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Exploring the Divine Temples of Warangal

Ramappa Temple

The city of Warangal belongs to the state of Telangana. Awarded as the ‘best heritage city’ in 2014, Warangal has a rich history and culture. Earlier known as Orugallu, Warangal was the capital of the Kakatiya dynasty during the 11-century. Dotted with many exemplary pieces of Kakatiya style of art and architecture, the heritage site of Warangal has been chosen for preservation under the HRIDAY scheme by the Indian government. The city is home to three monuments, the Warangal Fort, the Ramappa Temple, and the Thousand Pillar Temple, which are under consideration for being recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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Top 12 Temples To Visit In Warangal

  1. Bhadrakali Temple
  2. Hemachala Narasimha Temple
  3. Padmakshi Temple
  4. SomeswaraLaxmiNarasimhaSwamy Temple
  5. Kulpakji Jain Mandir
  6. Mettu Ramalingeshwara Swamy Devasthanam
  7. Ramappa Temple
  8. Thousand Pillars Temple
  9. Ghanpur Group of Temples
  10. Govindarajula Gutta Temple
  11. Sri Swayambhu Temple
  12. Siddeshwara Temple

1. Bhadrakali Temple

One of the most significant temples in Warangal, the Bhadrakali Temple is situated on a hillock next to the calming Bhadrakali Lake. As a significant deviation from the circular pillars found in Kakatiya style of temple architecture, the square pillars of Bhadrakali Temple mark the victory of Chalukya dynasty over the Kakatiya’s. Built in 625 AD, a unique feature of this temple is the eight-armed stone idol of Goddess Bhadrakali sporting pleasing eyes and holding a weapon in each hand. The temple is closely associated with the renowned Koh-i-Noor diamond, which was believed to be a part of the left eye of Bhadrakali’s idol. Bhadrakali’ svahana (consort), the lion, sits opposite the sanctum sanctorum. A grand dwajasthambam (flagstaff) and a bali-peetam (pedestal for animal sacrifice) find home in the temple complex. India’s largest, and first geo-bio-diversity cultural park is being developed next to the Bhadrakali Lake.

Timings: 5:30 AM to 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM

2. Hemachala Narasimha Temple

A walk through the dense forests of Hemachala will land you at the steps of Narasimha Temple, which is situated on a hillock. The Narasimha idol self-impregnated in a wall, and is unique in many ways. It is believed it is the only Narasimha idol ever to be in a standing position. The chest of the idol feels soft like human skin. Impressions of the finger are visible when the skin is pressed. As per faith, this is because the benevolent Goddess Lakshmi also resides in the idol’s chest. Most interestingly, the idol’s navel (boddu) secretes a fluid, which is called ‘cheemu’ in Tamil, and is distributed to the devotees as prasad. A natural water spring, ChintamaniJalapatham, flows nearby, and devotees believe its waters have medicinal qualities.

Timings: 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM

3. Padmakshi Temple

Surrounded by a picturesque lake, the Padmakshi Temple is located on a hillock in the centre of the town of Hanamakonda. The surrounding area, earlier called ‘basadi’, was an important seat for Jainism. One of the most popular temples in Warangal, this was earlier a Jain temple, which later got converted to a Hindu temple. The temple features several beautiful statues of Jain tirthankaras. The most striking is the image of Parsavanatha in the sanctum sanctorum with the Padmakshi idol to his left. The Padmakshi idol changes her form throughout the day – she is a baby girl in the morning, a young girl in noon, and an old lady by evening. All the idols are carved out of live rock, and have been recently retouched. A unique feature of the temple is the Annakonda Pillar at its entrance. Made of black granite stone, the striking pillar is a quadrangular column with four faces. The Bathukamma Festival is celebrated with great fervour, when lakhs of women congregate here and immerse flowers in the Padmakshi Pond.

Timings: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

4. Someswara Laxmi Narasimha Swamy Temple

The town of Palakurthi was named after well-known Telugu poet Palkuriki Somanathudu. This area was an important seat of the Veera shaivisim cult, a 6000 year old liberal Hindu sect, which rejected caste and class teachings and flourished mainly in South India. Atop a hillock in Palakurthi, lies the Someswara Laxmi Narasimha Swamy Temple. It houses two caves – each dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The parikrama (circumambulation) of the temple is thus naturally formed by the path along the surrounding hills. Both sides of the entrance to the inner hall depicts black stone carvings of dwara palikas (gate keepers) resembling Shiva in nataraj (cosmic dancer) pose holding the iconic damru (drum) in one hand. Entrance to the Shiva temple is graced by a Nandi bull. The temple in the other cave is dedicated to God Vishnu worshipped in the form of Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy.

Timings: 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM

5. Kulpakji Jain Mandir

One of the most popular religious sites, this renowned 2,000 year old Jain temple is located in the village of Kolanupaka on the Hyderabad-Warangal Highway. During the Kakatiyas Period, Jainism flourished in Kolanupaka and it became an important centre of pilgrimage specifically for the svetambara Jains from South India. Idols of three Jain tirthankaras (spiritual teachers) – Rishabhanatha, Neminatha, and Mahavira – are housed in the temple. The idol of Rishabhanatha, the first tirthankara, is carved of blue stone and is famously known as ‘Manikyaswami’. As per legend, this Manikyaswami image was earlier worshipped by the wife of Ravana, Mandodari. The idol of Mahavir, the last tirthankara, is carved out of monolithic jade stone. Built of red sandstone and white marble, the temple features several ancient Jain inscriptions. The twelve armed idol of Padmavati is different from the usual idols, which feature four arms.

Timings: 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM

6. Mettu Ramalingeshwara Swamy Devasthanam

Madikonda was popular as a place where Telugu literature flourished. Also known as Manigiri, this area has four historical temples. The most famous amongst them is the Rama Lingeshwara Swamy Temple – seen as a striking formation by two rectangular rocks balanced on top of a hill with rock-cut steps, famously called mettu gutta in Telugu. The complex houses two temples, dedicated to Gods Shiva and Rama. The complex is surrounded by many small water bodies and sprawling rock formations. Many other remnants of constructions from the Kakatiya dynasty are found here. This area in Warangal is slated to be developed as part of a spiritual tourism circuit.

Timings: 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM

7. Ramappa Temple

This 11-century temple built during the Kakatiya dynasty is an exemplary exhibit of Kakatiya art and architecture. Also called the Ramalingeswara Temple, the construction of Ramappa Temple took 40 years. Built by a sculptor called Ramappa, this is probably India’s only temple named after its craftsman. Situated in Palampet village, it is one of the most famous temples in Warangal. Ramalingeswara is the presiding deity of this Siva temple. The main complex is built of red sandstone. In the centre of the sanctorum, a Shiva lingam rises from an elevated pedestal, the yoni-peetha, which is made of black basalt. The exterior columns feature big brackets of black basalt carved in the shape of mythical animal, and female dancers and musicians. The temple roof, which is made of bricks is so lightweight that it can float on water. Two small shrines dedicated to God Shiva flank both sides of the main temple. A massive Nandi bull stands facing the Shiva’s shrine.

Timings: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

8. Thousand Pillars Temple

Also known as the Rudreswara Temple, or locally as the Veyisthambala Gudi, the Thousand Pillars Temple is an architectural masterpiece. Built under Kakatiya King Rudra Deva, this 12-century temple features exceptional Kakatiya art. The most striking aspect of this temple architecture was its 1000 pillars, none of which obstructed the walking path. The main structure is shaped like a star. The temple is locally known as trikutalaya, one with three shrines, each dedicated to Lord Surya, Lord Shiva, and Lord Vishnu. The foundations are strengthened using sand box technique, displaying the exemplary skills of Kakatiya craftsmanship. A massive Nandi bull carved out of a monolithic black basalt rock sits at the entrance to this Shiva’s shrine. An idol of Ganesha sits in the left side of the sanctum sanctorum. A huge porch, the kalyana mandapam, sits right in front of the main sanctum sanctorum.

Timings: 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM

9. Ghanpur Group of Temples

The group of temples at Ghanpur refers to a cluster of 12-century temples also famously known as Kota Gullu. Built during the Kakatiya dynasty, almost 20 to 22 temples of different shapes and sizes are found in the complex. The biggest amongst these is a temple dedicated to Shiva, which can also be identified as the main temple. Its walls, porches, and balconies feature exquisite carvings, and the doors depict scenes from the Shiva Purana. The walls, gateways, and ceilings of these temples display exemplary rock-cut architecture, featuring seamless carvings of flowers and figures from solid granite rocks. The complex houses many beautiful mandapams (porches), such as the spectacular Sabhamandapa porch. Sculptures of salabhanjikas (female dancers), and mythological characters like Gaja Kesari (half-human half-lion form) exhibit an architectural marvel.

Timings: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

10. Govindarajula Gutta Temple

The small village of Govindarajula Gutta is home to many famous temples. Amongst these, a small temple located on top of a gutta, or hillock, is of special importance. Devotees need to climb a flight of almost a 100 steps to reach the Govindarajula Gutta Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Ram. A smaller temple dedicated to Ram’s devotee, Lord Hanuman, sits at the foothill of the hillock. A massive ratha (chariot) built of precious stones sits next to the temple. It is believed that the chariot was built by the Hazaris of Warangal. The temple witnesses large gatherings of worshippers during the Rama Navami Festival.

Timings: 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM, 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

11. Sri Swayambhu Temple

This historic 846 years old temple built under the Kakatiya dynasty was once one of the most significant religious sites for the Kakatiya rulers. Situated inside the legendary Warangal Fort, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped in swayambhu (self-manifested) linga form. Ruins of the temple lie in the centre of the fort, which includes four free-standing 33-feet tall ‘entry gates’ featuring exquisite carvings of flowers, lotus buds, mythical animals, looped garlands, and birds. The intricate carvings on walls and ceilings, like those of Perini dancers, give a deep insight into the culture and traditions of Kakatiya dynasty. The complex initially had over 23 shrines with embedded precious gems, but most of them were plundered.

Timings: 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM

12. Siddeshwara Temple

Located near Hanamkonda, this 3-century AD temple features a Chalukyan architectural style. Surrounded by hills lying next to a water body, it is one of the few Paschimadwara Mukha (entry gate faces west) temples in India. The temple features intricate carvings and sculptures. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is worshipped in lingam form. The festival of Maha Shivaratri is celebrated with great pomp, when the entire complex is decorated with flowers and lights.

Timings: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Fortresses, temples, lakes, and stone gateways – the many monuments built by Kakatiyas earned Warangal a popular reputation for art and architecture, and guided its way to become a famous tourist destination. Some other popular attractions in Warangal include the Kazipet Dargah, Ursu Gutta, Erragattu Gutta, Waddepally Lake, Dharmasagar Lake, Ekashila Lake and garden, Laknavaram Cheruvu, Kakatiya Musical Garden, Kakatiya Zoological Park, Kush Mahal, and the Regional Science Centre. Warangal was also chosen to be developed as a ‘smart city’ under the smart-cities mission. With a touch of old and new, Warangal offers a colourful experience for anyone looking forward to explore the city.

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Historical Places Travel Tips

6 Temples to Definitely Visit in the Heavenly Town of Jammu

Ranbireshwar Temple

The bright gemstone that is smeared proudly on the forehead of majestic India is Jammu which is the prized Kohinoor of the country bearing an unmatched history. A series of eclectic charms that prevail in the region provide brilliant opportunities to explore the natural beauty, history and spirituality. Nestled between the Vale of Kashmir in the north and Daman Koh Plains in the south, it has been a tourist hub since time immemorial.

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Nonetheless, Temples too form an important element in the personality and uniqueness of the state of J&K. While visiting this northern most state of India, one can spot a number of towering temples apart from the appealing scenery and nature. That explains the presence of a multitude of Hindu temples in the state, surrounded by pristine blue waters of lakes, rivers, and snow-clad mountain tops and alpines.  The state attracts pilgrims in hordes throughout the year, as great religious importance is attached to these places. Most of them are well – known for their unique architecture, solitude, and serene environment. Experience divinity at its best and enjoy the cherishing aura of Jammu. Travel to Jammu for pleasing summers, mild winters, ample adventures and fun filled recreational activities. The breathtaking scenery welcomes visitors at every nook and corner and the glorious history finds its permanent address here.

Top 6 Temples To Visit In Jammu

  1. Ranbireshwar Temple
  2. Raghunath Temple
  3. Vaishno Devi Temple
  4. Peer Kho Cave Temple
  5. Avantipur Temple
  6. Amarnath Temple

1. Ranbireshwar Temple

Ranbireshwar Temple is yet another well-known temple in Jammu. Known for its own legend, devotees and strictly followed specific days of worship. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located opposite to Jammu & Kashmir Civil Secretariat, on the Shalamar Road. In this Temple, there are twelve Shiva ‘lingams’ of crystal that are as high as 12″ to 18″ and many resplendent galleries that boast of ‘saligrams’ fixed on stone slabs, they constitute a unique element of the temple.

Constructed by the then king, Raja Ranbir Singh, who was a great devotee of Lord Shiva, established a seven-and-a-half feet high crystal Lingam in the temple. Another prominent feature of the temple is that, three of its walls are gold clad. And two of the walls are adorned with the images of Ganesha and Kartikeya. There are several shiva lingas in the shrine along with a Nandi Bull. It is believed amongst the localities that all your wishes come true when whispered in the bull’s ears. Depicting the art and architecture of 1883, it offers a marvellous view of isolated forested hills. Standing affirm as tall as 75 meters high, the temple itself is a local landmark.

2. Raghunath Temple

Raghunath Temple

Amidst the heart of Jammu, lies the Raghunath Temple. This is an important shrine that belongs to the eighth incarnation of Vishnu- ‘Rama’, who is considered the patron deity of the Dogra community. The cluster of temples in the nearby area has been dedicated to the Gods and Goddesses related to the epic Ramayana, proudly making it the largest temple complex of North India. For the completion of the entire build, it took nearly about 25 long years from 1835 AD to 1860 AD. The prime architects were Maharaja Gulab Singh and his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh.

You will be able to steal a glimpse of the Mughal architecture can be noticed on the carvings and arches of the temple. Drop by the Sanskrit Library located inside the premises of the temple that offers a rich reserve of various manuscripts relating to stories and incidents from the golden chapters of the epic Ramayana.

The temple comprises of seven shrines, each with a tower of its own. The morning and evening ‘aartis’ are conducted daily since its inception. There are 17 other shrines nearby including the Panjbakhtar Temple and Ranbireshwar Temple.

This Rama Temple was a huge place of worship for the royal family of Dogra. There are several statues of deities and shiva lingas along with religious inscriptions. A figurine of King Ranbir Singh is also placed at the entrance, besides the several Hindu gods and deities.

3. Vaishno Devi Temple

Avantipur Temple

MaaVaishnodevi Temple is deemed to be India’s second most visited religious site, right after Tirumala Venkateswara Temple. The temple is dedicated to Mata Rani or Vaishnavi, who is a superlative manifestation of the Mother Goddess. Being located near the tinsel town of Katra, in Udhampur district, pilgrims walk up the backbreaking journey to the shrine located placed high over the Trikuta hill at an altitude of more than five thousand ft. This hill is regarded as the base camp for the journey to this shrine. The distance to the shrine is a vast spread of over 13 km, where there is sadly no provision for modern transport, except for a helipad which can be found at the top of the hill.

When the journey gets tiring, pilgrims start to take the help of horses. A rail link from Udhampur to Katra has been especially being built to facilitate pilgrimage. The aarti ritual, which is a two-hour act of reverence for the Goddess Vashnavi is performed twice a day when the shrine echoes with the holy sounds of chanting devotional songs and mantras accompanied by uttering 108 names of Goddess Durga. Devotees worship the three forms of Goddess Vaishnavi here, namely Mahal Kali, Mahal Lakshmi, and Mahal Saraswati.  It is believed that anybody who walks to the abode to ask for a boon rarely goes back disappointed or dissatisfied. This legendary epitome of religious sentiments, Vaishno Devi blesses the town of Jammu with much felicity and brings prosperity.

4. Peer Kho Cave Temple

If you wish to take a quick dip into the laps of spirituality, well then Peer Kho Cave Temple is the right place for you. Lying on the banks of River Tawi, The Peer Kho cave temple is yet another famous religious site in Jammu. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is also called as Jamwant Cave by its worshippers. This is mainly due to the fact that it is widely believed that Ramayan character Jamvant (the bear God) used to come here and meditate in this cave.

Enshrined with the svayambhu shivalinga, the temple is placed in the acacia forest amid igneous rocks and is tagged as one of the most ancient Shiva Temples in the region. This illustrating cave temple is worshipped by hundreds of devotees during a pilgrimage to Aap Shambu Temple, Ranbireshwar Temple and Panjbakhtar Temple. The festival of Shivratri is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm who come over to seek magical blessings.

5. Avantipur Temple

Avantipur Temple

Reflecting wonders of an exquisite piece of artwork, this temple named Avantipur Temple is located south-east east of Srinagar. Built between 855 AD and 883 AD, it is believed to be constructed by King Avantivarman. He was a great devotee of Lord Surya, and therefore dedicated the temple to him, but a few other deities including Goddess Ragnya Devi can also be seen in the temple. The king also planned for two other temples near the main shrine. The smaller one being exclusively designed for Lord Shiva and is still in good form. The latter, Avantiswami Temple, was a famous Vishnu Temple which is unfortunately now in ruins. However, both the temples show an outward appearance of Greek architecture.

The main temple is quite well-known for its exceptional level of carvings. As you enter the temple, you will find a sculpture of the royal family on the stairs leading up to the main shrine. Apart from that, you will find carvings of Apsaras (the beautiful female demigods) as well on the stairs. From Navagrahas (the nine planets in Hindu astrology) to the beautiful Kinnara, who is deemed as a demigod with a human head and a bird’s body), the temple walls, tall pillars and stretched floors are full of beautiful, ancient and unique carvings. In the turn of the 18th century, the British carried many such unique idols and elements from the temple to the museums in England, however, a few of them can still be seen in the SPS Museum in Srinagar. This relics are a sheer treat to sore eyes.

6. Amarnath Temple

The Amarnath temple is regarded as Kashmir’s oldest existing temple, dating back to the 5th century. Surrounded by fairly steep hills, this Shiva temple is situated in a narrow gorge on the far end of Lidder Valley at an altitude of almost 4000 meters. The temple is famous for a ‘Shiva-Lingam’, a natural formation of ice, where it is believed to wax and wane according to the moon’s cycle. The ‘Yatra’ to Amarnath, one of the principal Hindu Dhams, starts from Chandanwari , that is  16 kilometres from Pahalgam, in the month of Sawan (July to August).

Amarnath Cave is one of the most pious Hindu pilgrimages of all time. It is one of the oldest religious sites belonging to Hindu mythology. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has been sculpted out of ice. The structure of the cave resembles that of a Shivalingam. It is 60 feet high and is located at about 4000 meters from the sea level.

As per legends, there is a mythological story associated with the cave of Amarnath. When Lord Shiva was narrating the secret of immortality to his wife, Goddess Parvati, a pair of mating doves eavesdropped on this conversation and happened to know the secret. Repeatedly reborn, they are known to have made the cave their eternal abode. It is said that even today, the people claim to see a pair of doves when they trek to the ice Shivalinga. The weather is quite uncertain. The temperature may fall to -5 degree C. Heavy snowfall or teeming rainfall are quite common and may take place at any time during the Amarnath Yatra.

It is worshipped for many reasons. Worshipers believe that this is the place where Lord Shiva had revealed the secrets of immortality to Goddess Parvati, his wife. The Shivalingam experiences to fade a bit from the months of May to August. It is said that this occurs due to the moon’s cycle. The cave also has ice lingams of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Parvati, his son and wife. Every year it receives a huge number of devotees from various parts of the country. It is believed that none of the wishes goes unfulfilled, once asked Lord Shiva.

By now you must have had some substantial information related to various places of religious importance in the resplendent town of Jammu and how to crack each one of them. So why is the wait? There are still innumerable temples which can be additionally covered. Well, it is best if you go find them out yourself without much ado. Here is a final call to one and all reading this, book your tickets right away and get mesmerised with the serenity, charm and beauty of Jammu. Needless to say, this is a mini heaven on the face of planet Earth that you have been long searching for. Let Jammu welcome you with open arms.

Happy Journey!

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Historical Places Travel Tips

9 Temples in Ahmedabad that Will Leave You Spiritually Spellbound

Modhera Sun Temple

Ahmedabad, the bustling city of Gujarat, will fascinate you in more ways than you can imagine. If you thought it is all about garba, colourful textiles or yummy Gujarati cuisine, then you need to visit this culturally diverse city to discover so much more. As you walk through the streets of Ahmedabad, it will win you over with its amazing architecture, centuries-old mosques, ancient temples, and contemporary buildings. While the narrow streets of the old part of the city will excite you, the new city has world-class restaurants, bustling shopping centres, and malls. The old city is situated on the eastern side of the Sabarmati River and is surrounded by a 10-kilometre long wall. While the new city lies on the western side of the river and has several universities and new dwellings.

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Ahmedabad, which is also known as Amdavad, Ahmadabad or Ahemdavad exhibits a confluence of cultures. This is because this vibrant city of Gujarat has been under the rule of different dynasties like Delhi Sultanate, Mughals, Marathas, and the British. Under the rule of each of these dynasties, there has been much added to its history and culture in the form of temples and monuments. So, let us get to know more about this largest city of Gujarat – Ahmedabad by exploring some of its famous temples.

Top 9 Temples To Visit In Ahmedabad

  1. Akshardham Temple
  2. Swami Narayan Temple
  3. Hutheesingh Temple
  4. Modhera Sun Temple
  5. Shri Hanumanji Temple
  6. BhadrakaliMaa Temple
  7. Shree Jagannath Temple
  8. Devendrashwar Mahadev Temple
  9. Vaishno Devi Temple

1. Akshardham Temple

You should start your Ahmedabad trip with this temple. It is one of the largest temples of Gujarat and is spread over 23 acres of land. Lord Swaminarayan is the presiding deity of this temple. It is built using 6000 tons of pink sandstone. A true architectural marvel, the temple is a perfect amalgamation of art, culture, and devotion. It has an intricately carved structure of Lord Swaminarayan, which stands tall in the sprawling lawns of this beautiful temple.

The Akshardham Temple is surrounded by a garden – Sahajanand Van. There are horse rides, games, swings for kids, a herbal garden, a lake, and a waterfall. Besides, there are also three exhibition halls to educate visitors. There is also a Sat-Chit-Anand water show that takes place in the temple premises. It beautifully showcases India’s inner light story through the story of Nachiketa.

A visit to this temple is a must not only for devotees but even for those who pose a nose for architecture. The many attractions within the temple ensures a huge footfall. According to the last census, 2 million people visit this temple every year. It is located around 25kilometres from the city centre. One of the popular religious spots, it is a true architectural marvel. If you really wish to see the temple fully decked up, then plan a visit here during the festivals of Janmashtami, Diwali, and Navratri.

2. Swami Narayan Mandir

The land where this mandir was constructed was gifted by the British Imperial Government and the construction was entrusted by Lord Swaminarayan to Ananandand Swami. This temple was constructed according to scriptural norms with pure Burma teak carvings. Even the installation ceremony of the murtis was done in the presence of thousands of pilgrims from across the country.

The God in the main temple complex is in the form of a child – Ghanshyam Maharaj. It is installed in the Akshar Bhavan where the personal items of Swaminarayan have been put for display and hence can be viewed by pilgrims and visitors. There is also an idol of Ghanshyam Maharaj in Rang Mahal where Swaminarayan lived during his visits to Ahmedabad. Besides this, there is also a house of sculptures of Swaminarayan in the mandir.

Visit this mandir, which gives the feel of being in a Gujarati mansion. There are nine tombs on the southern part, which are referred to as “Nau Gaz Pir”. The architecture of this temple is truly one of its kind and you should visit here during any Hindu festival to experience the place in its full glory. The beautiful domes, lush green gardens, and magnificent architecture will keep bringing you back.

3. Hutheesingh Temple

This Jain temple was built in 1848 and is dedicated to Dharamanath (the fifteenth Jain Tirthankara). Besides, there are 52 sub-shrines in the courtyard that are dedicated to various other Tirthankars. There are large protruding porches, decorated columns, and figural brackets on the three outer sides. There is also a 78-feet tall Mahavir Stambha near the front entrance. In fact, some of the motif designs are inspired by the Sultanate minarets of the Mughal period.

A remarkable temple, it is made using white marbles, which is sacred to Jains. This temple was built by a rich Jain merchant, Sheth Hutheesing as a dedication to the Shri Dharamanath. He had spent around 10 lakh rupees for constructing this marvellous religious site. The traditional artisans working in stone were mainly from Sonpura and Salat communities. This masterpiece is attributed to Premchand Salat of the Salat community.

It is located outside the Delhi Gate and is spread over a huge courtyard, the mandapa is surrounded by huge domes and 12 decorated pillars. The main shrine is referred to as a small garbhagruh and is situated on the east side of the temple. Throughout the temple, there are beautiful hand carvings, which have been intricately done by the designers. A visit to this Jain temple along with other religious sites will be totally worth it as it is one of the most beautiful temples in Ahmedabad.

4. Modhera Sun Temple

This temple is dedicated to the Sun God and is one of the most popular tourist sites. The architecture of this temple is truly unique and well-designed. There are three mandaps inside this temple. The Guda mandapa is considered the main one. The two other mandapas include the Kunda and Sabhamandapa. The temple is symbolic of the ancient times when people revered the natural elements of fire, air, water, earth, and sky. Moreover, a walk around this temple will give you a serene feeling as there is a positive aura about this place.

The Modhera Sun Temple is symbolic of the Solanki period, which is also referred to as the Golden Age of Gujarat. The beautifully carved temple and the kund, which is sculpted reflect the intricate artwork of the masons of the Solanki period.

At present, there is no presiding deity in this temple, and it is a protected monument. It is being maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. You will easily end up spending around two hours in this temple and you should ideally visit here between the months of October to March.

When you enter this historical complex, you will see a huge kund – the Ramakund, which is rectangular in shape and has 108 shrines of different gods and demi-gods. Then, you must see the three main shrines each located on the three sides of the kund. The three shrines are that of Lord Ganesh, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva doing tandav and facing the temple. Then, there is also the Sabha Mandap or the assembly, which has sculpted renderings of the twelve Adityas (name of Sun god). Moreover, you must also find a purohit or priest who will have lots of stories to narrate about this religious site.

5. Shri Hanumanji Temple

It is one of the most beautiful temples in Ahmedabad, which is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. This temple is in the Cantonment Area on the airport road in Shahibaug. It was established by Pandit Gajanan Prasad and is a hundred-year-old temple. It is one of the most popular temples where people come from faraway lands to seek the blessings of Lord Hanuman. This temple is one of the biggest in India and is believed to have powers to help people get rid of their problems.

The temple has a gold-plated statue of Lord Hanuman and is surrounded with writings of Lord Rama. Lord Hanuman was a devotee of Lord Rama. Besides, there is also the mace placed near the image of the idol. Even after all this set-up the inner sanctum is huge enough to accommodate devotees in large numbers and they can comfortably offer prayers or chant religious songs.

The temple has a huge footfall on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The most popular festivals that are celebrated in this temple are Hanuman Jayanti and Sri Ram Navami. So, if possible, you should plan a visit to this famous temple during these Hindu festivals. Along with this temple, one can also cover the Mahalakshmi Temple and Mankameshvar Temple. These are also popular religious sites in Ahmedabad.

6. BhadrakaliMaa Temple

The presiding deity of this temple is Maa Bhadrakali, which is a form of Goddess Kali. An ancient temple it is believed to have been constructed during the reign of Ahmed Shah in the 14-century. It is one of the oldest temples in Ahmedabad and is quite popular even among the locals.

The festival of Navratri is celebrated here with much gaiety. It is one of the best times to visit this temple when there are traditional Gujarati tunes, dance, and food fest organised at the temple. The other main attraction of this temple is that the vehicle of the goddess is changed here every day.

7. Shree Jagannath Temple

The place where this temple is built was earlier covered by thick forest and the Sabarmati River used to flow here. At present, there is the beautiful Jagannath Temple on this Jamalpur road of Ahmedabad.

This temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath and will mesmerise you with its architectural beauty. The most popular festival celebrated here is the Rath Yatra. It is the annual chariot festival, which is celebrated with much fervour. The celebration of Rath Yatra started here in 1878 and since then celebrated every year. Even other Hindu festivals are celebrated in this temple like Janmashtami, Diwali, and Guru Purnima. There is also a Panchakarma Ayurveda hospital inside the campus.

8. Devendrashwar Mahadev Temple

It is one of the most holy and popular religious sites in Ahmedabad. The temple is dedicated to Lord Mahadev. It also has a beautiful idol of Goddess Durga and the architecture is also noteworthy. It has the capacity to accommodate a large number of people and a lot of people visit this temple every day.

The festival of Mahashivratri is celebrated with much fervour and it is the best time to visit this temple. There is also a river on the backside of this temple from where you can enjoy a panoramic view.

9. Vaishno Devi Temple

It is located on the Gandhinagar road and is one of the best temples in Ahmedabad. This temple is a replica of the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Jammu & Kashmir. It has been made on a man-made hill and one needs to climb up the hill to visit this temple. You should visit here during the festival of Navratri. All the nine days of the festival are celebrated here with much enthusiasm. There is also a Tirupati Balaji Temple nearby, which you can cover when visiting this temple.

There are many old and new temples, which are worth visiting in Ahmedabad. The beautiful city has amazingly restored structures from the past while developing new and colourful temples. You can get to know a lot about the history, culture, and heritage of Gujarat by visiting the many temples in Ahmedabad. Try to cover the ones mentioned in the list above and have an epic Ahmedabad trip.

P.s. You might like these related resources:

Historical Places Travel Tips

Visit the Top Temples in Guwahati for a Uniquely Spiritual Experience

Kamakhya Temple

Guwahati, the gateway to the Northeast of India is a bustling city perched on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra River, the second longest river in India. As it is a busy city, it is easy to miss out on the historically relevant places in Guwahati. However, there are quite a few beautiful religious sites here, which will surely appeal to those who are spiritually inclined or looking for a peaceful vacation. The Ahom kings, who are one of the longest ruling dynasties of the world and witnessed an uninterrupted rule of 600 years, have left behind many monuments that speak volumes about their keen cultural inclination. Visit the temples in Guwahati and get an insight into the little-known history of North-eastern India.

Find Best Hotels In Guwahati

Top 9 Temples To Visit In Guwahati

  1. Kamakhya Temple
  2. Navagraha Temple
  3. Umananda Temple
  4. Doul Gobinda Temple
  5. Purva Tirupati Sri Balaji Temple
  6. Aswaklanta Temple
  7. Ugratara Temple
  8. Basistha Temple
  9. Lankeshwar Temple

1. Kamakhya Temple

One of the famous Shaktipeethas across India, the Kamakhya Temple is dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya. The temple is situated in the heart of Guwahati on a hilltop and is maintained nicely by the authorities. There are four Garbhagrihas and three mandapas inside the temple and the walls are adorned with many sculptures. One of the unique things in this temple is that there is no idol of the goddess that is worshipped here, and instead, the Yoni or vagina of the Goddess is worshipped in the inner sanctum of the temple.

The hilltop is a great place to gain a view of the entire Guwahati city below and the surrounding atmosphere will bring a sense of calm. The temple looks very beautiful during the evening Aarti. This is the most famous among the religious sites in Guwahati.

Ambubachi Mela is the most important festival of the temple which happens for 4 days every year. This is the time when the Goddess Kamakhya is supposed to be undergoing her yearly menstrual cycle. Devotees from all over the country flock to the temple at this time.

Getting there: Kamakhya temple is well-connected by various means of transport such as public buses, shared taxis and private taxis. Irrespective of wherever you are in the city, all these modes of transport are easily available.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit Kamakhya Temple is during the months of October to February.

2. Navagraha Temple

The Navagraha Temple or literally the temple of nine celestial bodies is another temple situated on a hill in the south-eastern part of Guwahati. The temple is said to be more than 1000 years old, but over the years, earthquakes and other natural calamities have damaged it. The present-day temple was built by the Ahom king Rajeswar Singha in 1752 A.D. The inner sanctum of the temple has 9 lingams of Lord Shiva that are clad in different colours to represent the different planets –  Surya, Chandra, Mangal, Budha, Brihaspati, Shukara, Shani, Rahu and Ketu. Devotees from all across the state come to this temple to offer prayers and pujas so that the planets are appeased, and no problems befall them. This is one of the most visited religious sites in Guwahati.

Getting there: The temple is well connected with buses and private taxis. The best way to reach there is by a private taxi.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit the Navagraha temple is between the months of October and February.

3. Umananda Temple

Umananda Temple

The spellbinding Umananda Temple is in the middle of the Brahmaputra River on an island known as the Umananda Island or the Peacock Island. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it was built by the Ahom king Gadadhar Singha in 1694. The presiding deity here is Lord Umananda who is another avatar of Lord Shiva. According to locally held beliefs, Lord Shiva used to reside in this place and was meditating here when Kamdeva, the lord of love, interrupted his meditation. An angry Shiva reduced Kamdeva to ashes with just one look. The ashes were scattered at this spot and that is the reason that the hill where the temple is located is known as bhasmachala. Shivaratri is the major festival here, which attracts visitors and devotees alike. The temple has a number of sculptures made out of rock and the temple also has archaeological significance. Apart from the religious and archaeological significance, the natural beauty and the sights from the island will definitely mesmerize you.

Getting there: There are government run ferries that ply to and from the island throughout the day.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit is during the winter months of October to February.

4. Doul Gobinda Temple

Among the most famous religious sites in Guwahati and in Assam, the Doul Gobinda Temple deserves special mention. It is on the foothills of the Chandrabati Hills, in North Guwahati. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and is not only visited by Krishna devotees, but by people of all religious faiths.

The temple witnesses maximum footfalls during Holi. The festival of colours is celebrated here for a period of five days. Janmasthmi is another major festival that is celebrated here.

The temple is near the shores of the Brahmaputra River and is not crowded. The banks of the river are an ideal picnic spot too.

Getting There: The easiest way to reach Doul Gobinda is by availing ferry boat services from Fancy Bazaar.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit is between the winter months of October and February.

5. Purva Tirupati Sri Balaji Temple

Purva Tirupati Sri Balaji Temple

The Tirupati Balaji Temple of Guwahati is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara and has South Indian style of architecture. Visitors first visit the temple of Ganesha that is at the entrance and then go on to visit the Balaji temple. The presiding deity here is Lord Balaji while other deities include goddesses such as Padmavathi and gods such as Garuda. The temple has a deity of Lord Shiva whose age is more than 40 years old. The white spotless walls here lend a special kind of beauty to the place.

The South Indian style of construction is very prominent. Once you’re done with your prayers, you can also sit and relax in the beautiful park associated with the temple. The prasadam here is in the form of ladoos that are given in the original Tirupati Balaji Temple in Tamil Nadu. Although very modern, this is one of the most visited religious sites in Guwahati.

Getting there: The temple, although on the outskirts of the city, is well -connected by buses and taxis.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit is between October and February

6. Aswaklanta Temple

Sri Aswaklanta Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located on the banks of the River Brahmaputra in North Guwahati. It is another one of the popular religious sites in Guwahati. It was built by the Ahom king Shiva Singha in 1720. The temple was damaged in the great earthquake of 1897, but it was repaired in 1901 under the patronage of Lord Curzon, viceroy of Assam.

There are two main deities in the temple. They are Lord Janardana and Lord Anantasai Vishnu. The temple has beautiful stone inscriptions on all its walls and the sculptures here are fine specimens of rock-cut architecture.

There are two legends associated with the name of this place. The first one says that when Lord Krishna was searching for the demon Narakasur to kill him, his horse felt tired here at the spot where the temple is today. Aswa means horse and klanta mean tired in the Assamese language. Thus, the name Aswaklanta was given to the temple.

The second legend says that owing to a conspiracy, Arjuna, the third brother of the Pandavas, was persuaded to stay here so that in the meantime his son Abhimanyu could be killed in battle. This gave the name Abhi-Klanta to the place which later changed into Aswaklanta.

The festivals that are celebrated with great pomp and gaiety are Janmashtami and Ashokasthami. The temple remains crowded during these occasions as devotees come from afar to see these festivals.

Getting there: The temple is easily accessible by both water and road transport. There are ferries from Fancy Bazaar ghat and taxis and buses are available to go to the temple via road across the Saraighat Bridge.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit the temple is between October and February.

7. Ugratara Temple

Ugratara Temple is another Shakti Temple which sees flocks of devotees and tourists. The temple is dedicated to Sati Devi, the first partner of Lord Shiva. The temple was constructed in the year 1725 by the Ahom king Siva Singha. Beside the temple is the famous Jor Pukhuri. Just like the Goddess Kamakhya, there is no idol of the Goddess Ugratara here. Instead, a small ditch of water is worshipped here which is considered to be a form of the Goddess Ugratara. The goddess is believed to be a demonic form of Goddess Sati so it is said that she loves liquor, meat and complete devotion. You can either offer puja at the temple or simply witness a puja. Animal sacrifice is still in vogue here and animals such as goats or buffaloes are sacrificed during the Durga Puja and Kali Puja. The earthquake of 1897 had damaged this temple too but it was repaired.

Getting there: Since the temple is centrally located in the heart of the city, transportation is not an issue. Buses, auto rickshaws and rickshaws are available aplenty.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit the temple is during the Durga Puja and Kali Puja.

8. Basistha Temple

The Basistha Temple is among the interesting religious sites in Guwahati, and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was constructed by the Ahom king Rajeshwar Singha in the year 1764. The temple is inside an ashram known as Basistha ashram which is a place of great scenic beauty. It is believed that a sage named Basistha once lived here and today the resting place of the sage is also the place where the ashram is. One of the prime attractions here is a cave where the sage is said to have meditated. There is also a beautiful waterfall here. The Garbhanga Reserve Forest is also near the ashram and is home to many wild animals including elephants.

Getting there: There are shared cars known as trekkers and buses that drop you right near the temple.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit is between the months of October and February.

9. Lankeshwar Temple

This is another ancient temple atop a hill which is considered very sacred among devotees. The temple is on the outskirts of the city, near Gauhati University. It is well connected by different transport modes and is in a scenic location. The view from the top of the hill is marvellous as you can see the Brahmaputra River in the distance and parts of the Guwahati city too.

The temple attracts devotees in large numbers during Shivratri.

Getting there: City bus number 6 directly connects Guwahati city and the temple. It is the easiest and cheapest way to get to the temple. Private taxis are also available to go to the temple from central points in the city such as Khanapara and Paltan Bazaar.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit the temple is between the months of October and February.

To conclude

In Guwahati, be prepared to explore temples that have their own distinctive look and are different from what you might be used to seeing otherwise in India. Guwahati is also the connecting point for many beautiful spots in Assam and other states. The winter months between October and February would be the best time to visit as they are the months when temperatures are mild and the city doesn’t experience too much heat or too much rain.

P.s. You might like this related resource:

Historical Places Travel Tips

5 Glorious Temples You Need to Visit in Pondicherry

Kamakshi Amman Temple

Proudly raised as one of the seven Union Territories of India, Pondicherry is often famously referred to as the ‘French Riviera of the East.’ Located in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, it is a little town tucked away on the south-east coastline and it is a destination that promises travellers pure serenity and sanctity in different forms.

As per historical records, Pondicherry was formerly denoted by the name Vedapuri and this place is also deemed to be the abode of the revered sage, Saint Agasthya. This unique geographical location of Pondicherry captured the attention of Portuguese, Dutch, English, and French. In 1673, Pondicherry came under the rule of the French and ever since then it became the central site for the battle between the British and the French. Before it attained its independence in 1954, it remained as the capital of French India for about 300 years. In the year 2006, the name Pondicherry was renamed to Puducherry, which means ‘New Village’ in Tamil dialect.

The city is dissected into two quarters known as the French quarter and the Indian quarter. The French quarter is characterized by buildings of typical colonial architecture while the latter boasts of ancient Tamil styles and designs. Despite the evolutionary changes, Pondicherry has retained all of its old-world French charms. Being several miles away from France, the city comes close to giving you a very authentic feel of the French culture and allure. The large boulevards, streets, road signs brightly painted houses with captivating walls, reflects volumes about the French society. The strategic location, awe-inspiring natural beauty, topped with its French past and cultural heritage makes Pondicherry a major tourist destination.

Find Best Hotels In Pondicherry

Hotel de Vile, French War Memorial, Puducherry Museum, Aayi Mandapam, Auroville Ashram, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Promenade, Chunnambar Resort, Old Lighthouse, Romaine Rolland Library are some of the major places to visit in Pondicherry. Pondicherry is famous for its pious Hindu temples as well. Religious shrines have carved a special imprint in the landmarks of the town, attracting throngs of pilgrims on a regular basis. Pondering to know more?

Top 5 Temples To Visit In Pondicherry

  1. Kamakshi Amman Temple
  2. Sithananda Swamy Temple
  3. Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswar Temple
  4. Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple
  5. Sri Vedapureeswarar Temple

1. Kamakshi Amman Temple

In a country like India, Goddess Durga is worshipped in many avatars. Kamakshi Amman temple is one such temple that is dedicated to Hindu Goddess Kamakshi, an incarnation of Goddess Durga or Parvati who is also the presiding deity here. It is believed to be built by the Pallava kings in the 6-century and is one of the most revered temples in Pondicherry.

What stands out in this temple is the fact that it stays away from the usual ornamentation that is necessarily present in most Hindu idols. However, this has proven undeterred in the way of the devotees who pay their respect to the goddess at this temple with utmost devotion. Today, it stands firm in typical Tamil architectural style and has a large, decorated gopuram at its entrance.

During festivals, the footfall significantly increases in this shrine as people flock here to seek the goddess’ blessings. The temple celebrates its annual festival in spring, which is the chariot festival called Ther and float festival called Theppam. Navaratri, Aadi, and Aippasi Pooram, Sankara Jayanthi and Vasanta Utsavam are some of the other vital festivals that are celebrated in here.

Timings: 6:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM; every day

2. Sithananda Swamy Temple

Another prominent religious site in the list of Pondicherry temples is the Sithananda Swamy Temple. Surprisingly, it is not one of those regular shrines, which were dedicated to pay homage to celestial beings. The main deity in here is a saint, Guru Sithananda Swamigal. It is believed that he was buried alive in here, and on the very spot, a Shiva Lingam has been erected. It is, in fact, the Jeevan Samadhi of the saint and dates back to the 19-century.

Every Thursdays, the pilgrims visit the temple and perform special darshans to his idol. It has been an emerging place of worship for students as well. They come here to wish for good grades and to seek blessings for excelling in exams. This temple is two decades old and continues to be an epitome of holiness. For those looking to spend some soulful time on their own, you will find a meditation hall in the premises where you can meditate and connect to the Almighty.

The sprawling 45000 square feet area of the temple includes beautifully crafted sculptures, vast ceilings that boast of intricate paintings, large pillars of the hall, evergreen trees, and shrubs. A unique feature of the temple is its bell, which was made in France with an engraved image of the saint.

Also, drop by Kuil Thoppu, which is placed right adjacent to the temple. This is where the Mahakavi Bharathiyar would contemplate and write mesmerizing poetries and verses. One can see a refreshing water tank with fishes inside the premises which is an appealing add-on.

Timings: 6:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM; every day

3. Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswar Temple

Also named as Villianur Temple, Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswar Temple is a truly religious site in the exquisite town of Pondicherry. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, where he resides in the form of Thirukameswar Linga. It is an ancient shrine that dates its existence to the 12-century when this place was under the rule of the Chola Dynasty. If legends are to be believed, it is said that once a Chola king suffered from leprosy but when he worshipped Lord Shiva, he miraculously got cured. After which he constructed this temple, as a mark of respect and gratitude.

One of the most prime events of this temple is its annual Temple Car Festival. During this festival, masses of people pull the 50-feet-tall chariot containing the deity through the streets of the town. This procession takes place during the months of May and June with the presence of a full moon night or poornima. It is believed that whoever pulls the chariot will get their wishes fulfilled by Lord Shiva. It calls upon thousands of devotees from all parts of Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu to this place at that time.

A large and beautifully constructed gopuram leads visitors to the inside of the temple. Decked up with carved images and ornamented pillars, the interiors open up a unique world of calmness and beauty for those visiting the place. Due to its phenomenal architectural facets, it is a massive religious destination amongst history buffs as well.

Timings: 5:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM; every day

4. Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple

Varadaraja Perumal Temple

Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple, located in the heritage town region of Pondicherry has been defining the religious fabric of the city for more than eight decades as of now. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this landmark temple was built by the Cholas in the 11-century and is among the oldest temples in and around Pondicherry. Herein, Lord Vishnu is venerated in the form of Varadaraja Perumal, and that explains the name of the temple. The deity assumes a standing position and is accompanied by Goddess Sridevi and Goddess Bhudevi on either of his sides.

It is regarded as one of the 108 Divya Desams of Vishnu. It is said that the temple has been visited by the 12 poet saints (Alwars). Thus with its historic roots, it attracts not only the religious but also historians and curious tourists in general. One of the major festivals that is celebrated here is the Bhramotsavam when pilgrims flock to the temple. Newborn babies are brought to the temple and given their first speck of rice in front of Lord Vishnu so as to ensure that the baby will be taken care of by the god himself.

The temple boasts of a five-tiered rajagopuram (the gateway tower of the temple) that stands 110-feet tall. Built in the Dravidian style of architecture, it reflects the flawless creativity and craftsmanship of a bygone era. An interesting feature of this temple is the mirror hall that is situated adjacent to the sanctum. Apart from the religious and architectural significance, what draws visitors to this temple are the 83 springs that flow into the temple tanks. Devotees consider that the water in these tanks has umpteen healing properties and a dip in it can cure them of common ailments.

Timings: 6:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 4:30 PM – 9:00 PM; every day

5. Sri Vedapureeswarar Temple

Sri Vedapureeswarar Temple is situated on the banks of River Cheyyar. Lord Shiva is a much-revered deity who is idolized ardently in this temple town. This temple has a Nandi bull that faces the opposite direction of the Shiva Lingam, something which is quite rare. In the turn of the 17-century, this temple was completely demolished by the French troops. It was reconstructed at the beginning of the 18-century and since then, it has become one of the landmark religious sites to visit.

If you take a good look at the magnificent structure, you will realize that the architecture is similar to that of many temples in South India – i.e. Dravidian style. Staying true to the defining aspects of this style, the temple structure includes a 75-feettall gateway tower or Rajagopuram. The temple has two corridors and a five-tiered Rajagopuram. The stone inscriptions beautifully carved in the temple hint towards the Chola rule period. Historically, this place is called as Santhanaranyam because once upon a time there was an abundance of Sandalwood trees in this area (Santhanam” translating to sandalwood and “Aranyam”, translating to a forest in Tamil). The temple complex also enshrines a temple dedicated to Parvati as Tiripurasundari. Enhancing the beauty of this place of worship is a rectangular water tank situated within its precincts

This temple is revered for removing hindrances from marriage prospects since Lord Shiva here is found in is wedding form. Brahmotsavam is a grand occasion that the natives of the place celebrate for a period of 10 long days. Swing by the Sri Devi Karumariamman Temple too, which is 1-kilometre away from here and can be reached by either local buses or autos.

Timings: 6:00 AM – 12:30 PM, 4:30 PM – 8:00 PM; every day

Pondicherry is a diverse hub of people, delicacies, and culture. It is usually not possible to dislike anything about the town. For a second, you might get a vibe of residing out of the country, mainly due to its French allure and heritage. It is also a tempting shopping centre where you can bargain your heart out. The lanes of this town entice you with sumptuous pretty cakes and other delicious delicacies. Enough said it is time for you to live the aforementioned now. To the temples enlisted, there are many more temples and places that you can visit. Puducherry or erstwhile Pondicherry will welcome you with immense hospitality. Plan your trip right away and let the magic begin.

Happy Journey!

P.s. You might like these related resources:

Historical Places Travel Tips

Explore these 9 Temples in Nashik and Gain Enlightenment

Kalaram Temple

Nashik is a holy ancient city in the Indian state of Maharashtra, whose history can be traced back to the epic Ramayana. It is believed that the city derives its name from the act when Lord Lakshman cut the nose “nasika” of Ravana’s sister Surpanakha. Home to Panchavati, the place where Lord Rama stayed during his exile and the caves from where Goddess Sita was abducted Nashik has multiple places of interest for the pilgrim seeking spirituality and divinity. It is also one of the four designated holy destinations in India where the Kumbh Mela is organized. Located on the banks of River Godavari the city of Nashik attracts a number of devotees and pilgrims each year to its pious abode. When visiting the city make sure to seek the innumerable spiritual experiences that it offers in the form of various religious sites.

Find Best Hotels In Nashik

Top 9 Temples To Visit In Nashik

  1. Kalaram Temple
  2. Kapleshwar Temple
  3. Navshya Ganpati Temple
  4. Ganga Godavari Temple
  5. Jain Mandir
  6. Muktidham Temple
  7. Someshwar Temple
  8. Veda Mandir
  9. Naroshankar Temple

1. Kalaram Temple

The Kalaram Temple is one of the most visited religious sites and popular temples in Nashik. It is also one of the most revered temples in the state of Maharashtra. The temple houses a black coloured idol of Lord Rama. The colour of the idol is the reason behind the name of this temple. Apart from Lord Rama, the temple is also dedicated to Lord Lakshman and Goddess Sita. Back in history, there was also a massive protest that was held outside the temple lead by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The structure of the temple is beautifully crafted using black coloured stone with the peaks plated in gold. The entire structure of the temple is around 70-feet and the look is mesmerizing to the core. The magnificent structure got crafted in 12 long years involving 2000 workers as well as a lump sum of 23 lakhs. The stones used to craft the temple had been brought about200 years ago from Ramshej.

Visiting Hours – There are two different slots for visiting this temple– 6:00 AM to 12:00AM and 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Dress Code – No specific dress code but traditional attire is recommended

Time Required to Explore the Place – 1 Hour

Best Time to Visit the Temple –Ramnavami, Rath Yatra, and Ram Navratra are the festivals that the temple celebrates with a lot of enthusiasm.

Other Attractions – There are two smaller temples – Vithal Temple and Ganapati Temple located close to the Kalaram Temple. Popular Ramkund, as well as the beautiful Anjneri Hill, is also within a range of half a kilometre from the temple.

2. Kapleshwar Temple

Kapleshwar Temple is one of the most ancient, important, and religious temples of Nashik, which is visited by devotees from all across the country especially Maharashtra. The temple is popular for depicting a story, a mistake that Lord Shiva made back in time. The story states that Lord Shiva once, by mistake, killed a cow. For the same, he had to take a dip in the holy Ramkund in order to cleanse himself of his deed. It is believed that he had come to Nashik all the way to perform the same ritual. After taking a dip he sat there to meditate. The temple was made on the same spot where he sat to meditate. There are also a number of smaller temples nearby, which you can visit while visiting the Kapleshwar Temple.

Visiting Hours – 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM every day

Dress Code – No specific dress code but an apt attire is recommended

Time Required to Explore the Place – 30 minutes to an hour

Best Time to Visit the Temple – Mondays as well as during the festival of Shivratri

Other Attractions – Kalaram Mandir and Ramkund are situated quite nearby

3. Navshya Ganpati Temple

The Navshya Ganpati Temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesh. Nestled in Anandvalli, this temple is one of the most famous ones. The temple is located amidst lush green surroundings, on the banks of Godavari River. The visitors get to enjoy the picturesque landscapes of the region. The temple dates back to the reign of Peshva rule and owns a legacy of around 400 long years. Because of which it holds too much of historical significance. The Lord Ganesha idol that the temple houses is also popularly known as Navashya. It is believed that the wishes of all the devotees are answered in this temple.

Visiting Hours – 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM every day

Dress Code – Modest clothing is recommended

Time Required to Explore the Place – 1 to 2 Hours

Best Time to Visit the Temple – The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated here with utmost enthusiasm

Other Attractions –Sansthan Temple and Sri Sai Baba Samadhi Mandir lie in close vicinity

4. Ganga Godavari Temple

Located on the banks of River Godavari, the Ganga Godavari Temple is one of the popular temples located quite close to Ramkunda. The devotees visiting the temple also take a dip in the holy water of Godavari River. This temple gained popularity in 2015 when it opened its gates for thousands of devotees to mark the Simhastha Kumbh Mela held in the same year. To date, the temple opens its gates once in every twelve years that also coincides with the cycle of Kumbh Mela.

Visiting Hours – 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM every day

Dress Code – No specific dress code but an apt attire is recommended

Time Required to Explore the Place – 30 minutes to about an hour

Best Time to Visit the Temple –Kumbh Mela time

Other Attractions – There are various smaller temples located at the banks of River Godavari. Also, there are a number of shops located in adjoining locations.

5. Jain Mandir

Jain Mandir

The renowned Jain Mandir is one of the largest temples of Nashik City. The temple boasts of a beautiful design and stunning architecture, which is worth exploring. The temple is one of those religious sites, which is dedicated to the saints of the Jain community. One can gain immense knowledge about the Jain Community by making a visit to this temple. The structure of Jain Mandir is a massive three-storeyed one. Although the city features a number of Jain temples, this one stands out amongst all. It features beautiful structures made up of marble as well as pink coloured sandstones, which make the temple stand out. The temple also features a Dharamshala where you can enjoy simple meals. The premises also features a big meditation hall. This temple is visited not only by members of the Jain community but tourists wanting to experience the beauty and sanctity of this religious site.

Visiting Hours –5:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day

Dress Code – No specific dress code but modest attire is recommended

Time Required to Explore the Place – 1 to 2 hours

Best Time to Visit the Temple – Diwali and Mahavir Jayanti

Other Attractions –Saptashrungi, one of the most popular tourist attractions of Nashik is located within a range of 2 kilometres.

6. Muktidham Temple

The beautiful Muktidham Temple is situated in the suburb areas of the city. It is quite a popular religious site in the state of Maharashtra. The temple is dedicated to a number of gods of the Hindu Community. The temple complex is made up of concrete marble. There are pictures of almost all the several gods and goddesses of the Hindu religion here. Muktidham Temple is one of those rare temples that features various remains of the twelve Jyotirlingas of the country. The walls of the temple are also adorned by selective chapters of the holy text of Bhagwat Gita. It is also said that visiting this temple is equivalent to visiting a Char Dhaam.

Visiting Hours –6:00 AM to 7:00 PM every day

Dress Code – No specific dress code but modest attire is recommended.

Time Required to Explore the Place – 1 to 2 hours

Best Time to Visit the Temple – Visiting it during the time of Kumbh Mela is the apt time to visit it. Apart from this, the sunset hours are the best time to explore it.

Other Attractions – The beautiful Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple is located around seven kilometres away.

7. Someshwar Temple

There are a number of temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in Nashik. Someshwar Temple is an example of such a temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is the most prominent one among them all. It is nestled on the banks of Godavari River and is one of the holiest temples in the city. The temple also features an idol of Lord Hanuman. The surroundings of the temple are covered with lush greenery, which makes the ambiance even more beautiful and serene.

Visiting Hours – 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day

Dress Code – No specific dress code but modest attire is recommended

Time Required to Explore the Place – 30 minutes to about an hour

Best Time to Visit the Temple –During the festival of Shivratri

Other Attractions – Lying quite nearby are attractions like a boating club as well as a recreational park for kids.

8. Veda Mandir

The renowned Veda Mandir is another essential asset of Nashik. It is one of those rare religious sites of Maharashtra that imparts in-depth knowledge about Puranas, Vedas as well as rich Indian culture. This unique quality makes it quite a unique place to explore for all. It is considered to be a gem of the city and the ambiance is such that encourages learning for all. This place is an ideal one to unwind and relax where you can deeply meditate as well. The temple houses the idols of Lord Rama, Lord Lakshman as well as Goddess Sita. The development of the temple has been sponsored by some of the famous industrialists of Nashik. The entrance of the temple features glass panes as well as compositions of white marble.

Visiting Hours – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM every day

Dress Code – No specific dress code but modest attire is recommended

Time Required to Explore the Place – 30 minutes to about an hour

Best Time to Visit the Temple – Ram Navmi and Janmashtami

Other Attractions – The original Purana Scripts are found here. One can get Vedic education here for absolutely no cost. The popular Thakkar Bazaar is located nearby. There are also Dharamshalas available here where one can reside.

9. Naroshankar Temple

Naroshankar Temple

The Naroshankar Temple dates back to the 18-century and is dedicated to Lord Sankara. It is nestled on the banks of Godavari River. The importance of the temple can be judged by the fact that it is popularly known as The Ganga of South India. The unique style of architecture of the temple is quite intricate and unique and is popularly referred to as ‘Maya Style’. The temple also features various carvings of animals such as elephants and monkeys. It is one of the must visit religious sites for all those who are visiting the city of Nashik.

Visiting Hours –7:00 AM to 8:00 PM every day

Dress Code – No specific dress code but modest, neat, and clean attire is recommended.

Time Required to Explore the Place – About 1 to 2 hours

Best Time to Visit the Temple – During the festival of Shivratri

Other Attractions – SitaGumpha is located quite nearby that you might visit while nearby.

To conclude, Nashik city is dotted with various beautiful and ancient temples and religious sites for one to visit and explore. The spirituality of the city holds the power to cleanse both the body and soul of any visitor. Also, while on your visit you can relish some of the best Maharashtrian dishes, which are known for their taste and flavour profile. To avoid any sort of an inconvenience while already out on your trip, you can get all your bookings done in advance.

Happy Holidaying!!

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Historical Places Travel Tips

7 Mystical Temples to Visit in Gaya

The Mahabodhi Temple

One of the greatest tourist attractions in Bihar is the beautiful pilgrimage city of Gaya. Gaya is mostly known as the birthplace of Buddhism as Gautama Buddha attained nirvana in this holy site. Gaya has temples of great beauty and heritage and makes it one of the most desired spiritual destinations in India.

The beautiful city is surrounded on three sides by hills and the meandering Phalgu River. If you are planning to make a trip to witness some spectacular temples while taking a walk through the history and the presence of Buddhism, in all peace and relaxation, then Gaya is your place.

Top 7 Temples To Visit In Gaya, Bihar

  1. The Mahabodhi Temple
  2. The Great Buddha Statue
  3. Lord Yama Temple, Pretshila Hill
  4. Dungeshwari Cave Temples
  5. Mangla Gauri Temple
  6. Chinese Temple
  7. Vishnupad Temple

1. The Mahabodhi Temple

One of the most important religious sites in Gaya is the Mahabodhi Temple also popularly known as the Great Awakening Temple; as legends say this is the very place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. It is situated in Bodhgaya in the state of Bihar and because of its religious and historical significance has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is stretched over a humungous area of 5 hectares and is about 180-feet in height.

The greatest attraction of the Mahabodhi Temple is no doubt the famous Bodhi tree, beneath whose shade Lord Buddha used to meditate, quietly stands on the left side of the temple. Even today, you can witness the prostrations and uncountable prayers performed before the Bodhi tree by monks and people alike. As it is believed that doing so can curb evil and purify your sins. It is not uncommon for some monks to make about one lakh prostrations in front of the tree.

This temple also holds tremendous historical importance for it was initially built by Emperor Ashoka after he took upon the religion of Buddhism to pursue the path of inner peace and solace instead of attaining victory at wars.

It is believed that the Great Emperor, during his visit to Gaya in 260 BC had raised a very small temple beside the Bodhi tree. However, inscriptions dating from the 1st and 2nd centuries suggest that the temple made by King Ashoka was destroyed and was replaced by a new temple. However, the architecture of the overall temple bespeaks the values and principles preached by Buddhism- mainly ahimsa and its natural derivative, peace. The temple remains open on all days of the week from morning 5:00am to 12:00pm, and from 4:00pm till 9:00pm at night.

2. The Great Buddha Statue, Bodh Gaya

The Great Buddha Statue

One of the most famous religious sites in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, is the massive statue of the great Gautama Buddha. The magnificent figure is about 25 meters high, resembling Lord Buddha in his meditation pose known as the mudra on top of a blooming lotus, carved from red granite and sandstone. This statue is believed to be the tallest one and also the first Buddha installed in the country. The locals often refer to the figure as the 80-feet statue.

The construction of the towering Buddha took 7 years to complete, by a Daijokyo who involved more than 12,000 masons for the creation of this spectacular sculpture of Lord Buddha.

The statue was consecrated on November 18, in 1989 by the fourteenth Dalai Lama. The statue is located very close to the Mahabodhi Temple, and can be freely visited from morning 7:00am to 12:00 pm, and again from 2:00pm till 6:00pm in the evening. It was solely made for the devotees for the purpose of preaching Buddhism and spreading the teachings provided by Gautama Buddha.

3. Yama Temple in Pretshila Hill

Pretshila Hill, meaning the Hill of Ghosts is situated at a distance of eight kilometres of Gaya. It is one of the most sacred sites in Gaya for the Hindus where they come down to offer pind-daan, the ritual performed for the peace of a deceased’s soul. Situated at the top of the hill is the temple dedicated to the prayer of Lord Yama, the God of Death as per the mythology of the Hindus.

This temple dates back years ago, but nobody is able to provide an exact time frame as to when this religious site was constructed. It is believed to have been constructed by the Queen of Indore, Rani Ahilyabai Holkar. However, the temple has since then undergone multiple renovations.

Another attraction of this temple is the Ramkund Tank that stands very close to the temple. The locals believe that Lord Rama had bathed at that tank once, and ever since then, it has become a beacon of holiness. Hindus believe a bath in the tank has the power to dissolve the sins done by a person.

4. Dungeshwari Cave Temples

The ancient Dungeshwari Cave Temples are situated in the northeast of Gaya at a distance of 12 kilometres. These cave temples are also popularly known as the Mahakala Cave Temples.

It is a religious site held with high reverence by people as they believe that Lord Gautama Buddha had meditated in these caves, long before he went to Bodh Gaya. The caves are home to intricate and spectacular Buddhist shrines, referred to as the Sujata Sthan by the locals. A famous story behind these revered caves is that – when Lord Buddha pursued the path of self-demolition and did not take food or water, he was worn out completely, and later a lady from a village, called Sujata, had offered Him water and food. After which, it dawned upon Lord Buddha that enlightenment cannot be attained by self-abasement and he proceeded ahead on his journey to reach Bodh Gaya, the final destination in his quest.

A major attraction of the cave temples is a marvellous six feet high statue of Lord Buddha made of gold. Your spiritual journey in Gaya will be incomplete if you do not visit the beautiful shrines and the caves.

5. Mangla Gauri Temple

Mangla Gauri Temple is a temple of high importance for the Hindus, as it has been mentioned in the most sacred religious scriptures such as the Vayu Purana, Padma Purana, and Agni Purana as well as in many other tantric scriptures as well. Mangla Gauri Temple forms one of the 18 Maha Shakti-peeth’s in the country and stands proudly since the 15-century.

The temple shrine is dedicated to the worship of Sati, wife of Shiva, the Goddesses of the Vaishnavites residing in Gaya. One of the greatest attractions of this temple is the UPA-Shaktipeeth, which is popularly believed to be housing a part of the goddess that fell from the heavens. The goddess is here worshipped in the breast-form, which symbolizes the nourishment and love of a mother.

The temple is situated atop the Mangalagauri Hill and is believed to be a sacred spot granting the wishes of her devotees. One has to climb some stairs to reach the temple. Inside the temple, you will be able to see some beautiful ancient sculptures, and two shrines of Shiva with the images of Goddess Durga, and her incarnations Mahisasura Mardini and Dakshina Kali. The temple complex also houses the temples of Goddess Kali, Lord Hanuman, and Lord Ganesha.

6. Chinese Temple

Chinese Temple

The Chinese Temple in Gaya stands nearby the Mahabodhi Temple and is a spectacular Buddhist temple built by Chinese-Buddhist monks. The architecture, therefore, is an amalgamation of the beautiful Indian and Chinese designs, especially the temple exterior, which resembles a Chinese monastery.

The Buddha statue inside the Chinese Temple is more than 200 years old and is believed to have been made and imported from China. The temple has three marvellous golden statues of Lord Buddha. Another attraction to the temple is the rich and detailed travelogues drawn by Chinese religious scholars who travelled to India for the pursuit of spirituality and wisdom.

7. Vishnupad Temple

Vishnupad Temple

Vishnupad Temple is one of the most significant sacred temples in Gaya dedicated to the worship of Lord Vishnu. The temple’s architecture is influenced by the Shikara style although it underwent reconstruction and renovation by the Rani Ahilya Bai in the year of 1787.

Several travellers and locals flock to the temple to worship the footprints present inside this temple. Lord Vishnu’s footprint is about 40 centimetres in length and encircled by silver plates, as many of the Hindu religious scriptures have described it.

The temple stands on the banks of River Falgu and is a large complex dedicated to several gods and goddesses. The temple houses shrines of deities like Lord Narasimha and Lord Shiva.

Visiting the lanes of the city and exploring its ancient temples and rich culture, Gaya is a spiritual journey in itself. If you are seeking a peaceful and spiritual destination on your next trip, do not wait further and head to Gaya.

P.s. You might like this related resource:

Historical Places Travel Tips

6 Temples that You Must Make a Point to Visit in Kolhapur

Jyotiba Temple

Rightly called as ‘the sugar bowl of India’, Kolhapur can be aptly described as a perfect blend of natural beauty and history. It also acts as a crucial business centre for manufacturing commodities like Kolhapuri Necklaces and Kolhapuri Leather Slippers. Apart from that, if you are a food lover, this town of Kolhapur will not disappoint you as it offers some of the most sumptuous dishes prepared with local spices and vegetables.

Find Best Hotels In Kolhapur

Kolhapur, having a rich and sound backdrop, is now one of the most developed cities of Maharashtra. It is also amongst the famous tourist destinations in the state. The city has a multitude of noteworthy places to see, which include holy places, palaces and forts, museums and wildlife sanctuaries. It is now recognised as a vital spiritual centre as it houses a significant number of temples from Medieval India.

Top 6 Temples To Visit In Kolhapur

  1. Jyotiba Temple
  2. Mahalakshmi Temple
  3. Nrusinhawadi Temple
  4. Bhavani Mandap
  5. Bahubali Temple
  6. Kopeshwar Temple

 1. Jyotiba Temple

Jyotiba Temple was founded in the turn of the 17-century by the then ruler, Ranoji Shinde. It lies at a high altitude of about 3200-feet above the sea levels. Lord Jyotiba, who is the prime deity worshipped in this magnificent temple, is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Lord Jyotiba is basically an amalgamation of the three souls or jyotis of – Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Mahesha.

Time and again, color has been a vital aspect of this temple. You will generally find the exteriors of the temple color clad most of the times. This is primarily due to the fact that gulal (pink coloured sacred powder) is offered to Lord Jyotiba as a token of devotion by the pilgrims. To reach up to the temple, you will have to climb a long flight of at least 100 stairs. An array of shops selling religious offerings line the entire route. The interiors of the temple are quite elegant and have incredible architectural facets.

During the Hindu months of Chaitra and Vaishakha, a special Sunday ritual for the devotees is staged in this religious site.  Partake in the annual fairs that are scheduled in these months, when the entire temple is decorated to celebrate the holy period. You will see how worshippers throng the temple carrying tall ‘sasans’ or sticks and chanting ‘Jyotibachya Navane Changbhala’. They smear ‘gulal’ on each other’s foreheads, which in turn transforms the whole vicinity into a flamboyant field of hues.

2. Mahalakshmi Temple

Mahalakshmi Temple

Dedicated to the Hindu deity Amba Devi, Mahalakshmi Temple stands as a crucial symbol of Hindu faith and religion. It was constructed in the 7-century under the reign of Chalukyas. Deemed as one of the Shakti Peethas of the country, it is enlisted in various puranas of Hinduism under the name of Dakshin Kashi. The temple takes its name from Mahalakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, and it is believed that the divine couple resides in the area, still.

The crown of the deity consists of an image of the Sheshnag — the serpent of Vishnu. In four of Her hands, she holds objects of symbolic value – a mhalunga (a citrus fruit) in the left hand, a large mace (kaumodaki) in the upper right hand with its head touching the ground, in the upper left a shield (khetaka), and in the lower left, a bowl (panpatra).

Surprisingly, unlike most Hindu sacred idols, which face north or east, the idol of this deity faces west (Pashchim). There is a small window on the western wall, through which the rays of the sunset falls on the face of the idol for three days around the 21st of each March and September, without fail! This is a temple that gives insight into the historical heritage of the city and hence, should not be missed on the trip to this town.

3. Nrusinhawadi Temple

Nrusinhawadi is a popular religious site in Kolhapur district. It is best known for being the capital of Datta devotees. Situated on the sacred confluence of Rivers Krishna and Panchganga, it has massive importance in the episodes of Maharashtrian history.

According to legend, this temple was built by a Muslim King, Adil Shah of Bijapur district. Apparently, his daughter had lost her eyes, for which he was suggested to go visit Nrusinhawadi. He worshipped the principles of his Guru with utmost sincerity and then applied the sacred ash given by him on his daughter’s eyes. She, fortunately, regained vision. As a token of appreciation, he dedicated two whole villages named Ourwad and Gourwad on the other side of River Krishna to Nrusinhawadi.

The temple also has its own share of exceptional architectural details. The devotee hall has a silver metal lining on its face portion and at the centre there is a charming illustration made of peacock feathers. Images of Nrusinhawadi are carved in here with an elaborate silver metal cover. There is also a large circular Mandap in the central courtyard with large columns where worshippers can come any time to recite or chant prayers. This is a pure example of a place where tranquillity and serenity abounds.

4. Bhavani Mandap

BhavaniMandap

A court, in the beginning, a palace in the recent yesteryears to now a public monument, Bhawani Mandap is a unique religious site in the city of Kolhapur.

The building is placed in close proximity to the famous Mahalaxmi Temple that has been mentioned earlier, within the walled precincts of this city. Although it is a bit smaller in size than the Mahalaxmi Temple yet the pious significance of this Mandap is immense. It is said to be dedicated to Goddess Tulja Bhavani, who happens to be the elder sister of Goddess Mahalaskhmi.

Bhavani Mandap used to be an important meeting venue in yesteryears. On special request, one can see a modest wooden throne, which is believed to have been used by Shivaji Maharaj on his visits to Kolhapur. This emphasized the fact that the great Maratha warrior king was more of a man on a mission with little regard for pomp and conceit.

The architecture of the Mandap is inspired by British contemporary influence. It has an old world charm with a life-size statue of Kolhapur’s most beloved King Shahu Maharaj gracing the Bhavani Mandap. One of the most remarkable features of this Mandap is the distinctive display of stuffed animals such as bison, panthers, and a pair of deer that were actually hunted by Shahu Maharaj himself, bringing alive memories of the rich princely state Kolhapur used to be then.

There is also a widespread rumour among the locals that an underground tunnel leading to Bhavani Mandap from Panhala (the hillside for about 20 kilometres away from Kolhapur) was built to allow an escape route for the warring Maratha soldiers. However, if the hearsay is true, the tunnel is yet to be discovered.

5. Bahubali Temple

One can see a mammoth idol of Lord Bahubali, on a hilltop in the resplendent city of Kolhapur. This temple is also enshrined with other deities such as Lord Bahubali, Lord Shantinath, Lord Chandaprabhu, and Lord Adinath Digambar. Installed in the year 1963, you can see Lord Bahubali in a standing position, for that you may have to take the staircase of 70 steps in order to view the deity.

As per mythology, an ascetic saint Shri Bahubali Maharaj resided here almost 350 years ago. He was a renowned scholar and a mystic. People still believe that due to his spiritual presence no wild animals would attack the pilgrims visiting the temple site. The site has been named as Kumbhoj Bahubali in order to commemorate virtues of this great saint. After the sad demise of the saint Bahubali, many great spiritual Jain Munis have visited the place converting this temple site even blessed for the devout followers of Jainism.

You can also find many Jain temples alongside – after coming down on the right side you have Mahaveer Digmabar Jain ‘Jal Mandir’ temple and on the left, you have ‘Ratnatrya’ Digambar Jain temple. Classes take place all the year round in the Swadhyay Bhavan where more than one thousand students study in the Gurukul under Bahubali University.

6. Kopeshwar Temple

The ancient Kopeshwar Temple at Khidrapur in Kolhapur District is dedicated to Lord Shiva and rests on the bank of River Krishna. There are reasons to believe that even though the construction of Kopeshwar Temple started sometime in the 7-century AD, the work remained incomplete largely due to constant skirmishes between warring rulers of the region. The renovation was completed only in the 12-century by the Shilahara and the Yadava Kings.

This temple is bifurcated into four parts, all interconnected through vestibules. The first structure you would enter through is the Swarga Mandap (Heavenly Hall). The architecture of Swarga Mandap is unbelievable and seems surreal, portraying a feeling of heaven. This Mandap is circular and curvy in shape and is constructed with the support of 48 well carved rounded stone pillars, which are placed in three circles. Each of these 48 pillars has been specifically carved in different shapes -round, square, hexagon, and octagon. Yet another interesting feature of the Swarga Mandap is that a part of the circular ceiling in the middle (with a radius of 13-feet) is left open to the sky. The sanctum is conical. The exterior too has fascinating carvings of deities and secular figures.

The Shivaling is facing north and both lings are found in the same sanctum sanctorum. Another notable feature of this temple is that there is no Nandi at the entrance, which is a regular feature for almost all Shiva temples. The mythology behind these characteristics makes for an appealing explanation.

According to legend, it is believed that Daksha, who did not like the decision of his youngest daughter Sati marrying Lord Shiva, conducted a Yagna to which he did not invite the couple. On knowing this, Sati visited her father’s house on Shiva’s Nandi to confront her father. Dakhsa insulted her in front of the guests present at the Yagna. She was not able to bear any further insults and jumped in the fire of Yagna and immolated herself. When Lord Shiva came to know about the incident, he was infuriated. He punished Daksha by severing his head. Lord Vishnu soothed Shiva where he restored Daksha’s head but with a goat’s head. The furious Shiva was brought to Khidrapur Temple by Lord Vishnu to pacify him down. And that explains how the temple got its unusual name as Kopeshwar (wrathful god).

The Kopeshwar Temple is a must-see on the tourist itinerary for its ancient and artistic sculpture. This is a busy temple, which witnesses loads of worshippers on Mondays and Shivratri nights.

So now that you have a fair enough idea on the many exquisite religious sites in Kolhapur, what are you waiting for? Dive right into a sea of spirituality, away from the shackles of a monotonous life. Book your tickets now. Let Kolhapur welcome you with all that it has.

Happy Journey!

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Historical Places Travel Tips

13 Temples in Thrissur that You Need to Visit on Your Next Trip

Vadakkunnathan Temple

The magnificent state of Kerala is also popularly known as God’s own Country. It is quite a renowned place that features a number of temples and religious sites that dot every village, city, and town. The religious sites exhibit the rich cultural and historical heritage and diversity of the state. The locals, as well as visitors, visit these temples for offering their prayers, getting blessings from the deities, and spending some time in the spiritual atmosphere. One of the most visited districts in Kerala is the Thrissur district, which is home to some magnificent temples.

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The various temples of Thrissur are dedicated to several goddesses and gods that follow varied interesting cultural and ritual patterns. However, one thing quite commonly spotted in almost all the temples here is the brilliant style of South Indian architecture, which is represented by the intricate carvings etched on stones. The beauty and peace of the temples is surely something to experience.

Top 13 Temples To Visit In Thrissur

  1. Kodungallur Sree Kurumba Bhagavathi Temple
  2. Thriprayar Sree Rama Temple
  3. Sri Krishna Temple
  4. Mammiyoor Sri Mahadeva Temple
  5. Chowalloor Shiva Temple
  6. Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple
  7. Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple
  8. Vadakkunnathan Temple
  9. Peruvanam Mahadeva Temple
  10. Poonkunnam Shiva Temple
  11. Trikkur Mahadeva Temple
  12. Vilwadrinatha Temple
  13. Guruvayur Temple

1. Kodungallur Sree Kurumba Bhagavathi Temple

Kodungallur Sree Kurumba Bhagavathi Temple is one of the most visited and renowned religious sites in Thrissur, which attracts a lot of devotees and travellers each year. It is a beautiful Hindu temple where Goddess Kali, Bhadrakali’s incarnation is housed. The idol is around six feet tall and has been developed using fine wood from a massive Jackfruit tree.

The Thrissur railway lies closest to the temple at around a distance of sixty kilometres. The Thrissur Railway Station is located at around 60 kilometres from the temple. Plus, the nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport situated at a distance of around thirty-eight kilometres.

Duration Required to Explore the Place – 1 to 1.5 Hours

2. Thriprayar Sree Rama Temple

Thriprayar Sree Rama Temple is another beautiful religious sites that one must visit while on a spiritual tour to Thrissur. This is the same religious site where the Shaiva, as well as Vaishnava philosophies, exist in harmony. The presiding Lord here is Lord Ram but the unique feature is that this beautiful idol has intricate aspects of Lord Shiva as well.  The status of the temple is believed to be the same one as that when God Krishna worshipped in Dwarka. It is also said that the idol was lost after the city was drowned due to natural calamity.

The Thrissur Railway Station is the closest railway station to the temple lying at a distance of twenty-eight kilometres. It can also be reached by taking a bus or car ride.

Duration Required to Explore the Place – 1 to 2 Hours

3. Sri Krishna Temple

Sri Krishna Temple of Guruvayur is another popular religious site in the city of Thrissur. This temple as the name suggests is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The various locals of the area also refer to the temple as Bhuloka Vaikunta, which in turn means the “Holy Abode of Lord Vishnu on Earth”.

The Thrissur Railway Station is situated at a distance of around twenty-five kilometres and the Guruvayur Railway Station is merely at a distance of one kilometre from the temple. Plus, the Cochin International Airport lies at a distance of eighty-five kilometres from the temple.

Duration Required to Explore the Place – 1 Hour

4. Mammiyoor Sri Mahadeva Temple

Mammiyoor Sri Mahadeva Temple is another addition to the list of various religious sites of Thrissur. This temple is a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, which is located in Guruvayur. The idol of Lord Shiva is also accompanied by the idols of Lord Ganesha, Lord Subramanya as well as Lord Ayyappa.

The Guruvayur Railway Station is nestled at a distance of two kilometres from the temple and can be reached within a few minutes. The Thrissur Railway Station is situated around twenty-five kilometres from the temple while the closest airport is Cochin International Airport situated around eighty-five kilometres away from the temple.

Duration Required to Explore the Place – 2 Hours

5. Chowalloor Shiva Temple

Coming next is the very beautiful Chowalloor Shiva Temple. This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it features outstanding architecture, which reflects the rich history of the area. It is conveniently situated in Kandanassery and is one of the rarest and unique temples where one can worship Lord Shiva and his entire family together.

The Guruvayur Railway Station is located around three kilometres away from the temple. Other nearby transport networks include the Thrissur Railway Station at a distance of twenty kilometres and the Cochin International Airport at a distance of eighty kilometres.

Duration Required to Explore the Place – 1 to 2 Hours

6. Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple

Another temple worth exploring is the Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple while visiting the Thrissur District. This place is one of the most visited religious sites of Kerala. At any time in this temple, you will get to witness many saints reciting the pious Bhagavad Gita. The site of the recitation is quite soothing and peaceful. In this temple, the various devotees are served free lunch. Additionally, make sure to abide by the traditional dress code that is required before entering the temple.

The closest station is the Thrissur Railway Station that lies at a distance of around three kilometres from the temple. Whereas, the closest airport is the Cochin International Airport lying at a distance of around fifty-five kilometres.

Duration Required to Explore the Place – An hour and a half approximately

7. Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple

Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple is another temple that you might wish to explore when in Thrissur district. This religious site is around one thousand years old. The temple houses the idol of Goddess Bhagwati. Back in history, the older idol was damaged after which a newer one was crafted using wood in the year 1997.

The Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple lies quite close to the Thrissur Railway Station. The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport lying at a distance of fifty-five kilometres from the temple.

Duration Required to Explore the Place – 1 to 2 Hours

8. Vadakkunnathan Temple

The Vadakkunnathan Temple is another temple worth visiting while in Thrissur. It is spread in a large area of about nine acres and features four huge towers in all the four directions. There are three beautiful shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Rama, and Lord Shankaracharya. The temple also features massive and concrete walls that are further beautified with murals, which depict various scenes from the epic Mahabharata.

The closest airport is the Cochin International Airport that lies at a distance of around fifty-five kilometres.

Duration Required to Explore the Place – Approximately 2 Hours

9. Peruvanam Mahadeva Temple

The Peruvanam Mahadeva Temple is believed to date back to the time of origin of Kerala itself. This stunning ancient temple is quite popular and known for its outstanding architecture. The beauty of this temple is unlike various other temples of the country. For instance, most of the Indian temples are conical shaped while the main shrine of the temple is uniquely square shaped.

Additionally, it lies at around a distance of ten kilometres from the Thrissur Railway Station and forty-eight kilometres from the Cochin International Airport.

Duration Required to Explore the Place – An Hours

10. Poonkunnam Shiva Temple

The Poonkunnam Shiva Temple is yet another temple in Thrissur dedicated to mighty Lord Shiva. The idol of Lord Shiva here is accompanied by his all other family members, which is quite a rare sight. Some of the other idols that are featured in the temple are that of Partha Sarathi, Sastha, and Nagaraja. Various festivals are celebrated with much enthusiasm here the most popular one being the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. In case you desire to witness the grand celebrations here make your plans to visit the temple during the time of the festival. The surroundings of the temple are covered with lush green vegetation which adds to the tranquillity and spiritual aura of the site. Another good time to visit this temple is during the monsoon months as at this time of the year the natural beauty of this place is at its peak.

The nearest railway station is the Thrissur Railway Station lying at a distance of around two and a half kilometres while the nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport situated at a distance of around fifty-three kilometres.

Duration Required to Explore the Place – 1 to 2 Hours

11. Trikkur Mahadeva Temple

The renowned Trikkur Mahadeva Temple is another fascinating temple that needs to be added to the list of religious sites to be visited in the district of Thrissur. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple dates back to the seventh century and owns quite a fascinating history. Initially, it was a holy place for the Jain community, which was later converted to a concrete rock-cut temple. In recent times, the temple is a secured monument and also one of the most powerful temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Duration Required to Explore the Place – 2 Hours

12. Vilwadrinatha Temple

The renowned Vilwadrinatha Temple is another attractive religious site to include in your itinerary. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. One of the most attractive features of the temple is that the light from the Gopurams top can be seen from over a distance of around forty kilometres such is an impressive height of the temples Gopurams. It is also said that the temple possesses a myth of owning an underground Vilwa Golden Tree that lies below the sanctum sanctorum.

Duration Required to Explore the Place – Approximately an Hour

13. Guruvayur Temple

The last addition to the list is the famous Guruvayur Temple. This temple plays an essential role in cultural, religious as well as the spiritual activities of the region. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and is quite renowned for a number of religious activities including the feeding of newborns for the first time with solid edibles, writing for the first time ever, and various others religious and rites of passage activities. A number of devotees come here to offer prayers and offerings like coconuts, fruits, sugar, rice and so on in amount equivalent quantity to their body weight.

Duration Required to Explore the Place – 2 Hours

In short, Thrissur is one of those districts in Kerala, which is considered to be a spiritual abode owing to the ample number of temples that it houses. You can make plans to visit each and every temple with family and friends. Traveling to the place and commuting around is also an easy process with a number of local traveling options available. You can plan out an ideal itinerary, get your bookings done in advance to fit in most of the above-listed temples and carry back amazing memories. In order to get the best deals, you can compare the prices of the hotels and book the ideal one that suits your requirement and choices. Happy Holidaying!!

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Historical Places Travel Tips

The Must-see Temples in Himachal Pradesh that Make it the Land of Gods

Tara Devi Temple

Himachal Pradesh is called ‘Dev Bhoomi’ or ‘Land of the Gods’ and it is not without reason. Himachal Pradesh is replete with legends and myths about gods and goddesses. Every district and every town has its own temples that have a colourful history and story behind it. Perched high atop the mountains and with its pristine beauty, it is no wonder if Himachal Pradesh is a place that is loved even by the gods. Here is a list of some of the most famous temples in Himachal Pradesh. Visit each of these locations and you will understand why exactly this place is referred to as the abode of Gods.

Top 15 Temples To Visit In Himachal Pradesh

  1. Sankat Mochan Temple
  2. Tara Devi Temple
  3. Jakhoo Temple
  4. Hidimba Temple
  5. Maa Sharvari Temple
  6. Vashisht Temple
  7. Naina Devi Ji
  8. Vyas Gufa
  9. Narvadeshwar temple
  10. Baba Balaknath Temple
  11. Bhootnath Temple
  12. Jwala Devi Temple
  13. Chintpurni Temple
  14. Chamunda Devi Temple
  15. Bhimkali Temple

1. Sankat Mochan Temple

Sankat Mochan Temple in Himachal Pradesh is located on the Kalka-Shimla Highway and is one of the most popular temples in Himachal and in Shimla. Sankat Mochan is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and thousands of people from India visit this temple to offer their prayers. The temple is commissioned by Baba Neem Karoli. Once a small shrine it is now a three-storied building. The building of this temple is used for marriage ceremonies and for other purposes as well like feeding the poor, which is known as Langar. Along with this Sankat Mochan Temple also has an Ayurvedic clinic as well. Devotees make a visit to the clinic to heal various health concerns.

Sankat Mochan Temple is just 11 kilometres away from the railway station and the best time to visit this temple is on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Around 1000 of visitors come to the Sankat Mochan Temple on these two days.

2. Tara Devi Temple

Tara Devi is one of the oldest temples in Shimla and one of the important religious sites in Himachal Pradesh. This temple is 250 years old. It is located on the Kalka-Shimla Highway near Shogi and is 15 kilometres away from Shimla town. According to people, Tara Devi was actually the Kull Devi, which is the family deity of the Sen Dynasty. Tara Devi came from the eastern state of Bengal. Legends say that this temple was commissioned by Bhupendra Sen. He ordered for a Maa Tara Devi Temple near the present-day temple on 50 bigha of land. Later the temple was shifted to a hilltop by Raja Balbir Sen. The hilltop was known as Parvat, the intention behind shifting the temple to a hilltop was to let Maa Tara spread her blessings on everyone and on everything.

The best time to visit Tara Devi Temple is during Shardiya Navratas particularly on Ashtami, which happens on an annual basis.

3. Jakhoo Temple

Jakhoo Temple

Another popular temple in Himachal Pradesh is the Jakhoo Temple. It is at a height of 8000-feet from the sea level in Shimla and has a huge Hanuman Temple. The statue of Lord Hanuman is an important landmark here. According to legend, this was one of the spots where Lord Hanuman stopped for a while when he was on a mission to collect Sanjeevni herb to save injured Lord Lakshmana. Another legend about this spot is that Lord Hanuman met a sage named Yaaku here who guided Lord Hanuman about the Sanjeevni herb. If you go by legends, it is also said that the construction of the Jakhoo Temple was commissioned by Saage Yaaku. This temple is home to a 108-feet tall Lord Hanuman statue, and this is the main reason why people come here in thousands to visit the famed Jakhoo Temple.

Jakhoo Temple is among the top five must-visit places in Shimla. The temple remains open from 5:00 am to 12:00 pm and again from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. It is 45 minutes away from Mall road. There is no such specific best time to visit Jakhoo Temple.

4. Hidimba Temple

Hidimba Temple

One of the most famous temples to visit in Manali is the Hidimba Temple. In fact, this temple is also a popular tourist attraction for international and national tourists. It is famous for photography, pristine natural beauty, and religious institutions. Here’s why people visit the   Hidimba Temple, Hidimba Devi, who is the wife of Bheema and the revered mother of Ghatotkachh, is said to be protecting the valley. It is also said that she appears when people need her and saves her children from calamities. Surrounded by a thick forest, Hidimba Temple is built around a cave. Apart from the religious connotations, people also visit this temple for its architectural beauty.

The best time to visit Hidimba Temple is from August to July when the climate is pleasant. It is just 2 kilometres away from the Joginder Nagar Railway Station. Hidimba Temple was built by Maharaja Bahadur Singh in the year 1553 and celebrates the Saroohni Annual Mela. You will not see any idol inside the temple, however, there is a footprint on a stone slab, which is worshipped.

5. Maa Sharvari Temple

Maa Sharvari Temple, which is dedicated to Maa Sharvari is another important temple of Manali and a famous religious site in Himachal Pradesh. She is often recognized as the incarnation of Goddess Durga. This temple is only 5 kilometres away from Manali and lies on the banks of river Beas. You can easily visit Maa Sharvari Temple by hiring a private cab. She is the deity who was worshipped by the Kullu Kings.

The best time to visit Maa Sharvari Temple is during the festival of Dussehra. This is the time when the idol of Maa Sharvari is taken out to Kullu to meet God Raghunath Ji in an auspicious and grand procession. It will take around 1 to 2 hours to completely explore the temple. Maa Sharvari Temple remains open from 5:00 am to 12:00 pm and again from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm for visitors.

6. Vashisht Temple

Vashisht Temple

Vashisht Temple in Himachal Pradesh is famous for its natural hot springs or sulphur springs. This temple is said to be dedicated to sage Vashisht who came here to meditate. This temple provides separate bathing zones both for men and women. People believe that the natural springs here have strong healing properties and can heal ailments and medical problems. Another important fact about this temple is that it is around 4000 years old. Even when it is extremely cold, you get to enjoy a nice and warm bath in nature’s very own natural hot spring.

Vashisht Temple is only 3.5 kilometres away from the Manali Bus stop and remains open from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. For baths, you can come here between 7:00 am to 1:00 pm and again from 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm every day.

7. Naina Devi Ji

Naina Devi Ji Temple is one of the most prominent temples near Bilaspur. Although the temple is 70 kilometres away from Bilaspur, people often come to the temple to offer their prayers on a daily basis. Naina Devi is said to be an incarnation of almighty Goddess Durga. It is said that in order to pacify Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu cut Maa Durga (Sati) into 50 pieces and one of her eyes fell here and this is the exact place where the shrine of Naina Devi Ji was built. Raja Bir Chand is said to be the one who built Naina Devi Ji Temple way back in the 8-century.

Naina Devi Temple is among the 51 siddha peethas of India and is a major religious site both for Hindus and Sikhs. The best time to visit this temple is from April to October and the temple remains open from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm.

8. Vyas Gufa

One of the oldest temples in Bilaspur is the Vyas Gufa, which is visited by thousands of tourists from all over India every year. It is said that Sage Vyas mediated here for many years and he was the same sage who wrote the epic Mahabharata. Situated on the banks of River Satluj and between the old and the new town of Bilaspur lies the amalgamated Vyas Gufa. According to another legend, the town got its name Vyaspur after the holy sage Vyas, which is now known as Bilaspur. This temple is at a height of 610 metres above sea level.

The best time to visit Vyas Gufa is from October to March, as the temperature during this time remains pleasant. You can come here anytime of the day.

9. Narvadeshwar Temple

Narvedeshwar Temple is in the district of Hamirpur. This temple was built by Rani Prasanna Devi and is situated in Tira Sujanpur. Rani Prasanna Devi was the wife of King Sansar Chand. Narvedeshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and you will see numerous murals and paintings in the temple and this is what makes this shrine a must visit place in Himachal. The temple was built in 1802. The complex also has small temples dedicated to Goddess Durga, Lord Lakshminarayna, and Lord Ganesha.

The best time to visit Narvadeshwar Temple is from October to March and is around 24 kilometres away from the main town of Hamirpur.

10. Baba Balaknath Temple

The Baba Balaknath Temple is one of the most famous temples in Himachal Pradesh. It is a cave temple carved out of rock. Although the entry of females is restricted here, devotees throng the temple during the Holi festival when a fair is organized there.

The best time to visit this temple is between October and April. It is a distance of about 45 kilometres from Hamirpur.

11. Bhootnath Temple

Arguably the most famous temple in Mandi, the Bhootnath Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is famous for the Mahashivratri fair that takes places here, which is celebrated with much pomp and splendour. Shivratri is the best time to visit the Bhootnath temple and it is common to find throngs of visitors in this temple during this time who come here to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. The temple is believed to have been set up by Raja Ajber Sen in 1527.

12. Jwala Devi Temple

There are 51 Shaktipeethas in India and Jwala Devi Temple in Kangra district is one among them. The temple is in the village of Jwalamukhi in the Kangra district and the site of the temple is the place where the tongue of Sati is supposed to have fallen. According to legend, a shepherd saw a raging fire on top of a hill and he went and told the king about this. The king went to the spot and saw the Goddess Jwala Devi there. He then decided to build a temple at the spot. It is believed that if you visit the Jwala Devi Temple your wishes will be fulfilled. An offering of coconut is mandatory here.

13. Chintpurni Temple

This is another Shaktipeetha where the Goddess Chinnamastika is worshipped. She is believed to be a headless goddess as she beheaded herself and offered her blood to her two companions. The Goddess is thus regarded as a standard of self-sacrifice who could do anything for people that she loved. Devotees visit this temple in the hopes of getting their wishes fulfilled. The temple is located in Una district and the best time to visit this temple is between October and March.

14. Chamunda Devi Temple

Chamunda Devi Temple

Chamunda Devi is regarded as a mother goddess in Himachal and thus receives high regard in the state. According to legend, around 400 hundred years ago, a priest and the King of Kangra prayed to the goddess to let them shift the temple to a more accessible location, which the goddess agreed to. The Goddess appeared in the dream of the king and told him where to relocate the temple. She also told him that he would find an idol buried at the spot, which he had to set up as the presiding deity in the new temple. Accordingly, the religious site is now an easily accessible location and visited by many devotees.

The Chamunda Temple is situated 10 kilometres from Palampur in the district of Kangra and the site is also known for its scenic beauty.

15. Bhimkali Temple

Another Shaktipeetha the Bhimkali Temple is an important landmark of Sarahan town. This temple is completely made out of wood and has beautiful snow-clad mountain peaks in its backdrop. According to a legend, the ear of Goddess Sati fell at the spot where the temple stands today. The intricate wood carvings in the interior and exterior of the temple captures the attention of every devotee that visits the temple.

The temple is at a distance of 180 kilometres from Shimla and the best time to visit the temple is between October and March.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the temples in Himachal Pradesh but this is an overview of the most important temples in Himachal Pradesh. Visit these and you will definitely get a sense of how much divinity and spirituality is engrained in the lives of people in Himachal Pradesh.

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