What is the significance of temples in Indian culture? 🛕15 Most Famous Temples In India: Exploring Spiritual Marvels

What is the significance of temples in Indian culture? Temples are central to Indian culture, serving as spiritual hubs and cultural landmarks.

India is a really special place because it has so many amazing temples that are super important to people there. Temples are not just places where people go to pray, they’re also really cool because they show off India’s long history and how awesome its architecture is.

In this article, we’re going to go on a journey to check out some of the most famous temples in India. We’ll learn why they’re so important spiritually, how they were built with such amazing designs, why they’re such a big deal in Indian culture, and even how they’re still important today.

So get ready to explore the wonders of India’s temples with us! It’s going to be an exciting adventure into the heart and soul of this incredible country.

🧐 How Many Famous Temples Are There In India?

Here’s a list of some really famous temples in India. Did you know that during the 2001 census, India had over 2 million Hindu temples? And that number has only gone up since then! Check out these temples, listed by state:

1. Shirdi, Shirdi Sai Baba

Shirdi, Shirdi Sai Baba

“Shirdi Temple,” dedicated to Saint Sai Baba, stands as one of India’s top three richest and most beloved temples. The entire spiritual town of Shirdi revolves around Sai Baba, renowned for his miracles and teachings. His emphasis on “Shraddha” (faith) and “Saburi” (patience) resonates deeply with his followers.

The temple draws countless devotees from all walks of life throughout the year. Key celebrations at the temple include Ramanavami, Guru Purnima, and Vijayadashmi.

Sai Baba’s influence extends far beyond India, reaching places like the Caribbean, the United States, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Australia, where the Shirdi Sai Movement flourishes.

For those seeking a spiritual getaway, Shirdi makes for an ideal weekend trip from Mumbai and holds significance in Hinduism.

  • Location: Shirdi, Maharashtra

Also Read: New Year Celebration

2. Tirumala Venkateswara Temple

Tirumala Venkateswara Temple | Famous temple in India
Image Source – Google | Image By – Wikimedia

The Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, is one of the most visited and renowned temples in India, symbolizing Lord Vishnu. Every year, an impressive 50,000 to 100,000 devotees flock here without fail.

Not only revered for its religious significance, but the temple also captivates visitors with its stunning Dravidian architecture and ancient inscriptions.

The temple walls bear fascinating inscriptions and symbols of various ancient empires such as the Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas, and Yadavarayas, reflecting the rich history of ancient India.

The temple precincts offer devotees various rituals and practices to connect with the divine, including Head Tonsuring, Thulabharam, and Arjitha Seva.

Major festivals celebrated at the temple include Vaikuntha Ekadasi, Ramanavami, Janmashtami, Rathasaptami, and Vasanthotsavam. Among these, the ‘Brahmotsavam’ holds significant importance, celebrated annually with great fervor and enthusiasm in September.

  • Location: Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh

3. Ramanathaswamy Temple

Ramanathaswamy Temple | Famous Temple in India
Image Source – Google | Image By – Ryan

The Ramanathaswamy Temple, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, holds a significant place as part of the Char Dham pilgrimage. Devoted to Lord Shiva, it’s a revered site for both Shaivites and Vaishnavites, making it one of the most famous temples in India.

Legend has it that Lord Rama sent Hanuman to fetch a lingam from the Himalayas. However, due to Hanuman’s delayed return, Sita crafted a small lingam herself, which now serves as the primary deity in the temple.

Inside the temple, you’ll find two main lingams: the “Ramalingam,” crafted by Sita, and the “Viswalingam,” brought by Hanuman. This adds to the temple’s allure as a renowned Hindu pilgrimage site.

Major festivals celebrated here include Mahashivratri and Navratri, drawing devotees from far and wide to seek blessings.

  • Location: Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

4. Somnath And Dwarka Temple

Somnath And Dwarka Temple | Famous temples in India
Image Source – Google | Image By – Wikimedia

The Dwarka and Somnath temples stand out as two magnificent seaside temples, renowned across India. Dwarka Temple boasts two entrances for easy access and exit.

One of the highlights at Dwarka Temple is the flag atop the temple, featuring symbols of the sun and moon. Interestingly, this flag is changed five times a day, adding to the temple’s allure.

The temple’s exceptional cleanliness and its surrounding environment have earned it a place on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.

Located just 230 kilometers away from Dwarka Temple, Somnath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It’s one of the most revered Jyotirlingas among the twelve in India, mentioned in ancient texts like Shivpuran, Skandpuran, and Shreemad Bhagvat.

Legend has it that Som, the Moon God, built the temple in honor of Lord Shiva, who cured him of a curse inflicted by his father-in-law.

Additionally, the temple houses the Somnath Museum and offers attractions like the Junagadh Gate, Beach, and Sound and Light show for the entertainment of devotees.

  • Location: Dwarka, Gujarat

5. Vaishno Devi

Vaishno Devi | Famous Temple in India
Image Source – Google | Image By – Wikimedia

Situated atop a hill called Trikuta at an altitude of 5200 feet, the Vaishno Devi Temple is dedicated to the goddess Shakti.

The journey to this temple is believed to be successful only by the divine wish of Maa Vaishno Devi herself. Open round the clock, this temple holds immense popularity across India, drawing devotees from every corner of the nation.

The main festival celebrated here is Navratri, attracting large crowds of devotees.

  • Location: Katra, Jammu

Also Read: List of National Parks in India

6. Jagannath Temple

Jagannath Temple | Famous temple in India
Image Source – Google | Image By – Wikimedia

The Jagannath Temple, one of the revered Char Dham sites, is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Inside the main temple, alongside Lord Krishna’s idol, you’ll find idols of Lord Balabhadra (his brother) and Goddess Subhadra (his sister).

One of the main attractions of the Jagannath Temple is its unique idols, which stand out from those found in other temples across the country. Crafted from a special type of wood called ‘Daru Brahma,’ these idols feature large eyes and distinct skin tones, selected by the temple authorities once every 12 years.

The Rath Yatra is the primary festival celebrated here, during which all the idols embark on a chariot journey, captivating visitors and tourists from all over the nation and the world.

Please note: Entry into the temple is restricted, with only Hindus of Indian origin allowed inside along with practicing Hindus of other nationalities who can provide proof of their Indian heritage. Buddhist and Jain groups are also permitted entry.

  • Location: Puri, Odisha.

7. Golden Temple

Golden Temple | Famous temple in India
Image Source – Google | Image By – Wikimedia

A pilgrimage to India isn’t complete without a visit to the Golden Temple. Also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib, Darbar Sahib, or simply the Golden Temple, it holds immense spiritual significance for Sikhs. With its four doors opening in four cardinal directions, it welcomes people of all faiths.

The temple’s magnificence is enhanced by its surroundings, which include the serene Sarovar (pool) believed to contain Amrit or divine water. Additionally, the langar, where pilgrims are fed free meals regularly, adds to the temple’s allure.

The Golden Temple is also one of the most famous temples in India among the Sikh community.

  • Main Attractions: The main festivals celebrated here are Guru Nanak Jayanti and Baisakhi.
  • Location: Amritsar, Punjab

8. Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Kashi Vishwanath Temple | Famous temples in India
Image Source – Google | Image By – Wikimedia

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, is a place of deep devotion to the deity. Devotees believe that by visiting this temple and taking a dip in the holy waters of the Ganga River, they can cleanse themselves of all sins and attain moksha (salvation).

Some also believe that the blessings received at Kashi Vishwanath Temple, and the divine presence of the Jyotirlinga here, are equivalent to the blessings obtained from visiting the other 11 Jyotirlingas.

  • Main Attraction: The main festival celebrated here is Mahashivratri.
  • Location: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

9. Meenakshi Amman Temple

Meenakshi Amman Temple | Famous temple is india
Image Source – Google | Image By – Wikimedia

Situtated on the banks of the River Vaigai lies the Meenakshi Amman Temple, one of the oldest and largest temples in India. With a history spanning around 2500 years, this temple is dedicated to Meenakshi, an avatar of Goddess Parvati, and her consort Sundareswarar, Lord Shiva.

But wait, there’s more to it than just that! The temple boasts numerous features that attract travelers and visitors from all over the country and the world, making it one of India’s most renowned temples.

Main Attractions: The temple’s highlights include its many small quadrangular enclosures, 14 towering gopurams (gateway towers) with the southern tower standing at an impressive 170 feet (52 meters) tall, exquisite vimanas (temple spires), the hall of 1000 columns, musical pillars, a golden lotus tank, and even a parrot cage.

And if that’s not enough, you can delve deeper into the temple’s 2500-year-old history by visiting the in-house museum.

  • Location: Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Also Read: Top 20 Tourist Places In Bangalore / Bengaluru For A Memorable Vacation

10. Dargah Sharif

Dargah Sharif | Famous temple in India
Image Source – Google | Image By – Ariful Haque Bhuiyan

Dargah Sharif, the sacred resting place of the saint Moinuddin Chishti, is a prominent pilgrimage site in Ajmer, frequented by thousands of visitors.

Devotees come here to offer ‘chadar’ (cloth sheet) and flowers at the tomb of Moinuddin Chishti, seeking the fulfillment of their wishes.

It is believed that tying a string at the shrine can make wishes come true, and devotees release the string once their desires are fulfilled.

But that’s not all! The Dargah, with its beautiful Mughal-style architecture, enchanting qawwalis (devotional music), and the lingering fragrance of incense, offers a serene and spiritual atmosphere to travelers.

  • Main Attraction: The main festival celebrated here is the Urs, a six-day festival held in honor of the Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti.

11. Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Temple | Famous Temples in India
Image Source – Google | Image By – Wikimedia

Located amidst the snow-capped Himalayan ranges in Garhwal, Uttarakhand, this Shiva Temple is one of the oldest temples in the region. According to popular belief, it was constructed by the Pandavas atop a high hill.

Reaching the temple involves an exceptional trekking experience spanning 14 kilometers uphill. Due to the cold temperatures, the temple is open only from April to November. It stands as one of the top pilgrimage destinations and famous temples in India.

  • Location: Kedarnath, Uttarakhand

Also Read: 15 Best Tourist Places In Agra: Enjoy the city Beyond Taj Mahal

12. Gangotri Temple

Gangotri Temple | Famus Temples in India
Image Source – Google | Image By – Wikimedia

The deity is primarily housed in the Mukhyamatha Temple for most of the year. Only from April to May, visitors can witness the deity at the Gangotri Temple. It is also one of India’s famous temples.

Location: Gangotri

13. Badrinath Temple

Badrinath Temple | Famous temples in India
Image Source – Google | Image By – Wikimedia

There are 108 temples dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu, collectively known as Divya Desams. Among them, Badrinath is one of the holiest and most famous Vishnu temples in India, also considered one of the Char Dhams.

Main Attractions: Two significant temple events are celebrated here: “Mata Murti ka Mela” in September and “Badri Kedar Mela” in June, spanning eight days.

The temple is open from April to November due to freezing temperatures in winter. Situated at an elevation of 10,170 feet, the trek to the temple offers breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks.

  • Location: Badri to Mata Murti Road, Badrinath, Uttarakhand

14. Yamunotri Temple

Yamunotri Temple | Famous temples in India
Image Source – Google | Image By – Wikimedia 

This temple is dedicated to the Holy River Yamuna and is situated in the Uttarkashi area of Uttarakhand. It is one of the most famous pilgrimage sites and renowned temples in India.

This temple is also part of the Chota Char Dham Sites or small pilgrimage sites. Due to natural disasters, it has been rebuilt multiple times.

During the temple’s closure, the black marble idol of Goddess Yamuna is taken to the village of Kharsali. Pilgrims can still observe the festival time here amidst several hot water springs of the River Yamuna.

  • Location: Barkot – Yamunotri Rd, Banas, Uttarakhand

Also Read: 20 Best Tourist Places In Kerala For A Wonderful Holiday

15. Lotus Temple

Lotus Temple | Famous temples in India
Image Source – Google | Image By – Wikimedia

The Baha’i House of Worship, shaped like a lotus flower, stands as a symbol of unity and welcomes people of all beliefs. Located atop the Bahapur Hills in South Delhi, this white temple attracts a large number of visitors.

It is the newest and the only Baha’i House of Worship in Asia. The structure, resembling a half-floating lotus, is surrounded by manicured gardens and water bodies.

There are seven Lotus Temples worldwide, and this one in New Delhi is a famous landmark in India.

  • Location: Lotus Temple Rd, Bahapur, Shambhu Dayal Bagh, Kalkaji, New Delhi

✅ Dos and ❌ Don’ts for Temple Visits

When visiting temples in India, it’s essential to observe certain customs and etiquette to show respect for the sacredness of the place. Here are some dos and don’ts for temple visits:


  • Dress modestly and remove footwear before entering the temple premises.
  • Maintain silence and avoid loud conversations or disruptions.
  • Follow the instructions of priests and temple authorities.
  • Offer prayers with sincerity and devotion.
  • Respect the sanctity of the deity and refrain from touching sacred objects without permission.


  • Consume non-vegetarian food or alcohol before visiting a temple.
  • Take photographs or videos inside the temple without permission.
  • Engage in disrespectful behavior or activities that may offend worshippers.
  • Litter or deface temple premises with graffiti or trash.
  • Disturb the peace and tranquility of the temple by engaging in noisy or disruptive behavior.

🙏 Essential Items to Carry

When visiting temples in India, it’s advisable to carry the following essential items to ensure a comfortable and fulfilling experience:

  • Water bottle: Stay hydrated during long temple visits, especially in hot and humid weather conditions.
  • Offerings: Purchase flowers, incense, and fruits as offerings to the deity.
  • Prasad container: Carry a small container to collect Prasad offered by the temple priests.
  • Scarf or shawl: Cover your head as a sign of respect while entering the inner sanctum of the temple.
  • Hand sanitizer: Maintain hygiene by using hand sanitizer before and after touching surfaces in the temple.
  • Donation: Contribute to temple funds or charitable causes to support the upkeep of the temple and welfare activities.

🙋🏻‍♀️ FAQ’s About Famous Temples In India

People have a lot of questions about Famous Indian temples some of the commonly asked questions are answered below.

Q. How are temples different from other religious sites?

A. Temples are dedicated to Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist deities, while mosques and churches serve other religious communities.

Q. What is the significance of prasad in temple rituals?

A. Prasad symbolizes divine blessings and fosters spiritual connection in temple rituals.

Q. How do temples contribute to the economy of India?

A. Temples drive tourism and support local economies through visitor spending and associated businesses.

Q. What are some conservation challenges faced by ancient temples in India?

A. Ancient temples face challenges like environmental degradation, urbanization, and funding shortages.

Q. How can tourists contribute to the preservation of temples in India?

A. Tourists can contribute by respecting temple customs, supporting conservation efforts, and promoting responsible tourism.

😇 Conclusion

The famous temples of India serve as timeless symbols of spirituality, artistry, and cultural heritage. As guardians of India’s rich religious and architectural legacy, temples evoke awe and reverence in millions of devotees and visitors worldwide.

As we celebrate the spiritual richness and architectural marvels of India’s temples, let us cherish and preserve these sacred sites for future generations to experience and enjoy.

🗨️ Which of the famous Indian temples on the above list have you visited? Let us know in the comments.

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Avatar of Rahul Siddharth

He is a dedicated travel writer with a wealth of 10 Years + experience that enriches his narratives. He holds a degree in Hospitality and Hotel Administration from IHM Dehradun, which he couples with hands-on expertise in the field. Drawing from his diverse experiences, Rahul's writings offer readers a captivating glimpse into the world of travel. Embark on a journey of exploration and inspiration with Rahul as your guide. Read More

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