No one can imagine India without its majestic and magnificent temples.
Our temples are a testament to the triumph of Architecture's perfect blend with spirituality and theology.
But even in our vast land filled with temples, there are quite a few that stand out and, over the years, aged like fine wine, still gleaming with elegance and wonder to our eyes, hearts, and souls.
Today we are going to talk about the most famous temples in India.
So without further ado,
Let's explore in detail
We'll start the article with India's richest Temple - Thirupathi Thirumala Venkateswara Temple or Thirupathi Balaji Temple. The serene and spiritual ambiance of the Tirumala Temple and the Temple town will transport you to another plane filled with divinity and ethereal joy.
Lord Venkateshwara is the chief deity of the temple and is a manifestation of Lord Vishnu, who came to the world as a source of solace for the devotees during the Kali Yuga. It is also one of the most popular temples in India.
Adorned with the best of ancient Dravidian Architecture, the Temple was constructed over a period of time, starting at AD 300, and is considered one of the last Divya Desams. It is part of the 7 peaks of the Seshachalam Hills of the Eastern Ghats, and the Temple has towered over the dynasties of Pallavas, Cholas, Vijayanagara Empire, etc.
Before the COVID pandemic, the temple had over 75000 devotee visits every day and is indeed one of the important temples in India.
The Golden Temple is also known as Harmandir Sahib. The Gurdwara is one of the most important temples in India and is the core of Sikhism. An open house of prayer and solace for everyone irrespective of faith or religion, the magnificent Golden Temple is also nominated to be part of UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Keshava or the Chennakeshava Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located in Somanathapura in Karnataka. The temple is crafted in the finest Hoysala Architecture and has inspired countless Architects of India. It also has rich embellishments narrating the episodes from Mahabharata (Northern section), Ramayan (Southern section), and Bhagavathpurana (Western section).
Though it was raided and destroyed back in the 1300s by the constant conquests from the north, it was then restored by the dynasties of the Vijayanagara Empire and the Wodeyars of Mysore.
Perhaps one of the most tranquil & beautiful temples in India, Madurai Meenaxi Amman Temple is an amazingly crafted structure.
Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Temple is crafted to the core with such intricate details that it is constructed with a sense of spiritual and sensual aesthetics.
Dedicated to the Goddess Parvati's manifestation as Meenakshi. The temple is so iconic that the Tamil Nadu State government's emblem is based on the Western Gopuram (Tower) of the Temple.
Built by the great King Kulasekara Pandya, Madurai Meenakshi Temple has countless relief works and frescoes depicting various myths and legends, including the ones about Goddess Meenakshi, Shiva, and many more.
Sabarimala Sree Ayappa Temple garners devotees from all the corners of the nation. The temple is located in Sabarimala of Pathanamthitta District in Kerala. The presiding deity is Swami Ayyappan, also known as Dharma Shasta and Hariharasutan ie, Son of Hari and Hara (Vishnu & Shiva). Immensely popular across South India, especially in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka, Sabarimala Temple is constructed in Kerala - Dravidian Architectural style.
Ramnathswamy Temple or Arulmigu Sri Ramanathaswamy Thirukoil is yet another important and famous temple in India. The Saivite temple is also one of the twelve Jyothirlinga temples of the country also one of the Char Dham. According to legends, Lord Ram constructed the temple, and the Lingam was brought by Lord Hanuman from the Himalayas. The temple has been renovated across history, especially by Setupatis of Ramanathapuram, the Pandya Dynasty, etc., incorporating the aesthetics of Dravidian Architecture.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is indeed one of the most beautiful and famous Shiva temples in India. Located in Varanasi, UP, is yet another Jyothirlinga temple. Varanasi or Kashi is considered one of the holiest Hindu cities. The visit to the temple and taking a holy bath at river Ganga is one of the paths to Moksha, according to the scriptures. It is also considered one of the top ten temples of India.
Undoubtedly the most famous sun temple in India, Konark Sun Temple, is also one of the primary heritage sites of India, which is also depicted on the 10 Rupee Note. Built by Eastern Ganga Dynasty's greatest monarch Narasingha Deva I and is a classic illustration of Kalinga Architecture of classical Odisha styles. The Konark Temple was also called the "Black Pagoda" and the Puri Jagannath Temple as the "White Pagoda" by the European Sailors as they were important landmarks.
The temple is also called Jagat Mandir. It is also part of the Char Dham, and the presiding deity is Lord Krishna and addressed as Dwarakadish or the King of Dwaraka. Archeological findings date the structure to 2000 -2200 years old, and according to the legends, the old temple was constructed by Vajranabha, Lord Krishna's grandson. An important Vaishnava temple and the current temple are crafted in Chaulukya style or Solanki style of architecture.
The Khajuraho Temples and complexes are one of the most famous temples in India. Adorned with amazingly crafted erotic sculptures and detailed relief works, the Khajuraho Temple is part of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The temple is constructed in classy Nagara style architecture, and the sculpture was built to help the brahmacharis or bachelors to learn about Grihasthashrama. The temples are dedicated to both Hinduism & Jainism and were built by the Chandela Dynasty.
Vaishno Devi Temple is one of the top 108 Shakti Peethas dedicated Durga Maa and here worshipped as Vaishno Devi. The temple is said to be Pre-Mahabharata, and there are accounts that state Arjuna has worshipped Vaishno Devi before taking up arms.
One of the most beautiful & famous temples in India, the cave shrine of Amarnath Temple, is an example of how our culture blended with the spirituality present within mother nature. The temple is renowned for Ice Shiva Lingam that is formed due to the freezing water falling from the cave's top, forming up a stalagmite. It is believed to be the holy venue where Shiva explained the secret of life to Parvathi.
Known as the first of the 12 Jyothirlingam Temples, Somnath Temple is one of the most famous and important temples in India. Crafted in Kailash Mahameru Prasad or the Chaulukya Temple Architectural style, Gujarat Somnath Temple has been the handiwork of the great Sompura Solats.
Located at the heart of Thiruvananthapuram, the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple has been in the news all over recently because of the massive temple assets. The temple is dedicated to Padmanabhaswamy ( Vishnu) in the "Anantha Shayana" posture. The temple is part of 108 Divya Desams of Vaishnavism. The temple architecture is a perfect blend of both Chera styles and Dravida style architecture.
So these are some of the most beautiful and famous temples in India, known for both their spiritual and architectural significance.
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