Checkout below listed Top 50 Temples in India by 2017, Largest, oldest and most beautiful temples, India’s soil has always been rich with culture, tradition and heritage. Its history dates back to pre-historic times and has been the home for some of the most ancient civilizations in the world. A temple, derived from the Latin word ‘templum’, is a building for religious rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. There are temples for each faith, each religion and their construction is entirely different from each other. Typically offerings of some sort are made to the deity, and a special group of people known as clergy, maintain and operate the temple. Since India is a religion of many faiths, there are many types of temples that can be seen which includes the ‘Devasthan’ of Hindus, ‘church’ of Christians, ‘mosque’ of Muslims, ‘stupa’ of Buddhists and so many others. These temples in India stand as the icons for the glorious history of the country and few being cited as the architectural wonders of the modern era.
Here is a list of the Top 50 temples in India
These are widely renowned and popular across the world and millions of tourists and pilgrims visit these temples every year:
50. Ranakpur Temple, Ranakpur
The renowned Jain temple at Ranakpur, Rajasthan is dedicated to Tirthankara Adinatha, who is a Jain priest from the past. Local legend has it that Dharma Shah, a local Jain businessperson, started building the temple in the late 15th century following a dream from the lord himself. The temple honors Adinath, the first Tirthankar, according to Jain cosmology.
49. Sharadamba Temple, Shringeri
This is a famous Hindu temple situated in the holy town of Shringeri, Karnataka. This is an 8th-century temple, founded by Sri Adi Shankaracharya. The Vijayanagara rulers installed a golden statue of the Goddess in the 14th century and since then has been a place where most Hindus pray. The ritual of practicing the letters in front of the goddess here is considered to be sacred and fulfilling and is believed to be the one by which a child becomes intelligent.
48. Baidyanath Temple, Jharkhand
Baidyanath Jyotirlinga temple, also famous as Vaidyanath dham is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, the most sacred abodes of Shiva. It is located in Deoghar (Devgarh) in the Santhal division of the state of Jharkhand, India. Since it is a Shiva temple, it thus houses many Naga priests and is visited by millions of people from all over the country. The lord here is believed to fulfil the wishes of his devotees.
47. Sri Manjunatheshwara Temple, Dharmasthala
Dharmasthala Temple is an 800-year-old Hindu religious institution in the temple town of Dharmasthala in Mangalore, Karnataka. The deities of the temple are Shiva, and the protective gods of Jainism. The temple is considered unique since it belongs to the Shaivas, who are stern followers of Lord Shiva. The priests are Vaishnavas, and the administration is run by a Jain Bunt family. So it’s a unique temple with so many sects involved.
46. Ekambareswarar Temple, Kanchipuram
This is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located in the town of Kanchipuram in Tamilnadu. It is holy to the Hindu sect of Shaivas as one of the temples is associated with the five elements, specifically the element of earth. The temple complex extends about 20 acres, and is one of the biggest in India. It houses four gateway towers. The tallest is the southern tower with a height of 55 meters, making it one of the tallest temple towers in India.
45. ISKCON Temple, Pune
This is a temple of Radha-Krishna located in Kondhwa near Pune. It is a pleasant and calm place in the outskirts of the city of Pune. It was recently inaugurated on 2013. All through the temple we can feel the presence of Lord. Also there is a huge Gift stall where we can purchase items related to Krishna. There is a restaurant and a stall where we get food (prasadam basically) of all kinds but everything is offered to Lord Krishna. So it attracts a large number of pilgrims.
44. Dwaraka Temple, Mathura
The Dwaraka temple, also known as the Jagath Mandir, is a temple dedicated to the god Krishna. The main shrine of the 5-storied building, supported by 72 pillars. The archaeological survey suggest it to be 1800-1900 years old. Temple was enlarged in the 15th- 16th century. According to Puranas, the temple was believed to have been built by Krishna’s grandson over Lord Krishna’s residential palace. The temple became part of the Chardham pilgrimage considered sacred by Hindus. It is visited by millions of people every year.
43. Mallikarjuna Temple, Srisailam
Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple (or commonly Shiva) situated at Srisailam of Andhra Pradesh. This is one of the 12 jyotirlingas located in India. According to the devotees, the jyotirlinga is the supreme power, out of which Shiva partly appears. The Jyotirlinga temples, thus are places where Lord Shiva appeared as a bright column of light. Due to this reason, the devotees of Shiva visit this place in large numbers.
42. Sri Mahalakshmi Temple, Kolhapur
This temple is situated in the town of Kolhapur, Maharashtra. This is one of the Shaktipeeta (Center of power) listed in sacred books of Hinduism. This Shaktipeeta, therefore is of special significance being one of the six places where it is believed that one can obtain Mukti (salvation) from desires. The temple has the name of Sri Mahalakshmi, the wife of God Vishnu, and it is believed that the divine couple reside in the area. So it attracts large number of newlyweds seeking the blessings from the Holy couple.
41. Sai Baba Mandir, Shirdi
Any temple or mandir dedicated to Sai Baba of Shirdi is called as Sai Baba Mandir. This mandir is located in Shirdi on the western parts of Maharashtra. This is basically a temple dedicated to the spiritual master, Sai Baba. He was believed to be a god-man, though he did not proclaim that himself. Because of his principles, he gained a large following who pay visit to the temple dedicated to him and pray for their success.
40. Sri Annapoorneshwari Temple, Horanadu
This temple is located at Horanadu, 100 km from Chikmagalur in the thick forests and valleys of the Western ghats of Karnataka. It is situated on the banks of river Bhadra, surrounded by the hills, forest, greeneries and natural beauty of the Western Ghats. The single image is of the Goddess Annapoorneshwari standing on a base with different weapons in her four hands. The name Annapoorneshwari means “Feeding one and all”. The devotees are provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner at any time of the year. So it attracts large number of people.
39. Thiruchendur Murugan Temple, Tamil Nadu
Thiruchendur Murugan Temple is an ancient Hindu Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva situated in Tamil Nadu, India. The name according to puranas or historical name for this temple is Jayanthipuram. It is one of the largest temple (by area) of India and it is one of the most visited temples in India. It is the only temple in Tamil Nadu which has its own bus station. This temple was not constructed by wealthy people, it was built by three holy sages. It is one of the richest and the finest temple of Tamil Nadu.
38. Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple, Kateel
Kateel is a temple town located at a distance of 29 km from Mangalore city, Karnataka. This sacred place is surrounded by heart-warming weather and attractive greeneries. This is believed to be the place where Goddess Durga killed a demon and brought peace to the land. This temple on the banks of Nandini is one of the most visited and one of the richest temples of India.
37. Brihadeshwara Temple, Thanjavur
This is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Located in Thanjavur, it is one of the largest temples of India. This was built by the Chola King Raja Raja Chola in the year 1010 AD. The engineer who built this temple is considered to be the “Father of Tamil architecture”. The temple has been recently added to UNESCO’s World heritage site recently. The artistic beauty of the temple attracts thousands of people every day.
36. Kailasanathar temple, Kanchi
This temple is one of the oldest existing structures of Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. It is a temple built in the Dravidian style by the Hindus. Kailasanathar is the other name of Lord Shiva. Hence the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is known for its historical importance. The temple was built approximately in the late 7th century by Rajasimha, ruler of the Pallavas. The temple is one of the most prominent tourist attractions of the city.
35. Shri Mahaganapati temple, Southadka
The specialty of this temple is that Lord Mahaganapathi is out in the open grounds without a housing or temple structure. It is surrounded by vast forests, greeneries and will be open all day long. It is located near Mangalore. The temple is surrounded with numerous bells offered by the devotees in order to fulfil their wishes. It will always be filled with monkeys which play games with the devotees. So the place attracts large people.
34. ISKCON Temple, Delhi
Sri Radha Parthasarathi mandir, more commonly known as the ISCKON Delhi, is a very famous Vaishnava temple of Lord Krishna and his wife Radha. Inaugrated in 1998, it is at Hare Krishna Hills, in the Kailash area, New Delhi. It is one of the many top places to visit in the capital of India. It is also a Vedic Learning Center in a very standard way. This too like the other ISCKON provides many facilities to the devotees and hence is a top temple.
33. Birla mandir, New Delhi
This is a temple which is inspired from the sun temple of Konark and is built in a similar fashion to commemorate it. It is one of the many Birla Mandirs present and is the most famous one. It is a Hindu temple built by the Birla family. It does not honor a single entity but all of them. The temple is built in modern style and is architecturally beautiful. Hence it is visited by large number of people.
32. Sri Mahalingeshwara temple, Puttur
This is a famous temple located in Puttur, Karnataka. This is a very ancient temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The surveys show that the temple is from the 11th century. During summer, a huge carnival is held where a very large ‘Ratha’ is pulled with the lord upon it. More than a lakh people witness this bonanza. The Ratha is said to be the biggest of its kind in India.
31. Lingaraj temple, Odisha
This is a temple dedicated to both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu or together called Harihara. It is located in the capital of Odisha, Bhubaneshwar and is one of the oldest known temples of the country. The surveys show that it was built in the 11th century. The ‘Garbhagudi’ is 180m tall and is one of the tallest temples in India. The temple is built in Kalinga architecture. The temple has an average visiting of 5000 people per day.
30. Shravanabelagola, Karnataka
Shravanabelagola is a place near Hassan. This is a holy place of Jains and is considered to be the most important place for a Jainism follower to visit. The Gommateshwara statue found in the place is the main attraction. This is India’s largest monolithic structure. This was built during the times of Ganga dynasty. The statue is about 60 feet tall and was built in 981 AD. The Mastakabhisheka held once in 12 years attracts millions of people to the place.
29. Khajuraho temple, Madhya Pradesh
It consists of group of temples, mainly of Hindus and Jains. It was recently recognized by the UNESCO as a site of world heritage. It was built by the Chandelas in around 1000 AD. The ancient scriptures indicate that there were about 85 temples there during the 12th century. The temples here are mainly famous for their erotic sculptures. Many ancient scholars have praised the beauty of these temples. These temples attract lakhs of people every month.
28. Mantralayam, Andhra Pradesh
The Raghavendra Mutt located in Mantralayam is the place where the god-man Sri Raghavendra Swamy was buried. This is in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. This is considered to be very holy by the madhwas. The mutt is located on the banks of Tungabhadra. The soil of the Mantralayam called ‘Mruttika’ is considered to be very sacred. Millions of people visit this every year and is one of the richest temples in India.
27. Sri Siddivinayaka Temple, Madhur
This is a very famous temple located in Madhur, near Kasargod. As the name indicates, the temple has been dedicated to Lord Ganesha. In addition to Ganesha, there are other deities like Shiva and Anantha worshipped here. The temple provides Sanskrit education to youth in summer vacations for free. This temple attracts thousands of people every day and is one of the busiest temples in India.
26. Kedaranath, Uttarakhand
It is a temple located on the foot of Himalayas dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is said to be the home of Shiva according to some historical books. It is on the banks of River Mandakini. Reaching the temple itself is a tedious process. But in doing so, it is said that all his misdeeds will be forgiven. This again is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas located in India. The temple will be open only from April to the end of October. Due to the holy presence of the Lord himself, people visit in masses seeking the blessing of the Lord.
25. Omkareshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh
This is one of the 12 jyotirlingas present in 12 different parts of the nation. This temple is on an island on the River Narmada, called Mandhata. The temple again is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The shape of this island is said to be in the shape of ‘Om’. Hence the name Omkaareshwar. The followers of Shiva, Shaivas, consider visiting this temple is of high value and believe it would free them from their problems. Hence it is one of the most famous temples of India.
24. Chhatarpur temple, Delhi
The temple is located to the south of Delhi and is dedicated to Goddess Katyaayani. The temple is the second largest of its type in India. The temple was constructed during the 1970s by a sage named Baba Nagpal. The temple was built only using white marble and is unique in its own way. The temple extends about 50 acres in area and is visited by lakhs of people during Dusshera, during which the goddess is worshipped in all of her 9 forms.
23. Badrinath Temple, Uttarakhand
The temple is again on the foot of the Himalayas and is one of the Chardham places. The temple here is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is situated along the banks of River Alakananda. The temple will be open between May and November, because of the harsh weather conditions. The Vaishnavas consider that they have to visit this place at least once in their life. It is one of the most visited temples with an average of 10 lakh people visiting every year.
22. Kukke Subrahmanya Temple, Subrahmanya
This is a Hindu temple located on the banks of River Kumaradhara and is on the base of the thick Western ghat forests. The temple is dedicated to Lord Subrahmanya (son of Shiva). The temple is situated near Mangalore, Karnataka. Here the lord is worshipped in the form of Serpent. The place is also famous for trekking and attracts millions of tourists every year. The people consider that the soil of the place has many medicinal advantages. The temple is one of the richest found in India.
21. Lotus Temple, New Delhi
This is one of the recently built temples which gained instant fame because of its architecture. The temple is built in the shape of a lotus, hence the name. It was completed in 1986 and is not dedicated to any single deity. The temple is open for all religions, faiths and anyone can come and offer their prayers to anyone they worship. A recent survey had showed that this was one of the most visited buildings in the world.
20. Gokarnanatheshwara Temple, Kudroli
The temple is located in the coastal town of Mangalore, Karnataka. The temple has been dedicated to Lord Shiva and was built during the time of Sri Narayana Guru. The temple does not have any historical significance as it was built in recent times. The temple holds numerous festivals and the Dusshera festival celebrated here attracts lakhs of people and the fest is equivalent to Mysore Dasara. Thus the temple attracts millions of devotees.
19. Trimbakeshwar Temple, Maharashtra
The temple is located in the holy city of Triambak which is near Nashik, Maharshtra. The temple has been dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the oldest of its kind in India. The linga here is one of the 12 famous jyotirlingas of India. The temple is situated near the river Godavari. This famous temple was rebuilt by the great Maratha Nanasaheb. The architecture is grand and attracts thousands of people daily.
18. Sanchi Stupa, Sanchi
This is a kind of temple belonging to the Buddhists. The stupa is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh. According to the surveys, the stupa is one of the oldest stone structures in India. This was built by the Mauryan Emperor, Ashoka, in the late 3rd century. It can be considered as a relic rather than a temple. The people can go to the stupa and maintain prayers in peaceful atmosphere. The stupa, thus attracts millions of people and is one of the heritage sites of UNESCO.
17. Sri Krishna Temple, Udupi
The Krishna Temple, as the name indicates is dedicated to lord Krishna. Here the lord can be seen holding a kadegolu (device to separate butter) and is very famous. The administration of the temple is run by a group of Mathas. The city is located in Karnataka state. The temple holds historic significance of about 1000 years and holds some very interesting legends. The temple was built by Sri Madhwacharya. Since it is a coastal city too, it attracts millions of people every year. This is also one of the richest temples in India.
16. Bhimashankar Temple, Maharashtra
The temple has been dedicated to Lord Shiva and this again is one of the famed Jyotirlingas. The temple is situated near Pune, Maharashtra. It is on the banks of the river Bhima. According to the puranas, the Bhima River was formed from the sweat of lord Shiva. The temple has been styled in Nagar style of sculpture. The temple was remodeled by a Maratha ruler later. Since it is a Jyotirlinga, it attracts lakhs of people every year.
15. Kamakhya temple, Assam
This is a temple dedicated to Goddess Durga in the form of Kamakhya. This is situated in Kamarup (old name of Assam) near Guwahati. It is one of the many Shakti peetas located in various parts of the country. The tantric followers consider it as the holiest of the places that they have to visit in their life atleast once. The temple has been built in a unique way and attracts lakhs of devotees’ every year.
14. Mahakaleshwar Temple, Ujjain
The temple, as the name itself indicates, has been dedicated to Eshwar (Lord Shiva). The temple is located in the town of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, besides the famed Rudra Sagar Lake. The linga here is again a Jyotirlinga and is said to have been produced by its own. The god here is called as Dakshinamurthy (Facing South) by the locale. The temple is filled with millions of people during the time of Mahashivaratri.
13. Meenakshi Temple, Madurai
The temple has been dedicated to goddess Durga in the form of Meenakshi. The temple has been located in the town of Madurai, Tamil Nadu. It is located on the banks of river Vaigai which flows through the town. It has a rich history of 2500 years and was a constant target of the muslim invaders from north, who plundered the temple frequently. The temple has an average of 50,000 visitors every month.
12. Amarnath Temple, Jammu and Kashmir
The temple has been dedicated to Lord Shiva. The specialty of the temple is that it is inside a cave and the lord is believed to appear in the form of ice. The Linga here occurs naturally in form of ice. It is situated on the Himalayas about 150 km from Srinagar. The temple will be open only for a month and the devotees are protected by the soldiers because of the threat from the terrorists. The temple attracts lakhs of people every year.
11. Sri Krishna Temple, Guruvayur
As the name itself indicates, the temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is located in Guruvayur, which in turn is in, God’s own country, Kerala. It is considered to be the Vaikunta (abode of Lord Vishnu) of Earth. Hence it is a very important pilgrimage place for the Vaishnava sect of people. The temple is called as the Dwaraka of the south. Another controversial fact of the temple is that the non-Hindu section of people are not allowed inside the temple, yet it attracts millions of people and is one of the richest temple in India.
10. Anantha padhmanaba Temple, Trivandrum
The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is situated in the capital of Kerala, Trivandrum. The temple is built in Dravidian style of architecture and is very wide. The Lord here can be seen in a sleeping posture through three large doors. Recently large treasure has been found underneath the temple, which made the temple, the richest in India as well as the world. Since then the number of visitors to the temple has tripled and is still growing. Thus it makes into the top 10 of the most famous temples in India.
9. Somnath Temple, Prabhas
The Somnath temple located in Prabhas of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat is one of the oldest temples in India. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva In the name of Somnath. This is considered to be the first jyotirlinga out of the 12 present in India. The Temple is very holy due to the countless legends linked to it. It was the main target of many foreign invaders because of its richness. The temple was rebuilt numerous times because of such damage. It attracts a large section of people from all over the country because of the power associated with the Lord.
8. Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai
The temple is dedicated to the God of education, Lord Ganapati. The temple is situated in the coastal city of Mumbai, Maharashtra. It was built in the early 19th century. The lord here is believed to grant the wishes of his devotees. The temple attracts politicians, film actors, businessmen other than the common people. The temple is one of the richest in India and consists of Gopuras with gold platings. It is one of the busiest temples, one can find in India.
7. Jagannath Temple, Puri
The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is one of the most visited temples in India. The temple is the most prominent to the Vaishnava sect of people who consider the pilgrimage to this place the most important one in their life. The temple is located in Odisha. It also belongs to the Chardham of the Hindus. The Rath Yatra of the God in his chariot, which is held annually is one of the landmark events of the place. More than 3 million people visit the temple every year and pay their respects.
6. Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
Rameshwaram is again a temple dedicated to lord Shiva. The name is so because the Linga here was made by Lord Rama himself. The linga here is again a jyotirlinga and is considered to be very sacred. The natural beauty of the coastal region makes the visit to this temple even more pleasant. Like the other temples of the place, this again is built in typical Dravidian style of architecture. The temple is visited by millions of devotees and is one of the most famed temples in India.
5. Vishwanath Temple, Kashi
As the name itself indicates, the temple belongs to Lord Shiva. The temple is situated on the banks of the holiest river in the world, Ganga. The temple is in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. This is one of the most visited temples among the 12 jyotirlinga temples. The Lord here is believed to forgive all the sins a man had committed in his entire life, if the man visits the temple and takes a holy bath in the Ganga. Though the temple is of Shaivas, large number of Vaishnavas also visit the temple. The Temple is visited by around 10 million people every year.
4. Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala
The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is the most important temple to be visited according to the Vaishnavas. It is located on the Tirumala Hills of Telangana. The god here is known by various names like Timmappa, Balaji , Sapthagirivasa etc. The Lord is covered with Gold and diamond ornaments most of the time and is the 2nd richest temple in India. The darshan of god through the seven gates is considered to be very sacred. The temple is visited by over 50 lakh people every month.
3. Swamy Ayyappa temple, Sabarimala
As the name itself indicates, the temple is dedicated to Manikanta or more commonly known as Ayyappa. The temple is located in the thick Western ghats of Kerala and on the banks of River Pampa. It hosts one of the biggest annual pilgrimages on the month of January with over 100 million devotees visiting every year. The devotees wear black clothes as a ritual to fulfil their wishes from Lord Ayyappa. It is also one of the richest temples of India. The temple will be open for all for about 75 days in a year and remains closed on other days of the year.
2. Golden Temple, Amritsar
Though the name Golden temple is synonymous with everyone, the real name of the temple is “Harmandir Sahib”. The temple is basically of the Sikhs but the Hindus too visit the temple more often and offer their prayers to the almighty. These temples are called ‘gurudwara’ and this temple is considered to be the most sacred gurudwara according to the Sikhs. It is built in typical Sikh style of architecture and is one of the most visited places in India.
1. Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir
The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Mahalaxmi. This is a very famous Hindu Temple located in Katra at Jammu and Kashmir. The scenic beauty of the Himalayas make the visit to the temple more pleasant. The temple again is one of the many Shaktipeetas located in different parts of the country. It is considered to be the holiest of all pilgrimages. The Goddess is believed to fulfil the wishes of her devotees if one conducts pilgrimage to this temple. The temple is visited by over a million devotees every year.
This was the list of Top 50 Most Popular Temples in India that record the highest number of visitors every year and are renowned in all around the world. There may be mythological connections to these temples but as far as our heritage and culture is concerned, it is very important that these temples are conserved as the remnants of sands of time.