Top 14 Largest Temples In India With Highlights
India is known for its rich cultural heritage and spirituality, and it is home to numerous magnificent temples. These temples, built over centuries, attract millions of devotees and tourists from around the world.
Here is a list of the top 14 largest temples in India:-
Thillai Nataraja Temple, Tamil Nadu:
The Thillai Nataraja Temple, also known as the Chidambaram Temple, is a renowned Hindu temple located in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva in his form as Nataraja, the cosmic dancer. This temple holds immense religious and cultural significance. The Thillai Nataraja Temple is revered for its unique architecture and spiritual atmosphere. The main sanctum, known as the Chit Sabha, enshrines the idol of Lord Nataraja, beautifully adorned and depicting his cosmic dance. The temple complex features magnificent gopurams (entrance towers), intricately carved pillars, and spacious halls.
What sets this temple apart is its association with the art of dance. Chidambaram is considered the birthplace of Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance form. The temple showcases the fusion of devotion and artistry, with dance being an integral part of the temple rituals and festivals. The Thillai Nataraja Temple attracts devotees and art enthusiasts from around the world. The annual Natyanjali Dance Festival, held on the temple premises, is a celebration of dance and spirituality, where renowned dancers pay homage to Lord Nataraja through their performances. Visiting the Thillai Nataraja Temple offers a profound spiritual experience and an appreciation for divine artistry. It serves as a testimony to the rich cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu and the timeless beauty of Lord Nataraja’s cosmic dance.
Akshardham Temple, Delhi:
The Akshardham Temple, located in Delhi, India, is a magnificent Hindu temple complex dedicated to Bhagwan Swaminarayan. It is a modern architectural marvel and a symbol of spirituality, art, and cultural heritage. The temple was inaugurated in 2005 and has since become a popular tourist attraction. The Akshardham Temple showcases a blend of ancient architectural styles and modern craftsmanship. The complex features intricately carved stone facades, towering domes, and ornate pillars. The temple’s main attraction is the Akshardham Mandir, a stunning centerpiece adorned with exquisite carvings depicting various aspects of Hindu mythology and spiritual teachings.
Visitors to the Akshardham Temple can explore its expansive gardens, musical fountains, and cultural exhibitions that highlight India’s rich heritage. The temple complex also houses a research center, an educational exhibit, and a theater showcasing a captivating multimedia show. The Akshardham Temple provides a serene and spiritual environment, allowing visitors to experience a sense of peace and tranquility. It serves as a reminder of the rich cultural and spiritual traditions of India and offers a platform for learning, reflection, and spiritual upliftment.
Meenakshi Temple, Tamil Nadu:
The Meenakshi Temple, located in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, is a magnificent Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi (a form of Parvati) and Lord Sundareswarar (a form of Shiva). It is renowned for its architectural splendor and religious significance. The temple complex features towering gopurams (tower gateways), intricate carvings, and colorful sculptures that depict various mythological stories and deities. The highlight of the temple is the golden lotus pond and the thousand-pillared hall adorned with exquisite sculptures. The Meenakshi Temple attracts a large number of devotees and tourists who come to seek blessings, witness religious rituals, and marvel at its artistic beauty. It is not just a place of worship but also a cultural landmark that reflects the rich heritage and traditions of Tamil Nadu.
Brihadeeswarar Temple, Tamil Nadu:
The Brihadeeswarar Temple, also known as the Peruvudaiyar Kovil or Big Temple, is a magnificent Hindu temple located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. Built-in the 11th century by the Chola dynasty, it is dedicated to Lord Shiva and stands as a testament to the architectural brilliance of the era. The Brihadeeswarar Temple is renowned for its towering vimana (tower) that reaches a height of around 66 meters and is adorned with intricate carvings. The temple complex also features a large courtyard, pillared halls, and various other shrines.
One of the remarkable aspects of the temple is its monolithic granite lingam, an iconic representation of Lord Shiva. The lingam is one of the largest in India, standing at around 3.7 meters tall. The temple’s architecture and sculptures reflect the artistic finesse and technical expertise of the Chola dynasty. The Brihadeeswarar Temple is not only an important pilgrimage site but also a UNESCO World Heritage site, recognized for its cultural and historical significance. It continues to be a center of religious and cultural activities, attracting devotees, tourists, and art enthusiasts who marvel at its grandeur and appreciate its architectural legacy.
Ramanathaswamy Temple, Tamil Nadu:
The Ramanathaswamy Temple, situated in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites and holds immense religious significance. The temple is believed to have been built by Lord Rama, and it is associated with the epic Ramayana. The Ramanathaswamy Temple is renowned for its architectural splendor and intricate carvings. The temple complex is vast, featuring numerous mandapams (halls), corridors, and shrines. The highlight of the temple is the sacred Ramanathaswamy Lingam, believed to have been installed by Lord Rama himself.
The temple is also known for its unique ritual called “Agni Theertham,” where devotees take a dip in the holy waters of the Bay of Bengal before entering the temple. It is believed that this ritual washes away sins and brings spiritual purification. Every year, the temple attracts a large number of devotees who come to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva and offer prayers. The Ramanathaswamy Temple is not only a revered religious site but also an architectural marvel that showcases the rich cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu.
Top 14 Largest Temples In India With Highlights
Jagannath Temple, Odisha:
The Jagannath Temple, located in Puri, Odisha, is one of the most significant Hindu temples in India. Dedicated to Lord Jagannath, a form of Lord Vishnu, it holds immense religious and cultural importance. The temple is famous for its annual Rath Yatra, a grand chariot festival where the deities Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra are taken out on intricately designed chariots and pulled by thousands of devotees. The Jagannath Temple complex is a magnificent architectural marvel, adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures. The main sanctum enshrines the sacred idols of the deities, and the temple premises also include numerous other shrines, halls, and courtyards.
Devotees from all over the world visit the Jagannath Temple to seek the divine blessings of Lord Jagannath. The temple is known for its unique rituals, practices, and religious festivities that reflect the rich cultural heritage of Odisha. It stands as a symbol of devotion and spirituality, attracting millions of pilgrims and tourists each year.
Somnath Temple, Gujarat:
The Somnath Temple, situated in the Prabhas Patan town of Gujarat, is an ancient and revered Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, which are considered the holiest shrines of Lord Shiva. The temple has a long and illustrious history, having been destroyed and reconstructed multiple times. It stands as a symbol of resilience and faith. The Somnath Temple is renowned for its architectural splendor and spiritual significance. It is beautifully designed with intricate carvings and sculptures, showcasing the craftsmanship of ancient Indian artisans. The temple’s location, near the Arabian Sea, adds to its scenic charm.
Pilgrims and devotees visit the Somnath Temple to seek blessings, offer prayers, and partake in religious rituals. The temple complex also houses various other shrines and attractions, making it a significant cultural and historical landmark. The Somnath Temple is not only a place of worship but also a testament to the rich heritage and religious traditions of India. It continues to inspire millions of devotees and stands as a symbol of devotion and devotion to Lord Shiva.
Sun Temple, Odisha:
The Sun Temple is a term commonly associated with the magnificent Konark Sun Temple in Odisha, India. This UNESCO World Heritage site is dedicated to the Sun God, Surya. Built-in the 13th century, it is renowned for its architectural brilliance and intricate stone carvings. The temple is designed in the shape of a colossal chariot, with twelve pairs of wheels and elaborately carved horses.
The Konark Sun Temple stands as a testament to the artistic and engineering skills of ancient India. Its walls are adorned with sculptures depicting various mythological stories, celestial beings, and intricate patterns. The temple’s main sanctum once housed a massive statue of the Sun God, but it is no longer present. The Sun Temple attracts tourists and history enthusiasts from around the world who are captivated by its grandeur and cultural significance. Despite the ravages of time, the temple remains an architectural marvel and a symbol of India’s rich heritage.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Uttar Pradesh:
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple, located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, is one of the holiest Hindu temples in India. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it holds immense religious significance and is considered one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, representing Lord Shiva’s cosmic form. The temple is situated on the banks of the sacred River Ganges. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is renowned for its rich history and spiritual aura.
It attracts millions of devotees who come to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva and perform various religious rituals. The temple complex features stunning architecture, intricate carvings, and a sacred golden spire that is visible from a distance. Devotees believe that a visit to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and a dip in the holy Ganges can wash away sins and grant spiritual liberation. The temple is also associated with the ancient city of Varanasi, which is considered the spiritual capital of India.
Dilwara Temples, Rajasthan:
The Dilwara Temples, situated in Mount Abu, Rajasthan, are renowned Jain temples known for their exquisite marble architecture and intricate craftsmanship. These temples were built between the 11th and 13th centuries and dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras (spiritual teachers). The temples are a significant pilgrimage site for Jains and attract visitors from around the world. The Dilwara Temples are characterized by their ornate marble carvings, detailed pillars, and delicate sculptures. The intricate workmanship and attention to detail are remarkable, showcasing the skill and dedication of the artisans of that era.
The temples feature magnificent halls, beautifully designed domes, and elaborate doorways. The five main temples within the complex—Vimal Vasahi, Luna Vasahi, Pithalhar, Khartar Vasahi, and Mahavir Swami—each have their unique architectural and artistic highlights. The Dilwara Temples are not only significant religiously but also historically and culturally. They are recognized as architectural gems and examples of extraordinary craftsmanship. A visit to these temples offers a serene and spiritual experience, allowing visitors to marvel at the architectural splendor and appreciate the Jain heritage preserved within them.
Top 14 Largest Temples In India With Highlights
Siddhivinayak Temple, Maharashtra:
The Siddhivinayak Temple, located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai, is a prominent Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It is one of the most visited and revered temples in Maharashtra, India. The temple’s idol of Lord Ganesha, known as Siddhivinayak, is believed to fulfill the wishes of devotees. The Siddhivinayak Temple is known for its rich spiritual ambiance and architectural beauty. The idol of Lord Ganesha is carved out of a single black stone and is adorned with gold and silver ornaments.
The temple attracts a large number of devotees who come to offer prayers, seek blessings, and express their gratitude. The temple complex features intricate carvings, spacious halls, and beautifully landscaped gardens. It hosts various religious ceremonies and festivals, including Ganesh Chaturthi, which is celebrated with great fervor. collarsThe Siddhivinayak Temple holds a special place in the hearts of Mumbaikars and devotees worldwide. It is a symbol of faith, devotion, and unity, and visiting the temple is believed to bring peace, prosperity, and good fortune.
Golden Temple, Punjab:
The Golden Temple, also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib, is a sacred Sikh gurdwara located in Amritsar, Punjab, India. It is the holiest shrine in Sikhism and one of the most iconic religious sites in the world. The temple is known for its stunning architecture, with its gilded dome and marble exterior reflecting beautifully in the surrounding Amrit Sarovar (Pool of Nectar). The Golden Temple welcomes visitors of all faiths to experience its serene and inclusive atmosphere. It is a place of worship, community service, and spiritual solace.
The temple complex includes the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikh authority, and the Guru Granth Sahib, the central religious scripture of Sikhism, enshrined inside. The Golden Temple provides free langar (community kitchen) where thousands of people are served vegetarian meals every day, regardless of their background. This tradition of selfless service and equality is central to Sikhism. Visiting the Golden Temple is an awe-inspiring experience, offering a chance to witness the devotion and faith of the Sikh community. The temple’s golden splendor, peaceful ambiance, and spiritual significance make it a must-visit destination for people seeking solace and enlightenment.
Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Kerala:
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple, located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, is a highly revered Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is known for its magnificent architecture, intricate carvings, and historical significance. The temple is considered one of the 108 Divya Desams, sacred sites mentioned in the works of the Alvars (Tamil poet-saints). The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is renowned for its deity, Lord Vishnu, depicted in a reclining posture on the serpent Ananta (Adi Sesha). The idol is made of a unique combination of various elements, including lime, mortar, and herbal extracts. The temple’s architecture showcases the Dravidian style, with its towering gopuram (entrance tower) and beautifully crafted pillars.
One of the striking features of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple is its immense wealth. The temple’s vaults, known as “kallaras,” were found to contain treasures worth billions of dollars, making it one of the wealthiest religious institutions in the world. The temple attracts devotees and visitors from all over the world who come to seek blessings, marvel at its architectural grandeur, and experience the spiritual aura. The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is a cultural landmark and an embodiment of the rich religious heritage of Kerala.
Tirupati Balaji Temple, Andhra Pradesh:
The Tirupati Balaji Temple, officially known as Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple, is a renowned Hindu temple located in Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh, India. Dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, a form of Lord Vishnu, it is one of the most visited and revered temples in the world. The temple is situated atop the Tirumala Hills, surrounded by scenic beauty. It attracts millions of devotees from all walks of life who come to seek the blessings of Lord Venkateswara. The deity is believed to be the giver of wealth, health, and prosperity.
The Tirupati Balaji Temple is known for its rich religious traditions and rituals. The main sanctum houses the idol of Lord Venkateswara, adorned with precious jewels and garments. Devotees climb the steps or take the queue for darshan (divine viewing) to have a glimpse of the deity. The temple complex also includes various other shrines, halls, and accommodations for devotees. The temple’s administration provides free meals, accommodation, and other facilities to ensure a comfortable experience for the pilgrims.
Top 14 Largest Temples In India With Highlights
Expert Questions and Answers:
1. Have you heard about the ‘Prakarams’ inside The Temples? What are They and What is Their Importance?
A ‘Prakaram’ can be described as an area that is built in the inner part of the temple to circumambulate around the temple. It is typically the first ritual performed in the traditional Hindu temple before going to the main god. Temples with large numbers have multiple Prakaram. Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple has the largest number of Prakarams with 7 enclosures. one of the largest Prakaram in India is the third enclosure of the Rameshwaram temple.
2. Are There any Specific Dress Codes to Follow While Visiting These Temples?
South Indian temples, particularly those located in Tamil Nadu prescribe decent dressing for both men and women. Although some temples are strict regarding wearing sarees or lungis, however, other temples such as Meenakshi Amman temple requests their visitors to dress in appropriate Indian attire and make sure their bodies are completely covered. It is recommended to follow the guidelines of the temples to ensure absolute security during your visit.
The temples in these temples are notable places for archeology as well as religion. They were not just places of religious belief but were significant cultural hubs that promoted architecture and art. The temples also functioned as hospitals as well as charitable institutions, educational institutions, and entertainment centers. The majority of them were closed to non-Hindus who could only access the initial sanctums. In the inner sanctuary, it was known as the Garbha Griha”, which translates to the “Womb of the Temple”. It is considered to be the most sacred spot in the temple, and with idols worshipped throughout the centuries, they’re the most sacred of places. The temples will amaze us with their size and importance.
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