India is a land of the faithful billion. The country is home to millions of Hindus. You will find temples and places of worship in every city, town and village in the country. Even the mountains and forests have immense temples that are revered by millions across the country. Lord Shiva is one out three deities in the Hindu trinity (the other two being Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu). Lord Shiva is revered by millions of followers not only in India but also all over the world. There are innumerable temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in the country, however the impressive ancient Shiva temples in Uttarakhand are most popular.
Uttarakhand itself is known as “Devbhoomi” which translates to “Land of Gods and Goddesses”. Hence, devotees of Shiva can find numerous Shiva temples in this hilly state in northern India.
Here’s a list of the top Shiva temples in Uttarakhand to help you plan your next pilgrimage easily and efficiently:
The Kedarnath Temple is probably the most popular Shiva temple in India. Located near the scenic Garhwal foothills of the immense Himalayan mountain range, Kedarnath Temple holds the record for being the highest-placed Jyotirlinga out of the total 12, in India. The mythic and ancient Mandakini River flows right by the small town of Rudraprayag which is included in the traditional “Chhota Char Dham Yatra”. Book Chardham Yatra Tour Packages
The Tungnath Temple, also in Rudraprayag, is one of the most popular Shiva Temples in India. It holds the record for being the highest-located Shiva Temple, at an astounding height of over 12,000 ft above sea level. Tungnath Temple is part of the popular Panch Kedar pilgrimage.
The Agastehswar Temple, also in Rudraprayag, is one of the major Shiva Temples in Uttarakhand. Although not part of the Panch Kedar pilgrimage, the Agasteshwar Temple is still attended by tens of thousands of Shiva devotees every year. It is located on the scenic banks of the River Mandakini and is also called as the Agastyamuni Temple sometimes.
The Koteshwat Mahadev Temple is another popular Shiva Temple in Uttarakhand. It is located atop the banks of the scenic River Alaknanda. Mythology states that Lord Shiva halted in this scenic spot to meditate on his legendary journey to Kedarnath. Local legends state that the temple existed even at the time of the infamous demon Bhasmasura.
The Rudranath Temple is another popular Shiva Temple in Uttarakhand and India. It is located in the lush alpine forests of the Garhwal hills. The temple is carved into a single rock. It is important as it is part of the Panch Kedar pilgrimage and needs to be visited before you visit the Madhyameshwar temple on your pilgrimage.
The Madhyameshwar Temple is the next step in a Panch Kedar trip. Also located in Garhwal, the foothills of the mighty Himalayan mountain range, the Madhyameshwar Temple is located in Mansoona village and situated at over 11,400 ft above sea level. The scenic snow-clad peaks of Chaukhamba Mountains can be seen clearly from here.
7. Kalpeshwar Temple (Garhwal)
The Kalpeshwar Temple is also another popular Shiva Temple in Uttarakhand and situated in the scenic Urgam valley. This is the last part of the Panch Kedar pilgrimage and is located at a height of 7,200 ft.
8. Jageshwar Temple (Almora)
The Jageshwar Temple is one of the more popular Shiva Temples in the Himalayan state. It is located at a little over 6,000 feet above sea level in the Kumaun region of Almora district of Uttarakhand. This is where you will find the famous Nagesh Jyotirlinga as well as other popular temples, including Jageshwar Mahadev Temple, Dandeshwar Shiva Temple and Mahamritunjaya Mahadev Temple among others.
9. Baijnath Temple (Baijnath)
The Baijnath Temple is one of the oldest Shiva Temples in the state. It is located on the banks of the holy River Gomti in the town of Baijnath. The Baijnath Temple is one of four temples that are connected within the Shiva Heritage Circuit in the Kumaun region.
10. Bagnath Temple (Bageshwar)
The Bagnath Temple is one of the oldest Shiva Temples in Uttarakhand state and one of the most popular in the Bageshwar district. It is situated in a scenic location at the congregation of the holy River Gomti and River Sarayu. The impressive array of variety of bells and the amazing carvings on the temple walls are incredible to experience.
11. Baleshwar Temple (Champawat)
The Baleshwar Temple is another popular Shiva Temple and is located in the Champawat district of Uttarakhand. Built as long ago as the 11th century, the Baleshwar Temple is an impressive example of architecture and stone carving of the Chand dynasty that accomplished its building. Today, Baleshwar Temple is one of the most revered Shiva Temples in the northern state.
12. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple (Rishikesh)
The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is probably among the top popular Shiva Temples in the state of Uttarakhand. It is one of the most prominent holy places for devotees of Lord Shiva. The surrounding verdant forest and location in the middle of three valleys – Vishnukoot, Brahmakoot and Manikoot – makes it one of the most scenic places to visit too.
13. Bilkeshwar Mahadev Temple (Haridwar)
The Bilkeshwar Mahadev Temple, located in the holy city of Haridwar, is another top popular Shiva Temple in the Uttarakhand state. It is located in the beautiful Bilva Parvat valley, named after the Bilva tree which is revered as symbols that represent the eyes of Lord Shiva. The temple holds extreme reverence as it is stated to be the place where Lord Shiva finally appeared to Goddess Parvati after she prayed for years under a Bilva tree.
14. Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple (Masi)
The Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple is located around 10 km from the town of Masi in Uttarakhand. It is situated on the banks of the Ram Ganga River and considered one of the holiest shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva.
This is the list of top 14 Shiva Temples to visit in Uttarakhand. So plan your next pilgrimage to Shiva Temples easily and efficiently by following the suggested sequence of visit in our expert itinerary to find best places to visit in India