7 Magnificent Temples of India

7 Magnificent Temples of India

 

7 Magnificent Temples of India -venkateshwara-tirupati-balaji-temple

 Photo by Chandrashekhar Basumatar, CC BY 2.0

 

7 Magnificent Temples of India

India is a country where temples have always been viewed from a perspective which goes beyond the realms of worship. A temple in India represents a beautiful amalgam of sages and their devotees by bringing them under a single roof. Apart from spiritual development, temples in India also play a major role in economic and social development of the country.

India is a land of varied religions, customs, faiths and dialects. Yet, one can proudly say that our sacred places have always tied us together as a united nation.

Without exploring the rich heritage of temples in India, any visit to this country would be called ‘incomplete’. In a country that worships 2 million gods, establishing the magnificence of one temple over the other can never be a glib task. In spite of such situation, history has showered on us, enough facts that have made few temples the majestic symbols of faith for thousands of years. Let us talk about the magnificent temples of India that have been the centers of devotion from centuries.

  • The Golden Temple

7 Magnificent Temples of India - the goldentemple

Photo by jasleen_kaur, CC BY-SA 2.0

Location: Amritsar

State: Punjab

Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru, laid the foundation of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab. Its construction was carried out on the periphery of a lake, which is today known as ‘Amrit Sarovar’. Also known as ‘Shri Harmandir Sahib’ or ‘Darbar Sahib’, the Golden Temple is one of the ‘costliest’ temples in India because of the expenditure incurred in its construction.

Guru Granth Sahib, the holiest text of the Sikhs, was first placed in the Golden Temple. Since the day of its inception, Darbar Sahib has been the epitome of religious harmony and even today, the four doors of the temple welcome people with an open heart, irrespective of their religion, faith or ethnicity. It is believed that the ‘Sarovar’ in the temple compound has medicinal powers. The pilgrims who visit the temple never forget to take a dip in the holy water.

  • Venkateshwara Tirupati Balaji Temple

 

 

7 Magnificent Temples of India -venkateshwara-tirupati-balaji-temple

 

Photo by Chandrashekhar Basumatar, CC BY 2.0

Location: Tirumala

State: Andhra Pradesh

Popularly known as ‘Tirupati Balaji’, this temple is often termed as one of the richest temples on the Indian soil. As the name suggests, Venkateshwara Tirupati Balaji temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara, an avatar of Lord Vishnu.

Among numerous festivals that are celebrated in the temple, ‘Brahmotsavam’, a 9 day festival, is the most celebrated one. Tirupati is also widely known for a unique ritual in which devotees get their heads tonsured in large numbers. Interestingly, the temple earns about 6.5 million USD through hair auction on an annual basis.

  • Siddhivinayak Temple

 

7 Magnificent Temples of India siddhivinayak-temple

Photo by Will Will, CC BY-ND 2.0

Location: Mumbai

State: Maharashtra

Built in 1801, Siddhivinayak Temple in Maharashtra is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, who is widely known as the destructor of pathologies. In Hindu culture, Lord Ganesha, the supreme deity of Siddhivinayak Temple, is believed to be the first one to be worshipped before the initiation of any work.

The inner walls of the temple are plated with gold and wooden entries are carved with the different avatars of Lord Ganesha. Siddhivinayak Temple is most visited by celebrities including Bollywood stars, cricketers and politicians.

7 holy temples of India

Photo by Ramón, CC BY-SA 2.0

  • Kashi Vishwanath Temple

 

Location: Varanasi

State: Uttar Pradesh

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, or ‘Vishwatma’, Kashi Vishwanath Temple is believed to be the prime centre of worship for the Hindus. Of the twelve ‘Jyotirlings’ of Lord Shiva that exist in India, one has been enshrined in this holy temple.

Located on the banks of river Ganga, Kashi Vishwanath Temple has been believed to be powerful enough to liberate human beings from the sins of their life. In Hindu culture, it is believed that a visit to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple can help one attain the ultimate liberation of the soul.

  • Khajuraho Temple

 

 

7 Magnificent Temples of India visvanatha-temple

 

Photo by Dennis Jarvis, CC BY-SA 2.0

Location: Khajuraho

State: Madhya Pradesh

Built in the 10th century, the temple of Khajuraho is famous for its erotic carvings and paintings. Despite of being a temple, the architecture is known more for its consummate artistry and less for religious purposes.

The temple of Khajuraho represents a unique amalgam of Hinduism and Jainism. Out of three groups that the temple is divided into, Southern and Western portions are dedicated to Hindu deities: Shiva and Vishnu. The eastern part, on the other hand, is dedicated to Jainism and attracts more followers from this sect.

  • Akshardham Temple

 

7 Magnificent Temples of India akshardham-temple

Photo by Russ Bowling, CC BY 2.0

Location: New Delhi

State: Delhi

This modern day Hindu temple, which is situated on the banks of river Yamuna, was constructed on the principles of Vastu Shastra. Dedicated to the principle figure of Swaminarayana faith, Lord Swaminarayan, this temple has recently become one of the most visited places in India. It is said to attract 70% of all tourists who visit Delhi.

The temple showcases movies, books and statues related to the Swaminarayana sect during the day time. Unlike other Hindu temples, Akshardham Temple attains a magnificent form during the night with its famous light and sound show that attracts visitors in large numbers.

  • Lord Jagannath Temple

 

7 Magnificent Temples of India lord-jagannath-temple

Photo by BOMBMAN, CC BY 2.0

 

Location: Puri

State: Orissa

Built in the 12th century, Lord Jagannath Temple a.k.a Lord Krishna Temple is housed with 20 shrines of Hindu deities. Restricted entry for non-Hindus is one of the most eccentric features of the temple. Lord Jagannath Temple is famous for being one of the four holiest places (Char Dhams) of the Hindu devotees. The annual ‘Rath Yatra’ of the Jagannath Temple is the biggest event of the temple and is attended by millions of Hindu devotees every year.

Even after hundreds of years of their inception, our magnificent temples still stand strongly as the centers of belief in the country. One simply cannot think of traveling across India without visiting these majestic symbols of faith. As Mark Twain has rightly said on India – ‘In religion, all other countries are paupers and India is a millionaire’.

Rohit - 7 must visit temples in India

Author Bio:

Rohit can aptly be defined as a traveler in the body of a writer. He loves to explore the hidden side of Indian culture and maintains a blog – Trans India Travels. Ancient sacred places have always grabbed his special attention and he never ceases to explore them.

 

 

11 Responses to 7 Magnificent Temples of India

  1. RaW | Ramble and Wander September 26, 2016 at 5:32 am #

    Looking at the photos of these 7 temples, I’d love to visit Akshardham Temple because of its architectures. And then I read its location and was very surprised to find out that it’s in New Delhi and it’s also the most visited site there. I wish I had known that or read this before I went to Delhi a few years back!

  2. Anita Hendrieka September 26, 2016 at 5:25 am #

    Oh my gosh I missed all of these on my two trips to India! Guess I have to go back… Great post!

  3. Laura Lynch September 25, 2016 at 9:01 pm #

    I am excited to see these temples someday. India has such magnificent architecture.

  4. Jema at Half the Clothes September 25, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

    Wow – so fascinating that they are all so different. I love the variety in the architecture. I was a bit unclear on the hair-auction temple… it is a coincidence that they make so much from the hair auction? Is it possible that a spiritual practice has now more-or-less been commercialized?

  5. Megan September 25, 2016 at 11:35 am #

    Wow! Haven’t made it to India yet but these all look like reasons why to go. Khajuraho Temple looks especially inspiring. Hope to make it one of these days.

  6. Veronika Tomanova September 25, 2016 at 11:19 am #

    I love those temples. I have to come back to India and see at least some of them!

  7. Adelina September 25, 2016 at 5:27 am #

    Stunning temples! I’ve only heard of the Golden Temple before, but all the rest look great to visit as well. So much variety!

  8. Julie September 24, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

    This article once again proves how massive India is, and how little I really know about this magnificent country. These temples are gorgeous (especially love the gold one!) and I need to start getting my feet wet in India, stat!

  9. Melissa Jones September 24, 2016 at 8:22 am #

    I have yet to go to India but these temples look stunning from your photos so I can’t imagine how amazing they are in real life! It’s a big reason why I want to go to India. I think the Golden Temple and Khajuraho Temple are my favourites, you’re so lucky to have got the chance to see them all <3

  10. Kallsy P September 24, 2016 at 7:04 am #

    How intriguing! All of these temples are beautiful and mysterious. My favorite was the Khajuraho Temple. Even though you said it isn’t used for as much religious purpose, I think the exterior is fascinating.

  11. Rhonda Albom September 9, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

    These temples are incredible. The styles are so varied and interesting.

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