All have numerous manifestations with various names, mythologies, and rituals. Some roots of Shiva and Vishnu may be traced to the Rig Veda.
The "Pashupati" seal from the Indus Valley Civilisation. The origins of Shaivism are unclear and a matter of debate among scholars.
Some trace the origins to the Indus Valley civilizationwhich reached its peak around — BCE. Of these is the Pashupati sealwhich early scholars interpreted as someone seated in a meditating yoga pose surrounded by animals, and with horns.
Gavin Flood characterizes these views as "speculative", saying that it is not clear from the seal if the figure has three faces, or is seated in a yoga posture, or even that the shape is intended to represent a human figure.
According to Srinivasan, the proposal that it is proto-Shiva may be a case of projecting "later practices into archeological findings". The text also includes a Satarudriya, an influential hymn with embedded hundred epithets for Rudra, that is cited in many medieval era Shaiva texts as well as recited in major Shiva temples of Hindus in contemporary times.
Yet, the Vedic literature only present scriptural theology, but does not attest to the existence of Shaivism. Some scholars consider the deity as Shiva because he holds a tridentis in ithyphallic state and next to Nandi bull his mount, as in Shaivism.
Patanjali, while explaining Panini's rules of grammar, states that this term refers to a devotee clad in animal skins and carrying an ayah sulikah iron spear, trident lance  as an icon representing his god. However, this is controversial, as an alternate hypothesis for these reliefs is based on Zoroastrian Oesho.
According to Flood, coins dated to the ancient Greek, Saka and Parthian kings who ruled parts of the Indian subcontinent after the arrival of Alexander the Great also show Shiva iconography, but this evidence is weak and subject to competing inferences.
These inscriptions have been dated by modern techniques to between and CE. In early 7th century the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang Huen Tsang visited India and wrote a memoir in Chinese that mentions the prevalence of Shiva temples all over North Indian subcontinentincluding in the Hindu Kush region such as Nuristan.
Pashupata, Lakulisha, tantric Shaiva and Kapalika. The description is conflicting, with some texts stating the tantric, puranic and Vedic traditions of Shaivism to be hostile to each other while others suggest them to be amicable sub-traditions.
Some texts state that Kapalikas reject the Vedas and are involved in extreme experimentation, [note 2] while others state the Shaiva sub-traditions revere the Vedas but are non-Puranic.
Though both traditions of Hinduism have ancient roots, given their mention in the Epics such as the Mahabharata, Shaivism flourished in South India much earlier.
This is evidenced in Hindu texts such as the Isvarasamhita, Padmasamhita and Paramesvarasamhita. It features thousands of Shaivism-related sculptures.
It is a carved five feet high stone lingam with an anthropomorphic image of Shiva on one side. This ancient lingam is in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.
Shaivism arrived in a major way in southeast Asia from south India, and to much lesser extent into China and Tibet from the Himalayan region. It co-developed with Buddhism in this region, in many cases.
This co-existence of Shaivism and Buddhism in Indonesian islands continued through about CE when both Hinduism and Buddhism were replaced with Islam. Shaivism and Shiva held the paramount position in ancient Java, Sumatra, Bali and neighboring islands, though the sub-tradition that developed creatively integrated more ancient beliefs that pre-existed.
They range from dualistic devotional theism to monistic meditative discovery of Shiva within oneself. Within each of these theologies, there are two sub-groups. One sub-group is called Vedic-Puranic, who use the terms such as "Shiva, Mahadeva, Maheshvara and others" synonymously, and they use iconography such as the LingaNandiTrishula tridentas well as anthropomorphic statues of Shiva in temples to help focus their practices.
There is a considerable overlap between these Shaivas and the Shakta Hindus.
Vedic, Puranic and non-Puranic esoteric, tantric.SHIVA AND SHAIVISM Hinduism in the classical, medieval, and modern periods displays two powerful male deities, Shiva and Vishnu, in addition to multiple forms of Devī, the goddess.
All have numerous manifestations with various names, mythologies, and rituals. Pasupata Saivism The Pasupatas (from Pasupati, a name of Siva meaning “Lord of souls”) are the oldest known sect of Saivite ascetic monks. They. Shiva is the lord of dance and dramatic arts in Hinduism.    This is celebrated in Shaiva temples as Nataraja, which typically shows Shiva dancing in one of the poses in the ancient Hindu text on performance arts called the Natya Shastra.
Temple History: Three wicked demons, Tharukakshan, Kamalakshan and Vidyunmali performed severe penance on Lord Brahmma and obtained powerful boons that would keep them ever alive without death. Singers: The temple is closely linked with the history of Saivite Child Saint Tirugnana Sambandar and is praised in his Thevaram hymns.
This is the 4th Shiva temple in Pandya region praised in Thevaram hymns. is considered an auspicious number. Hence Siva is extolled through these names during the puja rituals either by the priests or by the worshippers themselves.