Temples in India: Knowing A Little More About Our Culture

temples in India

India is a diverse country famous for its majestic temples, spirituality, and cultural richness. Even though there are various religions in India, the majority of Indians practice Hinduism. There are around 97 crore Hindus and thousands of Hindu temples in India. Every temple in India has its tale and history. People from all around the world come to these temples to seek religious beliefs and inner peace. Here, we have compiled the list of famous temples in India and the facts associated with them.

MAA VAISHNO DEVI – The Abode of Supreme Power

The Maa Vaishno Devi Temple is one of the sacred temples in India. This precious Goddess Mother temple is nestled in a beautiful, ancient cave high off the ground on the holy Trikoota Mountain. Mata Vaishno Devi’s temple is centuries old. It is estimated to be nearly a million years old, based on geologists’ research. The best time to explore the Mata Vaishno Devi cave shrines is during Navaratri.

Fact: Garbhjun is a cave where Goddess Vaishno hid from Bhairo Nath. She positioned herself the way an unborn child stays in her mother’s womb. That is why the name of the cave is Garbh-jun (Garbh – Womb)

Somnath Temple of Gujarat – One of The Most Important Lord Shiva Temples in India

Somnath Jyotirlinga temple is the first of Shiva’s twelve jyotirlinga temples – a place where Shiva emerged as a blazing flash of light, as believed. The history of the ancient temple can be dated back to 649 BC, but it is much older than thought. People celebrate Shivratri and Kartik Purnima (before Diwali) with great zeal here.

Fact: Somraj (the moon lord)have built the original temple in Somnath out of gold, which was afterward reconstructed in silver by Ravana, wood by Krishna, and stone by Bhimdev.

Brihadisvara Temple – One of The Largest Temples in India

Apart from being one of the biggest temples, Brihadisvara is also of the greatest works of Indian architecture. This ancient shrine is in the Tamil Nadu district of Thanjavur. It is a one-of-a-kind historic temple in India that portrays the culture of India during the Chola Dynasty. Furthermore, it is an important Hindu Temple constructed in ancient times. It is a cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site. Brihadeeswarar Temple is also known as the ‘Big Temple.’

Fact: Surprisingly, this temple was made from a single rock cutting.

Akshardham Temple

The Akshardham Temple is famous for its beautiful structure. It is one of the oldest temples in India but with a touch of modernity. It contains eight colorfully carved mandapams. Also, the walls are decorated with ancient Hindu teachings. This temple is heaven for spiritual seekers. Interestingly, The temple makes no use of steel and cement. This temple is built of pink sandstone, which assures that it will last for 1000 years.

Fact: The World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple, Akshardham, has been inscribed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Lord Venkateswara Temple – A temple of seven hills

Tirupati is famous as the home of the Hindu deity Venkateshwara, Lord of the Seven Hills. Tirumala Temple is located in Tirupati’s hill town of Tirumala. It is one of India’s most famous pilgrimage sites. The temple is devoted to Lord Sri Venkateswara, a Vishnu avatar who is said to have come here to deliver humankind from the hardships and sorrows of the Kali Yuga. The idol has hair that is never tangled.

Fact: Tirupati Laddu has a tag of Geographical Indication status, which means that only Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams can produce and sell it.

Mahabodhi Temple – One of The Most Famous Buddhist Temples in India

The Mahabodhi Temple is at the heart of Bodh Gaya. This temple has a deep relation with the life of the Lord Buddha (566-486 BC) as the spot where, in 531 BC, he acquired ultimate and pure enlightenment while meditating under the Bodhi Tree. The Mahabodhi Temple is one of the oldest brick temples in India. The current temple is one of the earliest and most majestic building structures built entirely of brick in the late Gupta period. 

Fact: The enormous Bodhi Tree is the most prominent of the holy places (Ficus religiosa ). As believed, this tree is a direct descendant of the original Bodhi Tree, where the Buddha spent his First Week and gained inner peace.   

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Dwarkadhish Temple – The Sacred City of Dwarka

The Dwarkadhish Temple (Jagat Mandir) has been built more than 2500 years ago by Lord Krishna’s great-grandson, Vajranabh, as believed. This temple is one of the holy places in India. Other shrines inside the temple are devoted to Subhadra, Balarama and Revathy, Vasudeva, Rukmini, and many other deities. The shrine is a buzzing of hues, voices, and beliefs that transforms into inner silence and holiness.

Fact: According to the Hindu Myth, Mahabharata, Dwarka land got submerged into the sea owing to flooding, and to protect the citizens of Dwarka, Lord Krishna recovered the area from the sea and turned it into Dwarka City.

Siddhivinayak Temple

The Shree Siddhivinayak Mandir is a Hindu temple devoted to the God Lord Ganesh. The temple has a small sanctum housing the idol of Shri Ganesha, which is about two and a half feet wide and made out of a single piece of black stone. Visit the temple for special prayer services on Vinayaka Chaturthi, Sankashti Chaturthi, Maghi Shree Ganesh Jayanti, and Bhadrapad Shree Ganesh Chaturthi.

Fact: Siddhivinayak Temple is a rich temple in India, with the inner dome of its shrine coated with gold.

Golden Temple, Amritsar

The Golden Temple in India (Sri Harimandir Sahib) is a sacred site for Sikhs. It is also a symbol of human fraternity and equality. The temple is made of white marble that has been carved with rare and semi-precious gemstones. Guru Ram Das, the fourth Guru of the Sikhs, founded Amritsar, which houses the Golden Temple or Harmandir Sahib. 

Fact: Every day, over 20,000 people are served free food at the Guru Ka Langar. On certain occasions, the figure can reach 100,000. Before entering the temple complex, visitors must cover their heads.

Jagannath Temple – Lord of the Universe

The massive temple, established in the 12th century AD built on a high platform, is an architectural wonder on its own. Many people visit Puri throughout the year. Another distinguishing aspect of the temple is that the holy trinity statues are sculpted from wood rather than rock or metal. They are also the only divinity who bears the marks of mortality.

Fact: The design of the main temple is so that no temple shadow falls on the ground at any time of day.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. How many temples are there in India?

There is no exact information available on the number of temples in India. However, estimates suggest that there may be over two million temples. 

2. Which city is known as the city of temples in India?

Bhubaneshwar is known as the ‘city of temples,’ named after Tribhuvaneswar (Lord of Three Worlds), which has nearly 500 famous temples of India.

Going to a temple to offer respect to the lord is a spiritual routine for Indians. Furthermore, many of these temples are centuries-old architecture, making them a vital component of India’s cultural legacy. Countless temples in India are a must-see because of their great historical importance and architectural marvels that remind us of India’s rich cultural heritage. Visit these temples in India the next time you plan a trip to India.

“Temples are an expression of God’s love.” – Jean A. Stevens.