Lord Shiva is present everywhere and the innumerable temples dedicated to Him across the world confirms this belief. Here are the top five shiva temples outside India that you must try to visit once in a life time.
1. Prambanan Temple in Java, Indonesia
This temple, built by Rakai Pikatan of Mataram Kingdom in the 9th century, is not only one of the largest temples in south east Asia but is also the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia.
The name ‘Prambanan’ comes from the word ‘Para Brahman’ which in Javanese stands for the ‘supreme brahman’.
The temple is dedicated to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Originally, there were 240 such temples but many are in ruins now.
The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located in the innermost section of the compound and is the largest structure.
2. Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal
Pashupathinath means Lord of the Animals.
This temple is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams and is one of the oldest temples in Kathmandu.
Chronicles reveal that it was constructed by Jayadeva II way back in 753 AD. Reconstruction of the temple happened around the 17th century due to enormous damages caused by termites.
Inside the temple is a meter high lingam that has four faces.
3. Katasraj Temple in Chakwal, Pakistan
This temple located in the Chakwal district of Punjab near Lahore in Pakistan is believed to have been in existence since the days of the Mahabharata.
The Pandava brothers are said to have taken refuge here during their days of exile. Legend has it that when Lord Shiva’s wife, Sati, left her body, He cried so much that two pools were created.
One is located in Pushkar and the other was formed here. It houses seven temples of which the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva has been built on a square platform and the entrance has a recessed round arch.
4. Munneswaram Temple in Munneswaram, Sri Lanka
This temple is said to have been in existence since the days of the Ramayana. It is said that Lord Rama prayed to Lord Shiva here after he defeated Ravana.
It is a temple complex comprising of five temples. Of these the one dedicated to Lord Shiva is the central and the biggest one.
This temple has been destroyed twice in the past by the Portuguese before it was finally handed over to the Jesuits who rebuilt it. This temple celebrates Shivratri and Navratri with a lot of grandeur.
5. Arulmigu Sri Raja Kaliamman Temple in Johor Baru, Malaysia
Constructed in 1922, this is one of the oldest temples located in Johor Baru.
The land on which the temple stands was bequeathed to the Indians by the Sultan of Johore. Initially it resembled only a hut but over the years it has grown to become a grand one.
The most unique aspect of this temple is its creative, intricate and neat glass work. As for the sanctum that houses the deity of Lord Shiva, over 3,00,000 Rudraksha beads have been pasted onto the wall.