India is a country that is steeped in rich cultural and religious history, and its temples are a testament to that. India has many magnificent temples, some of which are among the largest in the world. These temples are not only places of worship but also architectural marvels that attract tourists from all over the world. Here are the top 10 largest temples in India, along with a short note on each.
1. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam, Tamil Nadu
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world. It is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, a form of Lord Vishnu. The temple is spread over 156 acres and has 21 gopurams (tower gateways) and 50 shrines. The main gopuram is 236 feet high, making it one of the tallest in India.
2. Akshardham Temple, Delhi
Akshardham Temple in Delhi is a relatively new temple that was completed in 2005. It is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan and is spread over 100 acres. The temple is known for its intricate carvings and beautiful architecture. It has a large prayer hall, an exhibition hall, and a water show.
3. Belur Math, West Bengal
Belur Math is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission and is located in West Bengal. The temple is dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna and is a symbol of unity between different religions. The temple has a beautiful mix of Hindu, Islamic, and Christian architecture.
4. Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu
Brihadeeswarar Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built in the 11th century and is known for its magnificent architecture. The temple has a 216 feet tall tower and a large Nandi statue.
5. Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
Meenakshi Amman Temple is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi, a form of Parvati. The temple has 14 gopurams and is known for its beautiful sculptures and carvings. The temple has a large tank called Porthamarai Kulam, which is used for religious purposes.
6. Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha
Jagannath Temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, a form of Lord Vishnu. The temple is one of the Char Dhams (four sacred places) in India and is known for its Rath Yatra festival. The temple has a large kitchen where food is cooked for thousands of devotees every day.
7. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most famous temples in India and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is located on the banks of the river Ganga and is known for its beautiful architecture. The temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas (sacred abodes of Lord Shiva) in India.
8. Somnath Temple, Gujarat
Somnath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located on the coast of Gujarat. The temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India and is known for its beautiful architecture. The temple has been destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout history.
9. Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab
Golden Temple is one of the most famous Sikh temples in the world. The temple is known for its beautiful golden dome and is a symbol of the Sikh faith. The temple has a large langar hall, where free food is served to all visitors.
10. Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is known for its architectural beauty and intricate carvings. It is a major pilgrimage site in East India.
In conclusion, these temples are not only architectural marvels but also hold immense religious and cultural significance for the people of India. They attract millions of devotees from around the world every year and serve as a reminder of the rich spiritual heritage of India.