Journey Through India's 1000-Year-Old Temples

Curious how they stood the test of time? These 1000-year-old temples of India are special

Exploring some of the unique 1000-year-old temples crafted by our talented ancestors evokes quite an indescribable feeling. A walk in the corridors of these ancient temples takes us on a journey back in time. A time that was rich in culture, heritage and architectural wonders.

India is home to countless magnificent temples, many of which remain underappreciated, waiting to be explored and admired. Exploring these unique 1000-year-old temples created by our talented ancestors evokes quite an indescribable feeling. A walk in the corridors of these ancient temples take us on a journey back in time. A time that was rich in culture, heritage and architectural wonders.

World Heritage Day is celebrated on April 18th and is dedicated to raising awareness about the cultural heritage, monuments and sites around the world. This day provides us with an opportunity to appreciate and preserve each country’s rich history and heritage. On this wonderful day, join us as we explore the splendid past and intricate craftsmanship of some of India’s 1000-year-old temples.

Mundeshwari Temple, Bihar

Mundeshwari Temple

Believed to be one of the oldest functional temples in India, Mundeshwari Temple dates back to 108 CE and is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvati. It is located in Kaura, Bihar and its breathtaking architecture is a blend of Hindu and Buddhist styles. Considered the epitome of Nagara-style architecture, this temple is interestingly a major draw for both Hindu and Buddhist devotees. Built entirely of a single stone, the base or circular yoni-pitha of this temple is known to have eight petals symbolising eight directions.

Durga Temple, Aihole

This beautiful temple, located in the historic town of Aihole in Karnataka, is dedicated to Goddess Durga. It was built in the 7th century CE by the Chalukyas. It is one of the best-preserved examples of Chalukyan architecture and features beautiful, intricate carvings and detailed sculptures.

Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple, Karnataka

Situated in Chikaballapur near Bangalore, the Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple is a splendid example of Dravidian architecture. This temple complex, constructed in the 9th century CE, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and consists of twin shrines – the other one known as Arunachaleswara Temple. Originally built by the native Kannada Nolamba dynasty, many additions have been made to the temple by the following rulers, including the Vijayanagara kings.

Kailasa Temple, Maharashtra

The Kailasa Temple in Ellora, Maharashtra, is a masterpiece of rock-cut architecture. It is considered one of the most stunning cave temples in the world due to its size and architectural techniques. The Kailasa Temple, built in the 8th century CE, is carved out of a single rock—this monolithic structure is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple complex showcases the incredible craftsmanship and architectural genius of ancient Indians.

Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand

Kedarnath Temple

Located amidst the breathtaking snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, the Kedarnath Temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of India and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Adi Shankaracharya is believed to have built this temple in the 8th century CE. The temple’s architecture is simple yet elegant and brings thousands of devotees to it every year.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi

Kashi Vishwanath Temple

One of the most famous and revered temples of India, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple on the banks of Ganga in Varanasi, is dedicated to Lord Shiva, known as Vishwanath here. The original temple was believed to have been built in the 11th century CE, but the current structure has been constructed by Ahilya Bai of the Holkar dynasty in the 18th century. The temple’s spire and domes showcase India’s stunning craftsmanship and draws millions of people every year.

Sri Jagannath Temple, Puri

The Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha, is one of the most significant Hindu temples in the world. It is dedicated to Lord Jagannath and his siblings Balaram and Subhadra. This beautiful temple was built in the 12th century CE by King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva. This 1000-year-old temple is renowned for its unique Kalinga architectural style and the annual Rath Yatra festival. The temple is also known to be mysterious in many ways.

Sun Temple, Konark

The Sun Temple in Konark, Odisha, is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This architectural marvel was built in the 13th century CE by King Narasimhadeva I. The temple is designed in the shape of a giant rath or chariot of the sun god to whom the temple is dedicated. The magnificent structure consists of intricately carved stone wheels, walls and pillars depicting mythological stories.

Dwarkadhish Temple (Dwarka)

Dwarkadhish Temple is also known as Jagat Mandir and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The town of Dwarka in Gujarat has a history dating back to the Kingdom of Dwaraka in the epic Mahabharata. Archaeological evidence indicates that this temple is about 2200 years old and was built by Lord Krishna’s grandson Vajranbha over the former’s residence. Later, this temple underwent reconstruction and expansion during the 15th – 16th centuries. The temple showcases intricate carvings, sculptures and is truly breathtaking.

Brihadeshwara Temple, Thanjavur

Brihadeshwara Temple

Built by Raja Raja Chola I in the 11th century CE, the Brihadeshwara Temple in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, is an architectural marvel and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is renowned for its towering vimana and a massive Nandi carved out of single stone. The temple reflects the grandeur and architectural prowess of the Chola dynasty.

Each of these temples is not only a religious and spiritual centre but also a testament to the architectural brilliance of ancient India. Visiting these temples is like stepping back in time while admiring the rich heritage and cultural legacy of our ancestors.


What are the features of 1000-year-old temples in India?

1000-year-old temples in India are architectural marvels and show unbelievable craftsmanship. They showcase India’s rich cultural heritage.

Why are these ancient temples significant?

These ancient temples hold historical, cultural and architectural significance. They provide insights into the religious practices and architectural advancements of our ancestors.

How have these temples withstood the test of time?

These temples have stood firm due to their robust construction techniques and use of sturdy materials like stone and granite. Current maintenance and restoration efforts also contribute to their longevity.

What role do these temples play in preserving Indian heritage?

These temples play a crucial role in preserving India’s rich cultural heritage. They help to pass on our traditional knowledge and history to future generations.




Your wellbeing is a few clicks away.

Subscribe to your weekly dose of positivity, wellness, and motivation and get a free printable
Soulveda Gratitude journal