Historic Temples In India: India is a land of culture, heritage, and strong religious belief. There are numerous mystical temples in India built ages ago.
They depict the royal cultural and religious significance. These architectural marvels dating back to even the 8th century and will leave you awe-inspired. Some of the ancient temples of India are-
01 The Kailasa Temple
The Kailash Temple, also known as the Kailashnath Temple, is a huge monolithic rock structure in the Ellora caves of Aurangabad, Maharastra.
It is the largest monolithic rock structure in the world. An exceptional temple that is carved out of a single basalt rock of Charanandri hills, the Kailashnath temple was built in the direction of Krishna and is dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Shiva.
There are intricate designs all over the temple, along with statues of animals and deities. Amazing architecture and carvings make it one of the most visited temples in the world.
There are numerous legends associated with the temple. It was built over a span of 18 years.
According to legends, the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had sent an envoy of thousand of people to destroy the temple in 1682. Howsoever, it took them three years to disfigure a few statues only.
The artist who had built the temple had used only hammers and chisels, yet it is believed, and it has been tested, that it is impossible to demolish the temple.
The architecture of the temple has a resemblance to the abode of Lord Shiva, Mount Kailash. This temple is the only structure in the world that has vertical carvings from top to bottom.
The temple hall showcases scenes from Mahabharata and Ramayana. There are shrines dedicated to the goddess Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati.
A sculpture present here resembles Ravana, the king of Lanka, lifting Mount Kailash.
02 The Shore Temple
The Shore temple was built during the 7th century. The oldest South Indian temples depicting the royal taste of the Palava dynasty were constructed in Dravidian style.
It has been listed amongst the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
According to the legends, it was a part of the seven pagodas in Mahabalipuram.
As the story goes, Prince Hiranyakashyap did not believe in the existence of Lord Vishnu. At the same time, his son Prahlad was a great Vishnu devotee. Prince Hiranyakashyap banished his son from the kingdom.
Prahlad had a grandson named Bali, who founded Mahabalipuram. In the 2004 Tsunami, the Coromandel coastline was severely affected. During this, an old distorted temple got exposed, made up of only granite.
The tsunami was instrumental in bringing out some old sculptures, making it clear that six of the seven pagodas were sunk in the sea. The Pallavas built these in the 7th and 8th centuries.
The Shore temple was said to be the first stone structure constructed by the Pallavas.
The temple is 5 storeyed. The temple is built in a format that protects it from sea erosion, and the topmost structure of the temple is ornated with sculptures and carvings.
03 Dwarkadhish Temple:
Dwarkadhish is also known as Jagat Mandir and was built in the Chalukya style. This temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The city of Dwarka dates back to the kingdom Dwarka in Mahabharat.
It is a 5 storey sanctum with the main shrine being black in color. It is constructed out of limestone and sandstone and Historic Temples In India.
This 2200-year-old architecture is believed to be built by Vajranabha. It is constructed over the land reclaimed from the sea by Lord Krishna.
The central magnificent black idol of Lord Krishna is the charm of the temple. There are other idols of Subhadra, Revathy, Balram Vasudev, Rukmani, and others.
Visitors take a dip in the holy Gomti river before entering the Swarg Dwar. During Janmashtami, the temple overflows with visitors who chant prayers and rituals.
It is considered as one of the sacred Char Dham along with Rameshwaram, Badrinath, and Puri.
72 pillars are supporting the majestic five-story tower. The flag with sun and moon symbols personifies that Lord Krishna will reign over the temple as long as the sun and the moon exists, flutters at the top of the temple.
Dwarka Dhish temple is 108 Divya Desam of Lord Vishnu on the continent as defined by the Divya Prabandham text. Raja Jagat Singh Rathore has rebuilt it from its remains.
04 Sun Temple Konark
Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Sun temple of Konark is located in the north-eastern corner of Puri and acts as a major tourist attraction of Orissa.
The temple is built in the form of a giant chariot of the Sun God which is depicted pulled by seven horses, four on the left side and three on the right with three idols dedicated to the Sun God on three different sides.
Sun temple of Konark is the only standing structure built before the 15th century. It has an archaeological museum inside the temple complex.
It is the most important tourist attraction of Orissa and Konark dance festival held in February attracts millions of tourists to the place.
A diamond is present at the center of the idol through which sun rays reaching the Nata Mandir reflect.
The main idol was believed to float midway in the air due to arrangements of strong magnets at the top of the temple, but these were removed as they caused navigation disturbances.
The temple is called the black pagoda and was attacked by Muslim armies several times.
The temple is built in Nagara architectural site.
05 Badrinath Temple
The Badrinath temple is located at the height of 10,279 feet in the snow-clad mountains of the Himalayas, with the Alakananda river flowing past it.
It is mentioned in the 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu in India. The temple has a Tapt Kund or hot spring, which is believed to possess medicinal values.
This temple is believed to be established by saint Adi Shankaracharya. The temple is nestled amongst the stunning Neelkanth mountain.
Badrinath temple is closed for six months, from November to April every year. It is also closed on the special occasion of Bhatridwitiya in October.
On the day the temple is closed, the Akhanda Jyoti lamp is lit to last for six months. The image of Badrinath is transferred to the Narasimha temple at Jyotirmath.
The temple reopens on the day of Akshaya Tritiya every year. The main gate to Badrinath is called Singhdwar, which is painted in a myriad of colors. It is 50 meters tall.
Badrinath is a part of Char Dham yatra. Char Dham yatra includes visiting the four most revered and religious places in India. These include Dwarka, Rameshwaram, Puri, and Badrinath.
There is a small circuit of religious places called the Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath in Uttarakhand. This is known as the Chota Char Dham.
06 Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Situated in the cultural capital of India, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, the Vishwanath temple is one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, also known as Vishwanathhan or Vishweshwaraiah, meaning the ruler of the universe.
This temple is situated on the western banks of the holy Ganga River in Varanasi and has 800 kgs of gold plating on its tower. Electronic devices are not allowed inside the temple.
Earlier, on special occasions like Shivratri, Kashi Naresh, or the king of Kashi visited the temple for praying. None of the devotees were permitted inside the temple’s premises.
Once the king had concluded his prayers, other devotees were allowed temple. The temple finds its mentions in several Hindu texts. It is adorned with beautiful carvings and houses small the temples like the Kal Bhairav, Virupaksh, Gauri, Vinayaka, and Abhimukteswara.
Holywell, under the name of Gyan Vyapi, was situated here and was believed to protect the Shivalinga from foreign invaders.
The temple finds its mention in the Puranas, including the Kashi Khand. The temple has been subjected to destruction and rebuilds many times over the course of history.
The temple was destroyed by Qutub-Uddin-aibak when he defeated the king of Kanauj in 1194. The temple was rebuilt during the reign of Iltutmish again.
Destructed during the rule of Sikander Lodhi. Raja Man Singh rebuilt the temple during the reign of Mughal ruler Akbar.
Emperor Aurangzeb had destroyed the temple and built the Gyan Vyapi mosque in its place.
Official Temple Website – https://www.shrikashivishwanath.org/
07 Brahma Temple
The Brahma temple located in Pushkar, Rajasthan, is the only Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe.
It attracts thousands of pilgrims every year and is amongst the five most religious and sacred places for Hindus in India.
The temple was built by sage Vishwamitra about 2000 years ago and went through renovation under Adi Shankaracharya.
This temple is built with marble and stone slabs. It has images of Lord Brahma with Gayatri and Savitri, his wives. The holy lake of Pushkar is situated right in front of the temple.
On the day of the auspicious Kartik, the Purnima temple takes spirituality to a different level altogether. It is believed that a dip in the sacred Pushkar lake will dissolve all your sins.
Lord Brahma wanted to perform a Yagya peacefully without disturbance from the demons. He was looking for a place for Yagya. While searching, a lotus flower fell in his hand in Pushkar, and he decided to perform Yagya there.
‘Pushp’ means flower, and ‘Kar means hand, and this is from where the name of the city images. The place is of high religious importance.
According to the legends, the Yagya required his wife’s presence with him. His wife, Savitri was not present there; hence he married Gayatri, a girl from the Gurjar community.
This infuriated Savitri, and she cursed Brahma that he would not be worshipped anywhere else but in Pushkar.
08 Chamundeshwari Temple
This temple is a traditional Hindu temple present on the eastern edge of Mysore, located at the height of thousand feet on the Chamundi Hills.
The temple is dedicated to the goddess Durga. It also has statues of Nandi and Mahishasura, the demon.
The temple is considered as one of the Shakti Peethas among the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas. The temple is built to showcase the fierce form of Shakti.
An idol of Goddess Durga here is adorned and worshipped regularly. The temple is a no-plastic zone, and one cannot carry huge contributions and offerings to the temple.
The temple has a stunning view, and you can spot many significant structures of the city like the Lalitha Mahal Palace from there. The temple showcases a quadrangular structure.
There is a beautiful seven-storeyed tower at the entrance to the sanctum. There are golden color figures on the top of the tower place at the entrance.
Chamundeshwari temple is of great antiquity and heritage. It is built using granite stone and is present on the 800 steps of the hill.
09 Lingraja Temple
The Lingaraja temple is situated in the city of Bhubaneshwar and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built in the 7th century by the king of Jajati Kesari.
The linga here is extremely famous because of the phallic form of Lord Shiva. It is located in the old town.
The temple is built in Odisha-styled architecture and has intricate and ornate carvings and architectural structures. A small temple dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathi is situated in the north-western corner of the courtyard.
On the occasion of Mahashivratri, the temple is adorned with pilgrims. There is a different form of sanctity that attracts thousands of tourists during Shivratri and Rath Yatra.
Chandan Yatra or sandalwood ceremony. It is a significant festival of the Lingaraja temple. During this, those who serve the temple are sublimed into sandalwood paste to protect themselves against heat.
The temple has a hint of the Kalinga style of architecture. It is crafted out very carefully with the darkest shade of limestone sandstone located at the bottom-most with lighter shades following it.
Conclusion: These temples are a heritage of our country India. They speak to us about the past. It is a matter of pride for the citizens of India that these temples have architectural features sustaining to date. It is awe-inspiring what the craftsmen of ancient times had created. We must preserve these temples for our future generations.
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