The state of Karnataka has one of the most glorious history among other Indian states. It was ruled by many kings and dynasties who have contributed greatly to protect the culture and heritage of the place. Especially during the reign of the Hoysalas, many magnificent temples were constructed, which were also used as platforms to showcase their skill in art and architecture. However, it was during the Vijayanagara rule when construction of large temples was given a key focus.

The Kings and the royal members personally took the responsibility of maintaining these temples, as it was considered to be one of the seven deeds of merit. These temples exhibit typical Dravidian style of architecture, with a Garbhagriha, a Shukanasi, a Antarala to connect the inner sanctum and a outer Mandapa. Temples played an instrumental role in bringing together all the artisans like sculptors, painters and architects, who maintained a healthy competition in exhibiting their skill.

In this article, we have compiled some of the prominent historical temples in Karnataka, which are sure to fascinate you with their incredible art and architecture.

List Of Incredible Temples In Karnataka With Images:

Check out these ancient temples in Karnataka, which are a must-visit if you are planning to visit this state:


    1. Mookambika Temple Karnataka.
    2. Markandeshwara Temple.
    3. Badami Cave Temple.
    4. Iskon Temple of Karnataka.
    5. Nandi Bull Temple.
    6. Omkareshwara Temple.
    7. Virupaksha Temple.
    8. Shri Krishna Temple.
    9. Monkey Temple.

1. Mookambika Temple Karnataka:

Image Source: Shutterstock

The Mookambika Temple is located about 147 kilometers away from Mangalore of Karnataka. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and is known to have been built by Parshurama. The temple is known for its holy ambience and pleasant environment. The architecture is brilliant and flawless. The idol of Goddess Mookambika is a Jyothirlingam, formed by both Shakti and Shiva. This temple has a strict dress code with sarees and salwars for women, and a white lungi for men.It looks all the more beautiful during the festival season of Navrathri.

  • Address: Kollur, Kundapur Taluk, Udupi District – 576220
  • Timings: 5:00 AM – 1:30 PM and 3:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Dress Code: Strictly Traditional wear
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 Hours
  • How To Reach: 80 KM from Udipi and 135 KM from Mangalore
  • Temple Website:
  • Best Time To Visit: Navarathri
  • Other Attractions: Mookambika wildlife sanctuary

2. Markandeshwara Temple:

The Markandeshwara Temple is situated about 13 kilometers from a small village named Raichur. It is a dedication to Lord Shiva is one of the most attractive temples you shall ever see. This is believed to be the same place where Sage Markandeya performed a penance for Lord Shiva and hence gets the name Markandeshwara. The temple and the tank next to it dates back to 12th Century and is one of the oldest Hindu temples in India, Karnataka. Most of the Hindu festivals of Karnataka such as Janmashtami, Risi Panchami, Sankranti and Rakhi Purnima are celebrated with great pomp and delight here.

  • Address: Ashok Nagar, Raichur, Karnataka 584103
  • Timings: 5:00 AM – 1:30 PM and 3:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Dress Code: Traditional wear
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1Hours
  • How To Reach: 13 KM from Raichur
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: Sivarathri, Janmastami and Sankranti
  • Other Attractions: Temple tank which is as old as the temple and has a great mythological significance.

3. Badami Cave Temple:

Image Source: Freepik

The Badami Cave Temple is situated in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka. It has been structured out of rocks and is a representation of the Badami Chalukya Architecture. There are four caves here; two which belong to Lord Vishnu, one to Lord Shiva and the other one to the great Mahavira of Jainism. These cave temples are one of the very first temples in the Deccan region and have shown their influence on the next generation constructions. Badami cave temples were recognized as the UNESCO World Heritage site and are filled with magnificent paintings, sculptures and giant stone figures.

  • Address: Badami, Karnataka 587201
  • Timings: 9 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Dress Code: No Dress Code
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 2 to 3 hours
  • How To Reach: 106 KM from Hubli airport and 5 KM from Badami Bus Stop
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: July to September is the ideal time to visit Badami
  • Other Attractions: Agastya Lake and Explore the Badami Caves

4. Iskon Temple of Karnataka:

Image Source: Freepik

The ISKCON Temple in Karnataka is located in North Bengaluru and developed in the neo-classical style, making it one of the best temples to visit in Bengaluru. It has four gopurams which are dedicated to the different Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism. Janmashtami is celebrated with great buzz and delight and thousands of devotees come here every year.It is also the biggest temple in Karnataka and the largest ISCKON temples in the world and attracts tourists from all over.

  • Address: Hare Krishna Hill, Chord Rd, Rajaji Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560010
  • Timings: 4:15 AM – 5:00 AM, 7:15 AM – 1:00 PM, 4:15 PM – 8:20 PM
  • Dress Code: Traditional wear
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 Hours
  • How To Reach: 33 KM from Bangalore Airport and 16 KM from Railway station
  • Temple Website:
  • Best Time To Visit: Janmashtami and other important Hindu festivals
  • Other Attractions: This temple is famous for its Kichdiprasadam and other small stalls for shopping books and other articles

5. Nandi Bull Temple:

Image Source: Freepik

The Nandi Bull Temple of Karnataka is a fine and unique temple located in the South of Bangalore. The bull is considered as a Nandi semi God and is given special importance and reverence to. It is carved from a single stone and is about 4.6 kilometers tall. Special Hindu festivals such as Shivrathri are celebrated here with great vigour, joy and happiness. It is located in a park called Bugle Rock and is called DoddaBasavannaGudi by the locals. This is one of the most famous temples in South Karnataka.

  • Address: Bull Temple Rd, Basavanagudi, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560004
  • Timings: 6:30 AM – 1:00 PM, 4:30 PM – 8:00 PM
  • Dress Code: Traditional wear
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 Hours
  • How To Reach: 53 min drive from Bangalore airport
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: Siva Rathri, Kartheeka Masam and KadaleekayiParishe
  • Other Attractions: Bugle Rock Garden

6. Omkareshwara Temple:

Image Source: Shutterstock

The Omkareshwara Temple was built in the year 1820 by Linga Rajendra II. It is a dedication to Lord Shiva and stands as a reflection of the rich customs and tradition of the Hindu culture. It is situated in the town of Madikeri, Coorg. The specialty of this temple is that it reflects both the Islamic and the Hindu Gothic architectures. Tourists who visit Coorg make it a point to visit this shrine, which is one of the ancient temples in Karnataka.

  • Address: State Highway 88, Stuart Hill, Madikeri, Karnataka 571201
  • Timings: 6:30 AM to 12:00 Noon; 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Dress Code: No Dress Code
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1 Hours
  • How To Reach: The nearest railway station to Madikeri is Hassan which is approximately 115 KM away. You can take a bus or taxi to reach the place.
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: Siva Rathri, Kartheeka Masam
  • Other Attractions: A water tank inside the temple campus.

7. Virupaksha Temple:

Image Source: Freepik

The Virupaksha Temple of Karnataka is an absolute beauty. This Famous Shiva temple in Karnataka is situated very close to the Tungabhadra River. It is located in Hampi of Ballari District and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple was constructed by LakkanDandesha, who was a chieftain under the king Deva Raya II. Virupaksha temple was once a hub of social and religious activities and was considered to be one of the most sacred pilgrimage centers of the then Hampi. Lord Shiva is worshipped as Virupaksha, along with his consort Pampa Devi.

  • Address: Hampi, Karnataka 583239
  • Timings: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Dress Code: No Dress Code
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 Hours
  • How To Reach: Bellary is the main town from where you can take a taxi to Hampi which will take you 1:45 minutes to reach.
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: Kalyanam of Virupaksha and Pampa in December, Annual Chariot Festival in February
  • Other Attractions:  There are many important temples of Hampi, ancient structures and ruins near this temple like the Queen’s bath, Krishna Bazaar etc.

8. Shri Krishna Temple:

Image Source: Shutterstock

The Shri Krishna Temple located in Udipi is about 1,500 years old. It is dedicated to Lord Krishna and contains some of the most ancient shrines which have been constructed out of wood. The temple looks similar to an ashram and is one of the beauteous temples to be situated in Karnataka.It was founded by Shri Madhwacharya, who was a Vaishnavite saint in the 13th century. The speciality of this temple is that, devotees get a glimpse of Lord Krishna through a small window, which is silver plated and has nine holes called the Navagraha Kindi.

  • Address: Temple Car St, Sri Krishna Temple Complex, Thenkpete, MaruthiVeethika, Udupi, Karnataka 576101
  • Timings: 4:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Dress Code: Traditional Wear
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 Hours
  • How To Reach: You can take a train till Udipi Railway station and hire a cab from there
  • Temple Website:
  • Best Time To Visit: Janmashtami and other prominent Hindu festivals
  • Other Attractions: Don’t miss the temple feast served everyday during lunch time.

Read: Most Beautiful Temples in South India

9. Monkey Temple:

Image Source: Freepik

The Monkey Temple is located in the Anjanadri Hill of Karnataka and is a dedication to Hanuman. This temple has a granite structure of this deity and right near it, the shrine of Lord Rama and his consort Sita is seen. This hill is believed to be the birth place of Lord Hanuman and getting a top can give you a beautiful view of the entire Hampi city. To reach the temple, you must take many steps, which can be quite strenuous if you are not prepared for it.

  • Address: Anjanadri Hills, Hampi
  • Timings: 4:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Dress Code: Traditional Wear
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 Hours
  • How To Reach: After reaching Hampi, You need to travel till the Virupapur Gadde area, from where you can take a bicycle or scooter to reach the foot of the hill.
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: Sri ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti
  • Other Attractions: Excellent view of the paddy fields and the Tungabhadra river.

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers:

1. Is There any Best Season to Visit The Temples in Karnataka?

Temples in Karnataka can be visited all through the year. However, during important days like festivals and annual temple fairs, the festivities are beautiful and are worth watching. But, it can get really crowded during these days and if you are looking forward to spend some time admiring the temple, you can plan on other days of the year.

2. What are The Other Ancient Temples in Karnataka?

Apart from the list mentioned in the article, there are many more ancient temples in the state. The prominent ones are Gokarna Mahabaleshwar temple in Gokarna, Murudeshwara temple Karnataka, Kukke Subramanya swamy temple in South Kannada district. These are extremely beautiful temples and are quite popular for their architecture and religious significance.

3. Is Photography Allowed in The Temples of Karnataka?

As a general rule, photography is prohibited in many temples, particularly near the inner sanctum of the temples. It’s best to abide by these rules to avoid unnecessary complications with the temple authorities. However, a lot of these temples allow cameras at an additional cost, as long as you keep it to the external area of the temple.

What attracts people to Karnataka is that, apart from its stunning natural beauty, the state also has a great number of ancient temples, which have beautiful architecture. Not only do they draw crowds from the local areas, but have also fascinated the foreign tourists, who enchanted by their beauty has made Karnataka their home. Each of these temples have occupied a significant place in the history of India. Whether you are a theist or an atheist, a visit to the temples is a must, especially of you have a love for the ancient art and architecture. So, folks! Do plan to visit them and let us know your feedback.


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