10 Amazing Hindu Temples

Hinduism is one of the world’s oldest religions, and has over 900 million followers worldwide. Though most of the Hindus live in India there are substantial numbers present in Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Temple construction in India started nearly 2000 years ago and marked the transition of Hinduism from the Vedic religion. The architecture of Hindu temples has evolved ever since resulting in a great variety of styles. They are usually dedicated to one primary Hindu deity and feature a murti (sacred image) of the deity. Although it is not mandatory for a Hindu to visit a Hindu temple regularly, they play a vital role in Hindu society and culture.

10Tanah Lot

Situated on a large rock, Tanah Lot is one of the most famous Hindu temples in Bali, and probably the most photographed. The Tanah Lot temple has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries. The temple is one of 7 sea temples, each within eyesight of the next, to form a chain along the south-western coast of Bali.

Read more: Indonesia Guide

9Kanchipuram Temples

The City of 1000 Temples, Kanchipuram is one of the oldest cities in South India, and known for its ancient Hindu temples and silk sarees. The city contains several big temples like the Varadharaja Perumal Temple for Lord Vishnu and the Ekambaranatha Temple which is one of the five forms of abodes of Lord Siva.

Read more: India Guide

8Brihadeeswarar Temple

The Brihadishwara Temple, located in Thanjavur, India, was built by the Chola king Rajaraja I in the 11th century. The world’s first complete granite temple, Brihadishwara is a brilliant example of the Dravidian style of temple architecture. The temple tower is 66 meters (216 feet) high making it one of the tallest temples in the world.

Read more: India Guide

7Khajuraho
Khajurahoflickr/kuranda

The village of Khajuraho is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. It’s numerous Hindu and Jain temples are famous for their erotic sculpture. The temples were built over a span of 200 years, from 950 to 1150. A few of the temples are dedicated to the Jain pantheon and the rest to Hindu deities, to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and various Devi forms.

Read more: India Guide

6Banteay Srei
Banteay Sreiflickr/Marc Aurel

Although officially part of the Angkor Wat complex, Banteay Srei lies 25 km (15 miles) north-east of the main group of temples, enough to list it separately here. The Hindu temple was completed in 967 AD and is built largely of red sandstone, a medium that lends itself to the elaborate decorative wall carvings which are still clearly visible today. Banteay Srei is the only major temple at Angkor not built for a king, instead it was constructed by one of king Rajendravarman’s counselors, Yajnyavahara.

Read more: Cambodia Guide

5Sri Ranganathaswamy
Sri Ranganathaswamyflickr/sowri

Dedicated to Lord Ranganatha (a reclining form of Lord Vishnu), the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam, India is an important shrine that receives millions of visitors and pilgrims every year. With an area of 156 acres (6,31,000 m²), the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is one of the largest religious complexes in the world. The oldest structure of the temple dates back to the 10th century.

Read more: India Guide

4Virupaksha Temple

The Virupaksha Temple in the city of Hampi in India started out as a small shrine and grew into a large complex under the Vijayanagara rulers. It is believed that this temple has been functioning uninterruptedly ever since the small shrine was built in the 7th century AD which makes it one of the oldest functioning Hindu temples in India. The largest entrance tower of the temple is 50 meters high.

Read more: India Guide

3Prambanan
Prambananflickr/zsoolt

Prambanan is the largest and most beautiful Hindu temple complex in Indonesia. Located about 18 km east of Yogyakarta, it is somewhat overshadowed by the even more awe-inspiring Borobudur situated just next door. The two sites are quite different in style though, with Prambanan being a collection of tall and pointed Hindu temples, instead of the single large Buddhist stupa of Borobudur.

Prambanan has three main temples dedicated to Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva and was built around 850AD by the Mataram Kingdom, rulers of central Java.

Read more: Indonesia Guide

Read more: Prambanan Guide

2Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Amman Templeflickr/raysto

The Meenakshi Amman Temple is one of the most important Indian Hindu temples, located in the holy city of Madurai. The temple is dedicated to Sundareswar (form of Lord Shiva) and Meenakshi (form of Goddess Parvati). The complex houses 14 magnificent towers including two golden Gopurams for the main deities, that are elaborately sculptured and painted.

The temple is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, and has been mentioned for the last couple of millennia, though the present structure was built in the early 17th century.

Read more: India Guide

1Angkor Wat

Angkor is a vast temple complex in Cambodia featuring the magnificent remains of several capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century AD. These include the famous Angkor Wat temple, the world’s largest single religious monument, and the Bayon temple (at Angkor Thom) with its multitude of massive stone faces. During it’s long history Angkor went through many changes in religion converting between Hinduism to Buddhism several times.

Read more: Cambodia Guide

Map of Amazing Hindu Temples

14 comments

  1. arya

    excelent!
    but where is Akshardham?
    and Ankor wat is no.1 thats nice to see a non Indian temple at no 1

  2. Naveen

    Combodia once was called Khambhoja rajya and was under influence of indian kings..there were many matrimonial relations held between indian kings and the Khambhoja kings….Rajendraverman…thats the reason you will find many temples in Indonesia….Combodia and malaysia and nearby places…..

  3. Kamalendu Nayak

    excellent collection, but where is puri tample, konark tample puri is known as baikuntha of martya and a significant hindu place of worship

  4. g s kulkarni

    I am amazed to see such a great massive hindu temples outside India.I thought we only have great temples in India.thanks for showing these collections.

  5. rajendra

    hey u should add the lord jagannath temple,puri here as it is the most ancient temple of india

  6. sujit panigrahi

    Temples are always beautiful but I am surprised that puri jagannath temple is not in this top 10. I think puri temple is one of the best in the world.

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