The rich history of India is visible all throughout the country and travellers visiting its various parts are left in awe by what they get to see. The many monuments, palaces, forts and the temples of yore gives an insight into India's glorious past. There are also many temples in India that speak volumes about the country's history.
There are many popular temples in India that travellers can head to and explore. These temples were built way long back and many of them are said to have their own mysteries. They give a vibrant insight into the history of the period when they were built in, and are also key to understanding the beliefs and traditions that existed in the past. Here is a guide to the five richest temples in India that every traveller must visit.
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple sits in the heart of the city of Thiruvananthapuram. The residing deity of this temple is Lord Vishnu. The temple is managed by the former royal family of Travancore. The temple is designed beautifully in the Dravidian style. The idol of Padmanabhaswamy is the main attraction of the temple. The shrine presents Lord Vishnu in a reclining position on Ananthan, the cosmic serpent. It is from this shrine that the city got its name. The shrine also has Lord Vishnu's consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi by his side. The shrine is made up of 12,000 Saligramams and it is covered with 'Katusarkara yogam'. The temple has assets of 90,000 crores worth that include gold idols, gold, antique silver, diamonds, emeralds and brass. This trove also includes two golden coconut shells studded with precious stones. A visit to this temple is a must when you are at Thiruvananthapuram.
Photo Courtesy: Bijoy Mohan
Tirumala Tirupati Venkateswara Temple
Sri Venkateshwara Temple is one of the oldest and most popular pilgrimage sites. It is situated at the 7th peak of the Venkata Tirumala Hill. Located in the south of Sri Swami Puskarini River, the temple has been construed in the traditional Dravidian architecture style. It houses an 8 ft tall idol of the Lord Venkateshwara that is placed under the gold glided dome called Ananda Nilaya Divya Vimana and the eyes of the idol are covered with a tilak of camphor, and ornamented with semi-precious and precious stones. According to practice, the temple of Varahaswami should be paid a visit to before visiting Sri Venkateswara swami temple. A beautiful temple that it is it also enjoys the privilege of being one the riches pilgrimage centers and the most popular place of worship on the globe.
Photo Courtesy: Ashok Prabhakaran
Sai temple of Shirdi is among the top pilgrimage sites of the world. This temple is a beautiful shrine that was built in 1922. It is located approximately 296 km from Mumbai City in India. It is the third wealthiest temple in India where millions of devotees of different religions and castes visit everyday. Shirdi is flocked by devotees and curious tourists who journey to this holy land of Shri Saibaba.
Photo Courtesy: ~Beekeeper~
The Hindu Temple housing the Lord Ganesha has been frequented by tourists and pilgrims since the early 1900s. What was once a small brick structure just a few feet wide is today Mumbai's richest temple and close to many hearts. Beware though, unless you get there in time and on the right days, you may just end up stuck in a line for hours. The temple architecture and management of pilgrims within is worth a mention.
Photo Courtesy: Borayin Maitreya Larios
The temple is vast and epitomises the entire history, culture and religion of the Sikhs. The Gurudwara is also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib. The uppper floors of the Gurudwara are constructed using 400kg of gold thus giving it its name 'The Golden Temple'. It houses the holy book ' Guru Granth Sahib' while the building opposite to it has a museum which tells the story of the Sikhs.
Photo Courtesy: Giridhar Appaji Nag Y