This is a list of some of the oldest, magnificent Hindu temples of India, especially Southern India. A lot of these temples are pilgrimage centers, but also interesting to those that are interested in ancient Indian architecture and sculptures.
Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple Tamil: மீனாட்சி அம்மன் கோவில் is an historic Hindu temple located in the holy city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to god Shiva - in the form of Sundareswarar or Beautiful Lord- and his consort, Parvati in the form of Meenakshi.
The Shore Temple (700-728 CE) is so named because it over looks the Bay of Bengal. It is a structural temple, built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century AD. It was built on a promontory sticking out into the Bay of Bengal at Mamallapuram, a village south of Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.
The Kamakshi Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated toKamakshi, one of the forms of the goddess Parvati. It is located in the historic city of Kanchipuram, near Chennai, India and is popularly associated with Sankaracharya, one of the greatest Hindu gurus.
The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu, India is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, a reclining form of Lord Vishnu. It is the first and foremost among the 108 Divya Desams, the holy abodes of Lord Vishnu.
Sri Sharadamba temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to goddess Saraswati located in the holy town of Shringeri in Karnataka, India
The Chamundeshwari Temple is located on the top of Chamundi Hills about 13 km from the palace city of Mysore in the state of Karnataka in India. The temple was named after Chamundeshwari or Durga, the fierce form of Shakti, a tutelary deity held in reverence for centuries by Mysore Maharajas.
Har Ki Pauri (Devanagari: हर-की-पौडी) is a famous ghat on the banks of the Ganges in Haridwar in Uttarakhand state in India. This revered place is the major landmark of the holy city of Haridwar. Literally, "Har" means "Lord Shiva" who is the god according to shaivite school of Hindu theology , "ki" means "of" and "pauri" means "steps". Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are believed to have visited the Brahmakund in Har ki Paudi in the Vedic times. There is a large footprint said to belong to Lord Vishnu on a stone wall.
The Chennakesava Temple was built on the banks of the Yagachi River in Belur, an early capital of the Hoysala Empire. Chennakesava literally means "handsome Kesava" and is a form of Hindu God Vishnu
The Peruvudaiyar Kovil or Brihadeeswarar Temple also known as Rajarajeswaram, at Thanjavur in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is the world's first complete granite temple and a brilliant example of the major heights achieved by Cholas kingdom Vishwakarmas in temple architecture.
The ancient Chidambaram Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in His form of the Cosmic Dancer. It is one of the five Dancing Halls (Sabha) of Nataraja and the most famous one.
Thiruchendur Murugan Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Muruga and one of the Arupadaiveedu (six major abodes) of Lord Muruga. It is located in the small town of Thiruchendur in the district of Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, India.
Hoysaleswara temple is a temple dedicated to Hindu God Shiva. It was built in Halebidu (in modern Karnataka state) during the Hoysala Empire rule in the 12th century by King Vishnuvardhana.
Udupi Sri Krishna Matta is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to god Krishna located in the town of Udupi in Karnataka, India.
Banke Bihari Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, in the holy city of Vrindavan in the Mathura district. Banke Bihari was originally worshiped at Nidhivana. Banke means “bent in three places” and bihari means “supreme enjoyer.” The image of Lord Krishna stands in the Tribhanga posture. Haridas Swami originally worshipped this devotional image under the name of Kunj-bihari ("Enjoyer of Lakes").
Sri Krishna-Balaram Mandir is a Gaudiya Vaishnava temple in the holy city of Vrindavan. It is one of the main ISKCON temples in India and internationally. Hare Krishnas from all over the world can be seen here year-round, which adds color to this ancient ethnic holy city.
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is a famous Hindu temple of Lord Vishnu in the form of Lord Venkateswara located in the hill town Tirumala, near Tirupati in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. The presiding deity of the temple, Lord Venkateswara, is also known by other names - Balaji, Govinda and Srinivasa.
The Padmanabhaswamy temple is a famous Hindu temple of Lord Vishnu, located inside the Fort in the city of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. The temple is one of the 108 divya desam, the holiest abodes of Lord Vishnu.
Ramanathaswamy Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva located in the island of Rameswaram (Tamil:இராமேஸ்வரம்) in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. According to Shaiva mythology, Lord Rama is believed to have prayed to Shiva here to absolve any sins that he might have committed during his war against the demon king Ravana.
The Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple (Malayalam: Guruvayūr Ksheṭram) is a famous Krishna temple located in the town of Guruvayur in the Thrissur district of Kerala. It is one of the most important places of worship for Hindus and is often referred to as "Bhooloka Vaikuntam" which translates to the holy abode of Vishnu on Earth.
Sabarimala is a Hindu pilgrimage centre located in the Western Ghat mountain ranges of Pathanamthitta District in Kerala. Sabarimala is believed to be the place where Ayyappan meditated after killing the powerful demoness, Mahishi. Lord Ayyappan's temple is situated here amidst of 18 hills.
The Dakshineswar Kali Temple is a Hindu temple located in Dakshineswar near Kolkata. Situated on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, the presiding deity of the temple is Bhavatarini, an aspect of Kali.
Hampi sits on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in the ruins of the ancient city of Vijayanagar, capital of the Vijayanagara empire. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, known here as Virupaksha, as the consort of the local goddess Pampa who is associated with the Tungabhadra River.
This temple is situated in Kudroli area in the city of Mangalore. This beautiful temple is the abode of Lord Gokarnanatha, another name for Lord Shiva.
Also known as Annamalaiyar Temple, it is a noted Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located at the bottom of the Annamalai hill in Thiruvannamalai town in Tamilnadu, India. It is the home of Annamalaiyar or Arunachaleswarar (Lord Shiva worshipped as a Shiva Lingam) and Unnamalaiyaal (Apitakuchambaal - Parvati), and is one of the largest temples in India.
Srikalahasti Temple is located in the town of Srikalahasti, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is one of the most famous Shiva temples in South India, and is said to be the site where Kannappa, one of the 63 Saivite Nayanars, was ready to offer both his eyes to cover blood flowing from the Siva linga before the Lord Siva stopped him and granted him mukti.