The Lingam is the most
ubiquitous symbol of Shaivism and the primary cult object worshipped
in Shiva temples. Commonly represented in this symbolic form,
Shiva is depicted as an erect phallus, referred to as a Lingam
or Shivalingam. This form represents his regenerative
and creative energy. In its simplest form, the Lingam is a plain
columnar object with either a rounded or flattened top. The
multi-faced Shivalingam, common in the Kathmandu Valley, has
four faces, along with an abstract formless fifth face above.
These five faces represent five aspects of the god along with
five geographic holy places of India and Nepal.