India, being a land of incredible diversity, is home to many fascinating and captivating temples each possessing a unique history and story. Ranging from the Tirupati Balaji Temple in Andhra Pradesh to the Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar, each and every temple speaks of a thousand stories.

In this article, we bring to you 10 of the most magnificent and awe-inspiring temples in India which every Indian should visit at least once.

1. Sri Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh

The Tirupati Sri Venkateshwara Temple is located in the picturesque mountain range of Tirumala. This majestic temple’s intricate and beautiful architecture combines both the iconic Dravidian and South Indian style, making it a sight to behold. This temple is known as the ‘Lord of the Seven Hills’ and is one of the most popular temples in India when it comes to number of visitors.

2. Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu

The Meenakshi Amman Temple located in Madurai, Tamil Nadu is also known as the ‘Temple of the Goddes Fish’ due to its fish shaped structure. This temple, which dates back to as long as the 16th century, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Meenakshi, his wife. Along with its intricate structures and carvings, traditional music and the ritualistic practise of ‘theepam’ or ‘dance of the flame’ an ancient custom which the locals observe every night, makes it a sight to behold.

3. Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar, Punjab

The Harmandir Sahib better known as the Golden Temple, is situated in the holy city of Amritsar, Punjab. It is the most sacred site of the Sikh religion. It is home to the Gurudwara or mosque known as Harmandir Sahib which is adorned with gold and lit with oil lamps. In addition, there is also the Sarovar or pool located in the complex. A visit to Harmandir Sahib is sure to leave you emotionally moved.

4. Ananthapura Lake Temple, Kasaragod, Kerala

Located in the serene village of Ananthapura by the beauty of Lake Ananthaya, the Ananthapura Lake temple lies in the fringes of four small villages of Kumbla, Chapparapadavu, Pudukad and Puthiyangadi. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, as stated by the locals. Interestingly, this stands as the only lake temple of Lord Vishnu in the entire Kerala. In addition, the temple is also home to a crocodile, who is believed to be an incarnation of Ananthapadmanabha - a sacred snake.

5. Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha

The Jagannath temple located in Puri is visited by thousands of devotees every year. This majestic temple is a major site for pilgrimage for both Hindus and Buddhists. Additionally, it has been said that to have a darshan (glimpse) of the Lord of the Universe, one must pass through the Kashi Chakra- two walls of 64 Shaivite monasteries. The temple is no less than a miracle of its own with chariots as huge as a two-storey building, bearing the Deities inside.

6. Mahabodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya, Bihar

The Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya is the sacred and the holiest of sites and is situated exactly where the Lord Buddha is said to have attained Nirvana or attained enlightenment. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002, describing it as “one of the most sacred sites of Pilgrimage in the world.” Here one can see a group of ancient statues including a Buddha image and a Bodhi Tree (under which the Buddha attained enlightenment).

7. Somnath Temple, Somnath, Gujarat

The Somnath temple is a famous pilgrimage site located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Gujarat, India. It is revered as one of the twelve jyotirlingas or the 4 prime sites of Lord Shiva. This temple is decorated with carvings of other Gods from the Hindu pantheon and is a site to behold.

8.Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati, Assam

The Kamakhya temple in Assam is located on the Nilachal Hills close to the Holy Brahmaputra river. It is dedicated to the tantric goddess Kamakhya. Considered to be the oldest among all the 51 Shakti Peethas, it is a popular pilgrimage site among devotees of the goddess. This temple is different in comparison to other Shakti Peeths owing to its unique mechanism of worship.

9. Maheshwar Temple, Uttarakhand

The Maheshwara temple is situated in the picturesque town of Gangotri, Uttarakhand. This temple is where Sage Maheshwara resides as an incarnation of Lord Shiva. This temple is close to the Bhagirathi River and its enchanting location makes it a pilgrimage site for devotees of Lord Shiva.

10. Lotwara Temple, Mewar, Rajasthan

Despite not having the grand structure of other temples, the Lothswara temple in Mewar, Rajasthan is no less. Known to be one of the most holy sites, this temple is home to a large white-coloured idol of Lord Vishnu sleeping on the bed of serpents. The temple is also known to have existed since 731 AD, making it one of the oldest sacred sites in India.

So these were a few of the amazing and awe-inspiring temples of India which every Indian must visit at least once. Each of these temples has a unique history and story attached to it, making it an unforgettable experience!