Thousand years old temples in India. India is a country of rich architecture and temples. India has the oldest religion in existence and you get ancient and magnificent temples. Since the beginning of time, India is believed to be blessed with diversified religions and cultures.
1000 Year Old Temples in India
Let us take a look at 25 most famous temples in India that are more than 1000 years old.
- Adi Kumbeswarar Temple
- Ambarnath Temple
- Badami Cave Temples
- Badrinath Temple
- Brihadeeswarar Temple
- Chennakesava Temple
- Durga Temple Aihole
- Dwarakadhish Temple
- Jagatpita Brahma Temple
- Kailasa Temple
- Karpaka Vinayakar Temple
- Kedarnath Temple
- Lad Khan Temple
- Lingaraja Temple
- Manakula Vinayagar Temple
- Meenakshi Amman Temple
- Mundeshwari Temple
- Shore Temple
- Somnath Temple
- Sriranganatha Swamy Temple
- Subrahmanya Temple, Saluvankuppam, Tamil Nadu
- Tungnath Temple, Uttarakhand
- Ucchi Pillayar Temple
- Varadaraja Perumal Temple
- Virupaksha Temple
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this Chola temple is situated in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu. Built in the 9th century initially, this temple covers a large area of 30,181 sq.ft. this temple has 6 daily rituals starting from 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The masonry structure at present was constructed in 9th century during the Chola dynasty.
The Ambarnath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Located in Maharashtra, this temple is also called as Ambreshwar Shiva Temple. It was built in 1060 A.D. The Shilahara king, Chhittaraja built it. The Legend goes that the Pandavas constructed it out of one single stone. This old temples in India consists of 20 steps to go down in the major room known as Gabhara. There is a shivling that is situated at the centre of the room. This temple gets overcrowded during Mahashivaratri.
Representing few of the earliest known examples of Hindu temples, the Badami Cave Temples situated in Karnataka are a complex system of rock-cut Buddhist, Jain and Hindu shrines. In the 6th Century A.D, under the Chalukya rule, they were carved out by the artisans. Previously, Badami was known as Vataapi Badami, the early Chalukya dynasty’s capital. In the later times, it was surrounded by forts on the north and south sides.
This temple is one of the 4 Char Dham sites. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this old temples in India is located in Badrinath, Uttarakhand. This was a buddhist shrine till Adi Sankaracharya transformed it into a Hindu temple in 8th Century A.D. The presiding deity’s image is a statue of Vishnu made of black stone.
The Brihadeeswarar temple is a Shiva Temple situated in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. This is also known as the RajaRajeswara Temple Rajarajeswaram. The Chola architecture is reflected in this old temple in India. This temple was built for Raja Raja Chola and it is one of the oldest temples in India. The construction of this temple is said to have been finished in 1010 A.D.
This old temple in India is situated in Belur, Karnataka. It was built on the banks of river, Yagachi. It was constructed some time between 10th and 11th centuries by the Hoysala Empire. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this is a soapstone temple. Chennakesava is Lord Vishnu’s form.
Dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu, this old temple is situated in Aihole, Northern Karnataka. This was constructed by Chalukyas in 7th or 8th centuries. “Durga” means ‘protector’ here. This temple is dedicated to Shiva or Vishnu as the Lord Vishnu representations are as numerous as those of Lord Shiva.
Regarded as one of the 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu, the Dwarakadhish Temple is considered as one of the most sacred temples of Char Dhams. The archaeological evidences state that this old temple in India is about 2500 years old. This temple is also known as Jagat Mandir. This is a Pushtimarg temple. So, it follows the rituals and guidelines created by Shree Vitheleshnathji and Shree Vallabhacharya.
Among the very few temples dedicated to Lord Brahma, this is the most prominent one. Situated in Rajasthan, this temple is believed to be two thousand years old. This old temple is built mainly of stone stabs and marbles. It has a hamsa bird motif and distinct red pinnacle. The Sanyasi sect priesthood governs this temple.
The Kailsa Temple is situated in Ellora, Maharashtra. It is one of the largest and oldest rock-cut edifice on Earth. In the 8th Century A.D, the structure was carved out of one single rock according to Legends. This old temples in India is one of 34 monasteries and cave temples collectively known as the Ellora caves.
Dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the Karpa Vinayagar temple is situated in Thiruppatthur of Tamil Nadu state. In this ancient rock-cut cave shrine, there are rock-cut images of Lord Shiva and other gods. The presiding deity here is Karpa Vinayakar. On the stones of this temple, the Agama texts are found. This temple was constructed after observing a hillrock by the early Pandyan kings.
This temple is believed to have been built in 8th Century A.D after Adi Sankaracharya visited this temple as the exact date of construction of this temple is unknown. One has to walk a distance of 14 kms to reach this temple as this temple is not accessible by road. The Kedarnath temple is one of 12 Jyotirlinga temples.
This temple was called as Lad Khan temple as it was utilised as a home for certain period of time by a person named Lad Khan. Regarded as the oldest temple of Aihole, this was constructed by Chalukyas in the 5th Century. The main shrine now houses a Shiva linga with Nandi though it was dedicated originally to Lord Vishnu.
It was one of the largest and oldest temples in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. This temple is believed to be constructed in 6th Century A.D. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple was an icon of the kalinga Architecture. The later additions to this temple were done in the 11th Century A.D. This is the largest temple in Bhubaneswar. This temple was constructed in Deula style.
Located in Puducherry, this is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It was built around 400 A.D. It is a popular tourist destination and pilgrimage site in Puducherry. Many attempts were made to destroy this temple during the French period but the strong protests from the then Hindu people prevented this temple from getting demolished.
This temple is known popularly as the Madurai Meenakshi Temple. Believed to have been constructed in 6th Century B.C, this temple is dedicated to goddess Parvati. Since then, this temple has been reconstructed various times with the latest one built in 16th Century A.D. Lord Shiva here is named as Sundareswarar.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvati Devi, this is one of the oldest temples in Bihar. According to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), this temple was built in 108 A.D. It is considered as one of the old temples in India and world functioning till today. It is believed that the worship and rituals have been performed here without a break, hence, this is one of the most ancient Hindu temples in the world today that is functioning.
The temple is called so as it faces the Bay of Bengal. This temple was built around 700 A.D, and it was one of the oldest structural temples in India. Narasimhavarman II, the Pallava King, had built this temple. Since 1984, it has been classified as the UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of the oldest rock-cut stone shrines of South India.
Located in Gujarat, this is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga Temples. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple was built in 7th century. Seuna Dynasty constructed it first and since then, throughout the centuries, it was destroyed and rebuilt several times. In 1024 A.D, It was demolished most famously by Mohammad of Ghazni.
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this is one of the 108 Divya Desams. Located in Tiruchirapalli, this temple was constructed between 6th and 9th centuries. Spread across an area of 156 acres, this is considered as the largest functioning Hindu old temple in India and World. This temple is one of the most illustrious temples in Southern part of India rich in history and legend.
After 2004 tsunami hit the Tamil Nadu coast, this temple was unearthed in 2005. Dedicated to the deity, Murugan, the archaeologists strongly believe that this is the oldest temple in Tamil Nadu. It is a mix of 2 structures, one belonging to 8th century Sangam era and the other belonging to 9th century Pallava era.
This temple stands at 12,073 feet. This is the highest temple of Lord Shiva in the world. It is believed to be more than 1000 years old and the exact dates of the temple’s origin are obscure. According to Legend, it was Pandava, the Indian mythological hero who constructed this shrine to revere and seek the pardon of Lord Shiva. This temple can accommodate only 10 temple as it is very small in size.
Dedicated to Lord Ganesha, it is a Hindu temple of 7th Century. It is located at a top of Rockfort, Trichy in the state of Tamil Nadu. According to Mythology, this is the place to where Ganesha ran from King Vibishana after establishing the deity of Ranganathaswamy in Srirangam. This temple stands 83m tall resting atop the rock. This rock was cut by the pallavas first but the Nayaks of Madurai completed this temple’s construction under the Vijayanagara empire.
The Varadaraja Perumal Temple is one of 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu. In the 11th Century A.D, the Cholas constructed this temple. It is situated in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. The other names for this temple are Attiyuran and Hastagiri. Among the Divya Desams, this temple is known as ‘Perumal Koil’.
Among the temples in Hampi, this is considered to be the most sacred temple. Constructed in the 7th Century A.D, this was built on the banks of river Tungabhadra. Lord Shiva in the form of Lord Virupaksha is the presiding deity here. This temple is the major centre of pilgrimage at Hampi. This temple was constructed by lakkana Dandesha, a chieftain under Deva Raya II, the ruler of Vijayanagara Empire.