A temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which is famed because it is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga (glowing linga) shrines of Lord Shiva is the Somnath Temple. Located on the western coast of Gujarat, in Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra, this ancient temple holds a special space in the hearts of pilgrims, with this pilgrimage being mentioned in such ancient texts as the Skandpuran and Shivpuran.
A temple situated against the breathtaking backdrop of the Himalayan Dhauladhar range in Himachal Pradesh is the Chamunda Devi Temple. This sacred spot is much visited by the Hindu pilgrims who worship Chamunda Devi, a form of Shakti. It is located in the Kangra district, about 15 kms away from Dharamshala, on the banks of the Ban Ganga.
A temple located at the tip of the Indian peninsula on the south east coast, that pays homage to Lord Shiva is the Arulmigu Ramanatha Swami Thirukkovil or the Rameswaram Temple. This ancient temple is one of the Char Dhams or four holy places of the Hindus and one of the twelve Jyotirlingam shrines in India.
One of the earliest structural temples located in the state of Tamil Nadu is the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram. This temple is so named because it is built on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. It has stood through many centuries and has now been given the accreditation of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The richest temple in India which attracts a lot of devotees is the Tirupati Temple, located in the Chittor district, Andhra Pradesh. This temple pays homage to an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Lord Venkateswara, who is known as the Lord of Seven Hills. He is popularly known as Balaji. In the Rig Veda and the Asthadasa Puranas this deity is called the bestower of boons, thus making him an extremely popular God. His temple is located on the seventh peak, Venkatachala (Venkata Hill) of the Tirupati Hill, and lies on the southern banks of Swami Pushkarini. This is a very sacred spot, with many pilgrims choosing to climb the hill along an often-used track.
A very ancient set of temples that is a famous spot for pilgrims is the Khajuraho group of temples, built as early as the tenth-eleventh century and located in the state of Madhya Pradesh, southeast of Delhi. This holy place is supposed to have the highest number of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, leading to it’s accreditation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
One of the holiest Hindu temples in India where it is believed that the prayers of devotees are faithfully answered is the Vaishno Devi Temple, paying tribute to Shakti, a form of the Mother Goddess in Jammu and Kashmir. It is difficult to say exactly how old the temple is, although it is believed that the worship of this Goddess started in the Puranic period.