Lord Shiva is a popular god in Hinduism, and he is known as Mahadeva, Maheswara, Nataraja, Shankara and by several other names. He is considered as the supreme god, and he is one of the Trimurtis. He contains an attractive face with a glittering body, used to wear snakes as ornaments,and used to apply the sacred ash all over his body, and he is having three eyes. The third eye is used by him during the time of destruction. Similar to Lord Vishnu, he is widely worshipped throughout the world, by the Hindus.
He was married with Mata Sati Devi, who is also known as Parvati Devi, Shakti Devi and by several other names, and through their powers Lord Vinayaka and Lord Muruga were born to them. Lot of Puranic stories are associated with Lord Shiva, and he is residing in the Mount Kailash, along with his family, and with his divine attendants. Lord Nandikeswarara is the divine gate keeper and also he is the divine vehicle of Lord Shiva.
The famous 63 Shaivite Nayanmars are also living in the abode of Lord Shiva, the Kailasa. According to the famous Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva is considered to be the chief deity among all other deities, and only through his powers, the entire universe is functioning. According to Shiva Purana, even some animals and birds had attained salvation due to the grace of Lord Shiva.
The famous saint Sri Adisankara is considered as an amsha of Lord Shiva, and he has incarnated before 2000+ years ago, in order to preach the Advaita Philosophy and to spread the importance of Shaivism amongst the people. Lord Shiva is mentioned in the Vedas, Puranas and Holy texts, and he receives his share of oblation from the fire sacrifices.
Lord Shiva is having temples throughout the world, and among them, Kasi, Tiruvannamalai, Amarnath, Sri Kalahasti, Kedarnath and Somnath are considered as most sacred temples of Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva had taken various avatars in order to bring peace and prosperity into the world. Lord Hanuman is one of the noble avatars of Lord Shiva, and he had incarnated during the Treta Yuga, in order to serve Lord Rama, and he is still doing meditation on Lord Rama, in the Holy Himalayas. Even demons like Ravana and Banasura are ardent devotees of Lord Shiva, and due to that, they have received various boons from Shiva.
Maha Shivaratri festival is an important festival associated with Lord Shiva. Tiruvadhirai (Arudra Darshanam) and Karthigai Deepam are also grandly celebrated in the Shiva Temples.
It is believed that the devotees of Lord Shiva, contains the features of Lord Shiva, and hence feeding food to the Shiva devotees, would give good results to the donors.
Even now, in this current scenario, if we worship Lord Shiva sincerely, by chanting the mantra, “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA”, we would be blessed by him, and would get all kinds of prosperities in the world.