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15 Shiva Temples in Karnataka for Any Shaivas: Explore Now

Shiva Temples in Karnataka

Shaivism has a profound historical and cultural presence in Karnataka, influencing religious practices, architecture, literature, and social structures since the 4th century CE. This article will take you on a journey through some of the famous Shiva temples in Karnataka with rich history.

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Popular Shiva Temples In Karnataka For Devotees

The spread of Shavism in Karnataka was significantly promoted by dynasties like the Kadambas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, and Hoysalas, who were devoted Shiva worshippers. It is home to some iconic Shiva temples which are a must-visit for any Shaiva.

Here Are The 15 Famous Shiva Temples In Karnataka

Murudeshwara Temple, Bhatkal

Murudeshwara Temple: Shiva Temples In Karnataka
Credit: Karnataka.com

Located on Kaduka Hill, this temple is famous for its enormous sculpture of Lord Shiva. It provides a breathtaking view of the Arabian Sea. The statue is also the tallest Shiva statue in India. According to legend, the Demon King Ravana once obtained a powerful Atma-Linga.

Ganesha deceived him into placing the linga on the ground, rendering it immovable. This location became known as Murudeshwar. The temple is open daily from 6:00 am to 12 pm and 3:00 pm to 8:15 pm.

  • How to reach the Murudeshwara Temple? The nearest Airport to Murudeshwara Temple is Mangalore International Airport. It lies around 159 km away. The nearest railway station is the Murudeshwar Railway station, located 2 km away from the temple. Visitors can also take a bus from the nearest Murudeshwar bus stand. It lies 500 meters away.
  • What is the Murudeshwara Temple famous for? The temple boasts the second tallest statue of Shiva with a height of 123 ft and has an equally exquisite and colossal gopuram (gateway) which has a height of 237 ft.
  • Best time to visit the Murudeshwara Temple: The best time to visit the Murudeshwara Temple is from October to February.


Sri Manjunatha Temple, Dakshin Kannada

Sri Manjunatha Temple, Dakshin Kannada
Credit: ManjunathBS

Located in the renowned temple town of Dharmasthala, the 800-year-old temple is an iconic example of religious harmony where Shaivite rituals are conducted by Vaishnava priests and administered by a Jain family.

The architecture beautifully blends Jain and Hindu elements, with worship of both the Jain Tirthankara and Lord Shiva, revered here as Lord Manjunatha, on the same sacred ground. The temple is open every day from 6:30 Am to 2 PM in the mornings and from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the evenings.

  • How to reach the Sri Manjunatha Temple? The nearest airport is the Mangalore International Airport, located around 50 km away from the temple. The nearest railway station is the Yedamangala railway station, located 40 KM away. The nearest bus stand to Sri Manjunatha Temple is Dharmasthala Bus Stand. It is 600 m away.
  • What is the Sri Manjunatha Temple famous for? The temple is renowned for its religious tolerance and communal harmony. Visitors must follow certain rules such as men must remove their shirts and vests, and women should wear modest, preferably traditional attire.
  • Best time to visit the Sri Manjunatha Temple: The best time to visit the Sri Manjunatha Temple is during the winter, from October to February, as the weather is pleasant.


Virupaksha Temple, Hampi

Virupaksha Temple, Hampi
Credit: WikimediaCommans

The Virupaksha Temple, constructed in the seventh century by Lakkan Dandesha, who was a commander of King Deva Raya II, is a significant part of the Group of Monuments at Hampi and has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Also referred to as the Pampathi Temple, it holds the distinction of being the oldest and sole operational temple in Hampi.

According to locals, Lord Shiva himself indicated the site to a sage, instructing him to build a temple there. Being one of the famous temples in Karnataka, it is open every day from 6:00 am to 1:00 pm in the mornings and 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM in the evenings.

  • How to reach Virupaksha Temple? The nearest Airport to Virupaksha Temple is Jindal Vijaynagar Airport, located 35 km away. The nearest railway station is the Hospet Junction Railway Station. It lies 10 km away from Hampi. The nearest bus stand to Virupaksha Temple is Hampi Bus Stand. It is 300 m away.
  • What is Virupaksha Temple famous for? One of India’s oldest and most active temples, it exemplifies Vijayanagara’s architectural prowess with its 50-meter-tall Raja Gopuram. The temple symbolizes resilience, having survived multiple invasions and the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • Best time to visit Virupaksha Temple: The best time to visit the Virupaksha Temple is from November to February when the weather is calm and mild.
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Shri Kotilingeshwara Swamy Temple, Kammasandra

Shri Kotilingeshwara Swamy Temple, Kammasandra
Credit: TempleVihar

In Kannada, ‘Koti’ refers to a crore and ‘Kotilingeshwara’ means “the Lord of a Crore Lingas.” According to locals, the lingas were originally placed at the current temple site by a former atheist who later converted to Shaivism. The temple is known for housing one of the largest Shivalingas in the world, standing at an impressive height of 108 feet.

This story was later adapted into a biographical film, Sri Manjunatha, which was released in 2001. The temple is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

  • How to reach Shri Kotilingeshwara Swamy Temple? The nearest Airport to Shri Kotilingeshwara Swamy Temple is Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, located 103 km away. The nearest railway station is Oorgaum railway station which is 8 km away. Visitors can also take a bus from the nearest Shri Koti Bus stop, located 170 m away.
  • What is Shri Kotilingeshwara Swamy Temple famous for? The temple, named “Kotilingeshwara,” is famous for being surrounded by over 90 lakh Shiv lingas. It also features a colossal Shiva linga and a 35-foot-tall statue of Nandi, Lord Shiva’s sacred bull, directly across from it.
  • Best time to visit Shri Kotilingeshwara Swamy Temple: The best time to visit the temple is from October to March due to the pleasant weather.


Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebeedu

Hoysaleshwara Temple: Shiva Temples In Karnataka
Credit: GudluResorts

Formerly known as Dwarasamudra, this twin-shrined temple is perhaps the largest Shiva temple built by the Hoysalas and is regarded as one of the three most spectacular monuments of the Hoysala empire. The temple is celebrated as a prime example of Hoysala architecture.

Built on a star-shaped platform, it features two shrines dedicated to Hoysaleswara and Shantaleswara, each housing a Shiva lingam. The temple is open daily from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm.

  • How to reach the Hoysaleshwara Temple? The nearest airport is the Mysore Airport, located 155 km away from Haleebedu. The nearest railway is the Hassan Railway Station, located about 30 km away from Haleebedu. Visitors can also walk to the temple from the Halebeed KSRTC Bus Stand, which is located only 79 m away from the temple.
  • What is the Hoysaleshwara Temple famous for? The Hoysaleshwara temple is renowned for its stunning architecture. The outer walls are full of numerous intricate frescos from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The unique factor lies in the fact that no two sculptures look the same. There is also a magnificent monolithic Nandi statue outside each shrine.
  • Best time to visit the Hoysaleshwara Temple temple: The best time to visit the Hoysaleshwara Temple is from October to February as the weather is cooler and ideal for exploring.


Mallikarjuna Temple, Pattakadal

Mallikarjuna Temple, Pattakadal
Credit: WikimediaCommans

Queen Trailokya Mahadevi originally named the temple Trailokeswara Maha Saila Prasada and built it around 740 AD to celebrate her husband, Vikramaditya II’s victory over the Pandavas. Lying beside the Virupaksha Temple, the temple shares the same architectural style.

The temple is part of the stunning Pattadakal group of monuments and is one of the most famous temples in Karnataka. It is open from 9 AM to 5 PM. It is also regarded as the twin of the Virupaksha temple.

  • How to reach Mallikarjuna Temple? The nearest Airport to Mallikarjuna Temple is Hubli Airport, located 131 km away. The nearest railway station is Badammi Railway Station, located 17 KM away from Pattakadal. Visitors can also take a bus from the nearest bus stand, the Pattakadal Bus Stand, located 400 m away.
  • What is Mallikarjuna Temple famous for? The temple is famous for being the place where Lord Mallikarjuna and Goddess Brahmaramba united in marriage. The temple is also an exemplary specimen of Chalukyan architecture, blending both Dravidian (South Indian) and Nagara (North Indian) architectural styles.
  • Best time to visit Mallikarjuna Temple: The best time to visit the Mallikarjuna Temple is from October to March when the weather is very pleasant.
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Nanjudesharwara Temple, Nanjangud

Nanjudesharwara Temple, Nanjangud
Credit: NativePlanet

Also known as the Srikanteshwara Temple, the temple is dedicated to Lord Nandeshwara, ‘the Lord who drank poison’. In Kannada, the word ‘Nanjangud’ translates to “the abode of Nanja” (Nanjundeshwara).

The famous temple in Karnataka showcases Dravidian architecture with a towering nine-storied gopuram standing at 120 feet. Shiva is believed to have rested here after consuming the halahal during the ocean churning. The temple is open daily from 6:00 AM to 1:30 PM and 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

  • How to reach the Nanjudesharwara Temple? The nearest airport is the Mysuru Airport, located 14 Km away. The Sujathapuram railway station is the nearest railway station located around 21 Km away. The nearest bus stand to Nanjudesharwara Temple is Nanjangud Old Bus Stand. It is 1.6 km away.
  • What is the Nanjudesharwara Temple famous for? The temple is associated with the Hindu myth of Samudra Manthan, where Lord Shiva drank poison, turning his throat blue and earning the name “Neelakantha.” Nanjundeshwara, the temple’s deity, symbolizes this legend. The temple is believed to have healing powers, particularly for eye ailments.
  • Best time to visit Nanjudesharwara Temple: The best time to visit Nanjudesharwara Temple is from October to March as the cool weather is ideal for exploration.


Shri Mahabaleshwara Temple, Gokarna

Shri Mahabaleshwara Temple, Gokarna
Credit: VipraBharat

The temple is famous for its 6 feet tall Atma Linga. ‘Gokarna’ means ‘cow’s ear’, it is believed that Shiva emerged out of a cow’s ear in this town. It is said to be as significant as Kashi, thus earning the name Dakshin Kashi. According to Hindu mythology, the demon king, Ravana received the Atmalinga from Lord Shiva.

However, due to divine intervention, he was unable to take it back to Lanka, and it became rooted in Gokarna. The temple is open daily from 6 AM to 12:30 PM in the mornings and 5 PM to 8 PM in the evenings.

  • How to reach Shri Mahabaleshwara Temple? The nearest Airport to Shri Mahabaleshwara Temple is Goa International Airport, located 145 km away. The nearest railway station is the Wathar railway station, located about 60 km away from Mahabaleshwar. Visitors can also take a bus from the nearest Mahabaleshwar ST Bus Depot, located about 10 km away.
  • What is Shri Mahabaleshwara Temple famous for? The temple is believed to house the original Atmalinga, enclosed within the Shaligrama Peetha. This colossal lingam is considered one of the most powerful and sacred Shiva lingams in Hinduism, believed to grant immense spiritual benefits and fulfil devotees’ wishes.
  • Best time to visit Mahabaleshwara Temple: The best time to visit the Shri Mahabaleshwara Temple is October to February as the weather is mild.


Shree Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Shiva Temple, Bangalore

Shree Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Shiva Temple: Shiva Temples In Karnataka
Credit: GoaApp

Located in Omkareshwar Nagar, this temple is notable for its spiritual significance and unique representation of the 12 Jyotirlingas, which are the most sacred abodes of Shiva in India.

Established by Brahmaleena Sadguru Sri Shivapuri Mahaswamiji, this temple allows devotees to worship all 12 Jyotirlingas without the need for extensive travel, as the original Jyotirlingas are scattered across India. The temple is open daily from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

  • How to reach Shree Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Shiva Temple? The nearest railway station is the Bangalore International Airport located 48 km away from the temple. Bangalore also has 2 rail terminals- The Bangalore City and Yeshwantpur Junction, located about 13 km away. The nearest bus stop to Shree Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Shiva Temple is Kalasipalya Bus Stand. It is 13 km away.
  • What is Shree Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Shiva Temple famous for? The temple is renowned for its unique representation of the 12 Jyotirlingas, allowing devotees to worship all of them in one place, eliminating the need to travel to individual Jyotirlinga locations across India.
  • Best time to visit Shree Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Shiva Temple: The best time to visit the Shree Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Shiva Temple is from November to February when the weather is pleasant and conducive.
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Chalukya Shiva Temple, Aihole

Chalukya Shiva Temple: Shiva Temples In Karnataka
Credit: Karnataka.com

Also known as the Lad Khan Temple, it is one of the oldest Shiva temples in Karnataka and is designated as a part of the group of monuments at Aihole in the state of Karnataka, India. Located south of the Durga Temple, it is one of the earliest examples of Chalukyan temple architecture, dating back to the 5th century.

The main shrine houses a Shiva linga with a statue of Nandi and represents the transition from rock-cut cave temples to structural temples. It is open from 9 AM to 5 PM daily.

  • How to reach the Chalukya Shiva Temple? The nearest airport is the Hubballi Airport, located 140 km away from Aihole. The nearest railway station is the Bagalkot Railway Station, located at a distance of 33 KM away from the temple. Visitors can either walk or take a bus from the nearest bus stop, Aihole Bus Stop, located 270 m away to reach the temple.
  • What is the Chalukya Shiva Temple famous for? One of the earliest examples of 5th-century Chalukyan architecture, this temple uniquely transitions from a rectangular to a square structure. Its design expertly combines traditional wooden styles with stone craftsmanship,
  • Best time to visit the Chalukya Shiva Temple: The best time to visit the Chalukya Shiva Temple is from October to March as the temperature is cooler.

Badavalinga Temple, Hampi

Badavalinga Temple, Hampi
Credit: Karnataka.com

Located next to the Lakshmi Narasimha statue, this temple houses a magnificent monolithic Shiva Linga, the Badavalinga, carved out of a single black stone. According to legend, this temple was commissioned by a peasant woman, which is why it is called the Badavalinga Temple.

The term “Badva” translates to “poor” in the local language. The base of the 3-meter lingam is submerged in water depicting the arrival of the Goddess Ganga on earth.

  • How to reach the Badavalinga Temple? The nearest Airport to the Badavalinga Temple is Jindal Vijaynagar Airport. It is 24 km away. The nearest railway station is the Hospet Junction Railway Station. It lies 10 km away from Hampi. The nearest bus stand to Badavalinga Temple is Hampi Bus Stand. It is 700 m away.
  • What is the Badavalinga Temple famous for? It is one of the largest Lingas in Hampi. An interesting feature of the stone chamber’s design is the absence of a ceiling. During the day, sunlight streams through the open top, illuminating the Shiva Linga with natural light.
  • Best time to visit the Badavalinga Temple: The best time to visit the Badavalinga Temple is from November to February.

Shivoham Shiva Temple, Bangalore

Shivoham Shiva Temple: Shiva Temples In Karnataka
Credit: NativePlanet

Built in 1995, it features a 65 FT (20 m) statue of Shiva, constructed by master craftsman, Kashinath. Lord Shiva is depicted meditatively with Goddess Ganga flowing out of his hair.

The temple’s name “Shivoham” signifies the profound Vedic chant meaning “I am Shiva,” reflecting the temple’s emphasis on spiritual enlightenment and self-realization. It is open from 7:30 AM to 8:30 PM every day.

  • How to reach Shivoham Shiva Temple? The nearest airport is the Kempegowda International Airport, located about 43 km away. The nearest railway station is the KSR Bengaluru City Junction (Bangalore), located 13 KM away from the temple. The nearest bus stand to Shivoham Shiva Temple is Murugesh Palya Bus Stand. It is 1 km away.
  • What is Shivoham Shiva Temple famous for? The pilgrimage sites of Amarnath and Barah Jyotirlinga Yatra are recreated for devotees unable to undertake harsh treks.
  • Best time to visit Shivoham Shiva Temple: The best time to visit the Shivoham Shiva Temple is from October to February when the weather is moderate.
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Shri Someshwara Swamy Temple, Bangalore

Shri Someshwara Swamy Temple, Bangalore
Credit: BengaluruPrayana

Also known as Halasuru Someshwara Temple, located in the Halasuru neighbourhood of the city. It is one of the oldest temples in the city dating back to the Chola period. Major modifications were made during the late Vijayanagara Empire period under the reign of Hiriya Kempe Gowda II.

Legend has it that Kempe Gowda II, while hunting, received a divine vision of the local deity Someshwara, instructing him in a dream to build a temple in his honour.

  • How to reach the Shri Someshwara Swamy Temple? The nearest airport is the Kempegowda International Airport, located about 37 km away from the temple. The nearest railway station is the KSR Bengaluru City Junction (Bangalore), located 7 km away from the temple. The nearest bus stand to Shri Someshwara Swamy Temple is Kempegowda Bus Stand. It is 7 km away.
  • What is the Shri Someshwara Swamy Temple famous for? This temple is one of the oldest in Bangalore, believed to have been constructed by Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore, during the 16th century, making it an integral part of Karnataka’s cultural and historical legacy.
  • Best time to visit the Shri Someshwara Swamy Temple: The best time to visit the Shri Someshwara Swamy Temple is from October to February when the weather is cool.

Dodda Basavana Gudi Temple, Bangalore

Dodda Basavana Gudi Temple, Bangalore: Shiva Temples In Karnataka
Credit: Karnataka.com

Also known as the Nandi or Big Bull Temple, is located inside a park called Bugle Rock. Dodda Basavana Gudi Temple is said to be one of the biggest temples of Nandi in the world. It is exclusively for the worship of the sacred bull Nandi, Lord Shiva’s vahana. 

Basavana Gudi Temple is a popular temple in Karnataka named after the large granite monolith Nandi placed on the temple’s garbhagriha. It is open daily from 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM in the mornings and from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM in the evenings.

  • How to reach Dodda Basavana Gudi Temple? The nearest airport is the Kempegowda International Airport, located about 40 km away. The nearest railway station is the KSR Bengaluru City Junction (Bangalore), located 6 km away from the temple. The nearest bus stand to Dodda Basavana Gudi Temple, Bangalore is Kempegowda Bus Stand. It is 4 km away.
  • What is the Dodda Basavana Gudi Temple famous for? It is famous for its enormous statue of the sacred bull Nandi. The 4.5-meter-tall and 6.5-meter-long statue is carved from a single piece of granite and is considered one of the largest Nandi statues in the world.
  • Best time to visit the Dodda Basavana Gudi Temple: The best time to visit the Dodda Basavana Gudi Temple is from October to February when the weather is pleasant.

Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple, Bangalore

Credit: Times of India

Also known as Gavipura Cave Temple, it is believed to have been built by Gautama Maharishi and Bharadwaja Muni in the Vedic period and later renovated in the 16th century by Kempe Gowda. Built-in a natural cave in Gavipuram, it is one of Bengaluru’s oldest temples.

Famous for its four monolithic pillars representing Damaru and Trishul, it also features two large circular discs on the patio. It is open every day from 6:00 AM to 12;30 PM in the mornings and from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the evenings.

  • How to reach the Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple? The nearest airport is the Kempegowda International Airport, located about 40 km away. The nearest railway station is the KSR Bengaluru City Junction (Bangalore), located about 5 KM away from the temple. The nearest bus stop to Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple is the Hanumanthnagar Bus Stop. It is 4 km away.
  • What is the Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple famous for? One of the most fascinating aspects of the temple is the annual event on Makar Sankranti. During this festival, the sun’s rays pass through the horns of the Nandi statue and illuminate the Shiva linga inside the cave.
  • Best time to visit the Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple: The best time to visit the Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple is from October to February when the weather is mild.

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In conclusion, the Shiva temples in Karnataka offer unique architecture and rich history, providing a profound experience for visitors. From ancient cave sanctuaries to grand stone structures, they stand as timeless beacons of devotion and cultural heritage. These temples invite everyone to explore their sacred spaces and stories.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are the five famous Shiva temples in Karnataka?

The five famous Shiv temples in Karnataka include:
1. Murudeshwar Temple, Bhatkal
2. Shivoham Shiva Temple, Bangalore
3. Shri Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna
4. Hoyaleshwara Temple, Haleebedu
5. Shree Kotilingeshwara Temple, Kollar

Which is the oldest Hindu temple in Karnataka?

The Chalukya Shiva Temple (formerly known as Lad Khan Temple), dating back to the 5th century is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Karnataka.

Which jyotirlinga is in Karnataka?

Located in Omkar Hills of Bangalore, Sri Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Temple is notable for its unique representation of the 12 Jyotirlingas, allowing devotees to worship all of them in one place, without the need to travelling to each Jyotirlinga located across India.

Which is the 800-year-old temple in Karnataka?

Dharmasthala Temple is an 800-year-old temple dedicated to Lord Manjunatheshwara (a form of Shiva), where Vaishnava priests serve in a Shaiva temple under Jain administration. The temple presents a stunning display of religious tolerance and communal harmony.

Which is the biggest lingam in Karnataka?

The Shri Kotilingeshwara Swamy Temple boasts of housing a colossal Shiva linga having an impressive height of 108 ft and is one of the largest Shivalingas in the world. The temple is famous for being surrounded by over 90 lakhs of Shiv lingas, giving the temple its name “Kotilingeshwara”.