In every Shiva temple

There are two statue before the entrance of lord shiva temple inner side

  1. Tortoise
  2. Nandi

Whats the reason behind this?Is there any kind of story belong to this?



About Tortoise



A tortoise in Shiva Temples has a symbolic significance to inspire the devotees in their spiritual practice.

A tortoise has the ability to withdraw all its limbs and head completely within its shell. This symbolically inspires a spiritual aspirant to withdraw all his senses from the material world.

Further when a tortoise lays eggs, it has a peculiar way of hatching them. She does not sit on top of them to hatch them but focuses her attention by constantly looking at them. The energy from her eyes hatches the eggs. This inspires a spiritual aspirant to focus all his attention one pointedly towards Lord Shiva. Also the importance of 'Darshan', focussing ones attention on the image or the Lingam of Shiva, is explained by the symbolic use of a tortoise in the temple.

You might have also noticed a bull in all Shiva temples. It is 'Nandi', Shiva's vehicle. Nandi is a symbol of 'Dharma' or righteous living. It also symbolizes 'Will Power' and 'Strength' which help in one's spiritual practice.

You must have noticed that the tortoise idol is generally placed near the Nandi (Bull) idol.Nandi is total devotion. That is “Bhakti”. A tortoise on the other hand represents detachment. That is “Vairagya”. Devotion and detachment together lead us to the path of god. Here is how the tortoise represents detachment:

A tortoise can totally cocoon itself in its shell. A yogi when meditates cocoons himself from the world too and gets inside his meditative shell. He renounces material possessions or even the thought of them.


Once Lord Shiva was in deep meditation , and a great calamity was about to befall. Everybody tried to shake off Lord Shiva from his deep Turiya meditation—and we unsuccessful.

Shiva’s son Ganesha used his initiative and whispered into Nandi’s ear and Shiva was woken up. It shows that Nandi is a medium to reach Shiva.

Nandi is the name for the bull which serves as the mount of the god Shiva and as the gatekeeper of Shiva and Parvati. In Hindu Religion, he is the chief guru of eighteen masters including Patanjali and Thirumular. Temples venerating Shiva display stone images of a seated Nandi, generally facing the main shrine. There are also a number of temples dedicated solely to Nandi.

You will get deep understanding by look into below link:

Full Story

  • Okay I got it,nice description but is there any specific reason why Tortoise statue is there in temple? every creature or animal have some expertise ? Like Nandi I can understand why the statue of nandi is putted there but not for the Tortoise. -->Once Lord Shiva was in deep meditation ,and a great calamity was about to befall. Everybody tried to shake off Lord Shiva from his deep Turiya meditation—and we unsuccessful.Ganesha whispered into Nandi’s ear and Shiva was woken up. Lord Shiva gave the boon to nandi like any prayer from nandi will direclty reach to Lord Shiva . Apr 13 '15 at 12:07
  • If you like the answer than select it as a useful answer than. Yes very soon I'll tell you why Tortoise is in the temple ok. Apr 13 '15 at 12:28
  • I can mark answer as usefull right now but showing me error required 15 reputation,when you will give the reason for tortoise I will marked as accepted answer,don't worry. Apr 13 '15 at 12:31
  • Yes Vivek I have posted two links for you look into that I'll sure you will get your answer. Apr 14 '15 at 5:15
  • Yes you must have 15+ reputation to use up or down functionality. Apr 14 '15 at 5:38

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