India’s temples are among the country’s most beautiful attractions for travellers. While some of these explorers come here on a spiritual journey, others are more interested in the magnificent architecture that these monuments represent. Below you will find some of the most beautiful and famous temples in India as well as what you should know about these places of worship.
The Golden Temple
Resting on the waters of the Amrit Sarovar Basin, the Golden Temple is a magnificent blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural style. Also known as the Harmandir Sahib, it is one of the most visited holy places in India (see https://inde.marcovasco.fr) for other examples of famous places to discover in the country). A beautiful marble causeway with pietra dura ornament leads to the main element of the complex: the temple with its finely engraved gold roofing. Inside the complex, you will hear a melodious chant of Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of the Sikhs). This adds to the spiritual atmosphere of the place. A Sikh museum located within the temple compound will tell you about the struggles the Sikhs have faced over the years. In addition, after visiting the main temple, you can walk around the different parts of the complex to enjoy the serenity and beauty of the place.
This temple represents several centuries of Indian culture and showcases the beauty of India’s ancient architecture, traditions and timeless spiritual teachings. More than 10,000 dedicated craftsmen and volunteers participated in the construction of this temple complex.
The site invites you on a wonderful journey to discover the art and values of India. One of the most popular attractions of the Akshardham Temple is a representation of the cycle of birth, life and death as described in Indian philosophy. It is highlighted by an impressive musical fountain show.
Built more than a thousand years ago by King Chola Râjarâja, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. All the most important festivals as well as the great religious activities of the Chola dynasty (9th to 13th century) took place here.
This temple of great renown in the city of Tanjore rests on a bank of the Kaveri River, giving it the appearance of a fortress. Its main element is a huge tower of about sixty meters built with 130,000 tons of granite. In addition, a multitude of glittering sculptures, intricate carvings and patterns enhance the beauty of the temple. It is interesting to note that while virtually all other palatial buildings of the Chola period have perished over the centuries, the Brihadesvara Temple was an exception. To this day, it continues to stand high in all its grandeur and glory, reflecting the devotion of its builders to Lord Shiva.
The Lotus Temple
This temple in New Delhi, a place of worship in the Bahá’í Faith, is recognizable by the sparkling white marble that covers the lotus-shaped building. It is one of the greatest works of Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba. He travelled all over India to find inspiration for the architecture of the temple. He found that all religions have one symbol in common: the lotus.
Influenced by this experience, he designed the temple in the form of a lotus to bring out the Bahá’í Faith’s concept of purity, simplicity and unity. The Lotus Temple welcomes everyone, regardless of religious denomination, nationality, or gender. Under the same roof, everyone worships in a calm and respectful spirit.
The Mahabodhi Temple
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is considered to be the place where Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment. The temple is located in the town of Bodhgayâ, south of Patna. It is one of the four ‘holy places’ associated with the life of the Buddha. Built entirely of brick, the temple is known to have had a considerable influence on the development of brick architecture.
The complex includes the large 50-metre high temple, the diamond throne (the Vajrasana), the sacred tree of the Bodhi, and six other sacred sites associated with the Awakening of the Buddha. Several ancient stupas mark the boundary of the complex. A lotus pond is located outside. The Mahabodhi Temple is considered the holiest place in the world for Buddhism. It also holds an important place in archaeology, philosophy and cultural history.