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Pilgrimages of Shiva

  1. Jyotirlingas (From Shiva Purana)
  2. Pancha Kedaras
  3. Pancha Bhoota Sthalams
  4. Astha Veerattha Sthalams
  5. Paadal Petra Sthalams
  6. Amarnath (Famous pilgrimage of Shiva) - Jammu & Kashmir
  7. Sudh Mahadev (Famous temple of Shiva) - Jammu & Kashmir
  8. Manikaran (Famous pilgrimage of Shiva-Parvati) - Himachal Pradesh
  9. Eklingji (Famous temple of Shiva) - Rajasthan
  10. Dharmasthala (Famous pilgrimage of Manjunatha Shiva) - Karnataka
  11. Nanjangud (Famous pilgrimage of Srikantheswara Shiva) - Karnataka
  12. Ettumanoor (Famous pilgrimage of Shiva) - Kerala
  13. Vaikom (Famous pilgrimage of Shiva) - 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 from Shiva Purana:

Somnath Jyotirlinga Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 14): Daksha marries his daughters to Chandra: Somanatha is the first Jyotirlinga. According to legend, Daksha married his 27 daughters to Chandra. Having obtained Chandra as their husband the girls were happy. Similarly Chandra was also happy.

Chandra loves only Rohini neglecting the other wives: However, of all the 27 wives, Chandra loved only Rohini (and neglected the others). The other wives with sorrowful heart went to their father and narrated their sorrows.

Daksha advices Chandra to be kind towards all wives: Daksha also felt sad hearing their tales. He went to Chandra and asked him to be kind towards all his wives, and not repeat such impartial behaviour in future. Chandra however was overpowered by Shiva Maya and did not follow the advice of Daksha. Being attracted towards Rohini, he did not honour the other wives as before.

Daksha curses Chandra to suffer from Kshaya Roga: Daksha arrived at the abode of Chandra and cursed him to suffer from Kshaya Roga (disease of consumption). The curse took immediate effect and Chandra became infected with the disease of consumption.

Gods and sages goes to Lord Brahma to find a remedy: All the sages and gods became worried. They went to Lord Brahma to seek his refuge. Lord Brahma told them about the earlier misdeeds of Chandra (like kidnapping Tara, the wife of Brihaspati) and said that this suffering will check his misconducts. Lord Brahma also told about the remedy. If Chandra goes to Prabhasa Kshetra and worships Lord Shiva by performing Mrityunjaya Puja, then by the grace of Lord Shiva, he can get rid of this ailment.

Chandra goes to Prabhasa Kshetra and performs Tapas: According to the advice of Lord Brahma, Chandra went to Prabhasa Kshetra. The gods and the sages had earlier invoked all tirthas there including Saraswati for the tapas of Chandra. Chandra performed tapas there for six months uninterruptedly by worshipping the Vrishabha Dhwaja (the one with bull as the emblem, i.e. Lord Shiva) with Mrityunjaya Mantra. He recited the Mrityunjaya Mantra ten crores of times and meditated on that mantra with a still mind.

Shiva gives darshan to Chandra: Shiva was pleased with his tapas and appeared before Chandra. Shiva told him to ask for a boon. Chandra asked the Lord to rid him of the disease of consumption. Shiva relieved Chandra from the curse. He (Shiva) said that in one paksha (fortnight) his kala will get reduced gradually, and in the next paksha his kala will increase gradually.

Shiva stays in Prabhasa Kshetra as Someshwara (Somanatha Jyotirlinga): All the gods and sages reached there and blessed Chandra. Then they offered their salutations to Lord Shiva and requested Him to stay there with Devi Parvati. Chandra deva also eulogised the Lord. Shiva was pleased with them and stayed there in the form of Someshwara (Somanatha Jyotirlinga) which became famous in the three worlds. Those who worship Lord Shiva there are relieved from diseases like consumption, leprosy etc. The gods created a kunda there known as Chandra Kunda. Persons who take bath there becomes free from all sins. By taking bath in that kunda for six months, a person gets cured from incurable diseases like consumption. Performing pradakshina (circumambulation) of Prabhasa Kshetra is equivalent to performing parikrama of the whole world. The person becomes shuddhatma (of pure mind) and after death goes to heaven. By looking at Soma Linga, a person gets freed from all sins. His desires are fulfilled and after death goes to heaven.

Somnath Jyotirlinga - Prabhasa Kshetra:

Sri Somnath Jyotirlinga, Prabhasa Kshetra, near Veraval, Saurashtra, Gir Somnath district, Gujarat Sri Somnath Jyotirlinga, Prabhasa Kshetra, near Veraval, Saurashtra, Gir Somnath, Gujarat The Somnath Jyotirlinga is identified with the Somanth temple in Prabhasa Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra. It is in the Gir Somnath district of Gujarat.

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Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana:

Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 15): Kumara leaves Kailasha after the challenge with Ganesha: When Kumara (Kartikeya) reached Kailasha after going around the entire earth, Devarshi Narada arrived there and told Kumara about the marriage of Ganesha and other events. Narada also indicated that Kumara was deliberately sent to take a round around the earth. Hearing this, Kumara saluted his parents and left towards Krauncha mountain inspite of his parents trying to prevent him.

Shiva sends devas, rishis and ganas to bring back Kumara: Getting separated from Kumara, his mother Girija became very sorrowful. Shiva tried to console her but Parvati did not listen. Then Shiva sent the gods, sages and ganas to bring back Kumara. But Kumara out of arrogance did not listen to them.

Shiva and Parvati themselves go to Krauncha mountain to see Kumara: Then Shiva and Parvati both felt sorrowful. They went to the place where Kumara was abiding. Kumara knowing about the arrival of his parents, left Krauncha mountain and moved to a place three yojanas away.

Shiva and Parvati abides in the Krauncha mountain in the form of Jyoti: After the departure of Kumara from the Krauncha mountain, both Shiva and Parvati abided there in the form of Jyoti. Out of their love for their son, Shiva and Parvati used to go to see their son, Shiva during Amavasya and Parvati during Poornima. From that day, Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga became famous in the three worlds. Whoever sees this Jyotirlinga becomes free from sins and all his desires are fulfilled. He does not have to take birth again from the womb. He becomes prosperous in this world with foodgrains and riches.

Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga - Srisailam:

Sri Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, Srisailam, Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh Sri Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, Srisailam, Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh The Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga is identified with Srisailam Mallikarjuna temple in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh in the Nallamalai Hills. Srisailam is located on the banks of river Patalaganga (Krishna).

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Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana:

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 16): The story of Veda Priya: In the city of Avanti there lived a brahmana who was very noble. He studied and followed the Vedas. The brahmana (Veda Priya) was a devotee of Shiva and used to worship Shiva daily by making a Parthiva Linga. Veda Priya had four sons - Deva Priya, Parama Priya, Sukrita and Suvrata. The sons were also noble and devoted to Shiva. Due to the nobleness of these brahmanas the entire city was filled with Brahmateja.

The story of demon Dushana: A demon named Dushana lived in the Ratnamala mountain. By getting boon from Brahma he became very powerful. He defeated the devas and drove them out of their abodes. He was of evil nature and intent upon destroying the Vedic Dharma.

Dushana comes to Avanti and spreads terror: To destroy the Vedic Dharma at Avanti, Dushana arrived there with a huge army. He called four of his demons and told them to punish the brahmanas who follow Vedic Dharma. Either the brahmana should leave the Vedic Dharma and worship of Shiva or their lives will be in danger. The four demons starting spreading terror in the city. But the brahmanas did not get disturbed and continued to worship Lord Shiva.

People of Avanti takes refuge of the brahmanas: In the meantime, the people of Avanti were terrified and took refuge of the brahmanas. The brahmanas told them that they neither have weapons nor the strength to face the demons. But they have taken refuge of Shiva. So their disgrace will be the disgrace of Shiva. Therefore let Shiva protect them. So saying they continued to worship Shiva.

Shiva protects the brahmanas in the form of Mahakala: Dushana ordered the demons to bind all the brahmanas and beat them. The brahmanas still did not bother and continued to meditate on Shiva. When the demons tried to harm the brahmanas, a pit formed near the Parthiva Linga with a loud sound. Out of that hole Shiva arose assuming the terrible form of Mahakala. Shiva declared that he as Mahakala has come to destroy the wicked. Thus speaking he gave out a Humkara. Dushana and part of his army was reduced to ashes. Part of the army fled.

Shiva gives boon to the brahmanas: The gods played musical instruments and rained flowers from heaven. The brahmanas offered their salutations to their Lord. Shiva was pleased and told the brahmanas to ask for a boon. The brahmanas requested the Lord to redeem them and abide there for the welfare of all. Shiva bestowed salvation to the brahmanas at His Feet and abided there in the form of a Linga. From that day Shiva became famous as Mahakaleshwara. By seeing this Linga, a person does not have to face misery. His desires are fulfilled and he finally attains moksha.

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga - Ujjain:

Sri Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Ujjain district, Madhya Pradesh Sri Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Ujjain district, Madhya Pradesh The Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is identified with the Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain district of Madhya Pradesh. A special feature of the puja is Bhasma Arati which is held in the early morning at 4 AM.

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Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana:

Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 18): Narada worships Shiva at Vindhya mountain: Once Narada worshipped the Shiva Linga at Gokarna with great devotion. Then he went to Vindhya mountain and worshipped Shiva there.

Narada quells the pride of Vindhya mountain: The Vindhya mountain appeared before Narada thinking with pride that he possessed everything and does not have any deficiency. To dispel his pride Narada told him that Sumeru mountain was higher than him and is considered as god. Vindhya mountain was pained hearing this, and he decided to perform penance worshipping Lord Shiva.

Vindhya mountain performs tapas at Omkareshwar: He went to Omkareshwar and constructed a Parthiva Linga. He worshipped Lord Shiva for six months uninterruptedly at the same place.

Shiva gives boon to Vindhya mountain: Shiva was pleased with his tapas, appeared before him and told him to ask for a boon. Vindhya mountain asked for the buddhi to accomplish his task. Shiva thought that Vindhya mountain will use the boon for his own purpose causing harm to others, so how can the boon be made beneficial to others. Shiva however gave the best boon that the Vindhya mountain could do whatever he liked.

Shiva abides in the Linga at Omkareshwar: At that time the devas and sages came there and worshipped Shankara. They requested Shiva to stay there for the welfare of all. The earlier Linga named 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. Both the Lingas fulfill the desires of the devotees and bestows prosperity and salvation. Whoever worships Shiva does not have to be reborn again from the womb of a mother.

Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga - Omkareshwar:

Sri Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga, Khandwa district, Madhya Pradesh Sri Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga, Khandwa district, Madhya Pradesh The Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga is identified with Omkareshwar temple in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh, on the banks of river Narmada. In this place river Narmada splits into two parts and forms an island (named Mandhata or Shivapuri) which resembles the symbol of Omkara. According to legend, the Shivalinga split into two, one half is Omkareshwar and the other Amreshwar (Mamleshwar).

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Kedarnath Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana:

Kedarnath Jyotirlinga Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 19): Nara and Narayana worships Lord Shiva at Badaryashrama: Nara and Narayana, two incarnations of Hari, performed tapas in Bharata Khanda at Badaryashrama. They worshipped Lord Shiva in a Parthiva Linga. Shiva used to come there daily since he is subservient to his devotees.

Lord Shiva gives boon to Nara and Narayana: They continued to worship Shiva for a long time. Shiva became pleased and one day appeared before them and told them to ask for a boon. They requested Shiva to abide there so that they can worship him.

Lord Shiva abides there in the form of a Jyotirlinga: Lord Shiva abided there in that snow-clad Kedara mountains in the form of a Jyotirlinga. This Linga was worshipped by Nara and Narayana and it removes all sorrows and sins. Lord Shiva fulfills the wishes of the devotees there. One who sees this Jyotirlinga in the Badari forest becomes free from all sins and finally becomes liberated.

Kedarnath Jyotirlinga - Uttarakhand:

Sri Kedarnath Jyotirlinga, Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand Sri Kedarnath Jyotirlinga, Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand The Kedarnath Jyotirlinga is identified with the Kedarnath temple in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. The temple is located at an altitude of 3581 m.

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Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana:

Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 20): The story of demon Bhima: In earlier times there was a demon named Bhima. He was born from Kumbhakarna and Karkati in the Sakya mountain. He was living with his mother. One day Bhima asked his mother about his father. His mother told about Kumbhakarna who was killed by Rama. She also told about her other husband Viradha who was also killed by Rama. She further told about her father and mother - Karkata and Puskasi, who were reduced to ashes by an ascetic. Thus she was living alone under the protection of her son.

Bhima performs penance and secures boon of immeasurable strength: Hearing her story Bhima was enraged and decided to cause trouble to Hari. Bhima undertook severe tapas for thousands of years meditating on Brahma, and secured the boon of strength beyond measure.

Bhima defeats the devas: Thereafter Bhima overpowered the devas and removed them from their abodes. He also defeated Vishnu and conquered the nether world.

Bhima imprisons the king of Kamarupa, a great devotee of Shiva: Then he went to Kamarupa country, fought with king Sudakshina and defeated him. Bhima imprisoned the king of Kamarupa who was a great devotee of Shiva.

Sudakshina worships Shiva in the prison: The king made a Parthiva Linga and started worshipping Shiva in the prison. He eulogized Ganga and mentally bathed in her holy waters. He worshipped Shiva by stotras, mudras, asanas and the Panchakshari Mantra (Om Namah Shivaya). Queen Dakshina also assisted in the worship.

Devas take refuge in Shiva: In the meantime the devas and sages lead by Brahma and Vishnu started invoking Shiva on the bank of river Mahakoshi. They made a Parthiva Linga and worshipped Shiva. Shiva was pleased, appeared before them and told them to ask for a boon. The devas requested Shiva to kill demon Bhima. Shiva assured them that he would kill the demon. He also sent the gods to Sudakshina to assure him that Bhima would be killed and let him continue the worship.

Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 21): Shiva kills demon Bhima: The king continued to worship Lord Shiva in the prison. Bhima thought that the king was performing some sort of magical rites against him. He told the king to tell truthfully what he was doing. The king having faith in the protective power of Shiva told the truth. Bhima commanded the king to stop the worship of Shiva. The king did not listen and continued as before. Bhima became angry and threw his sword towards the king. Instantly Shiva appeared there and declared that he was Bhimeshwara who has come to protect the devotees and destroy the evil. Shiva destroyed the sword of Bhima. Bhima threw many other weapons towards Shiva and Shiva destroyed them all. A fierce battle ensued between the Shiva ganas and the demons. The entire earth was shaken up by that fight. The gods and sages became highly disturbed. Finally Narada arrived and prayed to Shiva to cut short that terrific battle. All the gods eulogized Shiva. Shiva became pleased and reduced Bhima and his army into ashes by a humkara. The fire of the anger of Shiva spread from forest to forest along with the ashes of the demons. Several oshadhis were grown there.

Shiva abides there as Bhimashankara Jyotirlinga: Then the gods and sages prayed to Lord Shiva to abide there as Bhimashankara. Thus Shiva abided there as the Bhimashankara Jyotirlinga.

Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga - Dakini:

Sri Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Pune district, Maharashtra Sri Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Pune district, Maharashtra The Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is identified with the Bhimashankar temple in the Pune district of Maharashtra in Sahyadri hills (about 125 km from Pune city). This is the place from where river Bhima originates.

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Vishwanath Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana:

Vishwanath Jyotirlinga Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 22): Shiva wills to become many and creates Purusha and Prakriti: Shiva, in the form of Chidananda (Consciousness and Bliss), who is without vikaras (modifications), who is advitiya (one without a second) and sanatana (eternal), once willed of becoming saguna (with attributes). It split into male and female forms. The male form is known as Shiva (as saguna) and the female form is known as Shakti.

Shiva tells Purusha and Prakriti to perform penance for creation: Thereafter a divine voice emerged from the nirgina Paramatman which told them (Purusha and Prakriti) to perform tapas for starting the creation. Purusha and Prakriti told the (nirguna) Shiva: There is no place to perform tapas, so where should we perform tapas as commanded by You?

Shiva creates a city extending five kroshas: Then the (nirguna) Shiva from the essence of its tejas created a beautiful city entending five kroshas.

Vishnu performs tapas in that city: Then Shiva established Vishnu in that city for creation. Vishnu performed tapas there for a long time. By that tapas several streams emerged. At that time everything was shunya and nothing else was visible. Vishnu saw this strange sight (of nothingness) and shook his head (in surprise). Then a mani (gem) fell from his ear. That mani turned into a great tirtha known as Manikarnika.

Shiva holds Panchakrosi on his trident: When the streams of water flowed and spread upto five krosas, Shiva held it on the tip of His trident.

Brahma born from the navel of Vishnu: Then Vishnu slept there with Prakriti as his wife. By the command of Shiva, from the navi (navel) of Vishnu was born Brahma seated over a lotus. By the command of Shiva, Brahma created fourteen lokas in the Brahmanda.

Shiva separates Panchakrosi thinking of the salvation of living beings: The living beings born within the lokas of Brahmanda are bound by karma. So how can they attain me? Thus thinking Shiva separated the Panchakrosi (holding it on his trident). This place bestows auspiciousness, destroys the karmas, and thus reveals the illumination of Moksha. The place bestows divine knowledge and is very dear to Shiva.

Shiva establishes Kashi in the mortal world: Shiva the Paramatman established the Avimukta Swayambhu Linga in that kshetra (in the tip of his trident) and said: This kshetra is part of my amsha (part), so I will never leave it. Thus uttering Shiva placed Kashika from his trident on the mortal world. Kashi does not get destroyed even after a day of Brahma. At that time, Shiva holds it on his trident. When Brahma again recreates, Kashi is again established on the earth. The Avimukteshwara Linga of Kashi liberates one from grave sins. At other places, one attains only Sarupya Mukti while at Kashi one attains Sayujya Mukti.

Shiva abides in Kashi: Kalagni Rudra and Avimukta prayed to Lord Shiva to abide in Kashi for the welfare of all. Thereafter Shiva for the benefit of the people abided in Kashi. the city then became greater than ever before.

Vishwanath Jyotirlinga - Kashi:

Sri Vishwanath Jyotirlinga, Kasi or Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh Sri Vishwanath Jyotirlinga, Kasi or Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh The Vishwanath Jyotirlinga is identified with the Vishwanath temple in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh. The temple is situated on the bank of river Ganga. The ancient city of Varanasi has many ghats on the Ganga river. The Dashahwamedh Ghat is close to the Kasi Vishwanatha temple.

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Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana:

Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 24): Story of sage Gautama: In ancient times there lived a famous sage known as Gautama with his chaste wife Ahalya who performed tapas for thousand years in the Brahmagiri hills.

Gautama pleases Varuna Deva and gets perennial water supply: Once there was no rainfall for hundred years. All living beings suffered greatly. Sage Gautama performed tapas with pranayama for six months and pleased Varuna Deva. As a boon Varuna Deva filled a pit dug by Gautama with perennial water. Due to this perennial water supply, the ashrama of Gautama was filled with various foodgrains, trees, flowers and fruits. Knowing about this, thousands of sages, animals, birds and other beings arrived there. The place developed into a beautiful forest.

Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 25): Conspiracy against Gautama: Once when the disciples of sage Gautama went to the water pit to fill water, the wives of the other sages rebuked them saying that they are entitled to fill water first, being the wives of sages. The disciples returned and told this to Devi Ahalya. When she accompanied them and got the water, the other wives rebuked her also. Thereafter those wives instigated their husbands to drive away sage Gautama. The sages in delusion invoked Ganeshwara and asked for the boon of getting Gautama driven out of the ashrama. Ganeshwara tried to abstain them from their intentions in various ways, warning them that this will bring about their downfall. However the sages were adamant.

Gautama leaves the ashrama: Ganeshwara took the form of a skeleton cow and entered the field of the ashrama. Gautama took a straw to drive out the cow but the cow instantly fell down and died. The other sages took this opportunity and blamed Gautama of killing a cow. They asked him to leave the ashrama. Gautama left the place and built an ashrama one krosha away. He asked for the method of repentance from the sages. The sages told him to circumambulate the Brahmagiri mountain one hundred eight times, bring Ganga on earth and have a bath in that, and worship Lord Shiva by making one crore Parthiva Lingas. Thereafter taking bath in the Ganga, go around the mountain eleven times, and then bathe the Parthiva Lingas in Ganga water hundred times.

Gautama worships Lord Shiva: Gautama went round the Brahmagiri mountain and then made a Parthiva Linga and started worshipping Lord Shiva. He was accompanied by Devi Ahalya.

Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 26): Shiva grants boon to Gautama: Shiva was pleased and appeared before Gautama. Shiva told Gautama to ask for a boon. When Gautama told the Lord to relieve him of the sins, Shiva revealed the conspiracy of the sages and told that Gautama is always pure. Sinful persons become pure by looking at him. So Shiva told Gautama to ask for another boon. Gautama thought that the news of his sin has spread everywhere and his intention of purification should be carried out. He therefore requested the Lord to make Ganga flow there. Shiva granted the boon and made the remaining water of the Ganga flow down the Brahmagiri hill. The gods arrived there and eulogized Lord Shiva and Devi Ganga. They requested them to stay there permanently. The gods told that when Guru (Jupiter) will come in Simha Rasi, all the gods will also arrive there. At the request of gods and sage Gautama, Ganga flowed there by the name Gautami, and Lord Shiva abided there as Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga. Both of them wash away great sins.

Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 27): Flow of Gautami Ganga: The flow of Ganga started in Brahmagiri hills from Udumbara branches. Sage Gautama took bath there. The place is known as Gangadwara and washes away all sins. When the sages who hatched conspiracy against Gautama came to bathe in the Ganga, Ganga disappeared. Gautama was merciful to them and asked the sages to perform repentance by circumambulating the mountain hundred and one times. After the completion of their repentance, at the request of sage Gautama, river Ganga appeared there again from Kushavarta, a place below Gangadwara. A person taking bath there is relieved of all sins.

Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga - Nashik:

Sri Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga, Nashik district, Maharashtra Sri Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga, Nashik district, Maharashtra The Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga is identified with the Tryambakeshwar temple in the Nashik district of Maharashtra in the foothills of Brahmagiri hills. The river Godavari originates from this place.

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Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana:

Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 28): Ravana worships Shiva in Kailasha: Once Ravana, who was full of pride worshipped Lord Shiva in the Kailasha mountain. When he could not please Shiva, he performed more severe tapas. Thereafter he performed tapas at Siddhisthana on the southern side of the mountains within a cluster of trees. He dug up a pit, lighted fire in it, and placing the Shiva Linga nearby, performed homas. In summer he performed tapas in panchagni (five fires), during rainy season he sat on the bare earth, and during winter he performed tapas in water. But even then Shiva was not pleased, because Shiva is not pleased with evil-minded persons. Thereafter Ravana became noble and started offering his heads to Shiva, one by one daily.

Shiva gives boon to Ravana: After offering nine heads, when he was about to offer his tenth head, Shiva appeared and prevented him. Shiva also restored all his other heads and bestowed on him immense prowess. Also, as a boon Ravana wanted to take Lord Shiva himself to Lanka. Shiva instead gave him a Shiva Linga and told him that wherever he kept it on the ground, it will get fixed there.

Ravana places the Shiva Linga on the ground: While carrying the Shiva Linga, Ravana felt a great urge to ease himself due to Shiva Maya. Seeing a cowherd boy, he gave him the Linga to hold for sometime. But the cowherd boy was unable to bear the weight of the Linga for long, and placed it on the ground. The Linga got fixed there and came to be known as Vaidyanatheshwara. It bestows both worldly prosperity and salvation, and removes sins by a mere look. After Ravana left, the gods came there, worshipped that Shiva Linga and returned to their respective abodes.

Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga - Deogarh:

Sri Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga, Deogarh district, Jharkhand & Parli, Maharashtra Sri Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga, Deogarh district, Jharkhand The Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga is identified with Baidyanath Dham or Babadham in the Deogarh district of Jharkhand. The temple is around 4 miles from the Jasidih railway station on the Howrah-Delhi route. During the month of shravan, thousands of devotees fill their kanwars (pots) with Ganga water at Sultanganj and carry the water to Baba Baidyanath temple at Babadham walking a distance of 109 km.

Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga - Parli:

Sri Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga, Parli, Maharashtra The Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga is also identified with the Parli Vaidyanath temple in Parli, in the Beed district of Maharashtra.

Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga - Kangra:

Baijnath Temple, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh The Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga is also identified with the Baijnath temple near Palampur, in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.

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Nageshwar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana:

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 29): Story of demon Daruka: There was a demon called Daruka who lived with his wife Darukaa and other demons in a vast forest (Darukavana) spreading over sixteen yojanas on the western coast of the ocean. Demoness Darukaa obtained a boon from Devi Parvati, because of which wherever she moved in the forest, that part became full of trees and other requisites. Daruka was of evil nature and harassed people by destroying their yagyas.

Aurva rishi curses the demons: The noble people who were terrorised by the demons took refuge with sage Aurva and requested him to protect them. Sage Aurva pronounced a curse on the demons that if they try to kill the people on the earth, they will themselves be killed inspite of them being powerful. The gods came to know of this curse and taking this opportunity started preparing for a war with the demons.

Demoness Darukaa carries the entire forest within the ocean: The demons came to know of the intention of the gods and became worried. In case they fight, they wil perish; in case they do not fight, they will still perish. In case they stay as they are, what shall they eat? When they were thus worried, demoness Darukaa told them that she has a boon from Devi Parvati by means of which she can carry the entire forest wherever she liked. Then she carried the entire forest within the ocean. Due to the curse of sage Aurva, the demons did not return on earth, but roamed about on the surface of water. They used to harass the sailors.

Daruka imprisons Supriya, a devotee of Shiva: Once, several boats arrived there. The demons made the people captive and imprisoned them in their city. The leader of those people was Supriya, a vaishya and a great devotee of Shiva. Inside the jail, he worshipped Lord Shiva in a Parthiva Linga. He also taught other people how to worship Shiva.

Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 30): Shiva appears to protect Supriya: In this manner six months passed worshipping Lord Shiva. Then one day Daruka came to know of this and enquired Supriya about the object of his meditation. Supriya said he knew nothing. Daruka became angry and ordered the demons to kill Supriya. Supriya closed his eyes and meditated on Lord Shiva. Shive appeared from within a pit and gave the Pashupata astra to Supriya. Supriya killed all the demons with it. Thus Shiva protected his devotees.

Shiva grants a boon to the forest: Shiva then granted a boon to the forest that the four castes (Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras) will flourish in that forest. Excellent sages and devotees of Shiva will live there and not persons of tamashika nature.

Parvati grants a boon to demoness Darukaa: In the meantime, demoness Darukaa who was a devotee of Devi Parvati invoked the goddess through hymns. Devi Parvati appeared and gave her a boon that her race will be protected.

Conflict between the boons of Shiva and Parvati: There was a mild conflict between Shiva and Parvati due to their conflicting boons. However the conflict was resolved in a loving manner. Devi Parvati said that the boon of Shiva will take effect after the end of the yuga. Till then there will be tamashik creation. Else there will be a pralaya. Demoness Darukaa who is her own shakti will rule over the rakshasas, and their descendants will collectively stay in the forest.

Shiva abides in the forest: Shiva thereafter said that he would stay in the forest and lovingly protect the devotees. Then Shiva took the form of a Jyotirlinga and Parvati became known as Nageshwari. The Nageshwar Jyotirlinga fulfills all the desires of the people.

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga - Saurashtra:

Sri Nageshwara Jyotirlinga, Dwarka district, Gujrat & Hingoli district, Maharashtra & Almora district, Uttarakhand Sri Nageshwara Jyotirlinga, Dwarka district, Gujrat The Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is identified with the Nageshwara temple on the coast of Saurashtra in the route between Dwarka city and island of Beyt Dwarka, in the Devbhoomi Dwarka district of Gujarat. It is believed that this is the Darukavana mentioned in the puranas.

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga - Hingoli:

Aundha Nagnath Jyotirlinga, Hingoli district, Maharashtra The Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is also identified with the Aundha Nagnath temple located in the Hingoli district of Maharashtra.

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga - Almora:

Jageshwar Mahadev Temple, Almora district, Uttarakhand The Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is further identified with The Jageshwar Mahadev temple (1870 m) in Almora district of Uttarakhand. This is located in a narrow and beautiful valley in the confluence of streams Nandini and Surabhi, which flow down the hills and meet here.

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Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana:

Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 31): Sri Rama camps on the seashore with the army of monkeys: When Sri Rama came to know that Devi Sita was in Lanka, he marched with a huge army of monkeys and camped on the shore of the southern sea.

Sri Rama worships Lord Shiva: There, Sri Rama made a Parthiva Linga and worshipped Lord Shiva with sixteen types of ritualistic worships. He prayed to Lord Shiva with great devotion to bless him for the victory of his mission against Ravana, another great devotee of Shiva. Sri Rama worshipped Lord Shiva again and again; he recited mantras, meditated and danced before the Lord. His heart was overwhelmed with devotional love.

Shiva blesses Sri Rama: Shiva became very pleased and appeared before Rama. He told Rama to ask for a boon. Sri Rama eulogized Lord Shiva and prayed for victory against Ravana. Shiva granted him the boon.

Shiva abides there as Jyotirlinga: Sri Rama further requested Shiva to reside in the Linga for the welfare of all people. Shiva took the form of a Linga and resided there. The Linga became famous in the world as Rameshwara. This Linga fulfills the wishes of the devotees and grants prosperity and salvation. Whoever worships this Shiva Linga with Ganga water with great devotion becomes a Jivanamukta.

Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga - Ramanathapuram:

Sri Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga, Ramanathapuram district, Tamil Nadu Sri Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga, Ramanathapuram district, Tamil Nadu The Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga is identified with the Rameshwaram temple by the sea-side (Bay of Bengal) on the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. There are 22 Tirthas within the temple complex where the pilgrims bathe.

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Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana:

Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 32): Story of Sudharma and Sudeha: A brahmana named Sudharma lived near Devagiri mountain. He was well-versed in the Vedas, performed the Vedic rites and taught Vedas to his pupil. He was a great devotee of Shiva. His wife Sudeha was devoted to her husband and also followed Shiva Dharma. However they were not blessed with a son. Sudharma did not grieve about this and engaged himself in the worship of Lord Shiva. However Sudeha was mentally distressed and often implored her husband to strive for a son.

Neighbours rebuke Sudeha: Once Sudeha went to a marriage ceremony of a neighbour. There, a woman called her a barren woman who has no one to inherit her wealth. It is a disgrace to her wealth and honour. Sudeha was very depressed and narrated this story to her husband. Sudharma consoled her not to be worried because what will happen will happen. But Sudeha insisted that he should somehow beget a son.

Sudharma tests the will of Shiva: Due to persistent demand from his wife, once Sudeha prepared two flowers to offer in the sacrificial fire. He mentally marked one flower to be yielding a son. Then Sudharma told his wife to choose a flower. Sudeha picked the other flower which was not mentally marked to yield a son. Sudharma was relieved knowing the will of the Lord and told his wife to shed false hope for a son and instead devotedly serve the Lord.

Sudeha requests her husband to marry her younger sister to beget a son: Sudeha could not leave her desire to get a son. One day she requested her husband to marry her younger sister Ghushma to beget a son. Sudharma did not agree initially but Sudeha brought her younger sister immediately and persisted. Sudharma warned her that the birth of a son from Ghushma will make her jealous. Sudeha assured him that she will never be jealous of her sister.

Sudharma marries Ghushma: At the instance of his wife, Sudharma marries Ghushma. After marriage Sudharma told Sudeha to look after her younger sister with loving care. He himself continued to engage himself in the worship of Lord Shiva. Sudeha looked after her younger sister with loving care without any jealousy.

Ghushma worships Lord Shiva with great devotion: Ghushma worshipped Lord Shiva daily by making one hundred and one Shiva Lingas. She worshipped those Lingas and then consigned them daily in a nearby lake. Performing daily worship in this way, she completed the worship of hundred thousand Lingas.

Son born to Ghushma: Then, by the grace of Shiva, a son was born to Ghushma, who was beautiful and virtuous.

Sudeha becomes jealous of Ghushma: After the birth of the son from her younger sister, Sudeha became jealous of Ghushma. Her heart started burning like a fire. When people praised the son, she was not able to tolerate this.

Shiva Purana (Kotirudra Samhita 33): Ghushma's son gets married: Once a brahmana arrived and gave his daughter in marriage to the son. Sudharma and Ghushma were happy but Sudeha felt her heart burning.

Sudeha kills the son of Ghushma: Sudeha's heart kept burning with the fire of jealousy, which finally she could not bear. She decided to kill the son to extinguish the flame in her heart. So, one night, when the son was sleeping with his wife, Sudeha killed him with a big knife and cut off his limbs in pieces. She carried those body parts and threw them in the lake where Ghushma daily consigned the Shiva Lingas.

Ghushma remains unperturbed and continues to worship Shiva: Next morning, Ghushma got up early and as usual started worshipping Lord Shiva by making the Shiva Lingas. The wife of the son screamed by seeing blood and flesh on the bed of her husband. Sudeha also pretended to cry. Ghushma heard the news but did not discard her daily worship. Her mind was unperturbed. She completed her worship in noon and said that the one who has given the boy will also protect him. She carried the Shiva Lingas to the lake and consigned them as usual.

Shiva restores the son of Ghushma: Then she found that her son was standing on the bank of the lake. The son declared that he was brought back to life by the grace of his mother and Lord Shiva. Ghushma did not feel too much elated by seeing her son alive, just as she was not perturbed to hear about his death. Lord Shiva appeared before her and told her to ask for a boon. Lord Shiva also revealed that Sudeha had killed the son and now he is going to kill that woman with his trident. Ghushma asked the boon to save her sister.

Shiva abides there as Jyotirlinga: Lord Shiva was greatly pleased with Ghushma due to her devotion and non-attachment. He told Ghushma to ask for another boon. Ghushma requested the Lord to stay there in her name and protect the world. Shiva thereafter abided there as Ghushmeshwara Jyotirlinga. The lake which was a store house of Shiva Lingas consecrated by Ghushma came to be known as Shivalaya as also the place. Sudeha arrived there and became repentent. The three of them (Ghushma, Sudharma and Sudeha) circumambulated the Shiva Linga hundred and one times. Their minds became free and they felt great joy. By looking at or worshipping this Linga, joy increases in a person.

Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga - Aurangabad:

Sri Grishneshwar or Ghushmeshwara Jyotirlinga, Aurangabad district, Maharashtra The Grishneshwar or Ghusmeshwara Jyotirlinga is identified with the Grishneshwar temple in Verul village, 30 km from Aurangabad and 11 km from Daulatabad in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. The temple is in close proximity to Ellora caves.

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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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Kanchi Ekambareswara:

Kanchi Ekambareshwara Kanchi Ekambareshwara Temple - Ekambareswara Temple: The legend of Ekambareswara temple is associated with the penance of Devi Parvati. According to legend, once when Lord Shiva was engaged in the task of creation etc., Devi Parvati in a jocular mood closed His eyes from behind. This led to a halt in the natural process. Shiva became angry and cursed Devi Parvati to go to earth and perform penance to expitiate her misdeed. Accordingly, Devi Parvati came to present Kanchipuram on the banks of river Kampa. She created a Shiva Lingam out of sand (Parthiva Linga), under a mango tree and started worshipping Lord Shiva. Shiva tested her devotion by creating various obstacles in Her penance. She overcame them. Finally Lord Shiva released river Ganga from His matted hair to wash off the Lingam. Devi Parvati clasped it tightly to Her bosom and protected it. Lord Shiva was pleased. He gave darshan to Devi Parvati and took Her back as His consort. The marriage of Shiva and Parvati is celebrated here in the month of Phalguni on the 10th day of Uttiram.

- Pancha Bhoota Sthalam: Kanchipuram has one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams, the Ekambareswara temple representing the Prithivi Lingam (Earth).
(Pancha Bhoota Sthalams are: Kanchipuram Ekambareswara [Prithivi Lingam], Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara [Jala Lingam], Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara [Agni Lingam], Srikalahasti Srikalahasteeswara [Vayu Lingam], Chidambaram Nataraja [Akasha Lingam])

- Kanchipuram is located in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu.

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Thiruvanaikkaval Thiruvanaikkaval Temple - Famous Pilgrimage of Shiva: Thiruvanaikkaval is associated with the legend of Devi Parvati worshipping Shiva. According to a legend, once Devi Parvati approached Lord Shiva for clarification of a doubt. Lord Shiva directed Her to perform penance at Thiruvanaikkaval. The Devi made a Lingam out of water and started worshipping the Lord. Hence the Lingam is known as Appu Lingam (Lingam of Water). (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.

- According to another legend, once there were two devotees of Lord Shiva in Mount Kailash known as Malyavan and Pushpadanta. Each wanted to excel the other in devotion to Lord Shiva. In due course, due to a quarrel they cursed each other. Pushpadanta became an elephant and Malyavan a spider. When they approached Lord Shiva, He advised them to go to the present Thiruvanaikkaval. Accordingly they started worshipping the Shiva Lingam under a Jambu tree. The elephant used to worship the Lingam by pouring holy water over it. The spider used to construct a canopy over the Lingam with cobweb to prevent dry leaves from falling over it. The elephant did not like the cobweb and used to destroy it. The spider became angry and one day went inside the trunk of the elephant and bit it severely. The elephant out of great pain dashed its trunk on the ground. Both of them died in this fight. Lord Shiva was pleased with their devotion and gave them darshan. The elephant got liberation. The spider was born as the son of Chola king Subhadeva and was named Kosenkannan. He remembered his previous birth and constructed a Shiva temple near the Jambu tree where he in his former birth worshipped the Shiva Lingam as a spider. Since an elephant worshipped Lord Shiva in this place (and got liberation), the place came to be known as Thiruvanaikka which means "grove of the holy elephant".

- Pancha Bhoota Sthalam: Thiruvanaikkaval has one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams, the Jambukeshwara temple representing the Jala Lingam (Water).
(Pancha Bhoota Sthalams are: Kanchipuram Ekambareswara [Prithivi Lingam], Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara [Jala Lingam], Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara [Agni Lingam], Srikalahasti Srikalahasteeswara [Vayu Lingam], Chidambaram Nataraja [Akasha Lingam])

- Thiruvanaikkaval is located in the Tiruchirapalli district of Tamil Nadu.

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Arunachala - From Skanda Purana (Arunachala Mahatmya):

Arunachala mountain & Arunachaleswara temple Skanda Purana (Maheshwara Khanda - Arunachala Mahatmya 1): Shiva manifesting as Taijasha Linga: Once Brahma and Vishnu were fighting with each other, each asserting that he is primordial. Since their fight could destroy the universe, Lord Shiva manifested in the form of a Taijasha Linga (an infinite column of Fire) before them. An ethereal voice challenged them to find the beginning and end of the column of fire to prove their superiority. Vishnu took the form of a boar and started digging through the earth to find the root of the column. Brahma took the form of a swan and ascended in the sky to find the head of the column. Many many years passed but neither of them were able to find the source. They became utterly exhausted and realised their arrogance. They understood that Shiva is the eternal Atman which is the source of all creation. The sages realize Shiva by giving up their ego and meditating on the Atman.

Skanda Purana (Maheshwara Khanda - Arunachala Mahatmya 2): Shiva assuming the form of Arunachala mountain: Brahma and Vishnu then praised Lord Shiva (Who was in the form of the Infinite Taijasha Linga). Shiva became pleased and told them to ask for a boon. They requested Shiva to manifest in a visible form so that 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.

Arunachaleswara Temple:
Arunachala mountain & Arunachaleswara temple Arunachaleswara Temple is located in Thiruvannamalai in Thiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu.

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Srikalahasti - From Srikalahasteeswara Sthalapurana:

Srikalahasti Srikalahasti Srikalahasteeswara Sthalapurana ch 3: Linga worshipped in various Yugas: The Linga was originally worshipped by Vayu in Maha Kailasha on the peak of Sivanandaikanilaya. In Kritayuga it was shining link gold and was worshipped by Brahma, Agastya, Devi Parvati, Yogini Neela, Harahara, Mayura, Bheema, Chandra, Surya and Indra. During this time Lord Brahma brought the peak called Sivanandaikanilaya from Kailasha and fixed it here. Sage Agastya brought down river Ganga in the form of river Swarnamukhi.

In Tretayuga the Linga was shining like silver and was worshipped by Hari, Brahma, Devi Lakshmi, Subramanya, Sri Rama, Rishi Markandeya, Kanappa, Spider (Sri), Serpent (Kala), Elephant (Hasti) and Sudarshana.

In Dwaparayuga the Linga was like steel and was worshipped by celebate couple Subhaga and Vijaya, Japala, Mrutyunjaya, Narada, Suka, Sanatkumara, Parasara and a group of thousand gods.

In Kaliyuga the Linga is like a rock with the glow of camphor and was worshipped by Saranga, Varaguna Pandya, Rajendra Chola, Neelakantha, Chakradhara, twin princesses Amritalatha and Kanthimathi, Padmasena etc.

Srikalahasteeswara Sthalapurana ch 28: Spider Sri attaining salvation by worshipping this Linga: On the banks of river Tamrapani lived a noble brahmin called Satyasakha. However due to sins committed by him in previous birth he got a wicked son who discarded his parents and relatives as well as the brahminical ways. He associated himself with the weaver community and was adapted by a weaver. He was named Karamba by the weaver and was married to a weaver. When Karamba was old and in death bed, he gifted a cloth to a brahmin to decorate a Shiva Linga. In the next birth he was born as a spider called Sri, but due to the merit of gifting a cloth for Shiva, he was devoted to Shiva. He regularly took bath in river Swarnamukhi and decorated the vicinity of Shiva Linga with cobweb spinning in the shape of chariots, mandapas, towers, thrones etc. He continued this for several years.

One day Lord Shiva wanted to test the depth of his devotion. On a Monday on Chaitra Shukla Chaturdasi, the Lord reduced all creations of the spider to ashes. The spider in great dissappointment ended his life by entering into the flame of a lamp. By the grace of Shiva, the spider regained his original form and saw Lord Shankara before him seated on a bull. In great joy the spider sang praises of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was pleased and told him to ask for a boon. The spider asked for a place in the Vayu Linga and his name to be associated with this place. Lord Shiva granted the boons. The spider merged in the Vayu Linga.

Srikalahasteeswara Sthalapurana ch 29: Serpent Kala and Elephant Hasti attaining salvation by worshipping this Linga: A brahmin well-versed in Vedas lived in the vicinity of Malaya mountain. He was sincere in his worship. But because he accepted money for the pujas he performed, he was born as an elephant. At the sametime another brahmin lived in the cave of the Himalayas. He saw a gandharva worshipping Shiva with precious stones. The gandharva told him that by doing so one would reach Kailasha in this birth itself. The gandharva also told him that the easiest way to get the precious stones is by being reborn as a serpent and obtaining them from Naga Loka. Thus the brahmin was reborn as a serpent.

The serpent used to worship the Vayu Linga every morning with precious stones. The elephant used to worship the Linga at noon time with tender leaves and fragrant flowers. The serpent used to remove the flower offerings of the Lord thinking that the thorns will cause pain to the Lord. Similarly the elephant used to remove the offerings of precious stones thinking that they are heavy burden on the idol. One day the serpent hid and saw who was removing his offerings of precious stones. He saw the elephant, and in anger entered inside his trunk, reached his head and bit him with poison. With great pain, the elephant dashed his head on the rock and both died. Lord Shiva was pleased and appeared before them with Gnanamba. They regained celestial forms and praised the Lord with hymns. Lord Shiva told them to ask for a boon. They wanted a place in the Linga and their names to be associated with the kshetra. Also, the devotees bathing in Kala Teertha and Hasti Teertha and worshipping the Vayu Linga should get salvation. Lord Shiva granted them the boons. The serpent and the elephant merged with the Linga. The Lord named the kshetra as Srikalahasteeswara associating the name with Sri (spider devotee), Kala (serpent devotee) and Hasti (elephant devotee).

Srikalahasti Temple:
Srikalahasti Temple Srikalahasti Temple is located in Srikalahasti in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.

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Nataraja Chidambaram Temple - Famous pilgrimage of Nataraja: Chidambaram is associated with the legend of Lord Shiva. According to this 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.

- Pancha Bhoota Sthalam: Chidambaram has one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams, the Nataraja temple representing the Akasha Lingam (Sky or Space).
(Pancha Bhoota Sthalams are: Kanchipuram Ekambareswara [Prithivi Lingam], Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara [Jala Lingam], Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara [Agni Lingam], Srikalahasti Srikalahasteeswara [Vayu Lingam], Chidambaram Nataraja [Akasha Lingam])

- Divya Desam: Chidambaram is one of the 108 Divya Desams known as Thiruchitrakootam Divya Desam.
(Refer to the list of Divya Desams)

- Chidambaram is located in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu.

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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 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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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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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. Spiritual Realization: Spiritual Realization

3. Incarnations & Saints: Incarnations - Rishis - Saints

4. Sacred Geography: Forests - Mountains - Rivers - River Sangams - Lakes - Consolidated

5. Puranas: Hermitages - Penances - Puranic Events

6. Religious Life: Stotras - Puja - Pilgrimages - Festivals - Ashramas - Samaskaras - Traditions

7. Other Aspects: 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.

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

Last updated on Jan-2017

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