India is a land which is made up of a mosaic of cultures, heritages, traditions and beliefs which dates back to time immemorial. It is the top spiritual destination in the world where the visitors are greeted with temples, monuments and structures which seem frozen in time. Each state in the subcontinent consists of various temples dedicated to different gods and goddesses where hundreds and thousands of people throng to offer their prayer to the supreme Lord. If you are looking for a soul-enriching experience through spirituality then India is the ultimate destination for a spiritual upliftment. From the sun temple of the east to the Somnath temple of the west and from the Kedarnath Dham in the north to Rameshwaram in the South and much more, India is truly the land of temples.
List of the 10 Most Famous Temples in India with Images
1. Jagannath Temple, Puri
Raja Ananta Varman was the name who was behind the great Jagannath Puri Temple. You can get to the temple easily reach to the temple from Orissa as it is situated in a town named as Puri. As the name implies, the temple is associated with Jagannath or commonly referred as Krishna, a Hindu God, who is supposed to be the lord of the universe in Hinduism.
You will certainly be fascinated to see the images of Jagannath Balabhadra and Subhadra, also, you experience will be enhanced when you will find them to be built with margosa wood. That is perhaps the first thing that will tell you the story of the exceptional artistry that surrounds the whole temple. The beautiful architecture has a great influence of the Orissa culture or the present culture of Orissa is under the influence of the temple, whatever that is, the architecture is something that will give you a great value for your money.
The temple is not just amazing to watch because of the great bit of architecture but it has a lot for the people who want to learn something about Indian culture and traditions. If you want to be a part of the festivity that is the part of Indian culture, then, you can easily find some of the great festivals that are celebrated in the temple of Jagannath. Krishna Janma is one of those festivals and it is celebrated as the Krishna was supposed to born on the day. Along with this, you can be a part of some of the yatra that are known as Jhulan yatra, Sneha Yatra and many others can also be found. Rath Yatra is perhaps the most popular as in this yatra the three deities of the Jagannath temple are taken to the Gundicha temple and whole of the journey is covered by putting them on chariot or Rath. The temple is considered to be the adorned with the largest kitchen as it can accommodate as many as 100,000 people who are supposed to be here during the festivals. The festivity is the feature of the temple and you can witness it throughout the year.
2. Konark Sun Temple, Odisha
Konark Sun Temple is the one that was made for the Sun God or Surya. When you will be in Orissa, this is certainly something that worth a visit. It is supposed be a place that has to be visited by the people of India to complete their pilgrimage.
The tales are the things which are associated with all of the places in India and you will come across a new one after every short while. The legend about this temple is that the king of Krishna and Jambavati intrude the bathing champers of the wives of Krishna and Krishna cursed him with a disease of skin known as leprosy. He was told to worship Surya to get out of this curse and Samba who was cursed with the disease found an image of Surya and he worshipped it to get rid of the curse. That is the place of temple actually. However, despite the fact as what was the story behind the creation of the temple, the architecture is something that can’t be compared with anything else.
Sculptures that you will find in there are so complicated that you will not take your eyes away from them. The temple is actually made in a way that it gives the picture of a chariot that has 24 wheels. These wheels are then made even more beautiful with some specific use of carvings. The erotic style of craving is something that you can again find in here which are quite like the way that you will find in Khajuraho Temples. Along with these cravings you can also find pictures of animals and warriors which are again carved in the walls and you can easily associate a story with them as they are so systematically designed. You best chance about learning the ancient Indian art is in this temple. Although, the most of the temples are ruined, but still, it has a lot to tell you about the ancient history and culture. Also, if you want to see the true festivity, you must visit the place at the time of Konark festival.
3. Khajuraho Temples, Madhya Pradesh
Have you ever been wondered that the information you are having about the temples of India is nothing more than some scant information, then you must not waste any more time and book a ticket to India. The temples of India are something that has been a thing of constant attraction for the tourist from all around the world. You will certainly find your visit a delightful one. You can start your journey from the state of Madhya Pradesh. You will be able to find a village named Khajuraho and this is the destination for you to get close to those fascinating temples.
India has been a place of many empires and it was the time of Chandel Empire when these temples were constructed. When you will be in the village, you will find around 22 temples. However, a worth mentioning fact is that there were as many as 85 temples but time has played a major role and there are only 22 temples. But today, there is a special emphasis on their protection and preservation and tourists from all over the world are getting to the place to learn a little more about the remaining ones. The best thing about these temples is the carvings that are directly done on the walls of the temple and they tell the whole story for which these carvings were done. In these carvings, you will also come across some of the distinctive sexual poses which are carved on the wall. The sophistication and the charm that these temples have was the reason that they were used in different Indian films as well. These carving are certainly something that will provide you some food for thought along with the great enjoyment that can expect from a tour.
Another thing that you will also like about the whole thing is that you can now get to the place without much ado as there is now available in the village. This actually confirms the fact that India is aware of its cultural heritage and doing utmost effort to preserve it and to make it noticed by providing all sorts of facilities.
4. Shore Temple, Tamil Nadu
A place that is situated in the state of Tamil Nadu is known as Mahabalipuram. You will come across some of the best pales that will take you to the time of ancient Hinduism. Mahabalipuram temples are one of those places that can take you to the journey of the past and the more you will explore it the more will be your desire to stay and find out something extra. That’s the beauty of Mahabalipuram temples as it can accommodate all the visitors from all over world with the different desires and objectives. It is almost 58km away from the city of Chennai and you can easily get to the place.
The Shore Temple is perhaps the most beautiful place to start your journey as it is situated at the Bay of Bengal. The sea is really something that has a large influence on this temple. You can also find a lot of shrines in this temple, few of them are more beautiful as the faces the sea.
Another temple that will fascinate you a lot is the temple which is given the name of Sthalasayana Perumal. You will certainly like the whole scene when the waves from sea come to the very start of the temple.
The most amazing and interesting thing about India is festivals and the religious festivals are one that you can find at every corner of India. There are different festivals which are celebrated in temples, so, you will certainly be up for a treat if you will go to visit Mahabalipuram temples in the month of December as it is the time when you can come across some great dancing festivals. There are quite a lot of dance forms in India and you will be amazed to see the skill of dancers. Along with this dance festival, the place is also considered to be the main point for Pallava Arts and Culture which certainly is something that you will love to learn about. It’s something that you will certainly like and will take with you when you will be going to home.
5. Golden Temple, Punjab
When you will be in India, the amalgamation of some of the world’s largest religions is something that will provide you a great picture to enjoy. You will certainly feel jovial to see the way with which these people are living their lives according to their beliefs and thoughts and that is one of the things that has earned a great deal of respect for India. It’s not just about respect, but, it has really helped people from all over the world to come and see the diversification of the culture by them. It’s truly amazing to see some of the best mosques in here, along with the churches and temples. All this is enough to mesmerize someone one who may never have come to India or any diverse cultured place. Temples in India have been the centre of attraction for the tourists and they come in great number to see them. Why shouldn’t they be, after all there is a great resource of these temples in India. If you are planning to come to India, you must pay a visit to Golden Temple which is situated in Amritsar.
Amritsar is in the state of Punjab, where most of the people are follower of Sikhism. So, if you want to have an insight about this religion, then Golden temple is the perfect choice. The temple is also known as Harmandir Sahib and it stands on a platform which is about 67ft high. You will find four doors which are in the each direction, i.e. east, west, north and south. Door Panes, however, are something that depicts a great deal of skill as the decoration is impressive. When you will look to learn about the architecture, you will find it a unique one. The reason behind that is that the style is a mixture of Hindu and Muslim art of architecture and it’s been used so artistically that it gives a really sophisticated look.
A worth mentioning fact about Golden temple is that it is regarded as one of the most popular places in Sikhism, but, it is not a place that is rated as a must to visit to complete your pilgrimage.
6. Brihadisvara Temple, Tamil Nadu
If you want to see the number of amazing temples, then you must pay a visit to Tamil Nadu that is a state in India. In Tamil Nadu, you will come across a town Thanjavur which is the house of the most ancient temples in India. Although, there are some of the very best masterpieces of art but you won’t find something better than Brihadisvara Temple. The temple is also known as the temple of Tanjore. The temple is the creation of a king named as Rajaraja who was the part of the Chola dynasty.
The first thing that is so amazing about the temple is its tower that has as many as 13 storeys. The height of the tower is said to be around 61m and the beauty of the tower gets even more enhanced with a single stone which is at the top of the tower. The tower is called Vimana and it has gold covered ornament to enhance the beauty of the final part of the tower. The shape of this monolith is like a bulb which feels so exquisite when you see the whole tower from a distance. The whole of the temple is situated inside a fort. If you have a taste and knowledge about the temples of India, you must have a close interaction with carvings and sculptures. This temple is certainly no different as you will never feel the temple to be short of the carvings and the sculptures. These carvings are used in a delicate way to decorate the entire temple. There are certain holy places within the temple which are designed with the highest level of architectural skills and one can only think about the artistry and the skill that those people were having at the time when there wasn’t an outside help available. The architecture that is used in here is the beautiful example of Dravidian style of architecture that is specially used for the temples to bring that spiritual look. Granite is the main ingredient used in its construction.
All in all, the temple is a beautiful blend of art and the creativity, also, you can visit the temple to be a part of the celebrations that are done at different times of year where you can enjoy other forms of arts, dancing is the most popular one.
7. Akshardham Temple, Delhi
The one of the reason to fly to India is the culture and that culture can easily be experienced by everyone in the temples that are in different states of India. These temples are so ancient that you will certainly be awestruck after seeing these temples. However, amidst of these ancient temples, you can also feast your eyes with some of the great architectural masterpieces that are just recently been added in the enormous resource of temples. Akshardham Temple is one of the temples that are a recent addition for the visitors to come and experience the great Indian culture. It is situated in the eastern part of Delhi. It was built in merely two years and was built by an organization that is known as Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha or BAPS.
First of the thing that you will fancy watching is the collection of the statures. There are around 20,000 statues and all of them have a great visual feel as special care have been taken to enhance and raise the artistic feel and beauty of the statues. Along with these statues, you will see beautifully carved pillars which are actually to make this temple look like the other temples of India where carvings are most frequently witnessed. However, it can also be trusted to get a feel of the Hinduism as the resources that you will find here are certainly amazing; also, these things are maintained by the people, so, you can expect most recent additions in these things which will give you a clear understanding of Hindu culture and traditions.
Total area that the temple covers is around 100 acres, so, it will give you a complete satisfaction as you can understand as what might be the things that you will be watching in the temple of this volume. There are specially designed fountains that actually play an important role to beautify the whole temple. As it is a temple, so, how is it possible that you don’t find the deity in here? In fact, there are a number of them, for instance, you will come across Shri Radha Krishna Dev, Shri Laxmi Narayan, Shri Sita Ram and many others can also be seen inside the temple.
8. Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand
Situated on the Kadar valley of Devbhumi, Uttarakhand, Kedarnath Dham temple is dedicated to lord Shiva and is one of the major centers for pilgrimage and Shiva worship in India. Located just next to the holy Mandakini River, the temple is ancient and a major pillar of the holy Chota Char Dham Yatra that takes place annually in the state.
The first foundation stone for this temple was set by the Pandava brothers who had made their way to Kedarnath on their quest for forgiveness after having killed Ravan, a Brahman. Lord Shiva was hiding from the brothers but was finally discovered in Kedarnath where they had set up the temple and worshipped to the lord day and night. Later on, during the 8th century, Kedarnath was revived by the great sage and philosopher, Adi Shankaracharya who is also credited with rebuilding the temple and restoring it back to its previous glory. Ever since then, every ear during the summer months, the doors of Kedarnath open up for every devotee from across the globe to take up this holy pilgrimage on the hills. Set against the backdrop of the Kedar dome of mountain ranges Kedarnath is the highest temple among the Char Dham Yatra temples of Yamunotri, Gangotri, and Badrinath. Along with the Char Dham Yatra, the Kedarnath temple is also an important part of the holy Panch Kedar Yatra circuit.
The temple is placed at an elevation of 3,500 metres above sea level and reaching there via the trekking route can prove to be quite a challenging task as it involves a steep climb of 18 km. Many people also avail of the Kedarnath yatra by helicopter service for an easier journey that starts off from the Sahastradhara helipad in Dehradun.
9. Somnath Temple, Gujarat
Somnath Mahadev Temple or also known as deo patan, an iconic Hindu temple is in the Prabhas Patan, Veraval region of the westernmost state of Gujarat. Considered one of the most important temples in India, Somnath Mahadev is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This Jyotirlinga holds immense historical and mythological significance in the life of every Hindu devotee and Shiva worshipper. There are 12 Jyotirlingas spread across the subcontinent and Somnath Mahadev Temple is considered to be the first self-appearing Jyotirlinga in India making it incredibly important. It is also a must-inclusion for many in the Dwarka Somnath Tour Package. It is believed that the first Somnath temple was made by the gods themselves at the site of an ancient pilgrimage spot of the Triveni Sangam in Gujarat. This stunning temple is a magnificent piece of architectural wonderment and its location right next to the lashing waves of the Arabian Sea makes a visit to this temple truly an awe-inspiring one.
The very first temple of Somnath was built by the moon god or Som Dev who built it entirely out of gold, after its destruction it was later on built using silver by Ravana, it was then followed by a wooden structure built by lord Krishna and the final temple was built by Bhim Dev using stone. After that, the temple went through a very tumultuous time wherein it was built, destroyed, and rebuilt over 17 times. The final temple was constructed by 1950 and was inaugurated by the first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.
The temple is not just a place of worship, it is an extremely educational complex as well that imparts knowledge about our rich culture and heritage to the people through engaging, fun and interesting sound and light shows, museum tours, and other such entertaining elements. During its peak, the temple was a centre for culture and wealth which is the reason it attracted so many looters and robbers who stripped the temple of its jewels and precious stones.
10. Vaishno Devi Temple, Jammu & Kashmir
Vaishno Devi is the 2nd most visited Hindu pilgrimage site in India with a footfall of thousands and lakhs of devotees all year long. The main temple of Vaishno Devi is not a structure, it is rather a cave temple and is located in the Trikuta hills in Katra. It is said that devotees who visit the temple with a clear heart then their wishes get fulfilled. This holy cave temple on the hills is reachable via a paved trekking route or a brief helicopter ride for just a couple of minutes. Vaishno Devi is considered the most important and a powerful Shaktipeeth in India and is said to be the place where the goddess’s skull had fallen.
The prime deity inside the temple is worshipped in the form of a 5.5 feet tall rock structure that contains 3 different Pindies. A traditional offering of sarees, dry fruits, silver ornaments, flowers etc. is made. The three idols in the Garbha Griha of the temple are dedicated to Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati all the images of Vaishno Devi are worshipped at the temple. When it comes to its importance Vaishno Devi is also an important pilgrimage spot for the sikhs since it’s been visited by some of the most prominent and important historical figures such as Guru Gobind Singh Ji and swami Vivekananda.
The temple has also been mentioned in the Hindu epic of Mahabharat when Arjun had visited this holy spot to worship the goddess. According to various studies done on the cave it’s been dated to be over a million years old along with having found its mention in the holy ancient Hindu book of Rigveda. Vaishno Devi also occupies the spot for being one of the richest temples in India. Going to Vaishno Devi Temple during the peak festival season such as Navratri will be truly a mesemrising experience.