Holy Pilgrimage –Some of the Shiva Temples in India -6

Holy Pilgrimage – Some of the Shiva Temples in India


Rathnapureeswarar Temple, Tamilnadu


Rathnapureeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple located in Thirunattiyathangudi in the Tiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu, India. The presiding deity is Shiva.


According to legend, when the Chola king Ratnendra Chola tried to partition diamonds in the treasury with his brother but was unable to reach a compromise. At this juncture, Shiva is believed to have appeared to the brothers as a diamond merchant and facilitated the division. In gratiture, Ratnendra Chola built the temple.


Thirunattiyathangudi is considered to be the birthplace of Kotpuli Nayanar, one of the 63 Nayanmars. Hymns praise of the temple have been sung by Sundarar in the Thevaram.



People come to pray to Lord seeking solutions for problems in family, assets that could not be partitioned and for high yield in agriculture.  It is the staunch belief of the devotees that Lord will guide in such complex issues.


Address and Phone No.


Sri Rathnapureeswarar Temple, Tirunattiyathankudi Post-610 202, Via Mavoor, Tiruvarur district, Tamilnadu

+91- 4367 - 237 707, 94438 06496.


Someshwara Temple, Kolar

The Someshwara temple (also spelt Someshvara or Somesvara), situated in Kolar town of Karnataka state, India, is an ornate 14th century Vijayanagara era Dravidian style construction. Someshwara, another name for the Hindu god Shiva is the presiding deity in the temple.  The temple is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India as a monument of national importance


Temple Plan

According to art historian George Michell, the general plan of the temple resembles that of the Someshvara temple in Bangalore, except, this temple is more rich in finish and detail.  The temple is noted for its tall superstructure (gopuram) over the main entrance (mahadwara). The superstructure is built of brick and stucco. Though both temples have a large open pillared mukhamantapa (hall) leading to the sanctum (garbhagriha), in Kolar the open mantapa has a central hall surrounded by a raised floor. Several ornate pillars on the raised floor support the ceiling of the mantapa. The main shrine has a dravida (south Indian) style tower (sikhara), a vestibule (sukanasi) that connects the sanctum to a navaranga (closed hall) which leads to the large pillared mukhamandapa. The temple is enclosed by a cloistered wall (prakara).  At the frontal extension of the hall are four full length pillars depicting riders on Yalis ("mythical beasts"). An ornate Kalyana mantapa ("marriage hall") built of granite, at the south-west corner of the complex, has pillars with decorative sculptures in relief. Michell dates the temple to about the 17th century, but the Archaeological Survey of India dates the temple to the early Vijayanagara Empire rule of the 14th century. The base of the temple outer wall (adhishthana) comprises of decorative moldings, with friezes of elephants, dwarfs and lions embellishing the upper moldings . The outer wall of the temple has miniature decorative pilasters (kumbha) with turrets 


Somesvara Siva Temple, Orissa


The Somesvara Siva temple is located in the Kharakhia Baidyanath temple precinct in Kharakhia Vaidyanath Sahi, Old Town, of Bhubaneswar. It is at a distance of 300 metres south of Lingaraja temple. One can approach the site on the left side of the Baidyanath road leading from Lingaraja temple to Kapilesvar. It is a living temple and is cing towards west. The enshrined deity of this temple is a Siva lingam within a circular yonipitha at the center of the sanctum sanctorium. The temple is under the care and maintenance of Babulal Makaddam Badu Mohapatra on whose private land the temple stands. He is the chief priest of the temple. The sanctum is 0.93 metres below the chandrasila.


Someswaran Temple, Kumbakonam


Someswaran Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, India.


The Stately Temple

Someswar Temple is situated in the southern portion of Sri Sarangapani temple. Legend is that the temple shared a larger space during initial construction, but later Sarangapani Temple adjacent to it occupied more space.


The nearest railway station is in Kumbakonam, about 2 kilometres from the town. The nearest airport is in Trichy.



Spatika Lingam


Sphatikam (Quartz) also spelled as Sphadikam, pronounced/spelt as 'Spatika'/'Spatikam' in the South Indian/Dravidian languages, is the mineral in the Earth's continental crust, after feldspar. Sphatikam is made up of a continuous framework of SiO4 siliconoxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall formula SiO2. In short it comprise one part silicon and two parts oxygen. Quartz belongs to the trigonal crystal system. The ideal crystal shape is a six-sided prism terminating with six-sided pyramids at each end.
Sphatikam is the semi-precious gemstone. There are many different varieties of sphatikam. High quality quartz crystals are single-crystal silica with optical or electronic properties that make them suitable for hardstone carvings. The Hindu temples in South India use this semi-precious mineral for making Shiva Lingams. Sphatikam beads are made from translucent rose quartz are cut and polished as beads. Each bead is about ten millimeters in diameter. It is good conductor of heat. Hence people wear sphatikam jewelry (mala) to keep their body cool. Some other people claim that these beads have healing properties.


Sphatika Lingam

In Hindu Shiva temples, Saiva Agamas allow to worship Lord Shiva in the form of Sphatika Lingam. Sphatika Lingam is representing the icon of Lord Nataraja. The Sphatika Lingams are protected in the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Shiva. Hindu priests offer Milk, Water, or Vhibuti consecrations to the Sphatika Lingam. They also chant 108 times Shiva Panchakshari Mantra. It is believed that Sphatika Lingam removes all curses and negative karma and will enhance ones confidence and power.

Thillai Natarajah Temple, Chidambaram

Thillai Natarajah Temple, Chidambaram (Chidambaram Thillai Natarajar-Koothan Kovil or Chidambaram temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in the town of Chidambaram (city), East-Central Tamil Nadu, South India. Chidambaram temple is considered as one of the most ancient and most celebrated of Shiva temples in India. Saivites attach great religious as well as historic and cultural significance with this temple. In this temple Lord Shiva is an embodiment of the infinite SKY. Chidambaram temple is associated with Lord Nataraja, or Shiva in his Ananda Tandava pose (the Cosmic Dance of bliss) in the cosmic golden hall (Ponnambalam) and the hall of consciousness (Chit Sabha).  Lord Shiva is also worshipped in this temple as "formless form" and this fact is being understood as Chidambara Rahasyam. This temple is known for its Akasa Lingam, an embodiment of Shiva as the formless Space. The word "Koyil" or temple in the Tamil Saivite tradition refers to none other than the Chidambaram Nataraja temple.
The Hindu monk Adi Sankara is said to have presented a Sphatika Lingam which is still under worship in this temple. This Sphatika Lingam, instituted at Chitsabha, is being represented as Lord Chandramauleeswara (A form of Lord Shiva). Also in the Chitsabha are images of Ratnasabhapati (Nataraja of Ruby), Swarnakarshana Bhairavar, Mukhalingam etc.


Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai

Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple  is a historic Hindu temple located in the south side of river Vaigai  in the temple city  of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to Parvati who is known as Meenakshi and her consort, Shiva named here as Sundareswarar(beautiful deity). The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500 year old city  of Madurai
The centuries old Sphatika Lingam held in this temple has developed cracks and hence a new six inch tall Spatika Lingam with the right specification has been brought from Himalayas. It is learned that this Lingam is worth over Rs.7.5 lakh. The new Sphatika Lingam will be the companion (Udaiyavar) to Lord Sundareswarar. The existing brass container of the Lingam will be replaced with golden container. The new silver consecration base (abhisheka peedam) weighing about 12 kg. is also getting ready for the formal ‘Prathishtam. The new Sphatika Lingam is getting consecrated on March 16, 2012.

Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram

Ramanathaswamy Jyotirlinga Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the island of Rameswaram in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The Temple is also one of the 12 Jyothirlinga temples, where Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlingam meaning "pillar of light". The temple is located in Rameshwaram, an island town in South India, considered a holy pilgrimage site for both Shaivites and Vaishnavites. Ramanathaswamy temple was built during the 12th century  and widely expanded during the Nayak period in the late 16th century. Ramanathaswamy temple is known for its longest corridor among all Hindu temples in India
In the first inner corridor, devotees offer worship to the venerated white Sphatika Lingam. The Sri Chakra (Sethu Peetam) and the Sphatika Lingam were instituted by the Hindu monk Adi Sankara. Sphatika lingam darshan is offered to the pilgrims during early morning hours i.e., morning between 5 and 6 am. It is a great experience.

Ekambaranathar Temple, Kanchipuram


Ekambaranathar Temple (Tamil: ஏகாம்பரநாதர் கோயில்) or Ekambareswarar Temple is a Saivite Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located in Kanchipuram in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Ekambaranathar Temple is the largest temple and is located in the northern part of the temple town Kanchipuram.  The temple gopuram (gateway tower) is 59m tall, which is one the tallest gopurams in India  This Saivite temple is one of the five major Shiva temples or Pancha Bootha Sthalams (each representing a primordial element) representing the element – Earth
The ursava deity Lord Ekambareswarar is seated in a glass sanctum sactorum with a roof decorated with rudraksha beads. Just in front of this shrine on the corridor, there another shrine with Sphatika Lingam along with the vehicle Nandi (Holy Bull). Offering prayer to this Sphatika Lingam will bring better appearance, confidence and fair thinking.

Swetharanyeswarar Temple, Thiruvenkadu

Swetharanyeswarar Temple is the Hindu Shiva temple located in the town of Thiruvenkadu near Sirkazhi. The prime deity is Lord Swetharanyeswarar (lord of white forest) or Lord Shiva and His consort is goddess Brahma Vidya ambal. There is a separate Sannidhi for Bhudhan (mercury (planet). The temple is quite larger premises and all four important Saivite saints have sung hymns in praise of this lord
This temple has one rare Sphatika Lingam. Special worship services are offered to Natarajar and the associated Sphatika Lingam, as in Chidambaram.

Sankara Narayanan temple, Sankarankovil

Sankara Narayanan temple is located in the town Sankarankovil, Tirunelveli District and 56 km away from Thirunelveli City. It was built by Ukira Pandiyan AC 900. It houses the deity by the name Sankara Narayanan, which is half - Lord Shiva and the other half - Lord Vishnu. "Adi Thabasu" is main festival at this temple. In older times, the city was called as Sankaranayinar kovil. Even now it is called as Sankaran Kovil. The deities of this temple are Sri Sankareswarar, Sri Gomathi Amman and Sri Sankara Narayanar
Lord Shiva has agreed to perform consecration to Lord Vishnu. Therefore consecration is performed to the Sphatika Lingam present inside the sanctum sanctorum. One view is that the Sphatika Laingam was instituted by Adi Sankara and yet another view states that the Sphatika Lingam was established by Sri Narasimha Bharathi Swamy of Shringeri Mut


 Taraknath Temple, West Bengal


The Taraknath temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva worshiped as Taraknath, is a major pilgrimage spot in the town of Tarakeswar, West Bengal, India. Built in 1729, the temple is an 'atchala' structure of Bengal temple architecture with a 'natmandir' in front. Close by are the shrines of Kali and Lakshmi Narayan. Dudhpukur, a tank to the north of the Shiva temple is believed to fulfil the prayers of those taking a dip in it.


As per local legends, the temple has built after a dream led the mendicant brother of Raja Vishnu Das to a Linga in the jungles near Tarakeswar, by discovered the after he was led to it by a dream. The temple was later built around the swayambhu linga (self-manifested) referred as Baba Taraknath in 1729 AD.


Pilgrims visit the temple throughout the year, especially on Mondays. But thousands of pilgrims visit Tarakeswar on the occasions of 'Shivaratri' and 'Gajan', the former taking place in Phalgun (Feb-March) while the latter lasts for five days ending on the last day of Chaitra (mid-April). The month of Sravana (mid-July to mid-August) is auspicious for Shiva when celebrations are held on each Monday.


Thirumurthyswami temple, Tamilnadu


The Thirumurthyswami temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Ammalingeswarar situated at the foothills of the Thirumurthy Hills at a distance of 96 kilometres from Coimbatore and 21 kilometres from Udumalaipettai. There is a stream running close by the temple and a waterfall located at a distance of 1 kilometre from the temple where devotees take a bath. there in boat house that`s place is superb tourist place



Thiruvaloor Mahadeva temple

Thiruvalloor Mahadeva Temple is situated in Thiruvaloor kara of Alangad Village, in Ernakulam district. This temple is listed among the famous siva temples in Kerala, India. The idol here is believed to be an Agni Pratishta, i.e., with Lord Siva's third eye open.


Thrippara Shiva Kshetram


A famous Shiva temple in Vallicode village, Pathanamthitta District, Kerala, India. This temple is located on the banks of the Achankovil river. The main sanctum sanctorum here is situated in the open directly above the temple ghats. This makes it a bit different from other temples in this area


Tirupperunturai, Tamilnadu


Tirupperunturai (Tamil: திருபெருந்துறை), known as Avudaiyarkoil., is a Shaiva temple situated near Aranthangi in the Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu. One of the sacred books of Tamil Saiva Siddhanta, Manikkavacakar's Tiruvacakam, originated from this shrine. Manikkavacakar is said to have converted the king to the religion of Shiva and built the temple with money that had been intended for war-horses.  


The Temple

The presiding deity is formless (Atmanatar); there is no Shivalingam but only a pedestal {Avudayar} located in the sanctum, hence the name Avudayar Koil.[6] His consort is worshipped as Siva Yoga Nayaki in iconless form. There is no Nandi bull icon. There is deep spiritual significance in the queerness. Hinduism allows deity worship only for beginners in the initial stage. As the devotee and his devotion matures, he has to realise the truth of formless. To illustrate the theology, the temple has been designed. This is the only Saivite shrine in whole of India to portray the supreme truth symbolically. Since the soul(athma) has no form, the deity is called Athmanathar.[7]


As at Chidambaram and Tiruvanaikoil, here Vedic rituals are performed, unlike the Sivachariyar or Adhisaivar temples who follow Agama rituals. in this case the temple is administered by Nambiar Brahmins – a class of Vaideeka Brahmins said to be descendants of Rowshayadana, a saint who originated from Agni, and were taught the Vedas by Atmanatar himself. They are said to number three hundred and are also called Munnothioruvar.
At Tirupperunturai, as in Chidambaram temple, Aruvam (அருவம்.. அதாவது உருவமற்ற கடவுள் நிலை) is worshipped. Tirupperunturai is also known as Kokozhi, Sivapuram, Akasha Kailasham, Vadavoor, Chatur-Veda-Mangalam and Adi Kailasam in Sangam literature and Atheetha Sabha as it has six Sabhas, the Kanaka Sabha, Chit Sabha, Sat Sabha, Ananda Sabha, Ratna Sabha and Deva Sabha in comparison to five Sabhas at Chidambaram. It is believed that Manikkavacakar himself built these six sabhas, and covered the Sabhas with 21600 plates of copper.


The temple is supposed to have been built by Manickavasagar. Being the prime minister, he spent all the money given to him by the Varaguna Pandya II king to buy horses in building the temple.  As he was bereft of money, Lord Shiva displayed one of his Thiruvilayadal(holy prank) by transforming foxes to horses and once they were given to the king became foxes.


The temple is noted for the zephyr(granite) roof work. The ceiling of the Kanga sabhai(golden hall) is a grandeur creation in stone. The ropes, rafters and nails all are made of granite.  The bow wielding Muruga, Kali and Siva's rudra thandavam(wild dance) are the finest specimen in sculptural art.
Many renovations have been carried out, much of the current structure dates to the fifteenth CCE. The temple covers an area of over 10 acres (40,000 m2) and faces south, constructed so that the setting sun strikes the sanctum even though it is cloistered within three circumambulatory paths. The thousand pillared hall has several delicately crafted pillars with depictions of the Oordhwa Tandavam of Shiva, Kaaraikkaal Ammaiyaar, Dhanurdhara Subramanya etc.


The annual festivals celebrated here are Aani Tirumanjanam and Maargazhi Tiruvaadirai as in Chidambaram Nataraja Temple. Worship or Pooja is done six times a day.


Om Tat Sat

(My humble  salutations to the great devotees ,  wikisources  and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )


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