A land of diversified cultures and religion, India, is believed to be blessed with edifices that are traced since the beginning of time. India is a country of temples and rich architecture. Combine this with the fact that the country has the oldest religion in existence and you get magnificient, ancient temples.
Here’s taking a look at some temples in India that are more than 1000 years old.
1. Kailasa Temple , Ellora
One of the oldest and larges rock-cut edifice on Earth, the Kailasa Temple is located in Ellora, Maharashtra. According to legends, the structure was carved out of one rock back in the 8th Century AD. Amegalith carved out of one single rock, it is considered one of the most remarkable cave temples in India because of its size, architecture and sculptural treatment. The Kailasa temple (Cave 16) is one of the 34 cave temples and monasteries known collectively as the Ellora Caves. Its construction is generally attributed to the 8th century Rashtrakuta king Krishna I. The temple architecture shows traces of Pallava style. The Kailasa temple is one of the largest rock-cut ancient Hindu temples located in Ellora, Maharashtra, India.
2. Dwarkadhish Temple
This temple located in Gujarat is one of the Char Dhams and also one of Lord Vishnu’s 108 Divya Desams. One of Lord Vishnu’s 108 Divya Desams, the structure is over 2500 years old; with archaeological evidence supporting traces back to 2000 years.
3. Ambarnath Temple
Located in Maharashtra, this temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is also called Ambreshwar Shiva Temple and was built in 1060 A.D. It is said that Shilahara king Chhittaraja constructed it, his son Mummuni rebuilt it but the legend goes that it was built by the Pandavas out of one single stone.
4. Badrinath Temple
Situated in the town of Badrinath, Uttarakhand, this temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is one of the four Char Dham sites. According to some historical reports, this was a buddhist shrine till Adi Sankaracharya converted it to a Hindu temple in the 8th Century A.D.
5. Adi Kumbeswarar Temple
This Chola temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu. Constructed initially in the 9th Century, it now covers a vast area of 30,181 sq. ft.
6. Somnath Temple
This 7th Century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga Temples. Located in Gujarat, this popular temple was first built by the Seuna Dynasty and has been destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout the centuries. It was most famously destroyed by Mohammad of Ghazni in 1024 A.D.
7. Brihadeshwara Temple
This Shiva temple located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, is also known as RajaRajeswara Temple Rajarajeswaram. One of the oldest temples in India, this reflects the Chola architecture and was built for Raja Raja Chola I. It is said to have been completed in 1010 A.D.
8. Kedarnath Temple
While the exact date of this Shiva temple is unknown, it is believed to have been constructed some time in the 8th Century A.D., after Adi Sankaracharya visited the place. To reach the temple, one has to walk a distance of 14 kilometers as the location is not accessible by road. This is also one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples.
9. Varadaraja Perumal Temple
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this temple is one of the 108 Divya Desams of the Lord. Located in Kanchipuram, this temple was built by the Cholas in the 11th Century A.D.
10. Badami Cave Temples
11. Lingaraja Temple
It is one of the oldest and largest temples in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. An icon of Kalinga Architecture, this temple is said to have been built in the 6th Century A.D., with later additions being done in the 11th Century A.D. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
12. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
Sriranganatha Swamy Temple, Tiruchirapalli is one of the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Built some time between 6th and 9th centuries, it is regarded as the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world; with an area of 156 acres.
13. Mundeshwari Temple
This is one of the oldest temples in Bihar and is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati. Archaeological Survey of India dates it to 108 A.D. It is also considered to be the oldest functional temple in the world.
14. Durga Temple Aihole
Located in Aihole, Northern Karnataka, this temple is dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva, was built by the Chalukyas in the 7th or 8th Centuries. The ‘Durga’ here means ‘protector’.
15. Lad Khan Temple
Located south of Durga Temple in Aihole, this Shiva temple was built in the 5th Century by the Chalukyas and is called Lad Khan temple because it was used as a residence by a person named Lad Khan for a period. It is the oldest temple of Aihole.
16. Meenakshi Amman Temple
Popularly known as Madurai Meenakshi Temple, this temple dedicated to goddess Parvati is said to have been first built in the 6th Century B.C. Many additions have been done to this temple with the present structure being built in the 16th Century A.D.
17. Virupaksha Temple
Located in Hampi, on the banks of Tungabhadra river, Virupaksha Temple is considered to be the most sacred among the temples in Hampi. The temple, constructed in 7th Century A.D., is dedicated to Lord Shiva, in the form of Lord Virupaksha.
18. Jagatpita Brahma Temple
This temple is one of the very few temples dedicated to Lord Brahma and the most prominent one among them. Located in Rajasthan, this temple is believed to be 2000 years old.
19. Shore Temple
This temple at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, is called so because it faces the Bay of Bengal. One of the oldest structural temples in South India, this temple was constructed some time around 700 A.D., during the reign of the Pallava king Narasimhavarman II.
20. Chennakesava Temple
Built on the banks of the Yagachi River in Belur, Karnataka, by the Hoysala Empire some time between the 10th and 11th centuries, this temple is a soapstone temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Chamundeshwari Temple is located on the top of Chamundi Hills about 13 km from the palace city of Mysore in the state of Karnataka in India. The temple was named after Chamundeshwari or Durga, the fierce form of Shakti, a tutelary deity held in reverence for centuries by Mysore Maharajas. The original shrine is thought to have been built in the 12th century by Hoysala rulers while its tower was probably built by the Vijayanagar rulers of the 17th century. In 1659, a flight of one thousand steps was built leading up to the 3000 foot summit of the hill. At the temple are several images of Nandi (the bull mount of Shiva).
22. Dakshineshwara Kali Temple
Dakshineswar temple is one of the most revered, sacred temples in Kolkata, dedicated to goddess Kali. Dakshineswar Temple is one of the largest temples near Kolkata and it is also an architectural treasure. The temple was built in conventional Nava-ratna style. It boasts a towering height of more than 100 feet. The 12-spired temple with its massive courtyard is flanked by 12 other small temples, devoted to Lord Shiva. It was founded by Rani Rashmoni on the 31st of May 1855. The holy tithi was of Jagannath Deva Snanyatra.
23. Jagannath Puri
Belonging to the 11th century and enjoying the honor of being one of the ‘char dhams’, the pilgrimage that every Hindu intend to visit; Jagannath Temple is the honor of Puri and Odisha (Orissa). The holy sight of Lord Jagannath, accompanied by Subhadra and Balabhadra raises loads of joy among the devotees. The two gods and the goddess of the temple are ornamented in accordance with the occasion and seasonal change. The structural design of the temple can be found to be in pyramid shape.
24. Someshwara Temple
The Someshwara temple (also spelt Someshvara or Somesvara), situated in Kolar town of Karnataka state, India, is an ornate 14th century Vijayanagara era Dravidian style construction. Someshwara, another name for the Hindu god Shiva is the presiding deity in the temple. The temple is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India as a monument of national importance.
25. Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century AD Sun Temple at Konark in Odisha, India. It is believed that the temple was built by king Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty in 1255 AD. The temple complex is in the shape of a gigantic chariot, having elaborately carved stone wheels, pillars and walls. A major part of the structure is now in ruins. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has also featured on various list of Seven Wonders of India. The temple is 35 km from Puri and 65 km from Bhubaneswar.
26. Airavatheshwara Temple
Airavatesvara Temple is a Hindu temple of Dravidian architecture located in the town of Darasuram, near Kumbakonam in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This temple, built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century CE is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the Brihadeeswara Temple at Thanjavur, the Gangaikondacholisvaram Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram that are referred to as the Great Living Chola Temples.
There should be more 1000 years Old Temples which we still need to discover.