Must See Temples in India
|India is home to many magnificent architectural structures, with temples topping lists of must see sights. Given the number of temples found in a wide variety of locales from remote locations in the mountains to busy streets of neighborhoods, narrowing the list is a challenging feat! Here are a few to add to your must do list on your next trip to India.
New Delhi, IndiaAkshardham is a Hindu temple complex in Delhi, India. Also referred to as Delhi Akshardhamor Swaminarayan Akshardham, the complex displays millennia of traditional Indian and Hindu culture, spirituality, and architecture. The building was inspired and moderated by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual head of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, whose 3,000 volunteers helped 7,000 artisans construct Akshardham.
Kolkata, West Bengal, IndiaBelur Math or Belur Mutt is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda, a chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. It is located on the west bank of Hooghly River, Belur, West Bengal, India and is one of the significant institutions in Calcutta. This temple is the heart of the Ramakrishna Movement. The temple is notable for its architecture that fuses Hindu, Christian and Islamic motifs as a symbol of unity of all religions.
New Delhi, India
The Lotus Temple is a Bahá’í House of Worship that was dedicated in December 1986, having been completed for a total cost $10 million. Notable for its flowerlike shape, it has become a prominent attraction in the city. Like all Bahá’í Houses of Worship, the Lotus Temple is open to all, regardless of religion or any other qualification. The building is composed of 27 free-standing marble-clad “petals” arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides, with nine doors opening onto a central hall with height of slightly over 40 metres and a capacity of 2,500 people. The Lotus Temple has won numerous architectural awards and been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles.
Amristar, Punjab, India
Sri Harmandir Sahib (the abode of God), also known as Golden Temple and the Darbar Sahib, is the holiest Gurdwara and the most important pilgrimage site of Sikhism. The temple is built around a manmade pool (sarovar) that was completed by Guru Ram Das in 1577. The temple was repeatedly rebuilt by the Sikhs after it became a target of persecution and was destroyed several times by the Muslim armies from Afghanistan and the Mughal Empire. Maharaja Ranjit Singh after founding the Sikh Empire, rebuilt it in marble and copper in 1809, overlaid the sanctum with gold foil in 1830.
|Meenakshi Amman Temple
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic Hindu temple in the holy city of Madurai in India. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva – who is known here as Sundareswarar or Beautiful Lord – and his consort, Parvati who is known as Meenakshi. The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500-year-old city of Madurai. The complex houses 14 magnificent Gopurams or towers including two golden Gopurams for the main deities, that are elaborately sculptured and painted showing the architectural and sculpting skills of the ancient Indian Sthapathis.
Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India
Annamalaiyar Temple is a noted Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, and it is the second largest temple (by the area used completely for religious purpose). It has got four stately towers on all the four sides and four high stone walls just like the rampart walls of a fort. The 11-tiered highest (217 feet (66 m)) Eastern Tower is called the Rajagopuram. The fortified walls pierced with four gopura entrances offer a formidable look to this vast complex.