Temples you must visit this Mahashivratri!

Spiritual or not –  if you have been escaping the temple visits thinking it’s boring, you have been missing out on a lot. This time around celebrate the great night of Shiva with these unique temples. Hosting some of the grandest celebrations, these temples will intrigue everyone out there; right from architecture enthusiasts to trekkers.  The best part is that the festivities go on for days – ensuring that you make the most of the long weekend!

1. Bhimashankar temple, Maharashtra:

Bhimashankar(Image Source: Naveen Kumar)

One of the twelve Jyotirlingas, Bhimashankar temple is located amidst the Bhimashankar wildlife reserve.. A scenic route and even more scenic views from the 3500 ft high temple; people come here to trek and savour the nature. What better time to visit this gem than during the Maha Shivratri fair? But be sure to leave early for better Darshan as the temple gets really crowded later.
USP – Trekking

Android users, plan your road trip here.


2. Murudeshwar Bhatkal, Karnataka:

shiva

Murudeshwar temple of Uttara Kannada is a sight of beauty. Just 300 odd km from Bangalore, go here for the second tallest Shiva statue in the world standing right by the Arabian Sea. There is even a lift installed in the 20-storied Gopura for a better view of the entire landscape.
USP – Shiva Statue.

Android users, plan your road trip here.


3. Bhootnath temple of Mandi, Himachal Pradesh:

mandi(Image Source: nidhithakur.com)

Mandi is probably the most happening place in the country during Mahashivratri. With 81 temples in the town, it is often called the “Varanasi of Hills”. Mahashivratri marks the beginning of the seven day Shivratri Fair. The Bhootnath temple is the heart of the town and acts as the centre for the fair. Look forward to stocking up on amazing local products including honey, wool, dry fruits, and handicrafts.
USP – Shivratri fair.

Android users, plan your road trip here.


4. Hoysaleshwara and Kedareshwara temple, Halebeedu:

Halebidu

A 12th century construction of Hoysala Empire, Hoysaleshwara and Kedareshwara temples are an absolute work of art. The main shrine of both the temples is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has some of the finest sculptures and carvings. Apart from the awe-inspiring architecture, the Hoysaleshwara temple even hosts an archeological museum in the complex. The Hoysala Mahotsava takes place in the month of March, try to sync your travel dates for this art and dance event as well.
USP – Hoysala architecture.

Android users, plan your road trip here.


5. Lingaraja temple, Bhubaneshwar:


Lingaraj_temple_Bhubaneswar

One of the most famous temples in Orissa, Lingaraja is the oldest and the largest temple in Bhubaneshwar. A self-originated lingam, thousands of people come to worship here everyday day. Mahashivratri is the most important event for the temple and sees lakhs of visitors throughout the day. The devotees break their fast after the Mahadipa (a huge lamp) ceremony at the main shrine and pray throughout the night.  
USP – Mahadipa and all night prayers.


6. Kashi Vishwanath temple, Varanasi:

Kashi

Varanasi is without any doubt the epitome of spirituality. Take a dip at the Ganga Ghat and get ready for the grandest Mahashivratri celebration – A wedding procession of Shiva and Parvati goes from Mahamrityunjaya temple to Kashi Vishwanath temple! You will see many people dressed as different gods and goddesses participating in the event. The evening of Mahashivratri lights up the entire city of Varanasi; especially the various Ghats. Make sure you check out a few.
USP – The Shiva – Parvati wedding procession.


What are you waiting for? Mahashivratri is on 24th of February. Free flowing bhang and yummy bhog awaits you. Get packing and planning right away!

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