15 of the Most Famous Temples in Gujarat

The serene temples in Gujarat triumphantly bear the footfalls of thousands of devotees and tourists every year. Visiting these places is a great opportunity to partake of their exquisite charm and awaken your spiritual self in the midst of reviving the grandeur of past times.

Gujarat Temples

Somnath Temple, Saurashtra

Temple of Gujarat Somnath

Standing on the seashore of Veraval in Saurashtra, this abode of Lord Shiva is the first of the 12 Jyotirlingas. Managed by Shree Somnath Trust, its present structure was erected under the guidance of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Getting Here:

You may board a train headed for Ahmadabad and after that, take a corresponding train to Veraval, the railway station nearest to Somnath. From there, either hire a car or board a bus, or auto to get to the temple.

The temple can also be reached from other cities of Gujarat like Gandhinagar, and Rajkot through public or private buses, plying at frequent intervals.


Timing:

For offering puja, the darshan timing is from 6 A.M to 9.30P.M.  The aarti is done at 7:00 A.M, 12 P.M, and 7:00 P.M.
There is also a Light and Sound Show that runs from 8 PM to 9 PM (Except in the rainy season).

Relevant Details:

Enter the temple premises barefooted and keep all electronic as well as electric equipment in lockers, present in the cloakrooms, totally free of cost. Since photography is strictly banned, you may buy high-resolution photographs and frames from the souvenir counter.

Major Festivals:

Shivaratri and Golokdham Utsav



Dwarkadhish Temple, Dwarka

Gujarat Temple Dwarkadhish

Dedicated to Lord Dwarkakadhish (one of the forms of Lord Krishna), this 2500-year-old temple forms an indispensable part of the Chardham Yatra in Hinduism. Vaishnavites from different parts of the globe usually visit it along with Beyt Dwarka. One of the 108 Divya Desam of Lord Vishnu, this temple of sandstone is also known as Jagat Mandir or Trilok Sundar Mandir.

Getting Here:

You may board an overnight sleeper bus, starting at 11 P.M from Ahmadabad (Paldi) to reach Dwarka by 8 A.M. There are bus services at frequent intervals from other cities as well, such as Jamnagar, Surat, and Vadodara.

Avail a train (e.g. Somnath Express) from Okha terminus point, about 30 km from Dwarka. On reaching Dwarka, take a cab, auto or cycle rickshaw to get to the temple.


Timing:

The temple remains open from 6:30 A.M to 1 P.M and 5 P.M to 9:30 P.M. So, if you want to have the first darshan, the “mangal darshan”, you need to reach between 7 A.M and 8 A.M in the morning. Darshan remains closed from 10.15 A.M to 10.30 A.M as the Lord is given sringar bhog.

The timing of the sandhya arati is between 7.30 P.M and 7.45 P.M.


Relevant Details:

All electronic belongings are prohibited inside the temple. You may, however, keep all your belongings in electronic lockers at Rs. 10/hour. Local photographers hovering near the temple may satisfy your desire for family pictures.

Major Festivals:

Annakut Utsav, Roop Choudas, Deepotsavi, and Janmashtami.


Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, Gandhinagar

Temple Gujarat Swaminarayan Akshardham

Enshrining the deity of Bhagawan Swaminarayan, this temple of 23 acres boasts of being the world’s largest Hindu temple.

Getting Here:

From Ahmadabad railway station, you may take a bus or a taxi to reach Gandhinagar bus depot. Hire a rickshaw henceforth to get to the temple.

Timing:

For the aarti, you may turn up either in the morning or evening of the temple hours from 9.30 A.M to 6.30 P.M (closed on Mondays).

Relevant Details:

Deposit all your belongings at the security counter before entering. After exploring the complex, you may go for the 1-hour audio-animatronics show in the “Hall of Values”, relish a boat ride, watch the film, “Neelkanth Darshan” lasting 40 minutes or enthrall yourself by the 45-minute water show, “Sat-Chit-Anand” taking place on Saturdays and Sundays.

Major Festivals:

Annakut Utsav (an extravagant event when nearly 2550 food items are offered to the deity)



Sun Temple, Modhera

Temple of Gujarat Sun Temple

A unique feature of this temple, located on top of a mound on the banks of the Pushpavati River is that when the sun shines, its first rays invariably fall on the image of Lord Surya, to whom the temple is dedicated. Founded by King Bhimdev I of the Solanki dynasty in the 11th century, this temple also holds idols of Lords Vishnu, Ganesha, Shiva, and Sitala Mata.

Getting Here:

First, reach Mehsana Railway Station, the nearest railhead and from there, take a taxi directly to the Sun Temple.

Timing:

The temple remains open from 6 A.M to 6 P.M.

Relevant Details:

Aarti is offered twice, once in the morning and in the evening.

Major Festivals:

Every year in January, a classical dance festival is organized by the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat. Photography is not allowed.


Nageshwar Mahadev Temple, Dwarka

Nageshwar Mahadev Temple Gujarat

Situated along the coast of Saurashtra, the Nageshwar Mahadev Temple houses one of the 12 Shiva jyotirlingas and is immensely revered by both Hindu pilgrims and Shaivites. Thousands of worshippers come here to pray as well as to free themselves from poisons of every kind since the temple is believed to offer respite especially to those suffering from insect bites or stings.

Getting Here:

Arrive at Dwarka from Ahmadabad by sleeper bus or train and take an auto rickshaw or cab to get here. You may also combine it in your tour to Dwarkadhish Temple since it would entail only a 40 minutes auto ride.

Timing:

The temple is open on all days of the week from 6 A.M to 6 PM.
The Shayan aarti is held at 7 P.M.

Major Festivals:

Mahashivratri

Ambaji Temple, Banaskantha district

Temple of Gujarat Ambaji

One of the most famous temples in India, Ambaji does not house any idol or image of the chief goddess Visa Yantra. Further, she cannot be seen with naked eyes as one needs to tie a bandana over his eyes before worshipping her. When Lord Shiva, carrying the body of Shakti, was dancing in rage, her heart fell on this site, making it one of the 51 Shakti Peetha Tirthas. Flaunting a structure in white marble, it is thought to originally have been built by the Nagar Brahmins.

Getting Here:

You may take a cab or taxi either from the nearest railway station, Abu Road Station or from Ahmadabad, to turn up at the temple.

Timing:

The temple remains open from 7 A.M to 11.30 A.M; 12.30 P.M to 4.30 P.M; and again from 6.30 P.M to 9.00 P.M.

The aarti is carried out every day at 6 A.M in the morning.


Relevant Details:

You need to keep your camera, mobile, shoes, and handbags in the lockers at the entry gates before moving in.

 Nishkalank Mahadev Temple, Koliyak

Gujarat Temple Nishkalank Mahadev Temple

Placed near Koliyak beach in the Arabian Sea, this temple remains under the sea during high tides and emerges at the time of low tides.  So, you need to walk about 1.5 km into the sea to get to the temple.

Getting Here:

Get a bus or taxi from Ahmadabad to reach Bhavnagar, where the temple is located. You may also hire a bus, cab or auto from Bhavnagar City Railway Station to halt at Koliyak village, from where you need to walk to the temple.

Timing:

The morning aarti is at 7 A.M and the evening aarti is at 6:30 P.M. You can reach the temple premises only on these times in a day, as at other times, it remains submerged in the sea.

Shri Hanuman Mandir, Sarangpur

Temple Gujarat Shri Hanuman Mandir

Run by the Vadtal Gadi of Swaminarayan Sampradaya, the Sarangpur Hanuman Mandir is a temple famous for being the seat of extraordinary powers of exorcism. According to local belief, a person just needs to place his hand in front of the idol to free himself from evil forces.

Getting Here:

From Bhavnagar Railway Station, you may hire a cab to reach here.

Timing:

You may visit the temple from 7 A.M to 12 P.M or between 4 P.M and 8 P.M.

The mangal aarti is held at 5.30 A.M, while the evening one is performed after sunset.


Major Festivals:

Hanuman Jayanti, Sundar Kand, and Holi

Shri Bahucharaji Temple, Becharaji Town, Mehsana

Gujarat Temple Shri Bahucharaji Temple

This temple is a Shakti Peetha since it is held that Devi Sati’s hands fell here. Accordingly, it is also the site, where most Gujaratis remove the first hair of their children. It is built using the elements of Vaastu Shastra, and the presiding deity is Bahuchara Mata.

Getting Here:

On reaching Mehsana railway station, you may hire a taxi to get to the temple.

Timing:

The temple remains open from 5 A.M to 9 P.M.

The aarti is held twice, at 7 A.M and 7 P.M.


Relevant Details:

Enjoy seeing the deity in complete serenity, and do not miss the delicious prasad offered at Rs.33/plate.

Major Festivals:

Full Moon Day, Navaratri, and Chaitra Navratri

 Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Bhuj

Temple Gujarat Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

Apart from destroying a major portion of the city of Bhuj, the massive earthquake of 26th January 2000, also ruined the original temple. Consequently, a new one of gold and marble was constructed on 5 acres of land to replace the old temple. Containing the deities of Nar Narayan and Swaminarayan, it claims to be the most expensive temple of the state.

Getting Here:

Purchase tickets of Kutch Express to get down at Bhuj railway station from Ahmadabad and from there, avail any public transport to reach the temple.

Timing:

The temple remains open from 6 A.M to 7 P.M.
The mangal aarti takes place at 5:15 P.M and the sandhya aarti is held at 7.45 P.M.

Relevant Details:

You may take photographs only outside the prayer area.

Ashapura Devi Maa Temple, Kutch

Gujarat Ashapura Devi Maa Temple Gujarat

Dedicated to Ashapura Mata, the principal deity of the Jadeja Rajputs, this 14th-century temple is believed to grant the wishes of those who come to seek blessings in dire need.

Getting Here:

There are direct buses available from major cities like Ahmadabad, Rajkot, and Jamnagar. Get into any to get off at Matanamadh bus station and from there, walk to the temple.

You may also travel by car from Bhuj railway station. Special buses leaving from No.1 Bhuj S.T. Bus Depot take off every 10 minutes for the temple.


Timing:

The temple opens at 4.45 A.M and closes at 8.30 P.M.

The mangal aarti is held at 5 A.M, and the sandhya aarti is at 7 PM.

Relevant Details:

Take your camera along to create unforgettable memories.

Major Festivals:

Ashvin and Chaitra Navaratri

Shamlaji Temple, Sabarkantha District

Gujarat Temple Shamlaji

Locals recognize this temple of Lord Krishna as Dodhi Dhwaja Wada on account of a fluttering white flag on its top. Lord Krishna, here presiding as Shamdiya Bhagwan, has a piece of real diamond pressed on his chin. Along with idols of nymphs, and musicians, there is an idol of Lord Vishnu, made out of black stone, thereby earning the name, “Kaliyo Dev” or Dark Divinity.

Getting Here:

You may either avail any of the state transport buses or take a direct train from Ahmadabad to Shamlaji.

Timing:

The temple timing is 6 A.M to 8.30 P.M, and the sandhya aarti is at 6 P.M.

Relevant Details:

Camera and electronic equipment are not allowed.

Major Festivals:

The annual fair on Kartik Poornima.

Varai Dham Golden Temple, Palanpur

Temple Varai Dham Golden Temple Gujarat

Placed in Badarpur, this temple is an architectural masterpiece, mesmerizing you with its 14 eye-catching idols of gods and goddess.

Getting Here:

From Ahmadabad Railway Station, board a train to Bhildi Junction Railway Station. Next, take a taxi to arrive at Varai Dham Golden Temple.  You may also consider taking a taxi from Vastrapur in Ahmadabad to reach your destination.

Ganesh Temple, Ganapatpura Koth

Ganesh Temple of Gujarat

With a massive idol of Lord Ganesh, nearly 6 ft high, this temple becomes a significant site that draws about 3 lakh visitors on Sankrant Chaturti every month.

Getting Here:

Take a taxi from Bhavnagar to Arnej Railway Station and from there proceed to the temple by either a bus or cab.

Timing:

The temple remains open on all days, and the timing is from 5:30 AM to 8:30 PM. The aarti takes place from 5:30 AM to 6:00 AM.

Relevant Details:

Shree Ganpati Maharaj Trust provides free meals to pilgrims between 10.30 A.M to 1.00 P.M every day. You may also stay overnight in any of the 15 rooms of the Trust, completely free of cost.  Do not forget to receive a laddu, the prasad of Lord Ganesh.

Major Festivals:

Sankathi Chaturthi.

Kalika Mata Temple, Pavagadh

Gujarat Kalika Mata Temple Gujarat

This ancient temple, receiving thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year, is dedicated to goddess Kali, also called here as “Mukhwato” for having only one head.

Getting Here:

The best way to reach the temple is to hire a car from Vadodara to Champaner and from there again to Pavagadh. You may either reach the top of the hill (where the temple is placed), by walking along the jungle footpath or avail a cable car, operating constantly.

Timing:

It remains open on all days from early morning till late at night.

Relevant Details:

If too tired, you may also consider relaxing at the nearby rest house called Machi Haveli.

Major Festivals:

Navaratri

Honorable Mentions: Apart from these, Vishwakarma Mandir, the oldest temple in Kutch, Harsiddhi Mata Temple in Rajpipla, the Digambar Jain Temple in Bhiloda, Bhavnath Mahadev Temple at Junagadh, the ISCON Temple at Ahmadabad, the Chamunda Mataji Temple at Chotila, and Shree Shankheshwar Parshwanath Jain Temple are all worth a visit if you have a little time.

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