Mahashivratri 2021 Special: 18 Best Places to Celebrate Shivaratri in India & Nepal

Mahashivratri 2021: 18 Best Places to Celebrate Shivaratri in India & Nepal

MahaShivratri is celebrated every year with great joy as the night of Lord Shiva. It is celebrated in the month of Phalgun in every luni-solar month of the calendar of Hindus.

It is the night of victory of good over evil and truth over false. It is also celebrated as the night of reunion of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati. Lord Shiva is the symbol of power, victory and great wisdom in the context of the Hindu religion.

This festival marks victory, forgiveness, and honesty. It is believed that if you’re a true Shiva devotee, you shall definitely succeed in your tasks and goals.

In Nepal too, Shivratri is a great festival for all the Nepalese Hindus. In the past, Nepal was a Hindu country so the Hindu related cultures are quite popular among the people in the country.

Nepal has some of the best Shiva devoted places that the Shiva devotees have to visit at least once in their lifetime. Here we provide you the top ten of the places that you need to visit in Nepal for the celebration of the auspicious occasion of the MahaShivratri.

Mahashivratri 2021: 18 Best Places to Celebrate Shivaratri in India & Nepal


Pashupatinath is one of the greatest pilgrimages in the Hindu religion. This temple is on the banks of Bagmati River in Kathmandu. It is the biggest temple dedicated towards Lord Shiva.

Thousands of devotees from Nepal and all over India come to visit the Pashupatinath Temple on the Shivaratri. Since it is the biggest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva the number of visitors rises during the time of Shivaratri.

Sadhus or saints people who have given up hope to live up with begging and natural habitats are the most to visit the Pashupatinath temple at the time of Shivaratri. Sadhus are mostly clothed but some sadhus are naked wearing nothing but ashes all over their body.

They are called Nango Baba meaning naked saint. They try to reflect the greatness of Lord Shiva who also lives in the cold mountains of Kailahparvats only half clothed.

Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple

Most of the saints spend all of their time around fire meditating and praying to Lord Shiva to end the cold winter and mark the arrival of Spring.Devotees chant “Om Namah Shivaya” and “Mahamritunjaya” all night praying for light over darkness.

There are several legends that connect the origin of Pashupatinath to Lord Shiva. One of the stories is that Shiva and Parvati came to the Kathmandu Valley and rested by the Bagmati while on a journey.

Shiva was so fearful of its attractiveness and the surrounding woods that he and Parvati changed themselves into deer and walked all around and into the forest. a lot of spots in the Kathmandu Valley have been recognized as places where Shiva went during his time as a deer. After a while, the public and gods began to search for Shiva.

Pashupatinath Temple Nepal: Biggest Temple of the Lord Shiva in the World

Finally, after various complications, they found him in the forest, but he refused to go away. More complications ensued, but ultimately Lord Shiva confessed that, since he had lived by the Bagmati river in a deer’s form, he would now be known as Pashupatinath, Lord of all animals.

It is said that whoever came here and beheld the lingam that appeared there would not be reborn as an animal.This temple is an ancient monument to the country, Nepal. It is so famous and culturally rich that it is enlisted in the list of UNESCO World Heritage since the year of 1979 AD.

The temple is dedicated to the Hindu Lord Shiva. It is a special worship in the destination to all those who love and dedicate their lives to Lord Shiva. It is a sacred Hindu temple.

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Its architectural identity is the tiered style. Its main materials with which it is built are bricks, wood, and stone. Huge gatherings of people occur with lots of pujas during the auspicious occasion of the Maha Shivaratri. Its location lies in Kathmandu near a place called Gaushala.

The place is surrounded by lots of trees. This location lies near the airport because of which tourists and foreign devotees find it very easy to reach the destination and pray to their deity Lord Shiva.

Thus, Pashupatinath is one of the religiously blessed places especially for the Hindus and followers of Lord Shiva.Also, it is the reason why Pashupatinath is considered the Guardian and Protector of the Kathmandu Valley and Nepal and all the Hindu devotees.


Varanasi is one of the most religious and spiritual places of the whole world especially for the Hindu devotees this place is one of the most important places in the world.

Varanasi has many important temples of Hindus including the one that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. So, it is undoubtful that Mahashivaratri is celebrated in a very excited and grand manner.

Mahashivaratri is also a day of the wedding between the mighty Lord Shiva and beautiful and powerful Goddess Parvati. On this day, the great wedding between these two holy divinities of Hindu religion took place.

In the current north Indian societies, the Temples are decorated to take out a procession of flowers and devotees reflecting the Lord Shiva’s arrival at the wedding. It is called Shiva’s baraat or Shiva’s janti.

This wedding baraat is also conducted in the Varanasi and many people get involved in this god’s procession portraying the roles of many different gods and goddesses. The preparation is done from many days before the procession.


However, the committee of the religion of Varanasi chooses a person to portray Lord Shiva to reflect on the original God’s baraat. The procession starts from the southern side of the city and ends at Tilbhandeswar temple which takes almost 5 hours. The baraat even in modern family wedding comes with loud music and people dancing.

On this day Bhaang or marijuana is considered legal to consume as it is considered the Prasad of Lord Shiva so many people are seen getting high taking bhang during the procession.


Mahashivaratri is celebrated with equal excitement and dedication in the state of Madhya Pradesh of India. There is a tradition where the pilgrims take a holy bath by dipping them in the water in this place.

The crowd of people at the time of Maha Shivaratri is very high and they are highly dedicated to making their celebration passionate and grand. The devotees worship the great temple of Matangeshwar throughout the night remembering Lord Shiva and all his accomplishments, sacrifice and solutions he provided to safeguard the mankind.

Mahashivaratri in Ujjain is dedicated towards the Mahabaleshwar temple. This temple also gets visited by millions of people every year at the time of Shivaratri. In both of these places, a similar fair is organized by the locals, where a variety of products of handicrafts and arts are sold. There are also circuses, playing things like merry go round and Ferris wheel, theatre in the fair.


It is the capital of Assam.It is another place in India where the biggest celebration of Mahashivaratri takes place with the high participation of devotees and people. Some of the temples in Guwahati that are resided by Lord Shiva are Basistha temple, Lankeshwar temple, Rudreswar temple, Sukreswar temple and Umananda temple.

There is also another temple in the name of BhimeswarDwadasJyotrilingaDham. It is believed that Lord Shiva had been born again here to destroy an evil spirit called Bhimasura and defend his followers. Hence the name Bhimeswar is given to Lord Shiva.


It is another place that is worthy of a visit during the time of Shivaratri. It is a collection of small temples but one of the great temples is the Shiva temple called Shivadol.

Shiva is the name of god and sugar means ocean so this name is suitably given to the temple as it is located on the bank of the river. The Sivasagar tank, also known as the Borpukhuri tank, was built by constructing embankments and the water level thus created in the lake remains above the adjoining ground level.


Haridwar is also known as the land of yogis. It is one of the places where after the churning of the sea a giant pot of potion called Amrit will immortalize a mortal being if the being drinks were taken and the pot accidentally spilled the potion by the heavenly bird Garuda.

It is famous for baths for pilgrims to remove their sin and get enlightenment from gods. This place is also very crowded during Mahashivaratri as many pilgrims come to wash off their sins in this place.


Meanwhile, in Rishikesh, there is another famous temple of Lord Shiva in the name of NeelkanthMahadev Temple. According to the Purana, the gods and demons churned the mighty ocean to get the Amrit, a potion that will make the person who drinks immortal.

A large serpent and a hill were used to churn the ocean. But on the contrary to the expectation of gods and demons, the ocean presented with a big pot of poison. The poison was so powerful that it could kill all the living being in the whole world. The Gods and demons ran for help to Lord Shiva.

Realizing the severity of the situation Lord Shiva then drank all the poison from the pot. Since the poison was deadly enough to kill him if he swallowed; Lord Shiva held the poison in his throat instead of swallowing. Hence, Lord Shiva protected the world from the poison’s evil effect.

The toxicity of the poison made his throat appeared to be blue. And Lord Shiva was given another name as ‘Neelkantha’. Neel means blue and Kantha means throat. It is believed that it was in this place that the mighty bravery of Lord Shiva was seen. It was in this place where he drank the poison risked himself and saved mankind.

Thus, commemorating his bravery Lord Shiva is worshipped and Shivaratri is celebrated very highly in this place with thousands of pilgrims coming to visit every year in the time of Shivaratri.


The celebration of Shivaratri at Loknath Temple is called Puri. Legend has it that once Orissa was the center to worship Lord Shiva. Lord Ramchandra himself erected the Lingam in the Loknath temple and worshipped Lord Shiva there.

Today the lingam is submerged in the water and it is only displayed on Pankodhar Ekadashi a few days before Shivaratri. Many devotees come to visit this place to take a glance at the famous lingam and these pilgrims to stay there till Shivaratri to worship Lord Shiva.


Besides being internationally famous for the Tirupati Balaji Temple, Andhra Pradesh is even admired for being home to other ancient temples. Among the many early monuments found in AP, the SrisailamMallikarjunaSwamy and Srikalahasti temples find an extraordinary revelation.

At the time of Maha Shivaratri,  there is a gathering of thousands of people in the MallikarjunaSwamy and Srikalahasti temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Thousands of devotees’ gather around Shiva temples all over the state and performed ‘Abhishekam’ to Shivalingas as an element of their prayers.

Famous Shiva temples in the state at Srisailam, Srikalahasti, Mahanandi, Draksharamam, Vemulavada, Bhimavaram, Palakollu, Samalkot, Amaravati observes heavy flash of pilgrims.


The DoleshworMahadev temple is another temple devoted to Lord Shiva. Its location lies in the Sipadol municipality in the Bhaktapur district of Nepal. Sipadol municipality lies in the southeastern part of this district.

Legend says that the DoleshworMahadev is the head part of Kedarnath that lies in the Uttarakhand of India. This place is a sacred place for Hindus and also a blissful location to celebrate Maha Shivaratri in the honor of our Lord and savior Shiva.


Gokarna Mahadev temple is another sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Gokarna Mahadev temple lies on the river banks of the Bagmati river in a place called Gokarneshwor.

It has the architecture of a three-tiered style that has beautiful carvings on the bricks, struts, stones, doors, and windows. It lies in the Gokarneshwor municipality of Kathmandu in the central development region of the Bagmati Zone. It is one of the famous places to go during the auspicious festival of the MahaShivratri.


SantaneshworMahadev temple is a beautiful two-tiered temple that lies in Jharuwasi in the Lalitpur district of Nepal. Jharuwasi is a small village in the Lalitpur district in the Bagmati zone of Nepal.

This temple attracts a lot of Hindu devotees during the month of Phagun in the festival of MahaShivratri. Legend says that when Lord Shiva was carrying the dead body of Sati all around the world, the breast part of Sati fell on top of a hill in a place called Jharuwasi.

This is where the temple of SantaneshworMahadev temple stands today. It is a great belief that couples who are not being able to have children come to this temple to be blessed by Shiva.

With the Lord’s almighty blessings, the couple is gifted with the blessings of a child. It is said that nobody leaves empty-handed from the footsteps of Lord Shiva.


GaleshworMahadev is a beautifully carved Hindu two-tiered temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The location of this temple is the Mustang in the village of Galeshwor that lies just 3 km in north of Beni on the bank of the Kali Gandaki river.

The temple has a Shiv lingam made of stone inside that is painted black. Worshippers and Shiv devotees visit this temple during the great, auspicious festival of MahaShivratri.

Legend says that while Shiva was distressfully carrying the dead body of Sati, the Gala or throat fell here in this place and so a temple called GaleshworMahadev was built making this as one of the Shakti meethams of Nepal.


The KirateshworMahadev temple has a very sacred significance in the religion of Hindu. This temple lies inside the forest of Kirateshwor and Mrigasthali on the banks of the Bagmati river which is quite very near to the Pashupatinath temple.

Legend says that Lord Shiva hid in this jungle as a Kirat and so Goddess Parvati built a Shivlinga to worship Lord Shiva. This temple is quite easily accessible from the Pashupatinath.

If you have made it to Pashupatinath temple to get your blessings, you might as well walk a bit more for five minutes up the hill to take blessings from the KirateshworMahadev temple.


This sacred temple lies inside a cave. The word “Gupta” means hidden or not known .leends says that Lord Shive hid here in this cave without letting others know about it. The cave lies across the road from Davi’s falls in the south-east part of Chhorepatan in Pokhara.

The cave is considered 599 years old. This cave is enjoyed by all local and foreign tourists. Tourists enjoy exploring the cave and getting to worship Lord Shiva at the same time.


This sacred Shiva devoted temple called DhanesworMahadev temple is situated one kilometer south of the town of Banepa in Nepal. This temple especially gets crowded on Mondays and on events of the festival of Shivratri. The word “dhan” means wealth.

The devotees who wish for more wealth go to this temple to ask Lord Shiva to earn much more whereas the ones who are already wealthy worship Lord Shiva to preserve and prosper with their wealth.

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The sacred Hindu temple of Bhimeshwormahadev temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. This sacred, beautiful temple is located in the Dolakha district of Nepal which is just a ride of 5 hours away from the city of Kathmandu.

Here, all Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, and Bhimsen are worshipped by the same God. This temple also has the temple of Tripurasundari near it. Many devotees visit this temple on Mondays and during the auspicious festivals of MahaShivratri to get the blessings from Lord Shiva.


KilashnathMahdev Statue is the world’s tallest statue of Lord Shiva. It is erected on the outskirts of Bhaktapur in the Sanga between Bhaktapur and Kavrepalanchok. The statue is 144 feet tall which is 44 meter. It is fortieth world tallest statue only four below the Statue of liberty.

The statue is made up of copper-zinc concrete and steel. Situated at a great height and itself being that tall, the statue looks to raise enough to touch the sky. Despite the great magnitude of the earthquake in 2015, the statue remained as intact as ever.

The KailashnathMahadev Statue has earned its reputation by being the tallest Lord Shiva statue in the whole world. This great statue is located in a place called Sanga which lies around the border of Bhaktapur and Kavrepalanchok districts of Nepal.

The place is about 20 km away from the Kathmandu valley. Almost all the year round, this great KailashnathMahadev statue attracts both local and foreign tourists with its majestic size and appearance. The statue stands at a height of 144 feet which is around 44 metres and yes, if you have imagined it is immensely tall, you are very correct.

And if you check its height against tall international statues, according to the list of statues by height, our KailashnathMahadev Statue grabs the position of the world’s fourteenth tallest statue which lies just four places behind the Statue of Liberty.

The construction of the statue began in 2003 and was finally completed in the year of 2010 AD. The statue is built to resemble the image of the idol of Lord Shiva. It really is a marvelous exhibition of work of Nepalese engineering. It attracts around 5000 tourists on the weekdays and even more on weekends and on holidays.

The construction of this statue has greatly influenced and contributed the religious beliefs of the people with a great boost of economic development around the local area of Sanga. Hopefully Lord Shiva shall continue to shower all his devotees with his blessings.

18 places to visit in Shivaratri in India and Nepal


Jitendra Sahayogee

I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a writer of 12 Nepali literature books, film director of Maithili film & Nepali short movies, photographer, founder of the media house, designer of some websites and writer & editor of some blogs, has expert knowledge & experiences of Nepalese society, culture, tourist places, travels, business, literature, movies, festivals, celebrations.

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