Famous temple of Lord shiva around the world

Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneshwar
Lingaraj Temple is one of the oldest temples of Bhubaneswar, in Orissa. This thousand years old temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is an outstanding specimen of the Orissa style of temple building. Lingaraj Temple is the largest temple of Bhubaneswar - the highly revered Hindu pilgrimage center famous as “the city of temples” or “Temple City of India”. Lord Shiva is enshrined as ‘Lingaraj' means 'the king of Lingas', where 'linga' is the phallic form of Lord Shiv. One of the noted feature of the Lingaraja temple is that Lord Ram have worshipped Goddess Shakti and Lord Shiva at the Lingaraj Temple and had received boons to demolish demon Ravana. Ashoka Ashtami Festival is celebrated every year on the eighth day of the Chaitra month in memory of Lord Rama’s victory.

Temple Deity
The presiding deity in the sanctum sanctorum is 'Swayambhu Linga' (Self originated), a symbol of half Shiva and half Vishnu. This is the unique feature of the Lingaraj Temple as the harmony of Shivaites and Vaishnavites is seen in this temple. Lord Lingaraj is worshipped here as Hari-Hara, a combined form of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The idol is a huge granite stone, which is about 8 feet in diameter, placed in a platform. The 'Lingam' is bathed daily with water, milk and bhang (Marijuana). An image of Lord Ganesha is situated to the south, at the back is the image of Goddess Parvati, and Lord Kartikeya is sent to the north. The stone carvings, pillars and halls of the temple are added attractions of the temple. Lingaraj Temple also has lots of other shrines and small temples inside the vast courtyard.


The 11th century Lingaraj Temple was built by the King Jajati Keshari, representing the Kalinga style of architecture. Surrounded by massive walls with beautifully carved sculptures, the temple stands to a height of 180 ft. The temple complex is filled with 150 small shrines dedicated to several Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Erected in red sandstone, the temple is located around the vast Bindu Sagar Lake.

The temple comprises four structures, namely, the Bhogamandapa (the dining hall), the Natamandapa (the dancing hall), the Jagamohana (the audience hall) and the Deula (the hall that houses Lord Shiva). The tower of the temple is a conical structure shaped like a beehive. At the entrance of the temple is the 'Simha Dwara' (the Lion's Gate), where lions are seen on both the sides, holding the elephants under their feet. Some inscriptions are also seen in the temple.

The noted feature of the temple is that, on top of the temple there is no trishula (trident - the primary weapon of Shiva) or Chakra (discus – the main weapon of Lord Vishnu). The temple only has an arrow symbol - the reason behind this may be because Lord Ram was a worshipper of Lord Shiva and is said to have performed pujas at the Lingaraj Temple. The main gates of the Lingaraj Temple have images of Trishula on one side and Chakra on the other side.

Legend / History
According to mythology, Lord Shiva once told Goddess Parvati that he likes Bhubaneshwar (referred as Ekamra Kshetra according to Bhrama Purana) more than Benaras. As such, Parvati decided to have a glance at the city, and changed herself as a cowherd. Two demons, named Kritti and Vasa, expressed their desire to marry her. She ordered them to carry her upon their shoulders and they agreed. Parvati sat on their shoulders and crushed them. On seeing this, Shiva created a lake called Bindu Sagar to put out her thirst and resided there as Lingaraja.

Temple Festivals
Ashoka Ashtami Festival or Ashokashtami Festival is the main festival celebrated at the The Lingaraja Temple. The festival falls on the eighth day of the Chaitra month (March – April) to commemorate the victory of Lord Rama over demon Ravana.

Places of interest
Bhubaneswar is home to lots of ancient Hindu Temples, parks, and historical monuments. The Ananta Vasudeva Temple is situated about 4 km from the temple. Bhaskareswar Temple is located at a distance of about 6 km. Bindusagar Lake is about 4 km is located north of the Lingaraj Temple. Located about 7 km west of Bhubaneswar is the Khandagiri and Udaygiri Caves, a major Orissan historical monument famous for the wide variety of rock-cut caves built for the Jain monks around 1st - 2nd century B.C.

Getting there and around
Bhubaneshwar is well connected by rail (Bhubaneswar Junction), road and airways (Biju Patnaik Airport) to various parts of the country.

Murudeshwar Temple in Karnataka
Murudeshwar Temple or Murudeshwara Shiva Temple is famous Lord Shiva  temple, located in the beach town of Murudeshwar, 16 km from Bhatkal in Uttara Kannada District, Karnataka. Murudeswara or Murudeshwar means Shiva or Eeshwara and the statue of Lord Shiva here is the World's tallest Shiva Statue, measuring 123 feet (37 m) in height. The statue of Lord Siva is constructed so that it directly gets sun light and thus appears sparkling. Located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, the town of Murudeshwara is also a beautiful picnic spot bounded by the hills of Western Ghats and situated between Honnavara and Bhatkal.

The Beach Temple of Murudeshwara towers on a small hill called Kanduka Giri, surrounded by the Arabian Sea on three sides. One can see two life-size elephants at the temple steps. On going up the hillock, there is a shrine of Jattiga seated on a horse. The 20-storied, 249 feet tall Raja Gopura is considered the tallest gopura in the world. A huge fort called Murudeshwara Fort, present behind the temple, is said to have been renovated by King Tippu Sultan of Mysore. Murudeshwar Temple has many carvings and statues that date back to a few centuries. Few inscriptions are also found in the temple. The Chalukya and Kadamba sculptures found in the temple are designed in the Dravidian style. A Nataraja statue made of bell metal is also seen outside the Murudeshwar Beach Temple.

The history of the Murudeshwara temple dates back to the period of Ramayana. Legend says that Ravana (the Lanka King), prayed Lord Shiva in a strong devotion to attain immortality by getting the AtmaLinga. Atma Linga is the divine Lingam of Shiva that gains immortality to the Hindu Gods. As a result of the worship by Ravana, Lord Shiva appeared before him and asked him for a boon. Ravana requested the AtmaLinga as his boon. Lord Shiva agreed to give him the boon but on a condition that the AtmaLinga should never be kept on the ground. It is believed that if the AtmaLinga was placed on the ground, all the powers would return to Lord Shiva. Ravana started back on his journey to Lanka with the AtmaLinga.

However, Sage Narada realized that Ravana may obtain immortality and create ruin on earth with the AtmaLinga. He approached Lord Ganesh to help him. When Ravana neared Gokarna, Lord Vishnu blocked the sun and made it as dusk. Ravana wanted to perform his evening rituals. He was worried because the AtmaLinga was in his hands and he would not be able to do his rituals. At that moment, Lord Ganesh came near him in the mask of a Brahmin boy. Ravana requested him to keep the AtmaLinga until he performed the rituals. He told the boy not to place it on the ground. But Lord Ganesh fixed a deal with him. He said he would call Ravana thrice, and if Ravana did not return, he would place the AtmaLinga on the ground. As decided, Ravana could not return all of a sudden and Ganesh placed the Atma-Linga on the ground. The angered Ravana tried to pull up the AtmaLinga and destroy it but failed. He threw the holder of the linga to a place called Sajjeshwara which is 23 miles away and the lid of the case to a place called Gunavanthe (earlier known as Guneshwara) and Dhareshwara, 10-12 miles away. At last, he threw the cloth covering the AtmaLinga to a place called Mrideshwara in Kanduka Hill (Kanduka-Giri). Mrideshwara is later renamed as Murudeshwara.

Maha Shivaratri is the major festival celebrated at Murudeshwar Temple in a grand scale, attracting thousands of people from Karnataka and the near by states.

How to Reach
By Road : The Beach Temple of Murudeshwar is about 165 km from Mangalore on the National Highway. Murudeshwara is 1 km detour from the National Highway NH-17 between the towns of Honnavar and Bhatkal. Murudeshwara or Murudeshwar is 500 km from Bangalore on the Hassan - Mangalore - Udupi - Kundapur route and 470 km from Bangalore on the Shimoga - Kollur route. Bhatkal is about 16 km from Murudeshwar.

By Rail : Murudeshwar Railway Station or Murudeshwara Railway Station on the Konkan Railway is the nearest railhead. Netravati Express, Matsyagandha Express, and Gandhidham Nagercoil Express passes through Murudeshwar Railway Station. From Bangalore there are no direct trains to Murudeshwar. Bhatkal Railway Station (21 km) and Honnavar Railway Station (36 km) are other two major railway stations close to Murudeshwar.

By Air : Mangalore International Airport is the nearest airport around 165 km from Murudeshwar. Hubli Airport and Goa Airport (220 km) are other alternative airports.

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