Today is Mahashivratri , the day that celebrates the union of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Shiva, who forms part of the Hindu trinity alongside Brahma, the creator and Vishnu, the administrator of the universe, has innumerable temples dedicated to him not just in India but also around the world. The most important places of Shiva worship are the 12 jyotirlingas, five pancha bootha sthalas, and five pancharaama temples. Celebrations differ in different states from the north to the south. Also Read - India-China Ladakh Standoff: 'Situation Stable And Controllable, All Channels Open For Talks,' Says Beijing

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12 best places to celebrate Mahashivratri in India



The big celebrations include aartis and bathing of the shiva linga with milk, water and honey. Prayers are offered with flowers and garlands. People stay up all night chanting and singing bhajans to please Lord Shiva. It is a day when Shiva temples are in all their glory with huge numbers of devotees queuing up to pay their respects.

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Here are eight famous Shiva temples across India you must visit during Mahashivratri if you are around.

1. Somnath temple

One of the 12 jyotirlingas, the Somnath temple located on the western coast of Gujarat in Saurashtra is one of the most popular and visited Shiva temples in India.

2. Srikalahasteeswara temple

Mahashivratri-Sri_Kala_Hasti

Srikalahasteeswara temple in Srikalahasti, Andhra Pradesh is one of the biggest Shiva temples in south India.

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3. Brihadeeswarar temple

Mahashivratri-Brihadeeswarar-shutterstock_259497647

Located in Thanavur in Tamil Nadu, the Brihadeeswara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is a prominent UNESCO site known for its stunning architecture.

4. Tungnath temple

Mahashivratri-TUngnath-shutterstock_272269856

Located in Rudraprayag in Uttarakhand, Tungnath is the highest Shiva temple in the world and is still visited by several devotees.

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5. Murudeshwara temple

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Murudeshwara in Karnataka is home to the world’s second-tallest Shiva statue and famous with Shiva devotees in south India.

6. Lingaraj temple

Image: WIkimedia Commons

Image: WIkimedia Commons

One of the oldest temples in Odisha’s Bhubaneswar, the Lingaraj temple is famous among Hindus as it is dedicated to Lord Harihar, a form of Shiva.

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7. Kedarnath temple

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Located in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand, the Kedarnath temple is one of the Char dham destinations and perhaps the most prominent pilgrim center of India.

8. Kashi Vishwanath temple

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Image: Wikimedia Commons

The prime tourist attraction in Varanasi, the Kashi Vishwanath temple is one of the twelve jyotirlingas of Shiva and is known for its grand aartis.

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9. Ramanathaswamy temple

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Located in the beautiful Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, the Ramanathaswamy temple is one of the most famous temples of south India and is known for its unique architecture.

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10. Sri Kotalingeshwara temple

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Image: Wikimedia Commons

With close to one crore shiva lingas, the Kotalingeshwara temple near Mysore in Karnataka is famous for being home to the largest Shiva linga in Asia.

11. Amarnath temple

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Image: Wikimedia Commons

An extremely popular Hindu shrine in Jammu and Kashmir, Amarnath is a famous pilgrimage undertaken by loads of devotees every year.