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11 Famous Temples in India You Must Visit

India is also known as the “Land of Temples” because it is home to more than 600,000 temples. These temples show the legacy of Indian culture and heritage. If you are looking to visit the famous temples in India, then this article can help you out. Here is a list of the most famous temples in India. 

List of 11 Famous Temples in India

  1. Badrinath Temple
  2. Kedarnath Temple
  3. Jagannath Temple
  4. Somnath Temple
  5. Meenakshi Temple
  6. Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib)
  7. Akshardham Temple
  8. Vaishno Devi Temple
  9. Brihadeeswarar Temple
  10. Khajuraho Temples
  11. Konark Sun Temple

1) Badrinath Temple

Badrinath Temple stands as a sacred beacon for millions of devotees located in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal Himalayas. This holy shrine which is dedicated to Hindu Lord Vishnu is one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites and holds immense significance in Hindu mythology. Adi Shankara founded the temple in the ninth century, giving it a history that traces back over a thousand years.

Standing at 3,133 meters (10,279 feet) above sea level, Badrinath opens its doors to pilgrims every year in May and remains open until November. The imposing structure is built in the traditional Garhwali wooden architecture and exudes a divine aura against the backdrop of snow-capped peaks.

The temple receives hundreds of thousands of visitors on average each year, making it a popular destination. The colorful Badrinath Yatra, which begins in Haridwar, crosses challenging terrain, contributing to the holiness of the spiritual pilgrimage. Pilgrims immerse themselves in religious fervor, seeking blessings and participating in the ceremonies that have been carried out for centuries.

Not only is Badrinath Temple a place of worship, but it is also a monument to unshakable faith and a representation of the divine bond that brings people to the Himalayas, a place where spirituality and the sublime converge on an enduring pilgrimage.

2) Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Temple is a celestial watchtower that protects Hindu Lord Shiva’s heavenly domain. This holy place has origins going back more than a thousand years and is a stop on the renowned Char Dham pilgrimage circuit. Its creation in the eighth century is attributed to Adi Shankara, making it a classic example of Hindu spirituality.

Located among the majestic peaks of the Garhwal area, at a spectacular height of 3,583 meters (11,755 feet) above sea level, lies Kedarnath, a place of spirituality. Built in the plain Himalayan style, the temple honors Lord Kedar, a manifestation of Lord Shiva. Devoted pilgrims from all over the world come here to see the holy Jyotirlinga that is housed here.

The holy Kedarnath Temple is open to visitors from April through November. Beginning in the town of Gaurikund, the holy Kedarnath Yatra is a pilgrimage that tests the pilgrims’ dedication as it winds through cold views and rough landscapes.

Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, the temple’s sanctum echoes with the heavenly vibrations of long-ago rites and prayers, fostering an environment where people can make a connection between the eternal and the mortal. The Kedarnath Temple is more than just a physical building, it represents the spiritual path taken by people who come to the Himalayas to seek divine contact.

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3) Jagannath Temple

Jagannath Temple is a prime example of both architectural magnificence and devotion situated in Puri, Odisha. This holy temple was built in the 12th century by King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva and is devoted to Lord Jagannath, a manifestation of Lord Vishnu. The temple complex, which occupies a 400,000 sq ft area, is proof of India’s rich cultural heritage.

At 65 meters high, the majestic peak of the Jagannath Temple dominates the entire landscape and draws pilgrims from all directions. Millions of worshippers come to Puri each year for the famous Rath Yatra, an annual chariot celebration, to see the magnificent procession of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra, all of whom are pulled in ornately decorated chariots through the colorful streets.

The temple was built in the Kalinga architectural style and is a wonder of well-carved statues and elaborate decorations. The revered idol of Lord Jagannath, fashioned from neem wood, is a divine entity that enchants devotees.

Attracting millions of visitors each year, the Jagannath Temple is a hub of culture where celebration and spirituality meet. As pilgrims and visitors engage in centuries-old customs and rituals, they are attracted to the temple’s heavenly aura. With its long history and intense religious devotion, the Jagannath Temple is still admired as a sacred site that embodies devotion in the Indian cultural fabric.

4) Somnath Temple

The Somnath Temple is set against the rhythmic waves of the Arabian Sea and settled on Gujarat’s western coast, telling stories of devotion, devastation, and resurrection. This hallowed sanctuary to Lord Shiva, with a history spanning thousands of years, is a representation of steadfast devotion and fortitude.

Somnath has experienced multiple reconstructions as a result of historical invasions, most notably that which occurred in 1026 AD by Mahmud of Ghazni. The modern temple is a work of architectural wonder, full of elaborate carvings and sculptures, and it was built in the Chaulukya style.

One of the 12 sacred images of Lord Shiva, the Jyotirlinga, is kept in the holy temple. Throughout the year, pilgrims swarm to the temple in search of blessings and comfort from the heavenly atmosphere. The chanting of the devotees resonates with the Aarti rites, which are performed with the utmost care, producing an aura of transcendent spirituality.

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5) Meenakshi Temple

The Meenakshi Temple is a stunning example of the Dravidian architecture and the diverse cultural fabric of South India located in the center of Madurai. This temple dates back to the 7th century, and honors Hindu Goddess Meenakshi, a Parvati incarnation, and her spouse Lord Sundareswarar, a manifestation of Lord Shiva.

The expansive 14-acre temple complex is a maze of finely carved towers known as gopurams, covered with colorful sculptures that represent celestial beings and ancient stories. With its imposing gopurams, the famous Meenakshi Amman Temple is a shining example of Dravidian artistry and craftsmanship.

The sacred idols of Lord Sundareswarar and Goddess Meenakshi are housed in the temple’s sanctum, drawing millions of tourists and pilgrims each year. An extravagant celebration of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar’s celestial marriage, the Meenakshi Thirukalyanam festival enthralls the city and attracts followers from far and wide.

The Meenakshi Temple is more than just a place of worship, it is a prime example of Tamil Nadu’s spiritual and cultural life. For individuals looking to fully immerse themselves in South India’s rich past, it is an absolute must-visit location because of its historical significance, architectural magnificence, and religious devotion.

6) Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib)

Also known as Harmandir Sahib, the Golden Temple is a brilliant gem of Sikh devotion and architectural genius that is located in the center of Amritsar, Punjab. This holy temple was built in the 16th century by the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji. It stands as a testament to the Sikh community’s enduring principles of equality, harmony, and unity.

The Amrit Sarovar, the holy pool encircling the main shrine, mirrors the splendor of the Golden Temple’s facade, which is plated in magnificent gold leaf. The temple represents the inclusivity of all people, regardless of caste or belief, with its four entrances reflecting a harmonious combination of Islamic and Indian architectural forms.

The sanctum houses the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred book of Sikhism, and the sound of the Gurbani song echoes throughout the temple complex. Serving free meals to thousands of guests every day, the Langar is a communal kitchen that embodies the Sikh values of equality and selfless service.

The Golden Temple is one of the most popular religious destinations in the world, drawing millions of pilgrims and visitors each year. The Guru Granth Sahib is carried in a procession during the nightly Palki Sahib ceremony, which enhances the spiritual aura and fosters a peaceful and divine environment. The Golden Temple is a universal emblem of peace, tolerance, and social harmony and it is a Sikh pilgrimage place because of its golden front, spiritual holiness, and inclusive spirit.

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7) Akshardham Temple

The Akshardham Temple, located in Delhi, is a masterpiece of contemporary architecture and spiritual grandeur, located on the banks of the Yamuna River. This broad structure, dedicated to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, was opened in 2005 and serves as a display of India’s rich spiritual and cultural legacy.

The elaborately carved main monument, made of white marble and pink sandstone is the focal point of Akshardham. The elaborate features and themed exhibitions of the temple tell the story of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s life and teachings while endorsing virtues like dedication, peace, and harmony.

The largest stepwell in the world, Yagnapurush Kund, and the Sahaj Anand Water Show, an artistic depiction of a moment in Swaminarayan’s life, are also located within the Akshardham complex. The spectacular sculptures and carvings of the Akshardham Mandir, a hallowed destination of prayer, add even more splendor to the temple.

Akshardham has become a well-known spiritual and cultural hub that welcomes millions of tourists every year. With its beautifully landscaped grounds, cultural displays, and mesmerizing fountain show, it offers a comprehensive experience that combines spirituality with art and modernity. Akshardham Temple is a modern architectural wonder that serves as a center for cultural celebration and a tribute to India’s rich history as well as the persistence of religious and creative expression.

8) Vaishno Devi Temple

The Vaishno Devi Temple is a highly respected pilgrimage destination devoted to Goddess Vaishno Devi, and it is located in the magnificent Trikuta Mountains of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Resting at a height of roughly 5,200 feet, this holy temple draws millions of followers every year who set out on a difficult pilgrimage to seek the Divine Mother’s graces.

The temple’s history dates back thousands of years, and Hindu mythology gives it great significance. Three natural rock formations, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, and Mahasaraswati that symbolize the Goddess’s divine forms are housed in the holy cave. Travelers to Vaishno Devi think that seeing her satisfies their spiritual desires and invites divine intervention into their lives.

From the base camp in Katra, the journey to Vaishno Devi is a trek of around 14 kilometers. Trekkers must overcome steep inclines and difficult pathways to reach the holy cave, making the journey a test of both physical stamina and unshakable faith.

The Vaishno Devi Temple stands as a symbol of faith, dedication, and the enduring power of spirituality. Its importance goes beyond theological lines, drawing pilgrims from various backgrounds who set out on this difficult trek in search of comfort, contentment, and a relationship with the divine.

9) Brihadeeswarar Temple

The Peruvudaiyar Kovil, also called the Brihadeeswarar Temple, is a magnificent example of Chola dynasty architecture and is located in the historic Tamil Nadu city of Thanjavur. This temple honors Lord Shiva, was constructed in the 11th century by the renowned Chola monarch Raja Raja Chola I, and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

One of the highest towers of its sort in the world, the 66-meter-tall vimana, or pyramid-shaped tower, is the main feature of the Brihadeeswarar Temple. The detailed carvings and sculptures that adorn the vimana demonstrate the Chola artisans’ skill in stone and bronze artistry.

A huge Nandi (bull) statue, carved from a single stone and representing Lord Shiva’s mount, is also housed within the temple complex. The lingam, a symbol of Lord Shiva, is held in the holy place, and the walls of the temple are covered in stunning murals and inscriptions that describe the religious and cultural values of the Chola era.

Not only is Brihadeeswarar Temple a destination of worship, but it is also a living historical monument that draws in tourists, art lovers, and historians in equal measure. The magnificent annual Maha Shivaratri celebration held here attracts people from all over the nation who come to experience the religious passion and cultural diversity of this historic temple. A surviving representation of South Indian spirituality and Chola architecture is the Brihadeeswarar Temple.

10) Khajuraho Temples

The Khajuraho Temples are a tribute to the artistic and architectural skill of ancient India located in the center of Madhya Pradesh. Built during the Chandela dynasty during the 9th and 11th centuries, these temples are well known for their exquisitely carved sculptures that represent a variety of facets of human existence, spirituality, and sexuality.

There are over 25 temples in the Khajuraho Temples complex, the most well-known of which is the Western complex. Hindu deities like Shiva, Vishnu, and Devi are honored in the temples, which exhibit a beautiful combination of devotion and artistic expression. The sculptures, which show scenes from everyday life as well as legendary creatures and supernatural beings, are astounding in their complexity and richness.

The sensuality portrayed in several of the sculptures in the Khajuraho Temples is one of its most notable qualities. Even though these elaborate carvings have attracted interest and curiosity, they only make up a small portion of the temples’ larger story, which covers a wide range of topics like dance, music, war, and everyday life.

World travelers, art lovers, and historians are drawn to the Khajuraho Temples. The cultural value of this site is further enhanced by the yearly Khajuraho Dance Festival, which takes place against the backdrop of these architectural marvels. The temples’ enduring beauty never fails to enthrall tourists, providing a window into the rich creative, and cultural legacy of ancient India.

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11) Konark Sun Temple

Konark Sun Temple honors the sun god Surya and is a magnificent example of ancient Indian architecture located on the coast of Odisha. Built by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty in the 13th century, this imposing temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a stunning representation of India’s architectural and cultural legacy.

Konark Sun Temple is a wonder of Kalinga architecture, shaped like a gigantic chariot with elaborately carved stone wheels, horses, and legendary creatures. Exquisite sculptures and carved strips that portray a variety of facets of life, mythology, and celestial creatures embellish the temple complex. Though they draw attention, the sensual carvings are only one aspect of the elaborate artwork that tells tales from Hindu epics and displays the skill of the artisans from that era.

An energetic cultural element is added to this historic location every year by the Konark Dance Festival, which is conducted against the backdrop of the temple and honors traditional Indian dance styles. The Konark Sun Temple is a monument of architectural genius that has withstood the test of time. Historians, art enthusiasts, and travelers from all over the world come to marvel at the magnificence of this enduring structure.

Conclusion

India is one of the oldest civilizations in history that has kept its legacy and takes pride in it. The temples in India are a major example of that legacy. These temples mean a lot to the devotees which is why millions of them visit these temples every year. This article has listed the most famous temples in India that you can visit. Come visit these places and take a look at India’s rich cultural heritage.   

FAQs

Where Is India’s Biggest Temple?

India’s biggest temple is located in Srirangam, known as Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. It is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, a form of Lord Vishnu. The temple complex covers 156 acres and is known for its complex architecture and cultural significance.

What Is India’s Richest Temple?

The Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram is often considered one of the richest temples in India. The temple gained significant attention in 2011 when vaults within the temple were discovered to house an immense amount of wealth, including gold, jewels, and precious artifacts. The estimated value of the treasures found in the temple is substantial.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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