Shiva (meaning “The Auspicious One”), also known as Mahadeva (“Great God”), is one of the main deities of Hinduism. He is the supreme god within Shaivism, one of the three most influential denominations in contemporary Hinduism. He is one of the five primary forms of God in the Smarta tradition, and “the Destroyer” or “the Transformer” among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine.
The main iconographical attributes of Shiva are the third eye on his forehead, the snake Vasuki around his neck, the crescent moon adorning, the holy river Ganga flowing from his matted hair, the trishula as his weapon and the damaru as his musical instrument.
Here are some excerpts from source article. Go to the site and see the pictures and more info on each one. Interesting to say the least!!
While in some belief systems, the afterlife can only be accessed by spiritual means, in others, the underworld could be accessed directly from the Earth. Here are 13 real spots that people have thought (and in a few cases, still do) lead straight to the lands of the dead….
The Ploutonion at Hierapolis: The ancient city of Hierapolis, near modern-day Pamukkale in Turkey was once home to a site considered sacred to Pluto, the god of the dead. Although the site was rediscovered in 1965, it was just this year that archaeologists announced the otherworldly significance of this holy spot.
Fengdu, China: The 2,000-year-old City of Ghosts, located in Chongqing municipality, has long been thought to be the place the dead stopped on their way to the afterlife, though it seems to have gotten this reputation in a roundabout way. A legend from the Han Dynasty tells of two imperial officials, Wang Fangping and Yin Changsheng, who forsook the court life to practice Taoism in Fengdu and became immortal. Their names combined sounded like “King of Hell,” and so Ming Shan, the hill that overlooks Fengdu, became known as the abode of Tianzi, the King of Hell. The city is filled with Buddhist and Taoist temples, said to be filled with immortal spirits that judge and torment the dead. A freshly dead soul, it was said, must first cross the Bridges of Helplessness to have their virtue judged, then face the Mirror of Retribution at the Ghost Torturing Pass and either become immediately reincarnated or face a series of torments before reaching the Wheel of Rebirth.
Masaya Volcano: The Aboriginal people of Masaya in modern-day Nicaragua did not believe that the mouth of their caldera was a gateway to the afterlife, but there was a local tradition that the volcano was a god and that a sorceress lived inside its fiery pit. But it was the Spanish explorers who arrived in the 16th century—and had little familiarity with volcanos—who associated with volcano with diabolic activity.
The Seven Gates of Hell: A local legend claims that in the woods off Trout Run Road in Hellam Township, Pennsylvania, sit the Seven Gates of Hell. According to popular fiction, the gates appear near the site of a tragic asylum fire, and if you step through all seven gates, you land straight in Hell.
I lived about 20 miles from this one and would Fish Trout Run every Spring!!!!
Lacus Curtius: Today, this pit in the Roman Forum doesn’t look like much, but in a legend told by the Roman historian Livy, it was once a wide chasm. Livy tells the story of Marcus Curtius, who may have given the pit its name. According to Livy’s account, the chasm appeared in the middle of Rome, and nothing could fill it. An oracle prophesied that the chasm would not close and the Roman Republic would be destroyed unless the city sacrificed that which had made it strong.
Mount Hekla: Iceland’s particularly active volcano developed a reputation as a gateway to Hell in the 12th century, after its 1104 eruption. Benedeit’s 1120 Anglo-Norman poem Voyage of St. Brendan mentions the volcano as the prison of Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus.
Acheron: The Acheron is a real river that flows through northwest Greece, but it also figures prominently in classical mythology. In Homer’s Odyssey, Circe directs Odysseus to the underworld, telling him that he must find the point where the Acheron meets the Pyriphlegethon and of a branch of Styx.
Lake Avernus: While the Acheron is in Greece, in the Aeneid Aeneas enters the underworld through the Avernus crater near Cumae in Italy. The crater lake was sacred to the Cumaean Sibyl, and according to myth, she could lead a living traveler into the underworld.
Cape Matapan: If you don’t want to deal with Charon the ferryman, you could enter the classical underworld of Tartarus through the back door.
The Mayan Cenotes: The Maya certainly had some of the most picturesque entrances to the underworld. These natural underground waterways, located in Mexico and Central America, were thought to be the home of the rain god Chaak and portals to Xibalba, the afterlife. Caves were often seen as gateways to the afterlife in the Mayan worldview, literal passageways between the living world above and the realm below.
Mount Osore: The Europeans were hardly the only folks to believe that volcanos marked the entrance to the underworld. Mount Osore, region filled with volcanic cauldrons located on the remote Shimokita Peninsula of Japan’s Honshu island, is literally named “Fear Mountain.” And with its barren, gray landscape, bubbling waters, and persistent smell of sulfur, it’s easy to see how it got its macabre reputation.
Houska Castle: According to folklore, Houska Castle, located in Blatce, north of Prague in the Czech Republic, is built over a “bottomless” hole that leads to Hell. One legend claims that in the 13th century, King Ottokar II of Bohemia (or else a nobleman of the Dubá clan) offered a pardon to any condemned prisoner who consented to be lowered into the pit and report what he saw. The first prisoner lasted only a few seconds before he began screaming. When he was pulled back up, the story goes, his hair had turned white and it seemed he’d aged 30 years—and he babbled incoherently about half-human creatures who flapped through the darkness of grotesque wings.
‘Satan’s Hollow’ is hellish for homeowners in Blue Ash, Ohio
PARANORMAL groups claim to have found a “doorway to hell” in suburban America — and it has become a real nightmare for local homeowners.
Legend has it that the storm drain, tucked in the woods behind an apartment complex in Blue Ash, Cincinnati, was once a gathering ground for Satanists who managed to open a portal into the netherworld.
The folklore is so pervasive that the supposedly haunted tunnel system, also known as “Satan’s Hollow”, has become a hotspot for local teenagers and ghost enthusiasts.
“It’s rough on the homeowners,” Blue Ash Police Lieutenant Steve Schueler told WCPO. “People park in their driveway and try to get into the drainage system and nobody likes that. (The owner) has had to chase off some people, for sure.”
Visitors commonly claim to hear screams coming from the drain system, or see floating faces in the darkness.
In a YouTube report, popular ghost hunter David Scott called the site “one of the scariest locations I have ever investigated”.
Scott, who used a “spirit box” in an attempt to communicate with ghosts in the tunnels, pointed out graffiti such as, “This way to God’s Chamber,” “Badlands” and “666.”
He also said the dank tunnel was notorious for sacrificial killings.
But Lt Schuller dismissed the claim as fabricated rumour.
“We’ve never had human sacrifice or any animal killings,” he said. “We’ve never had any of that.”