India is known to be one of the oldest civilizations in the world and is known to be the origin of few of the most important religions of the world including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. With over thousands of rich heritage, culture and traditions, India has thousands of temples dedicated to hundreds of gods. However, most of the famous temples are dedicated to some form of Shiva or Vishnu, two of the 3 supreme Gods considered by Hindus. Some of the temples have been in existence for more than a 1,000 years and some temples have been built only in the last decade, yet their importance varies from place to place. All the Jyotirlinga Temples are extremely important for all worshippers of Shiva and There are around 51 Shakti Peeths which are also important. There are many important Jain temples in India, which are generally known for their elaborate architecture and rich history. Visiting any of these famous temples would take you to a journey of faith, spirituality and a lot of cultural heritage that you won't witness anywhere else.
Here is the list of 57 Famous Indian Temples To Visit For A Spiritual Journey
Also called Sri Harmandir Sahib or Swarna Mandir, the shrine was designed by Guru Arjan Sahib and its foundation laid by Muslim saint Hazrat Mian Mir ji of Lahore on 1st December 1588. Among one of the most beautiful temples in India, the dome of the Golden Temple is made up of actual Gold and is considered to be the most important pilgrim site for Sikhs.
Known For : Vaishno Devi Temple, Vaishno Devi | Ardh Kuwari Cave | Bhairavnath Temple, Vaishno Devi
Located in Trikuta hills, 13 km from Katra at the height of 1560 m above sea level with bright clouds and thinning air, this town is the holy cave temple of Mata Vaishnodevi, with spirituality and vibrancy lingering in the atmosphere.
Best Time : Throughout the year
Kedarnath is the highest among the 12 Jyotirlingas. This temple, over a thousand years old, is built of enormous stone slabs over a large rectangular dais. The present temple is believed to be re-built by Adi Shankaracharya, originally built by the Pandavas. During the recent floods in Uttarakhand, the temple remained intact even though many other structures had faced a lot of destruction.
Sri Venkateshwara Temple is the most revered and celebrated temple of the temple town of Tirupati having tourists and pilgrims flooding in all year long. Comprising of various complexes inside the premise, the temple is known for its Vishesh Puja, held from 5:30 am till 6:30 am everyday. With the most busy months being September-October due to the Brahmostava festival, this temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara, and dates back to the 12th century. This is one of the holiest and the wealthiest temples in the world and millions of devotees flock here to pay their reverence.
The Dilwara temples, located about 3 kms from Mount Abu, were mainly built by Vastupal and Tejpal, between the 11th and 13th centuries AD. Surrounded by lush greenery and located on a height above the surrounding areas, these temples are world famous for their stunning use of marble - many visitors consider these to be architecturally superior to even the Taj Mahal. Everything from the doors to the ceilings and the pillars are extremely intricately designed - at one point, the marble ceiling is so finely that it's actually translucent.
This is a historic Hindu temple located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River, Madurai, Tamil Nadu. It is primarily dedicated to Parvati, known as Meenakshi, and her spouse, Shiva. What makes this temple different from the others is the fact that both God and Goddess are worshipped together.
On the southern bank of River Krishna, is a temple, the town Srisailam is known for. The Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple, is the most celebrated temple of the town and finds it roots 6 centuries in history, when it was built by King Harihara Raya of Vijayanagar.
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple stands tall in the capital of Kerala in its gold plated decadent glory. It is one of the 108 sacred Vishnu temples in India and said to be a replica of the Adikesava Perumal temple located in Kanyakumari. Quite recently, the temple was found to be holding billions worth of valuables in five of its vaults which make it the richest temple in the world. 'Thiruvananthapuram' literally translates to the 'City of Anantha' and Anantha is the deity of this temple. Lord Vishnu is seen in the Anantha Shayanam"" posture through three mighty doors."
This Dham atop 3030 metres on Kalinad Parvat was built in 19th Century containing a bejeweled silver idol of Yamunotri wrapped in garlands. Devotees trek the 6 km up the hill dotted with Ratnajot- a popular herb to cure eye diseases; all the way from Hanuman Chatti.
The Amarnath cave is a haven to an enshrined image of ice called the Shiva lingam formed naturally, which resembles Lord Shiva and hence this is one of the most important pilgrimages in India. The most significant reason why Amarnath is a such a sought-after place, this is a no-brainer absolutely. The cave is a haven for all the devotees wanting to seek blessings of the Mahadeva.
Located at a height of 3133m, the Badrinath temple is a 15m black structure dating back to the Vedic Ages. The temple is dedicated to Vishnu, who is idolized as Badrinath and is a sanctified shrine for Indians. The temple is located in Garhwal hill in Chamoli district on the banks of Alaknanda River. It is one of the most visited temples in India. The image of the reigning deity worshipped in the temple is a black stone sculpture of Vishnu in the form of Badrinarayan. The statue is considered by many Hindus to be a self-manifestation of Vishnu.
The Shore Temple lies in front of the Bay of Bengal, hence it is known by the name mentioned. Dating back to the 8th century AD, this Indian temple is made out of granite chunks. The temple was constructed in such a way that it would overlook the Bay of Bengal at a Southern Chennai village called Mahabalipuram. The village was a busy port during the reign of Narasimhavarman II of the Pallava dynasty.
Shree Jagannath Puri temple, one of the most majestic monuments of Odisha, was built by a famous king of Ganga Dynasty Ananta Varman Chodaganga Deva. This stunning Vaishnava temple, dating back to 12th century, enshrines Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Balabhadra. Jagannath Temple is among one of the most famous temples in India, primarily because of the famous Rath Yatra that happens once every year.
It is believed that this temple is situated at the place where Lord Krishna was born and the result of many excavations has tried to prove this belief.
It is an exquisite temple in southern India dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the 12 jyotirlingas. This place has a lot of importance in Hindu mythology and Lord Rama and Sita themselves are believed to have built the two lingams currently housed in the temple. It's a great pilgrim place for people wishing to achieve salvation in life.
Gangotri Temple, a religiously important temple in Hinduism, is located in the quaint town of Gangotri, Uttarkashi District in the Indian State of Uttarakhand. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga and is the highest and the most important shrine dedicated to the deity. The sacred temple and the surroundings offer a scenic view of the breathtaking Himalayas and the ever so gorgeous River Ganga. The sight is breathtaking in the mornings during sunrise as the sun shines from behind the Himalayas spreading light and life to the region.
The Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple is first of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. It is located on the western coast of Gujarat and is one of the oldest temples of the country. It has been mentioned in ancient texts like Shreemad Bhagavat Gita, Skandpuran, Shivpuran and Rig-Veda which signifies the importance of this temple as one of the most celebrated pilgrimage sites. The temple is located on the ancient Triveni Sangam or the confluence of three rivers - Kapila, Hiran, and Saraswati.
The Sansthan Temple is one of the most famous and significant of shrines in India. Dedicated to Sai baba, Devotees can avail all facilities of a holy place from darshan lines, donation counters, prasad lines, railway booking counters to dinning halls.
This temple was opened back in 1998; it is located at Hare Krishna Hills, in the East of Kailash area of New Delhi, India. A very well-known Lord Krishna temple for inner peace. Its followers believe in Srila Prabhupada. As one of the biggest temple complexes in India. It has numerous rooms for priests and service renders. Many halls are used for its administration purposes. It is divided into four broad units.
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, a beautifully carved temple complex, is located in Srirangapatna in the south-western state of Karnataka, India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha who is considered as an avatar of Lord Vishnu in Hindu religion. The temple complex brightens up as the sun rises and the vibe is so divine one cannot explain but only experience here. Pause and notice the exotic carvings on the gopuram before you enter the temple. The complex is surrounded by the beautiful River Kaveri which adds to the beauty of the temple. The ghats of the river are frequented for taking a dip before entering the holy temple complex.
The Akshardham temple in the city is one of the biggest temples in India, and it is a major pilgrim destination that many people swarm to. This temple was built by the same organisation as the one in Delhi and is very much similar to it. Located in the capital of Gujarat, the complex took over 13 years to build in the honour of Swaminarayan and his life and teachings. Akshardham mandir is situated at the center of the 23-acre complex, which is built from 6,000 metric tonnes of pink sandstone from Rajasthan.
The oldest historical account available about Sabarimala which at that time was known as Churulimala, can be found in the inscriptions of Xuanzang which reveal that the idol of the buddhist shrine was that of Avalokitesvara, who according to Buddhism, is an avatar of Bodhisattva. The word Dharmasasta is one of the eighteen synonyms of Gautama Buddha. The Mudra depicted by the idol of Ayyappa and the yogic position may have a connection to Vitarka mudra and Lotus position in which Buddha is depicted beautifully.
Visit this effulgent, age old temple in Srinagar to feel closer to the gods. Situated at a height of about 1100 feet on the south-east of the city, this sacred temple offers splendid views of the valley and the snow clad mountains of the Pir Panjal range.
The Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple is a Hindu temple, constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is probably the oldest structure in Kanchipuram. The temple is located on the banks of the Vedavathi River at the western limits of the Kanchipuram. The temple celebrates the Maha Shivaratri as one of it's biggest festivals, when thousand of devotees throng the temple in the evening hours to offer prayers to the main deity, Lord Shiva.
The Baba Baidyanath Temple complex enshrines a Jyotirlinga, along with 12 other temples. Being one of the most sacred temples in India, the Baidyanath Temple holds a spiritual high ground among other temples owing to its religious significance and its beautiful architecture.
Located in Prabhadevi, Siddhivinayak is a Lord Ganesha temple, one of the most significant and frequented temples in Mumbai. Visitors visit this temple in large numbers on daily basis. It was built by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil in 1801. It is one of the richest temples in Mumbai. The wooden doors to the sanctum are carved with images of the Lord. The inner roof which is plated with gold has the central sculpture of Ganesha.
Astounding in elegance, this temple was shaped by Jagadguru shri Kripaluji Maharaj in 2001. Every day, during prayer time, a huge crowd gathers to worship their god. Prem Mandir is a newly constructed temple and is the most beautiful in the Brij area. Made out of white marble and adorned with very intricate carvings, this temple is famous for its architectural beauty.
Belur Mutt is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda, the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. It is situated on the west bank of Hooghly River, Belur, West Bengal, India. It is one of the noteworthy establishments in Kolkata. This temple is the focus of the Ramakrishna Movement. The temple is prominent for its architecture that embraces Hindu, Christian and Islamic styles and stands as an icon of unity of all religions.
One of the most interesting villages of Maharashtra, this one has no doors in any of the houses or shops to its name. People, here believe that their Lord Shaneshwar is always protecting them from all the evils. The village is mere 65 kms away from Shirdi and therefore is one of the most visited places on the trip to Shirdi. Only male devotees are allowed in the premises near the idol to worship their lord.
One of the five Panchbootha Sthala, the Nataraja Temple is a place of deep religious importance for the Hindus. Spread across a sprawling 40 acres complex, the Lord Nataraja Temple situated in the heart of the city is one of the most beautiful examples of the genius of Chola architecture.
The Kamakhya temple is one of the most revered shrines of Shakti in India, in the form of Kamakhya. Located on the Nilachal Hills just 7km from Guwahati, the Kamakhaya temple is of great religious importance. It also holds tremendous historic and archeological significance.
Annamalaiyar Temple, a breathtaking temple complex dedicated to Lord Shiva, is located in the bustling town of Thiruvannamalai, at the base of Annamalai Hills in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. As you walk closer to the grand temple complex, you'll notice how marvellously the structures have been built. This 25-acre complex is sure to mesmerize you with its beauty and elegance. There are numerous intricately adorned shrines and halls within the entire temple complex which is also considered as one of the largest temple complexes in India. Do make it a point to see the splendid eastern gopuram (tower), which is one the tallest temple towers in India as it stands 66 metres tall and the gorgeous thousand-pillared hall that extends serenely in the temple complex
One of the most beautiful temples in India, the temple resembles a lotus and hence the name. Commonly known as Lotus temple, it is a Bahê''ê_ Houses of Worship, the Lotus Temple is open to all, regardless of religion, or any other distinction. It is situated near mandir marg in Kalkaji, New Delhi
Dedicated to Lord Surya, this 13th century temple is an architectural marvel and the quintessential example of Oriyan form of architecture. It is believed that the temple was constructed by king Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The shape of the temple is of a massive chariot with sumptuously engraved stone wheels, pillars and walls. A major part of the structure at present is in ruins. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Trimbakeshwar is about 38 km away from Nashik. Located at the source of river Godavari, perched on top of Brahmagiri hills, Trimbakeshwar enshrines one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Initially there were alleged to be 64 jyotirlingas even though 12 of them remain and are considered to be holy. Each of the twelve jyotirlinga sites take the name of the governing deity, each considered to be a different manifestation of Shiva.
Located in Karnataka, this magnificent shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple boasts of the second highest statue of Lord Shiva in the world, and the sheer magnanimity of the statue will fill you with a sense of awe. This temple is built on the Kanduka Hill which is surrounded by the Arabian Sea on three sides. The main temple's entrance, also called the 'gopura' stands at 123 feet and you can witness the breathtaking view of the Shiva statue from the top of the gopura.
The Madhyamaheshwar Omkareshwar Temple is an integral part of the great Panch Kedar and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is simply known as Ukhimath Omkareshwar Temple. During the winters, the idols from Kedarnath temple and Madhyamaheshwar are brought to Ukhimath and worshiped here for six months. Ukhimath is a small pilgrimage town in the Rudraprayag District of Uttarakhand.
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India is a vivid blend of culture and modernity. The major religion being Hinduism, the land is dotted with temples and sprinkled with shrines and a whole lot of pilgrimage spots which are visited by pilgrims and devotees all through the year. Among the umpteen thousand temples present in India, most are dedicated to Hindu gods and goddess. Next in the list come the shrines and temples of Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism and other minor religions and cults. Most of these are wondrous examples of architecture, design, sculpture and astounding beauty.