I have seen in many temples there are Nandi and tortoise facing the Shiva linga. what is the story of being tortoise facing the Shiva linga?

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  • Turtle signifies satisfaction with its facial expressions, its like a symbol of we people who go in there for the same.
    – user2451
    Feb 6, 2015 at 11:38
  • 3
    Temples, according to Agama Sastra ,are built on kurma Yantra. You will find this in non Siva temples as well. Nothing more to it.
    – user1195
    Feb 6, 2015 at 12:09
  • Some People believe that tortoise teach us to walk slow but steadily in our life that's why it is in the lord shiv's Temple. Dec 14, 2016 at 11:22

1 Answer 1


A tortoise in front of lord Shiva's idol symbolically signifies two reasons :-

  1. As we know that when you try to touch or harm a tortoise, it will take his legs and head inside his shell, hence this signifies that even humans should withdraw all his senses from our material world, which in Hindi we say Moh-Maya nahi rakhni chahiye.

  2. Its the way that tortoise hatches its eggs, they don't sit over their eggs to hatch, instead they constantly look at them, and hence it is kept facing lord shiva which signifies that one should concentrate while praying the god.

Apart from that, turtle also has a remote relation with lord Shiva (Not relation to turtles in front of lord Shiva idol)

According to me, there are any script reference over this, its we people who believe keeping a tortoise in front of lord Shiva's idol.

  • 1
    Can you cite any reference for that? I have been told a different story, but I am not sure if its true, and I can't find a reference for it... Doesn't the tortoise symbolify Lord Vishnu? Jul 3, 2014 at 6:03
  • @AwalGarg Well, I stated that it symbolically signifies, so there may be various reasons behind this, also, there are many small reasons behind turtle being sacred in our religion, will add them up in the answer.
    – Mr. Alien
    Jul 3, 2014 at 6:04

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