India is one of those countries that shows you diversity in everything and is an excellent place for those who thrive adventure and want to explore new places. India is famous for its traditions and spirit, while amazing Hindu temples is in the shortlist of recommendations that every person should see while visiting or living in India. Spread out all over the country, those remarkable landmarks will take your breath away and local people will impress you with hostility and high religious spirit. Thereafter, the purpose of the following article is to talk about most prominent Hindu temples, which are not only amazing, but also mystical as well.
10. Virupaksha Temple
This article will start with Virupaksha Temple, which is the principle temple in Hampi (the capital of the Hindu Kingdom of Vijaynagar) and is considered to be the oldest. The temple is has a structure of layers put on one another and its hand-carved friezes are populated by the multiple amount of Hindu symbols and deities. It has an outstanding architecture and is also huge in dimensions, while it makes sense as it was built in order to honour the Lord Shiva, who is known for the locals as Virupaksha and was known as a local goddess that has been related to the Tungabhadra River. UNESCO World Heritage protection organization has included the temple into its list.
9. Ranganathaswamy Temple
Ranganathaswamy Temple was build to honour Hindu God Vishnu and is considered to be on of the most respected and admired Vaishnav temples. Its Dravidian style of architecture construction makes the temple really remarkable, while its Temple complex occupies as much as 156 acres and makes Ranganathaswamy Temple one of the oldest and biggest functioning temples in the world1. This religious complex is occupying the prominent position among the holiest places in Hinduism and is also called as Arulmigu Ramanatha Swami. The architecture inside is as amazing as inside, where are 1,000 pillars and few other shrines tat make the temple bright and spacious, which is a perfect destination for millions of pilgrimages each year.
8. Akshardham Temple
The next is Akshardham temple, which is more like a complex that is based in Delhi and located on the banks of the beautiful river Yamuna. The temple was reopened in 2005 after it had a significant reconstruction made by volunteers. The temple is made of Rajasthani stone of the pink-colour and has more than 200 items that include deities2. This icon of Hindu culture occupies more than 100 acres and was built by Pramukh Swami Maharaj of marble and stone. It has the whole animal kingdom in its gajendra pith that include elephants, birds and human sculptures. The major monument of the temple includes more tan 200 carved pillars and up to ten domes.
7. Annamalaiyar Temple
Annamalaiyar Temple occupies 25 acres and is one of the most magnificent temples of Shiva. Lord Shiva is known to have many forms, one of which is used to call the temple and known as Arunachaleswarar. In addition to that, the Goddess Parvathy has also been known for being worshipped in this temple. The historical information states that temple was built back in the 9th century by Cola rulers and has inscriptions dates that time as a proof. The landmark has various halls within it as well as huge gateway towers, while the tallest is 217 feet. King Krishna Devaraya of Vijayanaga has build a huge hall with 1,00 pillars in it. Various sculptures are inside as well as outside the temple and serve as additional decoration.
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6. Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple is an enormous symbol of Mudarai city and is another example of the magnificence of Dravidian style. Goddess Parvathy or Meenakshi and Lord Siva are the key characters to whom the temple is dedicated to, and is covering 17acres of land. The total number of 14 pyramidal gates with heights of 40-50 meters stand on the territory of the temple, starting with the biggest one at the main entrance and finishing with the smallest in the area that leads to main shrines. Gods, animals and demons cover the sites of the temple, while Eastern side is one of the most popular among its tourists who want to see the main shrine of the temple. Built in 13th century, the temple was a possession of Muslim governor in 14th century and rebuilt by ruler Viswanatha Nayakar Nayak in 16th century.
5. Thillai Nataraja Temple
The temple that presents the sky ‘Akasha’ is Thillai Nataraja Temple and is located in the area of Tamil Nadu, is built to honour Lord Shiva and contains sanctum with the images of mentioned Lord and Goddess Parvathy. The renovations of the temple were done by the rules of various dynasties, while its location is hypothetically considered to be the in the universe’s lotus. The main Shivaling is located in the wooden structure and is scared and known as Chitsabha. Goddess Parvathy lived in the sanctum of the temple, which has a thousand pillars and magnificent hall called as Raja Sabha. The posses of Bharata Natya that count around 108 in total, decorate the magnificent towers. It also includes the images of Hindu mythology.
4. Belur Math Temple
The heart of Ramakrishna mission that was founded in 1897 by Swami Vivekananda is Belur math. The most fascinated detail about this temple is the fact that it can be seen as a church, mosque or a temple from any angle and has the reflection of Christian, Hindu, Buddhism, Islamic and Rajput styles of architecture. The temple is a symbol of unity of all the religions in the world and the main gate of it has symbols related to various religions serving as an example of religious diversity. Various artifacts that belonged to Sri Ramakrisha and Swami Vivekananda are in the premises of the museum on the territory of the temple.
3. Ekambareswarar Temple
Ekambareswarar Temple represents Earth and was built in 650 A.D. by Paranthaka Chola for the honour of Lord Shiva. Being one of the largest temples in the area of Kanchipuram, it serves to represent the nature’s element Prithvi (Earth) on 23 acres of land. Th heights of the temple is 59 meters and has the gateway tower that is called Raja gopuram. The temple is build in a special way, so during March and April the sun can fall in the special are of the building so it can be on the Shiva linga. The temple has 5 various courtyards.
2. Jambukeswarar Temple
Jambukeswarar temple is also known as Thiruvanaikaval Shiva temple belongs to the list of five temples of Shiva that stand for five major elements of nature (fire, water, etc,). The Thiruvanaikaval temple is representing water and has an underground water steam that is based in the main sanctum. Built in the 1st century by the emperor known as Kocengannan Chola, the temple has a legend according to which Akilandeswari came to the it to conduct penance. Its complex includes five enclosures and has the outer wall that is famous for it size equal to heights of 25 feet and length of 1 mile3.
1. Banteay Srei Temple
Another interesting temple that is to be mentioned in this article is Banteay Srei. And the fact that is is based in Cambodia and is of Hindu origin is remarkable, as it is a constant reminder how beautiful the culture of India is. Officially the temple is considered to be the part of Angkor Wat complex, but geographically it is 25 miles from the mentioned group and this makes it a separate temple on its own. Built in 967 A.D., the temple is build mainly of a red stone and included amazing wall carvings that can be noticed today. The other interesting fact that the Temple was not built for the king, but by the counsellor’s of the king known as Yajnyavahara.