India has historically been known as the land of temples, and these religious buildings are scattered throughout the country’s geographical landscape. As a long-standing symbol of India’s cultural, historical, religious, and traditional heritage of over a thousand years, these ancient temples have great architecture and importance that tell the volume of the bygone. Let me introduce you to these five temples.
1. Madurai, Minakshi Temple
This historic Hindu temple is located on the south bank of the Vaigai River in Madurai, a famous temple city in Tamil Nadu, South India. Goddess Minakshi is a god worshiped in the temple. She is a form of Parvati, and her spouse Sundaleshwaral is a form of Lord Shiva. This is an example of the famous Dravidian architecture, and many believe that when mixed with turmeric, the dim complexion of the goddess Minakshi is reflected in the greenish tint of the god.
2. Jagannath Temple, Puri
Located in the coastal town of Puri in Orissa, India, the Jagannath Temple has importance as the Temple of Vishnu, one of the highest trinities of divine power in Hinduism. It was built in the 12th century by Ananta Valmanchoda Gangadeva, the famous King of the Gangari dynasty. The temple is known for its annual Ratayatra (Tank Festival) and invites believers to witness the three major gods being pulled by giant, finely decorated tanks.
3. Tilpati, Baraj Temple
Another temple dedicated to Vishnu is the Temple of Baraj in Tirumala, a small hill town in the Tirumala district of Andhra Pradesh, India. More than 35 million pilgrims gather in temples from all over the world to get the blessing of the Lord of all creation. It is believed that Sir Vishnu lived in this temple during Kali Yuga. The temple features Dravidian architecture and is believed to have been built after 300 AD.
4. Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram
Shore Temple is located in Mahabalipuram, a coastal town in Tamil Nadu, about 60 kilometers along the East Coast Road (ECR) south of Chennai. It is a famous architectural temple overlooking the Bay of Bengal and an architectural wonder. Rajashima built a temple on a block of granite dating back to the 7th century. There are two shrines in the temple, each providing a sanctuary for Vishnu and Shiva, respectively. Included in Mahabalipuram’s “Monument Group”, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 and is known as one of India’s oldest monuments.
5. Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand
At the end of the list is the Kedarnath Temple, the shrine of Lord Shiva in the Ghalu Wal Himalayas, Uttarakhand, India. Pilgrims adjoining the Mandakini River at the forbidden height of the Himalayans can only visit this temple between April and November due to extreme weather conditions. Legend has it that Lord Shiva turned himself into a bull here to avoid the five Pandavas. When he noticed Pandava, he drowned himself on Earth, which left a hump on the surface.