11 Famous Ancient Temples in India that You Must Visit
Posted On July 27, 2023
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Welcome to my captivating exploration of the 11 famous ancient temples in India that simply demand a visit. India, a land steeped in spirituality and rich cultural heritage, is home to an extraordinary array of temples that have stood the test of time. These architectural marvels not only showcase the exquisite craftsmanship of the ancient era but also serve as sacred sanctuaries for devotees and curious travellers a like.
Join me on this mystical journey as we unveil the majestic beauty and profound significance of iconic temples such as the resplendent Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the revered Varanasi Ghats, and many more. Get ready to immerse yourself in the spiritual tapestry of India’s ancient temples, where history, art, and divinity intertwine.
11 Famous Ancient Temples in India that You Must Visit
11. Golden Temple, Amritsar
Harmandir Sahib, another name for the Golden Temple, is a representation of both spiritual and aesthetic splendour. Intricate carvings and inlays cover its gorgeous golden exterior. The Amrit Sarovar, a sacred pool thought to have healing abilities, is part of the temple complex.
The Langar, a community kitchen that provides free meals to all visitors regardless of their religion or culture, is one distinctive feature. It promotes the ideas of equality and generosity. So, the next time you visit the Golden Temple, you can relish some food that has divineness to it. You can also choose to volunteer in this temple.
10. Tirupathi Balaji, Tirumala
The Lord Venkateswara temple in Tirupathi is devoted to this Vishnu incarnation. It is located in Andhra Pradesh a top the Tirumala Hills. The temple is well-known for its profound spiritual significance and the tonsuring custom, which involves shaving one’s head as a sacrifice to a deity.
The temple is well-known for its magnificent festivals, particularly the Brahmotsavam, in which the god is carried out in a procession, and it attracts a sizable number of worshippers each year. The Anna Prasada Centre, holy pond, and animal reserve are some of the important things not to miss while you climb the hill of Tirumala.
9. Maa Vaishno Devi Temple, Katra
The Maa Vaishno Devi Temple is devoted to the Hindu goddess Vaishno Devi and is located in the Trikuta Mountains of Jammu and Kashmir. In order to get to the temple, devotees must make a tough uphill trip, which symbolises dedication. The temple is mysterious, and believers think the goddess fulfils their requests. The temple’s natural cave is a breathtaking sight that adds to the spiritual ambience.
8. Jagannath Temple, Puri
Lord Jagannath, a manifestation of Lord Vishnu, is the subject of the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha. It is well-known for its yearly Rath Yatra, during which the gods are transported in opulent chariots. The kitchen of the temple, where the gigantic feasts known as Mahaprasad are made and served to the worshippers, is what makes it special.
The towering spire and intricate stone carvings that represent many legendary scenes distinguish the temple’s distinctive construction.
7. Meenakshi Temple, Madurai
The Meenakshi Temple in Tamil Nadu is devoted to Lord Sundareswarar, an embodiment of Lord Shiva, and Goddess Meenakshi, a manifestation of Goddess Parvati. The temple’s towering gopurams (ornate gateway towers), which are covered in exquisite carvings telling mythological tales, are its most outstanding feature.
The Hall of Thousand Pillars in the temple is a magnificent work of architecture. The Meenakshi Thirukalyanam festival, which honours Meenakshi and Sundareswarar’s heavenly union, draws a sizable following.
6. Ramnathswamy Temple, Rameshwaram
One of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage destinations is this temple, which is located on the island of Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu. It has a strong connection to the epic Ramayana and is devoted to Lord Rama. The temple is renowned for its beautiful passageways, including the longest temple passageway in the entire globe.
The “Agni Theertham,” where devotees take a sacred plunge in the sea before entering the temple, is a distinctive custom here. One of the twelve Jyotirlingas (lingams of light), thought to have been built by Lord Rama himself, is also housed in the temple.
5. Virupaksha Temple, Hampi
The Virupaksha Temple, which is devoted to Lord Shiva, is situated in Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Karnataka. With a history that dates back to the 7th century, it is one of India’s oldest active temples.
The temple is renowned for its striking architecture, finely detailed pillar carvings, and bright murals that depict various legendary tales. The lofty gopuram of the temple offers a beautiful perspective of the Tungabhadra River and the nearby ruins. It is a crucial aspect of the Hampi experience and a significant pilgrimage location.
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and is located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, on the banks of the revered Ganges River. For Hindus, it has a great deal of spiritual significance. The elaborate carvings and stunning architecture of the temple complex are well known. One distinctive aspect is the “Ganga Aarti” ritual, which takes place every evening and involves priests praying to the sacred river and lighting lamps.
The area around the temple, which is humming with religious ceremonies and activities, offers a complete view of Varanasi’s historic centre. If you talk to some old members of Hindu families, they would say that their last devotional trip should be to the Kashi temple
3. Sun Temple, Konark
The Sun Temple in Konark, which is in the Indian state of Odisha, is a marvel of ancient Indian architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The temple, which is devoted to the Sun God Surya, is shaped like a massive chariot and has elaborately carved stone wheels, pillars, and walls.
The temple is renowned for its amazing artwork, exquisite craftsmanship, and exact alignment with the path of the sun. An architectural wonder displaying India’s rich cultural legacy is the Konark Sun Temple.
2. Brihadeeshwara Temple, Thanjavur
The Brihadeeshwara Temple, also called the Big Temple, is one of India’s biggest temples and a UNESCO World Heritage site in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. The temple was constructed during the Chola period and honours Lord Shiva. Its impressive vimana (main tower), which is made entirely of granite, is an engineering marvel.
Its most well-known features are the huge lingam (phallic symbol) of Lord Shiva and the temple’s beautiful carvings and towering Nandi statue. The temple is a noteworthy landmark in Indian temple construction because of its design and architectural splendour.
1. Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, is recognised for its opulence and spiritual significance. The temple, which is devoted to Lord Vishnu, combines Dravidian and Kerala architectural traditions. The primary deity of the temple, fashioned of an unusual mixture of herbs and plaster, is depicted dozing on the sacred serpent, Ananta.
The treasure vaults of the temple, which were only recently uncovered, are said to contain enormous wealth and have added to its notoriety. One of the richest temples in the world is thought to be the Padmanabhaswamy Temple.
These temples serve as a symbol of the nation’s rich cultural heritage and enchant tourists with their magnificent architecture and heavenly air. Each temple, from the well-known Tanjore temple to the ethereal Varanasi Ghats, has a special tale to tell that invites us to delve deeper into the tapestry of India’s history and spirituality.
These temples provide a remarkable experience, whether you’re looking for peace of mind, cultural insight, or a window into the past. So prepare your belongings, set out on a journey, and let these holy places inspire awe and devotion in your heart.
1. Which is the most ancient temple in India?
The Mundeshwari Devi Temple located at Ramgarh Village, on the Mundeshwari Hills in Bihar is stated to be the oldest temple in India as per Archaeology dating back to 108 CE.
2. What is the oldest temple on earth?
The oldest temple in the world, known as Göbekli Tepe, is well-known. Archaeologists and historians estimate this structure was built 11,600 years ago in southern Turkey.
3. Which temple is 20,000 years old in India?
Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram is said to be 20,000 years old since it has been mentioned in ancient Tamil literature named Silapathigaram, the earliest epic poem in Tamil, written in the 5th–6th-century by Ilango Adigal.
4. Which is the 11th-century temple in India?
One of the finest evidence of Chola-era architecture is the Someshwara Temple, which dates back to the 11th century.
5. What are the 6 famous temples of India?
Some of the famous temples of India include Srirangam Ranganathan Temple, Thanjavur Brihadeeshwara Temple, Kashi Viswanath Temple, Konark Sun Temple, Thiruvananthapuram Padamanaba Swamy Temple, Hampi Virupaksha Temple.
Gulshan Bafna is one of the luxury travelers in India. He, along with his wife, has traveled to many exotic places that one could dream. With their travel journey, they bring us the best face of those places. He compiles all of his travel journeys to give the taste of traveling to his readers. In his writing, he jots down the best things to do in all those places that he has visited. Reading these would help one know better about the place. He is also a seeker who loves exploring and discovering new places and share his experiences with everyone.