Temples and Temple Towns
Tirupati This is the home of Sri Venkateswara (Sri Balaji). It is one of the most visited temples in all of India with over 25,000 people visiting on an average day. It is on top of a spiritual hill and has a tranquil atmosphere. It is an important temple to visit if you are in South India. Foreigners are allowed to enter the temple.
Sri Rangam It has the magnificent temple of Sri Ranganatha. Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the inner sanctum, but the temple is still impressive.
GovindajiTemplein Jaipur Govindaji, the Deity in this temple, is around 5,000 years old. The impressive thing about this temple is the extreme enthusiasm of the worshippers. The mangala-arati at 5 am is an interesting experience.
Madurai The Meenakshi Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Siva and his consort Meenakshi. It is a huge ancient temple with very impressive architecture and carvings.
Mayapur ISKCON Temple This temple is located about a kilometer from the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Sri Dhama Mayapur. Mayapur is about four hours north of Calcutta, across the Ganges from Navadvipa. The extreme devotion and mood of worship are the interesting things to see here, as well as the beautiful, larger than life size deities of Radha Krishna and the eight principal gopis.
Udupi Krishna This temple has the beautiful Deity of Lord Krishna originally installed by the great Vaishnava acarya, Madhvacarya. Almost nightly there is a cart procession in which the processional Deity is put on a cart and pulled around the main street.
The Nathaji Temple in Nathdwar is about 60km north of Udaipur, Rajasthan. This Deity of Lord Krishna was originally worshipped at Govardhan Hill in Vrindavan. The extreme devotion to Nathaji is unique in all of India.
Hampi (Vijayanagar) This deserted city used to be one of the greatest Hindu cities in all of India. A visit here is like going back 500 years. If it were not so hard to reach, it would be one of the most popular tourist places in India.
Ellora There is a series of ancient temples here carved into a hill. The Kailash Temple is very impressive.
Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) is a nice beach town by Chennai, with some of India's oldest temples and rock carvings. It is a nice peaceful place and is a good place to take a break for a few days.
Jaisalmer has an extremely interesting fort on top of a hill and is a good place to take a camel safari.