Home » Textr eSIM » Blog » eSIM Travel » All You Need to Know About Hindu Temples

All You Need to Know About Hindu Temples

hindu temple
Rick Xi

Content Editor at Textr

Published Nov 23, 2022

Provided you do so respectfully, visiting a Hindu temple is one of the biggest highlights of traveling to India. Rather than treating it as a tourist destination, though, you should obviously be respectful of the religious and cultural significance of a Hindu temple.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you could need to know about visiting a Hindu temple in India. We’ll also discuss some topics on Indian culture that are worth knowing before you travel.

 

temple near me hindu

What is a Hindu Temple?

In short, a Hindu temple is the religious building of the Hindu religion. Think of it the same as what churches are to Christians and temples are to Jewish people. Hindu temples should ideally be built near water, which is where the gods play.

Unsurprisingly, Hindu temples have had a big influence on Hindu culture. As is true of most religions, the temples contain sculptures and paintings of gods and religious scenes. In Sanskrit, the word for these religious images is murtis.

Although there are lots of different styles of Hindu temple, they all follow the same design principles. It’s not necessary to dive into these here, other than to highlight that the buildings are typically square with circular spires. Once you’ve seen a few images, it should be pretty easy to spot a Hindu temple.

The main function of a Hindu temple is obviously as a site of religious worship. But temples also house religious libraries and schools, and act as social hubs. Although this isn’t unique to Hinduism, the social functions of temples have endured much longer than in other religions thanks to the community-driven nature on Indian culture.

3 Things to Know About Visiting a Hindu Temple

If you plan to visit a Hindu temple when you travel to India USA, it’s important to understand how to respect the religious culture. After all, temples are places of worship, and if you plan to visit one as a tourist, you must ensure you’re treating the place properly.

Here are 3 things to know about Hindu temples and Indian culture before visiting one.

1. Temple Etiquette

The most important part of temple etiquette is making sure you’re properly dressed. For everyone, this means no shorts and covering your shoulders. You must also remove your shoes before entering the temple, again as a sign of respect.

As you enter the temple, you should ring the bell you’ll find near the door. This is to alert the gods that you’re visiting their home – just as you’d ring someone’s doorbell. Then, you should bow and touch your head to the floor, which is a sign of humility and respect.

It’s not expected of tourists, but you can bring a gift if you want. Stick to something simple like a flower or piece of fruit.

2. Deity Worship

In the temple’s main room, you’ll find murtis of the particular deities worshipped in that building. These are worshipped using puja, which is the Sanskrit word for religious rituals. During a puja, a priest will offer the deities flowers and incense.

Hindu worship involves all 5 senses, so be prepared for quite a show. You should remain as respectful as possible, and if you just want to observe, make sure you stay out of the way. That said, the puja might be passed your way, so just pass it on if it is.

3. Mantras and Chanting

A lot of Hindu ceremonies aren’t congregational in the same way as, say, Christianity. Instead, you watch the priest give the deities offerings, but there won’t necessarily be any speeches or sermons.

However, in some temples and religious communities, chanting and mantras are a vital part of worship. It typically involves chanting the names of the gods you plan to worship while counting beads. This is done as a form of mental purification.

You might also hear mantras chanted to music, which is called kirtan. It’s done in a call and response format, so you might need to know some Sanskrit for this! If you’ve got a tour guide, they’ll likely inform you of what to say. But if you’re on your own, join in as much as possible, even if you don’t know the words!

on indian culture

Top 3 Famous Temples in India

Although there are temples anywhere you find groups of Hindus, the oldest and most authentic are obviously in India. One option for finding them is to search, “temple near me Hindu” when in India. But to get you started, here are 3 of the most famous in the country:

      • Kedarnath Temple, near Gaurikund. It’s roughly 1200 years old.
      • Ramanathswamy (Rameshwaram Temple), on the island of Rameshwaram.
      • Badrinath Temple, Uttarakhand.

When is the Best Time to Visit India?

The best time to travel to India USA is between December and February. This is when the temperature is as moderate as it gets. But it’s also the peak season, meaning prices of flights and accommodation are higher.

The temperature starts to increase in March and gets very hot. You’ll find fewer tourists and large promotions as a result. But be prepared to deal with some high temperatures if you travel during this period. It can reach the mid-80s in the coldest areas!

Monsoon season starts in June and runs until September. The risk of floods is obviously highest during this period, but it stays pretty hot once the rain clears. The bottom line is that, provided you don’t mind paying a bit extra, the best time to visit is over the cool/dry season.

travel to india usa

Travel to India with the Most Cost-Effective eSIM

If you plan to travel to India USA, or from anywhere else in the world, make sure you consider data plans in your travel budget. Choosing Textr eSIM will help you lower your travel budget while still offering a great data roaming experience. Rather than doing a phone carrier lookup, just download Textr eSIM and it’ll do the work for you.

Textr eSIM Launched on 15 November

Textr eSIM is ideal for traveling because it offers cheaper data plans than standard carriers and covers more than 130 countries. It’s also fast and convenient and a complete breeze to set up on your phone.

You’ll find it allows you to connect to the fastest and more reliable local data providers while traveling. But if you have any issues, our 24/7 customer support will be on hand to help!

Make sure you follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the latest news.

Download the Textr app and eSIM today to find out just how easy it is.

phone carrier lookup

Textr eSIM has launched!

No more data roaming!
The fast, reliable and affordable mobile internet for travelers.

Share this article

Using Textr Apps Now

Available on iOS, Android and as a web app. Try for free with a US or CA phone number.

Related Articles

Everything About Free Phone Number Lookup Tools

Everything About Free Phone Number Lookup Tools

Having a phone number looking up tool is useful for those times you get unexpected unknown numbers calling you. But some services are more reliable than others, as they’re dependent on how much information is actually available about the phone number…

Forget About Data Roaming: A New Way for Travel Data

Forget About Data Roaming: A New Way for Travel Data

Data roaming has, until recently, been pretty much the only option for using your phone abroad. Unless you had access to WiFi constantly, roaming cellular data was how you’d use the internet while traveling…

Using Textr Apps Now

Available on iOS, Android and as a web app. Try for free with a US or CA phone number.