Hindu Temples

Goa

Sristhal : Shri Mallikarjuna Temple

The Shri Mallikarjuna Temple is situated in the village of Sristhal, 7km north-east of Chaudi in Goa. The shrine is believed to be one of the oldest in Goa, and is situated in the most beautiful of locations, surrounded my distant mountains covered in thick lush green jungle. […]

Shiroda : Shri Kamakshi Temple

Built in the 16th century, the temple of Shri Kamakshi is located amidst hills in the picturesque village of Shiroda, 12km from Ponda and 22km from Margao in south Goa. On arriving at the village, look out for the huge temple gates (Mahadwar) that leads to the temple […]

Shantadurga Temple

The Shantadurga Temple is a large temple complex 33km from Panaji and 11km north-west of Ponda, by the village of Kavalem in Ponda Taluka, Goa. The original temple was at Cavellossim (Quelshim) in Salsette, but was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1564. The devi was then moved to […]

Priol : Shri Mangeshi Temple

The Shri Mangeshi Temple is located in the village of Priol, about 22km from Panaji and 11km north-west of Ponda, Goa. It is one of the largest and most frequently visited temples in Goa, and is beautiful. This temple has its origins in Kushasthali, now known as Cortalim, […]

Tambdi Surla

The Mahadev Temple at Tambdi Surla in Goa was built by Hemadri, the minister of the Yadava King Ramachandra in the 12th/13th century, and is the finest example of architecture from the Kadamba period. It’s constructed from basalt carried across the mountains from the Deccan plateau, and survived invasions […]

Dhargal : Shri Shantadurga Temple

The Shri Shantadurga temple at Dhargal is located 14 kms from Mapusa and 27 km from Panjim, in Pernem, north Goa. As I have a habit of doing, the days instructions to my driver was responded to with a deep frown. He was clearly bemused, had no idea […]

Gujarat

Modhera : Sun Temple

Modhera lies just over 100km from Ahmedabad, but is less than an hour away from the Rani Ki Vav step-well at Patan, so you can combine the two easily in day from the city. The Sun Temple at Modhera is one of the few shrines in India dedicated […]

Karnataka

Basavanagudi – The Bull Temple of Bengaluru

Situated in the heart of Bengaluru (Bangalore) city, Basavanagudi is an unusual temple in a number of respects. It is one of the few temples where the vahana (vehicle) is given precedence over the master, and such is the popularity of the place, it has been adopted as the […]

Bhoga Nandishvara Temple – A Hidden Gem Near Bengaluru

Bhoga Nandishvara temple (Kannada: ಭೋಗ ನಂದೀಶ್ವರ ದೇವಾಲಯ, also spelt “Bhoga Nandishwara” or “Bhoga Nandeeshvara”) is located at the foot of the Nandi Hills (or Nandidurga), 55km north of Bengaluru (Bangalore) in the state of Karnataka. Although rarely visited, it has been identified as one of the oldest temples […]

Chamundi Hill

Chamundi Hill is a perfect half day excursion from Mysore for anyone spending any significant time in and around the city.  To reach the summit of the hill you have two options; either drive straight up to the summit, or alternatively park near the bottom of the hill […]

Belur

Belur, 39km north of Hassan, is celebrated for the Chennakeshava Temple, an outstanding example of both Hoysala art and architecture. Erected in 1117 A.D, it is believed to have been built as a victory monument by the Hoysala king, Vishnuvardhana. The  Chennakeshava Temple resides in a complex with […]

Halebidu

Halebidu, 14km east of Belur and 42km north of Hassan, is identified as Dorasamudra, the great Hoysala capital. Vishnuvardhana (1108-1141 A.D.) was the first great ruler of Dorasamudra, and was responsible for expanding much of the Hoysala kingdom. Along with later rulers (Ballala II and Narasimha), military triumphs […]

Hazara Rama Temple – Hampi

Located in the Royal Centre, the superbly decorated walls of the Haza Rama Temple (also known as Ramachandra Temple) make it one of Hampi’s most impressive monuments. I would recommend making this temple one of your last visits on any itinerary you may have, it’s a great way […]

Elephant Stables – Hampi

Having rested for a while in the pretty gardens surrounding the Lotus Mahal, I exited the Zenana Enclosure through a doorway in the east wall which leads to the Elephant Stables. This is by far the most impressive and imposing courtly structure in the Royal Centre of Hampi. […]

Lotus Mahal - Hampi

Lotus Mahal – Hampi

A visual tour of the stunning Lotus Mahal, located within the Zenana Enclosure of the Royal Centre of Hampi, Karnataka.

Mahanavami Platform – Hampi

The Mahanavami Platform (or Dibba) is one of the more unusual buildings in the Royal Centre of Hampi. Located to the northeast of the Royal enclosure, it’s a pyramidal three tiered stone platform built in granite and encased in sculptured stone, rising to a height of 8m. Each […]

Queen’s Bath – Hampi

The area of Hampi now known as the Royal Centre is set apart from the Sacred Centre by a narrow valley used for agriculture. The landscape is quite stark, devoid for the most part of trees, with many of the monuments almost blending into the bare rock that […]

Achyutaraya Temple – Hampi

My approach to the Achyutaraya (also known as Tiruvengalanatha) Temple was from Vitthala Temple via a wonderful riverside walk. The whole area is a mass of rocks and boulders, which provided the Hampi sculptors ample opportunity to demonstrate their skills. The entire route between the two temples is littered […]

Vitthala Temple – Hampi

The superb Vitthaha Temple is likely to be many visitors favourite location in Hampi, and I can see why. The temple is believed to have been built in the early 15th century, although some of the structures including the assembly hall date to the mid 1550s, but a […]

Narasimha Monolith – Hampi

A little southwest of the Krishna Temple in a pavilion just off the main road is perhaps Hampi’s best known sculpture – the extraordinary Narasimha Monolith, also known as the Lakshmi Narasimha Temple. This is a magnificent figure of Vishnu in his Narasimha form (half man, half lion), the fourth incarnation […]

Krishna Temple – Hampi

To the south of Hemakuta Hill and the two Ganesha temples is the Krishna Temple, one of four major shrines in the sacred centre of Hampi. You enter the temple via a partially ruined gateway that still has some impressive carvings. Inside you reach an inner courtyard with the […]

Hemakuta Hill – Hampi

Immediately to the north of the Virupaksha Temple is an enormous rock face with steps cut into it, known as Hemakuta Hill. This is not one of the tallest hills in Hampi, but it’s a wonderful location to get splendid views of the sprawling ruins, in particular the […]

Virupaksha Temple – Hampi

Thought to date back to the 7th century and attracting large numbers of Hindu pilgrims, the Virupaksha Temple is likely to be your starting point for any exploration of Hampi. It’s a good choice too, I found Hampi a little disorientating at first as the city is so large […]

Hampi – An Introduction

Introduction to Hampi in Karnataka. Also known as Vijayanagar, Hampi is one of India’s most important archaeological sites, and one of exceptional beauty.

Pattadakal

Pattadakal

Pattadakal is one of India’s most artistically impressive Hindu temple complexes, located 15km east of Badami in Karnataka. In total there are nine shrines of differing sizes, in a complex about the size of a football pitch next to the Malaprabha river. Almost all of them are from […]

Badami Caves and Temples

Badami is a small town 105km south of Bijapur and just 100km north-west of Hampi in Karnataka. Set at the western end of a lake almost completely surrounded by a horseshoe of sandstone hills, for me it’s possibly one of India’s prettiest archaeological sites. There are rock-cut and free […]

Aihole

Aihole is a pretty village 10km north-east of Pattadakal and 25km from Badami in Karnataka. It’s well worth combining Aihole with a trip to the other perhaps more well known temple sites. Here is an extensive collection of Jain and Hindu shrines in various architectural styles dating from […]

Madhya Pradesh

Bateshwar – Vishnu Temple

Standing isolated on a small mound just 100m from the entrance to the Bateshwar Group of Temples is a monument that probably gets a little overlooked by visitors. This Vishnu temple is generally considered part of the nearby Bateshwar group, but I decided to do a quick separate […]

Garhi Padhavali – A Kachhapaghata Wonder

Located 35 km north of Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh and very close to the impressive Bateshwar Temple Complex, Garhi Padhavali (alternate spellings; Paravali, Padawali and Padavali) is a 10th century Shiva temple that holds a bit of a surprise for anyone who decides to visit this monument. On […]

Kakanmath Temple – Defying the Laws of Gravity

Tucked away near the small village of Sihoniya, 65 km north of Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, the now partially ruined Kakanmath Temple dominates the surrounding flat countryside. And yet for all that imposing stature, this temple is one that will leave you wondering just how it’s possible to […]

Ekattarso Mahadeva (Chausath Yogini) Temple – Mitaoli

Also known as the Chausath Yogini temple, the Ekattarso Mahadeva Mandir is located in the small quiet village of Mitaoli (also spelled Mitawali or Mitavali), 40 km north of Gwalior and 15 km east of Morena in Madhya Pradesh. An inscription dated to 1323 AD records that the […]

Teli Ka Mandir – Gwalior

A short distance away from the Sas Bahu Temple is the intriguing Teli Ka Mandir, once the loftiest building within the walls of Gwalior Fort. It is unlikely that this is the original name for the temple, that seems to have been lost over time. Its present name […]

Sas Bahu Temple – Gwalior

My appointment with the Sas Bahu Temple in Gwalior has been long overdue. Five years ago I visited the wonderful Sas Bahu temples near Nagda in Rajasthan on a day trip out of Udaipur, and the resulting photographs were widely distributed throughout the internet by lovers of Indian […]

Looking For Nothing In Gwalior

Looking for nothing in Gwalior. The oldest Zero in India with a verifiable date, India’s greatest gift to the world, and arguably the greatest conceptual leap in the history of mathematics.

Guide to Khajuraho

Introduction and guide to Khajuraho, with temple history, photos and location maps. One of the most extraordinary archaeological sites in India.

Khajuraho – Bijamandal Temple

Bijamandal (or Beejamandal) Temple is situated just outside Jatkari village, not far from the Chaturbhuj Temple. The site was open to the public in March 1999 to mark the Khajuraho millenium year, and today has only been partially excavated.

Khajuraho – Chaturbhuj Temple

The Chaturbhuj Temple (also known as Jatkari Temple) is situated south of Khajuraho, about 650m south-west of Jatkari village not far from the airport. By far the best time to visit is around 4:30pm, for reasons that will become very clear shortly !

Khajuraho – Duladeo Temple

The Duladeo temple, also called Kunwar Math, is located 700m south-west of the cluster of Jain Temples, near the Khudar rivulet. This is believed to be the last of the great temples of Khajuraho, built around 1130 A.D. during the reign of the Chandella king Madanavarman.

Khajuraho – Shantinatha Temple

The Shantinatha Temple is the main site of Jain worship at Khajuraho, and together with Adinatha and Parshvanatha forms a cluster of Jain temples that are part of the eastern group.

Khajuraho – Parshvanatha Temple

Built around 960 A.D. during the reign of the Chandela king Dhanga and originally dedicated to Adinatha, Parshvanatha Temple is one of the finest monuments of Khajuraho.

Khajuraho – Adinatha Temple

Dated to the late 11th century A.D, the Adinatha Temple is one of a cluster of three Jain temples considered part of the eastern group at Khajuraho.

Khajuraho – Ghantai Temple

Dated to around 995 A.D. during the reign of the Chandela king Dhanga, this Jain temple is named after ‘Ghanta’ (meaning ‘bell’), as many of the pillars are carved with hanging bell motifs.

Khajuraho – Javari Temple

Dedicated to Vishnu and built 1075 – 1100 A.D, the Javari Temple is situated 200m south of the Vamana Temple surrounded by fields, trees and grazing cattle.

Khajuraho – Vamana Temple

Just 200m north-east beyond the so-called Brahma Temple, this temple is dedicated to Vamana, the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This is the first incarnation where Vishnu came in a full human form, as a dwarf Brahmin.

Khajuraho – Brahma Temple

The Brahma Temple at Khajuraho is positioned on the banks of the Khajur Sagar tank, a pretty spot with the village as a backdrop. This humble little temple holds a bit of a surprise within, which I will come to shortly…

Khajuraho – Statue of Hanuman

The 2.5m high image of the monkey god, coated in red lead paint similar to the statue of Bhairava, has a short dedicatory inscription on the pedestal dated to the year 316 of the Harsha era.  This equates to the year 922 A.D. in our calendar, making this statue one of the earliest inscribed images of Hanuman to be found anywhere in India.

Khajuraho – Lalguan Mahadeva Temple

Located on the shore of Lalguansagar Lake, 600m west of Chausath Yogini Temple, Lalguan Mahadeva is the least visited and most remote temple in the western group at Khajuraho.

Khajuraho – Chausath Yogini Temple

Situated away from but still classified as part of the western group of temples at Khajuraho, Chausath Yogini is a unique open-air sanctuary. It is considered to be one of the earliest shrines in Khajuraho, dating to around 885 A.D.

Khajuraho – Statue of Bhairava

Outside the fenced enclosure of the western group of temples at Khajuraho, on the way to the Matangeshvara Temple, is the 2m high colossal statue of Bhairava, Lord Shiva as “The Protector”.

Khajuraho – Matangeshvara Temple

The Matangeshvara Temple (also known as Matangeshwar or Matangeshwara Temple) is the main temple still in use in Khajuraho. Although it stands right next to the Lakshmana Temple, it is not within the fenced enclosure of the western group of temples.

Khajuraho – Pratapeshwar Temple

The Pratapeshwar Temple at Khajuraho is likely to be either the first or last temple you come to, depending on which direction you decided to take on the circular route around the western group complex.

Khajuraho – Nandi Temple

Directly opposite the Vishvanatha Temple, facing each other and sharing the same plinth, is the small open Nandi Temple. Housed within is a beautifully carved statue of the bull Nandi, Shiva’s vehicle.

Khajuraho – Vishvanatha Temple

The superb Vishvanatha Temple (also known as the Vishwanath Temple) sits close to the eastern side of the western group compound at Khajuraho, close to the road. Along with Kandariya Mahadeva and Lakshmana temples, it is considered one of the three grand temples in the town.

Khajuraho – Chitragupta Temple

Built between 1000 and 1025 A.D. and of similar design to the contemporary Jagadambi Temple , the Chitragupta Temple is the only surviving shrine in Khajuraho dedicated to Surya, the sun God.

Khajuraho – Jagadambi Temple

Built between 1000 and 1025 A.D. and sharing the same platform as the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple and Mahadeva Shrine, the Jagadambi Temple (also known as Devi Jagadamba) was originally dedicated to Vishnu.

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Maharashtra

Shri Kasba Ganpati Temple – Pune

Located in Kasba Peth, the oldest residential part of Pune, Kasba Ganpati refers to both a particular murti of the god Ganapati as well as to the temple built around the murti. The Kasba Ganapati is the presiding deity (gramadevata) of Pune, and the temple today is a […]

Tulshibaug Ram Mandir – A Haven in the Heart of Pune

Hidden away in the heart of Budhwar Peth, Tulshibaug and the impressive Shree Ram Mandir is one of Pune’s great hidden secrets that I always find myself gravitating back to on each and every visit I make to the city. During the last 15 years I have seen […]

Ambarnath – The Earliest Dated Bhumija Temple in Maharashtra

Located on the west bank of the Waldhuni river 6km south-east of Kalyan in the Thane district of Maharashtra, the 11th century Ambarnath Temple is one of the finest examples of early temple art and architecture, and is the oldest securely dated Bhumija temple in the state (and […]

Puratan Shiv Mandir and Hero Stones – Parali

Parali village (also known as Parli, or Pareli) is located close to the banks of Urmodi river and dam, 1km north of Sajjangad Fort and pilgrimage site, 14km west of Satara and 135km south of Pune. The village serves as one of the starting points for anyone wishing […]

The Heroes of Nerhe – Pune

Continuing my mini project to document Hero Stone sites during my travels around India, I recently visited the Shiv Mandir at Nerhe, 1km east of Kasarsai and 30km north-west of Pune. For anyone unaware of what hero stones actually are, please read my blog post on the hero […]

Nageshwar Temple – Pune

Located within a maze of buildings that comprise Nagesh Peth in the old city, Nageshwar Temple is widely believed to be one of the oldest temples in Pune. Nagesh Peth was formally known as Nahal Peth, and was named after a servant of Shivram Raghunath Khasgiwale, a chief […]

The Fallen Heroes of Kondhawale

Kondhawale is located 30km west of Pune towards Mulshi in Maharashtra. This blog post is part of my on-going side project to document and record clusters of hero stones to be found in the Pune region, the scope of which will no doubt increase in the future to […]

Pandeshwar Temple

Pandeshwar Temple is situated 60km south-east of Pune on the north bank of the river Karha, 12km east of Jejuri and 12km west of Morgaon. This is yet another interesting temple in the region for which there is little information available, so one should consider this more of […]

The Heroes of Morgaon

One of my winter pastimes back in the UK is genealogy, specifically researching my family ancestry which thus far has culminated in a family tree with over 15,000 known relatives. It can at times become a little obsessive, and with so many resources now available online I’ve managed […]

Bhairavnath Temple – Loni Bhapkar

Situated on the eastern edge of Loni Bhapkar, 80km south-east of Pune, the Bhairavnath Temple was my last stop in the village having already explored Mallikarjun Temple and the hero stones at Someshwar Temple. At first glance the Bhairavnath Temple appears to have all the hallmarks of being […]

The Heroes of Loni Bhapkar

A couple of years ago a visit to the ancient Bhairavnath Temple just north of Satara in Maharashtra drew my attention to subject of hero stones. I had previously seen a few examples in various museums, but at Kikali there is an impressive collection of such memorial stones, and […]

Mallikarjun Temple – Loni Bhapkar

The Mallikarjun Temple in the sleepy village of Loni Bhapkar has been on my radar for nearly a decade. Situated on the right bank of the river Karha, a tributary of the river Nira about 80 km south-east of Pune, I was finally able to visit the site […]

Trishund Ganpati Temple – A Hidden Gem From Pune’s Peshwa Era

Having visited Pune on more than 20 separate occasions in the last 15 years, I find myself increasingly attached to the city. Pune has experienced tremendous growth during that time, but in the heart of the old city it remains a place where the past meets the present, […]

Chaturshringi Temple – Pune

Writing a short blog post about the Chaturshringi Temple in Pune has been on my “to do list” for over four years, and as I’m about to plan my next trip to Pune in early 2020 I think it’s about time to cross this one off that list […]

Bhamchandra Caves – Bhamboli

Bhamchandra Caves are a set of rock-cut excavations located near Bhamboli, 40 km north of Pune in Maharashtra. There are six caves in total at Bhamchandra, three are natural caves and a further three that probably started as natural caves and have been extended considerably. In addition to the caves, there are at least five cisterns evenly distributed across the site.

Firangai Cave Temple – Nanoli Hill

My annual visit to Pune this year continued my ongoing project to visit the many cave temples that exist in the region. Having already visited the more famous examples such as Karla, Bhaja, Bedse and Kondana caves, I was keen to explore the lesser known examples in the area, of which there must be literally hundreds.

Ghoradeshwar Caves

Also known as Ghorawadi, Ghorawdeshwar and Shelarwadi Caves, Ghoradeshwar Caves are a small group of rock-cut excavations about 32 km north-west of Pune, close to the old Mumbai-Pune highway.

Bhairavnath Temple – Kikali

Located just north of the village of Kikali in Maharashtra, 15 km north of Satara, is the ancient Bhairavnath Temple. This monument is definitely off any tourist map, and indeed even in my quite extensive reference library at home and via the internet, I can find little information […]

Sangam Mahuli

Situated at the confluence of the Krishna and Venna rivers, 5km east of Satara, Sangam Mahuli is a group of 18th and 19th century Hindu temples built in a typical Maratha style.

Pateshwar Shiva Temple Complex

Pateshwar Shiva Temple Complex is located 12km SE of Satara in Maharashtra. The complex has over eight ancient caves and temples containing detailed stone carvings of Lord Shiva and other deities. The place is most known for having over 1,000 Shivalings (also known as Pinds)

Elephanta Caves

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986, Elephanta Caves consists of seven 6th century rock-cut caves located on Elephanta Island (or Gharapuri, “the city of caves”), just outside Mumbai Harbour.

Mandapeshwar Caves – Mumbai

Located near Mount Poinsur in the Borivali suburb of Mumbai, Mandapeshwar Caves is an 6th – 8th century rock cut shrine dedicated to Shiva.

Parvati Hill – Pune

Located not far from the center of Pune and rising to over 2,000 feet, Parvati Hill offers excellent panoramic views across the city, has a few temples worthy of exploring, and is the perfect peaceful respite from all the urban activity occurring at the foot of the hill and beyond.

Sangameshwar Temple

Believed to have been built sometime between the 10th and 13th century, Sangameshwar temple stands guard over the confluence of the Chamli and Karha rivers, just south of Saswad. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is about 35km south-east of Pune, and takes just over an hour to reach there from Pune.

Shinde Chhatri – Pune

Located on the left bank of the Bhairoba stream in the Wanawadi district of Pune, Shinde Chhatri is a memorial dedicated to the 18th century military leader Mahadji Shinde who served as the commander-in-chief of the Maratha army under the Peshwas from 1760 to 1780.

Bhuleshwar Temple

Built around 1230 A.D. by the Yadava ruler King Krishnadevray, Bhuleshwar is an ancient Shiva temple located around 45km from Pune and 10km from Yawat.

Jejuri Khandoba Temple

At the eastern end of the Purandhar ridge, 16km south of Sasvad in Maharashtra, the Jejuri Temple is a popular place of pilgrimage and is famous for its fairs held in April and December. These honour the god Khandoba, a warrior form of Shiva, who killed Malla, a […]

Krishnabai Temple

Anyone visiting Old Mahabaleshwar is likely to know about the Panchganga temple, the temple where the waters of five rivers Koyna, Krishna, Venna, Savitri and Gayatri come together. But right behind the parking for the Panchganga temple, there is a small well-marked trail which takes you to another temple well worth exploring – the Krishnabai temple.

Panchaganga Temple

With origins some believe date back 4,500 years, the Panchaganga (or Pancha Ganga) Temple in Old Mahabaleshwar is built at the source of seven rivers; the Krishna, Koyana, Gayatri, Savitri, Venna, Saraswati and Bhagirathi rivers.

Pune – Tukai Mata Mandir

Situated on Baner Hill, 2,224m above sea level in west Pune, stands the Tukai Mata Mandir. Established around 400 years ago but since rebuilt, the temple still dominates a skyline that is increasingly under threat from the constant construction work that is happening in this part of Pune. […]

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Odisha

Illuminated Temples of Bhubaneswar

Usually at this time of year I would be preparing to make my annual two month trip to India, but perhaps unsurprisingly the current pandemic situation has put a stop to that. This year my plans included the usual 2-3 weeks in Pune seeing friends, followed by what […]

Guide To The Temples And Monuments of Bhubaneswar – Odisha

Bhubaneswar has a unique position among the cities of India. A temple town with a series of ancient sandstone temples and tanks, its wealth of monuments is testament to an ancient continuous architectural and historical heritage covering well over 2,000 years from the 3rd century B.C. Bhubaneswar is understandably […]

Lingaraja Temple – Bhubaneswar – A Non-Hindu View

The towering late 11th century Lingaraja (Lingaraj) Temple is, in religious terms, the most important in Bhubaneswar. It is also the climax of all the monuments in the city, being both the largest and most stylistically evolved. The large walled compound lies just 100m south of Bindu Sagar […]

Manikarnikesvara Temple – Bhubaneswar

Manikarnikesvara Temple is located almost opposite Ananta Vasudeva Temple on the east bank of Bindu Sagar Tank in old Bhubaneswar. I have to confess that I may have the name of this temple wrong, I have struggled to find any references to it and it is not marked […]

Byamokesvara (Suresvara Mahadeva) Temple – Bhubaneswar

Byamokesvara Temple, also known as Suresvara Mahadeva, is located just a few meters away from the main eastern entrance to Linaraja Temple in old Bhubaneswar. For decades this monument was almost invisible to anyone visiting the city’s main temple, it was engulfed by other buildings in what was […]

Swapneswara (Mangaleswar) Temple – Bhubaneswar

Located 200 north-east of Purbeswara Temple and surrounded by residential buildings, Swapneswara Temple was the most difficult temple to successfully track down during my time in Bhubaneswar. The temple is recorded under a multitude of spelling variations; Swapneswara, Svapnesvara, Svapneswar, Swapnesvar… you get the idea. There are also a […]

Kedar Gouri (Kedareswar) Temple – Bhubaneswar

Dedicated to Lord Shiva (Kedareswar) and Goddess Parvati (Gouri), Kedar Gouri Temple is directly opposite the magnificent Mukteshwar Temple in old Bhubaneswar. I confess I did not actually visit this temple properly. Not only was it extremely busy, but there was a long list of things you couldn’t […]

Brahma Temple and Bindu Sagar Tank – Bhubaneswar

In the very heart of old Bhubaneswar, Bindu Sagar tank is somewhere nobody will need to directions to find. It’s omnipresent, and is the backdrop for a number of ancient temples in the city such as Markandeshwar, Mohini, Ananta Vasudeva, Dwarabasini, Uttaresvara and Asta Shambhu. According to local […]

Pataleswara Temple II – Bhubaneswar

There are a few temples of the same name in Bhubaneswar, I’m actually surprised there isn’t more duplication of names in a city that has such a dense population of ancient monuments. I’ve called this one Pataleswara Temple II, and it is located 120m north-west of the famous […]

Gosagaresvara Temple – Bhubaneswar

Gosagaresvara Temple and tank is situated 350m north of Vaital (Baitala) Deula Temple in old Bhubaneswar. This is one of the few temples I unfortunately only looked at from a distance. According to local legend, Lord Shiva inadvertently killed a calf near this spot and bathed in Gosagaresvara […]

Dwarabasini Temple – Bhubaneswar

Dwarabasini Temple is located 120m north of Ananta Vasudeva Temple on the east bank of Bindu Sagar tank in old Bhubaneswar. According to orthodox texts such as Ekamra Purana, Ekamra Chandrika and Swarnnaori Mahodaya, Ekamra Kshetra (old Bhubaneswar) is also the abode of eight Chandis. They are Ramayani, […]

Champakesvara Temple – Bhubaneswar

Champakesvara (Champakesvara) Temple is located 160m south-west of Parasuramesvara Temple as you head towards Bindu Sagar in old Bhubaneswar. It is extremely close to Kotiteertheswara and Swarnajaleswar Temples, so the three can be seen together in quick succession. Built during the Ganga dynasty rule in the 13th century A.D, the […]

Kotiteertheswara Temple – Bhubaneswar

Kotiteertheswara Temple (also known as Kotitirthesvara Temple) is located halfway between the cluster of monuments around Mukteshwar Temple and Bhindu Sagar Tank, just 50m south of Swarnajaleshwar Temple in old Bhubaneswar. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the west-facing temple was built by the Somavansi dynasty in a Kalinga pacharatha style in […]

Swarnajaleswar Temple – Bhubaneswar

Swarnajaleshwar Temple is situated 200m south-west of Parasuramesvara Temple in a residential area on the way to Bindu Sagar Tank in old Bhubaneswar. This late 7th century temple is thought to have been built by the Sailodbhava dynasty, in a Kalinga Triratha style with only a vimana and no […]

Ananta Vasudeva Temple – Bhubaneswar

Located on the east bank of Bindu Sagar tank in old Bhubaneswar, the west-facing Ananta Vasudeva Temple is the only surviving Vaishnava shrine in the city, and the second biggest monument after the famous Lingaraja Temple. Architecturally it is similar to Lingaraja Temple but on a reduced scale, […]

Aisaneswara Temple – Bhubaneswar

Aisaneswara Temple (also known as Aishanyeswara Temple) is located opposite the western compound wall of Lingaraj Temple, next to the Municipal Corporation Hospital in old Bhubaneswar. It is approximately 100m south of the Papanasini Temple Complex. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this east-facing 13th century temple is built in […]

Sampoornajaleswara Temple – Bhubaneswar

Originally dedicated to Lord Shiva, the 9th-10th century Sampoornajaleswara Temple (confusingly sometimes called Nagesvara Temple) is located on Kotiteertha Lane heading towards Bindu Sagar Tank on the west (left) side of Lingaraja West Canal. It is directly opposite the less decorated Subarnajaleswara Temple. The east-facing temple only has […]

Subarnajaleswara Temple – Bhubaneswar

Dedicated to Shiva, the 9th-10th century Subarnajaleswara Temple (also known as Subarnesvara Temple) is located on Kotiteertha Lane heading towards Bindu Sagar Tank on the east (right) side of Lingaraja West Canal. The east-facing temple is planned in a pancharatha style, although what can be seen today is […]

Pataleswara Temple I – Bhubaneswar

Sandwiched between Ananta Vasudeva temple to the east and Bindu Sagar Tank to the west, the tiny 10th/11th century Pataleswara Temple is yet another example of an ancient structure partially buried below the present ground surface in old Bhubaneswar. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the area around the temple […]

Lakheswara Temple – Bhubaneswar

The 13th century Lakheswara (Lakhesvara) Temple dedicated to Shiva is located on the Ganges–Yamuna Road, directly opposite Gangeswara and Yamuneswara Temples in old Bhubaneswar. The east-facing temple is saptaratha in plan, with only the vimana remaining with a more recent door jamb addition. The jagamohana is no longer […]

Gangeswara and Yamuneswara Temples – Bhubaneswar

The twin temples of Gangeswara (Gangesvara) and Yamuneswara (Yamunesvara) are located on Ganga-Jamuna road, about 80m north-east of Debi Padahara Tank in Old Bhubaneswar. According to local legend, the Goddess Parvati (or Bhabani) was residing in Ekamra Kshetra (the old name for Bhubaneswar) disguised as a cowherd when […]

Purbeswara Temple – Bhubaneswar

Situated 300m east of the main entrance to Lingaraj Temple in old Bhubaneswar, the 13th century Purbeswara (Purbeshwar) Temple is a great example of how dilapidated ancient monuments in the city are finding saviours from across the globe. Whilst there are plenty of examples of monuments in a […]

Dakara Bibhisaneswar Temple – Bhubaneswar

Dakara Bibhisaneswar (Bivisaneswara) Temple is located on Giani Zail Singh Road, about 200m east of the main entrance to Lingaraj Temple in old Bhubaneswar. The temple is a sub-shrine of Lingaraj, and has existed since at least the 11th century. The deity here is known to be a […]

Kartikeswar Temple – Bhubaneswar

The 13th century Kartikeswar Temple is located on the corner of Giani Zail Singh Road and Moharana Lane, approximately 120m east of the main entrance to Lingaraj Temple in old Bhubaneswar. As you can see from the first photo in this blog, this is yet another temple that […]

Ekamreswar Temple – Bhubaneswar

Situated 50m south-east of the main entrance to Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar old city, Ekamreswar Temple has enjoyed a new lease of life in the last few months. This 12th century Shiva temple built in a Pancha Ratha style was once seriously encroached upon by the surrounding buildings, […]

Gouri Shankar Temple – Bhubaneswar

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Gouri Shankar Temple is located in Bindu Sagar Road about 30m south of Tirthesvara Temple and Bhabani Shankar Temple Complex. That was no typo either, when I say the temple is “in” the road I mean just that ! Here Bhubaneswar has got quite […]

Tirthesvara Temple – Bhubaneswar

Located opposite Bhabani Shankar Temple Complex on Bindu Sagar Road in old Bhubaneswar, Tirthesvara Temple (also known as Teertheswara) is a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. As is so often the case in the old city, this 14th century temple is now being suffocated at the hands […]

Bhabani Shankar Temple Complex – Bhubaneswar

Bhabani Shankar Temple Complex (also known as Bhabanishankar or Bhavani Sankara Temple) is located immediately west of Bindu Sagar Road heading from Lingaraja Temple to Bindu Sagar Tank in Bhubaneswar old city. This set of small temples were not on my radar at all prior to visiting Bhubaneswar, […]

Suka and Sari Temples – Bhubaneswar

Located on the right side of a small alleyway connecting Rath Road with Bindu Sagar in old Bhubaneswar, the temple precinct contains three temples, although the largest structure here is often incorrectly known as Sukasari. The main temple here is in fact Sari Temple, the smaller structure to […]

Chitrakarini Temple – Bhubaneswar

Chitrakarini Temple is located approximately 75m east of Papanasini Temple Complex on Rath Road in Bhubaneswar, right next to northern Lingaraja Temple compound wall. The east-facing temple is built in the panchayatana layout, with a central main temple accompanied by four smaller subsidiary shrines. The temples are set within […]

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Rajasthan

Osian – Southern Group of Temples

About 250m south of the Sachiya Mata Temple on the outskirts of Osian village are the 8th and 9th century southern group of temples. If you’re visiting Osian by car for the day, the temples are situated close to where you’re likely to park the vehicle.

Sachiya Mata Temple

Originally built in the 8th century, the majority of the Sachiya Mata temple in Osian (or Osiyan, Rajasthan) that can be seen today dates to the 12th century A.D. Built on a hilltop, the temple receives crowds of pilgrims, both Hindu and Jain. The approach to the temple […]

Jagdish Temple – Udaipur

Just 150m north of the outer gate to the City Palace is Udaipur’s most important Hindu shrine, the Jagdish Temple. Throughout the day you will find garlands being sold at the base of the steps leading up to the temple. Being on a major junction in the old city, […]

Nagda : Sas Bahu Temples

Not far out from Udaipur is Nagda, and the little visited but superb Sas Bahu (or Sahastra Bahu) Temples. This makes for a nice short excursion out of Udaipur for the afternoon, and highly recommended. Sas and Bahu mean ‘mother-in-law’ and ‘daughter-in-law’  respectively, and are names given by […]

Abhaneri – Chand Baori & Harshat Mata

If your Jaipur itinerary can afford a day excursion and you’re looking for somewhere that does not mean you’re stuck in the car for a large proportion of the day, then Abhaneri is the place to head for. Abhaneri is just 95km from Jaipur on the Jaipuir-Agra road, the […]

Galtaji

Some places just have a feeling about them. It’s not something tangible, nor easily articulated, all you can do is go there and experience it for yourself. Galtaji is one such place. Although just 10km away from Jaipur in the small village of Khania-Balaji, you could easily think you […]

Tamil Nadu

Meenakshi Amman Temple – Madurai

The centre of Madurai is dominated by the Meenakshi Amman Temple. Also known as Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple and Tiru-aalavai, it was founded by the Pandyas but has been completely rebuilt in later times.

Thanjavur – Brihadeeswarar Temple

Brihadeeswarar Temple (also known RajaRajeswara, Rajarajeswaram and Brihadeshwara Temple), lies in the heart of Thanjavur city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The city, known as Tanjore in British times, attained prominence under the Cholas, who used it as one of their principal capitals in 10th – 12th […]

Mahabalipuram – Pancha Rathas

The group of five shrines known as Pancha Rathas is one of the chief attractions of Mahabalipuram, which include : Tiger Cave (4km north of the town) Central Monuments (immediately west of the town) Shore Temple (a very short walk east of the town) Pancha Rathas (1/2km south […]

Mahabalipuram – Shore Temple

The Shore Temple is one of four primary locations worthy of exploration in and around Mahabalipuram, which include: Tiger Cave (4km north of the town) Central Monuments (immediately west of the town) Shore Temple (a very short walk east of the town) Pancha Rathas (1/2km south of the […]

Mahabalipuram – Central Monuments

Mahabalipuram (also known as Mamallapuram) takes its name from Mamalla (650 – 668 A.D.), one of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. Its seaside location suggests it may have served as a port, and the rock-cut and monolithic temples in and around the town are the earliest examples of […]

Mahabalipuram – Tiger Cave

Tiger Cave lies 4km north of Mahabalipuram, near the village of Saluvankuppam. Of all the sites in and around the town, this one seems to be largely overlooked by visitors which is a great shame as it is a somewhat fantastic and unique monument. The temple consists of […]

Uttar Pradesh

Lakshminarayana Pancharatna Mandir – Assi Ghat- Varanasi

As a photographer striving to document the heritage sites of India, one of the things I deeply struggle with is the photographing of living temples. Out of respect for the devotees and their culture, the last thing I want to do is intrude, and so often my exploration […]

Durga Temple – Varanasi

Built in a common North Indian style, the Durga Temple (Kushmanda Durga Mandir) is a free-standing temple set within a walled compound next to a large rectangular tank (Durga Kund) in the southern sector of the city of Varanasi. To Western tourists, the temple has long been known […]

Sri Lolarkeshwar Mahadev Temple, near Lolark Kund in Varanasi

Sri Lolarkeshwar Mahadev Temple – Lolark Kund – Varanasi

Situated on a raised platform immediately south of Lolark Kund, one of the oldest sacred sites in Kashi, the Sri Lolarkeshwar Mahadev temple was an unexpected surprise as I explored the area of the city adjacent to Assi and Tulsi Ghat. I have to confess that even the […]

Ratneshwar Mahadev – The Leaning Temple of Banaras

Also known as Matri-rin Mahadev or Kashi Karvat, Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple has to be one of the most photographed temples in the holy city of Banaras. An image of this temple is almost guaranteed to appear in any promotional materials about the ancient city, it is probably the […]

Bindu Madhav Temple – Varanasi

Situated high above Panchganaga Ghat in the shadow of Alamgiri Mosque, Bindu Madhav Temple is housed in a simple inconspicuous and rather nondescript building that one could easily mistake for any other dwelling in the twisting serpentine lanes of Varanasi. The present temple was constructed in the 19th […]

Adi Keshav Temple – The Original Vishnu in Kashi

Situated on a high plateau at the confluence of the Varana and Ganga rivers in the far north of Banaras (Varanasi), there is little doubt that Adi Keshav Temple is a very ancient site in much the same way as Lolark Kund in the south of the city. […]

The Bir Babas of Banaras

Anyone walking the narrow alleyways and lanes of Banaras is bound to be struck by the sheer volume of small shrines and objects that are the subject of ongoing ritual attention. They are widely diverse in nature, some resting on raised platforms or nestling at the base of […]

Kardameshwar Temple – Kashi’s Sole Survivor

The east-facing Kardameshwar (Kardamesvara) Temple is located beside the pretty Kardama Kunda tank on the outskirts of Varanasi (Banaras), approximately 6km south-east of the holy city centre. Very little seems to have been written about this temple, none of my standard reference books at home give it any […]

From Darkness To Light – Kashi’s Hidden Heritage

Being an archaeologist, I probably spend an unhealthy amount of time thinking about the hidden history that might be buried under my feet. During my time in Varanasi (Banaras, Kashi) earlier this year, such thoughts often came to the forefront of my mind. Here is one of the […]

Lolark Kund – One Of The Oldest Sacred Sites In Kashi

Dedicated to the sun God Surya, Lolark Kund is a dramatic and ancient water reservoir situated in a small plaza above Tulsi Ghat in Varanasi (Banaras or Kashi), near to the confluence of the Asi and the Ganga rivers. Of all the step wells I have seen in […]

Kusum Sarovar – Hidden beauty in the footsteps of Krishna

Kusum Sarovar (also known as Sumana Sarovar) is located on the holy Govardhan Hill, around 25 km from both Mathura and Vrindavan, and 150 km from Delhi in Uttar Pradesh. It was a spontaneous decision to visit this location having spent a few hours at Deeg Palace just […]