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Shiv Mandir | List of Shiva Temples Around the Globe

“Om Namah Shivaya, Om Nama Shivaya, Om Namah Shivaya” chants the worshipper of Shiva, a hundred and eight times drawing the mind to Shiva’s infinite holy presence.

The central God in Hindu mythology, Shiva is known to have 1008 names, although the most common being Mahadeva which means ‘Great God’. Shiva as his name goes means ‘the auspicious one’ in its literal sense. However, his most commonly taken epithet is ‘the destroyer’. Shiva is considered to be mysterious and complex even within the mythological figures of the Hindu scriptures due to his paradoxical nature and is thus a third of the holy ‘Trimurti’, the three holiest gods in Hindu mythology which consist of Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the destroyer.

Shiv Mandir

Shiv Mandir | Image Resource : upload.wikimedia.org

It is to be noted that destruction unlike the western world designation of being violent, bad and a product of evil, does not apply in Hindu mythology. In Hinduism destruction is implied instead as reproduction.

Shiva can take on several forms, however in all of his forms, the most common characteristic is the presence of his third eye. Draped commonly in animal skin and holding a trident, Shiva is worshiped by millions over the world, his worshipper often referred to as Shaivites and his worship Shaivism has now influence all over the world and is evident with the number of Shiv mandirs that have been built in honour of his name. Some of these temples are world famous and attract thousands of pilgrims from all corners of the earth to find peace in his worship.

Popular Shiva Temples Across The Globe

Here is a list of world famous temples dedicated to the worship of Shiva outside India where you can visit at least once in a lifetime.

1. Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal: Closer to home, in the country of Nepal, lies one of Asia’s four important religious sites dedicated in the worship of Lord Shiva. It is an ancient temple built according to historians around the 5th century and the Mala kings later had it renovated. This temple hosts the largest temple complex in Nepal stretching on both sides of the Bagmati River. The temple a varied population of pilgrims from all walks of life and is a hub of cultural, religious and spiritual exchange. UNESCO has declared the temple a cultural heritage site of the Kathmandu Valley and many Hindus come here to perform the last funeral rites of their loved ones.

2. Katasraj Temple, Pakistan: Located in the country of Pakistan, this Shiv temple was built surrounding a natural pond which many believed was form from the tear drop of Lord Shiva who flew by while carrying the body of his wife Sati. The temple has stood witness to time for centuries and is revered by worshipers of lord Shiva despite it losing its natural pond due to a conflict in political interest causing in poor management of the temple.

3. Prambanan Temple, Java, Indonesia: Located in the island of java in the country of Indonesia, the Shiv mandir was built in honour of Lord Shiva during the 10th century when the powerful Sailendra Dynasty ruled over the land. The temples attract several thousand every year for its stone carvings which showcases the Indonesian version of the Ramayana epic.

4. Madhya Kailesh Temple, South Africa: Shiva followers have made home in several parts of the world, and is evident with the Madhya Kailesh Temple located in the country of South Africa. It is a classic example of spiritual tolerance as worshipers of both Buddhism and Jainism often frequent the temple as the people believe that god resides in all forms. It holds a great significant for worshipers of Shiva and is often visited by several pilgrims and tourist who comes to admired the structure and the peace it provides to pilgrims.

5. Sri Shiva Vishnu Temple, Mary land: It is considered to be one of the largest Shiv temple in the United States. This temple dedicated to the worship of Shiva was built in 1988 with its last deity consecration taking place in 2002. Many believers of the faith and tourist flock to the temple to adore the structure of the temple and partake in the spiritual activities that take place in the complex.

6. The Shiv Sagar Temple, Mauritius: It is connected by a small land bridge, the Shiv Sagar Mandir makes its home on a small islet located close to the Mauritians mainland, and was built for the Hindu settlers who wished to worship lord Shiva. It holds great significance for the residing Hindus and is visited by many who seeks peace or simply wishes to admire the beauty of it.

7. Munneswaram Temple, Sri Lanka: what was once a small shrine establish for the local populace has now developed as one of the largest shiv mandir in the country of Sri Lanka. Many pilgrims visit the temple for its spiritual bliss while many tourists visit it to admire the architectural style which is heavily influenced by the Chola rulers of South India.

8. The Shiva Temple, Muscat Oman: also known as the Motishwar Mandir, is one of the oldest temple in the middle east and attracts thousands of pilgrims every year during Maha Shivratri. Rumored to be 109 to 125 years. It was built by Gujarati merchants who settled around the area.

9. Shiva Vishnu Mandir, South Florida: built in the architectural style of the Chola Dynasty, this Shiva temple is a popular site for pilgrims and tourist alike who come to visit the complex to worship or admire the architecture.

The several Shiva temples built around the world despite its difference in architectural style and the populace of its worshiper is evidence of the massive influence that the worship of lord Shiva holds in the world, with millions praying to him and visiting these temples worldwide in admiration and in an effort to draw on to his consciousness and achieve oneness with him.

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