Being a Hindu-majority country, India is home to hundreds of temples that have a history of several centuries. The article contains a list of some of the most beautiful temples in India that attract a large number of devotees. Let’s look at the famous temples in India.
India — the birthplace of Dharmic religions, is home to thousands of incredible places of worship. From Kashmir in the North to Kanyakumari in the South and from Kutch in the West to Arunachal in the East, one can find a limitless number of temples in India. Almost every nook and corner of the country has a temple, showcasing the rich tradition of the home of the oldest religion in the world. Even temples in Gaya, Ujjain, Dimapur, Prayagraj, and other small cities of Bharat have. Whether you are an Indian planning to take a dip into the sea of spirituality or a foreigner who wanted to explore the rich Hindu heritage, visiting these astonishing temples in India is sure to soothe your heart and soul.
The beauty of India’s Hindu culture lies in its diversity, evident by the fact that different regions follow distinct modes of worship. For example, Ram and Krishna are popular mainly in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, while eastern states like Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, etc. follow the Shaktism tradition. Murugan/Kartikeya and Meenakshi/Parvati are the prominent deities in Tamilnadu, while Kannadigas are considered majorly as Shaivites. It is this diversity that makes Hinduism the best religion in the world. Here are some of the most incredible Hindu temples in India and the flagbearers of the country’s age-old tradition.
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List of the Most Beautiful and Famous Temples in India
1. Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai, Tamilnadu
Meenakshi Temple is undoubtedly one of India’s most astonishing and oldest temples. Located in the south Indian city of Madurai (in Tamil Nadu), the temple attracts lakhs of crowd every year. Dedicated to goddess Meenakshi, an avatar of Parvati, the historic Meenakshi Amman Temple is located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River. The Dravidian architectural beauty of the temple leaves visitors in awe. Along with the followers of the Shaivism tradition, Vaishnavites also consider Meenakshi Temple special to them, since
2. Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand
Kedarnath Temple or Baba Kedarnath Mandir is one of the most famous temples in India, thanks to its location in the heart of the Himalayas’ snowy magnificence. The euphonious burbling of the Mandakini river multiplies the experience of visiting Lord Shiva’s adobe in Uttarakhand’s Rudraprayag. Due to extreme weather conditions, the general public can visit the temple only between April and November. Since there is no direct road access to the temple, the 22-km trekking is the only option to reach the Kedarnath Dham, making the journey even more spectacular.
Kedarnath Temple is one of the four major sites in the Chhota Char Dham pilgrimage of the Northern Himalayas, others being Yamunotri, Gangotri, and Badrinath. Located at a height of 3583 m, the temple is believed to be initially built by Pandavas during the Mahabharata era.
Also Read: Why Hinduism is the best religion in the world.
3. Tirupati Balaji, Andhra Pradesh
One of the most revered and popular temples in South India, Sri Venkateshwara Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of Bhagwan Venkateshwar. Over 60000 devotees visit the temple every single day, probably the highest in the country. During the Brahmostava festival during the months of September-October, the 12th-century temple attracts lakhs of worshippers from across India and the world. Located in the lap of the scenic Seshachalam Hills in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district, Tirupati Balaji temple is one of the most beautiful temples in India.
The temple complex houses several deities including Sita-Ram-Lakshaman, Krishna-Rukmini, Garuda Dev, Kuber, etc. The standing statues of Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya and Lord Hanuman in the prayer pose add beauty to the Venkateshwara Temple complex.
4. Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha
One of the oldest temples in India, Jagannath Puri Mandir is the pride of Odia culture. It is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, who is the supreme deity among Odisha’s Hindus. The Jagannath Temple, one of the best surviving demonstrations of Kalinga architecture, is massive with a height of 61 meters. According to historians, the temple was attacked 18 times by many Muslim rulers, including Feroz Shah Tughlaq and Aurangzeb, during Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Era.
Rath Yatra — the most popular festival of Odisha, is associated with Lord Jagannath. Millions of Hindus attend the program worldwide.
5. Ramanathaswamy Temple, Tamilnadu
Tamilnadu is known for its magnificent Hindu sites and Ramanathaswamy Temple is one of the state’s most significant ones. Dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in the forms of Ramanathaswamy and Parvatavardini, the temple is among the most-visited religious sites in India. It is one of the pilgrimage sites in the Char Dham pilgrimage. The exquisite Tamil architecture in the backdrop of the Indian Ocean makes it one of the most beautiful temples in India. Lakhs of worshippers visit the Ramanathaswamy temples site and the island town of Rameshwaram every year. It is believed that Lord Ram established and worshipped the Shiva Lingam before going to Lanka to fight Ravana.
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6. Maa Vaishno Devi Temple, Jammu & Kashmir
Maa Vaishno Devi Temple is undoubtedly one of the most-visited temples in India, with an average of over 80 lakhs yearly footfall. Located in the town of Karta in Jammu and Kashmir, the temple is considered the holiest by the followers of Shaktism. Temple is dedicated to Maa Vaishno, an incarnation of Goddess Durga. The idols of Mahalakshmi, Mahakali, and Mahasaraswati are worshipped in the heart of the temple, which is located inside a cave at the height of 1584 m (5200 ft). Devotees have to walk on the mountainous path to get a darshan of the goddesses.
The most beautiful thing about the pilgrimage is that both Hindus and Sikhs regard it as sacred. Guru Gobind Singh, while traveling to Purmandal, visited the shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi. The sacred journey to the Devi Darbar is also a great tourist destination, thanks to its location in the Himalayan range.
7. Badrinath Temple, Uttarakhand
Badrinath Temple is one of the most famous temples in India, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Situated in the holy town of Badrinath in the state of Uttarakhand, it is one of the 108 Divya Desams. Also known as Badrinarayan Temple, the Hindu site is also famous for its breathtaking elegance along the banks of the Alaknanda River in the backdrop of the Garhwal Himalayas. Ancient religious texts such as Vishnu Purana, Skanda Purana, and Mahabharata. The main shrine houses the one-foot deity of Lord Vishnu made of Shaligram (black stone), which is housed in a gold canopy under a Badri Tree. Various other deities are worshipped in the temple such as Kubera, Goddess Lakshmi, Garuda, Adi Shankaracharya, etc.
Also Read: Why is Chhath Puja Celebrated?
8. Somnath Temple, Gujarat
One of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites in Gujarat, Somnath Temple is believed to be the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. It is one of the best examples of the Maru-Gurjara Style of Hindu temple architecture. Somnath Temple has witnessed repeated destructions by several Muslim invaders in a bid to loot its wealth and convert it into a mosque. However, after the independence of India, the contemporary temple’s reconstruction was started under the orders of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The temple’s location in the backdrop of the Arabian Sea adds tremendous beauty to it, making it one of the most beautiful temples in India to visit.
9. Sai Baba Temple, Shirdi, Maharashtra
Dedicated to Sai Baba, a 19th-century saint, the Shirdi Sai Baba Temple is known for its astonishing architecture and delightful outlook. Thousands of devotees visit the temple every day to seek his blessings. The beautiful thing about Sai Baba is that he is popular among Hindus, Muslims, as well as Parsis. His teachings combined elements of Hinduism and Islam. Two of his favorite epigrams are epigrams are Allah Malik (God is King) and Sabka Malik Ek (Everyone’s Master is One). Spread over an area of 200 sq meters, the temple complex is equipped with all modern facilities, making it one of the most pilgrim-friendly temples in India.
10. Dakshineswar Kali Temple, West Bengal
Being the center of Shaktism, the state of West Bengal houses some of the most popular Devi mandirs in the country. Dakshineshwar Kali Temple is one of the many religious sites that showcase the cultural identity of the region. Situated on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali — the master of death, time & change. One of the most celebrated Kali temples in India, Dakshineshwar Kali Mandir was built in 1855 by Rani Rashmoni. There are many Shiva shrines and a temple of Radha-Krishna in the temple campus. Build in the Navaratna style of Bengali architecture, Dakshineshwar Kali Temple is the epitome of spirituality and devotion.
These are some of the most-visited and famous Hindu temples in India. If you think we missed some names, do not hesitate to suggest us in the comment box below. We will try to include some more temples in our list of the most astonishing Hindu mandirs in India.