10 Most Famous Temples in Karnataka
Being home to several ancient Temples, Karnataka is the ultimate destination for Temple tours. It is simply amazing how one State can be home to many Temples belonging to different dynasties. Known for their religious beliefs, historical significance, and architectural grandeur, Karnataka Temples are a must-visit for every spiritual soul and history buff. Here is a list of just some of the most famous Temples that can quench your thirst for spiritually stimulating trips.
Udupi Srikrishna Temple, Udupi
Dedicated to Lord Krishna, it is one of the most revered Temples in the region. The presiding deity is depicted as Bal Krishna. However, unlike other Temples, the idol cannot be seen directly. Devotees can see the idol through a 9-holed window called Navagraha Kitiki. The sacred Sri Krishna Temple and Matta (monastery) date back to the 13th century and attract devotees from far and wide.
Vidyashankara Temple, Sringeri:
Situated in Sringeri, one of the most celebrated pilgrimage centres of the state, the Vidyashankara Temple is visited by thousands of devotees every year. It was built in the memory of Guru Vidhyashankara in the 14th century. It is a magnificent monument built entirely of stone, boasting of both Dravida and Hoysala architectural styles. Also, there are several inscriptions all across the Temple, providing a peek into the Vijayanagar Empire.
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Murudeshwar Shiva Temple, Bhatkal:
Built on the Kanduka hill in the town of Murudeshwar, this Temple is indeed one of the most popular Temples in the state. The 123 feet tall idol is the world’s second-largest statue of Lord Shiva. The Temple is also surrounded by the Arabian Sea on three sides, thus offering breathtaking views. The Temple’s Gopuram (237 ft) is also one of the tallest in India.
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Vitthala Temple, Hampi:
Known for its exceptional architecture and unmatched craftsmanship, Vitthala Temple is one of the most significant structures in Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is one of the most popular attractions of this ruined town. This spectacular Temple is renowned for its striking structures, including the stone chariot and monolithic musical pillars.
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Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna:
The city of Gokarna is home to several pristine beaches and popular temples. Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple is one of the holiest Temples in the region, frequented by pilgrims in large numbers. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Temple has found its mention in the Ramayana and Mahabharata as well. Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple is considered as sacred as Kashi; thus, it is often called Dakshin Kashi.
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Chennakeshava Temple, Belur:
Chennakeshava Temple or Vijayanarayana Temple is one of the most visited temples in Karnataka. Dedicated to Lord Chennakeshava (a form of Lord Vishnu), it was constructed by King Vishnuvardha in the 12th century. The stunning artwork and intricate carving on the Temple walls showcase the life of the people during those times.
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Kotilingeshwara Temple, Kolar:
Housing Asia’s tallest and largest Shiva Lingam statue, Kotilingeshwara Temple, is one of the top Temples in Karnataka. The Temple is often present on the itinerary of every tourist. While pilgrims visit this Temple throughout the year, the number increases two fold during Maha Shivratri. Grand celebrations take place on this auspicious day, adding more grandeur to this Temple.
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Mallikarjuna Temple, Pattadakal:
Pattadakal, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to several Hindu and Jain Temples. One of these Temples is the Mallikarjuna Temple, an ancient Temple built in the 7th-8th century. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of this Temple, attracting Shiva devotees throughout the year. The Dravidian architecture and the beautiful carvings from the Mahabharatha, Ramayana, and Panchatantra are the major highlights of this Temple.
Kedareshwara Temple, Balligavi:
Kedareshwara Temple, constructed in the Trikuta style, is located in the Shimoga district. The Temple has three shrines, including that of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The Temple is also known for its six-pillared hall, which is connected with the shrines. With so much to explore, this Temple is a popular addition to the list of best Temples in Karnataka.
Durga Gudi Temple :
The village of Aihole is home to over 125 Temples, each with its own unique features. There’s no way you can forget visiting Aihole on your Karnataka Temple tour. While there are several Temples, the Durga Gudi Temple is the most popular. The rock-cut architecture and pleasant surroundings make it popular among tourists.
Virupaksha Temple, Hampi:
This iconic Temple is also a part of the Group of Monuments at Hampi. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped as Virupaksha, the consort of the goddess Pampa Devi. This Temple is one of few that are still used in worship at Hampi, thus, an important pilgrimage centre in the State. The annual chariot festival in February and the marriage festivities of Virupaksha and Pampa in December are the best time to visit this Temple.
Head to Karnataka and pay a visit to these Temples to make your tour even more memorable.
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