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Updated by Rajashri Venkatesh on Jul 03, 2015
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10 Must Visit Temples Of South India

If you're ever in south of India you'll find a beautifully built temples in every nook and corner. But few of them are not only beautiful but majestic and one of the architectural master pieces. Here is a list of such temples you have to visit in south.

Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple

According to legend, the sacred Suyambulingam discovered by the king of Gods indira at Kadambavanam, was later enshrined by him in Madurai. The fact that the Lord is seen on the vehicle of Indira in this temple is said to be proof for this. Many historical evidences of the temple have been found dating back from early A.D. The temple was almost completely destroyed in the year 1310 following the invasion of the Islamic conqueror Malikkapur.As kings who were followers of Islam were noted for their intolerance towards other religions, the invaders destroyed most of the ancient sculptures of the temple.

Ramanatha Swami Temple, Rameswaram

The temple and the island of Rameswaram have acquired this name because, Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva, the God of Gods here on return from Sri Lanka. According to legend, after killing Ravana Lord Rama returned with his consort Goddess Seetha to India first stepping on the shores of Rameswaram. To expiate the "dosha" of killing a brahmin, Lord Rama wanted to offer worship to Lord Shiva. Since there was no shrine in the island had despatched Sri Hauman to Kailash to bring an idol of Lord Shiva.

Badami Cave Temples

Great kingdom needed outstanding sanctuaries. Badami Chalukyas built Badami Cave Temples – some of the most exquisite Indian rock-cut temples. The water flowing from the ravine in Badami is gathered in an ancient artificial lake – Agastya tirtha reservoir. High above the water there are towering cliffs of comparatively soft sandstone. Royal shrines were made in these cliffs with grand view opening over the former capital city.

Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple

Temple construction is credited to the Pallava dynasty who had established their kingdom with Kanchipuram (also known as "Kanchi" or "Shiva Vishnu Kanchi") as the capital city, considered one of the seven sacred cities under Hinduism. There was an interregnum when the Chalukya rulers defeated the Pallavas and occupied Kanchipuram. However, the Pallavas regained their territory and started expanding their capital city of Kanchipuram and built many temples of great magnificence. The only temple of this period which is extant is the Kailsahanathar Temple.

Brihadeeswara Temple

Thanjavur Brihadeeswara temple is one of the most ancient temple, situated in the city of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, India. Thanjavur named after the legendry asura "Tanjan", is one of the ancient temples in India. In ancient days, Thanjavur known as “The rice bowl of Tamil Nadu,” was an important city to the ancient Cholas. It was remade by the Cholas from a collection of villages into a major temple center 1000 years ago, with the construction of the Brihadisvara Temple in the center of the city, and the city then built up around it. Thanjavur had the distinction of being specifically constructed as a religious city with the temple centermost.

Tirumala Venkateswara Temple

Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is a famous Hindu temple located in the hill town Tirumala, near Tirupati in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. Tirumala, is a hill town in Chittoor district in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Tirumala is a Firstmost divine piligrim center of Hindu / Vedha Religion, popularly known as Sri Venkateswara Temple - which is dedicated for the Supreme God Shri mann Narayana / Maha Vishnu. As like Rama Avathara / Krishna Avathara are known as Vibhava avathara of the God, the Sri Rengam/Tirumala/Badrinath are the existing places of Archavatharas of the Supreme God.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam

The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple or Thiruvarangam is a Hindu temple dedicated to Ranganatha, a reclining form of Hindu deity, Vishnu located in Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India . Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, this temple is glorified in the Thiviya Pirabandham, the early medieval Tamil literature canon of the Alvar saints from the 6th to 9th centuries AD and is counted among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu. The temple follows Thenkalai tradition of worship.It is one of the most illustrious Vaishnava temples in South India rich in legend and history. Its location, on an island in Cauvery river, has rendered it vulnerable to natural disasters as well as the rampaging of invading armies – Muslim and European – which repeatedly commandeered the site for military encampment.

Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram

Thillai Natarajah Temple, Chidambaram or Chidambaram temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the town of Chidambaram, East-Central Tamil Nadu, South India. The temple is known as the foremost of all temples (Kovil) to Saivites and has influenced worship, architecture, sculpture and performance art for over two millennium. The Sangam classics list chief architect Viduvelvidugu Perumtaccan as directing an early renovation of the shrine.

Annamalaiyar Temple

Annamalaiyar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located at the base of Annamalai hills in the town of Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, India. It is significant to the Hindu sect of Saivism as one of the temples associated with the five elements, the Pancha Bhoota Stalas, and specifically the element of fire, or Agni. Shiva is worshiped as Annamalaiyar or Arunachaleswarar, and is represented by the lingam, with his idol referred to as Agni lingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Unnamulai Amman.[1][2] The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. The 9th century Saiva saint poet Manikkavasagar composed the Tiruvempaavai here.

Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple

Kurumba Bhagavati Temple (alternatively Kodungallur Bhagavati Temple) is a Hindu temple at Kodungallur, Thrissur district, Kerala state, India. The idol of the goddess Bhadrakali in the temple is unique as it has eight hands with various attributes. One is holding the head of an Asura, another a sword, next an anklet, another a bell, and so on. Routine worship at the temple every day at 03:00 and ends at 21:00 local time. Kurumba Bhagavati Temple is where Kannaki, heroine of Ilango Adigal's Tamil classic Silappathikaram attained salvation.[2] During the reign of Later Cheras, Mahodayapuram (Kodungallur) was the capital of the state and one of the most important parts of the region.