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Sthiti Linga or Sthir Lingam

Ancient scriptures mention different types of Shivling. There are naturally formed Shivlings known as Swayambhu Shivlings. There are also manmade. Sthiti Linga or Sthir Lingam are those installed in temples and they are both Swayambhu and manmade.

Sthir Lingams are only worshipped in temples and in sacred places. In most such temples in South India, there will be another same murti known as Utsava murti which will be used for processions and festival rituals.

The most popular Sthir Lingas are the 12 Jyotirlingas.

In North India, devotees can directly offer worship to the Sthiti Linga – they can touch and take blessings; offer flowers, bathe the lingam with water.

In South India, devotees are not allowed to touch the Sthir Lingam as it is kept inside the sanctum sanctorum.

Sthir Lingams in certain temples are also decorated with gold and other metals.

There are also Sthiti Lingas that have symbolic markings that are associated with Shiva – some have trishul marks, some have snakes marked on them.