(Last Updated on : 02/04/2013)
North Indian temples have been constructed in the typical Nagara style of architecture
. The basic structure of temples in India is more or less the same throughout, and the same features are seen in the temples of the north as well.
Architecture of North Indian Temples
The sanctuary, which is the main part, is called the vimana. In the vimana, a small chamber called the garbhagriha
or the inner sanctum where the divine emblem or image is kept. The part surmounting the vimana is known as the sikhara. The mandapa or pavilion for the assembly of devotees and the antarala which is a vestibule connecting the vimana and the mandapa, and the pradakshi-napath.
According to the Nagara style, the temple structure consists of two main buildings. The main place of worship is taller and has an adjoining shorter mandapa. The key difference between these two is the shape of the sikhara. The sikhara of the temples in North India resembles an upturned cone that is decorated with miniature conical Shikharas. There are also some temples in North India which developed their own local flavour, setting aside their basic native style. In the main shrine, a bell shaped structure helps to increase the height of the temple. There is the kalasa at the top as in all Hindu temples. The ayudha or emblem of the presiding deity is also present. Fundamentally, there is no structural difference between the Hindu and the Jain temples in the North except that the need for housing the various Tirthankars dominates the disposition of space in the latter. Moreover, the Jain Temples
achieve their effect from the grouping together of a number of shrines on such high spaces as the hills can provide, and are characterised by an air of seclusion and aloofness.
Some of the most well known temples found in the different states are discussed below
Jammu and Kashmir
The state of Jammu and Kashmir has many towering temples standing tall against the skyline. The Raghunath temple
city is the largest in North India. Mata Vaishnodevi temple
in Jammu and Amarnath in Kashmir attract millions of pilgrims throughout the year, as these are places of great religious importance.
is said to be the land of God and Goddesses, often called `Devabhoomi. There are a number of temples dedicated to village deities. Some of the caves found here include Chamunda Devi temple
situated at Kangra
, Jwalamukhi Temple
, Jhakhu Temple
, Chaintpurni Temple at Una, Naina Devi Temple
, Bhutanath Temple at Mandi
, Bhimakali Temple
at Sarhan, Lakshmi Narayan Temple
Many temples are found located in Haryana
. Mansa Devi Temple
, Birla Mandir
, Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple
, Shiv Temple
, Sheetala Devi Temple
are some of the important temples situated in the state of Haryana in North India.
is present in Punjab
in a big way, which can be seen in the many temples and gurudwaras found here. One of the most famous temples in all of India, the Harmandir Sahib or Golden Temple
is found located here in Punjab.
There are various temples situated in the Uttarakhand
that gather devotees throughout the year. Char Dham makes one of the major pilgrimage centres that include the four most worshiped Hindu temples. They are Yamunotri Temple
, Kedarnath and Badrinath. According to the Hindus the Char Dham Yatra
is of highly religious significance.
Uttar Pradesh Temples
Some of the most ancient and sacred temples of India are situated in the state of Uttar Pradesh
. Important temples here include the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Sarnath Temple, Vindhyanchal Temple, Baldeva Dauji Temple, Ram Janmabhoomi, Banke Bihari Temple and others.
Temples in Delhi
are a blend of ancient and modern Indian architectural styles. Some of the important temples, which are remarkable in Delhi, are as follows - Iskcon
Temple, Chattarpur Mandir
, Lotus Temple, Hanuman Mandir
, Kali Bari Mandir
, Kalkaji temple
, Lakshmi Narayan Temple