrast to the benign form at Vaikom). The Shiva Linga is two feet high and is decorated with flower garlands and ornaments made of gold and silver.

    - The temple has a big lamp which is said to be installed in 1545 AD, and is kept burning since that time.

    - Festival: An annual festival is held in the Malayalam month Kumbham (Feb - Mar) which is celebrated for ten days.

    - Ettumanoor is located in the Kottyam district of Kerala.

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    Vaikom Shiva Temple:

    Sri Shiva Vaikom Shiva Temple - Famous pilgrimage of Shiva: Vaikom is associated with the legend of Khara. According to a legend, Khara (the asura of Ramayana) performed intense penance and propitiated Lord Nataraja of Chidambaram. The Lord granted him boons along with three Shiva Lingas. Khara held two Lingas in his hands and third in his mouth, and went southwards journeying in the sky. On the way, he descended to take some rest in a place. There he put the Linga on his right hand on a sacred spot. The Linga got fixed on the ground and Khara could not remoce it. At this juncture, sage Vyaghrapada appeared there. Khara entrusted the Linga to the care of the sage and proceeded further. This is the famous Shiva Linga of Vaikom.

    Khara installed the Linga on his left hand at Ettumanoor (or Ettumanur), 25 km away.

    Khara set the Linga on his mouth at Kaduthuruthy, midway between the two places.

    - Vaikom is the place where Lord Shiva abides in His benign form. Sage Vyaghrapada worshipped this Shiva Linga with great devotion. So the place is also called Vyaghrapuri which later become Vaikom. It is said that, pleased with the devotion of sage Vyaghrapada, Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati gave darshan to the sage under a Peepal tree in the early hours of Ashtami of the month of Vrischikam (Nov - Dec). This location is preserved with a raised platform where pujas are offered.

    - The Shiva Linga here is decorated with flower garlands and various ornaments which includes trinetra (three eyes of Shiva) and the crescent moon.

    - Feeding of devotees on special ocassions is one of the characteristic feature of the Vaikom temple. The temple prasad is said to have curative powers.

    - Festival: The most important festival of the temple is the Ashtami in the month of Vrischikam (Nov - Dec). On this day sage Vyaghrapada had darshan of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati. This annual festival is celebrated for 13 days with Ashtami on the 12th day.

    - Vaikom is located in the Kottyam district of Kerala.

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    Bharatavarsha - The Land of Gods and Sages:

    1. Stotras by Deity:
    Initial: Ganesha - Hanuman - Gurudeva - Gayatri
    Tridevas: Brahma - (Vishnu - Narasimha - Rama - Krishna) - Shiva
    Tridevis: Saraswati - (Lakshmi - Tulasi - Bhoomi) - Parvati
    Others: Murugan - Surya - Ganga - Yamuna - Narmada - Others
    Final: Vedas - Brahman

    2. Pilgrimages by Deity:
    Initial: Ganesha
    Tridevas: Brahma - (Vishnu - Narasimha - Rama - Krishna) - Shiva
    Tridevis: Saraswati - Lakshmi - (Parvati - Shakambari)
    Others: Murugan - Ganga

    3. Saints: Ramakrishna - Vivekananda - Ramana - Saints

    4. Sadhana: Sadhana - Penances - Others

    5. Sacred Geography: Forests - Mountains - Rivers - Lakes

    6. Puranas: Puranic Events

    7. Religious Life: Stotras - Puja - Pilgrimages - Festivals - Ashramas - Samskaras - Traditions

    8. Other Aspects: Sanskrit - Arts - Music - Dance - Medicine - Architecture - Astronomy

    Green Corner: >>



    Om, May there be Peace in Heaven,
    May there be Peace in the Sky,
    May there be Peace in the Earth,
    May there be Peace in the Water,
    May there be Peace in the Plants,
    May there be Peace in the Trees,
    May there be Peace in the Gods in the various Worlds,
    May there be Peace in Brahman,
    May there be Peace in All,
    May there be Peace Indeed within Peace,
    Giving Me the Peace which Grows within Me,
    Om, Peace, Peace, Peace.

    (Shanti Mantra of Upanishad)

    Preserve Nature,
    And Nature will preserve Us,
    Simplify Life,
    And make the Nature thrive,
    Plant Trees,
    And make our planet Green.

    Next >>

    Green Message: The Evergreen Messages of Spirituality, Sanskrit and Nature

    Last updated on Feb-2017

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