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Most Beautiful Hindu Temples
Meenakshi Temple, Madurai, India
Visit hotels near Meenakshi Temple, Madurai, India
Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic Hindu temple located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River in the temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to Parvati, known as Meenakshi, and her consort, Shiva, here named Sundareswarar. The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2,500-year-old city of Madurai and is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature though the present structure was built between 1623 and 1655 CE. It houses 14 gopurams (gateway towers), ranging from 45–50m in height. The tallest is the southern tower, 51.9 metres (170 ft) high, and two golden sculptured vimanas, the shrines over the garbhagrihas (sanctums) of the main deities.
Visit hotels near Varanasi, India
Situated on the west bank of the Ganges, Varanasi - also known as Benares - is an important holy city for both Hindus and Buddhists. According to legend, it was founded by the Hindu deity Lord Shiva 5,000 years ago, though modern scholars believe it to be around 3,000 years old.
Mark Twain (American author): "Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together."
Varanasi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The spiritual capital of India, it is the holiest of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism.
Neasden Temple, London
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Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in north-west London is like no other building in the capital. Made from 5,000 tonnes of Italian Carrara and Indian Ambaji marble and the finest Bulgarian limestone, it was carved by hand in India before being moved to the UK. It holds superlative Diwali celebrations, open to all, which this year include a fireworks display and hot snacks.
Akshardham Temple, Delhi, India
Visit hotels near Akshardham Temple, Delhi, India
One of the newer mandirs in this collection, this temple was opened in 2005 after 300 million volunteer hours went into its construction. Built from pink-hued Rajasthani sandstone and Carrara marble, it is described as, "an eternal place of devotion, purity and peace" and contains over 200 murtis - objects depicting deities.
Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham complex is a Hindu mandir, and a spiritual-cultural campus in New Delhi, India. Also referred to as Delhi Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham, the complex displays millennia of traditional Hindu and Indian culture, spirituality, and architecture.
Srilakshmi Golden Temple, Vellore, India
Visit hotels near Srilakshmi Golden Temple, Vellore, India
This dazzling building in India's Tamil Nadu state was built using copper covered in multiple layers of gold leaf, inside a star-shaped complex wall. Its extensive gardens and intricate architectural detailing mean a visit here is memorable. The main feature of the complex is the temple is dedciated to the goddes Lakshmi, who is celebrated during Diwali in the hope of bringing prosperity for the year ahead.
The golden temple of Sripuram a spiritual park situated at the foot of a small range of green hills in a place known as "Malaikodi" in the city of Vellore in Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is at the southern end of the city of Vellore, at Tirumalaikodi. This was inaugurated on India's Independence Day 15 August 2007
Visit hotels near Prambanan, Indonesia
This Unesco World Heritage site is a complex built in the 10th century and is Indonesia's largest construction dedicated to Shiva. Telegraph Travel's Natalie Paris writes: "Sat beside the glorious Buddhist temple of Borobudur in Java, the Hindu ruins of Prambanan match up in terms of scale and beauty. The interior consists of more than 200 tower shrines that surround three inner temples. The complex was built to honour Shiva in 850 by the Mataram dynasty. Freizes show scenes from the Ramayana. It is reached from nearby Yogyakarta."
The temple compound is located approximately 17 kilometres (11 mi) northeast of the city of Yogyakarta on the boundary between Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces
Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar Temple, Seychelles
Visit hotels near Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar Temple, Seychelles
This temple is perhaps not remarkable for its size - it's tiny - or because the figurines that decorate it are any more spectacular than other Hindu temples. Rather, it is because it is so unexpected: a rainbow of colours against the tin rooves and low buildings of the Seychelles capital, Victoria, one of the world's dinkiest major cities. It is named after Lord Vinayagar, the Hindu god of safety and prosperity, and is a place of worship for the islands' Hindu community.
Koneswaram temple, Sri Lanka
Visit hotels near Koneswaram temple, Sri Lanka
Lord Shiva is the main deity worshipped at this superbly positioned temple, atop Swami Rock, a promontory overlooking Trincomalee, a port town in eastern Sri Lanka. Also worshipped at the complex - which dates back more than 2,000 years and was destroyed by colonial invaders in the 17th century, before being rebuilt - is Ravana, whose statue stands out over one side of Swami rock.
The Koneswaram temple is well known for its celebration of the traditional Ther chariot festival, the Navaratri and Sivarathri functions. The Ther Chariot Festival lasts for twenty two days in April and focuses on preparing the deities and the community for Puthandu, the Tamil New Year.
Visit hotels near Laxminarayan Temple, India
In rust red and gold, this temple - also known as Birla Mandir - stands to the west of Connaught Place in Delhi, and is popular with tourists. It was opened by Mahatma Gandhi, who declared that it would be a place of worship open to all castes. It is free to enter, although visitors are not allowed to take photos.
The temple is located on the Mandir Marg, situated west of the Connaught Place in New Delhi. The temple is easily accessible from the city by local buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws. Nearest Delhi Metro station is R.K.Ashram Marg, located about 2 km away. Also on the same road lies the New Delhi Kalibari.
Virupaksha Temple, India
Visit hotels near Virupaksha Temple, India
This construction is part of the Unesco World Heritage site of the "Group of Monuments at Hampi" in India. It was the last capital of the Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar, and won the attention of travellers between the 14th and 16th centuries before being pillaged by invaders, and then abandoned.
The temple continues to prosper and attracts huge crowds for the betrothal and marriage festivities of Virupaksha and Pampa in December.
In the month of February the annual chariot festival is celebrated here.
Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchipuram, India
Visit hotels near Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchipuram, India
This temple is the oldest structure in the city of Kanchipuram, itself known as the city of 1,000 temples. Built in the 1st century during the Pallava dynasty, its sandstone exterior is formed of dozens of sculptures of half-animal deities. The lions are of particular note.
Maha Shivaratri is the biggest festival held in the temple when thousand of devotees throng the temple in the evening hours to offer prayers to the main deity
Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Thailand
Visit hotels near Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Thailand
A riotous burst of colour that leaps out from a cluttered Bangkok street, the Thai capital's most famous Hindu temple is certainly worth a look. It is very busy, with a pooja performed six times a day. It also honours every god of the Hindu religion.
Religious festivals, such as Navratri, take place here following the traditional Tamil calendar in September/October. This festival, which is believed to give redress from bad luck, is held for ten days and on the final day the street in front of the temple is colourfully decorated with yellow flower garlands and candles, and the image of Sri Maha Mariamman is taken through the streets in a procession; during this time a portion of the Silom is blocked to traffic.
Annamalaiyar Temple, India
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The towers of this temple dedicated to Shiva - he is thought to have taken on the qualities of fire while here - stand majestically against the Annamalai hills of southern India. One of the largest complexes in India, the site covers 10 hectares and the tallest tower reaches a height of 66 metres. Pooja are performed here on a daily basis.
The temple celebrates dozens of festivals throughout the year. Four prime festivals, the Brahmotsavam, are celebrated yearly. The most important of these lasts ten days during the Tamil month of Karthikai, between November and December, concluding with the celebration of Karthikai Deepam.
Temples in India
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