Temples hold the utmost importance in India. From ancient times, it is believed that building temples and worshipping idols in there brings prosperity and good luck.
Here’s a list of 10 oldest surviving temples in India.
- Jageshwar Temple, Uttarakhand
Jageshwar temple is situated in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand. The magical and peaceful setting of the temple makes it a popular tourist destination.
Jageshwar temple is one of the most famous temples of the Katyuri era that lasted between the 7th Century and 12th Century. The temple is known as a home of 12 Jyotrilings. Located at an elevation of 1870 meters above the sea level, the Jageshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
- Chennakeshava Temple, Karnataka
Built-in the 12th Century, the Chennakeshava Temple is also referred to as the Vijayanarayana Temple of Belur. Belur is a small town located at the banks of the Yagachi River. The temple was built by Hoysalas, which reigned from the 10th Century to 14th Century in Karnataka.
Architecture is an excellent showcase of art, culture, and literature of that era. The main temple is a distinctive star-shaped structure placed on a platform. The Chennakeshava temple is known for its magnificent carvings and sculptures.
- Konark Sun Temple, Odisha
The Konark Sun temple is devoted to Hindu God Surya (the sun). Built-in the 13th Century, it is situated at the shores of the Bay of Bengal.
This masterpiece is built in the form of a considerable chariot dedicated to the Sun God. The Sun temple represents a typical Hindu temple. Every year in February, devotees from all around India gather for Chandrabhagha Mela. UNESCO declared this temple as a World Heritage Site in 1984.
What we see today is the remains of the Sun temple preserved by the archaeology team. It is said to be destroyed by natural causes and looted by Muslim armies between the 15th to 17th Centuries.
- Kailash Temple, Elora, Maharashtra
Kailash Temple is considered as the most majestic cave temples in India. The giant structure is one of the 34 cave temples, known as Elora Caves. Situated in Maharashtra, the caves have proudly being announced as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The rock-cut temple is carved and chiseled about 1200 years ago. The exquisite sculptural designs on the cave temple’s surfaces are a charmer. The Kailash temple is a beautiful representation of Mount Kailash, which is considered to be the home of Lord Shiva.
- Tungnath Temple, Uttarakhand
Tungnath temple is the highest elevated of the five Kedar temples in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It is built at a height of 3680 meters above sea level.
With the North Indian style of architecture, the sanctum part of the temple was developed to worship Lord Shiva. The sanctum is so small that it only accommodates ten people at a time. Other shrines are surrounding the temple.
In popular tales, Arjuna, the third of the Pandava brothers, constructed this temple to honor Lord Shiva.
- Gop Temple, Gujarat
Gop Temple is a Sun temple located on the banks of the Vertu river, in Jamnagar district of Gujarat. Built-in the 6th Century, it is one of the surviving stone temples in Gujarat.
What we see today is the partial remains of the temple. The original temple had a square plan, a mandapa, and a covered passage that is destroyed. It is somehow built on Nagra style and has similarities with Kashmiri temples and Dravidian temples.
- Mundeshwari Temple, Bihar
Mounted on Mundeshwari hills, The Mundeshwari Devi temple is located in Kaimur district of Bihar. Lord Shiva and Shakti are the worshipping idols here.
The architecture has a Nagra style, created on an octagonal plan. There are wall carvings and moldings of Ganga, Yamun, Lord Vishnu, and other deities. Inside the sanctum, the idol of Devi Mundeshwari with ten hands is honored.
The temple witnesses a flock of devotees and tourists during the festive seasons of Shivratri and Navratri.
- Durga Temple, Karnataka
One of the most attractive temples of medieval times in India is the Durga Temple at Aihole, Karnataka. Named as Durga temple, it has nothing to do with Goddess Durga. The name Durga here suggests a fortress or protector. It has become a famous pilgrimage spot.
The Dravidian style architecture dominates the temple. It was built in the 7th Century by Chalukyas. The walls are embraced with sculptures of different Gods and Goddesses.
- Lakshmana Temple, Chhattisgarh
Lakshmana Temple is one of the famous temples in the city of Sirpur, Chhattisgarh. This brick temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The carvings on the walls include the designs of Lord Vishnu, Krishna, etc.
The temple was built in the 7th Century. It was discovered during the British period in India. From then on, the Lakshmana temple has become a popular tourist destination.
- Bhitargaon Temple, Uttar Pradesh
The ancient Hindu temple is located in Kanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Bhitargaon was the largest brick temple during the Gupta empire.
The temple was built in the 6th Century. The walls are covered with terracotta panels representing Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
The Bhitargaon temple was damaged in a clap of thunder, but some of its original features were restored.