On the moonless 14th night of the new moon in the month of Phalguna or Magh according to the Hindu Lunar Calendar, the believers of Hindu religion observes the ‘Great Night of Lord Shiva‘ which is known as Maha Shivratri. With great devotion and religious fervor, devotees celebrate the festival by observing fasting all day and night, visiting Shiva temples or go on pilgrimage to Jyotirlingas to venerate Lord Shiva. The day marks the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, but some legends say that it was on the auspicious night of Maha Shivratri that Lord Shiva performed the ‘Thandava’, the divine dance that depicts Lord Shiva as the creator, preserver and destroyer.
Maha Shivratri Festival is of great significance for the worshippers of Lord Shiva. It is widely celebrated all across India and Nepal. South India which is home to a countless number of Shiva Temples celebrates Maha Shivratri Festival with extreme enthusiasm and great religious fervor. The Shiva Temples in South India are beautifully decorated with lights and flowers during Maha Shivratri and devotees from all over the world come to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva at these temples during the festival.
This year Maha Shivaratri falls on February 18, 2023.
Visiting Shiva Temples, especially during Maha Shivratri is truly a divine experience. Mark your calendar and head to South India to celebrate the auspicious Maha Shivratri Festival at the beautiful Shiva Temples in South India.
Wondering where to visit in South India during Maha Shivaratri? The list is here, all you need to do is pick the best from it:
Adi Yogi In Isha Yoga Centre, Coimbatore:
An exceptionally mystical place to spend the most divine Maha Shivratri night, the Adi yogi in Isha Yoga Centre tops our list of best places to visit in South India during Maha Shivratri. Situated in the Isha Yoga Complex in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, the Adi yogi Shiva Statue is recognized as the “World’s Largest Bust Sculpture” by Guinness World Records that stands tall at the height of 112 feet.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated in a grand manner here with chanting, prayers, meditation and full of celebration and the vibe you experience is so magical and divine. Surya Kund, Linga Bhairavi Temple, Dhyanalinga, Adi yogi Statue, etc are must-visit places in Isha Yoga Centre.
Peruvudaiyar Kovil or Brihadeeshwara Temple, Thanjavur:
One among the three entries of the “Great Living Chola temples” of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Peruvudaiyar Kovil or Brihadishvara Temple in Thanjavur (Tanjore), dedicated to Lord Shiva, is a great place to visit during Maha Shivratri. It is the world’s first granite temple.
The 66-meter high Temple Tower (Vimana) which is tallest in the world, the 12 feet high Nandi Statue carved out of a single stone which is the second biggest in the world, and the 9 feet tall Shiva Linga which is believed to increase in size and one of the largest Shiva Lingas in India are the remarkable features of this temple. Maha Shivratri is the major festival celebrated here. Thanjavur Palace, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Seforji Saraswathi Mahal Library, Vijayanagara Fort, etc are the nearby attractions.
Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai:
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the beautiful Arunachaleswarar Temple located at the base of Annamalai Hills in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu is one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalas which is specifically associated with Agni or Fire element. A visit to this holy temple during Maha Shivratri fills you with divine bliss.
The Arunachaleswarar Temple Complex is spread across 10 hectares and is one of the largest in India. The 66 meters tall Eastern Gopuram of Arunachaleswarar Temple which is one the tallest temple towers in India and the stunning Thousand-Pillared Hall are sure to mesmerize you with its architectural elegance. Gingee Fort, Virupaksha Cave, Skandashramam, Ramana Ashramam, Sathanur Dam, etc are the nearby tourist attractions.
Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval:
Located in Thiruvanaikaval in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, the Jambukeswarar Temple which is one the Pancha Bhoota Stalas that specifically representing the element water and is one of the best places to visit in South India during Maha Shivratri. Lord Shiva in the divine form of Jambukeswarar is the presiding deity of this temple with his consort Akhilandeswari Amman (one of the forms of Goddess Parvathi). The sanctum of Jambukeswarar has an underground water stream and is always filled with water.
Jambukeswarar Temple is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams where all the Nayanars (Saivite Saints) have sung glories of its deity. Rock Fort Temple, Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Teppakulam, Lourdes Church, etc are the nearby attractions.
Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram:
One of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams of Lord Shiva that specifically representing Akasha (ether), Thillai Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu is known as the foremost of all temples (Kovil) dedicated to Shaivites. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of this temple who is depicted in the form Nataraja, the cosmic dancer. It is one of the must-visit temples during Maha Shivratri.
The most unique feature of Thillai Nataraja Temple is the presence of the deity of Lord Govindaraja Perumal making it one of the rare temples dedicated to both the Shaivite and Vaishnavite deities. The sculptures of this temple have inspired the postures of the Indian classical dance, Bharatha Natyam. Pichavaram Mangrove Forest, Pichavaram Backwaters, Thillai Kali Amman Temple, Tiruvetkalam Temple, etc are some of the nearby attractions.
Ekambareshwarar Temple, Kanchipuram:
Ekambareshwarar Temple in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu is one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams of Lord Shiva that specifically representing the element of earth or Prithvi. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Ekambareshwarar or Ekambaranathar and is represented by the lingam, with his idol referred to as Prithvi lingam. It is yet another must-visit place in South India during Maha Shivratri.
Covering an area of over 23 acres, the temple complex is one of the largest in India. The temple’s Raja Gopuram is one of the tallest in South India and the Thousand-Pillared Hall is the most notable feature of Ekambareswara Temple. Kamakshi Amman Temple, Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchi Kudil, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Devarajaswamy Temple, etc are the nearby tourist attractions.
Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram:
Located in Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, the Ramanathaswamy Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is considered a holy pilgrimage site for Shaivites, Vaishnavaites and Smarthas. The Temple is flocked by a large number of devotees during Maha Shivratri to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. This legendary temple built in the marvelous Dravidian style of architecture has the Longest Corridor among all Hindu temples in India.
The Ramanathaswamy Temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples and also one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams where the three of the most revered Nayanars (Saivite saints), Sundarar, Appar, and Tirugnana Sambandar, have glorified the temple with their songs. Dhanushkodi Temple, Tirtham, Panch – Mukhi Hanuman Temple, etc are some of the nearby attractions.
Srikalahasteeswara Temple, Andhra Pradesh:
Srikalahasteeswara Temple or Srikalahasti Temple, situated in Srikalahasti in Andhra Pradesh is one of the most famous Shiva temples in South India which is considered as one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams that represents the Vayu Sthalam or the element of air. Srikalahasteeswara Temple is also regarded as Rahu-Ketu kshetra and Dakshina Kailasam.
The stunning architecture and the fantabulous temple sculptures of Srikalahasteeswara Temple portray the remarkable excellence of Chola architecture. The divine presence of Lord Shiva can be felt upon visiting this holy shrine and it is a divine bliss visiting here during Maha Shivratri. Veyilingala Kona Waterfall, Sri Subrahmanya Swamy Temple, Bhakta Kannappa Temple, Durgambika Temple, etc are the nearby attractions.
Maheshwaram Sri Shiva Parvathy Temple, Chenkal, Thiruvananthapuram:
The temple with the tallest Shiva Linga in the world, Chenkal Maheshwaram Sri Shiva Parvathy Temple is one of the amazing places to visit during Maha Shivratri. The Temple is situated at Chenkal in the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. The Shiva Linga of Chenkal Maheshwaram Sri Shiva Parvathy Temple measures a recording height of 111.2 feet which is equivalent to that of a 10-storey building.
The most remarkable feature of this Temple is the replica of the ultimate destination, ‘Kailasa‘ (the Himalayan abode of Lord Shiva and Parvathi). Maha Shivratri is the major festival of this temple celebrated with great pomp and devotion.Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Aazhimala Temple, Kuthiramalika Palace, Kanakakunnu Palace, Kovalam Beach, etc are some of the nearby attractions.
Murudeshwar Temple, Karnataka:
The magnificent Murudeshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, perched atop the Kanduka Hill and surrounded by the Arabian Sea on three sides is one of the famous pilgrimage centres in Karnataka. It holds the second tallest Shiva statue in the world that measures a height of 123 feet. The Temple is placed in such a stunning location that offers spellbinding scenic vistas and mesmerizing sunset views.
Murudeshwar Temple is one of the special temples in South India to visit during Maha Shivratri. The extremely tall Temple Tower which is 249 feet high and has 20 floors is another notable feature which offers a breathtaking view of the Shiva statue from above. Murudeshwar Fort, Basavaraja Durga Fort, Bhatkal, Netrani Island, Kodachadri Peak, Gokarna, etc are some of the nearby attractions.
Vadakkunnathan Temple, Thrissur:
One of the most popular temples in Kerala, the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur is reckoned as the first Shiva temple created by Lord Parasurama. Built-in typical Kerala style architecture, Vadakkunnathan Temple is an architectural splendour that grabs the attention of every passerby. The fabulous murals dating back to the 17th century adorn the temple interiors.
The temple hosts the famous Thrissur Pooram and also witness swarms of devotees during Maha Shivratri. Vadakkunnathan Temple also houses a museum that displays ancient paintings, woodcarving and other works of art of ancient times. Thekkinkadu Maidan, Shakthan Thampuran Palace, Paramekkavu Bhagavathi Temple, Nehru Park, Kerala Kalamandalam, etc are some of the nearby attractions.
Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple, Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh:
Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh is referred to as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and also as one of the eighteen Shakti Peethas of Goddess Parvati. Here Lord Shiva is worshipped as Mallikarjuna and is represented by Lingam. The temple looks spectacular in traditional Dravidian style with a 6-metre high temple wall, richly adorned with carved figures that depict stories from Hindu epics.
Maha Shivratri is one of the most popular festivals of Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple which is celebrated with great fervor. Sakshi Ganapati Temple, Srisailam Dam, Srisailam Tiger Reserve, Pathala Ganga, Chenchu Lakshmi Museum, Octopus View Point, etc are some of the nearby attractions.
Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai:
Yet another amazing place to visit in South India during Maha Shivratri is the historic Meenakshi Amman Temple situated in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. The Temple is primarily dedicated to Goddess Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva who is worshipped here as Meenakshi. It is believed that Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati at the site where the temple is currently located.
The astonishing architecture of Meenakshi Amman Temple is renowned globally. The most highlighting feature of the Meenakshi Amman Temple is its exquisite facade that has highly minute details with great art pieces incorporated in the walls and pillars. Thirumalai Nayak Mahal, Alagar Koil, Vaigai Dam, Meghamalai, Koodal Azhagar Temple, Gandhi Museum, etc are some of the nearby attractions.
Brihadisvara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram:
Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram in Tamil Nadu is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Temple is one of the finest examples of the Dravidian style architecture of the Chola Dynasty and is also known as Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple or Gangaikondacholeeswaram Temple. This architectural marvel is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Lord Shiva is represented in the form of Linga at this temple which is 13 feet tall. Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is also one of the best places to visit in South India during Maha Shivratri. Airavatheshwara Temple, Suriyanar Temple, Thirumanancheri, Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, etc are the nearby attractions.
Nellaiappar Temple, Tirunelveli:
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Nellaiappar Temple is a popular temple situated in Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Nellaiappar (also called Venuvananathar) who is represented by the lingam and his consort Goddess Parvati is depicted as Kanthimathi Amman. The holy matrimony of Nellaiappar and Kanthimathi Amman is believed to have commenced here.
Nellaiappar Temple is noted for its architectural grandeur and divinity and a visit to this Temple during Maha Shivratri is a wonderful experience. 1000 beautifully carved pillars along the corridors with some them being musical pillars is an astounding architectural feat of Nellaiappar Temple. Courtallam Waterfalls, Vettuvan Koil, Kappal Matha Church, Kalakkadu Wildlife Sanctuary, Banatheertham Waterfalls, etc are some of the nearby attractions.
Kapaleeswarar Temple, Chennai:
Situated in the capital city of Tamil Nadu, Chennai, the Kapaleeswarar Temple is a sacred temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, fondly called as Kapaleeswarar and his wife Goddess Parvati who is worshipped as Karpagambal. It is one of the best places to visit in South India during Maha Shivratri.
Kapaleeshwarar Temple is one of the ancient temples which is built around 7th-century C.E. The temples is known for its magnificent architecture that reflects the Dravidian architectural style and it serves as a testimonial for the Vishwakarma sthapathis. San Thome Basilica, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Sri Parthasarathy Temple, Marina Beach, Victory War Memorial, etc are some of the nearby attractions.
Thayumanaswami Temple, Rockfort, Trichy:
Located at the Rockfort temple complex in the city of Trichy, Tamil Nadu, the Thayumanaswami Temple is believed to have constructed by the Pallava king Mahendravarman I in the 6th century AD. The Temple is dedicated Lord Shiva who is worshipped here as Thayumanavar and is represented by the lingam. His consort, Goddess Parvati is depicted as Mattuvar Kuzhalammai.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated with great grandeur at Thayumanaswami Temple and is one of the best places to be at during the festival. Rock Fort, Arulmigu Ucchi Pillaiyar Temple, Samayapuram Mari Amman Temple, Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple, Thiruvanaikkaval Jambukeshwarar Temple, etc are some of the nearby attractions.
Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchipuram:
Oldest of Shiva temples in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, Kailasanathar Temple is renowned for its serenity, divinity and breathtaking architecture. Reflecting Tamil architectural style, Kailasanathar Temple was built during the period of 685 AD – 705 AD by Rajasimhar (Narasimhavarman II), the ruler of the Pallava Dynasty.
Constructed with sandstones, the temple is embellished with intricate carvings and designs. This magnificent Temple contains 58 small shrines which are dedicated to various forms of Lord Shiva. Kailasanathar Temple is again one of the best places in South India to visit during Maha Shivratri. Ekambanadhar Temple, Kamakshi Amman Temple, Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple, Kanchi Kudil, etc are some of the nearby attractions.
Mannarasala Temple, Haripad, Alappuzha:
An internationally renowned temple for serpent worship, the Mannarasala Temple in Haripad, Alappuzha district of Kerala is one of the mysterious temples dedicated to the serpent God, Nagaraja. It is deemed as one of the largest Nagaraja Temples in the southern state of Kerala. What makes Mannarasala Temple stands unique from the rest of the temples in the country is that here the puja and other temple rituals are carried out by a woman whom the devotees call as Mannarasala Amma.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated with great devotion and grandeur at Mannarasala Temple to honour Lord Shiva. Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple, Chettikulangara Temple, Chakkulathukavu Temple, Edathua Church, etc are some of the nearby attractions.
Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, Vaikom, Kerala:
Vaikom Mahadeva Temple in Vaikom is considered as one of the oldest Shiva temples in Kerala. It is one among the few temples which are held in reverence by both Shaivites and the Vaishnavaites and is better known as “Kashi of South“. It is the only temple in Kerala with an oval-shaped Sreekovil. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of this temple who is fondly called as ‘Vaikkathappan‘.
Vaikom Mahadeva Temple celebrates Maha Shivratri in a grand manner and thousands throng to the temple to be a part of the festivity and to seek the blessings of the Lord. Vaikom Beach, Vaikom Beach Walkway, Mango Meadows Agricultural Theme Park, etc are nearby attractions.
Kotilingeshwara Temple, Kolar, Karnataka:
Lies in a small village of Kammasandra in Kolar district of Karnataka, Kotilingeshwara Temple is a famous Shiva temple renowned for housing the second largest and tallest Shiva Linga in India. The Shiva Linga is 108 feet tall and the temple also houses a 35 feet tall Nandi statue. Another notable feature is that lakhs of small Lingas is spread over an area of 15 acres of the temple.
Devotees can offer special poojas at this temple by installing Shiv Lingas is a unique practice of this temple. Maha Shivratri is a major festival celebrated at Kotilingeshwara Temple during which a large number of devotees visit the temple and take part in the prayers and rituals. Kurudumale, Kolaramma Temple, Bethamangala, Chikka Tirupati Temple, etc are some of the nearby attractions.
Kethaki Sangameshwara Swamy Temple, Jharasangam, Telangana:
Kethaki Sangameshwara Swamy Temple is a famous temple in the state of Telangana situated in Jharasangam village in Medak district. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Trimurti (a combined form of Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu). The Shiva Linga of Kethaki Sangameshwara Swamy Temple is said to have consecrated by Lord Brahma.
The unique tradition of this temple is that Kethaki leaves are offered to the Shiva Linga and this tradition is not found elsewhere. Kethaki Sangameshwara Swamy Temple is also a wonderful place to visit in South India during Maha Shivratri. Medak Fort, Medak Cathedral, Singur Dam, Pocharam Dam, Poocharam Wildlife Sanctuary, Edupalaya Vana Durga Bhavani Temple, etc are some of the nearby attractions.
Visit the divine Shiva temples in South India during Maha Shivratri and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva.
Warm wishes for Maha Shivratri!
May Lord Shiva bestow his benign blessings upon you and guide you throughout your life.
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