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10 Temples to Visit During Navratri 2023

By Anandi Makhija

Updated - May 9, 202411 min read

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Navratri is a time to celebrate the victory of good over evil, and what better way to do that than with garba beats rolling through lightened temples? This 9-10 day festival is a fusion of spirituality and devotion, and the best temples to visit are the ones that are studded with marvelous decorations and divine rituals.

So check out the mysteries behind each temple and know how interestingly they're all lit with grandeur.


1. Vaishno Devi Temple, Jammu and Kashmir

This paradisiacal temple in Jammu and Kashmir is the perfect place to experience spirituality and serenity. Devotees flock here from all over the world, believing in the Goddess's power to make their dreams come true. The place is adorned with indigenous flowers and fruits, and the vibes during Navratri are simply divine. It's the perfect place to celebrate the festival of the Goddess in all her grandeur. So if you're looking for a place to connect with your spiritual side and have a blast at the same time, Vaishno Devi Temple is the place for you! Just be sure to pack your hiking boots and your sense of adventure.


Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

a. Trekking to the Holy Cave: Undertake a scenic trek to the sacred Vaishno Devi Cave Temple. The 13 km trek is not only a spiritual journey but also offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

b. Participate in Bhajan Processions: Engage in the mesmerizing Bhajan processions that happen during Navratri. Devotees singing hymns and chanting together create an atmosphere of deep devotion and harmony.

c. Explore Ardhkuwari Cave: Visit the Ardhkuwari Cave, located midway to the main shrine. It’s believed that Mata Vaishno Devi meditated here for nine months. Pilgrims often pause here for meditation and self-reflection.


2. Chamunda Devi Temple, Palampur

Chamunda Devi Temple is a place where ancient legends, Himalayan beauty, and spiritual vibes collide. It's a place where you can witness the divine power of the goddess Chamunda Devi, and where you can also get a taste of Himachali culture and history. So, if you're looking for a unique and unforgettable pilgrimage experience, Chamunda Devi Temple is the place for you!

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

a. Enjoy Scenic Views: The Chamunda Devi Temple is nestled amidst picturesque surroundings. Spend time enjoying the panoramic views of the Himalayas and the lush green valleys.

b. Participate in Aarti: Attend the evening Aarti at the temple, a soul-stirring experience where lamps are lit, and devotional songs are sung, creating a divine atmosphere.

c. Visit the Chamunda Devi Temple Museum: Explore the museum adjacent to the temple, showcasing artifacts related to the goddess and the history of the region, providing a cultural insight.


3. Maa Jwala Ji Temple, Himachal Pradesh

This ancient temple is dedicated to the Goddess of Light, and it's said to be the first pilgrimage site ever built. There's no idol or deity here, instead devotees worship the natural flames that emerge from the ground. During the Navratri festival, the temple is transformed into a magical place, with enchanting vibes that will elevate you to another level.

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

a. Witness the Eternal Flame: Marvel at the eternal flame at the Maa Jwala Ji Temple. It's believed to be burning continuously for centuries. Witnessing this phenomenon is a spiritual experience in itself.

b. Attend Special Pujas: During Navratri, the temple hosts special pujas and yagnas. Participate in these rituals to immerse yourself in the festive fervor and divine energy.

c. Explore the Nearby Lakes: Visit the nearby Prashar and Rewalsar Lakes. These serene lakes surrounded by hills are perfect spots for relaxation and picnics, offering a contrast to the temple's spiritual intensity.


4. Karni Mata Temple, Rajasthan

Ever heard of a temple where rats are gods? Well, there's one in India! The Karni Mata temple is home to over 25,000 black rats, which are worshipped by devotees. If you're lucky, you might even spot one of the four white rats, which are considered especially auspicious. The temple is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture, and the Navratri festival is a must-see if you're in the area. So, if you're looking for a unique and quirky pilgrimage experience, be sure to add the Karni Mata temple to your list!

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

a. Witness Rat Worship: Karni Mata Temple is famous for its unique rat worship. Observe thousands of rats roaming freely in the temple premises. Devotees consider these rats to be sacred and feed them as a form of devotion.

b. Visit Deshnok Village: Explore Deshnok, the village surrounding the temple. Experience the rural Rajasthani way of life, colorful markets, and traditional art forms.

c. Take a Camel Safari: Engage in a camel safari in the nearby Thar Desert. Experience the desert landscape, ride camels, and enjoy the sunset, creating a memorable adventure.


5. Maha Kali Devi Temple, Ujjain

Ujjain is a city steeped in mythology and legend. It's home to the Maha Kali Devi Temple, a stunning Maratha architectural marvel. This temple is a must-visit during Navratri, when the 726 pillars come alive with flickering lamps. Devotees from all over the world flock here to seek blessings from Goddess Kali. The atmosphere is electric, with pilgrims lost in the trance of aarti and rituals.

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

a. Darshan of Goddess Kali: Start your visit with the primary activity - seeking the blessings of Maha Kali. Offer your prayers and witness the grand Aarti that takes place during Navratri, immersing yourself in the divine aura.

b. Attend Cultural Performances: Enjoy the cultural performances and processions that are a part of the Navratri celebrations. Folk dances, music, and local art forms showcase the vibrant culture of the region.

c. Explore Local Cuisine: Savor traditional Bengali dishes and street food around the temple. Don't miss out on sweets like Rasgulla and Sandesh, which are an integral part of Bengali cuisine.


6. Amba Mata Temple, Gujarat 

The temple is dedicated to Goddess Amba, who is worshipped like crazy during the festival. It's one of the most important Shakti Peethas in the country, so it's no wonder that it's packed with people during Navratri. You can dance to the beat of the garba drums right on the temple grounds, and the whole place is lit up to create a festive atmosphere. They also do all sorts of rituals, yagnas, and pujas for Goddess Amba.

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

a. Participate in Garba: Navratri in Gujarat is incomplete without the Garba dance. Join the local festivities and dance the night away in colorful attire.

b. Visit Saptashrungi Devi Temple: Make a day trip to the nearby Saptashrungi Devi Temple, which is situated on a hilltop. Enjoy breathtaking views and explore the spiritual connection between the two temples.

c. Shop for Souvenirs: The temple vicinity offers a variety of traditional handicrafts and souvenirs. Shop for embroidered textiles, jewelry, and local artifacts.



7. Mahalakshmi Devi Temple, Maharashtra

The Mahalakshmi Devi temple in Mumbai is a super old and famous place of worship. It's so lit that even the gods would be jealous. Devotees from all over come to offer their prayers and leave offerings of coconuts, sweets, and flowers. It's said that if you live in Mumbai, you have to visit this temple at least once to get rich. The inside of the temple is decorated with images of Tridevi, the three goddesses: Mahalakshmi, Mahakali, and Mahasaraswati.

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

a. Seek Blessings: Begin with offering prayers to Goddess Mahalakshmi and take part in the special Navratri rituals and Aarti.

b. Boating in Rankala Lake: Located near the temple, Rankala Lake is a serene spot for a boat ride. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and scenic beauty.

c. Visit Kolhapur Chappal Market: Kolhapur is famous for its traditional handcrafted leather footwear. Explore the bustling Chappal Market for shopping and authentic local products.


8. Dakshineswar Kali Temple:

Located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, Dakshineswar Kali Temple is a haven of peace and devotion. Dedicated to Goddess Kali, this temple comes alive during Navratri. The air is thick with the aroma of incense, and the sound of bells and chants create an atmosphere of deep spirituality. Witness the grand Aarti ceremonies and immerse yourself in the divine energy.

a. Riverfront Meditation: Sit by the Hooghly River and meditate or simply relax in the serene ambiance. The riverfront offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city.

b. Attend the Evening Aarti: Don't miss the grand evening Aarti at the temple. The rhythmic chanting and the sight of lamps floating on the river create a magical experience.

c. Explore Temple Architecture: Admire the temple's intricate architecture and its historical significance. Learn about the life of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, whose presence still lingers within the temple complex.


9. Belur Math:

Nestled on the banks of the Hooghly, Belur Math is a symbol of unity and harmony. Founded by Swami Vivekananda, this spiritual hub celebrates Navratri with great enthusiasm. The serene surroundings and the mesmerizing evening Aarti on the Ganges banks make it a must-visit during the festival. Experience the teachings of Swami Vivekananda in this tranquil abode.

Participate in Devotional Discourses: Attend the spiritual discourses and lectures at Belur Math, where you can learn about the teachings of Swami Vivekananda.

Visit Swami Vivekananda's Room: Explore the room where Swami Vivekananda stayed. It's preserved as a museum and offers insights into his life and work.

Enjoy the Riverside Gardens: Stroll through the beautifully maintained gardens along the banks of the Hooghly River. It's a serene and picturesque spot for relaxation.


10. Tarapith Temple:

Located in Birbhum district, Tarapith Temple is dedicated to Goddess Tara, an incarnation of Goddess Kali. This ancient temple, surrounded by lush greenery, becomes a hub of festivities during Navratri. Devotees from far and wide gather to seek blessings and participate in the mesmerizing rituals. The divine ambiance and the powerful vibrations make Tarapith a spiritual gem.

a. Participate in Devotional Discourses: Attend the spiritual discourses and lectures at Belur Math, where you can learn about the teachings of Swami Vivekananda.

b. Visit Swami Vivekananda's Room: Explore the room where Swami Vivekananda stayed. It's preserved as a museum and offers insights into his life and work.

c. Enjoy the Riverside Gardens: Stroll through the beautifully maintained gardens along the banks of the Hooghly River. It's a serene and picturesque spot for relaxation.


Unveil the secrets and let the divine essence of these temples rejuvenate your soul, all within a budget-friendly exploration. 


Q: Can non-Hindus visit temples?

A: Yes, non-Hindus are usually allowed to visit temples, although it's essential to respect the customs and traditions of the place.


Q: What is the most famous temple in India?

A: The Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most famous temples in India, attracting millions of pilgrims annually.


Q: Are there any specific festivals celebrated in temples?

A: Yes, festivals like Navaratri, Durga Puja, and Diwali are celebrated with great enthusiasm in temples, honoring the goddess.


Q: Are there any specific dietary restrictions in temples?

A: Some temples may have vegetarian-only offerings and do not allow non-vegetarian food inside the temple premises.


Q: Can visitors take photographs inside temples?

A: Photography rules vary from temple to temple. It's best to check with the temple authorities before taking photographs.