10 Famous Temples in India

Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, UNESCO World Heritage Site.

India has a long and rich past, and the country’s diverse culture and history are reflected in its many gorgeous temples. Every structure, from ancient monuments to grandiose structures, conveys a fascinating story about Indian art and architecture.

India’s temples are not just places of worship, but also popular tourist sites. Every year, millions of people from all around the world visit them. In India, renowned temples include the Taj Mahal, the Golden Temple, and the Sun Temple. There are, however, many other lesser-known but equally beautiful temples worth visiting.

Some of the most popular temple complexes in India include the following:

  1. The Khajuraho Group of Monuments: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to around 25 temples that were built between 950 AD and 1050 AD. The temples are famous for their erotic sculptures which depict various sexual positions.
  2. The Konark Sun Temple: This 13th-century temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Surya (the sun god) and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Orissa state. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  3. The Brihadeeswarar Temple: This 11th-century temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the tallest temples in India. It is located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

4 Must-Visit Temples in India

  • Brihadeeswarar Temple in Tamil Nadu: A must-see for everyone interested in India’s medieval temples. The temple, one of the largest in the country, was built in the 11th century by Chola dynasty ruler Rajaraja I. The temple complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a colossal statue of Nandi (the bull) and finely carved pillars and walls.
  • The Konark Sun Temple in Odisha: Another must-see attraction for history fans. The temple, built in the 13th century, is devoted to the sun god Surya and contains an extraordinary chariot with 12 wheels pulled by 7 horses. The temple’s architecture is meant to represent the sun’s rays, and it is quite breathtaking.
  • The Khajuraho Temples in Madhya Pradesh: Everyone interested in Indian history and culture should go. The Chandela dynasty built the temples between 950 and 1050 AD, and they are notable for their sexual sculptures. The property contains 85 temples, making it one of the greatest temple complexes in India.
  • The Mahabodhi Temple in Bihar: One of the world’s most prominent Buddhist sites. The temple, which holds a huge figure of Buddha, was established around 550 AD. The Bodhi Tree, under which Buddha attained enlightenment, is also located on the premises.

Kapaleeshwarar Temple in Chennai

In Chennai, one of the most visited temples is Kapaleeshwarar Temple. The Lord Shiva temple is a well-liked location for worshippers to offer prayers. The temple complex is a must-see location for everyone interested in learning about India’s glorious past because it also has a number of other shrines.

Puri’s Jagannath Temple

One of India’s holiest Hindu temples is the Jagannath Temple in Puri. It is devoted to Lord Jagannath, a manifestation of Lord Vishnu, and it is situated in Puri, Orissa. The temple was constructed in the 12th century by the Monarch Chola dynasty and has long been a significant Hindu pilgrimage place. The temple is a significant component of Orissa’s heritage and culture. To participate in the annual Rath Yatra event, worshippers go to Puri from all across India and even from other nations.

Almost 4000 square meters of the temple complex’s grounds are taken up by a number of temples and shrines. The Garuda Mandir, Kumara Mandir, and Mahalakshmi Temple make up the main shrine of the temple, which is located in the center of the compound. Several smaller, as significant, and sacred shrines and temples can be found around the temple complex.

Varanasi’s Kashi Vishwanath Temple

The Hindu god Shiva is honored at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. It is one of India’s most sacred places and one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples, where Shiva is worshiped in his visible form. The temple is a renowned tourist destination and draws devotees from all across India.

The primary temples in the compound are the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and the Annapurna Temple. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is located on the Ganges River’s western bank, while the Annapurna Temple is located on the river’s eastern side. Both temples are regarded as equally important and are visited by pilgrims all year.

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is a venerated shrine that has been demolished and rebuilt multiple times over the course of its existence. The current temple, one of India’s largest, was built in 1780 by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore. It’s composed of marble and sandstone, with gold-plated domes that glitter in the sunlight.

The temple complex also houses a number of smaller temples and shrines as well as a sizable pond that is filled with sacred Ganges River water. Before approaching the main temples to pray, pilgrims frequently take a bath in this tank.

The garbhagriha, mandapa, and antarala are the three principal shrines located within the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The major deity, a Shiva lingam, is housed in the inner sanctuary known as the garbhagriha temple. On either side of the garbhagriha, in the mandapa and antarala, are shrines to other deities, including Ganesha and Parvati.

The Golden Temple of Amritsar

One of the most sacred locations in Sikh religion is the Harmandir Sahib, also referred to as the Golden Temple of Amritsar. The temple is a significant site of pilgrimage for Sikhs from all over the world and is situated in the historic city of Amritsar in the northwest Indian state of Punjab.

  • Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru, constructed the Harmandir Sahib in the 16th century. It was built at first with a straightforward design, and later, by succeeding Gurus, it was enlarged and ornamented.
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh renovated the temple in the 19th century and had the exterior walls covered in gold leaf to give it its current appearance.
  • The Akal Takht, the top Sikhism ruling body, the Gurudwara Darshan Deodhi, a shrine to Guru Nanak, and Baba Atal Rai are all located within the temple complex (a monument dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh). A sizable body of holy water known as the Amrit Sarovar surrounds the Harmandir Sahib and is thought to have therapeutic effects.

In order to participate in religious activities inside the temple complex and take a bath in the Amrit Sarovar, pilgrims often arrive at the Golden Temple early in the morning. They also pay reverence to the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikhism’s holy book, by walking around the temple three times in a clockwise direction. One of the most famous places in Sikhism is the Harmandir Sahib, which receives more than 100,000 people every day on average.

The Brihadeeswara Temple in Tanjore

Thanjavur, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is where you can find the Brihadeeswarar Temple. The Great Temple is another name for it. The Cholas, who ruled Thanjavur during the 10th and the 12th century CE, constructed the temple. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the temple.

  • One of the biggest temples in India is the Brihadeeswarar Temple. It is 216 feet (66 meters) tall and about 430 feet in diameter (130 meters). There are 23 acres dedicated to the temple complex (9 hectares).
  • The RajaGopuram, a 60-foot (18-meter) high doorway, serves as the temple’s principal entrance. This leads to a sizable courtyard where the Nandi Bull, a statue of Shiva’s sacred bull, is located.
  • A gigantic statue of Lord Shiva can be found at the temple’s main shrine, which is devoted to him. His wife Parvati, their son Murugan, and other Hindu deities all have shrines of their own.
  • Architectural beauty is a hallmark of the Brihadeeswarar Temple. It was constructed using granite pieces that were transported there from a great distance. Paintings and sculptures cover the walls of the shrine.

Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameswaram

One of the most significant Hindu pilgrimage sites in India is the Ramanathaswamy Temple. It may be found in Rameswaram, which is on the Pamban island in Tamil Nadu. The temple, one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples where Shiva is worshiped in the shape of a lingam, is devoted to Lord Shiva.

  • Hindus still consider the Ramanathaswamy Temple to be a significant location today despite its long history as a place of worship. There are numerous shrines and courtyards spread out throughout the 15 acres that make up the temple complex. The complex’s main shrine lies in the middle, flanked by lesser shrines and mandapams.
  • Puja (worship) can be offered at the main shrine or any of the smaller shrines located within the complex by visitors to the temple. The temple complex also contains a number of holy tanks that are revered as sacrosanct.
  • Millions of people visit the Ramanathaswamy Temple each year, which is one of Tamil Nadu’s most well-liked tourist attractions.


One of the most popular tourist attractions in Hampi is the Virupaksha Temple. The Chalukya dynasty constructed the temple in the seventh century, which is situated on the south side of the Hampi Bazaar.

  • Hindus have been making the trek to the temple for many years, and it is still a bustling center of prayer today. The temple complex has a sizable tank along with a number of shrines and mandapas. A manifestation of Shiva named Virupaksha is honored in the main shrine.
  • The temple also houses temples to various deities, including Ganesh, Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Lakshmi, the goddess of riches (the elephant-headed god). A Nandi figure, which is a typical element of Shiva temples, is located in front of the main shrine.
  • The elaborate architecture and sculptures at the Virupaksha Temple are well-known. The walls of the temple are covered in fine carvings, while murals embellish the ceilings. There are numerous lovely fountains and gardens within the temple complex. The complex carvings and sculptures may be seen up close as visitors wander the temple grounds.

India is a country rich in religion and temples. There are countless temples located all around the country, each with its own history and architectural style. There are a few temples in India that you really must visit, even though it is impossible to see them all in one trip.

The iconic Taj Mahal in Agra is first on the list. Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor, erected this exquisite marble edifice in honor of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. One of the most visited tourist places in India, the temple is a symbol of love.

The Brihadeeswara Temple in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, is another important temple in India. One of the highest Vimanas (temple towers) in the world can be found at this 11th-century temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is renowned for its magnificent paintings and sculpture.

The Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha, is the third temple on our list. This ancient temple, which honors Lord Jagannath, a manifestation of Vishnu, draws visitors from all over India each year. The temple complex is a must-visit for anyone interested in Indian history and culture because it also has a number of smaller shrines and temples.