6 most famous Hindu temples in India
The descriptions of India will never be completed without the descriptions of its temples. Some of them are ancient or, some others are more than hundred years old. The worshipping idols, the designs and architecture of the temples, the relics, the ornate at the entrance of the temples, the holiest Sanctorum sanctum, all of these present the characteristics of the age. Take an exciting view of the 5 most famous temples in India.
The Temple of Dakshineswar, Calcutta
Along the Eastern banks of the Ganga, there was a small village called Dakshineswar. The dense forest surrounded the place. The famous temple of Dakshineswar that houses the goddess Kali was set up by Rani Rashmoni following a mystic dream that she saw just when she was preparing to visit Banaras. But, the night before the pilgrimage, the Goddess Kali intervened appearing in the dream not to go to Banaras. She instructed her to install her statue in the temple beside the bank of Ganga and make an arrangement to her worship at that place.
Being charmed by the dream, Rani immediately searched for a plot of land and built up a temple there. The temple was built between the year 1847 and 1855 with a centerpiece of the statue of the goddess Kali and other two temples of Radha Krishna and Shiva. The temple was consecrated in the year 1855 and a scholarly celebrant was appointed as the main priest of the temple. But, with the death of the priest next year, the responsibilities were conceded to his younger brother, Ramakrishna who served the temple for about 30 years. With his ecstatic love for goddess Kali, he went deeper into the spiritual practices that still attract people of different parts of the world. Though Ramakrishna died in the year 1886, at the age of 50, his divine experiences went deeper into the human world and the presence of the divinity is still experienced in the Kali temple of Dakshineswar.
Jagannath Temple of Puri
Established in the twelfth century, Jagannath Temple is one of the most legendary and well known temples in Orissa. The temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, the Lord of the Creation. The temple is situated on the coast of Bay of Benagal 60 km from Bhubaneswar, is greatly honored and revered by the devotees following the traditions of Vaishnava. In the list of the most impressive shrines of Orissa, the temple occupies a very significant position. Situated in the center of the city, Jagannath temple is the holiest place for the devotees of all over the country and also across the world. It radiates brilliance and its tall steeple lend it a splendid appearance. The exquisite carvings of the figure embellish the walls of the temple. The supporting pillars of the temple are ornamented by thepictures of Lord Krishna and his life.
The pillars that provide support to the temple are adorned with pictures depicting the life of Lord Krishna. The Chariot Festival or the Ratha Yatra, organized every year, is the most popular attraction of Puri. The Trio Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra as well as Goddess Subhadra, are are led to the Temple of Gundicha in a decorated chariot. And after 7 days they are brought back to the temple following the same way.
Meenakshi Temple of Madurai
Built during the reign of Chadayavarman Sundara Pandyanhnakya sometime in the 12th century the Meenakhi Temple is a momentous Hindu temple situated on the Southern Bank of the Vaigai River in Madurai, in Tamil Nadu. The shrine is devoted to Parvati, who is well-known as Meenakshi, and her ensemble, Shiva, called Sundareswarar. The nine storey tower was set up between the thirteenth and sixteenth century. So many majestic towers called gopurams were built to welcome all to this temple.
It is the common practice here to worship Meenakshi Devi first, and then the Lord Sundareswarar. So the devotees enter the shrine through the Shakti Mandap on the Eastern side of the temple. There is a vibrant representation of the wedding of the Goddess Meenakshi with Lord Ganesh in scriptural form. After crossing, there is an extensive Meenakshi Naickar Mandapam with 4 aisles that are separated by 6 rows of pillars carved with holy statues. At the Western end is the huge Thiruvatchi holding 1008 oil lamps made of brass. There is a holy golden made lotus tank and on the pillars of the Northern side pillar.
The base part of the sanctuary is made of granite and the towers are made of limestone. There is a striking collection of sculpture of gods, and goddesses, demons and animals. There are so many things to see in the temple that you can easily spend a day there.
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple or Tirupati
The temple is situated on the hill of Tirumala town adjacent to Chittor in Andhra Pradesh. It is 435 km from Vijaywada and 137 km from the city of Chennai. The main deity of the temple is Lord Venkateswara who is known as one of the form of Vishnu. The God is also known as Govinda, Balaji or Srinivasa. The Balaji temple is situated on the bank of Sri Swami Pushkarini. Traditional in style and shape the temple has many lines up and lodging sites that are newly built. Next to Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala Tirupati temple is the most popular center for the pilgrimage.
It is the most visited pilgrimage place which possesses about 50000 cores of possessions and is also the most visited worship places in the world. A recent record says that about fifty to thousand devotees visit the Tirupati temple daily.
There are many legends related to the Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala, one of which says that the idol of the temple will continue to exist as long as Kalki Yuga continues. It is during the time of festivals that the Tirupati wears a festive look. Among all the festivals Brahmotsavam is most colorful festivals that linger for 9 days. Besides, there are Adhyayanotsavam, Pavitrotsavam, Makara Sankranti etc.
Kamakhya Temple of Assam
Among the holiest temples across India Kamakhya Temple is one of the most popular 51 Shakti Pith perched on Nilanchal Hill in Kamrup district of Assam. It is 8 km from Guwahati and can be reached easily by taxi or buses from Maligaon. As legends said, the genital organ that is, Yoni of Sati, fell on the spot during the time of self-sacrifice.
Though the temple was built in ancient time, yet it was renovated by the king of Cooch Behar Nar Narayan in the year 1665 after it got a severe assault from the Muslim aggressors. In addition to goddess Kamakhya Devi, there are lots of images of other gods and goddess along with different sculptures in the dancing postures. The temple apex is oval in shape with seven spires, and three golden pitchers set on the budding lotus, on which they’re placed a golden spear with three prongs.
Basically, ‘Kamakhya’ is supposed to be the giver of all the desires. Traditionally, Assam is well-known for the practice of Tantric and the adoration of Shakti. During Sep-Oct thousands of pilgrims visit the place to take part in the famous festival Ambuvaci. It is exclusive with its own implication. The Goddess Kamakhya is supposed to go through her menstruous spell. During the time, the temple is closed for 3 days. Before closing, the inside of the temple is draped with white sheets that are found to be turned into red.
Kashi Viswanath Temple, Varanasi
This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is the most famous Hindu temple in India. Temple is situated in the Western banks of river Ganges. Kashi Viswanath Temple has been destroyed and reconstructed many time over the centuries.
Kashi Viswanatha temple is mentioned in Skanda Purana. The original Vishwanath temple was destroyed by the army of Qutb-ud-din Aibak in 1194 CE, when he defeated the Raja of Kannauj as a commander of Mohammad Ghori. It was later rebuild by a Gujarati Merchant only to be destroyed again by Sikandar Lodhi . Raja Man Singh built it again during Akbar’s rule. Raja Todar Mal further rebuilt the temple in its original site in 1585.
Aurangazeb, considered as the one of the cruelest and ignorant Mugal emperors were the last one to destroy the temple. He constructed the Gyanvapi Mosque on its site. Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar the Holkar Queen of the Maratha who ruled Malwa kingdom rebuild the temple in 1780 at an adjacent site.
It is believed that Lord Shiva first manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga on the night of the Aridra Nakshatra, thus the special reverence for the Jyotirlinga. Kashi Viswanath Temple is considered as one of the twelve Jyothirlinga sites.
The other are
Somnath in Gujarat, Mallikarjuna at Srisailam in Andra Pradesh, Mahakaleswar at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh, Kedarnath in Himalayas, Bhimashankar in Maharashtra, Triambakeshwar in Maharashtra, Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga at Deogarh in Jharkhand , Aundha Nagnath at Aundha Nagnath in Maharashtra, Rameshwar at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and Ghrushneshwar at ellora near aurangabad in Maharashtra. Kedarnath and Pashupatinath (Nepal) are considered half jyotirlingas counted together as one.
Taking bath in the river Ganges here is considered as a path to liberation.