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19 Famous Temples in India

About India and its religious aspect 

India which is officially known as the Republic of India is also known as Bharat Hindustan and Aryavrat by Indians. It is one of the seventh largest countries by land and is the largest democratic country in the world. India is known all around the world for its rich history and vibrant culture. The Spiritual aspect of current India is very much influenced by the past events that were held during the ancient period. Unlike other countries in India people worship each and everything be it a tree, an animal, or any heavenly body.

There are various festivals and occasions that are celebrated in India by worshipping trees, plants, animals, and a heavenly body. For instance, the moon is worshipped on Karva Chauth, the cow is worshiped on Pongal, the snake is worshipped on Nag Panchami, the sun is worshiped each morning to have a good start, and so on. In India, it is believed that around 33 crore God and Goddesses reside in the body of one cow and so mainly the Hindus in India worship a cow to get the blessings of all 33 crore God and Goddesses. There are various historic temples that are unique in their own way and have stood tall and strong through the ages even the worst natural calamity couldn't harm them.

Temples and their Significance

Hindu temples are a space or a symbolic house that is dedicated to the divine body mainly for Hindus. In India, there are more than 2 million Hindu temples as per the Census recorded during the year 2001. You can easily find some or the other Hindu temples in each and every corner of India but still, there are some temples that are really magical and have some legends attached to them. The Hindu temple is a symbolic representation of Dharma, Kama, Artha, Moksha, and Karma. Though there are so many Hindu temples in India still some temples are having more importance. These temples are visited daily, weekly, monthly, annually, or even once in a lifetime.

The architecture of the temple and its impact on devotees

The architecture of Hindu temples may vary in style but the main structure of almost all the temples remains the same. The Inner sanctum is also known as the Garbha Griha where the primary idol of the deity is placed and around this part of the temple there are various buildings and Towers that are known as Shikhara or vimana (in southern India).

There is a space that is left on all four sides of the main part of the temple for devotees to go to Parikrama (moving around it) there is also a hall which is known as Mandapa where the group of devotees gathers to have a view of Deity. The carvings on the wall of the temple are done in such a way that they reflect the ancient Hindu culture for the coming generation to understand and various slokas of Vedas are also written on the wall of these temples to make the devotees familiar with their ancient past. These temples are the place where mankind gets attached to divinity and gathers some spiritual knowledge and truth so that they can liberate the soul and get Moksha

Holy states of India

In India, there are various states that have their own culture and different spiritual beliefs. Those spiritualities are the main aspect of each Indian state but there are some states that are mainly famous for pilgrimage tours. Uttrakhand which is also known as the Abode of God is truly a spiritual place having numerous temples, Ghats, and ashrams.

The holy river Ganga originates from Gangotri Glacier which is located in Uttrakhand itself. A pilgrimage tour that is most celebrated and Uttarakhand is Chota Char Dham Yatra which starts on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya and on Diwali. While speaking of spiritual States how can we forget to mention Uttar Pradesh which is yet again the most sacred state of India Ayodhya, Mathura, Vrindavan, Varanasi, and Kashi are some of the most celebrated spiritual spots of Uttar Pradesh.

Tamilnadu is located in the southern part of India and has one of the four dams of India which is the Rameshwaram temple located in Tamilnadu. The temples in Tamilnadu are famous for their unique architecture and the carvings done on the walls of the temple. Some of the best carvings can be seen on the gopurams of the temples located in Tamilnadu.

Kerala is yet another beautiful state which is having the most famous and mysterious Temple that is Shri Padmanabhan Temple, this temple is said to have 7 mysterious doors out of which 6 doors and now accessible by the government but one door is still closed even after thousands of efforts made to open that door. Kamakhya Devi temple which is located in Guwahati, Assam is also one of the most blessed temples of India. This temple is also having some mysterious incidents and legends related to it. Jammu and Kashmir which is located in the northernmost part of India are famous for spiritual places like Vaishno Devi Temple and Amarnath cave which are visited by more than lakhs of devotees each year.

Famous Pilgrimage tours of India

A pilgrimage tour is one of the most famous categories of tourism that takes place in India on a huge scale. One of the most famous pilgrimage tours of India is Char Dham Yatra in which the four holy temples located in the four different directions of India are visited. Badrinath Temple located in Uttarakhand, Jagannath Puri located in Orissa, Rameshwaram Temple located in Tamilnadu, and Dwarkadhish Temple in Gujarat is part of the Chardham pilgrimage tour of India.

Chota Char Dham is also one of the famous pilgrimage tours that take place in India in this pilgrimage tour the four holy temples Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath are located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand are visited by the devotees. Amarnath Yatra and Vaishno Devi Yatra is one of the most famous Hindu pilgrimage tours that take place in India. Devotees in the group of hundreds and thousands visit this place to get their wish granted or to pay regards. The most famous Sikh pilgrimage tour of India is to Hemkund Sahib which is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand devotees need to track to reach this holy pilgrimage site.

Famous Temples in India

1. Golden Temple

Golden Temple is one of the most spiritual temples in India. The other name of the Golden Temple is Sri Harmandir Sahib and is the holiest shrine in all of Sikhism. It is nestled in Amritsar and can be reached easily from any part of the city. Golden Temple is open to devotees of all faiths and serves over 100000 people free food. The temple holds a tank- Amrit Sarovar, that surrounds the glistening central shrine. One can find the Sikh Museum which is located inside the main entrance clock tower that shows the oppression endured by the Sikhs at the hands of the Mughals, the British, and the Indian Government in 1984.

2. Vaishno Devi

Vaishno Devi temple is located in Trikuta hills and is 13 km from Katra. This sacred shrine allures millions of devotees from all over the world. The darshan of Maa Vaishno Devi in the holy cave is in the form of three naturally formed rock that is known as Pindies. These Pindies manifest the three forms of the goddess as Maha Kali, Maha Saraswati, and Maha Lakshmi. One needs to trek to reach the cave that is among one of the 108 Shakti Peethas. According to the legends Mata Vaishno Devi had incarnated as a pretty princess in Treta Yuga as a Shakti of Ma Parvati, Ma Saraswati, and Ma Lakshmi for the welfare of mankind.

3. Kedarnath Temple

The beautiful Kedarnath temple is located on the Garhwal Himalayan Range in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It is one of the important sacred Hindu temples and is a part of Chota char Dham yatra in Uttarakhand. It is situated at a height of 3583 meters and is the highest among the 12 Jyotirlingas and is devoted to Lord Shiva. This temple is set amidst the snow-clad and lofty mountains with the Mandakini River flowing in front of it. According to the mythology, Pandavas sought Lord Shiva to relieve themselves from the guilt of killing their blood relatives Kauravas. 

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4. Badrinath Temple

The sacred Badrinath temple is located at a height of 3133m and is a 15m black structure dating back to the Vedic ages. Badrinath Temple is devoted to Vishnu who is idolized as Badrinath and is a sanctified shrine for devotees. The temple is located in Garhwal hill in Chamoli district on the banks of the Alaknanda river. The deity worshipped in the temple is a black stone sculpture of Vishnu in the form of Badrinarayan. The statue is considered by several Hindus to be a self-manifestation of Vishnu. It is one of the four char Dham and Chota char Dham pilgrimage Yatras and is one of the most visited pilgrimages in India.

5. Sri Venkateswara Temple

Sri Venkateswara temple is the most revered temple in the temple town of Tirupati. This temple is the holiest and the wealthiest temple in the world. Around 50000 pilgrims pay a visit to this temple every day. The entry for the darshan is through the Vaikuntam Queue Complex which is a series of interconnected halls that lead to the main temple. The halls are clean and comfortable with several facilities. Sri Venkateswara temple is classified as a Divyadesam, one of the 108 Vishnu temples. Sri Venkateshwara is described as the great bestower of boons in Rig Veda and Ashtadasa.

6. Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai 

Meenakshi Amman temple is located in the Madurai city of Tamilnadu which is one of the oldest temples of India. This temple is dedicated to Meenakshi, who is Goddess Parvati, and Sundareshwarar, who is Lord Shiva. This temple is constructed in the land of 14 acres and is divided into two main shrines which are dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar. This temple has four main entrances that are known as Gopuram and other than this there are a total of 14 gateways in the form of Towers.

7. Sree Jagannath Temple, Puri

Jagannath temple which is located in Puri in the state of Orissa is a holy Hindu shrine that is dedicated to Lord Jagannath which was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This temple is located on the eastern coast of India and the major festivals that are held in this Temple are Rath Yatra, Chandan Yatra, Snan Yatra, and Nabakalebara. this temple is one of the four Holy Dhams of India. In the main sanctum of the temple, there are 3 Gods Jagannath, Subhadra, and Balabhadra that are worshiped. This temple is managed by the Sree Jagannath Temple office in Puri, Orissa, and Sri Jagannath Temple managing committee, in Puri.

8. Arulmigu Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameswaram 

Ramanathaswamy temple is one of the Hindu temples that is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located on the southernmost Island named Rameshwaram in India. this temple is among one of the 12 Jyotirling and was expanded during the twelfth century by the Pandya dynasty. This temple is part of the Holy Char Dham Yatra of India and the Lingam of Shiva that is worshiped was established by Lord Rama as he worshiped here before crossing the bridge to Lanka.

This temple has two lingas placed inside it among which one was created by Lord Rama from sand which is named Ramalingam and the second one was brought by Lord Hanuman from the great Kailash which is known as Vishwalingam.

9. Sree Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple, Somnath

Shri Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple also known as Somnath Temple is located in Veraval on the Western coast of Gujarat in India. This temple is believed to be the first Jyotirlinga Shrine among the 12 holy shrines of Lord Shiva. This temple is one of the important pilgrimage spots of Gujarat.

The festival that attracts devotees in huge numbers to this temple is on the occasion of Mahashivratri. The word Somnath means The Lord of Soma. It is believed that the Shivalinga that is worshiped in this Temple had appeared in the form of a fiery column of light other than this, there are 11 different Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva all over India. 

10. Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram 

Padmanabhaswamy Temple is located in Thiruvananthapuram which is the capital state of Kerala. The word Thiruvananthapuram is referred to as the “city of Lord Ananta” in the Malayalam language. It is said that this temple has 7 secret Chambers and among those seven Chambers six are accessible to the Indian government but one chamber is still closed many organizations and priests have tried to open it but they failed. The deity worshiped in this Temple is Lord Vishnu and a massive statue of Lord Vishnu in resting position is placed in the main sanctum of the temple. 

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11. Lingaraja Temple, Bhubaneshwar 

Lingaraja Temple is a Hindu temple which is located in Bhubaneswar which is the capital city of Odisha. One of the oldest temples is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the major tourist attractions of Bhubaneswar city. The temple is constructed in Kalinga architectural style. The main deity worshiped in this Temple is Harihara which is the combined form of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. This Temple receives more than 6000 visitors in a single day and over lakhs of devotees during a festival.

12. Kamakhya Devi Temple, Guwahati

Kamakhya Devi temple which is also known as Kamrup Kamakhya Temple is located in the Guwahati city of Assam, India. This temple is dedicated to the goddess Kamakhya and is among one of the 51 Shakti Peethas. This temple is located on Nilanchal Hill in the western part of Guwahati city. This temple is divided into four Chambers one is the Garbh Grah which is the main chamber and the other are three Mandapas. 

13. Akshardham Temple, Delhi

Akshardham temple which is known as Swaminarayan Akshardham is located in the capital city of India that is Delhi. This temple is having some beautiful carvings on its wall displaying the traditional and modern Hindu culture and spirituality. This temple was created by Pramukh Swami Ji Maharaj and was constructed under the supervision of BAPS. The temple was officially opened for devotees on 6 November 2005 in the presence of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Manmohan Singh, Lal Krishna Advani, and BL Joshi. This temple has various Complexes such as Abhishek Mandap, Water Show Garden, Hall of values, Neelkanth Darshan, and Sanskriti Darshan. Sanskriti darshan is basically a boat ride that takes you through the ancient times of India. 

14. Shri Laxmi Narayan Temple, Delhi

Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir which is also known as the Birla Mandir is located in Delhi India. This is an ancient Hindu temple which is dedicated to Lakshmi Narayan which usually refers to the Lord Vishnu who is also known as Narayan. This temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. Other than the main Complex there are some side temples that are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna, and Lord Buddha. This temple is one of the prominent highlights of Delhi which attracts a huge number of devotees during the festival of Diwali and Janmashtami.

15. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Ujjain

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is a holy shrine that is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located in the Ujjain city of Madhya Pradesh. This is the sacred Abode of Lord Shiva which is one among the twelve Jyotirlingas. In the main sanctum, the idol of Omkareshwar Mahadev is placed and to its west, an idol of Ganesha is placed, to the north, an Idol of Goddess Parvati is placed and to the East, the idol of Kartikeya is placed, and lastly, on the south, there is an image of Nandi. This Temple attracts a huge number of devotees at the festivals of Nag Panchami and Maha Shivratri.

16. Iskcon Temple, Patna

Iskcon Temple which is also known as Sri Sri Radha Banke Bihari ji mandir is located in Patna city of Bihar, India. The construction of this temple was started in the year 2007 and was completed in the time span of 10 years by 2017. It is one of the largest temple complexes in the entire Bihar and Jharkhand region. The deities that are worshipped in this temple complex are Lord Krishna and goddess Radha. This temple has 84 pillars and is spread over an area of over 2 acres.

17. Triyugi Narayan Temple, Uttarakhand

Triyugi Narayan temple is located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand it is one of the oldest temples that is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. As per the legends, it is said that this is at the same place where Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati in the presence of Lord Vishnu and now this place has become one of the popular wedding destinations of Uttarakhand. The main feature of this temple is a never-ending or perpetual Flame of Fire that burns in the front part of this Temple that's why this temple is also known as Akhand Dhuni temple. It is believed that this flame has been burning since the three yugas and hence it is named as Triyugi Narayan temple. 

18. Shrinathji Temple, Nathdwara

Shrinathji temple is located in Nathdwara Rajasthan and the main diet that is worshiped in this temple is the Shrinathji incarnation of Lord Krishna. As per the Legend, it is said that Shrinathji used to play a Chaupar with Ajab Kunvari who was a princess, and for that, he used to travel to Mewar. But every time Shrinath Ji used to return back she would become upset and ask him to stay at her place only and then Shrinathji told him that he would relocate himself to Rajasthan when the right time would come.

19. Shri Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga, Khandwa

Shri Omkareshwar temple is located in the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh, India. This holy shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the 12 reserved Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is located on an island which is named Shivpuri or Mandhata which is in the river Narmada. The word Omkareshwar means the one who is Lord of Omkara, or the lord of Om sound. You can reach the temple through a boat and a bridge as it is located on an island in the Narmada River. 

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