South India comprises of many temples which have architectural value of its own. These magnificent detailing of the temples is so beautiful and grand in nature that it catches the eyes of the tourists. Southern Indian temples are there from ancient age and it portrays the rich cultural heritage of the country. If one visit these temples once they would feel as if they witnessed God in their own eyes. The breathtaking beauty with the majestic feel in the temples is rare to find in anywhere in the world.
The temples are spread throughout the South India spanning from Tamil Nadu to Andhra Pradesh. These beautiful temples have immense religious significance. With tall intricate Dravidian Architecture to Vijayanagara style of architecture, from elaborate majestic style of pillars of Chalukyas to minute stone carvings of Krishnadevaraya, every monument’s grandeur has different story to tell. In Tamil Nadu resides the most number of temples which is more than 33,000 temples. UNESCO has considered many temples of this place as World Heritage Sites. South Indian temples hold the rare blend of culture, history and devotion. If you are going to visit South India below is the list of temples you must go.
- Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple– Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is located in Srirangam, Thiruchirapalli. This temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ranganatha who is a form of Hindu deity Lord Vishnu. It is situated in an island by the banks of river Kaveri. The area covered by this temple is huge approximately spread over 156 acres(63.131 hectares) which is the largest religious complex in the world. The Dravidian style detailing of the temple is magnificent and immaculate architecture. This temple also known as Lord Vishnu’s one the eight ‘SwayamVaktaShetra,’ the 108 Divya Dreams dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The unique temple structure comprising of seven concentric rectangular courtyard and prakarmas formed by huge walls. In this enclosure or prakarma there is a chamber where the pious deity resides. This is considered as the largest functioning temple in the world.
- ThillaiNataraja Temple-ThillaiNataraja temple is also a pilgrimage site and a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu. Lord Shiva’s devotees who is named here as ThillaiKoothan comes from all over India and beyond the boundary of the country. Nataraja or thecosmic dancer is the main idol in this temple. This temple is considered one of the five Lord Shiva temples (panchaBoothaSthalams) situated in Tamil Nadu. In this temple Lord Shiva is considered as an element of sky. The temple architecture represents the culture and artistic values of Tamil Nadu.
- Virupaksha Temple– Virupaksha Temple located in the bank of the beautiful Tungabhadra River. This temple is a part of group of monuments in Hampi and considered as UNESCO World Heritage Site. This temple is a fascinating marvel of Vijayanagara Empire. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is also called as Lord Virupaksha. Virupaksha Temple is considered as highly sacred and is situated in the centre of Hampi. Its history dates back to 7th century when it was built and gone through a lot of additions and alternations in the structure by different powerful rulers. This temple is also considered as UNESCO World Heritage Site. This temple is famous for its beautiful carvings, tall gopurams, small and big inscriptions and the magnificent sculpture adorning it. Raja Krishnadevaraya created a central pillared hall named the RangaMandapa inside it. Different festivities and marriages are celebrated in the Virupaksha temple in the month of December. A number of devotees come here not only for its religious significance but in February there is a festival called annual chariot festival celebrated here which is quite an attraction.
- Annamalaiyar Temple-It is located in Thiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu. It is one of those five Lord Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu. Here Lord Shiva is worshipped as Arunachaleshwarar taking the form of Agni Lingam which means fire. Cholas built the basic structure of this temple in 9th Later the Vijayanagara rulers made the expansion of temples. Shiva (Agni lingam) and Parvati (Unnamulai Amman) are the main deities in this temple but there are shrines of other god and goddesses. The temple complex consists of massive halls; the most distinguished one has thousand pillars in it which was the creation of Vijaywada rulers. Also this temple has gopumaras in which one of the towers is a notable one.
- Meenakshi Amman Temple– This temple is situated in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Here Goddess Paravati is worshipped as Meenakshi along with her partner Shiva named as Sunderswar in the temple. It dates back to 1623 and 1655 CE. The distinguished structure of this temple has created its own space in Tamil literature. There are 14 gopurams and 33000 sculptures in the temple. The major attraction of this temple is pavilions or Mandapams which has their own history.
- Ekambareswarar Temple– This is situated in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. This temple is also dedicated to Lord Shiva and one of those five Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu. Here Lord Shiva upholds the element of Earth. The entrance gate of the temple is the tallest in South India. A hall which consists of thousand pillars in this temple named as AayiramKaalMandapam is the most notable one for visitors. The Phalguni festival is celebrated here in a grand manner.
- Jambukeshwarar Temple– It is situated in Trichi, Tamil Nadu and considered as the most revered Lord Shiva temple in Tamil Nadu. This is also one of the five famous Lord Shiva temple situated in Tamil Nadu and it represents Water (Appa Lingam). The early Chola Kings, Kocengannan built this temple 1800 years ago. There are five enclosures named precints,five massive outer walls known as made by Lord Shiva with the help of workers and inscriptions and sculptures of Chola dynasty.
- Venkateshwara Temple-This temple is situated in the hilly area of Tirumala, AndharaPradesh.It is a majestic temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu also known in the name as TirupatiBalaji Temple.
There are other various temples in South India which you can find in South India temple tour package. Find out fast and pack your bags to visit the pious temples.