India, the land of vibrant culture and rich heritage, is home to some of the world’s most magnificent temples. These sacred spaces are not only a place of worship but also a treasure trove of architectural and cultural beauty. From ancient shrines to modern marvels, India has a vast array of temples that offer a feast for the eyes of photography enthusiasts. Whether you are a professional photographer or an amateur with a passion for capturing memories, India’s temples provide an ideal backdrop for stunning images.
In this article, we will delve into the best temples in India for photography enthusiasts, from the iconic UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Wat to the grand Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Tamil Nadu. These temples are not just a testament to India’s rich history but also offer a visual treat for those who appreciate the beauty of ancient architecture. Get ready to be inspired and explore the sacred spaces of India through the lens of your camera.
- The Meenakshi Temple in Madurai
- The Kailasa Temple in Ellora
- The Sun Temple in Konark
- The Khajuraho Temples in Madhya Pradesh
- The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam
- The Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha
- The Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam
- The Virupaksha Temple in Hampi
- The Akshardham Temple in New Delhi
- The Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram
- The Chidambaram Nataraja Temple in Tamil Nadu
- The Brihadeeswarar Temple in Tamil Nadu
- The Rameswaram Temple in Tamil Nadu
- The Birla Temple in Rajasthan
- The Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor Varanasi
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The Meenakshi Temple in Madurai
The Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, India, is a stunning pilgrimage destination dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi and her consort, Lord Shiva. This temple is considered to be one of the largest and most famous temple complexes in India and has been a spiritual center for thousands of years. The Meenakshi Temple is believed to have been built in the 6th century AD, but was later reconstructed in the 16th century. It is renowned for its stunning architecture, with its towering gopurams, intricate carvings, and beautifully painted halls.
The temple is not just a religious site but also a cultural hub, attracting millions of visitors each year especially photographers. It is a symbol of pride and cultural heritage for the people of Tamil Nadu, and is a hub for festivals, ceremonies, and other traditional events. The Meenakshi Temple is a living symbol of India’s rich cultural and spiritual heritage, and is a must-visit for photgraphers interested in capturing the country’s history and traditions.
|Highlight||There is a beautiful sacred pole with a golden lotus inside the temple.|
|Timings||From 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.|
|Location||City of Madurai, Tamil Nadu|
The Kailasa Temple in Ellora
The Kailasa Temple in Ellora is one of the most magnificent architectural masterpieces in India. Built in the 8th century, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered as one of the largest rock-cut temples in the world. The temple’s grand structure, intricate carvings and sculptures, and its serene atmosphere, make it a must-visit destination for tourists and history buffs alike.
The temple is said to have been built by King Krishna I of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty, who wanted to showcase his devotion to Lord Shiva. The Kailasa Temple is not only significant for its architectural beauty but also for its spiritual and cultural significance, that makes it an ideal destination for temple photography. It remains a popular pilgrimage site for Hindu devotees and is considered as a testament to India’s rich cultural heritage.
|Highlight||The rock-cut architecture of historical India.|
|Timings||From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.|
|Location||Ellora Caves, Maharashtra|
The Sun Temple in Konark
The Sun Temple in Konark, India is an architectural wonder and a testament to the glory of the ancient civilization that built it. It was built in the 13th century during the reign of King Narasingha Deva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty and dedicated to the Hindu god Surya, the Sun. The temple was constructed using sandstone and black granite and was a masterpiece of ancient engineering, with intricate carvings and sculptures adorning its walls and towers. The Sun Temple in Konark is considered a significant monument in Indian history as it reflects the artistic and architectural advancements of the time.
Despite facing damage and destruction over the years, the Sun Temple in Konark still stands today and is a popular tourist destination coming in top 10 temples in India for stunning photography. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world who come to admire its intricate carvings and stunning architecture.
|Highlight||The resemblance of temple to the wristwatch|
|Timings||From 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.|
|Location||Konark, Puri district, Odisha|
The Khajuraho Temples in Madhya Pradesh
The Khajuraho Temples in Madhya Pradesh, India, are a breathtaking collection of ancient Hindu and Jain temples that have captivated the hearts and imaginations of visitors for centuries. Built between the 9th and 11th centuries, these temples were once part of a sprawling city that was home to over 85 temples. Today, only 20 of these temples remain, but they still stand as a testament to the grandeur and beauty of ancient India.
The Khajuraho Temples are particularly famous for their intricate and erotic carvings, which depict scenes of sexual union, and have sparked much controversy and debate over the years. However, these carvings are considered to be a representation of the Hindu concept of love and physical desire as a sacred part of life and creation. This temple complex come in the most instagrammable temples for photography.
|Highlight||The entising beauty of sculptures.|
|Timings||From 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.|
|Location||Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh|
The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam
The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, also known as Ranganatha. This temple is one of the largest functioning Hindu temples in the world and is considered one of the most important Vaishnava temples.The temple has a rich history dating back to the 9th century, with several dynasties contributing to its construction and expansion. During the 14th century, the temple was sacked by the Muslim forces, but was later rebuilt by the Vijayanagara Empire.
The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is not only significant for its rich history and stunning architecture, but also for its spiritual and cultural significance. It serves as a symbol of the religious and cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu and continues to attract thousands of photographers every year.
|Highlight||The temple is one of the most illustrated Vaishnav temples|
|Timings||From 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|Location||Srirangam, Tamil Nadu|
The Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha
The Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha is a magnificent Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Jagannath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is one of the four major shrines in India and is considered as the most sacred of all. The temple, which was built in the 12th century, is famous for its unique architectural style and its intricate carvings. This temple complex covers an area of 400,000 square feet and is surrounded by a high wall.
The significance of the Jagannath Temple lies in its history and tradition. The temple is considered to be the center of the spiritual world, and thousands of devotees from all over India come here to seek blessings from Lord Jagannath. In addition to its religious significance, the Jagannath Temple is also a major tourist attraction in Odisha, attracting many enthusiastic photogrphers every year.
|Highlight||The temple is famous for its Rath Yatra|
|Timings||From 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|Location||Puri district, Odisha|
The Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam
The Kamakhya Temple, located in Guwahati, Assam, is one of the most revered Hindu shrines dedicated to the goddess of power, fertility, and desire, Kamakhya. It is believed that the temple has existed since the 8th century AD, but was destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries. The current structure was built in the 17th century by King Naranarayan of Cooch Behar. The temple holds great significance among the people of Assam and neighboring states, and is considered as one of the 108 Shakti Peeths, where the body parts of the Hindu goddess Sati fell.
The temple attracts a large number of devotees and tourists every year, who come to offer their prayers and seek blessings from the goddess. One of the unique features of the Kamakhya Temple is its annual Ambubachi Mela, which attracts thousands of devotees from across India and other countries. If you want to capture this revered beauty, you will have to ask for a permit.
|Highlight||One of the most sacred shaktipithas in India|
|Timings||From 5:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
From 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The Virupaksha Temple in Hampi
The Virupaksha Temple in Hampi, Karnataka, India is a revered Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is considered one of the most sacred and ancient shrines in India, with a history that dates back to the 7th century. The temple was built by the King of the Vijayanagara Empire and has been a place of worship for over a thousand years.
The temple’s architectural style showcases the grandeur and wealth of the Vijayanagara Empire. The intricate carvings and sculptures on the temple walls depict scenes from Hindu mythology, adding to its historical significance. The Virupaksha Temple complex also includes several smaller shrines dedicated to other Hindu deities. It is an ideal place for photographers who wants to showcase the country’s wealth.
|Highlight||Its stunning carved pillers|
|Timings||From 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.|
|Location||Hampi, Vijayanagar district, Karnataka|
The Akshardham Temple in New Delhi
The Akshardham Temple in New Delhi is a magnificent Hindu temple that showcases India’s rich culture and heritage. Built in 2005, this temple is one of the largest Hindu temples in the world and attracts millions of tourists every year. The temple is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan, a spiritual leader and founder of the Swaminarayan sect.
This temple’s architecture is a blend of traditional Hindu and modern styles, and it features intricate carvings, sculptures, and paintings that depict various Hindu legends and stories. The temple also has a beautiful garden, a museum, and a cultural boat ride that showcases the history and values of India. Akshardham Temple in New Delhi is more than just a religious site, it is a cultural icon that showcases India’s rich history and heritage. It is a must-visit for photographers who are interested in capturing and exploring the spiritual and cultural roots of India.
|Highlight||It is one of the largest Hindu temples in the world|
|Timings||9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.|
|Location||Akshardham temple, New Delhi|
The Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram
The Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala is a grand Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is considered as one of the wealthiest temples in the world, and is also known for its traditional Dravidian architectural style. The history of the temple dates back to the 8th century AD, with several legends and myths surrounding its origin. One such legend states that Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of a mysterious deity to King Marthanda Varma, who then built the temple in honor of the Lord.
The Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple holds immense religious and cultural significance, attracting millions of devotees and tourists every year. It is also considered as a symbol of the rich cultural heritage and legacy of the state of Kerala.
|Highlight||The temple is famous for its beauty and grandeur|
|Timings||from 7:00 a.m. to 7:20 p.m.|
The Chidambaram Nataraja Temple in Tamil Nadu
The Chidambaram Nataraja Temple in Tamil Nadu is one of the most famous and ancient Hindu shrines in India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Nataraja, the dancing form of Lord Shiva. It is considered as one of the five elemental temples of Lord Shiva, symbolizing the elemental essence of the universe. The temple’s history dates back to the Chola dynasty, with the current structure being built in the 10th century. This magnificent temple is renowned for its intricate carvings and beautiful sculptures, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu.
Visitors from all over the world come to witness the grandeur of the temple and the awe-inspiring dance performance of Lord Nataraja. The temple is a testimony to the rich cultural heritage of India and its religious traditions that have been passed down for centuries.
|Highlight||The exotic pooja ritual in the temple.|
|Timings||From 6:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
From 4:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
|Location||Sri Thillai Natarajar Temple, Cuddalore district, Tamil Nadu|
The Brihadeeswarar Temple in Tamil Nadu
The Brihadeeswarar Temple, also known as the Big Temple, is located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. It was built in the 11th century by the Chola king Raja Raja Chola I and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is considered one of the greatest architectural masterpieces of the Chola Empire and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple’s most striking feature is its massive gopuram (tower) which stands at 216 feet tall and is one of the tallest in India. The temple’s inner sanctum contains a massive statue of Lord Shiva and is surrounded by intricate carvings and sculptures.
The Brihadeeswarar Temple is not just a magnificent temple, but it is also a symbol of the Chola Empire’s power and wealth, as well as its cultural and architectural achievements. It continues to be an important pilgrimage site and attracts visitors from all over the world.
|Highlight||The temple has one of the largest shivlings with massive corridors.|
|Timings|| from 6:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
|Location||Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu|
The Rameswaram Temple in Tamil Nadu
The Rameswaram Temple located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, is considered as one of the holiest shrines in India. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is believed to be one of the four sacred sites that can provide salvation to a person. The temple is situated on the island of Rameswaram and is surrounded by the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. This exotic temple is also associated with several legends, the most famous being the story of Lord Rama’s visit to the temple to offer prayers to Lord Shiva, after defeating Ravana in the Hindu epic, Ramayana. Devotees come from all over India to offer prayers and seek blessings at this sacred temple.
The Rameswaram Temple is a must-visit for anyone looking for a spiritual and cultural experience. The temple’s serene atmosphere, beautiful architecture, and rich history are sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors. It is recommended to bring your cameras to this stunning architectural beauty.
|Highlight||The temple is the part of 12 Jyotilingas in India|
|Timings||From 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|Location||Rameshwaram Island, Tamil Nadu|
The Birla Temple in Rajasthan
The Birla Temple, located in Rajasthan, India, is a stunning Hindu temple that attracts thousands of visitors each year. Built in 1988 by the famous Birla family, the temple is an architectural marvel that showcases the rich cultural heritage of India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is known for its stunning white marble structure and intricate carvings.
The temple is surrounded by lush green gardens, making it a peaceful and serene place to visit. The interior of the temple is equally impressive, with intricate paintings and carvings that depict scenes from Hindu mythology making it a hub for photography geeks. Visitors can also witness the daily aarti ceremony, which is a beautiful display of lights and prayers.
|Highlight||The temple houses a number of paintings of Lord Buddha.|
|Timings||From 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
From 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
|Location||Birla Mandir, Jaipur, Rajasthan|
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor Varanasi
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor, located in Varanasi, India, is a spiritual hub and one of the most revered Hindu shrines in the world. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and attracts millions of pilgrims from across the world every year. The temple is located in the heart of the city and is surrounded by narrow and bustling alleys, known as galis, which are dotted with shops selling sacred items and street food.
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor is a symbol of religious and cultural diversity, where people from all walks of life come together to seek blessings and peace. The temple is a magnificent structure, with a towering gold-plated spire and intricate carvings and sculptures adorning its walls making it an ideal place for photographers. The temple complex also houses smaller shrines dedicated to other deities and attracts an array of devotees and tourists alike.
|Highlight||One of the most important Hindu temples in the world|
|Timings||From 4:00 a.m. to 11 p.m.|
|Location||Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi|
In conclusion, India’s spiritual temples are a magnificent feast for the eyes and soul. From the intricate carvings to the vibrant colors and spiritual aura, each temple is a unique work of art, representing the rich culture and heritage of India. For photographers, capturing the beauty of these sacred temples is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will leave a lasting impression. Whether it’s the golden sun rays illuminating the temple walls, the peacefulness of the inner sanctums, or the devout devotion of the worshippers, India’s spiritual temples are truly a photographer’s paradise.
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