The Indian society and its people are incomplete without their belief in the Almighty. It is the presence of more than hundreds of temples in India which makes the country unique and special and a great way to connect with the supreme power. Indian temples do not simply cater to a man’s religious needs but in fact, dominate the political and socio-economic life of several communities while contributing largely to the architectural and cultural heritage of India.
Boasting of unparalleled beauty and artistic grandeur, these famous temples in India are a must-visit for all tourists from around the globe. Here are some top-notch Indian Temples which will make your visit to India divine and holy.
Famous Temples in India
1. Badrinath Temple, Badrinath, Uttarakhand
Also known as Badrinarayan, the Badrinath Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu who can be found in a meditative posture flanked by his duel forms of Nar and Narayan. Expanded in the 17h century by the Garhwal kinds, this is a sacred temple for Vaishnavites. This temples architect resembles a Buddhist vihara with a brightly painted facade.
2. Kedarnath Temple, Kedarnath Uttarakhand
This temple is one of the best temples in India and is the seat of Lord Shiva who is the protector and destroyer of the realm. Located amongst snow-capped mountain peaks, this temple was built by Pandavas and is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas built mainly of heavy and evenly cut gray slab of stones. History reveals that the Pandavas did penance in this very temple to please Lord Shiva.
3. Gangotri Temple, Gangotri, Uttarakhand
Being the birthplace of the River Ganges, the Gangotri temple is located in the Himalayas and has been dedicated to Goddess Ganga. Made essentially of white graphite, this Indian Temple is 20 ft high and is influenced by Kasturi style architecture. Legend states that King Bhagirath performed intense rituals here for more than 5000 years to bring Goddess Ganga down from heaven to help him wash away all the sins of his ancestors.
4. The Konark Sun Temple, Konark, Orissa
The Konark Sun Temple is one of the most famous temples in India and has been dedicated to the Lord Sun. It has been designed resembling his carriage with the entire temple being in the shape of a chariot with 12 wheels and dragged by 7 horses. The legend goes that Samba worshipped the Sun God for 12 years to seek penance. The Lord healed him after being pleased with his devotion. In order to express his gratitude, Samba made this Sun Temple.
5. Brihadeeswara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu
Built by the Chola emperor Raja Raja Chola I, this temple is also known as Peruvudaiyar Kovil and RajaRajeswaram. It is the largest temple in the city and has been dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple was built as per the principles of Agamas and Vaastu Shastras and is made entirely of granite stone. Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the grand and magnificent architecture of this temple is worth witnessing.
6. Somnath Temple, Saurashtra, Gujarat
Mentioned in ancient books such as Shreemad Bhagwat, Skandpuran, and Shivpuran, the meaning of Somnath is Protector of the Moon God. The legend goes that this Indian Temple was built by Som in honor of Lord Shiva. Built on the Arabian Sea’s shore, there is no land area in a straight line between the temple and the South Pole. A Junagadh gate, museum, beach, sound and light show are added attractions with the temple.
7. Yamunotri Temple, Yamunotri, Uttarakhand
Being the source of River Yamuna, the sacred shrine of Yamunotri is surrounded by mountains and is placed at the foot of the hill. Dedicated to Goddess Yamuna, the deity in this temple is made entirely of black marble. An ambiance of absolute purity surrounds this place with a breathtaking view all around.
8. Sanchi Stupa, Raisen, Madhya Pradesh
Also known as the Great Stupa, the Sanchi Stupa is a holy place of Buddhist and is built in a dome shape boasting of relics of Buddha. Built by the great emperor Ashoka, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has 4 intricately designed gateways called Toranas. This Indian temple preserves the relics of Buddha and is 16 meters high and 37 meters in diameter.
9. Ramanathaswamy or Rameshwaram Temple, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
Being a part of the four holiest pilgrimage places for Hindus, this is one of the best temples in India. It is believed that Lord Rama and his wife Sita first landed on the shores of Rameshwaram after having defeated Ravana. There are 2 lingams in the temple, namely Vishwalingam and Ramalingam wherein the former is always worshipped before the latter.
10. Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar, Uttarakhand
Hardiwar, also known as Gateway of the Gods is home to several bathing ghats amongst which Har ki Pauri is the most sacred one. It was constructed by King Vikramaditya and legend goes that by taking a dip in this holy water you can achieve the salvation of your ancestors. You must visit the evening prayer or Aarti which is performed every evening here.
11. Vaishno Devi Mandir, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir
Being the abode of Maa or Mother Vaishno Devi, this Indian temple is located on a mountain called Trikuta at an altitude of 5200ft. Instead of a statue, there are 3 rock head forms which are known as Pindies and denote Vaishno Devi. The legend goes that one can only visit the shrine successfully is Maa Vaishno Devi herself calls you to her doorstep.
12. Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Built in the 18th century, the Siddivinayak Temple has been dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It is said that one must seek the blessings of this God before commencing any new assignment or work. The shrine’s wooden doors boast of 8 carved impressions of Lord Ganapati or Ganesha with devotees from all over the country worshipping this famous temple in India all year round.
13. Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab
The Golden Temple is also known as Darbar Sahib or Sri Harmandir Sahib and is one of the holiest pilgrimage places for Sikhs and one of the best temples in India. There are 4 doors in the temple each of which opens in a prominent direction thereby symbolizing that the temple welcomes people from all faith, race, and color. It also symbolizes humility since the entire structure is built on a level lower to that of the immediate surroundings. The Temple is golden in color and beautiful to look at, hence the name.
14. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple has been dedicated to Lord Shiva who is considered to the emperor of the universe according to Hindu mythology. Varanasi, the city where the temple lies is also known as Kashi and hence the name. It is believed that by visiting this Temple, one can attain Moksha or ultimate liberation of the soul.
15. Neelkanth Mahadev temple, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Located on the top of a hill whose height is 1675 m, the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple has been dedicated to Lord Shiva. Legend states that when the Samudra Manthan took place, Lord Shiva ingested all the venom which oozed out from it at this very place thereby giving it the name of Neelkanth Mahadeo.
16. Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri, Orissa
It is this very Indian Temple which gives the city of Puri its other name, Jagannath Puri. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, this temple is part of the 4 holiest places in the country and entry for non-Hindus is strictly restricted here. Along with the idol of Lord Jagannath or Krishna sits the idols of Goddess Subhadra who is Lord Krishna’s sister and Lord Balabhadra who is his brother. The world-famous Rath Yatra has been conducted annually with thousands of people pulling the sacred chariots during the Yatra.
17. Naina Devi Temple, Nainital, Uttarakhand
Named after Naina Devi, Nainital is a city which is also home to the Naina Devi Temple. The legend goes that when Lord Shiva carried Goddess Sati’s body, her eyes or Naina fell down at this very place where the temple was created. In 1880 a landslide devastated the temple but it was reconstructed soon after.
18. Meenakshi Temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
This Temple is a complete architectural wonder which has been dedicated to Goddess Parvati or Meenakshi and her husband Lord Shiva. Before devotees visit the main shrine they are advised o take a dip in the Golden Lotus Tank which is located within the temple premises. The hall in the temple boasts of 985 pillars; each of which has been intricately carved and designed. This is one of the most famous temples in India.
19. Amarnath cave Temple, Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir
Located at an altitude of 3,888 m this famous Temple in India is engulfed with ice-clad mountains. Believed to be around 5000 years old, the legend goes that a Muslim shepherd received a bag full of coal from a holy man which later turned into gold. When searching for the holy man to thank him, the Muslim shepherd found the abode of Lord Shiva which is known as Amarnath today. The road to this holy temple consists of a 5-day trek which is not easily covered by all.
20. Shankaracharya Temple, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
Lying at a height of 1000 feet and overlooking the beautiful city of Srinagar, the Shankaracharya temple dates back to 200 B.C. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this Indian Temple was visited by Adi Shankara and hence associated with him.
21. Tirupati Balaji, Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh
Also known as Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple, this Indian temple has been devoted to Lord Venkateshwara who is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and also known as ‘Balaji’. Brahmotsavam is a festival which is celebrated here with much prompt and grandeur for 9 days. The prasadam of laddoos given here is quite famous and as a religious ritual, thousands of individuals from around the globe come here to heads tonsured annually.
22. Akshardham Temple, New Delhi, Delhi
Spread over a hundred acres area, the Akshardham Temple is one of the best temples in India. This is a unique temple which speaks on the diverse Indian culture, spirituality and ancient architecture and has several structures within the complex; each of which gives a glimpse of Indian religion and depicts its history. It also boasts of different architectural styles and is made up of Italian Carrara marble and Rajasthani pink sandstone. It has been dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan.
23. Lotus Temple, New Delhi, Delhi
Being a Bahai House of Worship, the famous temple in India has been built in the shape of a lotus flower and is a major tourist attraction. The Bahai Faith aims to unite all races and people under a common faith and is a world religion. You can enter the temple via any one of the 9 doors; all of which lead to a central hall which is home to several statues, idols and pictures.
24. Kamakshi Amman Temple, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
This Indian Temple is dedicated to Lord Parvati. Though in most idols we find Goddess Kamakshi or Parvati in a standing pose but in the enchanting idol here, Goddess Parvati is sitting in a yogic sitting posture or Padmasana.
25. Birla Mandir, New Delhi, Delhi
Also known as Laxminarayan Temple, the Birla Mandir has been dedicated to Lord Laxminarayan. This Indian Temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi and is flocked by thousands of devotees every day to offer their prayers. The temple has been built in Nagar style of architecture and boasts of rich carvings which depict scenes from Hindu mythology.
26. Khajuraho Temple, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
Khajuraho is home to not one but 20 temples; all of which were built between 10th to 12 centuries. These temples are spread over an area of 20 sq km and built of sandstone. It has been dedicated to Jain and Hindu deities. The erotic carvings on the temples are world famous with the temples being divided into 3 zones – southern, eastern and western.
27. Virupaksha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this is one of the best temples in India. In the form of Virupaksha, Lord Shiva is the consort of local goddess Pampa which is why it is also given the name of Pampapathi Temple. The engagement and wedding of this couple are celebrated with a lot of grandeur here.
28. ISKON Temple, New Delhi, Delhi
This temple is also known as Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi Mandir and is located at Hare Krishna Hills. Dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radharani, this temple is home to one of the largest temple complexes in the country. Six aartis and six bhoga offerings are made every day to please the deity.
29. Jwalamukhi Temple, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
Jwalamukhi means the Goddess with a flaming mouth. A copper pipe is placed in the temple via which natural gas comes out and is lit by the priests present. This is considered to be a manifestation of the Goddess Jwalamukhi and no deities are found inside. The temple has domes above it which reflect the golden color with beautiful carvings on the walls of the temple.
30. Sai Baba Temple, Shirdi, Maharashtra
Spread over an area of 200 sq.km., this shrine was made in 1922 over the Samadhi of Sai Baba. Thousands of devotees visit this famous temple in India every day with the figure reaching lacs during festivals.
31. Rajarani Temple, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa
Also known as the ‘love temple’ this Indian temple has some extremely erotic carvings on its walls. With no presiding deity in the temple, it is considered to be a symbol of grace, beauty, and perfection.
32. Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir, New Delhi, Delhi
Being the oldest Jain temple in Delhi, it was made in honor of the 23rd Tirthankara named Parashvanath. Only red sandstone was used in its making and Indian Temple is one of the best examples of excellent architecture during Shah Jahan’s era. Along with the temple, a bird hospital, a research laboratory and an intensive care unit can also be found on the premises.
33. Gomateshwara Temple, Shravanabelagola, Karnataka
This temple has been dedicated to Lord Bahubali who is also known as Gomateshwara. Being an important pilgrimage place for Jains, it was built in the 10th century. The statue has a unique structure which stands tall at 58.8 ft without any external support and has been carved out of a single granite rock. The Bahubali’s base has inscriptions written on it in Marathi, Tamil, and Kannada language.
34. Ranakpur Temple, Pali, Rajasthan
Pali falls between the cities of Jodhpur and Udaipur and is home to this Indian temple which was built in the 15th century. Dedicated to Lord Adinatha, it is one of the 5 most sacred places for Jains. Its marvelous architecture had got it nominated for the new Seven Wonders of the World. The main structure is supported with the help of 1400 intricately carved pillars and is made of light-colored marble only. Only natural light of the sun is used for illumination all around.
35. Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Lord Padmanabhaswamy is one of the sacred dwellings of Lord Vishnu and this temple can only be visited by Hindus. A strict dress code has to be followed for entering the temple. A splendid idol of Lord Vishnu can be seen reclining over Anantha which is a 5 hooded serpent. The idol displays the supreme trinity of Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva or Mahesh. A lotus comes out of the Lord’s navel over which Lord Brahma can be seen sitting. Hence the name Padmanabha or lotus-navel.
36. Dwarkadhish Temple, Dwarka, Gujarat
Being the holy abode of the almighty Lord Krishna, this is one of the most famous temples in India which is also called Jagat Mandir. There are 2 doors in this temple; the entry door is called Swarg Dwar or doorway to heaven while the exit door is known as Moksha Dwar or doorway to liberation. It is a 5-story structure which stands with the support of 72 pillars. The temple is 51.8 m high and one needs to climb 56 steps to reach the Sward Dwar. The deity is built in black stone and reaches 2. 25 ft in height.
37. Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa
Boasting of the Kalinga style of architecture, this temple has been dedicated to Lord Shiva. Built-in 1000 A.D., it is made entirely of laterite and sandstone and the largest temple in the city.
38. Kalighat Temple, Kolkata, West Bengal
The Kalighat temple is an extremely famous temple in India which has been dedicated to Goddess Kali. The legend goes that Goddess Sati’s body parts fell all over the nation with the Kalighat temple being the site where her toes fell. Being an extremely sacred place, it is flocked by thousands of devotees every day.
39. Dakshineswar Kali Temple, Kolkata, West Bengal
Located near the banks of the River Hoogly, the Dakshineswar temple is considered to be the abode of Bhavatarini which is a form of Goddess Kali. Built in the year 1855, along with the main shrine, the temple complex also houses 12 identical temples which have been dedicated to Lord Shiva. This Indian temple is a major tourist attraction in Kolkata.
40. Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati, Assam
Situated on the Nilachal Hill, the Kamakhya Temple is one of the most famous temples in India for Tantric worshippers as well as devotees. It has been dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya. The garbha griha which is the inner sanctorum has a yoni-shaped stone located in a cave beneath the ground level. The stone has water filled in it at all times.
India is truly a country which is has the best temples in the world. Now that you have a list of best temples in India, what are you waiting for? Visit them soon. Share your experiences with us in the comments section. Also, let us know if we missed out on any good temple in the country.