oldest temples in India
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Oldest Temples in India. Still Surviving!

India homes to the oldest of temples and architecture. Some architecture styles were originated with the origins of the temples which date back 1000 years ago. These oldest temples in India are built by the great rulers like Ashoka, Pandavas and other renowned saints and spiritual personalities.

These beautiful ancient temples in India still stand tall to tell their tales!

Sanchi Temple

Sanchi Temple
Sanchi Temple

This temple is on the south-east side of the Mahastupa of Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh is called temple number 17 . It is believed to be the oldest temple in India builtby the Gupta dynasty and is residing since 4 centuries.

It is a Buddhist temple of Gupta Period which gave birth to the temple architecture in India. It has a flat roof chamber and a pillar stood porch at the entrance. This simplicity is the charisma of the temple.

Location: 50 km from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Mundeshwari temple

The Mundeshwari temple in Bihar dates back to the year 635 CE. The Hindu inscriptions found at the temple gives away the hints of the ancient times it belongs to.

The temple is built in an octagon shape, the original shikhara collapsed and was lost centuries ago; the walls have intricate carvings and images of Ganga, Yamuna and Dwarapalas on them.

Location: Kaimur, Bihar.

Tungnath Temple

Tungnath temple, oldest temples India
Tungnath Temple

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is highest of the panch kedar (5 temples dedicated to Shiva in Uttarakhand)temples. It’s an advesntures hike atop the Chopta mountain in Uttarakhand. It is connected to the Indian epic Ramayanal  Lord Ram  meditated here at the Chandrasgila peak in order to release the curse of Brahmahatya.

Location: Rudrprayag, Uttarakhand.

Ambarnath Temple

It a 11th century temple Maharshtra constructed in the year 1060 AD. It is believed that the Pandavas built this temple during their exile.

It is a Hemadpanti style architecture.  The steps from the entrance of the temple take you down to the main area called the Garbha Griha which doesn’t have roof as it is said the Pandavas couldn’t finish building it.

Location: Bhaskar Nagar, Ambernath, Maharashtra

Adi Kumbeshwarar Temple

The temple is from the 9th century, located in the Kumbakonam, Thanjavur district Tamil Nadu. The name ‘Kumbakonam’ is derived from the Kumbeshwar temple.

The masonry present today was built by the Chola dynasty and late in the 16th century it was ruled by the Vijayanagars of the Thanjavur Nayaks. The temple has three concentric ponds and has three set of Gopurams.

Location: Thanjavur main road, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu

Shore Temple

shore temple, oldest temples in India
Shore temple

Shore temple is named so because it overlooks vast Bay of Bengal. The structural temple is built of granite blocks in the 8th century AD.  The two shrines of the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.

The temple with Mamallapuram monuments collectively is designated a UNESCO World Heritage.

Location: Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

Kailashnath Temple

It is the largest rock-cut Hindu temple. A Megalith (a large pre-historic stone) carved from a rock cliff face. The Rashtrakuta King Krishna I built the cave temple between the year 756 and 773 AD. The Pallavas and Chalukyas too have amalgamated to build the close-by denotes here.

The temple is dedicated to Shiva, it was meant to be look a like of Mount Kailash.

Location: Ellora, Maharshtra.

Jagatpita Brahma Mandir

The temple is one very few temples dedicated to Lord Brahma known as the Hindu creator-god. Its history goes back to the 14th century and was partly rebuilt later. The stone slabs used to build the temple were joined by melted lead. The central idol of Lord Brahma was consecrated by Adi Shankaracharya, an idol called ‘chaumurti’ a four faced idol.

Location: Pushkar, Rajasthan

Konark Sun Temple

konark sun temple, oldest temples in India
Konark Sun Temple

Another World Heritage site in India, Konark Sun Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Surya- Sun. It was built in the 13th century CE by the Narasimhadeva I from the Eastern Ganga Dynasty.

The temple is an impressive work of the Kalinga architecture that depicts a chariot pulled by horses which is 100 ft high. The walls of the temple has beautiful intricate carvings of Hindu god’s figures,

Location: Puri, Odisha

Dilwara Temples

Dilwara temples, oldest temples in India
Dilwara temples, mount Abu

The Dilwara or Delvada Temples are a group of Svetambar Jain temples. These date between the 11th and 16th centuries. The temples are dedicated to Rishabhanatha, Neminatha, Parshvanatha and Mahavira, the ‘Tirthankars’ of Jainism.

The set of five Dilwara Temples are built of white marbles, the later built temples are Mᾱru-Gurjara styled architecture.

Location: Delwara, Mount Abu, Rajasthan.

Summing it…

These incredibly beautiful temples are the tokens of the work of wonderful minds, living still through their work. Each intricate pattern, every image and sculpture has a story to tell from centuries ago and will live many more to tell the greatness to the future generations.  

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Anjali Patel

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