Shirdi Sai Travels: Popular temples in India
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Temples to visit
India is known for its magnificent ancient temples. People from all over the world fly to India to visit these sites, something that they won’t forget even after visiting.
Here are the most popular temples to visit in India:
Badrinath Temple can be found near the Alaknanda River located in the Chamoli District, Badrinath. It’s a holy shrine of Lord Vishnu and is included in the four holiest sites in the religion of Hindu. This is one of the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
You can visit the Badrinath Temple for six months every year during the end of April and the beginning of November.
There’s no historical record of this temple which is why people are interested in it. Tourists from different parts of the world visit this temple because of its majestic architecture.
Konark Sun Temple
The Konark Sun Temple is one of the most popular temples in the country. It’s a 13th-century temple located at Konark that was attributed to the Eastern Ganga Dynasty’s King Narasimhadeva I.
The Konark Sun Temple is dedicated to the Hindu Sun God Surya. When you visit the temple, you’ll notice that the temple’s design is inspired by a 100-foot high chariot with wheels and horses.
There are legends regarding this temple. One of those is that God Krishna cursed his sons with leprosy. Because of that, Samba worshipped Lord Sun for 12 years, resulting in Lord Surya healing him. Samba built the temple to express his gratitude.
Brihadeeswara Temple is also known as Peruvudaiyar Kovil or RajaRajeswaram. It’s an 11th-century temple dedicated to Shiva and is located on the South Bank of the Kaveri river in Tamil Nadu. One of the most impressive attributes of the Brihadeeswara Temple is that it’s the largest temple in the country.
The temple was built by Tamil King Raja Raja Chola I between 1003 and 1010 AD. It is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the ‘Great Living Chola Temples’.
When it comes to its construction, the Brihadeeswara Temple’s vimana tower is made out of granite, making it the tallest vimana in India.
The Somnath Temple is one of the oldest pilgrimage sites in the country. It is located in Veraval in Saurashtra. Many locals believe that it’s the first among Shiva’s 12 Jyotirlinga shrines. Due to the repeated destruction of Muslim invaders, this temple has been reconstructed several times. One interesting fact about this temple is that it is built on the shore of the Arabian Sea.
The Kedarnath Temple is known for being one of the most sacred temples in the world. It’s located in the state of Uttarakhand and was built for Shiva. This temple is open to the public only between April and November because of the harsh weather conditions during December.
The temple stands at a height of 3,583m and is surrounded by glaciers and snow-covered mountains. Legends say that the Kedarnath Temple was built by the Pandavas to repent for their misgivings during the battle with Kauravs.
If you’re interested in visiting this temple, take note that it’s not directly accessible by road and you have to trek the hill to reach it. Fortunately, there are pony or manchan services available in the area to make it easy for you to reach the destination.
The Sanchi Stupa also called Great Stupa is also a popular Buddhist complex that’s known for its Great Supta which is one of the oldest stone structures in India. It was commissioned by emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE.
This temple is located in Sanchi, a village in the Raisen district of Madya Pradesh that’s known for Buddhist structures built in 3rd century BC to 12th century AD. A stupa is a sacred place of Buddhist that was built in the shape of a dome and contains Buddha relics.
Ramanathaswamy (Rameshwaram) Temple
Ramanathaswamy Temple is a popular Hindu temple that was built in dedication to Shiva. It is located in Rameswaram island in the state of Tamil Nadu. This temple is included in the 12 Jyotirlinga temples and is also one of the 274 Paadal Petra Sthalams.
Among all the Hindu temples in the country, the Ramanathaswamy has the longest corridor. Legend says that the seventh avatar of god Vishnu, Rama prayed to Shiva to forgive all of the sins that he committed during his war against king Ravana. He asked the lieutenant of his army to bring him a large lingam so he can worship Shiva.
Rama resolves to create a small lingam out of the sand and is believed to be the lingam in the sanctum.
Vaishno Devi Mandir
The Vaishno Devi Mandir also called Mata Rani, Trikuta, Ambe, and Vaishnavi is a presentation of Devi, the Hindu Mother Goddess. It is located in Katra in the Trikuta Mountains. This temple is included in the 108 Shakti Peethas that are dedicated to Durga, the one who Vaishno Devi worships.
Millions of people flock to the temple every year and during festivals like Navaratri, the number of people still increases. The Vaishno Devi Mandir is one of the richest temples in the country.
Vaishno Devi is in the form of three rock heads instead of a statue. Locals say that it is Maa Vaishno who decides her visitors. If you want to visit this temple, you have to trek about 12km from Katra.
The Siddhivinayak Temple is a Hindu temple that’s dedicated to Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom who is one of the most popular figures in the world. This temple is included in the eight revered shrines of Ganesha in the Indian state.
The Siddhivinayak Temple is located on the northern bank of the river Bhima in Siddhatek. You can access the temple by going through the small village of Shirapur in the Pune district. You don’t have to worry about travelling because our guides will accompany you to the site.
Once you reach the temple, you’ll notice that it stands on a hillock and is surrounded by the thick foliage of Babul trees.
Gangotri Temple is where Ganga Maa is worshipped. It is located in Gangotri town in Uttarakashi district in the state of Uttarakhand. Built in the 18th century, this temple is made from white granite. If you want to visit this temple, you can book a tour during April or May.
The Golden Temple, also known as Shri Durbar Sahib is one of the most impressive and important temples for Sikhism. It features four large doors that welcome people coming from all four sides. The structure of the temple is designed to symbolize the value of humility. Built around a man-made pool, this temple was created with different contributions from Gurus.
You can find the Golden Temple in the city of Amritsar, Punjab. One of the most interesting facts about it is it was rebuilt several times because it was once a target of persecution and was destroyed by Mughal.
Lord Jagannath Temple
Another popular temple among locals and tourists is the Lord Jagannath Temple that was built in the 12 century. It’s a Hindu temple dedicated to a form of Vishnu called Jagannath. This temple is one of the four holiest places in India. It has impressive architecture, making it one of the most popular temples in the country. It’s also known for the annual Ratha Yatra or chariot festival.
However, non-Hindus are not permitted to enter the temple. So if you want to visit Lord Jagannath Temple, you can only look from the outside.
The Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Temple or simply known as Meenakshi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. It is located at the centre of the ancient temple city of Madurai and is included in the Paadal Petra Sthalam.
Madurai is the second-largest city in the country and still continues to be the most populated one in the world. That’s why many locals visit this temple to worship.
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