Southern India is dotted with places of religious interest. There are several towns that are referred to as the temple towns owing to the grandeur of the temples they are home to. Southern India is dotted with places of religious interest. There are several towns that are referred to as the temple towns owing to the grandeur of the temples they are home to. Rameshwaram is an island- of Lord Rama's temple at Tamil Nadu is a terrific destination. Along with being a major pilgrimage for the Hindus, Rameshwaram is a happening holiday spot too. Rameshwaram is significant for the Hindus as a pilgrimage to Benaras is incomplete without a Pilgrimage to Rameshwaram.
Architecture of South Indian Temples
This is the style that developed in the Dravida Desam. The Vimana and the Gopurams are the distinctive characteristics of the Southern style. The Vimana is a tall pyramidal tower consisting of several progressively smaller storeys. This stands on a square base. The Gopuram has two storeys seperated by a horizontal moulding. The Prakara or the outer wall, envelops the main shrine as well as the other smaller shrines, the tank.The Pallavas, the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Vijayanagar rulers, the Nayaks all contributed to the Southern style of temples.
Andhra Pradesh Temples
Visit to the temples in Andhra Pradesh is not a mere religious exercise laden with symbolism and religious overtures. It is a learning in history, exposure to art and sculpture, an adventure in philosophy and a lifetime experience.
Tamil Nadu Temples
Patonised by different ruling dynasties, the temple art touched its zenith in Tamil Nadu. Monuments of great artistic value, these temples speak of the greatness of the bygone era. Most of the ancient temples were built of mortar and brick and were scooped out of rocks. Rameshwaram, Thanjavur, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram, Chidambaram, Meenakshi Temple, and Ekambareswarar Temple are some of the famous temples of Tamil Nadu.
There is a halo of peace and serenity that surrounds the temples of Karnataka. Some of them are as old as old can be. Intricate sculpture marks the rock-cut temples and ancient temple complexes in Karnataka. Surprisingly, these temples have survived the rigours of time. That is typical dravidian style!
The hoary temples in Kerala provide an impetus to spiritual path. These temples have a magical effect that can turn an atheist into a religious person. Distinct from temples elsewhere in the country, the temples in Kerala are in synchrony with the geography of the region and vibrate with traditions of the region.
Sri Krishna Temple
Guruvayur is one of the most popular pilgrimage destination of South India Tour. It is well connected by rail and road to Thrissur and hence to the rest of the country. Guruvayur enshrines the youthful form of Krishna. This is a temple rich in legend, tradition and festivals. Legend has it that Guru - the preceptor of Gods (Brihaspati) and Vaayu the wind God established this temple. Legend has it that this image was originally worshipped by Bhrama and gifted to Vishnu who retained it with him at Dwarka during his Krishnavataram.
Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple at Madurai is an ancient center of worship as well as an art gallery of vast proportions. Rich in traditions, festivals & art, Madurai is second to none in representing the rich cultural heritage of South India.
The presiding deity here is Ekambareshwarar or Shiva, worshipped as the Prithivi Lingam. A Somaskandar panel featuring Shiva, Parvati and Skanda adorns the rear of the main shrine, which has been held in worship for centuries together.
The district's most important pilgrim centre is located in an island just 7 kms from Trichy. Srirangam, surrounded by the waters of river Cauvery on one side and its tributary kollidam on the other, is a 600 acre island-town enclosed within the seven walls of the gigantic Sriranganathaswami Temple.
Of the numerous temples that line the southern state of Tamilnadu, the Nataraja Temple at Chidambaram is one of the most significant ones. In terms of its antiquity, richness in terms of worship & festival traditions, in architectural & sculptural splendor, in its association with music & dance, Chidambaram is a center second to none in representing the rich cultural heritage of India.
Of the numerous temples that line the southern metropolis of Chennai, the Kalikambal temple in the heart of old Madras, in George Town stands out for its historic significance and its tradition of festivals, and it attracts thousands of devotees throughout the year. This temple has been visited by the great Maratha ruler Shivaji, and its visibility has grown steadily in the last two decades.
The temple town of Tiruvannamalai is one of the most ancient heritage sites of India and is a center of the Saiva religion. The Arunachala hill and its environs have been held in great regard by the Tamils for centuries. The temple is grand in conception and architecture and is rich in tradition, history and festivals.