India is predominantly a country with Hindu population in the majority and this can also be seen by the number if temples all across India. According to ancient Indian texts, a temple is a place for pilgrimage. It is a sacred site where the ambience and design are planned in a way to harmonise it with the Hindu way of life. Every major town would have at least one huge temple and a story related to the same, as Hindu religion is believed to have 55 crore gods and goddesses. There a a few temples where you would find pilgrims not just from across the country but from across the world, as they are considered very holy. I have tried to cover a few of the holy temples in my article.
1. Tirupati Balaji
This temple is located in the hill town of Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh, the temple is also known as Tirumala Venkateshwara temple.
The temple is devoted to Lord Venkateshwara, who is popularly called ‘Balaji’ and is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Venkateshwara Tirupati Balaji is the second richest religious site with people offering money and gold to their Lord running into millions, each day.
2. Vaishno Devi Temple
This temple is located in the hills of Trikula near Karta town in Jammu district of Jammu and Kashmir. The Temple is open all through the year and has 3 rock heads called pindi’s instead of Idols, representing Godess Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswati. More than 10 million pilgrims visit this temple throughout the year.
3. Siddhivinayak Temple
This temple is located in the business town of Mumbai in Maharashtra and is dedicated to lord Ganesha and surrounding the deity on both sides are Riddhi and Siddhi Goddesses signifying sanctity, fulfilment, prosperity and riches. There is an etching on the forehead of Lord Ganesha which represents the third eye of lord Shiva. The temple is visited by thousands including Bollywood celebrities.
4. Lord Jagannath Temple
This temple is located in the town of Puri and is so popular that people often call it Jagannath Puri in the state of Orissa. Built in the 12th century this temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna, the main temple has idols of Lord Krishna, Lord Balram and Goddess Subhadra and is amongst the one of the four most holiest pilgrimages of India also referred to as Char Dham. The annual and world famous Rath Yatra conducted at Puri gives a chance to get a good glimpse of the Lord Jagannath along with Balabhadra and Subhadra riding on the chariots. Thousands and thousands of people pulling the sacred chariot makes it a mesmerising spectacle.
5. Badrinath Temple
This Temple is Situated close to the Alaknanda River and is located in the Chamoli district, a small hill town of Badrinath in the state of Uttarakhand. This holy shrine is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and it is a part of the four holiest Pilgrimages of India also referred to as Char Dham. The Temple opens from April till November, as December to March the town receives heavy snow and it is difficult to reach.
6. Rameshwaram Temple
This Temple is Situated on an island called Rameshwaram in the state of Tamil Nadu.t is also one of the twelve Jyotirlingam temples, where Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlingam. This is a sacred spot as Lord Rama came here after defeating Ravana to perform certain rituals to absolve him of the sins of killing Ravana.
7. Konark Sun Temple
This temple is situated in the small town of Konark, in the puri district of Orissa. It is dedicated to the Sun God, the temple is built in the shape of a chariot, which is on twelve wheels pulled by seven horses. The mesmerizing beauty of the place was best summed up by the Rabindranath Tagore through these words: ‘Here the language of stone surpasses the language of man.’
8. Kedarnath Temple
This temple is situated in Gadhwal region of Uttarakhand. It is one of the holiest temple in the world dedicated to Lord Shiva. Located 3583 mts above sea level the temple is surrounded by glaciers and snow covered peaks all through the year and remains closed in the winters.
9. Shirdi Sai Baba Temple
This temple is situated in town of Shirdi town in Maharashtra, this shrine was made over the samadhi of Sai Baba. The principles of Sai Baba like love, charity, forgiveness are spread through the land of Shirdi, which has been made holy by the pure soul. An estimate of 25000 devotees visit the Shirdi Sai Baba temple on an average.
10. Dwarkadhish Temple
This temple is situated in town of Dwarka city in Gujrat. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and is also know as the Jagat Mandir. It is a part of the four holiest temples in India called Char Dham yatra. It has two main entrances which proclaim to be doorway to Heaven (Swarg Dwar) and doorway to Liberation (Moksha Dwar).
While entering the temple, devotees are supposed to be bare foot and keep both hands folded. There are a few temples where there is a certain dress code and non-hindus are not even allowed. Devotees may or may not be able to personally present their offerings at the feet of the deity. In most large Indian temples, only the priest are allowed to enter into the main sanctum. But Lord blesses all who come to pay a visit, in order to take the divine blessings of the Lord I suggest you must visit the Holy Temples of India.