India is a land of temples; the land of strong religious and spiritual faith encompassed with temples everywhere, from the hills to the shores. Here you’ll find temples in every form whether large monumental structures or little stone buildings, each having their own significance. They deeply influence the lives of the people who consider the temple shrine as a place where they can be close to God. Let’s find out the top ten out of several temples which are definitely a must visit in India.
10. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varansi:
Located on the banks of river Ganga in the center of the cultural hub of India, The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is the heart of faith for million of Hindus. This famous temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and finds mention in Skanda Purana. It enshrines the Jyotirlinga of Shiva, Vishwanatha or Vishweshwara. It is also known as the ‘Golden Temple’ of Uttar Pradesh because of its gold plated 15.5 meter tall spire.
(img source: templepedia.in)
9. Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai:
This famous Ganesha Temple is visited by the rich, the celebrities besides the daily regular visitors. The holy temple has one of the eight manifestation of the Lord Ganesh identified as the “Ashtavinayak”. These eight massive idols of Lord Ganesh are sited in eight different places all over Maharashtra. The Siddhi Vinayak Temple is also believed to be a temple to turn your wishes into reality.
(img source: en.wikipedia.org)
8. Meenakshi Temple, Madurai:
The Meenakshi temple located in Madurai, Tamil Nadu is one of the most renowned temples of South India. Built in the Dravidian pattern, the temple abodes the wife of Lord Shiva, Meenakshi (Parvati). A shrine devoted to Meenakshi and her consort Shiva, who is lovingly addressed as Sundareswarar, it is believed that this is the place where Lord Vishnu gave the hands of Meenakshi (Parvati) to Lord Shiva. The temple has a hall of 985 pillars which are all richly carved.
(img source: placeforholidays.com)
7. Sanchi Stupa, Sanchi:
Sanchi Stupas evoke and attract people all around the world. Sanchi, located just 46km from Bhopal is a site for Stupa and pillars. This place is recognized as one of the greatest examples of ancient classical art – the gateways are skillfully carved and depicts images from the life of King Asoka and Lord Buddha. The images engraved on the Stupas and pillars illustrates inspiring stories from the life of Lord Buddha.
(img source: anmaheshwari.net)
6. Sai Baba Mandir, Shirdi:
Sai Baba is the Saint who lived in the tiny village of Shirdi for sixty years and worked his miracles on all the people who came to visit him. The Mandir (temple) is a shrine and the final resting place of Sai Baba. People have lots of faith and trust in Sai Baba so droves across the country come here to seek Baba’s blessing. Thursday is Sai Baba’s day and there is a huge outpour of disciples in the temple on every Thursday.
(img source: religiousindia.info)
5. Somnath Temple, Gujarat:
One of the first of 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, as per the mythology, it is believed that Somnath temple was built by Soma, the Moon god, in honor of Lord Shiva. Soma built the temple in gold but it was then re-built by Ravana in Silver and later in wood by Lord Krishna. The Somnath Temple was destroyed by successive Muslim invaders and rebuilt each time.
(img source: esamskriti.com)
4. The Konark Sun Temple, Orissa:
The most prominent wonder of the state of Orissa is the Sun Temple of Konark which was made in 1250 AD. The Sun temple was made with the objective of enshrining the image of the Sun – the patron divine being of the place. The whole temple is planned in the form of a massive chariot drawn by seven vigorous horses on twelve pairs of gracefully engraved wheels. The sanctum symbolizes the regal parade of the Sun god and also the state’s distinct architectural style.
(img source: kalingacalling.blogspot.com)
3. Vaishno Devi Mandir, Katra:
Located near Katra in the hills of Jammu Kashmir, Vaisno Devi Mandir is the famous temple of Hindu. Mata Rani or Vaishnavi or Vaishno Devi is the manifestation of the Mother Goddess as per Hinduism. One of the most respected places to worship in India, it is estimated that 8 million pilgrims visit the temple every year. The temple is at a height of 5300 feet and at a distance of 12 km from Katra.
(img source: mandakinihotels.com)
2. Golden Temple, Amritsar:
The Golden Temple officially the Harmandir Sahib is a Sikh Gurudwara situated in Amritsar in the state of Punjab. The temple has many unique features besides here the devotees have to tread downwards to offer their salutation unlike other temples where the devotees have to scale upwards to offer their homage. The structural design of the Golden temple is measured as the archetype of creativity and dexterity. It also embodies an exclusive harmony between the Hindus and the Muslims.
(img source: sacredsites.com)
1. Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Tirupati:
Lord Tirumala Venkateswara temple at Trimula near Tirupati is a prominent temple dating back to the 9th century. It is believed that if you ask for a boon here, it will be granted. The Lord Venkateshwara is said to be an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Many of the people shave their heads off and offer their hair as it is considered auspicious here. The Darshan of the Lord is very difficult and the place is always crowded yet people come from all over the world to pay their tribute to the god even though they barely get to stay in the scared inner chamber.
(img source: rang7.com)