Top 12 Famous Temples to Visit in Karnataka (2023)
Being a home to a plethora of stunning temples, India is rightly called as the ‘Land of Temples’. No matter where you go in the country, you will come across a small or big temple on almost every nook and corner. As far as South India is concerned, this part of the country is extremely popular for its plethora of temples. Karnataka is one such state in South India that boasts of being a home to many well-known significant temples. If you are a true spiritual person or are looking forward to a religious vacation exploring different temples of South India, then visiting Karnataka state is going to be a great idea. It is going to be one blissful getaway and you will surely not return disappointed. We understand that all of us are too jacked up in our daily schedules to research. Hence, to ease up the whole process for you, we have already prepared a list of top 12 temples to visit in Karnataka for you. Continue reading!
Top 12 Famous Temples to Visit in Karnataka
1. Durga Temple, Aihole
Located in the small village of Aihole, this temple owing to its architectural brilliance is often referred to as the Cradle of Temple Architecture popularly. When it comes to temples, Aihole boasts of housing around 125 temples in and around the village. Out of the lot, the 7th century Durga Gudi temple is one of the most popular temples to visit in Karnataka. The thing which sets this temple apart from the rest is its apsidal and oblong shape, unlike other temples in Karnataka.
Opening Hours: 9 AM till 5 PM.
Best time to visit: For the best experience, it is recommended that you visit the temple during the months of October and March as during this period, the weather is pleasant enough for sightseeing.
Distance from Bangalore, Karnataka: about 97 km away
2. Murudeshwar Temple, Bhatkal
Located in the Bhatkal district of the beautiful town of Murudeshwar, this temple is considered as one of the most significant Shiva temples to visit in Karnataka. The Murudeshwar temple is immensely popular for being the second largest statue of Lord Shiva in the whole world. With the majestic Arabian Sea located close by, one can get to witness several splendid breath-taking views from the temple premises as well. This easy to reach temple is often frequented by a lot of travellers due to its immense beauty and fame.
Opening Hours: The morning timings are from 3 AM till 1 PM and evening timings are from 3 PM till 8 PM.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Murudeshwar is between the months of October and May. Many people frequent the temple during Mahashivratri. This festival of prime importance usually falls in the month of February or March.
Distance from Bangalore, Karnataka: about 285 km away
3. The Kotilingeshwara Temple
Situated in a small village known by the name of Kammasandra in the Kolar district, Kotilingeshwara temple is famous for housing the tallest as well as the largest Shiva Lingam statue in the entire Asian continent. The temple is considered as a significant attraction to visit in Karnataka, especially among the Hindu devotees. People come from even across the country to visit this temple and seek the blessings of the almighty.
Opening hours: 6 AM till 9 PM.
Best time to visit: Though the Kotilingeshwara temple can be visited throughout the year but it is during the Mahashivratri festival that the crowd and energy here is unmatchable.
Distance from Bangalore,Karnataka: about 463 km away.
4. Vidyashankara Temple, Sringeri
This temple located in Sringeri, is constructed in the memory of Guru Vidyashankara. Sporting a stunning Dravida and Hoysala style of architecture, the Vidyashankara temple boasts of housing ruby images of Lord Srinivasa, Lord Venugopal and Nandi constructed from a large pearl. One can also see several inscriptions engraved across the Vidyashankara temple describing the Vijayanagar emperors. Easily accessible from almost all major cities, this temple is considered as one of the must-visit temples in Karnataka.
Opening Hours: The morning timings are from 6 AM till 2 PM and evening timings are from 4 PM till 9.15 PM.
Best time to visit: For the best experience, it is recommended to visit the temple during the months of October and March. The weather is perfect for sightseeing during this time.
Distance from Bangalore, Karnataka: about 290 km away.
5. Keshava Temple
Located in Somnathpur of Mysore city, the Keshava temple built in around 1268 AD is listed as one of the most popular temples to visit in Karnataka. Sporting a Hoysala style of architecture, Keshava temple is a well preserved temple of the Hoysala empire. Covered with multiple detailed sculptures, the exceptional feature of the temple which makes it popular is its three star – shaped sanctuaries that are designed with intricate sculptures. Moreover, since it is located close to Mysore Airport, it is easy to reach as well.
Opening Hours: 9 AM till 5.30 PM.
Best time to visit: It is recommended to visit the Keshava temple in between the months of October and March for the best experience.
Distance from Bangalore, Karnataka: about 442 km away.
6. Badami Cave Temple, Bagalkot
Constructed in about 578 AD, the Badami cave temple is widely known as a historic temple in Karnataka. Sporting a Chalukya style of architecture, the temple houses four caves. These caves further consist of idols of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu and one is even dedicated to Jainism. Moreover, since there are many interesting tourist attractions including Badami Fort and Agastya tank located close by, one can have a wonderful experience here. One can easily reach this temple by various means of transport.
Opening Hours: From Monday till Friday, the morning timings are from 9 AM till 12 PM and the evening timings are from 4 PM till 7 PM. On weekends and holidays, the temple timings change to 9 AM till 7 PM.
Best time to visit: If you wish to make the most out of your trip, then it is advised that you visit the place in between the months of July and March.
Distance from Karnataka: about 80 km away.
7. Vitthala Temple, Hampi
This temple situated in Hampi is considered as one of most ancient temples to visit in Karnataka. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this temple set amidst the antique ruins of Hampi is well known for its stone chariot and the musical monolithic pillars. Not only the temple is a popular religious spot among devotees but is also considered as one of the best UNESCO world heritage sites in India. This temple is easily reachable via both railways as well as by air. The temple receives crowds of tourists throughout the year.
Opening hours: 8 AM till 5 PM.
Best time to visit: It is often recommended that the best time to visit Vitthala Temple in Hampi is during the months of November and February. The temperature during this period remains low, making the sightseeing and exploration tours even more delightful.
Distance from Bangalore, Karnataka: about 108 km away.
8. Kollur Mookambika Temple, Kollur
The list of top temples to visit in Karnataka is incomplete without including the Kollur Mookambika temple. Nestled among the mighty hills of Kodachari in the Western Ghats, the temple is surrounded by green surroundings and offers scenic landscape views. It is believed that the origin of the temple dates back to at least 1200 years in history. Apart from being extremely beautiful, it is the legend circulating behind the temple which makes it so popular. It is believed that once Goddess Parvati killed here demon Kamasura, who was harassing her.
Opening hours: The morning timings are from 5 AM till 1.30 PM and the evening timings are from 3 PM till 9 PM.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit the Kollur Mookambika temple is in between November and December. This period even witnesses the celebrations of Dussehra or Navratri which are considered as one of the most important festivals here.
Distance from Bangalore, Karnataka: about 247 km away.
9. Sri Virupaksha Temple, Hampi
Claiming to be one of the oldest temples to visit in Karnataka, this temple located in Ballari district in Hampi is considered as a top attraction of the area. Constructed by Lakkan Dandesha, it is believed that since the construction of the temple finished in the 14th century, the temple has remained to be of prime significance among devotees. Dedicated to Lord Shiva or Virupaksha, the temple is even regarded as a site of prime religious importance.
Opening hours: The morning timings are from 9 AM till 1 PM and the evening timings are from 5 Pm till 9 PM.
Best time to visit: It is recommended that for the best experience, the devotees should visit the Virupaksha temple in the month of December. During this month, a plethora of festivities are held at the temple premises celebrating the marriage of Lord Virupaksha and Goddess Pampa.
Distance from Karnataka: about 104 km away.
10 .Chennakeshava Temple, Belur
Also known popularly by the names of Vijayanarayana temple or Keshava Temple, this stunning temple situated in the Hassan district is one amazing place. Owing to the huge crowd of travellers that the temple receives, it is listed as one of the top temples to visit in Karnataka. Dedicated to Lord Chennakeshava who is a form of Lord Vishnu, this temple was constructed on the orders of King Vishnuvardhana in the 12th century. This beautiful temple is believed to be an eminent pilgrimage site in Belur, especially in Vaishnavism religion. The artwork describing the life of people in the 12th century displayed in the temple is worth a visit.
Opening Hours: 6.30 AM till 9.30 PM.
Best time to visit: If you wish to make the most out of your trip to Belur, then it is recommended that you plan your trip in between the months of December and April. The weather is pleasant enough for sightseeing during this time.
Distance from Bangalore, Karnataka: about 292.5 km away.
11. Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebidu
This temple is even popularly referred to as the Halebidu Temple by many people. Owing to its great fan following among devotees, the temple is crowded with visitors from all over the world throughout the year. Built in the 12th century, the main deity worshipped in this temple is Lord Shiva. Other than religious importance, the Hoysala style of architecture that the temple sports is also worth a praise. The temple houses two sanctums, out of which one is of Hoysaleswara or the King and the other one is of his queen or Shantaleshwara. It even houses twin temples.
Opening hours: 6.30 AM till 9.30 PM.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit the temple is during the winter seasons in between the months of December and February. The weather is pretty pleasant during this period for sightseeing and exploration. Distance from Bangalore,Karnataka: about 276 km away.
12. Mallikarjuna Temple, Pattadakal
Belonging to the 7th and 8th centuries, Pattadakal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is also a home to many famous Hindu as well as Jain Temples. Many devotees flock to the temple all round the year as they are considered to be of immense significance in both Hinduism and Jainism. Mallikarjuna temple is one of the most popular temples to visit in Karnataka in the area. Also, known by the name of Trailokeshwara Maha Saila Prasada, this temple built in the 8th century is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a prime Hindu pilgrim spot. Opening Hours: 6.30 AM till 9.30 PM. Best time to visit: Though one can visit the temple throughout the year, it is still recommended to plan your trip during winter season in the months of October and March. Distance from Bangalore, Karnataka: about 86 km away.
No matter whether you talk about architectural brilliance, historical significance or religious importance, the temples in Karnataka are a pure delight for the eyes, heart as well as soul.