Shiva

Shiva

Overview
{{Other uses}}

{{Good article}}
{{Other uses}}

{{Good article}}

{{Hdeity infobox|
Image = Bangalore Shiva.jpg
| Caption = A statue depicting Shiva meditating, Shiva temple, Bengaluru
| Name = Shiva
| Sanskrit_Transliteration = {{IAST|Śiva}}
| Devanagari = {{lang|sa|शिव}}
| Tamil_script = செய்யோன் (Old Tamil), சிவன்
| Tamil_Transliteration = Ceiyon, Ciwan
| god of = destruction
| Affiliation = Deva
Deva (Hinduism)
' is the Sanskrit word for god or deity, its related feminine term is devi. In modern Hinduism, it can be loosely interpreted as any benevolent supernatural beings. The devs in Hinduism, also called Suras, are often juxtaposed to the Asuras, their half brothers. Devs are also the maintainers of...

 (Trimurti
Trimurti
The Trimurti is a concept in Hinduism "in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by the forms of Brahmā the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Śhiva the destroyer or transformer," These three deities have been called "the Hindu triad" or...

)
| Mantra = Om Namah Shivaya
| Weapon = Trident snake foot (Trishula
Trishula
A trishula is a type of Indian trident but also found in Southeast Asia. It is commonly used as a Hindu-Buddhist religious symbol. The word means "three spear" in Sanskrit and Pali....

)
| Consort = Sati
Dakshayani
Dākshāyani or Satī is a Hindu Goddess of marital felicity and longevity. She is worshipped particularly by Hindu women to seek the long life of their husbands...

, Parvati
Parvati
Parvati is a Hindu goddess. Parvati is Shakti, the wife of Shiva and the gentle aspect of Mahadevi, the Great Goddess...

, Kali
Kali
' , also known as ' , is the Hindu goddess associated with power, shakti. The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Kali means "the black one". Since Shiva is called Kāla - the eternal time, Kālī, his consort, also means "Time" or "Death" . Hence, Kāli is...

, Durga
Durga
For the 1985 Hindi Film of Rajesh Khanna see DurgaaIn Hinduism, Durga ; ; meaning "the inaccessible" or "the invincible"; , durga) or Maa Durga "one who can redeem in situations of utmost distress" is a form of Devi, the supremely radiant goddess, depicted as having eighteen arms, riding a lion...

, Chandi
Chandi
Chandi or Chandika is the supreme Goddess of Devi Mahatmya also known as Chandi or Durga Sapthashati. Chandi is described as the Supreme reality who is a combination of Mahakali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswati...


| Abode = Mount {{IAST
Mount Kailash
Mount Kailash is a peak in the Gangdisê Mountains, which are part of the Himalayas in Tibet...


| Mount = Nandi (bull)
}}

{{IndicTextRight}}

Shiva ({{ IPAc-en|icon|ˈ|ʃ|ɪ|v|ə}}; Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

: शिव {{IAST|Śiva}}, meaning "auspicious one") is a major Hindu
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 deity
Hindu deities
Within Hinduism a large number of personal gods are worshipped as murtis. These beings are either aspects of the supreme Brahman, Avatars of the supreme being, or significantly powerful entities known as devas. The exact nature of belief in regards to each deity varies between differing Hindu...

, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti
Trimurti
The Trimurti is a concept in Hinduism "in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by the forms of Brahmā the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Śhiva the destroyer or transformer," These three deities have been called "the Hindu triad" or...

, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Shiva'
Start a new discussion about 'Shiva'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia
{{Other uses}}

{{Good article}}
{{Other uses}}

{{Good article}}

{{Hdeity infobox|
Image = Bangalore Shiva.jpg
| Caption = A statue depicting Shiva meditating, Shiva temple, Bengaluru
| Name = Shiva
| Sanskrit_Transliteration = {{IAST|Śiva}}
| Devanagari = {{lang|sa|शिव}}
| Tamil_script = செய்யோன் (Old Tamil), சிவன்
| Tamil_Transliteration = Ceiyon, Ciwan
| god of = destruction
| Affiliation = Deva
Deva (Hinduism)
' is the Sanskrit word for god or deity, its related feminine term is devi. In modern Hinduism, it can be loosely interpreted as any benevolent supernatural beings. The devs in Hinduism, also called Suras, are often juxtaposed to the Asuras, their half brothers. Devs are also the maintainers of...

 (Trimurti
Trimurti
The Trimurti is a concept in Hinduism "in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by the forms of Brahmā the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Śhiva the destroyer or transformer," These three deities have been called "the Hindu triad" or...

)
| Mantra = Om Namah Shivaya
| Weapon = Trident snake foot (Trishula
Trishula
A trishula is a type of Indian trident but also found in Southeast Asia. It is commonly used as a Hindu-Buddhist religious symbol. The word means "three spear" in Sanskrit and Pali....

)
| Consort = Sati
Dakshayani
Dākshāyani or Satī is a Hindu Goddess of marital felicity and longevity. She is worshipped particularly by Hindu women to seek the long life of their husbands...

, Parvati
Parvati
Parvati is a Hindu goddess. Parvati is Shakti, the wife of Shiva and the gentle aspect of Mahadevi, the Great Goddess...

, Kali
Kali
' , also known as ' , is the Hindu goddess associated with power, shakti. The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Kali means "the black one". Since Shiva is called Kāla - the eternal time, Kālī, his consort, also means "Time" or "Death" . Hence, Kāli is...

, Durga
Durga
For the 1985 Hindi Film of Rajesh Khanna see DurgaaIn Hinduism, Durga ; ; meaning "the inaccessible" or "the invincible"; , durga) or Maa Durga "one who can redeem in situations of utmost distress" is a form of Devi, the supremely radiant goddess, depicted as having eighteen arms, riding a lion...

, Chandi
Chandi
Chandi or Chandika is the supreme Goddess of Devi Mahatmya also known as Chandi or Durga Sapthashati. Chandi is described as the Supreme reality who is a combination of Mahakali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswati...


| Abode = Mount {{IAST
Mount Kailash
Mount Kailash is a peak in the Gangdisê Mountains, which are part of the Himalayas in Tibet...


| Mount = Nandi (bull)
}}

{{IndicTextRight}}

Shiva ({{ IPAc-en|icon|ˈ|ʃ|ɪ|v|ə}}; Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

: शिव {{IAST|Śiva}}, meaning "auspicious one") is a major Hindu
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 deity
Hindu deities
Within Hinduism a large number of personal gods are worshipped as murtis. These beings are either aspects of the supreme Brahman, Avatars of the supreme being, or significantly powerful entities known as devas. The exact nature of belief in regards to each deity varies between differing Hindu...

, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti
Trimurti
The Trimurti is a concept in Hinduism "in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by the forms of Brahmā the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Śhiva the destroyer or transformer," These three deities have been called "the Hindu triad" or...

, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi
Yogi
A Yogi is a practitioner of Yoga. The word is also used to refer to ascetic practitioners of meditation in a number of South Asian Religions including Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism.-Etymology:...

 who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a sage at Mount Kailash. In the Shaiva tradition of Hinduism, Shiva is seen as the Supreme God. In the Smarta tradition, he is regarded as one of the five primary forms of God
Panchayatana puja
Panchayatana puja is the system of worship in the Smarta sampradaya of Hinduism. It is said to have been introduced by Adi Shankara, the 8th century CE Hindu philosopher. It consists of the worship of five deities: Shiva, Vishnu, Devi, Surya and Ganesha...

. Followers of Hinduism who focus their worship upon Shiva are called Shaivites or Shaivas (Sanskrit {{IAST|Śaiva}}). Shaivism
Shaivism
Shaivism is one of the four major sects of Hinduism, the others being Vaishnavism, Shaktism and Smartism. Followers of Shaivism, called "Shaivas," and also "Saivas" or "Saivites," revere Shiva as the Supreme Being. Shaivas believe that Shiva is All and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer,...

, along with {{IAST|Vaiṣṇava
Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism is a tradition of Hinduism, distinguished from other schools by its worship of Vishnu, or his associated Avatars such as Rama and Krishna, as the original and supreme God....

}} traditions that focus on Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

 and {{IAST|Śākta
Shaktism
Shaktism is a denomination of Hinduism that focuses worship upon Shakti or Devi – the Hindu Divine Mother – as the absolute, ultimate Godhead...

}} traditions that focus on the goddess
Devi
Devī is the Sanskrit word for Goddess, used mostly in Hinduism, its related masculine term is deva. Devi is synonymous with Shakti, the female aspect of the divine, as conceptualized by the Shakta tradition of Hinduism. She is the female counterpart without whom the male aspect, which represents...

 {{IAST|Shakti
Shakti
Shakti from Sanskrit shak - "to be able," meaning sacred force or empowerment, is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe in Hinduism. Shakti is the concept, or personification, of divine feminine creative power, sometimes...

}}, is one of the most influential denominations in Hinduism.

Lord Shiva is usually worshipped in the abstract form of Shiva linga. In images, He is represented as a handsome young man immersed in deep meditation or dancing the Tandava upon Apasmara
Apasmara
According to Hindu mythology, Apasmara was a dwarf who represented ignorance and epilepsy. During the cosmic dance of tandava by god Shiva in the form of Nataraja - the Lord of Dance, Apasmara was crushed by the right foot of Shiva and was killed. This mythological dwarf is generally depicted with...

, the demon of ignorance in his manifestation of Nataraja
Nataraja
Nataraja or Nataraj , The Lord of Dance; Tamil: கூத்தன் ;Telugu:నటరాజ is a depiction of the Hindu god Shiva as the cosmic dancer Koothan who performs his divine dance to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for god Brahma to start the process of creation...

, the Lord of the dance, goodness, humility, and every good quality a human should have. It is said that He looks like an eternal youth because of his authority over death, rebirth and immortality. He is also the father of Ganesha
Ganesha
Ganesha , also spelled Ganesa or Ganesh, also known as Ganapati , Vinayaka , and Pillaiyar , is one of the deities best-known and most widely worshipped in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India and Nepal. Hindu sects worship him regardless of affiliations...

 and Murugan
Murugan
Murugan also called Kartikeya, Skanda and Subrahmanya, is a popular Hindu deity especially among Tamil Hindus, worshipped primarily in areas with Tamil influences, especially South India, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius and Reunion Island. His six most important shrines in India are the...

 (Kartikeya).

Etymology and other names



The Sanskrit word Shiva (Devanagari
Devanagari
Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

: {{lang|sa|शिव}}, {{IAST|śiva}}) is an adjective meaning "auspicious, kind, gracious". As a proper name it means "The Auspicious One", used as a name for Rudra
Rudra
' is a Rigvedic God, associated with wind or storm, and the hunt. The name has been translated as "The Roarer", or "The Howler"....

. In simple English transliteration it is written either as Shiva or Siva. The adjective {{IAST|śiva}}, meaning "auspicious", is used as an attributive epithet not particularly of Rudra, but of several other Vedic deities.

The Sanskrit word {{IAST|śaiva}} means "relating to the god Shiva", and this term is the Sanskrit name both for one of the principal sects of Hinduism and for a member of that sect. It is used as an adjective to characterize certain beliefs and practices, such as Shaivism
Shaivism
Shaivism is one of the four major sects of Hinduism, the others being Vaishnavism, Shaktism and Smartism. Followers of Shaivism, called "Shaivas," and also "Saivas" or "Saivites," revere Shiva as the Supreme Being. Shaivas believe that Shiva is All and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer,...

.

Adi Sankara, in his interpretation of the name Shiva, the 27th and 600th name of Vishnu sahasranama
Vishnu sahasranama
The Vishnu sahasranama is a list of 1,000 names of Vishnu, one of the main forms of God in Hinduism and the personal supreme God for Vaishnavas . It is also one of the most sacred and commonly chanted stotras in Hinduism...

, the thousand names of Vishnu interprets Shiva to have multiple meanings: "The Pure One", or "the One who is not affected by three Gunas of Prakrti
Prakrti
Prakrti or Prakriti or Prakruti means "nature". It is, according to Hindus, the basic nature of intelligence by which the Universe exists and functions. It is described in Bhagavad Gita as the "primal motive force". It is the essential constituent of the universe and is at the basis of all the...

 (Sattva
Sattva
In Hindu philosophy, sattva is the most rarefied of the three gunas in Samkhya, sāttvika "pure", rājasika "dim", and tāmasika "dark". Importantly, no value judgement is entailed as all guna are indivisible and mutually qualifying...

, Rajas
Rajas
Rajas ) is, in the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy, one of the three gunas. Of these, rajas, is responsible for motion, energy and preservation...

, and Tamas
Tamas (philosophy)
In the Samkhya school of philosophy, tamas is one of the three gunas , the other two being rajas and sattva or purity). Tamas is the template for inertia or resistance to action...

)" or "the One who purifies everyone by the very utterance of His name." Swami Chinmayananda, in his translation of Vishnu sahasranama, further elaborates on that verse: Shiva means "the One who is eternally pure" or "the One who can never have any contamination of the imperfection of Rajas and Tamas".
Shiva is considered as the Hindu God who has no Aadi or Anant i.e no birth/death.

Shiva's role as the primary deity of Shaivism is reflected in his epithets {{IAST|Mahādeva}} ("Great God"; {{IAST|mahā}} = Great + deva = God), {{IAST|Maheśhvara}} ("Great Lord"; {{IAST|mahā}} = Great + {{IAST|īśhvara}} = Lord), and {{IAST
Parameshwara (God)
Parameshwara or Parameshwar, also transliterated from Sanskrit in other ways, is a Hindu concept literally meaning the Supreme God. The word "param" meaning the highest is added to Ishwara to intensify the title of God.-Conceptualization:...

("Supreme Lord").

There are at least eight different versions of the Shiva Sahasranama
Shiva sahasranama
A Shiva sahasranama is a list of a thousand names of Shiva, one of the most important deities in Hinduism. In Hindu tradition a sahasranama is a type of devotional hymn listing many names of a deity...

, devotional hymns (stotras) listing many names of Shiva. The version appearing in Book 13 ({{IAST|Anuśāsanaparvan}}) of the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

 is considered the kernel of this tradition. Shiva also has Dasha-Sahasranamas (10,000 names) that are found in the Mahanyasa. The Shri Rudram Chamakam
Shri Rudram Chamakam
Sri Rudram , to which the Chamakam is added by scriptural tradition, is a Hindu stotra dedicated to Rudra , taken from the Yajurveda . Shri Rudram is also known as Sri Rudraprasna, , and Rudradhyaya. The text is important in Vedanta where Shiva is equated to the Universal Brahman...

, also known as the Śatarudriya, is a devotional hymn to Shiva hailing him by many names.

Historical development


{{For|the early history|Rudra}}
The worship of Shiva is a pan-Hindu tradition, practiced widely across all of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Some historians believe that the figure of Shiva as we know him today was built up over time, with the ideas of many regional sects being amalgamated into a single figure. How the persona of Shiva converged as a composite deity is not well documented. Axel Michaels explains the composite nature of Shaivism as follows:

{{Background color|#F0F8FF|Like {{IAST|Vişņu}}, {{IAST|Śiva}} is also a high god, who gives his name to a collection of theistic trends and sects: {{IAST|Śaivism}}. Like {{IAST|Vaişņavism}}, the term also implies a unity which cannot be clearly found either in religious practice or in philosophical and esoteric doctrine. Furthermore, practice and doctrine must be kept separate.}}


An example of assimilation took place in Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

, where a regional deity named Khandoba
Khandoba
Khandoba, also known as Khanderao, Khanderaya, Malhari Martand and Mallu Khan is a regional Hindu deity, worshipped as Mārtanda Bhairava, a form of Shiva, mainly in the Deccan plateau of India, especially in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. He is the most popular family deity in Maharashtra...

 is a patron deity of farming and herding caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

s. The foremost center of worship of Khandoba in Maharashtra is in Jejuri
Jejuri
Jejuri is a city and a municipal council in Pune district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is famous for the main temple of god Khandoba.-Geography:Jejuri is located at . It has an average elevation of 718 metres ....

. Khandoba has been assimilated as a form of Shiva himself, in which case he is worshipped in the form of a lingam
Lingam
The Lingam is a representation of the Hindu deity Shiva used for worship in temples....

. Khandoba's varied associations also include an identification with Surya
Surya
Surya Suraya or Phra Athit is the chief solar deity in Hinduism, one of the Adityas, son of Kasyapa and one of his wives, Aditi; of Indra; or of Dyaus Pitar . The term Surya also refers to the Sun, in general. Surya has hair and arms of gold...

  and Karttikeya.

The Pashupati seal


A seal discovered during the excavation of Mohenjo-daro has drawn attention as a possible representation of a "proto-Shiva" figure. This Pashupati
Pashupati
Pashupati , "Lord of cattle", is an epithet of the Hindu god Shiva. In Vedic times it was used as an epithet of Rudra. The Rigveda has the related pashupa "protector of cattle" as a name of Pushan. The Pashupatinath Temple is the most important Hindu shrine for all Hindus in Nepal and also for many...

 (Lord of animal-like beings) seal shows a seated figure, possibly ithyphallic, surrounded by animals. Sir John Marshall and others have claimed that this figure is a prototype of Shiva and have described the figure as having three faces seated in a "yoga posture" with the knees out and feet joined. However, this claim is not without its share of critics, with some academics like Gavin Flood
Gavin Flood
-See also:* Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies* Krishnology...

 and John Keay
John Keay
John Keay is an English journalist and author specialising in writing popular histories about India and the Far East, often with a particular focus on their colonisation and exploration by Europeans.-Life and career:...

 characterizing them as unfounded.

Rudra


{{Main|Rudra}}

Shiva as we know him today shares many features with the Vedic god Rudra
Rudra
' is a Rigvedic God, associated with wind or storm, and the hunt. The name has been translated as "The Roarer", or "The Howler"....

, and both Shiva and Rudra are viewed as the same personality in a number of Hindu traditions. Rudra, the god of the roaring storm
Storm
A storm is any disturbed state of an astronomical body's atmosphere, especially affecting its surface, and strongly implying severe weather...

, is usually portrayed in accordance with the element he represents as a fierce, destructive deity.

The oldest surviving text of Hinduism is the Rig Veda
Rigveda
The Rigveda is an ancient Indian sacred collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns...

, which is dated to between 1700 and 1100 BC based on linguistic
Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

 and philological
Philology
Philology is the study of language in written historical sources; it is a combination of literary studies, history and linguistics.Classical philology is the philology of Greek and Classical Latin...

 evidence. A god named Rudra
Rudra
' is a Rigvedic God, associated with wind or storm, and the hunt. The name has been translated as "The Roarer", or "The Howler"....

 is mentioned in the Rig Veda. The name Rudra is still used as a name for Shiva. In RV 2.33, he is described as the "Father of the Rudras
Rudras
Rudras are forms and followers of the god Rudra-Shiva and make eleven of the Thirty-three gods in the Hindu pantheon. They are at times identified with the Maruts - sons of Rudra; while at other times, considered distinct from them.-Birth and names:...

", a group of storm gods. Furthermore, the Rudram
Shri Rudram Chamakam
Sri Rudram , to which the Chamakam is added by scriptural tradition, is a Hindu stotra dedicated to Rudra , taken from the Yajurveda . Shri Rudram is also known as Sri Rudraprasna, , and Rudradhyaya. The text is important in Vedanta where Shiva is equated to the Universal Brahman...

, one of the most sacred hymns of Hinduism found both in the Rig and the Yajur Vedas and addressed to Rudra, invokes him as Shiva in several instances, but the term Shiva is used as a epithet for Indra
Indra
' or is the King of the demi-gods or Devas and Lord of Heaven or Svargaloka in Hindu mythology. He is also the God of War, Storms, and Rainfall.Indra is one of the chief deities in the Rigveda...

, Mitra
Mitra
*Mitra was an important Indo-Iranian divinity. Following the prehistoric cultural split of Indo-Aryan and Iranian cultures, names descended from *mitra were used for the following religious entities:...

 and Agni
Agni
Agni is a Hindu deity, one of the most important of the Vedic gods. He is the god of fire and the acceptor of sacrifices. The sacrifices made to Agni go to the deities because Agni is a messenger from and to the other gods...

 many times.

The identification of Shiva with the older god Rudra is not universally accepted, as Axel Michaels explains:

Rudra is called "The Archer" (Sanskrit: {{IAST|Śarva}}), and the arrow is an essential attribute of Rudra. This name appears in the Shiva Sahasranama, and R. K. Sharma notes that it is used as a name of Shiva often in later languages. The word is derived from the Sanskrit root {{IAST|śarv}}-, which means "to injure" or "to kill", and Sharma uses that general sense in his interpretive translation of the name {{IAST|Śarva}} as "One who can kill the forces of darkness". The names {{IAST|Dhanvin}} ("Bowman") and {{IAST|Bāṇahasta}} ("Archer", literally "Armed with arrows in his hands") also refer to archery.

Identification with Vedic deities


Shiva's rise to a major position in the pantheon was facilitated by his identification with a host of Vedic deities, including Agni
Agni
Agni is a Hindu deity, one of the most important of the Vedic gods. He is the god of fire and the acceptor of sacrifices. The sacrifices made to Agni go to the deities because Agni is a messenger from and to the other gods...

, Indra
Indra
' or is the King of the demi-gods or Devas and Lord of Heaven or Svargaloka in Hindu mythology. He is also the God of War, Storms, and Rainfall.Indra is one of the chief deities in the Rigveda...

, {{IAST
Prajapati
In Hinduism, Prajapati "lord of creatures" is a Hindu deity presiding over procreation, and protector of life. He appears as a creator deity or supreme God Viswakarma Vedic deities in RV 10 and in Brahmana literature...

, {{IAST
Vayu
Vāyu is a primary Hindu deity, the Lord of the winds, the father of Bhima and the spiritual father of Lord Hanuman...

, and others.

Agni


Rudra and Agni have a close relationship. The identification between Agni and Rudra in the Vedic literature was an important factor in the process of Rudra's gradual development into the later character as Rudra-Shiva. The identification of Agni with Rudra is explicitly noted in the Nirukta
Nirukta
Nirukta is one of the six disciplines of Hinduism, treating etymology, particularly of obscure words, especially those occurring in the Vedas. The discipline is traditionally attributed to , an ancient Sanskrit grammarian...

, an important early text on etymology, which says, "Agni is called Rudra also." The interconnections between the two deities are complex, and according to Stella Kramrisch:


The fire myth of {{IAST|Rudra-Śiva}} plays on the whole gamut of fire, valuing all its potentialities and phases, from conflagration to illumination.


In the Śatarudrīa
Shri Rudram Chamakam
Sri Rudram , to which the Chamakam is added by scriptural tradition, is a Hindu stotra dedicated to Rudra , taken from the Yajurveda . Shri Rudram is also known as Sri Rudraprasna, , and Rudradhyaya. The text is important in Vedanta where Shiva is equated to the Universal Brahman...

, some epithets of Rudra, such as {{IAST|Sasipañjara}} ("Of golden red hue as of flame") and {{IAST|Tivaṣīmati}} ("Flaming bright"), suggest a fusing of the two deities. Agni is said to be a bull, and Lord Shiva possesses a bull as his vehicle, Nandi
Nandi bull
Nandi or Nandin , is now universally supposed to be the name for the bull which serves as the mount of Shiva and as the gate keeper of Shiva and Parvati in Hindu mythology. Temples venerating Shiva and Parvati display stone images of a seated Nandi, generally facing the main shrine...

. The horns of Agni, who is sometimes characterized as a bull, are mentioned. In medieval sculpture, both Agni and the form of Shiva known as Bhairava have flaming hair as a special feature.

Indra


According to a theory, the Puranic Shiva is a continuation of the Vedic Indra
Indra
' or is the King of the demi-gods or Devas and Lord of Heaven or Svargaloka in Hindu mythology. He is also the God of War, Storms, and Rainfall.Indra is one of the chief deities in the Rigveda...

. He gives several reasons for his hypothesis. Both Shiva and Indra are known for having a thirst for Soma
Soma
Soma , or Haoma , from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sauma-, was a ritual drink of importance among the early Indo-Iranians, and the subsequent Vedic and greater Persian cultures. It is frequently mentioned in the Rigveda, whose Soma Mandala contains 114 hymns, many praising its energizing qualities...

. Both are associated with mountains, rivers, male fertility, fierceness, fearlessness, warfare, transgression of established mores, the Aum
Aum
Om or Aum Om or Aum Om or Aum (also , written in Devanāgari as and as , in Sanskrit known as (lit. "to sound out loudly"), ', or ' (also as ') (lit. "Auṃ form/syllable"), is a sacred/mystical syllable in the Dharmic or Indian religions, i.e...

 sound, the Supreme Self. In the Rig Veda the term {{IAST|śiva}} is used to refer to Indra. (2.20.3, 6.45.17, and 8.93.3.) Indra, like Shiva, is likened to a bull. In the Rig Veda, Rudra is the father of the Maruts
Maruts
In Hinduism the Marutas , also known as the Marutagana and sometimes identified with Rudras, are storm deities and sons of Rudra and Diti and attendants of Indra. The number of Maruts varies from two to sixty . They are very violent and aggressive, described as armed with golden weapons i.e...

, but he is never associated with their warlike exploits as is Indra.

Shaivism


{{Main|Shaivism}}

Shaivism ({{lang-sa|शैव पंथ}}, śaiva paṁtha) (Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

: சைவ சமயம்) is the oldest of the four major sects of Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, the others being Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism is a tradition of Hinduism, distinguished from other schools by its worship of Vishnu, or his associated Avatars such as Rama and Krishna, as the original and supreme God....

, Shaktism
Shaktism
Shaktism is a denomination of Hinduism that focuses worship upon Shakti or Devi – the Hindu Divine Mother – as the absolute, ultimate Godhead...

 and Smartism
Smartism
Smarta Sampradaya is a liberal or nonsectarian denomination of the Vedic Hindu religion which accept all the major Hindu deities as forms of the one Brahman, in contrast to Vaishnavism, Shaivism, and Shaktism, the other three major Hindu sects, which revere Vishnu, Shiva, and Shakti,...

. Followers of Shaivism, called "Shaivas", and also "Saivas" or "Saivites", revere Shiva as the Supreme Being. Shaivas believe that Shiva is All and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer, revealer and concealer of all that is. Shaivism is widespread throughout India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, mostly. Areas notable for the practice of Shaivism include parts of Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.

Attributes



  • Shiva's form: Shiva wears a deer in the left upper hand. He has a Trident in the right lower arm, with a crescent moon on his head. He is said to be fair like camphor or like an ice clad mountain. He has fire and Damaru and Malu or a kind of weapon. He wears five serpents as ornaments. He wears a garland of skulls. He is pressing with his feet the demon Muyalaka, a dwarf holding a cobra. He faces south. Panchakshara itself is his body.

  • Third eye: Shiva is often depicted with a third eye
    Third eye
    The third eye is a mystical and esoteric concept referring in part to the ajna chakra in certain spiritual traditions. It is also spoken of as the gate that leads within to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness...

    , with which he burned Desire ({{IAST|Kāma
    Kama
    Kāma is often translated from Sanskrit as sexual desire, sexual pleasure, sensual gratification, sexual fulfillment, or eros54654564+more broadly mean desire, wish, passion, longing, pleasure of the senses, the aesthetic enjoyment of life, affection, or love, without sexual connotations.-Kama in...

    }}) to ashes, called "Tryambakam" (Sanskrit: त्र्यम्बकम्), which occurs in many scriptural sources. In classical Sanskrit, the word ambaka denotes "an eye", and in the Mahabharata, Shiva is depicted as three-eyed, so this name is sometimes translated as "having three eyes". However, in Vedic Sanskrit, the word {{IAST|ambā}} or {{IAST|ambikā}} means "mother", and this early meaning of the word is the basis for the translation "three mothers". These three mother-goddesses who are collectively called the {{IAST|Ambikās}}. Other related translations have been based on the idea that the name actually refers to the oblations given to Rudra, which according to some traditions were shared with the goddess {{IAST|Ambikā}}.

  • Crescent moon: Shiva bears on his head the crescent moon. The epithet {{IAST|Chandraśekhara}} (Sanskrit: {{lang|sa|चन्द्रशेखर}} "Having the moon as his crest" - chandra
    Chandra
    In Hinduism, Chandra is a lunar deity and a Graha. Chandra is also identified with the Vedic Lunar deity Soma . The Soma name refers particularly to the juice of sap in the plants and thus makes the Moon the lord of plants and vegetation. He is described as young, beautiful, fair; two-armed and...

    = "moon"; {{IAST|śekhara}} = "crest, crown") refers to this feature. The placement of the moon on his head as a standard iconographic feature dates to the period when Rudra rose to prominence and became the major deity Rudra-Shiva. The origin of this linkage may be due to the identification of the moon with Soma
    Soma
    Soma , or Haoma , from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sauma-, was a ritual drink of importance among the early Indo-Iranians, and the subsequent Vedic and greater Persian cultures. It is frequently mentioned in the Rigveda, whose Soma Mandala contains 114 hymns, many praising its energizing qualities...

    , and there is a hymn in the Rig Veda where Soma and Rudra are jointly implored, and in later literature, Soma and Rudra came to be identified with one another, as were Soma and the moon. The crescent moon is shown on the side of the Lord's head as an ornament. The waxing and waning phenomenon of the moon symbolizes the time cycle through which creation evolves from the beginning to the end. Since the Lord is the Eternal Reality, He is beyond time. Thus, the crescent moon is only one of His ornaments. The wearing of the crescent moon in his head indicates that He has controlled the mind perfectly.

  • Ashes: Shiva smears his body with ashes (bhasma
    Bhasma
    Bhasma in Ayurveda has been defined as a substance obtained by calcination.Use of both bhasma as well as in pishti form along with appropriate herbs for treatment of critical ailments is a medicinal preparation in Ayurveda and to some extent Unani Bhasma in Ayurveda has been defined as a...

    ). Some forms of Shiva, such as Bhairava, are associated with a very old Indian tradition of cremation-ground asceticism that was practiced by some groups who were outside the fold of brahmanic orthodoxy. These practices associated with cremation grounds are also mentioned in the Pali canon of Theravada Buddhism. One epithet for Shiva is "inhabitant of the cremation ground" (Sanskrit: {{IAST|śmaśānavāsin}}, also spelled Shmashanavasin), referring to this connection.

  • Matted hair: Shiva's distinctive hair style is noted in the epithets {{IAST|Jaṭin}}, "the one with matted hair", and Kapardin, "endowed with matted hair" or "wearing his hair wound in a braid in a shell-like (kaparda) fashion". A kaparda is a cowrie shell, or a braid of hair in the form of a shell, or, more generally, hair that is shaggy or curly. His hair is said to be like molten gold in color or being yellowish-white.

  • Blue throat: The epithet {{IAST|Nīlakaṇtha}} (Sanskrit {{lang|sa|नीलकण्ठ}}; nīla = "blue", {{IAST|kaṇtha}} = "throat") refers to a story in which Shiva drank the poison churned up from the world ocean
    Halahala
    Halāhala or Kalakootam is the name of a poison created from the sea when Devas and Asuras churned the sea in order to obtain Amrita, the nectar of immortality.Fourteen different ratnas were recovered in this exercise mostly retained by Gods after Demons tried to cheat...

    . (See Halāhala
    Halahala
    Halāhala or Kalakootam is the name of a poison created from the sea when Devas and Asuras churned the sea in order to obtain Amrita, the nectar of immortality.Fourteen different ratnas were recovered in this exercise mostly retained by Gods after Demons tried to cheat...

    .)



  • Sacred Ganga: The Ganga river flows from the matted hair of Shiva. The epithet {{IAST ("bearer of the river {{IAST
    Ganga in Hinduism
    In Hinduism, the river Ganges - referred to as Gaṅgā in the Hindu context and India - is considered sacred. The river, personified as a goddess, is worshipped by Hindus, who believe that bathing in the river causes the remission of sins and facilitates liberation from the cycle of life and death...

    ") refers to this feature. The {{IAST|Gaṅgā}} (Ganga), one of the major rivers of the country, is said to have made her abode in Shiva's hair. The flow of the Ganga also represents the nectar of immortality.

  • Tiger
    Tiger
    The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to and weighing up to . Their most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with lighter underparts...

     skin:
    He is often shown seated upon a tiger skin, an honour reserved for the most accomplished of Hindu ascetics, the Brahmarishis. Tiger represents lust. His sitting on the tiger’s skin indicates that He has conquered lust.

  • Serpents: Shiva is often shown garlanded with a snake
    Naga
    Naga or NAGA may refer to:* Nāga, a group of serpent deities in Hindu and Buddhist mythology.-People:* Nayan / Nayar/Nair people of Kerala Society* Naga people, a diverse ethnic identity in Northeast India...

    . His wearing of serpents on the neck denotes wisdom and eternity.

  • Deer:His holding deer on one hand indicates that He has removed the Chanchalata (tossing) of the mind. Deer jumps from one place to another swiftly. The mind also jumps from one object to another.

  • Trident: (Sanskrit: Trishula
    Trishula
    A trishula is a type of Indian trident but also found in Southeast Asia. It is commonly used as a Hindu-Buddhist religious symbol. The word means "three spear" in Sanskrit and Pali....

    ): Shiva's particular weapon is the trident
    Trident
    A trident , also called a trishul or leister or gig, is a three-pronged spear. It is used for spear fishing and was also a military weapon. Tridents are featured widely in mythical, historical and modern culture. The major Hindu god, Shiva the Destroyer and the sea god Poseidon or Neptune are...

    . His Trisul that is held in His right hand represents the three Gunas—Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. That is the emblem of sovereignty. He rules the world through these three Gunas. The Damaru in His left hand represents the Sabda Brahman. It represents OM from which all languages are formed. It is He who formed the Sanskrit language out of the Damaru sound.

  • Drum: A small drum shaped like an hourglass is known as a damaru
    Damaru
    A damaru or damru is a small two-headed drum shaped like an hourglass. The drum is typically made of wood, with leather drum heads at both ends; the damaru might also be made entirely out of human skulls...

    (Sanskrit: {{IAST|ḍamaru}}). This is one of the attributes of Shiva in his famous dancing representation known as Nataraja
    Nataraja
    Nataraja or Nataraj , The Lord of Dance; Tamil: கூத்தன் ;Telugu:నటరాజ is a depiction of the Hindu god Shiva as the cosmic dancer Koothan who performs his divine dance to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for god Brahma to start the process of creation...

    . A specific hand gesture (mudra
    Mudra
    A mudrā is a symbolic or ritual gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism. While some mudrās involve the entire body, most are performed with the hands and fingers...

    ) called {{IAST|ḍamaru-hasta}} (Sanskrit for "{{IAST|ḍamaru}}-hand") is used to hold the drum. This drum is particularly used as an emblem by members of the {{IAST|Kāpālika}} sect.

  • {{IAST|Nandī}}: Nandī, also known as Nandin, is the name of the bull
    Bull (mythology)
    The worship of the Sacred Bull throughout the ancient world is most familiar to the Western world in the biblical episode of the idol of the Golden Calf. The Golden Calf after being made by the Hebrew people in the wilderness of Sinai, were rejected and destroyed by Moses and his tribe after his...

     that serves as Shiva's mount (Sanskrit: {{IAST
    Vahana
    Vāhana denotes the being, typically an animal or mythical entity, a particular deva is said to use as a vehicle. In this capacity, the vāhana is often called the deity's mount. Upon the partnership between the deva and his vāhana is woven much iconography and mythology...

    ). Shiva's association with cattle is reflected in his name {{IAST|Paśupati}}, or Pashupati
    Pashupati
    Pashupati , "Lord of cattle", is an epithet of the Hindu god Shiva. In Vedic times it was used as an epithet of Rudra. The Rigveda has the related pashupa "protector of cattle" as a name of Pushan. The Pashupatinath Temple is the most important Hindu shrine for all Hindus in Nepal and also for many...

     (Sanskrit: पशुपति), translated by Sharma as "lord of cattle" and by Kramrisch as "lord of animals", who notes that it is particularly used as an epithet of Rudra. Rishabha or the bull represents Dharma Devata. Lord Siva rides on the bull. Bull is his vehicle. This denotes that Lord Siva is the protector of Dharma, is an embodiment of Dharma or righteousness.

  • {{IAST|Gaṇa}}: The {{IAST
    Gana
    The word ' , in Sanskrit, means "flock, troop, multitude, number, tribe, series, class" . It can also be used to refer to a "body of attendants" and can refer to "a company, any assemblage or association of men formed for the attainment of the same aims".In Hinduism, the s are attendants of Shiva...

     (Devanagari
    Devanagari
    Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

    : {{lang|sa|गण}}) are attendants of Shiva and live in Kailash
    Mount Kailash
    Mount Kailash is a peak in the Gangdisê Mountains, which are part of the Himalayas in Tibet...

    . They are often referred to as the bhutaganas, or ghostly hosts, on account of their nature. Generally benign, except when their lord is transgressed against, they are often invoked to intercede with the lord on behalf of the devotee. Ganesha
    Ganesha
    Ganesha , also spelled Ganesa or Ganesh, also known as Ganapati , Vinayaka , and Pillaiyar , is one of the deities best-known and most widely worshipped in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India and Nepal. Hindu sects worship him regardless of affiliations...

     was chosen as their leader by Shiva, hence Ganesha
    Ganesha
    Ganesha , also spelled Ganesa or Ganesh, also known as Ganapati , Vinayaka , and Pillaiyar , is one of the deities best-known and most widely worshipped in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India and Nepal. Hindu sects worship him regardless of affiliations...

    's title {{IAST|gaṇa-īśa}} or {{IAST|gaṇa-pati}}, "lord of the {{IAST|gaṇas}}".

  • Mount {{IAST|Kailāsa}}: Mount Kailash
    Mount Kailash
    Mount Kailash is a peak in the Gangdisê Mountains, which are part of the Himalayas in Tibet...

     in the Himalayas
    Himalayas
    The Himalaya Range or Himalaya Mountains Sanskrit: Devanagari: हिमालय, literally "abode of snow"), usually called the Himalayas or Himalaya for short, is a mountain range in Asia, separating the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau...

     is his traditional abode. In Hindu mythology, Mount {{IAST|Kailāsa}} is conceived as resembling a Linga, representing the center of the universe.

  • Varanasi: Varanasi
    Varanasi
    -Etymology:The name Varanasi has its origin possibly from the names of the two rivers Varuna and Assi, for the old city lies in the north shores of the Ganga bounded by its two tributaries, the Varuna and the Asi, with the Ganges being to its south...

     (Benares) is considered as the city specially loved by Shiva, and is one of the holiest places of pilgrimage in India. It is referred to, in religious contexts, as Kashi.

Forms and depictions


According to Gavin Flood, "Śiva is a god of ambiguity and paradox," whose attributes include opposing themes. The ambivalent nature of this deity is apparent in some of his names and the stories told about him.

Destroyer versus benefactor



In the Yajurveda
Yajurveda
The Yajurveda, a tatpurusha compound of "sacrificial formula', + ) is the third of the four canonical texts of Hinduism, the Vedas. By some, it is estimated to have been composed between 1400 and 1000 BC, the Yajurveda 'Samhita', or 'compilation', contains the liturgy needed to perform the...

, two contrary sets of attributes for both malignant or terrific (Sanskrit: {{IAST|rudra}}) and benign or auspicious (Sanskrit: {{IAST|śiva}}) forms can be found, leading Chakravarti to conclude that "all the basic elements which created the complex Rudra-Śiva sect of later ages are to be found here". In the Mahabharata, Shiva is depicted as "the standard of invincibility, might, and terror", as well as a figure of honor, delight, and brilliance. The duality of Shiva's fearful and auspicious attributes appears in contrasted names.

The name Rudra
Rudra
' is a Rigvedic God, associated with wind or storm, and the hunt. The name has been translated as "The Roarer", or "The Howler"....

(Sanskrit: रुद्र) reflects his fearsome aspects. According to traditional etymologies, the Sanskrit name Rudra is derived from the root rud-, which means "to cry, howl". Stella Kramrisch notes a different etymology connected with the adjectival form raudra, which means "wild, of rudra nature", and translates the name Rudra as "the wild one" or "the fierce god". R. K. Sharma follows this alternate etymology and translates the name as "terrible". Hara (Sanskrit: हर) is an important name that occurs three times in the Anushasanaparvan version of the Shiva sahasranama, where it is translated in different ways each time it occurs, following a commentorial tradition of not repeating an interpretation. Sharma translates the three as "one who captivates", "one who consolidates", and "one who destroys". Kramrisch translates it as "the ravisher". Another of Shiva's fearsome forms is as {{IAST|Kāla}} (Sanskrit: {{lang|sa|काल}}), "time", and as {{IAST|Mahākāla}} (Sanskrit: {{lang|sa|महाकाल}}), "great time", which ultimately destroys all things. Bhairava
Bhairava
Bhairava , sometimes known as Bhairo or Bhairon or Bhairadya or Bheruji , Kaala Bhairavar or Vairavar , is the fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva associated with annihilation...

 (Sanskrit: {{lang|sa|भैरव}}), "terrible" or "frightful", is a fierce form associated with annihilation.

In contrast, the name {{IAST|Śaṇkara}} (Sanskrit: शङ्कर), "beneficent" or "conferring happiness" reflects his benign form. This name was adopted by the great Vedanta philosopher {{IAST
Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara Adi Shankara Adi Shankara (IAST: pronounced , (Sanskrit: , ) (788 CE - 820 CE), also known as ' and ' was an Indian philosopher from Kalady of present day Kerala who consolidated the doctrine of advaita vedānta...

 (c. 788-820 CE), who is also known as Shankaracharya. The name {{IAST|Śambhu}} (Sanskrit: {{lang|sa|शम्भु}}), "causing happiness", also reflects this benign aspect.

Ascetic versus householder


He is depicted as both an ascetic yogi
Yogi
A Yogi is a practitioner of Yoga. The word is also used to refer to ascetic practitioners of meditation in a number of South Asian Religions including Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism.-Etymology:...

n and as a householder, roles which have been traditionally mutually exclusive in Hindu society. When depicted as a yogin, he may be shown sitting and meditating. His epithet Mahāyogin ("the great Yogi
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

: {{IAST|Mahā}} = "great", Yogin = "one who practices Yoga
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

") refers to his association with yoga. While Vedic religion
Historical Vedic religion
The religion of the Vedic period is a historical predecessor of Hinduism. Its liturgy is reflected in the mantra portion of the four Vedas, which are compiled in Sanskrit. The religious practices centered on a clergy administering rites...

 was conceived mainly in terms of sacrifice, it was during the Epic period
Indian epic poetry
Indian epic poetry is the epic poetry written in the Indian subcontinent, traditionally called Kavya . The Ramayana and Mahabharata, originally composed in Sanskrit and translated thereafter into many other Indian languages, are some of the oldest surviving epic poems on earth and form part of...

 that the concepts of tapas
Tapas (Sanskrit)
Tapasya in Sanskrit means "heat". In Vedic religion and Hinduism, it is used figuratively, denoting spiritual suffering, mortification or austerity, and also the spiritual ecstasy of a yogin or tāpasá . In the Rigveda, the word is connected with the Soma cult...

, yoga
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

, and asceticism
Asceticism
Asceticism describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals...

 became more important, and the depiction of Shiva as an ascetic sitting in philosophical isolation reflects these later concepts.

As a family man and householder, he has a wife, Parvati
Parvati
Parvati is a Hindu goddess. Parvati is Shakti, the wife of Shiva and the gentle aspect of Mahadevi, the Great Goddess...

, and two sons, Ganesha
Ganesha
Ganesha , also spelled Ganesa or Ganesh, also known as Ganapati , Vinayaka , and Pillaiyar , is one of the deities best-known and most widely worshipped in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India and Nepal. Hindu sects worship him regardless of affiliations...

 and Skanda
Murugan
Murugan also called Kartikeya, Skanda and Subrahmanya, is a popular Hindu deity especially among Tamil Hindus, worshipped primarily in areas with Tamil influences, especially South India, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius and Reunion Island. His six most important shrines in India are the...

. His epithet {{IAST|Umāpati}} ("The husband of {{IAST|Umā}}") refers to this idea, and Sharma notes that two other variants of this name that mean the same thing, {{IAST|Umākānta}} and {{IAST|Umādhava}}, also appear in the sahasranama. {{IAST|Umā}} in epic literature is known by many names, including the benign {{IAST
Parvati
Parvati is a Hindu goddess. Parvati is Shakti, the wife of Shiva and the gentle aspect of Mahadevi, the Great Goddess...

. She is identified with Devi
Devi
Devī is the Sanskrit word for Goddess, used mostly in Hinduism, its related masculine term is deva. Devi is synonymous with Shakti, the female aspect of the divine, as conceptualized by the Shakta tradition of Hinduism. She is the female counterpart without whom the male aspect, which represents...

, the Divine Mother; Shakti
Shakti
Shakti from Sanskrit shak - "to be able," meaning sacred force or empowerment, is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe in Hinduism. Shakti is the concept, or personification, of divine feminine creative power, sometimes...

 (divine energy) as well as goddesses like Tripura Sundari
Tripura Sundari
Tripurasundarĩ or Mahã-Tripurasundarĩ , also called Śoḍaṣĩ , Lalitã and Rãjarãjeśvarĩ , is one of the group of ten goddesses of Hindu belief, collectively called Mahavidyas.As Shodashi,...

, Durga
Durga
For the 1985 Hindi Film of Rajesh Khanna see DurgaaIn Hinduism, Durga ; ; meaning "the inaccessible" or "the invincible"; , durga) or Maa Durga "one who can redeem in situations of utmost distress" is a form of Devi, the supremely radiant goddess, depicted as having eighteen arms, riding a lion...

, Kamakshi
Kamakshi
The goddess Kamakshi is a form of Tripura Sundari or Parvati or the universal mother goddess. The main abode of Kamashi is the Kamakshi Amman temple at Kanchipuram. Other important forms of goddess Tripura Sundari are Meenakshi of Madurai, Akilandeswari of Thiruvanaikaval and Vishalakshi of...

 and Meenakshi
Meenakshi
Minakshi is an Avatar of the Hindu Goddess Parvati - and consort of Shiva - who is worshipped mainly by South Indians. She is also one of the few Hindu female deities to have a major temple devoted to her - the far famed Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu...

. The consorts of Shiva are the source of his creative energy. They represent the dynamic extension of Shiva onto this universe. His son Ganesha is worshipped throughout India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

 as the Remover of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings and Lord of Obstacles. Kartikeya is worshipped in Southern India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

 (especially in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

, Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

 and Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

) by the names Subrahmanya, Subrahmanyan, Shanmughan, Swaminathan and Murugan, and in Northern India
North India
North India, known natively as Uttar Bhārat or Shumālī Hindustān , is a loosely defined region in the northern part of India. The exact meaning of the term varies by usage...

 by the names Skanda, Kumara, or Karttikeya.

Nataraja



{{Main|Nataraja}}
The depiction of Shiva as Nataraja ({{lang-ta|நடராஜா}}, {{lang-te|నటరాజు}}, Sanskrit: {{IAST|naṭarāja}}, "Lord of Dance") is popular. The names Nartaka ("dancer") and Nityanarta ("eternal dancer") appear in the Shiva Sahasranama. His association with dance and also with music is prominent in the Puranic
Puranas
The Puranas are a genre of important Hindu, Jain and Buddhist religious texts, notably consisting of narratives of the history of the universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of kings, heroes, sages, and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy, and geography.Puranas...

 period. In addition to the specific iconographic form known as Nataraja, various other types of dancing forms (Sanskrit: {{IAST|nṛtyamūrti}}) are found in all parts of India, with many well-defined varieties in Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

 & Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

 in particular. The two most common forms of the dance are the Tandava
Tandava
' or ', the divine art form, is a dance performed by the god Shiva, who is revered by Hindus. According to Hindu mythology, Shiva’s Tandava is a vigorous dance that is the source of the cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution...

, which later came to denote the powerful and masculine dance as Kala-Mahakala associated with the destruction of the world. When it requires the world or universe to be destroyed, Lord Śiva does it by the tāṇḍavanṛtya. and Lasya
Lasya
Lasya means beauty, happiness and grace. The term Lasya, in the context of Hindu mythology, describes the dance performed by Goddess Parvathi as it expresses happiness and is filled with grace and beauty...

, which is graceful and delicate and expresses emotions on a gentle level and is considered the feminine dance attributed to the goddess Parvati. Lasya is regarded as the female counterpart of Tandava. The Tandava-Lasya dances are associated with the destruction-creation of the world.

Dakshinamurthy


{{Main|Dakshinamurthy}}
Dakshinamurthy, or {{IAST|Dakṣiṇāmūrti}} (Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

:தட்சிணாமூர்த்தி , Telugu
Telugu language
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...

: దక్షిణామూర్తి , Sanskrit: {{lang|sa|दक्षिणामूर्ति}}), literally describes a form ({{IAST|mūrti}}) of Shiva facing south ({{IAST|dakṣiṇa}}). This form represents Shiva in his aspect as a teacher of yoga
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

, music, and wisdom and giving exposition on the shastras. This iconographic form for depicting Shiva in Indian art is mostly from Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

. Elements of this motif can include Shiva seated upon a deer-throne and surrounded by sages who are receiving his instruction.

Ardhanarishvara


{{Main|Ardhanarishvara}}

An iconographic representation of Shiva called ({{IAST|Ardhanārīśvara}}) shows him with one half of the body as male and the other half as female. According to Ellen Goldberg, the traditional Sanskrit name for this form ({{IAST|Ardhanārīśvara}}) is best translated as "the lord who is half woman", not as "half-man, half-woman". In Hindu philosophy, this is used to visualize the belief that the sacred ultimate power of the universe as being both feminine and masculine.

Tripurantaka


{{Main|Tripurantaka}}
{{See also|Tripura (mythology)}}

Shiva is often depicted as an archer in the act of destroying the triple fortresses, Tripura, of the Asuras. Shiva's name Tripurantaka (Sanskrit: {{lang|sa|त्रिपुरान्तक}}, {{IAST|Tripurāntaka}}), "ender of Tripura", refers to this important story. In this aspect, Shiva is depicted with four arms wielding a bow and arrow, but different from the Pinakapani murti. He holds an axe and a deer on the upper pair of his arms. In the lower pair of the arms, he holds a bow and an arrow respectively. After destroying Tripura
Tripura (mythology)
Tripura meaning three cities, was constructed by the great Sura architect Mayasura. They were great cities of prosperity, power and dominance over the world, but due to their impious nature, Maya's cities were destroyed by god Tripurantaka, an aspect of Shiva...

, Tripurantaka Shiva smeared his forehead with three strokes of Ashes. This has become a prominent symbol of Shiva and is practised even today by Shaivites.

Lingam



{{Main|Lingam}}

Apart from anthropomorphic images of Shiva, the worship of Shiva in the form of a lingam
Lingam
The Lingam is a representation of the Hindu deity Shiva used for worship in temples....

, or linga, is also important. These are depicted in various forms. One common form is the shape of a vertical rounded column. Shiva means auspiciousness, and linga means a sign or a symbol. Hence, the Shivalinga is regarded as a "symbol of the great God of the universe who is all-auspiciousness". Shiva also means "one in whom the whole creation sleeps after dissolution". Linga also means the same thing—a place where created objects get dissolved during the disintegration of the created universe. Since, according to Hinduism, it is the same god that creates, sustains and withdraws the universe, the Shivalinga represents symbolically God Himself. Some scholars, such as Monier-Williams
Monier Monier-Williams
Sir Monier Monier-Williams, KCIE was the second Boden Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford University, England...

 and Wendy Doniger
Wendy Doniger
Wendy Doniger is an American Indologist and Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago Divinity School, the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the Committee on Social Thought...

, also view linga as a phallic symbol
Phallus
A phallus is an erect penis, a penis-shaped object such as a dildo, or a mimetic image of an erect penis. Any object that symbolically resembles a penis may also be referred to as a phallus; however, such objects are more often referred to as being phallic...

, although this interpretation is disputed by others, including Christopher Isherwood
Christopher Isherwood
Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood was an English-American novelist.-Early life and work:Born at Wyberslegh Hall, High Lane, Cheshire in North West England, Isherwood spent his childhood in various towns where his father, a Lieutenant-Colonel in the British Army, was stationed...

, Vivekananda, Swami Sivananda
Swami Sivananda
Swami Sivananda Saraswati was a Hindu spiritual teacher and a proponent of Yoga and Vedanta. Sivananda was born Kuppuswami in Pattamadai, in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. He studied medicine and served in Malaya as a physician for several years before taking up monasticism...

, and S.N. Balagangadhara.

The worship of the Shiva-Linga originated from the famous hymn in the Atharva-Veda Samhitâ sung in praise of the Yupa-Stambha, the sacrificial post. In that hymn, a description is found of the beginningless and endless Stambha
Stambha
In the context of Hindu mythology, stambha, also spelt as Skambha, is believed to be a cosmic column. It is believed that the stambha functions as a bond, which joins the heaven and the earth . A number of Hindu scriptures, including the Atharva Veda, have references to stambha...

or Skambha, and it is shown that the said Skambha is put in place of the eternal Brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

. Just as the Yajna
Yajna
In Hinduism, yajna is a ritual of sacrifice derived from the practice of Vedic times. It is performed to please the gods or to attain certain wishes...

 (sacrificial) fire, its smoke, ashes, and flames, the Soma
Soma
Soma , or Haoma , from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sauma-, was a ritual drink of importance among the early Indo-Iranians, and the subsequent Vedic and greater Persian cultures. It is frequently mentioned in the Rigveda, whose Soma Mandala contains 114 hymns, many praising its energizing qualities...

plant, and the ox that used to carry on its back the wood for the Vedic sacrifice gave place to the conceptions of the brightness of Shiva's body, his tawny matted hair, his blue throat, and the riding on the bull of the Shiva, the Yupa-Skambha gave place in time to the Shiva-Linga. In the text Linga Purana
Linga Purana
The Linga Purana is one of the major eighteen Puranas, a Hindu religious text. The extant text is divided into two parts, comprising 108 and 55 chapters respectively. These parts contain the description regarding the origin of universe, origin of the linga, and emergence of Brahma and Vishnu, and...

, the same hymn is expanded in the shape of stories, meant to establish the glory of the great Stambha and the superiority of Shiva as Mahadeva.

Avatars


Shiva, like some other Hindu deities, is said to have several incarnations, known as Avatar
Avatar
In Hinduism, an avatar is a deliberate descent of a deity to earth, or a descent of the Supreme Being and is mostly translated into English as "incarnation," but more accurately as "appearance" or "manifestation"....

s. Although Puranic scriptures
Puranas
The Puranas are a genre of important Hindu, Jain and Buddhist religious texts, notably consisting of narratives of the history of the universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of kings, heroes, sages, and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy, and geography.Puranas...

 contain occasional references to avatars of Shiva, the idea is not universally accepted in Saivism.
  • Virabhadra
    Virabhadra
    According to Hindu mythology, Virabhadra or Veerabhadra was a super being created by the wrath of Rudra , when he stepped in to destroy the Yagna of Daksha, after his daughter Dakshayani - consort of Shiva, self-immolated in yagna fire...

     who was born when Shiva grabbed a lock of his matted hair and dashed it to the ground. Virabhadra then destroyed Daksha
    Daksha
    In Hinduism, Daksha, "the skilled one", is an ancient creator god, one of the Prajapatis, the Rishis and the Adityas. Daksha is said to be the son of Aditi and Brahma...

    's yajna
    Yajna
    In Hinduism, yajna is a ritual of sacrifice derived from the practice of Vedic times. It is performed to please the gods or to attain certain wishes...

     (fire sacrifice) and severed his head as per Shiva's instructions.
  • Bhairava
    Bhairava
    Bhairava , sometimes known as Bhairo or Bhairon or Bhairadya or Bheruji , Kaala Bhairavar or Vairavar , is the fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva associated with annihilation...

     , Bhairava (Sanskrit: भैरव, "Terrible" or "Frightful" ,[1]), sometimes known as Bhairo or Bhairon or Bhairadya or Bheruji (In Rajasthan), is the fierce manifestation of Shiva associated with annihilation.[2] He is one of the most important deities of Rajasthan and Nepal, sacred to Hindus and Buddhists alike.When depicted as Kala Bhairava, Bhairava is shown carrying the decapitated head of Brahma.
  • Sharabha , Shaiva scriptures narrate that god Shiva assumed the Avatar (incarnation) of Sharabha to tame Narasimha
    Narasimha
    Narasimha or Nrusimha , also spelt as Narasingh and Narasingha, whose name literally translates from Sanskrit as "Man-lion", is an avatar of Vishnu described in the Puranas, Upanishads and other ancient religious texts of Hinduism...

     - the fierce man-lion avatar of Vishnu worshipped by Vaishnava sect - into a normal pleasant form representing harmony. This form is popularly known as Sarabeshwara ("Lord Sarabha") or Sharabeshwaramurti. In Buddhism, Sharabha appears in Jataka Tales as a previous birth of the Buddha.

  • Adi Shankara
    Adi Shankara
    Adi Shankara Adi Shankara Adi Shankara (IAST: pronounced , (Sanskrit: , ) (788 CE - 820 CE), also known as ' and ' was an Indian philosopher from Kalady of present day Kerala who consolidated the doctrine of advaita vedānta...

    , the 8th-century philosopher of non-dualist Vedanta
    Vedanta
    Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

    "Advaita Vedanta", was named "Shankara" after Lord Shiva and is considered by some to have been an incarnation of Shiva.
  • In the Hanuman Chalisa
    Hanuman Chalisa
    Hanuman Chalisa |Forty chaupai]]s on Hanuman") is a devotional song based on Lord Hanuman as the model devotee. It is a poem written by Tulsidas in the Awadhi language, and is his best known Hindu text apart from the Ramcharitmanas...

    , Hanuman
    Hanuman
    Hanuman , is a Hindu deity, who is an ardent devotee of Rama, a central character in the Indian epic Ramayana and one of the dearest devotees of lord Rama. A general among the vanaras, an ape-like race of forest-dwellers, Hanuman is an incarnation of the divine and a disciple of Lord Rama in the...

     is identified as the eleventh avatar of Shiva, but this belief is not universal.

The five mantras


Five is a sacred number for Shiva. One of his most important mantras has five syllables ({{IAST|namaḥ śivāya}}).

Shiva's body is said to consist of five mantras, called the {{IAST|pañcabrahmans}}. As forms of God, each of these have their own names and distinct iconography:
  • {{IAST
    Sadyojata
    Panchanana Shivahttp://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sadyojata&action=historyAccording to Saiva Agama, Lord Shiva performs five actions - creation, preservation, dissolution, concealing grace, and revealing grace. Each of the five actions corresponds to a name and form of Siva with varying...

  • {{IAST
    Vamadeva
    In Hinduism, Vamadeva is the name of the preserving aspect of the God Siva, one of five aspects of the universe he embodies. On a panchamukha Sivalingam, Vamadeva appears on the right hand side...

  • Aghora
    Aghora
    Aghora can refer to:*The Hindu god Bhairava, a form of Shiva.*Aghora , a particular school of Hindu Tantra*Aughar or Aghor sect, subsect of the Aghora lineage.*Aghora , a Floridian progressive metal band...

  • {{IAST
  • {{IAST
    Ishana
    Īśāna has its roots in the word "ish" which means the invisible power that governs the universe. The wielder of this power is "Īśāna". It is synonymous with Ishwar which means 'The Lord'. In Hindu Scriptures this is a name given to Shiva...



These are represented as the five faces of Shiva and are associated in various texts with the five elements, the five senses, the five organs of perception, and the five organs of action. Doctrinal differences and, possibly, errors in transmission, have resulted in some differences between texts in details of how these five forms are linked with various attributes. The overall meaning of these associations is summarized by Stella Kramrisch:

Through these transcendent categories, Śiva, the ultimate reality, becomes the efficient and material cause of all that exists.


According to the Pañcabrahma Upanishad:

One should know all things of the phenomenal world as of a fivefold character, for the reason that the eternal verity of {{IAST|Śiva}} is of the character of the fivefold Brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

. (Pañcabrahma Upanishad 31)

Relationship to Vishnu


During the Vedic period, both Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

 and Shiva (as identified with Rudra) played relatively minor roles, but by the time of the Brahmanas (c. 1000-700 BC), both were gaining ascendance. By the Puranic period, both deities had major sects that competed with one another for devotees. Many stories developed showing different types of relationships between these two important deities.

Sectarian groups each presented their own preferred deity as supreme. Vishnu in his myths "becomes" Shiva. The Vishnu Purana (4th c. AD) shows Vishnu awakening and becoming both {{IAST|Brahmā}} to create the world and Shiva to destroy it. Shiva also is viewed as a manifestation of Vishnu in the Bhagavata Purana. In Shaivite myths, on the other hand, Shiva comes to the fore and acts independently and alone to create, preserve, and destroy the world. In one Shaivite myth of the origin of the lingam, both Vishnu and {{IAST|Brahmā}} are revealed as emanations from Shiva's manifestation as a towering pillar of flame. The Śatarudrīya, a Shaivite hymn, says that Shiva is "of the form of Vishnu". Differences in viewpoints between the two sects are apparent in the story of {{IAST
Sharaba
Sharabha is a part-lion and part-bird beast in Hindu mythology. According to Sanskrit literature, Sharabha is an eight-legged beast, mightier than a lion and elephant and which can kill the lion. Sharabha, can clear a valley in one jump...

 (also spelled "Sharabha"), the name of Shiva's incarnation in the composite form of man, bird, and beast. Shiva assumed that unusual form of Sarabheshwara to chastise Vishnu, who in his hybrid form as Narasimha
Narasimha
Narasimha or Nrusimha , also spelt as Narasingh and Narasingha, whose name literally translates from Sanskrit as "Man-lion", is an avatar of Vishnu described in the Puranas, Upanishads and other ancient religious texts of Hinduism...

, the man-lion, killed Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu [golden-haired] is an Asura from the Puranic scriptures of Hinduism. The Puranas describe Hiranyakashipu as an Asura. His younger brother, Hiranyaksha was slain by Varaha, one of the Avatars of Vishnu and angered by this, Hiranyakashipu decided to gain magical powers by performing...

. However, Vaishnava followers including Dvaita
Dvaita
Dvaita is a school of Vedanta founded by Shri Madhvacharya....

 scholars, such as Vijayindra Tirtha (1539–95) dispute this view of Narasimha based on their reading of Sattvika Puranas
Puranas
The Puranas are a genre of important Hindu, Jain and Buddhist religious texts, notably consisting of narratives of the history of the universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of kings, heroes, sages, and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy, and geography.Puranas...

 and Śruti
Sruti
' , often spelled shruti or shruthi, is a term that describes the sacred texts comprising the central canon of Hinduism and is one of the three main sources of dharma and therefore is also influential within Hindu Law...

 texts.

Syncretic forces produced stories in which the two deities were shown in cooperative relationships and combined forms. Harihara
Harihara
Harihara is the name of a combined deity form of both Vishnu and Shiva from the Hindu tradition. Also known as Shankaranarayana , Harihara is thus worshipped by both Vaishnavites and Shaivities as a form of the Supreme God, as well as being a figure of worship for other Hindu traditions in general...

 is the name of a combined deity form of both Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

 (Hari
Hari
Hari is an Avatar, another name of and , and appears as the 650th name in the Vishnu sahasranama of Mahabharata. In Sanskrit "hari" sometimes refers to a colour, green, yellow, or fawn-coloured/khaki. It is the colour of the Sun and of Soma...

) and Shiva (Hara). This dual form, which is also called Harirudra, is mentioned in the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

. An example of a collaboration story is one given to explain Shiva's epithet {{IAST|Mahābaleśvara}}, "lord of great strength" (Maha = "great", Bala = "strength", {{IAST|Īśvara}} = "lord"). This name refers to a story in which {{IAST
Ravana
' is the primary antagonist character of the Hindu legend, the Ramayana; who is the great king of Lanka. In the classic text, he is mainly depicted negatively, kidnapping Rama's wife Sita, to claim vengeance on Rama and his brother Lakshmana for having cut off the nose of his sister...

 was given a linga as a boon by Shiva on the condition that he carry it always. During his travels, he stopped near the present Deoghar
Deoghar
Deoghar is the headquarters city of Deoghar District in the Santhal Parganas division of the state of Jharkhand, India. It is an important Hindu pilgrimage centre, having in Baidyanath Temple one of the twelve Shiva Jyothirlingams in India and also one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in India.-Origin of...

 in Jharkhand
Jharkhand
Jharkhand is a state in eastern India. It was carved out of the southern part of Bihar on 15 November 2000. Jharkhand shares its border with the states of Bihar to the north, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to the west, Orissa to the south, and West Bengal to the east...

 to purify himself and asked Narada
Narada
Narada or Narada Muni is a divine sage from the Vaisnava tradition, who plays a prominent role in a number of the Puranic texts, especially in the Bhagavata Purana, and in the Ramayana...

, a devotee of Vishnu in the guise of a Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

, to hold the linga for him, but after some time, Narada put it down on the ground and vanished. When Ravana returned, he could not move the linga, and it is said to remain there ever since.

As one story goes, Shiva is enticed by the beauty and charm of Mohini
Mohini
Mohini , in Hindu mythology, is the name of the only female Avatar of the god Vishnu. She is portrayed as a femme fatale, an enchantress, who maddens lovers, sometimes leading them to their doom. Mohini is introduced into the Hindu mythos in the narrative epic of the Mahabharata...

, Vishnu's female avatar, and procreates with her. As a result of this union, Shasta
Shasta (deity)
Shasta or Sastha is the name of a number of Hindu deities in South India. Shasta is a generic Sanskrit term for a teacher. In South India, Shasta or Aiyanar-Shasta is attested from the 3rd century C.E in Tamil Nadu state. In Kerala where the Shasta cult is well developed, he is attested from 855...

 - identified with regional deities Ayyappa and Ayyanar
Ayyanar
Ayyanar is a Hindu village god, worshipped predominantly in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and Tamil villages in Sri Lanka. He is primarily worshipped as a guardian deity who protects the rural villages...

 - is born.

Maha Shivaratri



{{Main|Maha Shivaratri}}

Maha Shivratri is a festival celebrated every year on the 13th night or the 14th day of the new moon in the Krishna Paksha
Paksha
Paksha , is a fortnight in a month of the Hindu lunar calendar. Literally meaning side or period, that is either side of the Full Moon Day or Purnima...

 of the month of Maagha
Maagha
Maagha is a month of the Hindu calendar. In India's national civil calendar, Maagh is the eleventh month of the year, beginning in January and ending in February....

 or Phalguna
Phalguna
Phalguna is a month of the Hindu calendar. In India's national civil calendar, Phaalgun is the twelfth month of the year, beginning on 20 February and ending on 21 March .In lunar religious calendars, Phaalgun may begin on either the new moon or the full moon...

 in the Hindu calendar
Hindu calendar
The hindu calendar used in ancient times has undergone many changes in the process of regionalization, and today there are several regional Indian calendars, as well as an Indian national calendar. Nepali calendar, Bengali calendar, Malayalam calendar, Tamil calendar, Telugu calendar, Kannada...

. This festival is of utmost importance to the devotees of Lord Shiva.

Mahashivaratri marks the night when Lord Shiva performed the 'Tandava
Tandava
' or ', the divine art form, is a dance performed by the god Shiva, who is revered by Hindus. According to Hindu mythology, Shiva’s Tandava is a vigorous dance that is the source of the cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution...

' and it is also believed that Lord Shiva was married to Parvati.

On this day the devotees observe fast and offer fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

s, flower
Flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s and Bael leaves
Bael
Bael Bael (Aegle marmelos) Bael (Aegle marmelos) (Bengal quince, stone apple, Sanskrit : विल्व, Malayalam: കൂവളം, Bengali: বেল, Hindi: बेल (Sirphal), Marathi: बेल or कवीठ (Kaveeth), , Sindhi: ڪاٺ گدرو , Sinhalese: beli, Tamil: வில்வம் is a species of tree native to India...

 to Shiva Linga.

Temples


{{Main|:Category:Shiva temples|l1=Shiva temples}}

There are many Shiva temples in the Indian subcontinent, the Jyotirlinga temples being the most prominent.

Jyotirlinga temples


{{Main|Jyotirlinga|l1=Jyotirlinga temples}}
The holiest Shiva temples are the 12 Jyotirlinga
Jyotirlinga
A Jyotirlinga or Jyotirling or Jyotirlingam is a shrine where Lord Shiva, an aspect of God in Hinduism is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlingam or "Lingam of light." There are twelve traditional Jyotirlinga shrines in India....

 temples. They are,
Jyotirlinga
Jyotirlinga
A Jyotirlinga or Jyotirling or Jyotirlingam is a shrine where Lord Shiva, an aspect of God in Hinduism is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlingam or "Lingam of light." There are twelve traditional Jyotirlinga shrines in India....

Location
Somnath
Somnath
The Somnath Temple located in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra, on the western coast of Gujarat, India, is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of the God Shiva. Somnath means "The Protector of Moon God". The Somnath Temple is known as "the Shrine Eternal", having been destroyed...

Prabhas Patan
Prabhas Patan
Prabhas Patan, known popularly as Somnath Patan, is situated in Gujarat , 7 km. from Veraval. This is a place of pilgrimage, or Tirtha, of the most popular Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva, i.e., Somanath....

, near Veraval
Veraval
Veraval is a city and a municipality in Junagadh district in the Indian state of Gujarat. It is located 6 km from Somnath.- History :...

, Gujarat
Mahakaleshwar Ujjain
Ujjain
Ujjain , is an ancient city of Malwa region in central India, on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River , today part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the administrative centre of Ujjain District and Ujjain Division.In ancient times the city was called Ujjayini...

, Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh , often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and Indore is the largest city....

Omkareshwar
Omkareshwar
See Omkareshwar, East Nimar for town of the same nameOmkareshwar is a Hindu temple dedicated to God Shiva. It is one of the 12 revered Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva....

near Indore
Indore
Indore is one of the major city in India, the largest city and commercial center of the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India. Indore is located 190 km west of the state capital Bhopal. According to the 2011 Indian census, Indore city has a population of 1,960,631...

, Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh , often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and Indore is the largest city....

Kedarnath
Kedarnath Temple
Kedarnath Mandir is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located atop the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand in India. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open only between the end of April to Kartik Purnima...

Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand , formerly Uttaranchal, is a state in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as the Land of Gods due to the many holy Hindu temples and cities found throughout the state, some of which are among Hinduism's most spiritual and auspicious places of pilgrimage and worship...

Bhimashankar Disputed:
  • Bhimashankar Temple, near Pune
    Pune
    Pune , is the eighth largest metropolis in India, the second largest in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai, and the largest city in the Western Ghats. Once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire, it is situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau at the confluence of the Mula ...

    , Maharashtra
    Maharashtra
    Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

     (pictured)
  • Bheem Shankar (Moteshwar Mahadev
    Moteshwar Mahadev
    Kashipur is a historic place in Nainital Distt and around 1 km from this place is a place known as ujjanak. This is the place where Lord Shiva is situated in his full face as a Jyotirlingam known as Bheem Shankar...

    ), Kashipur, Uttarakhand
    Uttarakhand
    Uttarakhand , formerly Uttaranchal, is a state in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as the Land of Gods due to the many holy Hindu temples and cities found throughout the state, some of which are among Hinduism's most spiritual and auspicious places of pilgrimage and worship...

  • Bhimshankar temple near Guwahati
    Guwahati
    Guwahati, Pragjyotishpura in ancient Assam formerly known as Gauhati is a metropolis,the largest city of Assam in India and ancient urban area in North East India, with a population of 963,429. It is also the largest metropolitan area in north-eastern India...

    , Assam
    Assam
    Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

  • Bhimasankar temple near Gunupur
    Gunupur
    Gunupur is a town and a notified area committee in Rayagada district in the Indian state of Orissa.-Geography:Gunupur is located at . It has an average elevation of . It is located in the lap of the Eastern Ghat and on the banks of river Vamshadhara. It has a mixed climate of mountains & Coastal...

    , Orissa
    Orissa
    Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

Kashi Vishwanath Varanasi
Varanasi
-Etymology:The name Varanasi has its origin possibly from the names of the two rivers Varuna and Assi, for the old city lies in the north shores of the Ganga bounded by its two tributaries, the Varuna and the Asi, with the Ganges being to its south...

, Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

Trimbakeshwar Trimbak
Trimbak
Trimbak is a city and a municipal council in Nashik District in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple is located here. The origin of the sacred Godavari river is near Trimbak.-Geography:...

, near Nasik, Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

Ramanathaswamy
Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameswaram
- External links :* *...

Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

Grishneshwar
Grishneshwar
Grishneshwar, also known as Ghushmeshwar, is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the sacred abodes of Shiva. The temple is located eleven km from Daulatabad, near Aurangabad in Maharashtra India...

near Ellora, Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

Vaidyanath
Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga
Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga temple, also known as Baba dham and Baidyanath dham is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the most sacred abodes of Shiva. The location of Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga is disputed. The claimed locations are:...

Disputed:
  • Vaidyanath temple, Deoghar
    Deoghar
    Deoghar is the headquarters city of Deoghar District in the Santhal Parganas division of the state of Jharkhand, India. It is an important Hindu pilgrimage centre, having in Baidyanath Temple one of the twelve Shiva Jyothirlingams in India and also one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in India.-Origin of...

    , Jharkhand
    Jharkhand
    Jharkhand is a state in eastern India. It was carved out of the southern part of Bihar on 15 November 2000. Jharkhand shares its border with the states of Bihar to the north, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to the west, Orissa to the south, and West Bengal to the east...

     (pictured)
  • Vaijnath temple, Parli, Maharashtra
    Maharashtra
    Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

  • Baijnath temple, Baijnath, Himachal Pradesh
    Himachal Pradesh
    Himachal Pradesh is a state in Northern India. It is spread over , and is bordered by the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west and south-west, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on the south, Uttarakhand on the south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east...

  • Nageshwar Disputed:
  • Jageshwar
    Jageshwar
    Jageshwar is a Hindu pilgrimage town in Almora district, Uttarakhand, dedicated to Lord Shiva, located 36 km northeast of Almora, in Kumaun region...

     temple near Almora
    Almora
    Almora is a municipal board, a cantonment town in the Almora district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Almora was founded in 1568.It is a town bustling with activity and a rich cultural heritage and history. It is considered the cultural heart of the Kumaon region of...

    , Uttarakhand
    Uttarakhand
    Uttarakhand , formerly Uttaranchal, is a state in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as the Land of Gods due to the many holy Hindu temples and cities found throughout the state, some of which are among Hinduism's most spiritual and auspicious places of pilgrimage and worship...

     (pictured)
  • Nageshwar Temple, Dwarka, Dwarka
    Dwarka
    Dwarka also spelled Dvarka, Dwaraka, and Dvaraka, is a city and a municipality of Jamnagar district in the Gujarat state in India. Dwarka , also known as Dwarawati in Sanskrit literature is rated as one of the seven most ancient cities in the country...

    , Gujarat
  • Aundha Nagnath
    Aundha Nagnath
    Aundha Naganath is a town and a tehsil in Basmat Subdivision of Hingoli district in Marathwada region of the Indian state of Maharashtra.There is famous Temple of Lord Shiva.The Shiva Temple claims to be one of the Twelve Jyotirlingas in India...

    , Maharashtra
    Maharashtra
    Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

  • Mallikarjuna Swamy
    Mallikarjuna Swamy
    Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy is one of the twelve Jyothirlingas of Lord Shiva situated at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh state, India. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams.-Story:...

    Srisailam
    Srisailam
    Srisailam is a holy town and mandal, situated in Nallamala Hills of Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located on the banks of River Krishna, about 232 km south of Hyderabad....

    , Andhra Pradesh
    Andhra Pradesh
    Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...


    Manifestations



    In South India, five temples of Shiva are held to be particularly important, as being manifestations of him in the five elemental substances:
    Deity Manifestation Temple Location State
    Jambhukeswar Water Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval Trichy Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

    Arunachaleswar Fire Annamalaiyar Temple
    Annamalaiyar Temple
    Annamalaiyar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva, located at the foothills of the Annamalai Hill in the town of Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, India. Shiva is worshipped as Annamalaiyar or Arunachaleswarar represented by lingam, withhis consort, Unnamalaiyaal...

    Thiruvannamalai Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

    Kalahastheeswara Air Srikalahasti temple Srikalahasti
    Srikalahasti
    Srikalahasti , is a holy town and a municipality near Tirupati in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is located on the banks of the river Swarnamukhi. It is also informally and wrongly referred to as Kalahasti...

    Andhra Pradesh
    Andhra Pradesh
    Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

    Ekambareswar Earth Ekambareswarar Temple
    Ekambareswarar Temple
    Ekambareswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in Kanchipuram in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.It is one of the five major Shiva temples or Pancha Bootha Sthalams representing the element - Earth...

    Kanchipuram
    Kanchipuram
    Kanchipuram, or Kanchi, is a temple city and a municipality in Kanchipuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is a temple town and the headquarters of Kanchipuram district...

    Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

    Nataraja
    Nataraja
    Nataraja or Nataraj , The Lord of Dance; Tamil: கூத்தன் ;Telugu:నటరాజ is a depiction of the Hindu god Shiva as the cosmic dancer Koothan who performs his divine dance to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for god Brahma to start the process of creation...

    Sky Natarajar Temple
    Chidambaram Temple
    Thillai Natarajah Temple, Chidambaram is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in the town of Chidambaram, East-Central Tamil Nadu, South India. The temple is known as the foremost of all temples to Saivites and has influenced worship, architecture, sculpture and performance art for over two...

    Chidambaram
    Chidambaram
    Chidambaram is a fast growing industrial city in Eastern part of Tamil Nadu and the taluk headquarters of the Cuddalore district. It is located in 58 km from Pondicherry, 60 km from Karaikal, and 240 km south of Chennai by rail...

    Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...


    Panchaaraama temples


    {{Main|Pancharama Kshetras}}
    The Pancharama Kshetras (or the Pancharamas) are five ancient Hindu temples of Lord Shiva situated in Andhra Pradesh
    Andhra Pradesh
    Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

    . The Sivalingas at these temples are made from a single Sivalinga. As per the legend, this Sivalinga was owned by the demon king Tarakasura. No one could win over him due to the power of this Sivalinga. Finally, Lord Kumaraswamy
    Murugan
    Murugan also called Kartikeya, Skanda and Subrahmanya, is a popular Hindu deity especially among Tamil Hindus, worshipped primarily in areas with Tamil influences, especially South India, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius and Reunion Island. His six most important shrines in India are the...

    , the son of Lord Shiva broke the Sivalinga into five pieces and killed Tarakasura. The five pieces of Sivalinga fell at five different places on earth namely,
    Arama Name Siva's Name Consort Name Location State
    Amararama
    Amararama
    Amararama is one of the Pancharama Kshetras which is located at Amaravati town near Guntur City in Andhra Pradesh in South India. Lord Shiva is known as Amareswara Swamy or Amaralingeswara Swamy here. The temple is situated on the southern bank of Krishna River. The consort of Lord Amareswara...

     
    Amaralingeswara Swamy Bala Chamundika Ammavaru Amaravathi
    Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh
    Amaravathi is a small town situated on the banks of the River Krishna in the Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is famous for its Amareswara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is one of the famous Pancharamas. Amaravati, also known as Dhanyakataka/Dharanikota was the site of a...

    Andhra Pradesh
    Andhra Pradesh
    Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

    Draksharama
    Draksharama
    Draksharama is one of the Pancharama Kshetras in South India. It is located approximately 28 km southwest of the city of Kakinada, in the East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh....

     
    Bhimesvara Swamy Manikyamba Ammavaru Draksharama
    Draksharama
    Draksharama is one of the Pancharama Kshetras in South India. It is located approximately 28 km southwest of the city of Kakinada, in the East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh....

    Andhra Pradesh
    Somarama
    Somarama
    Somarama is one of the Pancharama Kshetras which is located in Bhimavaram West Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh in South India. Lord Shiva is known as Someswara Swamy here. The consort of Lord Someswara is Sri Rajarajeswari Ammavaru. The Sivalinga at this place is installed and established by...

    Someswara Swamy Sri Rajarajeswari Ammavaru Bhimavaram
    Bhimavaram
    Bhimavaram is a city and mandal in the West Godavari District in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located east of state capital, Hyderabad....

    Andhra Pradesh
    Ksheerarama
    Ksheerarama
    Ksheerarama is one of the Pancharama Kshetras which is located in Palakollu near Narsapuram in West Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh in South India. Lord Shiva is known as Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy here. The Sivalinga at this place is installed and established by Lord Vishnu.-External links:*...

    Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy Parvati Ammavaru Palakol
    Palakol
    Palakol is a Financial town in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India.Palakol is oldest Municipalities in A.P. Constituted on 1-4-1920. It is an important trading town in West Godavari district for the surrounding villages Doddipatla, Achanta, Achanta Vemavaram etc, and is in proximity with other...

    Andhra Pradesh
    Bhimarama Kumara Bhimeswara Swamy Bala Tripurasundari Ammavaru Samalkota
    Samalkota
    Samalkota is a town, a municipality and Mandal under Kakinada in East Godavari district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.Samalkot is a town and industrial place, north-east of Rajahmundry in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh in south India, about 150 km south-west of...

    Andhra Pradesh

    Sabha temples


    The five sabha temples where Shiva is believed to perform five different style of dances are:
    Sabha
    Temple Location State
    Pon (Gold) Sabha Natarajar Temple
    Chidambaram Temple
    Thillai Natarajah Temple, Chidambaram is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in the town of Chidambaram, East-Central Tamil Nadu, South India. The temple is known as the foremost of all temples to Saivites and has influenced worship, architecture, sculpture and performance art for over two...

    Chidambaram
    Chidambaram
    Chidambaram is a fast growing industrial city in Eastern part of Tamil Nadu and the taluk headquarters of the Cuddalore district. It is located in 58 km from Pondicherry, 60 km from Karaikal, and 240 km south of Chennai by rail...

    Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

    Velli (Silver) Sabha Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple Madurai
    Madurai
    Madurai is the third largest city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It served as the capital city of the Pandyan Kingdom. It is the administrative headquarters of Madurai District and is famous for its temples built by Pandyan and...

    Tamil Nadu
    Tamira (Copper) Sabha Nellaiappar Temple
    Nellaiappar Temple
    Nellaiappar Temple is one of the famous Shiva Temples situated at the heart of Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, India.-History:...

    Tirunelveli
    Tirunelveli
    Tirunelveli , also known as Nellai , and historically as Tinnevelly, is a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the headquarters of the Tirunelveli District and the sixth biggest city in Tamil Nadu...

    Tamil Nadu
    Rathna (Gem) Sabha Thiruvalankadu Vadaaranyeswarar Temple Thiruvalangadu
    Thiruvalangadu
    Thiruvalangadu is a village in Tamil Nadu, India.Thiruvalangadu is a village on the western suburbs of Chennai. The railway station is located on the Chennai-Arakkonam Route, the penultimate station before Arakkonam. The temple is situated at a distance of 5 km from the station. It can also...

     
    near Arakkonam
    Arakkonam
    Arakkonam is a mid-sized City in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, with a population of about 101,626 as per the census 2011...

    Tamil Nadu
    Chitira (Picture) Sabha Kutraleeswar Temple Coutrallam Tamil Nadu

    Other famous temples in India


    {{col-begin}}
    {{col-2}}
    Tamil Nadu
    {{Main|Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu}}
    • Airavatesvara Temple
      Airavatesvara Temple
      Airavatesvara Temple is a Hindu temple of Dravidian architecture located in the town of Darasuram, near Kumbakonam in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu...

      , Darasuram
      Darasuram
      Darasuram or Dharasuram is a panchayat town located 3 kilometres from Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu, India. According to the 2001 census, the town had a population of 13,027. The town is known for the Airavateswara temple constructed by the Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century AD...

      , Thanjavur district
      Thanjavur District
      Thanjavur District is one of the 32 districts of the state of Tamil Nadu, in southeastern India. Its headquarters is Thanjavur.-Geography:...

    • Rockfort Ucchi Pillayar Temple
      Rockfort Ucchi Pillayar Temple
      Rockfort or Ucchi Pillayar koil, is a combination of two famous 7th century Hindu temples, one dedicated to Lord Ganesh and the other dedicated to Lord Shiva, located a top of a huge rock in Trichy, India...

      , Tiruchirappalli
    • Brihadeeswarar Temple
      Brihadeeswarar temple
      The Peruvudaiyar Koyil , also known as Rajarajeswaram, at Thanjavur in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is the world's first complete granite temple and a brilliant example of the major heights achieved by Cholas kingdom Vishwakarmas in Tamil architecture. It is a tribute and a reflection of the...

      , Thanjavur
    • Sangameswarar Temple
      Sangameswarar Temple
      Sangameswarar alayam known as Kooduthurai by locals, the temple of Lord Shiva in Bhavani, Erode, Tamil Nadu, India. The temple was built at the confluence of Kaveri river, Bhavani river and ‘agaya gangai’, an invisible underground water source....

      , Bhavani
      Bhavani
      Bhavani is a ferocious aspect of the Hindu goddess Parvati. Bhavani means "giver of life", the power of nature or the source of creative energy. In addition to her ferocious aspect, she is also known as Karunaswaroopini, "filled with mercy"....

      , Erode district
      Erode District
      Erode District is a western district of the state of Tamil Nadu, India, with Erode as its headquarters. Until the year 1996, Erode district was called as Periyar District....


    Uttarakhand
    • Daksheswara Mahadev Temple
      Daksheswara Mahadev Temple
      - External links :*...

      , Kankhal
      Kankhal
      Kankhal is a small colony in Haridwar in the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand state in India.Mentioned in the Vayu Purana and the Mahabharata as Kanakhala , Kankhal is one of 'Panch Tirth' within Haridwar, with other spots being Gangadwara , Kushwart , Bilwa Teerth and Neel Parvat...

    • Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple
      Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple
      Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple is one of the ancient temples in Uttarakhand. Situated near the bank of the river Ram Ganga, Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple is dedicated to lord Shiva. Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple is only 10 km from Masi and Bhikyasen....

    • Baleshwar Temple
      Baleshwar Temple
      Baleshwar Temple is ancient temple dedicated to Shiva, situated within city of Champawat in Uttarakhand.Built by the rulers of the Chand dynasty, Baleshwar Temple is a marvelous symbol of stone carving...

      , Champawat
      Champawat
      Champawat is a town and a nagar panchayat in Champawat district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is the administrative headquarters of Champawat district.-Mythology:...

    • Gopinath Mandir
      Gopinath Mandir
      Gopinath Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva in Gopeshwar, Chamoli District, Uttarakhand, India.Gopinath Temple is situated in Gopeshwar village now part of Gopeshwar town....

      , Chamoli Gopeshwar
      Chamoli Gopeshwar
      Chamoli Gopeshwar or Gopeshwar is a town in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is the administrative headquarters of the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand in India...

    • Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
      Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
      Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Nilkanth . The temple is situated at a height of 1330 meters and is located about 32 km from Rishikesh in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand....

      , near Rishikesh
    • Panch Kedar
      Panch Kedar
      Panch Kedar refers to five Hindu temples or holy places of the Shaivite sect dedicated to god Shiva. They are located in the Garhwal Himalayan region in Uttarakhand, India...

      • Kedarnath Temple
        Kedarnath Temple
        Kedarnath Mandir is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located atop the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand in India. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open only between the end of April to Kartik Purnima...

        , Kedarnath– one of the most revered shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva
      • Tungnath
        Tungnath
        Tungnath is the highest temple in the world and is one of the five and the highest Panch Kedar temples located in the mountain range of Tunganath in the Rudraprayag district of Tehri Garhwal, in Uttarakhand, India. The Tunganath mountains form the Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys...

        , Chamoli district
        Chamoli District
        Chamoli district is a district of Uttarakhand state of India. It is bounded by the Tibet region to the north, and by the Uttarakhand districts of Pithoragarh and Bageshwar to the east, Almora to the south, Garhwal to the southwest, Rudraprayag to the west, and Uttarkashi to the northwest...

      • Rudranath
        Rudranath
        Rudranath is a Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva, located in the Garhwal Himalayan mountains in Uttarakhand, India. Located at above sea level, this natural rock temple is situated within a dense forest of rhododendron dwarfs and Alpine pastures. The temple is the third temple to be visited in...

      • Madhyamaheshwar
        Madhyamaheshwar
        Madhyamaheshwar or Madmaheshwar is a Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva, located in the Mansuna village of Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand, India. Situated at an elevation of , it is the fourth temple to be visited in the Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit, comprising five Shiva temples in the...

      • Kalpeshwar
        Kalpeshwar
        Kalpeshwar is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at an elevation of in the picturesque Urgam valley in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand state in India...


    Orissa
    • The Leaning Temple of Huma
      The Leaning Temple of Huma
      The Leaning Temple of Huma is the only leaning temple in the world and the only one of its kind in India. It is located in Huma, a village situated on the left bank of the Mahanadi, 23 km south of Sambalpur in the Indian state of Orissa. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.Nobody...

      , Sambalpur
      Sambalpur
      Sambalpur is a city in Sambalpur district in the Indian state of Orissa.It lies at a distance of 321 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar. In the year 1876, Sambalpur was established as a municipality. It is currently the headquarters and the largest city of Sambalpur district. It is also...

    • Lingaraj Temple
      Lingaraj Temple
      Lingaraj Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Harihara, another name for Shiva and is one of the oldest temples of Bhubaneswar, a revered pilgrimage center and the capital of the state of Orissa, India....

      , Bhubaneswar
      Bhubaneswar
      Bhubaneswar is the capital of the Indian state of Orissa, officially Odisha. The city has a long history of over 2000 years starting with Chedi dynasty who had Sisupalgarh near present-day Bhubaneswar as their capital...

    • Kapilash Temple
      Kapilash Temple
      Kapilash Temple is situated in the north eastern part of Dhenkanal town, Orissa, India at a distance of 26 km from the district head quarters.-Location and architechture:...

      , Dhenkanal District
      Dhenkanal District
      Dhenkanal District is an administrative division of Orissa, India. It is bordered by Kendujhar in the north, Jajpur in the east, Cuttack in the south and Anugul in the west. Dhenkanal town, the district headquarters has a cluster of temples, archaeological remains and a mediaeval fort. A former...

    • Mukteswar Temple
      Mukteswar Temple
      Muktesvara deula is a 10th century Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Siva located in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, India. The temple dates back to 970 A.D., is a monument of singular importance in the study of the development of Hindu temples in Orissa...

      , Bhubaneswar
      Bhubaneswar
      Bhubaneswar is the capital of the Indian state of Orissa, officially Odisha. The city has a long history of over 2000 years starting with Chedi dynasty who had Sisupalgarh near present-day Bhubaneswar as their capital...

    • Parsurameswar Temple
      Parsurameswar Temple
      Parsurameswar Temple, located in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, India, is the best preserved specimen of an early Hindu temple datable to the Sailodbhava period of the seventh and eighth centuries AD. and is the finest testimonial to the architectural work of Vishwakarma Moharana sculptors Parsurameswar is...

      , Bhubaneswar
      Bhubaneswar
      Bhubaneswar is the capital of the Indian state of Orissa, officially Odisha. The city has a long history of over 2000 years starting with Chedi dynasty who had Sisupalgarh near present-day Bhubaneswar as their capital...

    • Gupteswar Cave temple
      Gupteswar Cave
      -The Shrine:Gupteswar is a cave shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is a world-famous pilgrim site situated about 55 km away Jeypore, Koraput District in the state of Orissa, India.It is a limestone cave discovered some time ago and has a number of scenic spots around.The main attraction is the...

      , near Jeypore
      Jeypore
      Jeypore, is the largest town in the Koraput district of Orissa, India. Along with Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Rourkela, Balasore, Puri and Berhampur, Jeypore is one of the prominent places of Orissa. It is encompassed by hills of the Eastern Ghats and the more famous Araku hills on three...


    {{col-2}}
    Andhra Pradesh
    • Vemulawada, Karimnagar district
    • Kapila Theertham
      Kapila Theertham
      The Holy Temple of Kapila Theertham is the only temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in over a 50 mile radius of the holy temple cities of Tirupati and Tirumala that abound with temples of the Vaishnavait Deity Vishnu....

      , Chittoor district
      Chittoor district
      Chittoor District , also known as Chittur, is a district of India's Andhra Pradesh state. The district headquarters is Chittoor City. The district has a population of 4,170,468 according to 2011 census of India. Chittoor district is famous for the Tirupati, Kanipakam and Sri Kalahasti temples...

    • Srikalahasti Temple, Srikalahasti
      Srikalahasti
      Srikalahasti , is a holy town and a municipality near Tirupati in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is located on the banks of the river Swarnamukhi. It is also informally and wrongly referred to as Kalahasti...

    • Keesaragutta, Ranga Reddy district

    Kerala
    • Rajarajeshwara Temple
      Rajarajeshwara Temple
      The Rajarajeswara temple is a Shiva temple located at Taliparamba in the Kannur district of Kerala, South India.The temple is regarded as one of the existing 108 ancient Shiva Temples of Kerala. It also has a prominent place amongst the numerous Shiva temples in South India.It had the tallest...

      , Taliparamba
      Taliparamba
      Taliparamba is a city and a municipality in Kannur district in the Indian state of Kerala and spread over an area of 43.05 km2. It stretches from the coastal area of Ramanthali to Nuchiyard and Vayathur villages, touching the Karnataka border.Taliparamba is a big town of 67,000 people...

    • Vadakkunnathan Temple
      Vadakkunnathan Temple
      Vadakkunnathan Temple , also known as Thenkailasam and Vrishabhachalam, is an ancient Shiva temple located at the heart of Thrissur city. This temple is a classic example of the Kerala style of architecture and has formidable gopurams on all four sides and also a Koothambalam. Mural paintings that...

      , Thrissur
      Thrissur
      This article is about the city in India. For the district, see Thrissur district. For the urban agglomeration area of Thrissur see Thrissur Metropolitan Area...

    • Poonkunnam Siva Temple
      Poonkunnam Siva Temple
      Punkunnam Shiva Temple, located in Punkunnam, Thrissur district of Kerala, south India is considered to be over 1000 years old. This temple is a classic example of the Kerala style of architecture.-Satellite image:*-See also:...

      , Poonkunnam
      Poonkunnam
      Punkunnam is a commercial and residential area in Thrissur city of Kerala in India. It is 2 km away from the Swaraj Round. Punkunnam is the Ward 1 of Thrissur Municipal Corporation. Punkunnam is home to the renowned Punkunnam Siva Temple. The famous Sitaram Textiles is situated here. It was...

    • Ettumanoor Mahadevar Temple
      Ettumanoor Mahadevar Temple
      Ettumanoor Mahadeva temple is an ancient Shiva temple in Kottayam, Kerala, India. It has brought glory and fame to the place. Myths have it that the Pandavas and the sage Vyasa had worshipped at this temple...

      , Ettumanoor
      Ettumanoor
      Ettumanoor is a major town in Kottayam District of Kerala, India, located 11 kilometers north-east of Kottayam town, 65 km from Cochin and 73 km from Cochin International Airport...

    • Vaikom Temple
      Vaikom Temple
      The Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is a temple for the Hindu god Shiva in Vaikom, Kerala.The temple, along with Ettumanoor Siva Temple, Kaduthuruthy Thaliyil Mahadeva Temple is considered a powerful trisome...

      , Vaikom
      Vaikom
      Vaikom is a taluk and also its capital town, situated in the North-West of Kottayam in Kerala, India. Its western border is the Lake Vembanad, and is crossed by various estuaries of the River Muvattupuzha. It lies between Ernakulam and Kottayam...


    Karnataka
    • Murudeshwara
      Murudeshwara
      Murudeshwara is a town in the Bhatkal Taluk of Uttara Kannada district in the state of Karnataka, India. "Murudeshwara" is another name of the Hindu god Shiva...

      , Uttara Kannada district—World's second tallest Shiva statue
    • Dharmasthala Manjunatha Temple
      Dharmasthala Manjunatha Temple
      Dharmasthala Manjunatha Temple is an 800-year-old Hindu temple located in the temple town of Dharmasthala situated in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka, India. The primary deity of the temple is Shiva who is referred to as Manjunatha...

      , Dakshina Kannada
      Dakshina Kannada
      - Geography :The district geography consists of sea shore in the west and Western Ghats in the east. The major rivers are Netravathi, Kumaradhara, Phalguni, Shambhavi, Nandini or Pavanje and Payaswini which all join Arabian sea. Vast areas of evergreen forests which once covered this district, have...

    • Srikanteshwara Temple,Nanjangud
      Srikanteshwara Temple,Nanjangud
      Nanjangud is one of the Hindu pilgrimage centres of Southern India and is known for the Huge Ancient Temple of Lord Srikanteshwara dedicated to Lord Shiva also known as Lord Nanjundeshwara. Nanjangud Temple is located in the town on the right bank of River Kapila...

      , Mysore District
      Mysore district
      Mysore District is an administrative district located in the southern part of the state of Karnataka, India. The district is bounded by Mandya district to the northeast, Chamrajanagar district to the southeast, Kerala state to the south, Kodagu district to the west, and Hassan district to the north...

    • Kotilingeshwara
      Kotilingeshwara
      Kotilingeshwara is the presiding deity of the temple of the same name in the village of Kammasandra in India. Kammasandra is a small village situated in Kolar district of Karnataka state. It is about five kilometers from Kolar Gold Fields and about 6 Kilometers from Aalamaram. This place has the...

      , Kammasandra, Kolar District
      Kolar district
      Kolar district is a district in Karnataka state of India. The town of Kolar is the district headquarters. Kolar district is located in the southern region of the State and is the eastern-most district of the Karnataka State...


    Maharashtra
    • Kailash Temple, Ellora
    • Elephanta Caves
      Elephanta Caves
      The Elephanta Caves are a network of sculpted caves located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri in Mumbai Harbour, to the east of the city of Mumbai in the Indian state of Maharashtra...

      , Mumbai
      Mumbai
      Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...


    Assam
    • Sukreswar Temple
      Sukreswar Temple
      The Sukreswar Temple is an important Shiva temple in the state of Assam in India and was constructed in 1744 by Ahom King Pramatta Singha . King Rajeswar Singha who also promoted cause of the Saiva cult made financial provisions for the Sukreswar Temple in 1759...

      , Guwahati
      Guwahati
      Guwahati, Pragjyotishpura in ancient Assam formerly known as Gauhati is a metropolis,the largest city of Assam in India and ancient urban area in North East India, with a population of 963,429. It is also the largest metropolitan area in north-eastern India...

    • Sivadol
      Sivadol
      The Sivadol stands on the bank of Borpukhuri tank in the heart of Sivasagar, Assam. It was built in 1734 by Bar Raja Ambika, queen of Ahom king Swargadeo Siba Singha. The Sivadol is believed to be the tallest Shiva temple in India. Its height is and the perimeter is at the base. It is capped by...

      , Sivasagar

    Jammu and Kashmir
    • Amarnath Yatra to the Amarnathji cave in Jammu and Kashmir
      Jammu and Kashmir
      Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. It is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and internationally with the People's Republic of China to the north and east and the...

       is of huge significance.

    {{col-end}}

    Famous temples in other countries


    {{Hinduism}}
    • Koneswaram temple
      Koneswaram temple
      Koneswaram temple of Trincomalee is an Hindu temple in Trincomalee, Eastern Province, Sri Lanka venerated by Saivites throughout the continent...

       located on Swami Rock/Kona-ma-malai, in Trincomalee
      Trincomalee
      Trincomalee is a port city in Eastern Province, Sri Lanka and lies on the east coast of the island, about 113 miles south of Jaffna. It has a population of approximately 100,000 . The city is built on a peninsula, which divides the inner and outer harbours. Overlooking the Kottiyar Bay,...

       in the eastern part of Sri Lanka
      Sri Lanka
      Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

    • Pashupatinath Temple
      Pashupatinath temple
      Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most significant Hindu temples of Lord Shiva in the world, located on the banks of the Bagmati River in the eastern part of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The temple served as the seat of the national deity, Lord Pashupatinath, Nepal is a secular country...

       located on the banks of Bagmati River in the eastern part of Kathmandu, Nepal
      Nepal
      Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

    • Lake Mansarovar and Mount Kailash
      Mount Kailash
      Mount Kailash is a peak in the Gangdisê Mountains, which are part of the Himalayas in Tibet...

       in Tibet
      Tibet
      Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

      , a pilgrimage site believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva
    • Gosaikunda
      Gosaikunda
      Gosaikunda, also spelled Gosainkunda and Gosain Kunda is an alpine freshwateroligotrophic lake in Nepal's Langtang National Park, located at an altitude of above sea level in the Rasuwa District with a surface of...

       Lake located in Rasuwa District
      Rasuwa District
      Rasuwa District of 44,731.Gosaikunda lake is located in the district.-Village Development Committees :*Bhorle*Briddhim*Chilime*Dandagaun*Dhaibung*Dhunche*Gatlang*Goljung*Haku*Jibjibe*Khamjim*Laharepauwa*Langtang*Ramche*Saramthali...

      , Nepal
      Nepal
      Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...



    See also

    • Shiv Chalisa
      Shiv Chalisa
      Shiv Chalisa is a devotional song dedicated Hindu deity, Lord Shiva. Adapted from the Shiva Purana, it consists of 40 chaupais and recited daily or on special festivals like Maha Shivaratri by Shivaites, and worshipers of Shiva.-Shiva:Shiva is a major Hindu deity and the Destroyer or...

    • Shiva mahimna stotram
      Shiva mahimna stotram
      The Shiva Mahimna Stotram is a Sanskrit composition in devotion of Shiva. Apart from Adi Shankaracharya, many other scholars have also expressed their adoration for Shiva with poetic and devotional verses. I Hindu mythology, Śiva mahimnah Stōtram was created by Pushpadanta...

    • Shiva Puja
      Shiva Puja
      Shiva Puja is the name of the action in Hinduism by which one worships Lord Siva through traditional and ancient rites with the use of mantra, tantra, kriyas, mudras, and abhishekam.-Introduction:...

    • Shiva bhaktas
      Nayanars
      The Nayanars or Nayanmars were Shaivite devotional poets of Tamil Nadu, active between the fifth and the tenth centuries CE...

    • Shiva Purana
      Shiva Purana
      The Shiva Purana is one of the s, a genre of Hindu religious texts dedicated to Shiva. According to a tradition which is stated in the of this text, the original text was known as the ....

    • Brahma
      Brahma
      Brahma is the Hindu god of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Mānu, and from Mānu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the...

    • Vishnu
      Vishnu
      Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

    • Mahakala
      Mahakala
      Mahākāla is a Dharmapala in Vajrayana Buddhism, and a deity in Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, particularly in the Vajrayana school. He is known as Daheitian in Chinese and Daikokuten in Japanese...

       (Buddhist variant of Shiva)

    External links


    {{commons}}{{wikiversity|God and Quantum Physics#Shiva Meditation}}

    {{Shaivism|state=collapsed}}
    {{Hindu Culture and Epics}}
    {{Jyotirlinga temples}}
    {{Famous Shiva temples}}