The 15 Most Beautiful Indian Temples That Everyone Must Visit!

It can be said without hesitation that Indian temples boast of some of the best architecture in Indian history. Since temples were often, in the past, centers of cultural exchange that attracted visitors from all walks of life, much work was put into beautifying these buildings. Sadly, a lot of it has been lost due to wear and tear of time as well as the several invasions India has braved over the years. However, even in partial ruin, Indian temples are still a sight to behold. With that, we bring you the 15 most beautiful temples in India.

1. Virupaksha Temple

Located in the town of Hampi in Karnataka, Virupaksha Temple is a part of a group of monuments at Hampi recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Virupaksha Temple has as its deity Lord Virupaksha, a form of Lord Shiva. It is believed that the shrine was first created in the 7th century, with the architecture around the place of worship growing and developing century after century. Much of the beautiful architecture was destroyed after Muslim invasion of the territory, but additions were made in the 19th century. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

2. Khajuraho Temple

Khajuraho Temples are a group of monuments in Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh. They were built between 885 AD and 1050 AD by the Chandela Dynasty and are famous for housing the nagara style architectural symbolism and erotic sculptures. Historically, there existed 85 Khajuraho Temples, but out of those only 25 have survived. The monuments consist of Hindu as well as Jain temples suggesting a harmonious coexistence of the two religions at the time of their building. The Khajuraho Temples are recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

3. Kailasa Temple

The Kailasa temple at Ellora caves is the largest rock cut Hindu temple in India. It is believed to have been made from a single rock. It is believed to have been made around the 8th century during the reign of the Rashtrakuta king Krishna I. As the name suggests, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. 

Source: Flickr

4. Murudeshwar Temple

Murudeshwar is a town located in Karnataka that is famous for its Murudeshwar Temple that  also consists of the second tallest Shiva statue in the world. Murudeshwar Temple itself is extremely tall with 20 storeys, and authorities have installed a lift that offers people a view of the Shiva statue. 

Source: Flickr

5. Dilwara Temple

The Dilwara Temples are a group of svetambara Jain temples located near Mount Abu, the only hill station in Rajasthan. They were built between the 11th and 16th centuries, being some of the most beautiful monuments in the Maru Gurjara architectural style. There are five Dilwara Temples in all, and they make some of the most beautiful temples in India. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

6. Akshardham Temple

Swaminarayan Akshardham is a Hindu temple in Delhi that consists of a complex that has on its display millennia of Hindu tradition and culture. The temple was built by BAPS, Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha in 2005. The complex has various exhibition halls, an abhishek mandap, a Sahaj Anand water show, and a themed garden. 

Source: Flickr

7. Meenakshi Temple

Meenakshi Temple or Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareshwar Temple is located on the southern bank of the Valgai river. It is dedicated to Meenakshi Amman, an avatar of Parvati, who is the main deity of Madurai, as well as her consort, Sunderswarar, a form of Shiva. The temple sits in the center of Madurai and is one of the Paadal Petra Thalam, a group of 275 temples revered in the verses of Saiva Nayanars. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

8. Jagannath Temple

Located in the coastal city of Puri in Odisha, the Jagannath Temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, an avatar of Vishnu. The temple is believed to have been made after the 10th century begun by the first king of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, named Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva. The temple is also famous for its annual Ratha Yatra festival, which attracts hundreds of thousands of devotees. During Ratha Yatra, Lord Jagannath is believed to have temporarily left his home.

Source: Flickr

9. Somnath Temple

Located in Veraval in Saurashtra, Gujarat, the Somnath Temple is believed to be one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. The present structure was completed in 1951 and made in the Chalukya style. The Jyotirlingas are believed to be spots where Lord Shiva appeared in the form of a pillar of light (Jyoti means light). 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

10. Vaishno Devi

Perhaps one of the most famous temples in India for not just its beauty but also because of its inaccessibility, Vaishno Devi is located in th Trikuta Mountains in Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of the 108 Shakti Pethas dedicated to Goddess Durga, a major Hindu deity. Despite the difficulty faced by devotees to reach the temple, millions of visitors still throng the place, even more so during the Navratri.

Source: Pixabay

11. Shirdi Sai Baba Temple

Sai Baba of Shirdi was a spiritual leader who was revered by Hindu as well as Muslim devotees during and after his lifetime. Sai Baba is believed to have died in the year of 1918. He is associated with many miracles, and is considered to be a form of Sri Dattaguru. Even though Sai Baba’s place of birth is unknown, it is agreed upon that he arrived in Shirdi at some point and lived there till the end of his days. The town of Shirdi is now a popular place for devotees to visit, and it has a temple dedicated to the the saint. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

12. Golden Temple

Located in Amritsar in Punjab, the Golden Temple, also known as Harmandir Sahib, is a gurdwara built around the 16th century. It is the most important shrine in Sikhism, and welcomes people from all walks of life. The Golden Temple registers upwards of a hundred thousand visitors each day and is famous for its langar – a vegetarian meal served to anyone who wants it, without discrimination. 

Source: Flickr

13. Badrinath Temple

As a part of the four spots in the Char Dham, Badrinath Temple is one of the most visited Hindu shrines in India. Located in the town of Badrinath in Uttarakhand, Badrinath Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu as one of the 108 Divya Dasams dedicated to the Hindu deity. The temple is surrounded by snow capped hills for the most part of the year, which is why devotees are only allowed for six months between April and November. 

Source: Pixabay

14. Konark Temple

Located in Konark town in Puri district in Odisha, the Konark Temple, also known as the Sun Temple, is a Hindu temple dedicated to the Sun God, Lord Surya. The temple is believed to have been built during the 13the century during the reign of Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga dynasty. The temple is especially famous for its intricate carvings, even though much of the temple is in ruins. The temple receives a large number of visitors every year, especially during the Chandrabhaga Mela around February. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

15. Kashi Vishwanath Temple

One of the most famous Hindu temples in India, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple is located in Kashi, or Varanasi, in Uttarpradesh. Situated on the westernn bank of the river Ganga, the temple is believed to be one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. The temple is dedicated to Vishwanath, a form of Lord Shiva. Interestingly, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple is partially made of actual gold. The temple consists of three domes, all of which are made of pure gold supplied by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1835. The temple is thronged by visitors during the Maha Shivratri. 

Source: Flickr

Which of these most beautiful Indian temples have you visited so far? Tell us in the comments below!

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