Shiv Temples Outside India: Lord Shiva is considered to be the only God who is seated on the Himalaya Mountains. One of his names is also Bholenath. It is said that if someone offers even a single belipatra on the Shivling with a sincere heart, then Lord Shiva becomes pleased in that. The faith of the devotees towards him is as naïve as him. His form is different. Lord Shiva, holding a snake around his neck, Gangadhara on his head and a trident in his hand, keeps an eye on every devotee with his three eyes and fulfills their wishes. It is believed that they have neither a beginning nor an end. The biggest festival of Lord Shiva is Mahashivratri (Mahashivratri ki Hardik Shubhkamnaye).
Shiv Temples Outside India – About Some Famous Shiva Temples
The month of Shivaratri is observed on the Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi of every month, but the Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi of the Falgun month is worshiped as Mahashivratri. Devotees wish each other a very happy Mahashivratri on this festival. By the way, there are many Shiva temples in India, where devotees dedicate their faith on Mahashivratri. But we are telling you about some such ancient Shiv temples located outside India, whose belief and faith is not less than any temple in India.
Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal
Situated in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, this Shiva temple is one of the oldest temples in Nepal. This is the reason why it is considered very sacred in Nepal. The festival of Shivaratri has a lot of significance in this temple. It is said that this temple was built by Pashupreksha of the Somdev dynasty in the 3rd century BC. But the historical documents date back only to the 13th century. The original temple was destroyed several times and rebuilt. It was rebuilt in the 17th century. There is a four-faced idol of Lord Shiva in the temple. Non-Hindus are prohibited from entering this temple. It has four entrances, all of which are covered in silver sheets. Not only this, this temple is also included in the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
Prambanan Temple in Java, Indonesia
Built in the 9th century by Rakai Pictan of the Mataram Kingdom, this temple is not only one of the largest temples in South East Asia, but also the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia. This ancient temple is located at a place called Java in Indonesia. The name ‘Prambanan’ comes from the word ‘para brahmin’, which in Javanese said for ‘supreme brahmin’. This temple is dedicated to Tridev Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. It consists of a 47 meter high building in the center of a large complex and several different temples. Originally, there were 240 such temples but many are now in ruins. The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva (Shiv Bhagwan) is located inside the complex and houses the largest idol of Shiva.
Katasraj Temple in Chakwal, Pakistan
Situated in the Chakwal district of Punjab near Lahore in Pakistan, this temple has been in existence since the days of Mahabharata. The Pandava brothers are said to have taken refuge here during their exile. According to scholars, when Lord Shiva’s wife Sati dies, they cry so much that two rhythms are formed. One is located in Pushkar and the other was built here, which is called Kataksha Kund. It has seven temples in which the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is built on a square platform and has a round arch at the entrance. There is also a holy pool for bathing in the temple premises. However since 2012 it has been drying up due to excessive use of groundwater for industrial purposes.
Munneswaram Temple in Munneswaram, Sri Lanka
This ancient temple outside India is located in Munneswaram, Sri Lanka. The Munneswaram Devasthanam Temple is built in the South Indian Dravidian style. It is believed that this temple has been in existence since the Ramayana period. It is said that Lord Rama worshiped Lord Shiva here after killing Ravana. It is a temple complex consisting of 5 temples. Of these, the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is the biggest center here. The temple was destroyed twice in the past by the Portuguese, later it was handed over to the Jesuits, who rebuilt it. The festival of Shivratri and Navratri is celebrated with great grandeur in this temple.
Arulmigu Sri Raja Kaliamman Temple in Johor Baru, Malaysia
This temple of Lord Shiva by the name of Arulmigu Sri Raja Kaliamman Temple was built in 1922. It is one of the oldest temples located in Johor, Bahru. The land on which the temple stands was given to the Indians by the Sultan of Johor. Initially it was just like a hut but gradually it assumed a grand form. The most unique aspect of this temple is its creative, intricate and clean glass work. Above the sanctum sanctorum is the abode of Lord Shiva, where more than 3,00,000 Rudraksha garlands have been pasted on the wall and decorated. It is the center of tourist attraction of the state. The temple was included in the Malaysian Book of Records on 12 May 2010 as the nation’s first and only glass temple.
Mukti Gupteshwar Temple in Minto, Australia
The 13th and last Jyotirlinga was gifted to Australia in 1999 by the then King of Nepal- Late Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev. Along with the gift of 7996 hymns arranged in eight sections specially sung in praise of Lord Shiva. According to the scriptures, this Shivling was to be built in the Southern Hemisphere which symbolizes ‘snake’s mouth’, the snake is like an ornament around the neck of Lord Shiva. That’s why Australia was chosen. The special thing is that the foundation of this temple was laid in 1999 in the suburb of Minto – Sydney on the festival of Shivratri. You will be surprised to know that this is the only cave temple built by man. Along with the 13th Jyotirlinga, the temple also has replicas of other 12 Jyotirlingas. There are 1128 small temples in the temple complex, all of which are related to Lord Shiva. Inside the main sanctum is a 10-metre-deep vault containing two million hand-written notes from devotees saying ‘Om Namah Shivaya’.
Shiva Vishnu Temple in Melbourne, Australia
In 1984, 14 acres of land in Carrom Down was purchased for $72,300. This land was chosen according to the scriptures, as it is said that the land should be brand new without being used for the construction of Shiva temples. The first worship was performed in early 1986, after which the construction of two primary temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Vishnu began in 1987. Since then, after years of planning by the Hindu Society of Victoria, the Shiva Vishnu Temple at Carrom Down was opened to devotees in 1994 after the hard work of a team of skilled craftsmen convened from India. Ten priests from Kancheepuram and Sri Lanka were called to worship for its inauguration. Around 32 deities are worshiped inside the temple on the basis of elaborate rituals and Indian festivals like Shivratri, Holi and Diwali are also celebrated here with great grandeur.
Shiva Vishnu Temple in Livermore, California
Situated in Livermore, California, the Shiva Vishnu Temple is one of the largest Hindu temples in the Bay Area. With respect to architecture, this temple is the best among North and South Indian Hindu temples. Once you enter the temple, you will notice myriad gods and goddesses. Like- Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Goddess Durga, Ayyappa, Maa Lakshmi etc. Most of the idols were donated by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1985. The courtyard inside the temple complex is neat and clean and the atmosphere here is calm. The temple also provides prasad to all its devotees.
Shiva Temple in Zurich, Switzerland
The Shiva Temple in Zurich, Switzerland, is a small temple located on the first floor of a building. Although it is clean and well maintained. The idols of Nataraja and Shakti are installed in the ‘Garbha Griha’ behind the Shiva Linga (Shiv Temples Outside India). There are also idols of two Nandis next to Lord Shiva. The temple is open for prayers on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 7 pm to 9 pm. The festival of Shivratri is celebrated here with great pomp.
Shiva Temple in Auckland, New Zealand
This temple was established in 1998 after the purchase of a plot of land by the Sanatan Shivarchan Trust. Later this temple was opened to all in May 2004. The establishment of this temple in New Zealand not only promotes the appreciation of Sanatan Dharma among the devotees, but is also a center of advancement for the youth by providing free Hindi classes every Sunday. In this temple, the Shivling of Lord Shiva is in the form of Navdeshwar Shivling. This temple was built according to Hindu scriptures under the guidance of Acharya Maha Mandaleshwar Swami Shivendra Puriji Maharaj or Yagya Baba. The temple is open from 8 am to noon and remains open from 5 pm to 7.30 pm in the evening.
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