India is the wonderland of temples. The cultural and linguistic diversity of this land seems to be merging into one thing– temples. It does not matter wherever you go, up to the mountains or deep into the desert, you will find at least one temple. Every temple worships a different deity, and every temple has its own rule. So much so that India can be easily compared to the ‘Abode of Temples’ by the foreigners.
You might find a temple in the streets of India, every time you take a turn, but not all of those temples are famous. Yes, there exist some temples in India that earn in crores, and their beauty can easily undermine that of any palaces for that matter. Are you feeling that little tingling in your stomach to quench your thirst of curiosity? Well, I won’t surely keep you waiting here.
Top 10 Famous Indian Temples
1. Somnath Temples, Gujarat
India has 12 temples of jyotirlinga and Somnath temple is one of them. Known as one of the biggest pilgrimage centre, this Shiva temple was built by the Moon God. It is believed that this temple was constructed to cure all the illness in the world and it is situated in the part of Gujarat where Lord Krishna left his mortal body, i.e. in Prabhas Kshetra. This temple was destroyed by foreign invaders and re-built several times. It has its own museum as well.
2. Kedarnath-Badrinath Temple, Uttarakhand
These twin temples of India, located in the Himalaya, are the most famed temples in the history of India. It is believed that Kedarnath Temple or the ‘abode of Shiva’ was built by Pandavas to atone their sins during the battles with Kauravas. It is situated in the Garhwal range of Himalaya. Just like Kedarnath, Badrinath temple is situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is an abode of Lord Vishnu.
3. Tirupati Temple, Andhra Pradesh
Situated in the hilly town of Tirumala of Andhra Pradesh, Tirupati Balaji is an incarnation form of Lord Vishnu. Also, this temple is the second richest temple of India with money and gold running through their fund. People from all over India stand almost 14 to 20 hours in queue just to have a peek of the deity in Tirupati Temple. And not to mention the amount of hair that has been given to this temple as a part of religious ritual that is worth approximately 6 million US dollars annually.
4. Vaishno Debi Mandir, Jammu and Kashmir
The temple of Vaishno Devi, situated near Katra town of Jammu and Kashmir, is not only a temple but a trekking path in itself. The temple is located at an altitude of 5200 ft, on the top of a Trikuta Mountain. This temple does not have any particular deities; rather they have three rock heads which are being worshipped as a form of Maa Vaishno Devi for ages now.
5. Golden Temple, Punjab
Unlike any Hindu temple, the Golden Temple of India is a Sikh temple and it is also known as Darbar Sahib as well. This temple was built on the concept of brotherhood and equality. This temple has ‘Langarkhana’ where one can eat for free. It does not discriminate people based on their caste or religion, they welcomes everyone in their abode. It is known as the most pious pilgrimage point of the Sikhs in India.
6. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi
Situated in the holy city of Varanasi, Kashi Vishwanath Temple is another pilgrimage point dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is said that people of old ages come to this temple to atone the sins of their life. Also, the deity of Lord Shiva of this temple is one of the Jyotirlingas in India, and every year thousands of people come to visit this place. Many great men such as Swami Vivekananda, Gurunanak visited this temple.
7.Lord Jagannath Temple, Orissa
And if you are talking about the four holiest places of India i.e. Char Dhams, Lord Jagannath Temple is one of them. It is one of the most religious places in India, and no non-Hindu person can enter this temple premises. This temple worships the form of Lord Krishna and his brother and sister. This magnificent temple of Puri is the centre point of Ratha Yatra that is attended by thousands of people every year.
8. The Konark Sun Temple, Orissa
The Sun temple of Konark is a wonder in itself. Situated in Puri district of Orissa, Konark Temple worships Lord Sun. The whole temple is shaped like a chariot which has twelve wheels and seven horses around. Built in the 13th century by King Narasimhadev, Konark Sun temple, this temple had a big magnet on the top of it in the past. It is said that that magnet used to mislead ships from the sea nearby. Right now, this temple does not have any deity.
9. Meenakshi Temple, Tamil Nadu
Meenakshi Temple is one of the most famed pilgrimage points in the South and this temple worships Goddess Parvati and her husband, Lord Shiva. Situated in the Madurai district, the architecture of Meenakshi temple is the centre point of all attractions. It has a sacred golden lotus tank where people take a dip to atone all their sins. It is believed that the pond was created by Lord Shiva and it is older than the temple itself.
10. Amarnath Cave Temple, Jammu and Kashmir
This 5000 years old temple is believed to another abode of Lord Shiva in India. Engulfed in ice, the cave of Amarnath is covered with snowy layers for most of the times. Only in summer, it becomes accessible to general people. An ice-clad which takes the shape of ‘Lingam’ of Lord Shiva in the cave of Amarnath! It is one of the most famous pilgrimage points of India and it consists of a 5 days trek.
These ten temples of India are just the tip of an iceberg! India has thousands of such famous temples that build up the religious India that attracts thousands of people across the world. Start travelling now or you may never cover all the temples of India in your lifetime!