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Abodes of Shiva

Saivism is one of the dominant faiths in the Indian system of beliefs. Saivite temples constitute a sizable majority of temples in states such as Tamilnadu. Abodes of Shiva is a comprehensive guide to Shiva temples in India. Originally, Abodes of Shiva on Templenet covered only those temples glorified by the tamil hymns of the Nayanmars of the 1st millennium CE. This section has been now expanded to include other Shiva temples all over India.

All about the Tevara Paadal Petra Stalangal - 275 shrines glorified by the Tamil hymns of the Nayanmars around 1300 years ago.


Regionwise index of 275 Tevara Paadal Petra Stalangal - (revered by the Tevaram hymns of the past millennium) with detailed information on    history, legends, architecture, festivals and more.
The crowning glory of the historic city of Madurai in Tamilnadu is the sprawling Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple.   Madurai is one of the most ancient heritage sites truly reflective of the cultural ethos of India The Tyagaraja temple at Tiruvarur is one of the ancient heritage sites of India and is a representation of the religio-socio-cultural history of the Tamil region for a time period spanning a millennium and a half. In its antiquity, richness in terms of worship & festival traditions, in architectural & sculptural splendour, in its association with music & dance, Chidambaram is a center second to none in  representing the rich cultural heritage of India.
The temple town of Tiruvannamalai is home to the Arunachaleswarar temple, rich in history, tradition and architectural splendor. ekam1.jpg (38425 bytes) Kanchipuram near Chennai is a city of temples. The Ekambreswarar temple known as the Prithvi stalam is located here.
All about Shiva, Significance of the Shivalingam, Origin of Shivalinga worship, Iconic representations of Shiva. Complete details on the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva  held in reverence throughout the Indian subcontinent. Panchabhoota Stalams: Shiva is worshipped  as the embodiment  of the primary elements of wind, water, fire, earth and space at Kalahasti, Jambukeswaram, Arunachalam, Kanchipuram and Chidambaram.
The five Cosmic Dance Halls of Shiva are Chidambaram, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Kutralam and Tiruvalankadu - the halls of gold, silver, copper, pictures and rubies respectively.

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The Ashta Veeratta shrines, are eight temples   celebrating the destruction of evil by Shiva and are located at Tiruvatikai, Tirukkadavur, Tirukkurukkai, Tirutturutti, Tirukkovilur, Vazhuvur, Tiruvirkudi and Tirukkandiyur.
The Saptavitanka shrines of Shiva enshrine Somaskanda - Tyagaraja at Tiruvarur, Tirukkuvalai, Tiruvaimur, Tirukkaaraayil, Tirumaraikkadu, Tirunallar and Nagappattinam. The Kapaleeswarar temple at Tirumayilai (Mylapore) in Chennai is a clear illustration of the coexistence of tradition in all its grandeur with the hustle and bustle of life in a major meteropolis. Tiruvanmyur a southern suburb of Chennai, Tiruvotryur to the north of Chennai and Tirukkachur near Chingleput are 3 shrines to Tyagaraja revered by the 1st millennium Tevaram hymns.
The hill temple at Tirukkalunkunram (revered by the 1st millennium Tevaram hymns) near Mahabalipuram is an ancient one rich in history and tradition. eagl.jpg (50652 bytes) Vaikom, Ettumanoor and Kaduthurutti are three Shiva temples in the vicinity of Kottayam, said to have been worshipped by Kharan and Vyagrapadar.
Sirkazhi, Tiruvatikai and Tiruvenneinallur are closely associated with the Tevaram saints Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar respectively. Tiruchengode near Salem and Erode - Tamilnadu enshrines the Ardhanareeswarar (man-woman) manifestation of Shiva. The Chola monuments at Thanjavur, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Daarasuram and Tribhuvanam came into being after the period of the Nayanmars.
The early rock cut Shiva temple at Elephanta near Mumbai features the imposing Trimurthy Shiva image. elephanta.jpg (26015 bytes) The rock cut monolithic temple of Kailasanatha at Ellora is a monument dating back to the 6th century CE.
The Panchanadeeswara temple at Tiruvaiyaru is an imposing temple complex hailed as Dakshina Kailasam. Eight of the nine Navagraha stalams in Tamilnadu are temples dedicated to Shiva; 7 of which are associated with the Bhakti movement of the 1st millennium. Visit Shivastalams associated with the life of Manikkavacagar - the saint poet of the 1st millennium CE.
Amarnath located in the state of Kashmir  is reached after an arduous trek through the Himalayas. ell3.jpg (8656 bytes) The foremost of the Panchalinga shrines in Karnataka is the Vaidyeshwara temple at Talakkadu near Mysore.
Kedarnath in the lofty Himalayas is a hoary shrine held in reverence throughout the subcontinent. Sree Sailam is the best known Shivastalam in Andhra Pradesh. Bordering it is the town of Alampur housing the ancient Navabhramma temples. Rameswaram in Tamilnadu enshrines Ramanatha, and is associated with legends from the Ramayana.
Visit Saivite shrines in Tamilnadu celebrating the manifestation of Shiva as Dakshinamurthy. Draksharamam is one of the five Arama shrines in Andhra Pradesh, enshrining Shiva related through related legends. Tirupparamkunram near Madurai is one of the Arupadai Veedu shrines of Tamilnadu and is an ancient Shivastalam revered by the Tevaram hymns of the 1st millennium.
Tiruvidaimarudur near Kumbhakonam is home to an imposing temple complex dedicated to Mahalingeswarar. s0342.jpg (70353 bytes) Kumbhakonam in Tamilnadu is the seat of the Mahamakam festival and is home to three major Shivastalams - Kudandai Kaaronam, Kudamookku and Kudandai Keezhkottam.
The Somnath temple at Veraval in Gujarat is an ancient shrine, revered as one of the 12 Jyotir LInga shrines of India. The Virupaksha temple at Hampi in Karnataka had its glorious days during the period of the Vijayanagar empire. Halebidu - a sculptors dream lived in stone. The Hoysaleswara temple in Halebidu is a masterpiece of Hoysala architecture and sculpture.
Mukhalingam - the ancient capital of the Kalingas in Andhra Pradesh houses three exquisite temples built in the Orissa style of architecture.

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The Lingaraja temple at Bhubaneshwar in Orissa is colossal monument dating back to the 10th century CE.
Bhimashankar and Tryambakeshwar are two of the Jyotirlinga shrines in the state of Maharashtra. Prapitaamaheshwara temple at Gaya Shiva -  is enshrined in the ancient town of Gaya known primarily for its shrine to Vishnu India's foremost pilgrimage center Benares houses the Vishwanatha temple enshrining one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva.
The Umananda Temple at Bhasmachala or the hill of ashes near Guwahati in Assam is said to symbolize the site where Shiva burnt Kaama the God of desire to ashes. The Ekteswar temple near Bankura is a unique one enshrining  Ekapaada Murthy - a  manifestation of Shiva.


Abodes of Shiva is dedicated to the memory of my late grandmother
A. Lakshmi Ammal, who introduced me to the world of Shiva and the Tamil Saints when I was three years of age. I stand in acknowledgement of all that I received from her that made me undertake this and several other related projects. We miss her as this project comes to life.

Kanniks Kannikeswaran
Oct 19, 1999

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