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Temples in Karnataka

Temples in Karnataka are the major tourist attractions not just in Karnataka but India as well. Built primarily by the Chakukyas, Cholas, and the Hoysalas, the temples are a must-visit on a trip to Karnataka. The exquisite architecture and tales associated with them attract a large number of history and architecture buffs from all over the country. Elaborate sculpture, stone-built, and many other features segregate a temple of one era from the other.

The rock-cut temples built in Dravidian style mainly describe the temples of Karnataka which were built during the rule of the Chalukya. The sculptural excellence marked on the temples is worth appreciating. Interestingly, there are nearly 34,000 temples in Karnataka out of which 1,000 temples are in Bangalore alone. An aura of serenity and peace surrounds the temples in Karnataka.

Here are the most popular temples in Karnataka that every tourist must visit -

1. Durga Temple, Aihole

Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Durga Temple in Aihole dates back to the Chalukyan times. Built in the 7th century AD, this temple boasts stunning rock-cut architecture and exquisite carvings on the columns that attracts a lot of tourists.

  • Timings: 9 am – 5 pm

2. Keshava Temple, Somnathpur

Built back in 1286 AD, Keshava Temple is one of the most popular temples in Karnataka. It also has been among the best preserved temples of the Hoysala Empire. The three-star shaped sanctuaries designed with intricate sculptures are the main highlight of Keshava Temple.

  • Timings: 9 am – 5.30 pm

3. Badami Cave Temple, Bagalkot

Badami Cave Temple is one of the largely known historic temples in Karnataka. Constructed in Chakulya-style architecture, this temple houses four caves that houses idols of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu and one of them is dedicated to Jainism.

  • Timings: 9 am – 12 pm; 4 pm – 7 pm (Monday to Friday)
  • 9 am – 7 pm (Weekends & Holidays)

4. Sree Virupaksha Temple, Hampi

This is one of the oldest temples in Karnataka. Dating back to the 14th century, Sree Virupaksha Temple is dedicated to Virupaksha or Lord Shiva. Visit this temple in December to partake in the celebrations of the marriage of Lord Virupaksha and Goddess Pampa.

  • Timings: 9 am – 1 pm; 5 pm – 9 pm

5. Murudeshwar Shiva Temple, Bhatkal

Located in the Bhatkal district, Murudeshwar Temple is one of the best Shiva temples in Karnataka. It is known for the world’s second largest statue of Lord Shiva. You can visit here and seek blessings from the almighty while witnessing the breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea.

  • Timings: 3 am -1 pm; 3 pm – 8 pm

6. Chennakeshava Temple, Belur

Chennakeshava Temple is an impressive structure erected back in the 12th century on the orders of King Vishnuvardhana. People from all over the country visit this temple to offer prayers to Lord Chennakeshava, a form of Lord Vishnu. Apart from this, the artwork displayed here is a sight one cannot miss.

  • Timings: 6.30 am – 9.30 pm

7. Bhootnath Temple, Badami

Bhootnath Temple is one of the prominent temples of the Bhutanatha group of temples in Badami. The structure of this temple is an exemplar of South Indian style architecture and has a Verandah. Here, the locals perform daily rituals and ceremonies that you must witness.

  • Timings: 6.30 am – 9.30 pm

8. Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebidu

Famously known as the Halebidu Temple, it is the largest monument in Halebidu and is one of the most visited temples in Karnataka. Constructed in the 12th century, Lord Shiva is revered in Hoysaleswara Temple. If you an architecture admirer, visit this temple to witness Hoysala architecture.

  • Timings: 6.30 am – 9.30 pm

9. Vitthala Temple, Hampi

Hampi is known and visited for its ruins and ancient temples. One of them is Vitthala Temple. Devoted to Lord Vishnu, this is among the most famous Karnataka temples. Among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, Vitthala Temple is famous for its musical monolithic pillars and the stone chariot.

  • Timings: 8 am – 5 pm

10. Vidyashankara Temple, Sringeri

Established to commemorate Guru Vidyashankara, this temple boasts of both Hoysala and Dravida styles of architecture. Vidyashankara Temple consists of ruby images of Lord Srinivasa, Nandi, and Lord Venugopal made from a large pearl. Here, you can see several inscriptions that describe the Vijayanagar emperors.

  • Timings: 6 am – 2 pm; 4 pm – 9.15 pm

11. Banashankari Amma Temple, Bagalkot

Dedicated to goddess Banashankari Amma, this temple initially resembled the Chalukya style architecture, but the modern structure displays more of the Vijayanagara architecture. Built in the 7th century by the Chalukyas, Banashankari Amma Temple should be one of the must-visit places on your Karanatak temples list.

  • Timings: 6 am – 1 pm; 4.30 pm – 8 pm

12. Kotilingeshwara Temple, Kolar

Kotilingeshwara Temple is famed for housing one of the largest Shiva lingams in the world. Among the most popular temples in Karnataka, this temple is visited by about 2 lakh devotees every year especially on the occasion of Maha Shivratri.

  • Timings: 6 am – 9 pm

13. Kollur Mookambika Temple, Kollur

Set in the hills of Kodachari in the Western Ghats, Kollur Mookambika Temple is at least 1200 years old and is known for its exquisite architecture. According to a legend, people believe that goddess Parvati killed Kamasura, a demon who harassed her.

  • Timings: 5 am – 1.30 pm; 3 pm – 9 pm

14. Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna

Devotees visit this temple to seek blessings from Lord Shiva and thus, this temple is also known as Dakshina Kashi. It is a popular tourist spot in Gokarna and is believed to be a very sacred place with many great powers.

  • Timings: 6 am – 12.30 pm; 5 pm – 8 pm

15. Mallikarjuna Temple, Pattadakal

Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Pattadakal is home to many renowned Hindu and Jain temples that are of great significance. Among them is the Mallikarjuna Temple. Built in the 8th century, this temple is also known as Trailokeshwara Maha Saila Prasada and the main deity here is Lord Shiva.

  • Timings: 6.30 am – 9.30 pm

16. Kedareshvara Temple, Balligavi

One of the best temples in Karnataka, Kedareshvara Temple houses three shrines located in the north, south, and east. Lord Shiva’s shrine lies in the south and the shrine of Lord Vishnu is in the north. The six-pillared hall in the temple is also a must-visit.

  • Timings: 6.30 am – 9.30 pm

17. Amruteshwar Temple, Annigeri

Amruteshwar Temple is where the famous poet Adikavi Pampa was born and is made of black stone. Constructed in 1050 CE by the Western Chakulya Empire, it is one of the most visited temples in Karnataka. The South Indian architecture style and the 75 pillars is a visual treat.

  • Timings: 6.30 am – 9.30 pm

18. Siddhesvara Temple, Haveri

Siddhesvara Temple is made out of soapstone. It dates back to the 12th century and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The sculptures at this temple have other deities as well like Goddess Lakshmi, the Sun God, Lord Vishnu, and the god and goddess of snakes. Idols of Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikey can also be seen here.

  • Timings: 6.30 am – 9.30 pm

19. Veera Narayana Temple, Belavadi

One of the ancient temples in Karnataka, Veera Narayana Temple was constructed during the reign of the Hoysala Empire. Built in 1200 CE, the temple has three main shrines that are worshipped by the locals. It is the largest temple made by the Hoysala kings, which is famed for its impeccable architecture.

  • Timings: 6.30 am – 9.30 pm

20. Amrutesvara Temple, Amruthapura

Built in the Hoysala architecture, Amrutesvara Temple is one of the must-visit temples in Karnataka. The stunning dome-shaped ceiling at the temple is a masterpiece and is surely the highlight of this temple. Also, the floral designs on the walls will leave you in awe.

  • Timings: 6.30 am – 9.30 pm