Gujarat temples are a haven for devotees and a home for many gods and goddesses. The State is also known as the ‘Holy Land’ by virtue of presence of hordes of temples.It is the 7th largest State in India located in the western part of India with a coastline of 1,600km(longest in India).
Akshardham is situated in the capital city of Gujarat, Gandhinagar. The magnificent temple is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan. It was constructed on the directions of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS Sanstha. The complex of this temple is the largest in Gujarat.
The monument which is set in a 23-acre plot at Gandhinagar (Gandhinagar district) is built of pink sandstone and is 108 feet tall. A point worth noting is that this modern monument to Hinduism was built as per the injunctions of Vastu Shastra. Not a bit of steel has been used.
Ambaji temple is situated at Ambaji town, in the Banaskantha district of Gujarat. The temple, the holy seat of Ambe Mata—the Mother Goddess, is a popular pilgrim place for the Hindus. Ambaji temple is also considered as one of the Shakti Peethas in India.
Dwarka city is located in the Jamnagar district of Gujarat. It is one of the most ancient cities in India and houses the famous Dwarkadhish Temple, which is one of the biggest Hindu pilgrimage places in India.
Dwarka which was known as Suvarna Dwarka (The Golden Dwarka) had been very prosperous and hence got the name. The Dwarkadhish Temple honours Krishna Bhagwan and attracts thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the country. The Dwarkadhish Temple is also known as Jagat Temple.
The other temples in Dwarka are the Trikamji Temple, Kalyanrai Temple, the Patrani Temple, Durvas temple, etc.
Girnar is one of the holiest places in Gujarat, situated near Junagadh at a distance of 327 from Ahmedabad. It is a holy place and an important pilgrimage centre for both Hindus and Jains. There are a number of temples located here, which have converted it into a township of temples.
Ranchhodraiji Temple is situated in Dakor that comes under the Kheda district of Gujarat. The small shrine of the initial Ranchhodraiji Temple has now been enclosed in a huge complex. The form of Lord Ranchhodrai is that of Lord Vishnu with four arms.
Palitana Jain Temples
Palitana is situated at a distance of 51 km from Bhavnagar and serves as an important Jain pilgrimage place of Gujarat. The Shatrunjay Hill located nearby the place hosts approximately 900 big and small Jain Temples. These temples are dedicated to the 24 Jain Tirthankarars.
Sun Temple constructed in 1026-27 AD during the reign of King Bhimdev I of Patan. The temple is dedicated to Surya or the Sun God. Although it bears a dilapidated look, it is still a magnificent specimen of superb artistry of Gujarat's architects of the bygone days. Modhera’s Sun Temple is positioned in such a manner that at the equinoxes the rising Sun strikes the images in the sanctuary.
Somnath Temple is situated in the Junagadh district of Gujarat. It is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is one of the twelve jyotirlingas in India. The most interesting fact about the Somanth Temple is that it has been built and destroyed six times.
Dakor Temple in Kheda District of Gujarat is prominent for its grand temple of Sri Krishna .
Pavagadh Temple is a historical and religious destination at the base town of Champaner. A pilgrimage spot, called the Shakti Peeth, the Pavagadh hill leads to the hill top temple of the Goddess Kali, who is the incarnation of the Goddesses Parvati, Durga, and Sati as Shakti or power.
Mt.Girnar (Junagadh district) is a sacred hill both to the Hindus and Jains. The Jains call it Mt. Neminath. The 3,660 feet hill is connected with Sri Krishna. The pilgrims have to climb 9,999 steps to reach the top. There are five important Jain temples, besides several Hindu shrines.
Two peaks covered with shrines you have the Jain pilgrimage centre of Palitana(Bhavnagar district) atop the Shatrunjay Hill. There are 900 temples big and small on the two summits. Pilgrims make their offerings at the main temple containing the Adinath idol.
The most famous temples are those of Adinath, Kumarpal, Vimalshah, Samprati Raja and the Chomukh which is the highest. Besides there are temples dedicated to Hindu gods and goddesses like Saraswati, Shivji, Hanumanji, etc. The Saraswati temple is near the foot of the hill. Angar Pir's shrine is situated at the top of the hill.
The Someshwar Mahadev Temple
The temple stands tall among the temples of India. The construction of the present temple in Junagadh district began in 1950. It is the seventh temple built to commemorate the glory of Lord Somnath.
According to legend, Soma, the Moon God built the temple in gold, Ravan in silver, Krishna in wood and king Bhimdev of Anhilwad in stone. Soma constructed the temple as a gesture after Lord Shiva cured him of his illness.
The EME Temple or “Dakshinamurty Temple” is a Shiva Temple run by Indian Army in the city of Vadodara. It is a unique in concept and design, geodesic structure covered with aluminium sheets.
Kalika Mata Temple is a Hinduand Muslim Goddess temple complex and pilgrim centre at the summit of Pavagadh Hill in Panchmahal district.
Shri Hanuman Mandir, Sarangpur is located in Sarangpur, Gujarat and comes under the Vadtal Gadi of the Swaminarayan Sampraday. It is dedicated to Hanuman in the form of Kastbhanjan. It is the only Swaminarayan temple to have Hanuman as a central deity. In other temples, the central deity is a human form with the shrine of Hanuman along with that of Ganpati at the entrance of the temple.
Shri Keshavraiji Temple is located in Bet Dwarka. It is dedicated to Sri Keshavraiji.
Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
It is a new temple complex in Bhuj. Swaminarayan Temple comes under the Nar Narayan Dev Gadi of the Swaminarayan Sampraday. An earthquake on January 26, 2001 shattered most parts of the city of Bhuj (Kutch District), including the original Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, built by BhagwanSwaminarayan in 1824. To replace this, the new temple is built.
(Inputs from Gujarat Tourism)