India is a very diverse country, some of the famous things about India is its religion, culture, customs and belief. People from all over the world visit India at least once to see the culture and ritual which are famous all over the world. Because it’s a diverse nation so tourists and visitors do see the overlap of culture into one. Another thing which makes India famous all around the globe is the religious temples in India. There are about hundreds of ancient temples which are filled with their own amazing history.
In India, one can easily see ancient temples and some of them are also associated with UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many examples of such visitors who travel to this country to attain eternal peace and stayed here forever. This represents the strong bond of culture, peace, spirituality and religion.
Stay with us to experience 10 most religious temples in India that you should visit:
1. Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
Meenakshi Amman Temple or widely known as The Meenakshi Temple is Hindu religious temple which sits near the river Vaigai. The temple is present in the city called Madurai which is in the state named Tamil Nadu. The area of the entire temple is around 15 acres. Primarily the temple is dedicated to the goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. The history of the temple is 2500 years old, it was constructed in the 6th century B.C.
However, in the 14th century, a Muslim ruler destroyed the temple. But later it was rebuilt by the efforts of the Vijayanagara Empire. Meenakshi Temple has a huge 14 gopurams which are also known as the entrance tower altogether combining with around 33000 different carve idol of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Inside the temple, it houses a thousand pillar hall which consists of 985 pillars that too heavily carved which is a treat to watch.
When to visit: Between October to March
Travel tip: Do check weather before planning.
2. Kailashanatha Temple, Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Have you ever seen a temple which is entirely carved through a single rock if not, then you must consider visiting the kailashantha Temple. It is one of the largest temples in the world which is made out of a single rock. Every year thousands of people from all over the world visit this Buddhist, Jain and Hindu temple. It was built around 760 A.D. by the king Krishna I and took around 18 years to get completed.
It is estimated that around 200,000 tonnes of stones and rocks were carved out to construct such a big structure. The temple is a perfect example of an architectural pattern of style with the combination of sculptural style. The entire temple is a resemblance of Mountain Kailash or Himalayan where God Shiva resides. However, the lower part or base part of the temple showcases the entire story of Ramayana and Mahabharata which are engraved over here.
When to visit: In winters or Monsoon
Travel tip: No other things or activity to do.
3. Tungnath Temple, Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand
The Tungnath Temple is located at a height of 12,073 feet above the summit of Chandrashila. Tungnath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is the most important Shiva temple in that particular range. There is a total of 5 temple of Shiva which represents each part of Lord Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, the Pandavas (key characters from Mahabharata) were searching for Lord Shiva and Shiva was avoiding them. Later Shiva transformed himself into five parts in five different locations.
After knowing this Pandavas made five temples where Lord Shiva was hiding. Thus Tungnath is one of the most important as well as it is listed one of the highest temples of Shiva. All five temple is known as Panch Kedar. The first temple is Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhyamaheshwar, Kalpeshwar Temples. It is one of the most ancient, historical and religious temples in India.
When to visit: In May
Travel tip: Check the public transport and status of connecting road.
4. Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu
On your trip to India, you will see many ancient and religious temples but the Adi Kumbeswarar Temple is considered to be built around the 7th century. In this temple, the devotees worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Devotees worship a Lingam here which represents the presence of Lord Shiva. The entire temple consists of four gopurams or widely understood as the gateways to entire the temple. The height of the primary temple is around 125 feet which are approximately 9 storeys.
The temple also consists of many halls, where religious practice is conducted. Here one of the noticeable things is that one of the halls has 27 stars with the combination of 12 zodiac signs and all these are carved into one single stone. And hosting all these is the campus of this temple which is around 30,181 sq ft in area. Some of the notable attractions of the temple are the Mahamaham festival and different sculptures that are inside the temple.
When to visit: Open all seasons
Travel tip: None.
5. Konark Sun Temple, Puri, Odisha
The state Odisha is famous for the Sun Temple in Konark or widely known as Konark Sun Temple. In 1984, this pilgrimage is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This temple is dedicated to God Sun from Hindu mythology. And according to the records, it is the only temple which was constructed before the 15th century and which is still standing after being destroyed so many times. The design and architecture is the main aspect of the temple. Devotees and tourist come from all over the world to witness this great architectural work done many centuries ago.
The complete construction is done in the form of the chariot of the God Sun. Hindu mythology represents Sun as a lord and the Lord Sun travel on a chariot which is pulled with seven horses. And similarly here in the Konark Sun Temple, you will see four horses on one side and three on another. The entire temple is filled with iron and stones and according to legends, there was a huge magnet on the centre of the temple which balances the entire temple. But later it was destroyed and that’s the reason for the damages of this Sun temple. Overall it’s a place that you must visit.
When to visit: Open all seasons
Travel tip: None.
6. Badrinath Temple, Chamoli, Uttarakhand
The temple of Badrinath in Uttarakhand is known as one of the most visited temples of India. It is the temple of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu is known as the protector of the entire Universe. There are 108 temples of Lord Vishnu in India and Badrinath is one of the most crucial amongst all. Because of its location, the temple is open for the devotees only for the period of six months from April to November.
The idol of Lord Vishnu present in this temple is made up of black granite. However, Lord Vishnu has many temples across the country but there are four major temples which are also known as Char Dham. All four temples are present in four directions East, West, North and South. Four temples are Badrinath Temple, Dwarakadheesh Temple, Rameshwaram and Jagannath Temple respectively.
When to visit: From April to November
Travel tip: Check weather conditions and try to attend various festivals.
7. Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab
In India, Sikhism is a religion which is followed by Sikh people. It is one of the most reputed and most followed religions in India. Guru Nanak Dev Ji started Sikhism in the 15th century. In the year 1589, the construction of the Golden Temple was started. In early days the temple was built with normal stones and other material but Mughals destroyed it, later Maharaja Ranjit Singh again re-built the temple with copper and marble. Later the gold foil was layered over the temple due to which it was named the Golden Temple of Amritsar.
There are two main pilgrimages of Sikhism one is the Golden Temple and another is the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor which is in Pakistan. The Golden Temple is in the centre of a man-made pool. The pool is not so deep, its only 5.1 meters. Daily ceremonies are performed inside the temple and also the Langar on a regular basis. Langar is a free food serving kitchen who serves food to everyone who visits the temple.
When to visit: Open all season
Travel tip: None.
8. Badami Cave, Bagalkot, Karnataka
The exact date of this temple is not on records but it is believed that the Badami Caves existed from the 6th century. There are four caves or it can be said that four caves are the dedicated temple. Badai Cave Temple is an example of a mixed culture. Here you will find the temple of Lord Vishnu, Shiva and Jain. All the images and idol present here is a perfect illustration of religious temples in India.
Most of the architectural work and carving is done on rocks which illustrates the dedication of people towards their Gods. Cave 1 has images, sculptures of Lord Shiva in his Nataraja form. Cave 2 and 3 tell about the Lord Vishnu and his avatars. And cave 4 has images of Jainism. These caves are a strong contender for the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
When to visit: From July to March
Travel tip: Not proper road connectivity.
9. Airavatesvara Temple, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu
The Airavatesvara Temple is present in a town named Darasuram which is near Kumbakonam. This temple was built in Tamil Nadu in the 12th century and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Airavastesvara Temple is made in the Dravidian style of architecture. This style represents the South-Indian art of carving. Even there are three more temples that are made simultaneously with Airavatesvara Temple, all these temples are also listed in UNESCO.
However, the Airvatesvara Temple is a Hindu Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is constructed with stones and it sits on a chariot like arrangement which looks amazing and reflects the intricate level of design. There are also some small temples in the complex which represents the idol and image of several other Gods like Goddess Durga, Saraswati, Ganesh, etc. Several tourists visit this magnificent site every year.
When to visit: From November to February
Travel tip: None.
10. Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha
The temple of Shree Jagannath Puri is present in a state called Odisha. It is dedicated to a form of Lord Vishnu from Hindu mythology. Temple was constructed somewhat between 11 and 12th century. It is also one of the pilgrimage sites for devotees as it is a part of Char Dham. There are three idols of Gods which are worshipped simultaneously. The first idol is of Jagannath and second and third is of Balabhadra and Subhadra. Devotees have a special place for Jagannath Temple in their heart that’s why it is one of the most religious temples in India.
Every year in the month of June or July Shree Jagannath were taken out of the temple to Shri Gundicha Temple which is around 3 km away from the main temple. This scenario is called Rath Yatra, huge chariots are made for god and they are pulled by devotees. Shree Jagannath stays there for 9 days and then return to their original place. Devotees from all around the world attend this festival.
When to visit: June or July when the Rath Yatra is organised
Travel tip: None.
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So these were some of the religious and ancient temples of India. Surely, India is a huge country with lots of diverse culture and religion. To sum up it in such a small piece of information is not possible. But still, we have tried our best to provide you with accurate information. Thus for more travel-related stuff do visit trip limited.
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