India's Temples You Should Visit
1. Shree Padmanabhaswamy Temple – Kerala
The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is a Hindu temple located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is considered one of the 108 Divya Desams, the holiest abodes of Lord Vishnu. The temple is known for its intricate carvings and is considered one of the most important places of worship in South India. In 2011, a treasure trove of gold, silver and precious stones worth billions of dollars was discovered in the temple’s underground vaults, drawing international attention. The temple is currently managed by a trust appointed by the government of India.
2. Golden Temple – Amritsar
The Golden Temple, also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib, is a prominent Sikh gurdwara located in Amritsar, Punjab, India. It is the most important pilgrimage site for Sikhs and is considered one of the most beautiful religious sites in the world. The temple is built around a man-made pool (Amrit Sarovar) and the central shrine is covered with gold plating, giving it its name. The temple complex also includes other buildings such as the Akal Takht, the highest seat of authority for Sikhs. The temple is visited by thousands of devotees daily and is considered a symbol of the spiritual and historical traditions of the Sikh community.
3. Tirupati Balaji Temple – Andhra Pradesh
The Sri Venkateswara Temple, commonly known as the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple or the Tirupati Balaji Temple, is a Hindu temple located in the hill town of Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India and is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple is known for its beautiful architecture and is considered one of the richest temples in the world. The temple’s annual income from donations and offerings is in the billions of dollars. Millions of devotees visit the temple every year and it is considered as one of the most visited religious place in the world. The temple is maintained and administered by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, a trust which is overseen by the government of Andhra Pradesh.
4. Siddhivinayak Temple – Maharashtra
The Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha, located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. The temple was built in 1801 by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil, and is considered to be one of the wealthiest temples in Mumbai. The temple is known for its beautiful architecture and is visited by thousands of devotees daily, including many celebrities and politicians. The temple is particularly famous for its Tuesday “aarti” ceremony, which attracts large crowds of devotees. The temple is managed by the Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Trust, which is responsible for the maintenance and administration of the temple.
5. Badrinath Temple – Uttarakhand
The Sri Badrinath Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, located in the town of Badrinath in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is one of the four sacred shrines in India’s Char Dham pilgrimage and considered as one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus. The temple is situated at an altitude of 3,133 meters above sea level and is surrounded by the beautiful Nara-Narayan mountain ranges. The temple is open for only six months in a year due to extreme weather conditions in the area, typically between the end of April and the beginning of November. The temple is managed by the Shri Badrinath-Kedarnath Mandir Samiti, a committee appointed by the government of Uttarakhand.
6. Meenakshi Temple – Tamil Nadu
The Meenakshi Temple, also known as Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, is a historic Hindu temple located in the city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, known as Sundareswarar and his consort goddess Parvati, known as Meenakshi. The temple is known for its impressive architecture and is considered one of the finest examples of Dravidian temple architecture. The temple complex is vast and covers an area of around 6 hectares, it consist of 14 gopurams (gateway towers) with the tallest one being 51.9 meters. It also has a thousand pillared hall, with each pillar exquisitely carved. The temple is considered an important center of pilgrimage and is visited by millions of devotees annually. The temple is administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
7. Shirdi Sai Baba Temple – Shirdi
The Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, also known as the Sri Sai Baba Samadhi Mandir, is a prominent temple located in the town of Shirdi in Maharashtra, India. It is dedicated to the spiritual master Sai Baba of Shirdi, who is considered a saint by many Hindus and Muslims. The temple was built over the samadhi (final resting place) of Sai Baba and is considered one of the most important pilgrimage sites for his followers. The temple complex includes several other shrines, such as the Dwarkamai Mosque, where Sai Baba used to meditate, and the Chavadi, where he used to spend alternate nights. The temple is visited by millions of devotees annually, and it’s particularly crowded during the festival of Ram Navami and Guru Purnima. The temple is managed by the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust, which is responsible for its maintenance and administration.
8. Kashi Vishwanath Temple – Varanasi
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in the city of Varanasi (also known as Kashi) in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is considered one of the most sacred and important temples in the Hindu religion and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, representing the god Shiva in the form of a lingam. The temple is situated on the western bank of the Ganges River and is considered one of the most auspicious places to die, as per Hindu belief death at Kashi ensures liberation from the cycle of birth and death. The temple has a rich history, with the current structure dating back to the 18th century. The temple is visited by thousands of devotees daily, and it’s particularly crowded during the festival of Shivaratri. The temple is managed by the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust, which is responsible for its maintenance and administration.