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India is a land of rich culture and heritage. If you wish to experience the culture of the country in the purest form, there can be no better way than visiting the richest temples in India. These temples are popular tourist destinations alongside being sources of great wealth and spiritual significance. Moreover, these are not only adorned with beautiful sculptures and carvings but are also filled with stunning gold and silver treasures.
From the lavish Golden Temple in Amritsar to the evergreen Jagannath Temple in Puri. Each of these shrines has its own unique history that makes it stand out from the rest. Here is a sneak peek at some of the richest temples in India and what makes them so special.
Every country has its share of ancient and beautiful temples. India is no exception, with some of the most stunning shrines in the world. The country is home to almost 1.3 billion people. Hence, it is only logical that there are bound to be temples with such an extensive population who believe in god. Below mentioned are some of these:
Golden Temple, Amritsar
Nestled in the heart of the gorgeous city of Amritsar, the Golden Temple is a place of beauty and peace. In 1604 the temple got built by Guru Arjun, the fifth Guru of Sikhs. It’s built around Amrit Sarovar, which carries healing properties. It’s adorned with beautiful gold-plated walls and roofs, and its main doors are always kept open, symbolising the welcoming nature of the Sikh faith.
Visitors to the temple remove their shoes and cover their heads before entering. Afterwards, they circumambulate the holy pool thrice and then enter the main hall to pay respect to Guru Granth Sahib. Whether you are a Sikh or not, visiting the Golden Temple is an unforgettable experience.
Tirumala Tirupati Venkateswara Temple, Andhra Pradesh
The Tirumala Tirupati Venkateswara Temple, also known as Tirupati Balaji, is in the town of Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh. The temple’s main deity is the wonderful Lord Vishnu, incarnated as Lord Balaji. It has many other deities, including Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Hanuman. The complex covers an area of over two square kilometres and includes several buildings and courtyards.
One of the richest temples in India has an entrance to the shrine through the Rajagopuram, a massive gate tower that stands over fifty meters tall. Within the complex, there are a number of temples, as well as a museum and library. Visitors to Tirupati Balaji often participate in the temple’s festivals, which include processions, devotional singing, and firework displays. The temple is also a popular destination for pilgrims undertaking the revered Char Dham Yatra, which is a pilgrimage to four of India’s most important religious sites.
Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Shirdi
Shirdi Sai Baba Temple is one of India’s most important spiritual sites. The temple was constructed in the year 1922 and is the third richest temple in India. Sai Baba was a spiritual leader who preached the importance of love, compassion, and tolerance. He advocated for social reform and helped bring significant change in people’s lives. The temple that bears his name is a testament to his lasting legacy.
It is a beautiful example of traditional Indian architecture. The intricate carvings and elaborate paintings represent the different aspects of Sai Baba’s teachings. Today, the temple is not only a place of worship but also a centre for pilgrimage and learning. Visitors from every nook of the world come to Shirdi to experience its peaceful atmosphere and to receive the blessings of Sai Baba. The devotees are known to offer highly valuable items which makes it among the richest temples in India,
Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram: the richest temple in India
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple is a renowned Hindu temple located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. It’s dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is one of the 108 Divya Desams, which are holy abodes of Lord Vishnu. Also known as Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple, it got built in the Dravidian style of architecture and is one of the majestic temples. The complex covers an area of over 6 acres and includes several shrines and sculptures.
The fascinating aspect of this temple is that Lord Vishnu is in a reclining position on Ananthan, the celestial serpent. The temple also includes a museum that houses a collection of artefacts related to the history and culture of Kerala. You will find gold-plated sculptures and two magnificent coconut shells studded with precious stones that are worth 90 thousand crores. Hence it’s known as one of the richest temples in the world. Every year, millions of Hindus flock here to pay homage to Lord Vishnu and experience its unique beauty.
Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, Delhi
The Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple in Delhi is one of the largest Hindu temples in the world. It was built in 2005 on the banks of the Yamuna River by the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha. One of the best attractions in Delhi, it features 234 carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangle spires, and 20,000 statues of Indian spiritual figures. Narayan Sarovar, a lake that receives water from 151 lakes in India, surrounds the temple.
Another impressive highlight of the shrine is the renowned Gajendra Peeth. The temple was built with pink sandstone and white marble and earned a position in the Guinness Book of World Records. It’s open to visitors, regardless of religious affiliation, and offers a variety of educational programmes along with spiritual retreats. Whether you belong to Hindu culture or not, visiting the Akshardham Temple will surely enlighten you.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is widely hailed as one of India’s most sacred and richest temples. It’s located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, on the banks of the river Ganges. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishwanath (Shiva) and is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples. Additionally, the shrine is also considered one of the many Shakti Peeth where Goddess Sati’s body parts fell. The temple is also known as the Golden Temple due to its extensive use of gold throughout the structure.
The complex includes several small temples, shrines, and a large tank known as the Manikarnika Ghat. The monument got destroyed and rebuilt numerous times. The current structure dates back to the 18th century, and its main entrance to the temple building is through the south gate, which leads to the main shrine. Every year, millions of Hindus visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple to offer their prayers and worship Lord Vishwanath.
Vaishno Devi Temple, Jammu
Situated in the magical state of Jammu and Kashmir, the Vaishno Devi temple is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in India. This temple dedicates itself to the eminent Hindu goddess Vaishno Devi and is highly known for the fact that those who pray will have their wishes granted. The primary attraction of the temple is a small cave, which leads to the idol of the goddess. Devotees from different countries visit here to pay their respects to the Hindu goddesses Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi, and Maha Saraswati.
The journey to the temple is challenging, but those who make it to the shrine get rewarded with blessings from the goddesses. The temple generates an estimated Rs. 500 Crores in revenue annually and receives about 8 million pilgrims annually. Whether you are a devotee or simply curious about one of India’s most sacred sites, a visit to the Vaishno Devi temple is sure to be a memorable experience.
Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple, Kerala
The Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple is a Hindu temple located in Kerala, India. It’s devoted to the god Ayyappa and situated atop a hill known as Sabarimala – the home of “Ayyappa”. This temple is a representation of Lord Vishnu’s feminine face. The journey to the shrine is considered a holy pilgrimage, and people wear yellow clothing and carry a special offering called Irumudi Kattu.
The temple has several buildings, including the main shrine, a set of eighteen steps. Furthermore, there are some smaller shrines as well. Visitors must perform certain rituals before they enter the main shrine, including bathing in holy water and chanting mantras. It is the second-largest pilgrimage site in the world after the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. The shrine is moreover open to everyone, regardless of caste or gender. However, women of childbearing age are not allowed to enter the main shrine, as it’s believed that Ayyappa is celibate.
Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar
The Lingaraj Temple is one of India’s ancient and richest temples and is situated in Bhubaneswar. This temple represents Lord Shiva and was erected in the seventh century by King Jajati Keshari. It is thought that the Shivalingam, a manifestation of Lord Shiva, spontaneously arose there and hence is immensely adored. The beautiful shrine is located on the banks of the Bindu Sagar lake and is surrounded by a lush green garden. Moreover, the complex has several shrines and temples, including the Rekha Deula, which is the tallest temple in Bhubaneswar.
It is also home to rare musical instruments that are played during religious ceremonies. Built-in the typical Kalinga style of architecture, with a pyramidal structure and intricate carvings, it’s said to be over approx 1,000 years. Visitors to the temple are free to learn about its rich history and see its beautiful sculptures up close. The temple is an essential part of Bhubaneswar’s cultural heritage and is a must-see for anyone visiting the city.
Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai
The Siddhivinayak Temple is a popular Hindu shrine located in Mumbai, India. The temple is dedicated to Shree Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and success. The complex includes a main prayer hall, a small shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesha’s wife, Parvati, and a series of small shrines housing other Hindu deities. Simultaneously, the Siddhivinayak Temple is also famous for its large brass bells, which are rung by worshippers when they enter the complex.
The temple is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for devotees of Lord Ganesha, and it plays the utmost vital role in the city’s religious and cultural life. It was originally built in 1801 by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil. The main shrine at the temple is made of black granite and houses a statue of Lord Ganesha.
If you’re looking for a heartwarming spiritual experience and want to see some of the richest temples in India, then be sure to add these destinations to your travel list. Besides the beautiful architecture, each of these temples is bursting with history and culture, and they offer a unique perspective into the religious practices of India. Moreover, the temples are worth a visit for their architecture and artistry and are also great places to learn about Indian culture and religion.
Come visit them soon – we promise you won’t regret it! If you are planning a trip to any of these places, be sure to visit one (or all) of these amazing temples.