Shiva is a Pre Sanatana Dharma/vedic Deity, though He finds a rare mention in the Vedas.
Records indicate He was worshiped in the South, the Dravida Desa much before the worship of Vishnu.
The spread of Shiva, Ganesha and Murugan(Subrahmanya cult in the south Asian Countries and towards the west culminating in the US has been documented in this blog.
Shiva has been attributed many names,
Viswesvaraya Mahdevaaya Triyambakaaya Tripurantakaaya Trikaagni Kaalaya Kaalagni Rudraaya Neelakantaaya Mruntnjayaya Sarveswara Sadasivaaya -Sri Rudram
Even this Maha Mantra does not disclose the secret Name of Shiva, mentioning the name of Shiva in secret in the Rudram in the Yajur Veda, in the middle of the eleven anuvaakas, in the fifth anuvaka,again in in the 5th stanza as the fifth word!
‘Nama Sivaya cha Sivadharaaya Cha’
The hidden name is Shambhu, indicating Shivas’ Bliss.
‘This name of Lord Shankar indicates his blissful personality. He assumes the form of gross elements during playful moments, while he becomes the object of concentration during spiritual moments. Therefore He is called as Shambhu. Shiva, Maheshwar and Shambhu; these names indicate creation, maintenance and annihilation respectively. Thus these three titles can be accepted as the neutral symptoms of Brahman, the Absolute. Material cause (Upadan उपादान) from the first title, efficient cause ( Nimitta निमित्त) from the second title and the oneness of cause and effect has to be understood from the third title. A great Shaiva शैव and crown jewel of Tantra तंत्र Shri Bhaskar Roy reveals the secret of this name as under—
शं भवयसि च भवसे शं च भवसि चेति वा देव्।
त्वं देवदारुविपिने लिङ्गे प्रथितोस्यतः शम्भुः॥
O Lord!! You generate all bliss and you enjoy all bliss, you are embodiment of all bliss and eternity. Your lingam which resides in pinewood forest, is called Shambhu-lingam शंभु लिंगम्. So you are known as Shambhu.
The sense of delight which we feel in ourselves, that also depends on the delightfulness of Lord Shambhu. He remains uncovered just to allow us to get pleasures ceaselessly. His perpetually uncovered form is eternally joyful to Him. Therefore Lord Shiva is called Chidananda चिदानंद. Even the happiness felt by us in gross sense objects, that happiness also comes from Shiva because there is no other origin of happiness except Lord Umesha. Attainment of the happy and blissful nature of the self is the secret of holy name ‘ Shambhu’.
“शं सुखं भक्तानां भावयतीति शंभु:”, meaning, one who produces happiness to his devotees
-Shankaracharya in His commentary on the Vishnu Sahasranama.
There are eight (Ashta) Shiva Temples in Bhubaneshwar,Odisha, India.
‘In the Uttaresvara Siva Temple precinct there are eight temples of identical size and dimension locally known as Astasambhu. Ashtameans eight and Sambhu refers to another name of Lord Shiva. Five of them are arranged in one alignment are also known as Panchu Pandava. The temple is under the private ownership and is maintained by the Ratnakara Gargabatu and family. According to architectural features like bada division and pabhaga mouldings, this temple was built around 10th Century A.D. This is a building made up of stones and its typology is Rekha Deul. The temple is surrounded by Godavari tank in the east, Uttaresvara Siva Templecompound wall in west, and Bindusagar tank in south beyond the compound wall. The temple has an east facing shrine.
The temple has a square vimanam(shrine) measuring 2.45 metres with a frontal porch of 0.53 metres. Its pancharatha(five chariots) as distinguished by a central raha and a pair of ‘anuratha and kanika pagas on either sides of the raha. On elevation, he vimana is of rekha order that measures 5.72 metres in height from pabhaga to kalasa. From bottom to the top the temple has a bada, gandi andmastaka. With three fold divisions of the bada the temple has a trianga bada measuring 1.72 metres. At the bottom the pabhaga has four base mouldings of khura, kumha, pata, basanta that measures 0.47 metres. Jangha measures 0.90 metres and barandameasuring 0.35 metres thick has three mouldings. The gandi measuring 3.00 metres in height is devoid of any decoration and mastaka measures 1.00 metres with components like beki, amlaka, khapuri and kalasa.
The parsvadevata niches are located on the raha paga of the jangha on the three sides of north, west and south measuring 0.50 metres x 0.32 metres and with a depth of 0.20 metres. Except the southern niche the rest two are empty. The niches are decorated with talagarbhika and urdhagarbhika of khakhara order. The southern niche houses a four armed Ganesha holding a parasu in his lower left, a rosary with varadamudra pose in lower right hand. His upper hands are broken. The deity is flanked on the top by two flying vidyadharas holding garlands in their hands. This temple is made up of coarse grey sand stone, construction technique is dry masonry type and construction type is Kalingan.
Uttareswara Shiva Temple.
Uttaresvara Siva temple is located within a precinct in the northern embankment of Bindusagar tank in the Nalamuhana Sahi, Kedara-Gouri Chowk, Old Town, Bhubaneswar. The enshrining deity in this temple is a Siva lingam within a circular yoni pitha at the centre of sanctum. The original temple has collapsed, as evident from the renovation work above the pabhaga and presence of cult images of earlier phase in different parts of the temple walls without conforming to the canonical prescriptions. It is the main temple within the precinct along with nine lesser shrines..
Citation and References.