The lingam is the symbol of the Hindu god Shiva. There are numerous lingams throughout India, but the twelve Jyotir lingams or ‘lingams of light’ are the holiest and most worshipped of all. Jyoti means ‘light’ and lingam means ‘mark’ or ‘sign’. According to Hindu tradition, the Jyotir lingams pilgrimage washed off bad karma and, Read More

Mahashivaratri literally means “the great night of Shiva”. It is one of the major Hindu festivals of India when Lord Shiva is glorified, worshipped and honored with sanctifying rituals throughout the night. The word Shiva means all-auspicious, Maha means great, and Ratri means night. A “little” Shivaratri is observed on the fourteenth night of, Read More

A stop at Tiruvannamalai is a mystical moment. The town takes its name from Annamalaiyar temple around which it grew, and Shiva worship is a key activity for the town. For Hindus, Arunachala Hill overlooking the town represents Shiva himself and is an object of special devotion. The town is full of hermitages and, Read More