Top UNESCO Heritage Sites of India – Temples

UNESCO Heritage Temples in India

Temples are sacred places where one gets peace and relaxation. Temples are the holy places where one gets closer to the divine god. And India is a country full of serene temples. Each temple teaches lessons of harmony and brotherhood. The temples have an amazing architectural style. 

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

Group of Monuments
Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

These are the group of temples that have one unique feature that is all the temples are carved out of a rock. The temples are located in the Mamallapuram town, Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu and have incredible Ratha architecture style.

 There are around 400 amazing temples and monuments dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries. The most famous temples include Ganesha Ratha, The Pancha Rathas Temples, Cave Temples of Mahabalipuram, Olakkannesvara Temple, Shore Temple, and the Descent of the Ganges. 

Chola Temples, Tamil Nadu

Chola Temples
Chola Temples, Tamil Nadu

Chola Temples are the temples built by the Chola dynasty during the 11th and 12th century in Tamil Nadu. The temples consist of Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram.

The temple has an epic Chola architectural style, enticing bronze icons, amazing sculptures, and paintings. The temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Mahabodhi Temple, Bihar

Mahabodhi Temple, Bihar

The most important aspect of this temple is that there is a tree called Bodhi Tree where the prince Siddhart became holy Gautum Buddha by achieving enlightenment.

Samrat Ashoka of the Maurya Empire was influenced by Buddhism and hence he made the temple of a splendid architectural style. The temple has bricks in its structure that is one of the oldest brick structure in eastern India.

Sun Temple, Odisha

Sun Temple
Sun Temple, Odisha

The temple is shaped in a mesmerizing chariot type consisting of magnificent 12 pairs of wheels and beautifully carved 6 horses pulling it. The temple is located in Konark, Odisha and is dedicated to Surya god. The 13th-century old temple has a unique feature about its gate. The images on the main entrance glow when the sun rays fall on it. The temple’s Kalinga architecture style will surely mesmerize your eyes.

Hampi, Karnataka

Hampi, Karnataka

Hampi consist of  Virupaksha temple,  Krishna temple, Narasimha temple, Ganesa temple, Hemakuta temple, Achyutaraya temple, Vitthala temple,  and Pattabhirama temple.

Out of the above temples, Virupaksha temple is considered an important religious center which is the active monastery of Adi Shankara. 

All the temples and monuments of the Hampi are influenced by the Dravidian style of architecture that was built during the Vijayanagara empire.

6. Pattadakal, Karnataka

Pattadakal, Karnataka

The temples of Pattadakal are dedicated to Lord Shiva. The complex is a mixture of Jain and Hindu temples. You will also get to see the spirituality of Vaishnavism and Shaktism theology.

There are various temples here in Pattadakal like Virupaksha Temple, Chandrashekhara Temple, Sangameshwara Temple, Jain Temple, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, MallikarjuTemple, Jagannath Temple, and many more.

Pattadakal is located on the west bank of the Malaprabha River in Bagalakote district and the architectural style is a merger of Northern and Southern styles of India. The structure is influenced by Nagara and Dravidian art.

7. Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh

 Sanchi Stupa
Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh

Sanchi Stupa is one of the oldest Buddhist complexes in India. The Holly Sanchi Stupa is located in Sanchi Town in Raisen District of the Madhya Pradesh state. 

The temple was built by Samrat Ashoka of the Maurya Empire in the 2nd century BCE. The stupa’s center is a hemispherical brick structure that is built over the relics of Buddha and has a stone umbrella structure symbolizing a high rank. 

8. Khajuraho Group of Monuments

Khajuraho Group
Khajuraho Group of Monuments

The Khajuraho group is a group of Hindu and Jain temples which are located in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh.

The temples were built by the Chandela dynasty between 950 and 1050 CE and have Nagara architectural style.  The walls of the temple consist of erotic sculptures.

There are around 85 temples out of which the most well-known temple is Kandariya Mahadeva Temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Jain temples consist of The Parasvanath, Shantinath, Adinath, etc.

Video Guide of UNESCO Heritage Temples in India

Top UNESCO Heritage Temples in India