India, the land of culture, traditions, and religions so unique that changes with every step you take into the roots of this country. The one thing that differentiates this place from the rest of the world apart from being the largest democracy in the world is the stunning temples that cover the entire nation. It is believed that you can find a temple within every kilometre.

Here are the top 10 temples one must-visit according to their cultural importance and popularity

10- Somnath Temple, Gujarat

Located on the western coast of Gujarat, this temple is believed to be among the first of the 12 Jyotirlingas and is considered one of the most sacred places to visit with the deity of Lord Shiva. The exact dates are still not found when the temple was built. The architecture of the temple is simply stunning and the cold breeze oozing from the Arabian sea nearby just makes this place to add it into the bucket list

9- Sabarimala temple, Kerala

This temple is located in Kerala and is believed to be built by the great Parashurama and is one of the six temples built by him. It is considered to be the largest annual pilgrimage in the world with an estimated 50 million devotees visiting every year. This temple is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa the son of Lord Shiva and Mohini who took the path of becoming a sage after defeating Demoness Mahishi

Before visiting you must have to go through a 41 day fast that includes no alcohol and non-veg, though this temple is open for all except for the women above 10  and below the age 50 as Lord Ayyappa was a Brahmachari (Celibate)

8- Badrinath temple, Uttarakhand

The temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the town of Badrinath in Uttarakhand and is one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites in India, it is located on the hills of Garhwal hills along the banks of the beautiful Alaknanda river. The statue of Vishnu is formed of black stone and is believed to one of the self-formed statues of Lord Narayana

Winter is one of the best time to pay a visit to this place as you may be able to see snow gathered around this place making it more beautiful and elegant

7- Shri Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Mumbai

Visit the richest temple in Mumbai dedicated to Lord Ganesha in Prabhadevi, this temple was built around 1801 by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil, this temple is famous for its wish-fulfilling mouse (Mushakraj) where it is said that if you whisper any wish in its ears it will come true 

The location of this temple is also quite easy to reach as it’s just 10-15 mins of walk from the Dadar railway station just in case if you are traveling by train

6- Vaishno Devi

Surrounded by the mountains of Himalayas this temple is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites and holds an utmost importance in the Hindu culture as legend goes that once Vaishno Devi who was the avatar of Mahakali, Mahalaxmi, and Mahasaraswati incarnated as a human named Vaishnavi and took abode in one of the caves there waiting for the last avatar of Vishnu (Kalki) to marry her

The temple is located at the stunning height of 1560 meters above the sea level and that makes it quite difficult to reach but once you start your way to the cave the journey just becomes easy and exhilarating

5- Akshardham Temple,

Literally meaning the abode of god this is one of the most beautiful temples in India with its stunning architecture and a vast area with a beautiful park within for the children, here you can spend your time peacefully in the arms of Lord Swaminarayan and it is located in the spectacular city of Gandhinagar in Gujarat

4- Sun Temple

Declared as the world UNESCO site in 1984, this temple stands tall at the height of 200 meters tall this temple with wheels and horses carved out of stone is dedicated to the Lord Sun is located along the coastline of Odisha 

It was named as “ Black Pagoda” by the European sailors due to its great tower which is black in color and was considered as an important landmark for the sailors in the Bay of Bengal

3- Golden Temple-

Also known as “Harmandir Sahib” this temple is the prominent pilgrimage site for the Sikhs and it derives its name due to the gold plated structure and is surrounded by a beautiful lake. You can spend your time here by indulging yourself in “Seva” ( a religious practice carried out by the Sikhs) and take a dip in the holy water of the lake

This temple is open for everyone irrespective of their caste, religion or race and is known all over the world for serving Food to over 1 lakhs of its devotees (known as Langar)

2- Meenakshi temple-

Located in the historic city of Madurai this temple is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Shiva is popular for its amazing architectural structure which reflects the Dravidian culture and has amazing Gopurams and was rebuilt around 14th century though it’s believed that the temple might have built around the  6th century 

The temple is spread across 14 acres and is best suited for tourist attractions due to its immense beauty in the culture-filled city of Madurai

1- Kedarnath

One of the twelve Jyotirlingas this temple is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in  Hinduism and is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open for devotees only between the Month of April to November

The temple is not accessible through any road so you may have to get a pony and ride all the way to the top. In 2013 the area surrounding the temple was heavily damaged during the 2013 floods but astonishingly the temple did not suffer any major damage