India is a diverse country with people of every religion, caste and creed coexist happily. Unlike most countries, here in India one has a right to choose one’s religion by himself and practice it independently. In India, one will come across Hindu temples every kilometer they travel as Hinduism is practiced by the majority of people living here. Still, no religion is treated as a minority though it has fewer followers and that’s why this land of gods is wrapped with a blanket of peace.
And no land of gods exists without a place for gods to live! Lakhs of temples around the country will get you an idea of the intensity with which Hinduism prays to their beloved gods. Most temples are ancient ones belonging to the medieval era whereas some are examples of grand modern architecture. So we present to you a top 12 list of temples in India, though it looks impossible to compile a list of top 12 from a lakh. We suggest you must visit these temples that are known for their strength, faith, and architecture.
1. Brihadeeswara Temple, Tanjore – Tamil Nadu
Brihadeeswara Temple, also called Rajarajesvaram or Peruvudaiyār Kōvil, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in the South bank of Kaveri river in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. Being one of the largest South Indian temples, the Brihadeshwara temple is an exemplary example of a fully realized Dravidian architecture. It is called as Dhakshina Meru (Meru of the south). Built by Tamil king Raja Raja Chola I between 1003 and 1010 AD, the temple is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Great Living Chola Temples”
2. Kailashnath Temple, Ellora Caves – Maharashtra
The Kailashnath temple is the largest of the rock-cut Hindu temples at the Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India. A megalith carved from a rock cliff face, it is considered one of the most remarkable cave temples in the world because of its size, architecture and sculptural treatment and “the climax of the rock-cut phase of Indian architecture. The top of the superstructure over the sanctuary is 32.6 meters (107 feet) above the level of the court below, although the rock face slopes downwards from the rear of the temple to the front.
3. Chennakeshava Temple, Belur – Karnataka
The Chennakeshava temple of Belur, is a 12th-century Hindu temple in the Hassan district of Karnataka state, India. It was commissioned by King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 CE, on the banks of the Yagachi River in Belur also called Velapura, an early Hoysala Empire capital. The temple was built over three generations and took 103 years to finish. It was repeatedly damaged and plundered during wars, repeatedly rebuilt and repaired over its history.
4. Tungnath Temple, Rudraprayag -Uttarakhand
Tungnath peacefully adorned on the Chandranath Parvat is the highest Shiva temple in the world and the highest Panch Kedar temple of Uttarakhand. It is the third (Tritiya Kedar) in the pecking order of the Panch Kedars. Tungnath is perched at an elevation of 3,680 meters above sea level and is considered to be more than 1,000 years old.
5. Adi Kumbeswarar, Kumbakonam –
Adi Kumbeswarar Temple is located in the holy city of Kumbakonam. Adi Kumbeswara is the main deity of the temple. It is of primordial origin implies ancient or the first and the foremost. The Kumbeswarar is in Shiva Linga form which is formless and boundless. This is a unique linga in the world. The Puranas derive the meaning of the shape and the name. The city name Kumbakonam itself is derived from the name of God – Kumba and the slight angle of the Linga and hence the name “Kumbakonam”.
6. Jagatpita BrahmMandir, Pushkar –
Jagatpita Brahma Mandir is a Hindu temple situated close to the sacred Pushkar lake in Pushkar, Rajasthan. It is one of the oldest temples in the world. The present structure of the temple dates back to the 14th century. However, the temple is believed to be 2000 years old. The sanctum sanctorum holds the central statue of four-headed Brahma sitting on the majestic lotus with his young wife Gayatri in the left and Savitri on the right. There are a few temples dedicated to the creator of the world and this is one of them you must visit.