Holy Pilgrimage – Some of the Shiva Temples in India
Palli Kondeswarar Temple, Surutapalli, Andhra Pradesh
Palli Kondeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Siva located in Surutapalli, a village in Chitoor district of Andhra Pradesh state close to the border of Tamil Nadu, India. Surutapalli is located 55 km away from Chennai on the Chennai Tirupathi highway
The TemplePalli Kondeswarar translates to reclining deity. Shiva is seen in reclining posture in the lap of Parvathi, which is typical of Ranganatha temples of Vishnu. The temple was built during the late Vijayanagara period and the deity here is termed as Bhoga sayana Siva. The Sanctum Sanctori in this unique temple has a beautiful stone from (vigraha) of Lord shiva lying down on earth resting his head on the leaps of his consort PArvathi, instead of the usual ‘Lingam’
The beautiful forms of prominent duties such as Vinayaka, Subramaniya , Surya , Chandra Devendra and sages such as Naradha are seen standing around the lord and waiting for his gracious looks to fall upon them.
The performance of ‘Pradhosham' here is something unique and is worth seeking. The temple has countless Vigrahas (Stone figures) the following is a list.
1. The main deity is Sri Pallikondeeswara in the lying posture with his head on the laps of his consort sri sarva Mangalambika.
2. Sages and gods such as Brigu, Brahma, Mahavishnu , Markandeya, Naradha , Chandra, Kubera , Suriya , Agasthiya, Pulasthiya, Gauthama, Thumburar, Vashista, Viswamitra, Valmiki , Devendra, Vinayaka and Muruga with his consorts valli and Devayani.
3. Sri Adhishankara in a separate niche.
4. Navagrahas in a shrine
5. Sri Sanganidhi and Sri padumanidhi with their consorts Vasundara and Vasumadhi respectively.
HistorySri Pallikondeeswara temple that attracts countless devotees is a place where all deities can be seen with their consorts.Numerous Saints and sages, have visited this temple and have contributed to the sanctity of the soil at suruttappalli.During the churning of the ocean of milk, by the Devas and the Asuras, to the wonderment of all those who were present, came out from the depths of the ocean, Goddess Lakshmi the Goddess of wealth, the moon, the sacred cow with the face of woman called Kamadehenu, the sacred and wonderful tree that can grant anything that we desire and called kapaka vriksha and so many other things. The holy pot containing Amrutha which can give immorality also came out. But the overworked gigantic snake ‘Vasuki’ could not help spiting out a terrible and a most deadly poisonous smoke or gas called ‘Halahala’ and its was capable of killing instantly anyone that inhaled it.
Taking pity on the beings that were engaged in the churning of the ocean of milk and for the well being of all other creatures living on other planets, Lord Shiva consumed the entire smoke that spewed from the snake’s mouth. When the poison was just going down the throat of Lord Shiva, his consort shakthi also Uma stopped it there by tightly holding Shiva’s throat for same time. The blueish poison stayed there and the Lord’s neck turned blue. This incident pleased everyone and endeared Lord Shiva to all and got him countless names such as ‘Neela Greeva’ ‘Neela Kanta’ , ‘Nanjundeswara’.
After consuming the poisonous smoke and handing over the pot of Amrutha to the Devas, Lord Shiva proceeded to his favourite abode ‘Kailash’ with his consort Uma. But on the way He felt exhausted and slightly uncomfortable, when he reached a place in the bounds of Andhra, which came to be called Suruttappalli.
There He lies down, as if to relax for some time and perhaps to fathom the love of his devotees including the Devas, keeping his head of the laps of his consort Uma or Parvathi. All Devas who were concerned about Lord Shiva’s well being assembled there and stood around him, waiting for the Lord to open his eyes and cast his gracious looks upon them. This lying posture of Lord Shiva is very rare and is almost similar to Lord Vishnu’s usual posture. The Lord came to be called ‘Pallikondeeswara' and his concert 'Sri Sarva Mangala’.
FestivalsPradosham, the fortnightingly festival is celebrated in all the south Indian temples. This temples garners around 15,000 visitors during pradosham and around 30,000 during the Sivarathri festival.
Pataleshwar Mandir, Bihar
The Pataleshwar Mandir is a Hindu Temple in the city of Hajipur, Bihar, India. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is located at Jadhua Road, Hajipur. As per local folklore, it is said to have been in existence since ancient period and Lord Shiva is believed to be in the form of Lingam here. Apart from anthropomorphic images of Shiva, the worship of Shiva in the form of a lingam, or linga, is also important. 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.
EtymologyThe lingam (also, linga, ling, Shiva linga, Shiv ling, Sanskrit लिङ्गं, liṅgaṃ, meaning "mark", "sign", "gender", "phallus", "inference" or "eternal procreative germ" ) is a representation of the Hindu deity Shiva used for worship in temples. Whether the lingam symbolizes the physical body of the god or something purely spiritual is the topic of many a century-old debate within Hinduism.
DeityThe presiding deity of the temple is 'Lord Shiva'. Shivratri is celebrated with full zeal and enthusiasm. It is a Hindu festival celebrated every year in reverence of Lord Shiva.It is also known as padmarajarathri. Alternate common names/spellings include Maha Sivaratri, Shivaratri, Sivarathri, and Shivaratri. Shivaratri literally means the great night of Shiva or the night of Shiva. It is celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day of the Maagha or Phalguna month of the Hindu calendar. Since many different calendars are followed by various ethno-linguistic groups of India, the month and the Tithi name are not uniform all over India. Celebrated in the dark fortnight or Krishna Paksha(waning moon) of the month of Maagha according to the Shalivahana or Gujarati Vikrama or Phalguna according to the Vikrama era.
Significance of a Pataleshwar MandirThe lingam came out of soil on its own. The important celebration on Shivratri takes place here every year.
Visiting the TempleMost visitors approach the temple as they ascend a straigthway from Jadhua Road in south direction.
Pimpleshwar Mahadev (Saldi), Gujarat
Pimpleshwar Mahadev (Gujarati: શ્રી પીમ્પ્લેશ્વર મહાદેવ) is a historical Hindu temple of Lord Shiva located in the village of Saldi (District of Mehsana), Gujarat, India. In Hinduism, Lord Shiva is also called "Mahadev" - The God of all Gods. Pimpleshwar Mahadev is famous for its annual traditional carnival "Saladi no Melo" (Fun Fare) on the last Monday of the holy month of Shraavan (August) in the Hindu calendar. Most temples of lord Shiva have a unique structure called the Shiv Linga which is considered to be a sacred symbol of Lord Shiva. The Pimpleshwar Mahadev in Saldi does not have the usual Shiv linga. Instead it has a Jaladhari - a continuous flow of water from an aquifer below the ground. This natural water flow is considered to be a sacred sign by the worshipers and another indication of the presence of Lord Shiva at this site.
GeographySaldi is located about 60 km northwest of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Saldi is reachable by car, bus or public transportation. Ahmedabad International Airport (AMD) is the nearest airport with domestic and international flights. This temple is famous for its surrounding rural landscape and Pimpal trees, Bili Trees and Vakhada trees of historic age in the surrounding area of the temple. Pimpal trees are particularly attractive and important for Hindu pilgrims to the temple because the decades old trees are considered sacred and symbolize happiness, prosperity, longevity and good luck. The temple has not been renovated for at least 100 years, and therefore it portrays an old style outlook that is attractive to pilgrims for reasons of nostalgia and a reminder of a by-gone era.
HistorySalvabhai Patel, son of Teja Patel, migrated from Champaner, Gujarat and raised his family in the area which ultimately came to be known as Saldi. Approximately 200 years or seven generations following the founding of Saldi village, one of the cows of a herder named Petha Patel was found to be regularly releasing her milk over one location under a Pimpal tree, where the Jaladhari water source was ultimately found. In the Hindu tradition, worshipers of Shiva pay homage to the Shiv linga by pouring milk over it. Thus, the cow's offering of her milk at this site without any assistance, led to the people of Saldi to attribute this phenomenon to the presence of Lord Shiva. Since then, the current site of Pimpleshwar Mahadev is considered to be very sacred by the pilgrams and villagers alike, and it has become famous throughout the state of Gujarat over the years.
The first temple or shrine was put in place by Petha Patel of Saldi at this site, dating back to the Hindu Year Sanvat 1143 (approximately 924 years ago). In the following centuries, Pimpleshwar Mahadev gained more popularity as a place of pilgrimage and worship for Hindus across the state of Gujarat. The current building was constructed and renovated by Sayajirao Gaekwad, the ruler of the state Baroda in 1895 during the British colonial era in India.
Campus & guest houseThe entire campus for Mahadev is spread over 50 acres. It includes the temples of Umiya, Amba, Lakshmi Mata and Nag-Devta. The Hindu temple has images of Ganesha, Parvati and Hanuman carved in stone and also houses a natural spring that is considered holy. Additionally facilities include an exhibition hall, a meeting room, guest rooms, and a lodging (Bhojanalay). This historical temple awaits renovation to include several additional buildings and creative parks. A move for major renovation is underway and expected to start in near future.
Daily ActivitiesThis beautiful Temple is offering Daily Prayer, traditional rituals, Dhoon, Meditation and Aarti to all. Devotees from nearby villages walk to Mahadev regularly....carrying milk, Diya, Dhoop and water in hand and offer to Pimpleshwar Mahadev during Darshan. Many of them being seen walking barefoot! Priest smeared hand made sandalwood paste on forehead of devotees and blessed. Devotees do pradakshina around sacred Pipal Tree ( Fig Tree) and continue meditation and chanting as they do walk. Pimpleshwar Mahadev attracts large number of tourist and pilgrims from all over India, Canada, England and United states of America throughout the year.
Maha ShivratriMaha Shivratri is dedicated to the worship of Pimpleshwar Mahadev. Devotees celebrate Maha Shivaratri with observing fasting, singing bhajans and Dhoon , maha puja, recital of Sanskrit sholaks, offering of prayers, flowers, fruits, Shreefal ( coconut ), and special food that is prepared in honor of the deity. Brahmin priests performs Ladhu-Rudra Yagna and char prahar ni PUJA in different time of the day and night. Worshiping Pimpleshwar Mahadev or Lord Shiva on Maha Shivratri is believed to bestow one with happiness and prosperity.
Shravan Month Special POOJAIn holy month of Shravan month thousands of devotees visit this Mahadev for prayer and get blessed. Thousands of pilgrim walk to this temple in groups chanting Shiva Mantra and Dhoon, playing traditional musical and dancing. They participate the Darshan of Idol Nandi and Shiva and performed 1-5 rounds of Pradakshina. Devotees Chant Shiva mantra with great shraddha as they offer Milk, water, Dhoop and Bili Patra to Lord Shiva.
Annual Carnival - Saladi no MeloVery Special annual celebration of Religious carnival known as "SALADI no MELO" on last Monday of Shravan month is famous worldwide.About quarter million Devotees of all age ,religion and casts get to gather and enjoy the traditional celebration.
Bili Patra PoojaSpecial puja with offering of Bili Patra to lord Shiva is unique tradition. Many Devotee with help of local Brahmin priest offer 108, 1008 or one Lakh Bili patra to Pimpleshwar Mahadev along with mantra recitation. Approximately 10 million Bili Patras offers to MAHADEV reciting "Om Namah Shivay" and Bilvastakam - Shiva mantra chanting during shravan month every year. Volunteers proud to collect these leaves from holy BILI TREE from forest of panchmahal and across the state and get blessed for great contribution.
Bili Patra are leaves of Bili (Bilva, Bel, Bael, Vilvam or English - wood apple tree ) and offer to Mahadev - મહાદેવ seeking good health, prosperity, satisfaction in current life and to destroys all sins committed during past three lives and attain Moksha - salvation (મોક્ષ ).
Mundan ceremonyMundan or Chudakarma is the ceremony in which a child's head is shaved for the first time, leaving a tuft or shikha on the crown. It is said that birth hair carries undesirable ideas and traits from past, so they need to be removed and new ideas full of eminence should be grown instead. Mundan is one of the rituals performed at Pimpleshwar Mahadev. People come to Pimpleshwar from far and wide to have this ceremony performed for their child.
Punjai Siva Temple, Tamilnadu
The Punjai Siva Temple, or Naltunai Ishvaram Temple, is a Hindu temple located at Punjai near Semponnarkoil. The principal deity is Nataraja, a form of the Hindu god Shiva.
LocationThe temple is located in the village of Punjai at a distance of 6 kilometres from Semponnarkoil.Near to poombukar tourist place.This temple constructed in the period of Rajendra cholan. Malayan Madanthai Udanudaya Natrunai Eshwar Temple.
ArchitectureThe temple is famous for its architecture. The principal idol of Nataraja is made of bronze and was carved in about 1000 AD
Swarnapurieswarar Templealso known as big temple, is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The architecture and the design of this temple also an example of the chola architecture. Surya pooja is famous in this temple. The rays from the sun fall directly on the lord during the days. People from all over south gathered to participate in this pooja.
Thirupariyalur: one of the 8 (asta veeraettu thalam) temples of God Shiva's Samharam
Transport linksSembanarkoil is a well connected with other villages in the taluk, such as Vallam, Arupahty, Melapathy, Tiruchampalli, Kalahasthinapuram, Maharajapuram.
It is nearly 291 km south of Madras and can be reached by trains going via Main line and also through road. From Chennai, it can be reached through the East Coast Road via Pondicherry.
Rangnath Dol, Assam
Ahom king Swargadeo Rudra Singha dug the Joysagar tank, the world's largest man-made tank covering an area of 318 acres (1.29 km2) including its four banks in memory of his mother Sati Joymati. On its bank in 1703 he built the Rangnath Dol, a (Shiva) temple near the Borduar or main gateway on way from the Joysagar tank to the Talatal Ghar to offer prayer to Lord Shiva. Large numbers of devotees continue to visit and offer puja in this temple.
Sibasagar Shiva Doul, Assam
The Sivadol (Assamese: শিৱদৌল) (Hindi: शिवडोल) 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 (dol means temple in Assamese) is believed to be the tallest Shiva temple in India. Its height is 104 feet (32 m) and the perimeter is 195 ft (59 m) at the base. It is capped by an eight feet high golden-dome. Each year during the Shivaratri, a huge mela (fair) is organised in the temple ground and pilgrims from all over India arrives here to offer puja.
In Hinduism, Rasalingam or Parad Lingam is a Lingam, the symbol of the god Shiva, made of mercury. Tamil Siddhas carved Shiva Lingam from solidified mercury. The process of solidification of mercury is the secret process enunciated by Tamil Siddhas. In Tamil, mercury is called as Pada-rasam and the Shiva Lingam made using pada-rasam is called as Rasalingam. In Sanskrit, mercury is called as Parad and the Shiva Lingam made using parad is called as Parad Lingam. Rasalingams or Parad Lingams are consecrated in Hindu Shiva temples, Ashrams and other places of worships.
Siddhic WisdomShiva puja must be performed with linga. Linga worship constitute the very essence of Shiva theology. The Shiva symbol linga is considered as formless. The Rasalingam has a place in the worship of Shiva. Although mercury comes under classification of a metal, it is in semi liquid form. Tamil Siddhas identified mercury as Shiva’s metal (Shivadhatu). According to Siddha alchemy, mercury is the representation of male (Shiva) form and the chemical element sulfur associated in the solidification process considered as the representation of female (Shakti or Gauri, consort of Shiva) form. There are various Siddha processes formulated in the solidification of mercury. The processes are painful and may require several hours and even days to complete. The resulting solidified mercury is enhanced with vital divine properties and it attain its very holy and beneficial effects when it is solidified and carved as Shiva Lingam. It is believed that the worship of Rasalingam or Parad Lingam promotes health and longevity.
Masilamaniswara Temple, Thirumullaivoyal
Shiva Temple, Vishakapatnam
Siddha Ashram, UjjainSiddha Ashram is located near to Harsiddhi Temple in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India. The area contains a temple, meditation chamber and gardens, and attracts hundreds visitors seeking spiritual enlightenment each year.
The ashram is run by Acharya Mahamandaleshwara Swami Nardanandji who is known for his Kundalini Shaktipath initiation and research into ayurvedic based medicinal remedies. Siddha Ashram has consecrated the world’s largest Parad Lingam weighing about 1500 kg. during November, 2005. The Parad Lingam temple is located at Ashram complex. People are allowed to see, touch and worship this Lingam.
Dhyanalinga and Theerthakund, Coimbatore
At this temple complex there is Theerthakund. Theerthakund is a subterranean tank located 35 ft (10.7 m) below holds a lingam immersed in water. Followers claim that the lingam is made of solidified and 99.8% purified mercury. People can take a dip in this water before they go to the Dhyanalinga temple. A semi-circular brick vault covers this tank, the inner sides of which have murals in pure natural dyes with its theme depicting a Maha Kumbha Mela scene.
Sri Dattashram, Ansapur Village, Andhra pradeshAt Dattashram Ansapur village near Nizamabad in Andhra Pradesh a Rasalingam, one of the huge rasalingam weighing about 411 kg. was consecrated on April 25, 2004 by the Jagadguru Pushpagiri Shankaracharya and Hampi Virupaksha Vidyaranya Peethadhipati. The Rs.6 lakh worth Rasalingam was brought from Banaras, Uttar Pradesh
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to the great devotees , wikisources and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )