South India is known for being home to the majority of the temples in the country. Having said that, Karnataka is one destination wherein there’s never a dull moment when it comes to touring the temples. Known for its unique architecture from the time of the Hoysala Empire, these fascinating temples in Karnataka showcase the ageless beauty along with a unique architectural style. Head to this enchanting state and pay a visit to all these temples. Take a look at the list of the most famous temples that you ought to visit on your blissful getaway!

20 Best Temples In Karnataka

Here are some of the most famous temples of Karnataka that you cannot miss out on your next trip to the beautiful state. If you are confused, this might help!

  • Durga Temple, Aihole
  • Keshava Temple, Somnathpur
  • Murudeshwar Shiva Temple, Bhatkal
  • Kotilingeshwara Temple, Kolar
  • Badami Cave Temple, Bagalkot
  • Banashankari Amma Temple, Bagalkot
  • Vidyashankara Temple, Sringeri
  • Vitthala Temple, Hampi
  • Kollur Mookambika Temple, Kollur
  • Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna
  •  Sree Virupaksha Temple, Hampi
  • Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebidu
  • Chennakeshava Temple, Belur
  • Bhootnath Temple, Badami
  • Mallikarjuna Temple, Pattadakal
  • Kedareshvara Temple, Balligavi
  • Amruteshwar Temple, Annigeri
  • Siddhesvara Temple, Haveri
  • Veera Narayana Temple, Belavadi
  • Amrutesvara Temple, Amruthapura

1. Durga Temple, Aihole

Durga Temple, Aihole

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Much famed as the Cradle of Temple Architecture, the village of Aihole boasts of about 125 temples in and around the village. Every Karnataka temple tour will take you to Aihole and the most famous temple in the village is that of the Durga Gudi temple. Built in 7th Century AD, the temple boasts of beautiful rock cut architecture and is built in an apsidal and oblong shape that sets it apart from all other temples in Karnataka.

Location: Aihole, Karnataka- 587124
Timings: 9AM – 5PM

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2. Keshava Temple, Somnathpur

Keshava Temple, Somnathpur

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Built in 1268 AD and located in Somnathpur of Mysore, the Keshava temple is one the most popular temples in Karnataka. It is one of the best preserved temples of Hoysala empire that is entirely covered with sculptures. The unique feature of this temple is the three-star shaped sanctuaries designed with intricate sculptures. Located at a distance of just 40 kms, this temple can be easily reached from the Mysore Airport. This is a Karnataka temple you just cannot miss. 

Location: Somanathapura, Karnataka 571120
Timings: 9AM – 5:30PM

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3. Murudeshwar Shiva Temple, Bhatkal

Murudeshwar Shiva Temple, Bhatkal

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The town of Murudeshwar consists of one of the best Shiva temples in Karnataka that is located in the Bhatkal district. It is much famed as the world’s second-largest statue of Lord Shiva while the temple also offers breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea. To reach this temple, one can either board a train that travels on the Mangalore-Mumbai-Konkan rail route or board a bus to Murudeshwar temple from Bangalore.

Location: Murdeshwar, Karnataka 581350
Timings: 3AM – 1PM; 3PM – 8PM

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4. Kotilingeshwara Temple, Kolar

Kotilingeshwara Temple, Kolar

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The Kotilingeshwara temple is considered to be one of the most famous temples in Karnataka. The temple is situated in a small village called Kammasandra in the Kolar district and is famed for housing the tallest and largest Shiva Linga statue in Asia. Every year close to 2 lakh devotees visit this temple and mostly on Maha Shivaratri, special offerings are made to the Shiva Linga on this auspicious day.

Location: Koti linga Temple, Road, Ghattiragadahalli, Karnataka 563121
Timings: 6AM – 9PM

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5. Badami Cave Temple, Bagalkot

Badami Cave Temple, Bagalkot

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Built in 578 AD, the Badami Cave temples are one of the widely known historic temples in Karnataka. Constructed in Chalukya-style architecture, the Badami temples house four caves that consists idols of Lord Shiva, and Lord Vishnu while one of them is dedicated to Jainism. Badami is an amazing tourist place as it contains spectacular cave temples, Badami Fort, and other beautiful temples around the Agastya tank. Tourists can easily reach the place through nearest airports Hubli and Belgaum.

Location: Badami, Karnataka 587201
Timings: 9AM – 12PM ; 4PM – 7PM (Monday to Friday)
9AM – 7PM (Weekends & Holidays)

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6. Banashankari Amma Temple, Bagalkot

Banashankari Amma Temple, Bagalkot

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Located very close to Badami, the Banashankari Amma temple should be one of the must-visit temples on your Karnataka temple list. Constructed by the Chalukyas in the 7th century, the temple is dedicated to goddess Banashankari Amma. Although originally it resembled the Chalukya style architecture, the modern structure showcases more of the Vijayanagara architecture. This temple is also accessible from Badami and is located close to the Belgaum airport.

Location: SH 57, Cholachagudda, Karnataka 587201
Timings: 6AM – 1PM; 4:30PM – 8PM

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7. Vidyashankara Temple, Sringeri

Vidyashankara Temple, Sringeri

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Constructed in the memory of Guru Vidyashankara, the temple boasts of both Dravida and Hoysala style of architecture. The temples contain ruby images of Lord Srinivasa, Lord Venugopal and Nandi constructed from a large pearl. Several inscriptions describing the Vijayanagar emperors are seen across the temple and it is undoubtedly one of the best temples in Karnataka. The temple is easily accessible from all major cities via bus and train.

Location: Sringeri, Karnataka 577139
Timings: 6AM – 2PM; 4PM – 9:15PM

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8. Vitthala Temple, Hampi

Vitthala Temple, Hampi

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One of the most ancient temples in Karnataka is that of the Vitthala temple situated in Hampi. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is a popular temple set amidst the ruins of Hampi. The Vitthala temple is popular for its musical monolithic pillars and the stone chariot. An important part of the ruins, it is one of the best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India and one can reach the temple from Hospet Railway Station or Bangalore Airport.

Location: Hampi, Karnataka 583239
Timings: 8AM – 5PM

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9. Kollur Mookambika Temple, Kollur

Sri Mookambika Temple

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One of the most famous temples in India, the Kollur Mookambika Temple is nestled amongst the hills of Kodachari in the Western Ghats. It is said that this temple is at least 1200 years old and is extremely beautiful. The legend behind this temple is very interesting which is that its believed that goddess Parvati killed Kamasura, a demon who was harassing her.

Location: Kollur, Udupi, Karnataka 574118
Timings: 5AM – 1:30PM; 3PM – 9PM 

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10. Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna

Seek Lord Shiva’s Blessings At Mahabaleshwar Temple In gokarna

A famous pilgrimage centre in the North Kannada district and a popular tourist spot, Gokarna is home to the serene Mahabaleshwar Temple. The temple is dedicated to lord Shiva and is also known as Dakshina Kashi. The temple is believed to be very sacred and have many great powers. This is a must-visit Karnataka temple that you can explore on your travels. 

Location: Koti Teertha Rd, Kotiteertha, Dandebagh, Gokarna, Karnataka 581326
Timings: 6AM – 12:30 PM; 5PM – 8PM

11. Sree Virupaksha Temple, Hampi

Sree Virupaksha Temple

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Sree Virupaksha Temple is one of the oldest temples in Karnataka. Located in the Ballari district, Sree Virupaksha Temple attracts a lot of pilgrims to Hampi. Dedicated to Lord Shiva or Virupaksha, this temple was constructed by Lakkan Dandesha. The construction was completed in the 14th century and since then it is a prime religious site. Visit the temple in December and attend the festivities held at this temple for celebrating the marriage of Lord Virupaksha and Goddess Pampa.

Location: River Rd, Hampi, Karnataka
Timings: 9 Am – 1 Pm and 5 Pm – 9 Pm

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12. Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebidu

Hoysaleswara Temple

Image Credit: Shivaprakash for Wikimedia Commons

Famed as the Halebidu temple, Hoysaleswara Temple is located in Halebidu. Being the largest monument in Halebidu, this temple is always crowded with visitors from all around the world. This magnificent temple was built in the 12th century and Lord Shiva is the main deity worshipped. The reflection of Hoysala architecture can be seen in the structure of this temple. This temple has twin temples and two sanctums. One of the sanctums is of Hoysaleswara or the King and the other one for the Shantaleswara or the Queen. To witness the iconic structure of this temple you must visit Halebidu on your trip.

Location: Halebeedu, Karnataka
Timings: 6:30 am – 9:30 pm

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13. Chennakeshava Temple, Belur

Chennakeshava Temple

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A stunning temple situated in the Hassan district, Chennakeshava Temple is also called the Vijayanarayana Temple or Keshava temple. This temple was constructed in the 12th century on the orders of King Vishnuvardhana. Dedicated to Lord Chennakeshava, a form of Lord Vishnu, this temple is an eminent pilgrimage site in Vaishnavism. The artwork in this temple displays the life of the people in the 12th century including dancers and singers. If all the ancient life entices you then you must visit this temple.

Location: JP Nagar, Belur, Karnataka
Timings: 6:30 am – 9:30 pm

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14. Bhootnath Temple, Badami

Bhootnath Temple

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The Bhutanatha group of temples in Badami is a mix of sandstone shrines dedicated to different gods. There are two prominent temples in the Bhutanatha group of temple and one of them is called the Bhootnath Temple. This temple is located on the east side of the lake and Lord Bhutanatha is the main deity worshipped at this temple. The structure of this temple is a paragon of South Indian style architecture and has a Verandah. The locals perform daily rituals and ceremonies at this temple and you must witness the festivities.

Location: Badami, Karnataka
Timings: 6:30 am – 9:30 pm

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15. Mallikarjuna Temple, Pattadakal

 Mallikarjuna Temple

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Pattadakal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and belongs to the 7th and 8th centuries. This site is home to famous Hindu and Jain temples that are of great importance to people who believe in Hinduism and Jainism. Mallikarjuna Temple is one of these ancient temples and is located at the mesmerizing site of Pattadakal. This temple is also known as Trailokeshwara Maha Saila Prasada and was built in the 8th century. Lord Shiva is the main deity of this temple and a lot of Hindu pilgrims visit it all year round.

Location: Pattadakal, Karnataka
Timings: 6:30 am – 9:30 pm

16. Kedareshvara Temple, Balligavi

Kedareshvara Temple

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Situated in the Shimoga district, Kedareshvara Temple was built in the Trikuta style. This gorgeous temple has three shrines that are located in the north, south, and easy. The shrine of Lord Shiv lies in the south and the shrine of Lord Vishnu is in the north. There is a six-pillared hall in the temple that you must visit as all these three shrines are connected to it. This hall is called the Mahamantapa. The Kedareshvara temple in Balligavi is one of the most famous temples in Karnataka and you must add it to your itinerary.

Location: SH1, Karnataka 577428
Timings: 6:30 am – 9:30 pm

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17. Amruteshwar Temple, Annigeri

Amruteshwar Temple

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Annigeri is known as the place where the renowned poet Adikavi Pampa was born. This town is also popular for the Amruteshwar Temple as it is made of black stone. Amruteshwar Temple was established by the Western Chalukya Empire in 1050 CE. This Jain temple is one of the most visited temples in Karnataka and is built in South Indian architecture style. This temple was the first temple built out of soapstone and has 76 pillars that support the whole temple. Visit this Blackstone temple to marvel at its brilliant structure.

Location: Annigeri, Karnataka
Timings: 6:30 am – 9:30 pm

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18. Siddhesvara Temple, Haveri

Siddhesvara Temple

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Made out of soapstone, Siddhesvara Temple is located in the Haveri district in Karnataka. A Hindu temple that is a paragon of Western Chalukyan art existing in the 12th century, Siddhesvara temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple has sculptures of other deities like Lord Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi, the Sun God, and the god and goddess of snakes. This temple also has idols of Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikey. Do add this stupendous Hindu temple on your list of the best temples in Karnataka.

Location: Haveri, Karnataka
Timings: 6:30 am – 9:30 pm

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19. Veera Narayana Temple, Belavadi

Veera Narayana Templ

Image Credit: Dineshkannambadi for Wikimedia Commons

Constructed under the rule of the Hoysala Empire, Veera Narayana Temple is another one of the ancient temples in Karnataka. Belavadi is a quaint village in the Chikkamagaluru district in Karnataka and the Veera Narayana Temple is located in this village. This temple was built in 1200 CE and has three main shrines that are worshipped by the locals. Veera Narayana Temple is famed for its impeccable architecture and is the largest temple set up by the Hoysala kings. Visit this remarkable temple on Narasinha Jayanthi and witness the wonderful celebrations held at this temple.

Location: Belavadi, Karnataka
Timings: 6:30 am – 9:30 pm

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20. Amrutesvara Temple, Amruthapura

Amrutesvara Temple

Image Credit: Dineshkannambadi for Wikimedia Commons

Veera Ballala II, the ruler of the Hoysala Empire ordered the construction of the Amrutesvara temple in 1196 CE. You can witness the magnificence of Hoysala architecture through this temple. The incredible dome-shaped ceiling is decorated with great artwork and this dome is the highlight of this temple. The walls have artistic carvings on them and all history enthusiasts must visit this temple to know more about the Hoysala empire. The floral designs on the temple walls will leave you in awe and you will become a fan of Hoysala architecture.

Location: Chikkamagaluru District, Karnataka
Timings: 6:30 am – 9:30 pm

Further Read: Visit These Temples In Gokarna For A Religious Tour In This Paradise

While the list is never-ending, the above mentioned are some of the main and best temples in Karnataka that one should not miss on their next holiday. So next time you plan on embarking on a temple tour, make sure you tick all these temples in Karnataka off your list for an enriched experience. If you are excited enough then look no further and plan your trip to Karnataka right away.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Temples In Karnataka

How many temples are there in Karnataka?

There are close to 34,000 temples in Karnataka. Out of 34,000, thousand temples are in Bangalore alone.

What is the famous temple in Karnataka?

Some well-known temples in Karnataka are Karkala, Murudeshwara, Gokarna, Kollur, Kukke, Dharmasthala, Sringeri, and Horanadu. These temples are thronged by thousands of pilgrims in a day.

Which is the biggest temple of Karnataka?

Srikanteshwara Temple is the biggest temple of Karnataka, India.

Which God is worshipped in Karnataka?

Shiva (Linga) is worshipped in Karnataka by the majority of the locals. Dharmasthala Manjunatha temple, along with other well-known temples in Karnataka, has an idol of Shiva in their premises. It is the prime attraction of every temple.

Why is Karnataka so famous?

Karnataka is one of the prime tourist hotspots in India due to its natural beauty, stunning backwaters, and rich cultural heritage. Some of the best places to visit in Karnataka to witness the beauty of India in its full glory are Bangalore, Coorg, Kabini, Jog Falls, Shimoga, Mangalore, and Karwar.

Which is the tourist month of Karnataka?

The tourist month of Karnataka extends from November to April. We advise you to avoid visiting Karnataka in the monsoons due to incessant rains in the region that may derail your travel plans.

Which is the first temple in Karnataka?

The first temple in Karnataka was Malapalli Deva temple in Malavalli, Shivamogga District. It dates back to the 2nd century CE.

What are the historical places in Karnataka?

Some of the most famous historical places in Karnataka are Badami Cave temples, Belur Sri Chennakeshava temple, Hampi archaeological ruins, Mysore Palace, Gol Gumbaz, Mysore Palace, historical monuments of Shimoga, Halebid, Mahakuta temples, and Aihole.

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