Famous Temples of India
India is a famous for its rich cultural heritage, and you will find temples all over the length and breadth of the country which are revered by devotees throughout the year. Several festivals are held in these temples and elaborate rituals followed. Here, we are providing you a brief description of the 51 famous temples of India that deserve mention in the list of anybody wishing to have a temple tour of India.
1. Akshardham Temple, Delhi: Swami Narayan Akshardham Temple displays a millennia of the traditional Hindu culture and spirituality, inspired by Yogiji Maharaj. The temple complex features an Abhishek Mandap, Sahaj Anand Water Show, a thematic garden, and exhibitions. The imposing 10-storey high building has intricate carvings, sculptures and filigrees, bearing witness to the amazing craftsmanship.
2. Badrinath Temple, Uttarakhand: The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and has his dual forms as Nar and Narayan. It was re-established as a pilgrimage site by Adi Shankar in the 9th century, Also known as Badrinarayan, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is significant pilgrimage center of the Vaishnavites. It is most important temples the Char Dhams.
3. Kadarnath Temple, Uttarkhand: The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the destroyer of the universe. The ancient temple has been continuously reconstructed over a period of time. It sits among the snow-capped peaks.
4. Gangotri Temple, Uttarakhand: The temple is dedicated to the goddess Ganga. The temple is located the birthplace of Ganga and is situated amongst the magical surroundings.
5. Yamunotri Temple: Located opposite to Gangotri temple, it is dedicated to the goddess Yamuna who is made of black marble. The sanctity of the place provides a deep feeling of reverence. The temple is located that origin of rive Yamuna.
6. Vaishno Devi Temple: Located in Katra, Jammu, the temple is dedicated to Vaishno Devi also known as Mata Rani who is a manifestation of the goddess Durga. The temple is visited by nearly 8 million devotees each year. It is the second mist visited shrine after Tirumala Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. The temple has three rock heads, called Pindis, instead of statues.
7. Dwarkadhish Temple, Gujarat: Also known as Somnath and Dwarka Temple, it is devoted to Lord Krishna. There is a flag on top of the temple that shows sun and moon, which is changed five times a day.
8. Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha: The temple has idols of Lord Krishna, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra. The temple organizes annual Rath Yatra which is witnessed by millions.
9. Sri Ventakateshwara Temple, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh: Situated in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, the temple is dedicated to Venkateswara, a form of Lord Vishnu, who is said to have appeared here to save the mankind from trials and tortures.
10. Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu: It is one of the ancient and largest temples of India. This 2500-year old temple is devoted to the goddess Meenakshi, an avatar of goddess Parvati, and her husband Sundareswar or lord Shiva. It has 33,000 sculptures and 14 gopurams or gateway towers. The temple is an exquisite work of art. It has enormous gopurams towering over the city of Madurai with rich carvings.
11. Chhattarpur Mandir, Delhi: Chhatarpur temple complex in Chhatarpur, near Mehrauli is made of white marble in both North and South Indian styles. The main deity of the temple complex is goddess Durga while there are also shrines for goddess Lakshmi, lord Shiva, Ganesha and Hanuman.
12. Golden Temple: Also known as Swan Mandir or Sri Harmandir Sahib, this the holiest shrine of Sikhs and remains alive with religious fervor throughout the year.
13. ISKCON Temple, Delhi: The temple in Delhi was built in 1998 by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Chants of Hare Krishna can be heard throughout the day in the temple. It follows a strict standard of worship with six aartis and six bhogas offered to the deities each day.
14. Kashi Vihwanath Temple: Located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the temples with Jyotirlinga, which are 12 in all. It was commissioned in 1780 by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar after earlier being destroyed by the Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb. It is located on the banks of river Ganga in Varanasi, the temple has one of the 12 Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva, also known as Vishwanath or Vishweshwara. The darshan of Jyotirlinga is believed to liberate one from the bondage of maya or the earthy entanglements of the world.
15. Kamakhya Devi Temple, Assam: Dedicated to the goddess Kamakhya, this is a popular and one of the most important destinations of India. This is an important site of trantric worhippers. It is one of the 51 Shati Peethas or divine places of the goddess Shakti. The inner sanctorum or the garbh griha has a yoni-shaped stone filled with water located in a cave below the ground level.
16. Lakshmi Naryan Mandir, New Delhi: Also known as Birla Mandir, the temple is thronged by thousands of devotees on Janmashtmi and Diwali. It is built in the Nagara style of architecture and is adorned with rich carvings, depicting scenes from the Hindu mythology.
17. Lotus Temple, Delhi: Also known as Baha’i House of Worship, it is open to the people of all faiths. There are no idols but huge halls for prayers and meditation. It’s the only temple Baha’I faith in Asia.
18. Somnath Temple, Gujarat: Located in Junagarh district of Gujarat, it is one the 12 temples with Jyotirlingas in India. The temple is dedicated to Somnath or the God of Moon.
19. Siddhivinayak Temple, Maharashtra: Dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the temple, it is one of the most prominent temples of Maharashtra. The temple sees the maximum number of devotees on Tuesday. It was constructed in 1801 by Deubai and Vithu Patil.
20. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Uttarakhand: Located atop a hill at 1675m, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. According the legends, the venom oozed out during Samudra Manthan was ingested by the Lord Shiva at this very place.
21. Amarnath Temple, Pahalgam, Jammu & Kashmir: This cave temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It enshrines a lingam which is naturally formed on an ice stalagmite. The cave temple is covered with snow for the major part of the year except a short duration of summers. The temple cave is believed to be 5000 years old.
22. Bhairon Mandir, Delhi: The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed to have been constructed by Pandavas. It is unique in the sense that it allows the devotees to offer alcohol to the presiding deity Bhairon, a manifestation of Shiva.
23. Dakshineshwara Kali Temple, Kolkata, West Bengal: The temple was built by Rani Rashmoni in 1855. The temple complex houses 12 identical temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the primary Hindu pilgrimage centers of the Eastern India.
24. Mansi Devi Temple: Located in Hardwar, Uttarakhand, the temple is temple is dedicated to the goddess Mansa Devi. This holy abode of Mansa Devi, a form of Shakti, is said to have emerged from the mind of Lord Shiva.
25. Jwalamukhi Temple, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh: The temple is dedicated to the goddess with a flaring mouth. The natural gas comes from inside the ground which is lit by the priest. The fire is considered as a manifestation of the goddess Jwalamukhi who is worshipped in the form of flames. It is one of the 52 Shakti Peethas located in India.
26. Har ki Pauri, Haridwar, Uttarakhand: Har ki Paudi has a sacred bathing ghat. Taking a dip in the waters here is believed to help achieve salvation of ancestors. The evening prayer or aarti is performed at dusk on the banks of river Ganga which is offers an enthralling experience.
27. Kalighat Kali Temple, Kolkata: Located in Kolkata at the banks of river Hooghly, it is dedicated to the goddess Kali. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas where various body parts of the goddess are believed to have fallen. It was originally built in the 16th century.
28. Tirumala Tirupati Temple, Andhra Pradesh: The temple located atop Tirumala hills near Tirupati is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is a form of Lord Vishnu. The temple is also known with several other names such a Balaji, Govinda and Srinivasa. It is second in the assets after Sri Padmanabhswamy Temple in Kerala. 50,000 to 100,000 devotees visit the temple each day.
29. Shani Shingnapur, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra: The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Shanidev who is a personification of the planet Saturn. There is a five and a half feet back stone in the open air platform symbolizing Shani. The temple sees a large number of devotees on Amavasya or the New Moon day.
30. Mukteshwara Temple, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha: This gem of Odisha has exquisite carvings and sculptures that adorn it. The temple marks the culmination of all earlier artistic initiatives and stylistic developments in the state.
31. Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Shirdi, Maharashtra: The temple is dedicated to Sai Baba whose teachings combined the elements of Hinduism and Islam. It the largest Sai Baba temples in India, and is flocked by a large number of devotees each Thursday.
32. Nathdwara Srinathji Temple, Rajasthan: Also known as Nand Bhawan or Nandalaya, the temple has an idol of Shrinathji who is self-carved in bas-relief out of a monolithic black marble that provides a mesmerizing sight to the eyes.
33. Jain Temple, Ranakpur, Rajasthan: The temple dedicated to Adinatha is made of light colored marble. It houses 1444 exclusively carved pillars, no two pillars are alike in design and sculpture. The great structure of the temple is well supported with the help of 1400 superbly carved pillars. The temple is designed to use only the batural light for illumination.
34. Hanuman Temple, Delhi: Located in Connaught Place in New Delhi, the temple is believed to be of the day of Mahabharata. Lord Hanuman is worshipped here as Sri Hanuman Ji Maharaj.
35. Khajuraho Temples, Madhya Pradesh: This is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the seven wonders of India. The breathtakingly beautiful temple is oozes creativity, grace and elegance. It has erotic sculptures and carvings that adorn the exterior of the temple.
36. Brahadeshwara Temple, Thanjavur: Also known as the Big Bull Temple, it was built during the reign of the great Chola Emperor, Raja Raja Chola. This ancient an architectural marvel. The temple was built in 1010 AD and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva is marks the culmination of the Dravidian style of architecture.
37. Vithala Temple, Hampi, Karnataka: The temple is built in Vijaynagar style of art and architecture. It has a gopuram with a hundred-pillared mandapa. The temple displays the craftsmanship and architectural brilliance of the artists.
38. Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha: The temple built in Kalinga style of architecture dates back to 1000 AD. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is built of sandstone and laterite. It is the largest temple in Bhubaneshwara.
39. Konark Sun Temple Odisha: This 13th century construction is a stunning creation of man. The temple is dedicated to Sun God and is magnificence personified. It is built in the shape of an enormous chariot with twelve pairs of wheels and drawn by seven horses.
40. Chamdundeshwari Temple, Mysore, Karnataka: the temple is dedicated to the goddess Durga, the fierce form of Shakti. The hill on which the temple is located is named after the goddess Chamundi, the incarnation of the Lord Shiva’s consort, Parvati.
41. Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala: Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple is seen reclined on the five-hooded serpent Anantha in a conscious cosmic slumber. Its granite pillars has elaborate carvings that adorn the corridor. It is the wealthiest temple in India, surpassing Tirumala Tirupati Temple.
42. Sabarimala Temple, Kerala: Located in the Western Ghat mountain ranges, it is believed to be the place where god Ayappan meditated after killing the demon Mahishi. The temple sees the largest number of pilgrims,, each year, around 45 to 50 million. It is open Mandalpooja, Makaravilakku and first six days of each Malayalam month.
43. Sripuram Golden Temple, Vellore, Tamil Nadu: The temple has vimanas and ardhamandapa coated in gold both from outside and inside.
44. Moti Dungri Ganesh Temple, Jaipur, Rajasthan: The temple is positioned on a small hill. There is an exotic palace named as Moti Dugngri Palace which belonged to Rajmata Gayatri Devi. It is has intricate stone carvings and exquisite lattice work.
45. Ramanathswamy Temple. Tamil Nadu: Lord Rama is believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva here after crossing over Sri Lanka. The temple located to Lord Shiva has one of the 12 Jyotirlingas where Shiva is worshipped as a Pillar of Light.
46. Jakhoo Temple, Himachal Pradesh: Located in the hilly town of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, the temple is dedicated to the monkey-god Hanuman. Ii is situated on Jakhoo hill and has a giant 108-feet statue of the lord at the highest altitude of 8100 feet.
47. Belur Math: Located at the west bank of river Hooghly in West Bengal, it is the headquarter of Ramakrishna Math and Mission. Belur Math was founded by Swami Vivekananda, the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa.
48. Kanchipuram Temples, Tamil Nadu: It is one of the sacred places in India where devotees can attain Moksha, as per the Hindu mythology. There are three temples, viz. Kamakshi Amman Temple, Ekambareswarar Temple and Varadraja Perumal Temple, all three of them exhibit fascinating piece of architecture.
49. Kanyakumari Temple: Located at Kanyakumari island in Tamil Nadu, the presiding deity of the temple is Kumari Amman, also known as Bhagavathi Amman. The temple is considered to be 3000 years old and presents a mesmerizing scenic beauty due to its location by the side of the vast expanses of ocean.
50. Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu: Located at the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, it is one of the oldest known temples of South India. The Group of Monuments at the Mahabalipuram is a World Heritage Site. The 8th century temple was built under the patronage of Pallava rulers.
51. Virupaksha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka: The temple is dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, a form of Shiva. This UNESCO World Heritage Site hold an annual chariot festival.