Most Visited Temples in India

Temples in India

India is a land of rich religious history and countless traditions. The country also takes pride in its contribution to world religions like Hinduism, also believed to be the first ever religion on Earth. 

Hinduism being the world’s oldest religion does not have a founder but rather its an amalgamation of various faiths. Temples are considered the seat of divinity in the Hindu culture and hold immense importance. 

The temples of India represent some of the most beautiful architectural structures in all of Asia. Besides being home to the vibrant Hindu culture, they are also testimony to the power of ancient Indian rulers. 

These majestic architectural masterpieces attract Hindu devotees each day. They are also visited by tourists from across the globe who are interested in exploring the culture and traditions associated with Hinduism. Badrinath Temple, Vaishno Devi Temple, Siddhivinayak Temple, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Shri Jagannath Temple, and Meenakshi Temple are some of the prominent temples in India.

Vaishno Devi Mandir, Jammu & Kashmir

Vaishno Devi Mandir, Katra, Jammu, India
Vaishno Devi Mandir (courtesy: ajaykumarjana)
  • Best time to visit: The temple is open throughout the year but the best time to visit is between March to October.
  • Major Celebrations: Navratri

Vaishno Devi Mandir, located in Jammu & Kashmir is one of the holiest sites for Hindu pilgrims. It is India’s second most visited pilgrimage destination. Devotees from all over India visit the Mata Vaishnodevi Cave Temple throughout the year.

The cave is nestled amidst the three-peaked mountains of Trikoot Parvat, also known as Trikuta. It can be reached after the holy Yatra of 13 kilometers that starts at Katra. You can choose to trek, ride a pony, or even book a helicopter ride up to the temple. 

The temple is revered among the 108 Shakti Peethas of Goddess Durga. The deity presides in a natural rock form which is one at the base but has three heads. These heads are referred to as the Holy Pindies, a Manifestation of Mother Goddess. Pilgrims visiting the Shakti Peeth have an unshakeable belief that their wishes and desires will be fulfilled. 

The temple town is surrounded by astounding natural scenery and a lingering spiritual vibe. Katra has several market places where you can buy holy souvenirs, dry fruits, handicrafts, and enjoy local delicacies.

Kedarnath, Uttarakhand

Kedarnath, Uttarakhand, Temple in India
Kedarnath, Uttarakhand, Temple in India (courtesy: prateekjaiswal)
  • Best time to visit: The temple remains closed from November to March due to harsh winters. The best time to visit the temple is from April to June.
  • Major Celebrations: Badri Kedar Festival in June, Vinayak Chaturthi in September/ October, Samadhi Puja, Shravani Annakoot Mela in August.

The Kedarnath Temple, located on the Garhwal Himalayan Range in India is considered one of the most prestigious Hindu temples. Located at an altitude of 3583 meters high among 12 other sacred peaks called Jyotirlingas, it is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The holy vibe of Kedarnath is beyond any other across the world. Situated amidst snow-clad mountains and the Mandakini River flowing near it adds to the charm of this place. The temple witnesses millions of devotees visiting it every year due to its religious significance.

It’s believed that Kedarnath Temple was originally built by the Pandavas, thousand years ago from enormous stone slabs over a large rectangular dais. The present Kedarnath Temple is believed to have been re-constructed by Adi Shankaracharya. 

The journey is an exciting trek from Gaurikund while enjoying the mesmerizing views of the Himalayas and balmy weather. Devotees easily undertake the difficult journey on foot or horseback with a strong faith in their hearts.

Sri Venkateswara Temple, Tirupati

Tirupati Tourist Place in South India
Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, Tourist Place in South India (courtesy: nareshswamy)
  • Best time to visit: The temple remains open throughout the year but the best time to visit the temple is from September to February.
  • Major Celebrations: Teppotsavam in March, Brahmotsavam Festival in October

Sri Venkateswara Temple is the most revered temple of Tirupati attracting devotees and tourists all year long. This is one of India’s holiest temples, where millions pilgrimage to pay their reverence every day. The temple town sees an endless stream of devotees coming for a visit or staying on as pilgrims who live there permanently. It is also one of the most visited temples in South India.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, who presides over Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanam. The holy site of this ancient Hindu shrine dates back as far as the 12th century and has been considered one of the wealthiest temples in India.

The temple sees more than 50 thousand visitors every day, who are funneled through the process to reach their destination – darshan at the shrine. The entry for a Darshan at the temple is through the Vaikuntam Queue Complex, which leads to an interconnected series of halls. These clean and comfortable spaces have all sorts of amenities available in them.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
  • Best time to visit: The temple remains open throughout the year but the best time to visit the temple is from October to March.
  • Major Celebrations: Maha Shivratri in February/ March, Dev Diwali, Makar Sankranti on14th January.

The Vishwanatha Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas or temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Located on the bank of the holy river Ganga in Varanasi, the Kashi Vishwanath temple is among the holiest Hindu temples in India. 

The temple is considered the holy abode of Lord Shiva. The main deity presiding here is known as Vishweshwarar or Vishwanath meaning ‘the ruler of universe’. Varanasi is also considered the cultural and spiritual capital of India as the entire city is dedicated to Lord Shiva. 

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is a temple complex comprising a collection of smaller shrines. Located in a small lane called the Vishwanatha Galli, the temple houses a black stone Shivling enshrined in a silver altar.

Meenakshi Temple, Madurai

Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple - Pilgrimage Places in South India
Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple (courtesy: melissakumaresan)
  • Best time to visit: The temple remains open throughout the year but the best time to visit the temple is from October to March.
  • Major Celebrations: Chithirai Thiruvizha or Thirukalyanam Festival in April, Navratri, Vasantham festival, Unjal festival, Arudhra Darshan Festival, Mulai-Kottu festival, and Thai Utsavam,

The Meenakshi Amman temple is among the most beautiful Hindu temples in India. It is located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River, Madurai. Built between 1623 and 1655, the temple is an architectural masterpiece. It is famous across India as well as internationally for its beauty.

The main God worshipped at this temple is Goddess Parvati, also known by her alias “Meenakshi Amman” alongside her consort Lord Shiva. The most striking feature of the temple is its exquisite facade, which has minute detailing with great art pieces incorporated in each wall and pillar. 

Meenakshi Amman Temple Complex has 14 gateway towers or ‘gopurams’, golden vimanas (aerial structures), holy sanctums dedicated to the goddess. All these are surrounded by many other shrines devoted specifically to various gods.