Hindu religion has been in the country before it was even formed. So naturally there have been temples which were there since time immemorial. Even if you are a non-believer or a follower of some other religion, you will find these temples to be very peaceful and stress relieving. The oldest temples are often the most beautiful temples in India. So here is a list of the most amazing & mysterious Hindu temples of India.
1. Sri Venkateshwara temple, Tirupathi
The temple built in 300 AD, is of Dravidian architecture which is very famous in all of south India. Thousands of ardent believers line in front of the temple doors to see the holy Darshan. Very crowded, but the ambience is still of holiness and tranquillity.
Location: Loacted in Tirumala in Tirupathi in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.
How to reach: Very well connected by road, rail and air. Busses from all parts of the state go to this place. Located at just 138 km from Chennai, train services and bus services are ample. 291 km from Bangalore and 571 km from Hyderabad all can be easily travelled by road or rail. There is aslo an airport at Ranigunda, from which one can easily travel to from all parts of the country.
Legend says: Lord Sri Venkateshwara, an incarnation ofLord Vishnu, came from his abode Vaikund, to save the human race from the perils threatening all of mankind in the Kalyug.
2. Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati
The only temple we know in India, which rather than reprimanding women for their biological processes, celebrates the glory of menstruation. The “Bleeding goddess” Shakti dispenses red liquid once a month which commemorates the monthly cycle of women all across the globe.
Type: Bleeding goddess temple.
Located:Located on the Nilachal hill in the capital city of Guwahati
How to reach: Vehicles are available from the city of Guwahati to the location.
Legend says: Kamakhya finds its name from the Hindu god of love- Kamadeva. According to the legend, Kamadeva begged goddess Shakti to give her genitals and womb to conceive a child after having lost his ability to a curse. This is why the Goddess is revered in the part and the ability of a woman to conceive is celebrated and worshipped.
3. Sri Padmanabha Swami Temple, Thiruvananthapuram
Built in the intricate style of Dravidian style as well as Kerala style, this temple houses one of the most treasured valuables the number of devout believers entering the premises for the blessings of the Lord are uncountable.
Type: Vaishnavite. Lord Vishnu in the sleeping position on the serpent Adisheshan.
Located: Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala.
How to reach: reaching Thiruvananthapuram is a piece of cake because of the airport as well as the very well-functioning railways and roadways.
Legend says: Though the existence of the temple is referred in the Sangam period of literature, between 500 BC and 300 AD, the present day Gopuram was constructed during 16 Century AD. The legend starts with the story of a Lord Vishnu coming to an believer in the form of a little boy and blessing him.
4. Sun temple, Konark
The beautiful sun dancers, the great chariot of the sun, all these imageries comes to our mind when we think of this beautiful temple. But I feel it’s much more than that! It is splendid
Type: Odisha Style of Hindu temple
Located:In Konark, near Puri.
How to reach: Vehicles are available from Puri to the majestic temple which will hardly take little time.
Legend says: “Kona” meaning corner and “arka” meaning Sun, and hence literally means the corner of sun. Positioned at the north east corner of Puri, 2 lions greet us at the first part of the temple, after which one must take a flight of stairs to reach the beautiful temple. According to the main saying which symbolises, these 12 pair of wheels symbolizes 24 hours in a day, while the other say, these wheels represent 12 months of the year. Seven days of the week are said to be the representation of seven horses. The wheels of this chariot have an interesting fact behind their formation. Each wheel has a set of eight spokes and these spokes serve as sundials. The shadows made by these sundials give exact time of the day.
5. Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai
The goddess Meenakshi sits on the pristine land of Madurai with benevolence and reverence reverberating out of the premises. This temple shows the beginning of the matrilineal descent in the south of India, which is eminent through the consecration. The goddess is believed to protect all of humanity with her eyes and ears open at all times.
Type: Shaivite temple
Located: Situated on the southern bank of Vaigairiver, in the temple city of Madurai, in the state of Tamil Nadu. 460 km from Chennai.
How to reach:Connected well by rail, road and air.
Legend says: According to legend, a king and his wife performed a yagnya to get a son as the successor of the kingdom. But instead, wehen the child was born, it was a girl and was already three years old with three breasts. The couple prayed to Lord Shiva and heapparated in front of them and told them to treat the girtl as the successor of the kingdom, and that she wuill find her true form when she marries a man. The couple do as told and then finally when the child grows up, marries Lord Shiva and become the holy goddess.
6. Somnath Temple, Gujarat
Against the backdrop of the arid land of Saurashtra stands the beautiful temple of Somnath. It is believed that the god there is very merciful and grants wishes upon severe reverence. We don’t know if it’s true or not, but we tried going to the place and praying, and coincidence or not, my wish was fulfilled!
Type: Built in Solanki style architecture.
Located: Located near Veraval, in the Saurashtra region of the state Gujarat.
How to reach: Veraval is the nearest railway station and Keshod is the nearest airport (which is connected to the place from Mumbai only).
Legend says: Broken and built several times, the legend goes that Som (The moon god) was suffering from an illness which had no cure. He prayed to Shiva to grant him a longer life and Shiva blessed him with a cure. Upon being cured of his illness, he built the temple on the name of the god.
7. Jagathnath Temple, Puri
The famous Rathyatra begins from here and one can catch a good glimpse of Sri Jaganathin between, the idols of Lord Balabhadra (brother) and Goddess Subhadra (sister) on either side. Imagine hundreds of people pulling the chariots which have the idols kept on them! One has to say “hats off” to dedication and perseverance of these people.
Type: Vaishnavite temple.
Located: Puri, in the state of Odisha.
How to reach: Puri is extremely well connected by road and rail. The nearest airport Bhubaneshwar which is 60 km away from Puri.
Legend says: King Indradumna commissioned the construction of the temple which is mentioned in the Mahabharatas and Puranas. There is a long story regarding the consecration of the presiding deity and how it came to be worshipped.
8. Brihadishwara Temple, Thanjavoor
Lord Brihadiswara is said to be merciful and kind but at the same time, punishing all those who do evil to the world. Built in the Chola era, the architecture enumerates the word “Wonder” with its utmost capability. The temple in itself, a place where the sounds never die, one can still find peace amongst the numerous bhajan singers.
Type: Shaivite temple
Located: Located in the Trichy High road of Thajavoor, Tamil Nadu.
How to reach: Regular busses and trains come from all parts of the state to the place. But if you wish to have a bit more comfort, you can hire a vehicle and reach the place.
Legend says: Built in the age of Raja Raja Chola, the temple stands proud since 1000 years. The imminent Pallava influence in the temple is noticeable by everyone. It was built between AD 985 and 1014 and even after so many years of being built, the rooftops stand as strong as ever.
9. Khajuraho Temple, Madhya Pradesh
Some people term it is obscene, but I would term it as art. The beautiful sexual sculpting of Khajuraho is a memorable one. Though not much of a devotional place, we had to add to our list because this place shows the true origin of the Indian culture.
Type: There are a number of temples, each one of a different kind.
Located: Khajuraho is a town in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
How to reach: Mahoba junction is the nearest junction which is about 75 km away from Khajuraho. You can take a cab/ vehicle from there.
Legend says: There were 70+ temples there in the area before but now only 20 exist. But those 20 are enough to fill our belly of splendid carvings. The erotic carvings on the sides and interiors of the temple depict the naturalistic nature of sexual activities in the olden era.