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11 Enchanting, Must-Visit Temples

January 19, 2024 10:39 IST
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Photograph: Mayur Sanap/

India is an alluring destination to the travellers worldwide for its rich culture and stunning landscape and its temples are an integral part of this heritage. They are revered as architectural marvels apart from their connect to Hindu mythology and history.

Have you visited some of India's most captivating Hindu temples?

Photograph: Mayur Sanap/

Ahilyeshwar Mahadev Temple, Madhya Pradesh

Located on the banks of the Narmada river in the town of Maheshwar, the temple attracts hordes of pilgrims and tourists visiting Madhya Pradesh.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it was built by Ahilyabhai Holkar, queen of the Maratha Malwa kingdom. The sheer artistry on display with its wonderful architecture and intricate carvings will leave you in awe.

Visit the temple on evenings as it serves for a special vantage point for memorable sunsets by the river.

How to reach: Indore is the major train station at 80 km. Indore airport is about 90 km away.

Photograph: Mayur Sanap/

Khandoba Temple, Maharashtra

Perched on a hillock in the town of Jejuri, near Pune, one has to ascend about 300 steps to reach the temple, which is one of the most revered pilgrimage destinations in Maharashtra.

The temple is swathed in bright golden-yellow hues as a large amount of turmeric powder is thrown about the place as an offering to Lord Khandoba.

Newly married couples seek blessings at this temple to celebrate their union. Interestingly, the groom is expected to carry his bride up to the main shrine via the steep stairs!

How to reach: The nearest railhead is Jejuri railway station 3 km away from the temple. Pune airport is about 60 km away.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Nandini/Wikimedia Commons

Lepakshi Temple, Andhra Pradesh

Built in 1533 by the Vijayanagara empire, the temple will mesmerise you with its architectural craftsmanship.

A series of stone sculptures and ornate pillars form the rare attractions here that will truly take you back in time.

How to reach: The closest railway station is Hindupur Junction, located 13 km away. Bengaluru airport is about 100 km away.

Photograph: Mayur Sanap/

Rishi Parashar Temple, Himachal Pradesh

This tiny temple sits by a small lake named Parashar and it is dedicated to the famous sage from Hindi mythology, Rishi Parashar.

The temple is a beautiful example of Himalayan architectural style made with wood and stone. Situated at an altitude of 8,960 feet, the Parashar lake is a popular spot for trekking enthusiasts as it offers unforgettable vistas of Himalayan peaks and deodaror Himalayan cedar forests.

How to reach: The closest railway station is in Joginder Nagar, situated 70 km away. Bhuntar airport in Kullu is about 65 km away. You can alternatively reach the temple by trekking or via motorable road from Mandi, which is 50 km away.

Photograph: Mayur Sanap/

Murudeshwar Temple, Karnataka

Located in a beach town by the Arabian Sea, what makes this temple an interesting place to visit is the massive 20-storied Raj Gopura (a gateway tower of temple) and the world's second tallest Shiva statue! The magnificent structure of Lord Shiva with the backdrop of the sparkling sea is a sight to admire.

One can enjoy lovely panoramic views of the surrounding from top of the Kanduka hill, where the Shiva temple complex is based.

How to reach: Murudeshwar railway station is situated less than 2 km away. Mangaluru airport is about 160 km away.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Bhuban Patra/Wikimedia Commons

Mukteshwar Temple, Odisha

Built in the 10th century, this Bhubaneshwar Shiva temple boasts of Kalinga style of architecture along with a mix of Buddhist style architectural designs.

The uniquely mounted shrine is also thronged by history buffs who savour the mastery of the intricate carvings.

How to reach: The closest railway station is Bhubaneswar, situated 4 km away. Bhubaneswar airport is about 5 km away.

Photograph: Kind courtesy SurajJC/Wikimedia Commons

Maa Kamakhya Temple, Assam

As one of the 51 Shakti Peethas, the temple, located at the Nilachal hills in Guwahati, is considered to be of immense religious importance.

The shaadi-shuda seek blessings and offer prayers to the goddess for conceiving a child.

How to reach: Guwahati railway station is about 8 km away. Guwahati airport is about 20 km away.

Photograph: Mayur Sanap/

Tungnath Chopta Temple, Uttarakhand

Tucked away on a snow-covered Himalayan slope at a height of 12,106 feet, this temple is considered the highest temple in the world dedicated to Lord Shiva.

One of the five Panch Kedar shrines in Uttarakhand, it can be reached after an easy 4 km trek. Thanks to its beauteous location and spiritual importance, a large number of devotees and trekkers show up here throughout the year.

How to reach: The nearest rail head is in Rishikesh, which is about 210 km away. Dehradun airport is about 225 km away. One can hire a car or shared taxi to reach Chopta.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Surajkumar12111/Wikimedia Commons

Vishnupad Mandir, Bihar

Built in the 17th century by Ahilyabai Holkar, and on the banks of the Phalgu river near Gaya, on the site of a very ancient temple of the same name, it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. At Vishnupad a 40-cm-long footprint of Lord Vishnu is embossed in basalt rock.

It's one of the most revered shrines to offer pind daan.

How to reach: The nearest rail head is in Gaya, which is about 5 km away. Gaya city airport is 10 km away.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Kirancool89/Wikimedia Commons

Dakshineshwar Kali Temple, West Bengal

Located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly river, one can worship at the shrine and later enjoy the peaceful ambience on the temple ghats.

How to reach: Howrah railway junction is about 11 km away. Kolkata airport is 10 km away.

Photograph: Mayur Sanap/

Shore Temple, Tamil Nadu

Of all the monuments and UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram), the Shore Temple brings the most visitors.

The pretty architecture of the temple against the backdrop of Bay of Bengal offers a picturesque natural setting.

Pray and meditate at the temple, take a dip in the sea, relax and rejuvenate on the beach -- there are many ways to relish the history and beauty of this place.

How to reach: The nearest rail head is in Chengalpattu about 30 km away. Chennai airport is 52 km away.

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