Extreme South of India has been untouched from the Islamic invasions. Thus old Hindu temples remained intact. In the present blog, you will read about the famous Hindu temples of South India.
1. Tirupati Balaji Temple, Andhra Pradesh
This temple is considered as one of the richest temples in the world. The annual income of the Tirupati Balaji temple is around 30 billion. This temple is also known as the ‘Venkateshwara’ Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. An average of 50000 devotees coming every day to visit this holy place from all around the world. The main deity of this temple is Lord Vishnu which is present in the form of black stone idle.
According to mythology, this is the “kali’ avatar of Lord Vishnu which remains until the Kalyug is over. Lots of people donate Jewelry; precious things and thousand of devotees are also shaving their heads to donate their hairs to Lord. This temple is easily reachable by train, by air, and by road. The nearest airport is Chennai.
2. Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameswaram
This temple come among the 12 sacred Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva and one of the main shrines which come under the Char Dham yatra which is considered as the main pilgrimage site of the Hindu religion. According to the epic Ramayan when Lord Rama would like to reach Lanka in search of her wife Sita which is kidnapped by Ravana he needs to build a bridge on the ocean to reach Lanka. So he made a shiv linga by his own hand and pray to Lord Shiva to complete this task.
Location of Ramanathaswamy Temple
Rameshwaram is a small island located in the state of Tamil Nadu. This temple is also famous for its huge corridors, beautiful pillars decorated by sculptures, and holy water tanks. This Place is always surrounded by thousands of pilgrims. The nearest airport is Madurai which is only 148 km far from Rameshwaram.
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3.Virupaksha Temple, Hampi
Virupaksha Temple coming in on number 3 in the list of famous Hindu temples of South India. This temple is located in Hampi In the state of Karnataka. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva situated on the bank of the river Tungabhadra, This temple also comes on the list of world heritage sites by UNESCO. It is believed the sanctum (Shiva Linga) changes its colors three times in a day and to offer one rupee coin to the elephant is an auspicious thing.
History of Virupaksha temple Hampi
According to the legends, this temple was constructed in the 7th century and later reconstructed by the time with many kings. This temple is famous for its Gopuram decorated with grand architecture, decorated pillars, and intricate carving. Bellary is the nearest airport to reach this temple and it is also connected with Bangalore which is located at a distance of 350 km.
4. Meenakshi Temple Madurai
The Meenakshi temple is one of the most famous Hindu temples of South India and it’s always on the bucket list of south Indian tourists. This temple is located in the temple city of Madurai on the bank of the river Vaigai. This temple attracts more than one million tourists every year and in this temple, Lord Shiva is in the form of Sundareswarar and married Goddes Parvati. This temple definitely comes under the wonders of India.
Architecture of Meenakshi Temple
This temple is spread over an area of 14 acres and enclosed with huge walls. This temple is constructed in a ‘Mandapa’ style having numerous halls. This temple is fully decorated with thousand of colored sculptures of gods and goddesses and the architecture of this temple is unmatched and world-famous. Madurai is the nearest airport to reach this temple and Madurai railway station is also just 2 km far from the main temple.
5. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangapatna
This temple is located in the state of Karnataka on an island of the Kaveri River. This temple is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha by which its name Ranganathaswamy Temple the manifestation of Lord Vishnu. This temple is built in Dravidian style architecture. According to the legends, this temple was built under the 9th and 10th centuries. This temple is considered among one of the five sacred sites of Lord Vishnu (Ranganatha Swamy).
Who build Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
In this sanctum, Lord Vishnu idol is reclined on the coils of Sheshnaag with his consort sitting near his feet Lakshmi. It is believed that this temple is built by a dancer “Hampi” dancer in 817 AD. The nearest airport is Mysore which is only 19 km from Ranganathaswamy Temple and you will easily reach up to the temple by hiring a taxi.
6. Ayyappa Temple, Sabrimala
The Sabrimala temple is located in the state of Kerala. This temple is located inside the Periyar tiger reserve in the Perinad village. It is one of the biggest pilgrimage centers were around 50 million devotees come to visit this temple every year. This temple is situated on a top of a hill and surrounded by dense forest. The main deity of this temple is Ayappan also known as Dharma Shahstha. According to the mythology, Ayappan is the son of Lord Vishnu female incarnation Mohini and Lord Shiva.
Controversy of Sabrimala Ayyappa Temple
Recently this temple was highlighted all around the world due to its rules as the entry of women’s between the age of (10 to 50 years)are strictly banned here. So some women’s groups fighting against this rule and take this matter to court. The nearest railway station to reach this place is Thiruvalla which is only 30 km far from Sabarimala. Some people will also book trains up to Ernakulam and then complete the remaining journey by bus. Cochin is the nearest airport which is only 100 km.
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7. Airavateswara Temple, Kumbakonam
Airavatesvara temple is a famous Hindu temple located in Darasuram in Thanjavur district in the state of Tamilnadu. This temple is built by Raja Chola II in the 12th century. This temple is the masterpiece of the Chola dynasty and it also famous for its stone carving and frescoes. This temple of Lord shiva is a world heritage site of UNESCO. The main deity of this temple is lord shiva present in a form of a big lingam where the white elephant Airavat of Indra worshipping the Lord shiva. To reach on to Darasuram the nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli and you will also reach to Kumbakonam which is only 4 km from Darasurram.
8. Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is located in Thiruvananthapuram in the state of Kerala. It is believed that the great warrior and saint Parsuram consecrated the idol of Padmanabhaswamy in Dwapar Yug. The main deity of this temple is Lord Vishnu reclined on a serpent in a sleeping posture. This temple is one of the best examples of older Dravidian style architecture. Only those people are allowed in this which believes in Hindu religions and also they need to follow a dress code.
This mysterious temple has 6 secret vaults in which few are open by the Indian government in 2011 and they found a collection of gold, jewelry, diamonds, necklace, ruby, sapphire, gems, crowns etc. This treasure will be estimated is around $ 22 billion.
9. Brihadeshwara Temple, Thanjavur
This temple is located on the bank of the river Kaveri in the state of Tamilnadu and considers as one of the biggest and famous temples of south India. This is a nearly 1000 years old temple constructed by Raja Chola I in 1010 AD. This temple is a world heritage site dedicated to Lord Shiva by UNESCO. This is the best example of Tamil architecture during the Chola period. The main deity of this temple is Lord shiva standing in the dancing posture of Nataraj.
Architecture of Brihadeshwara Temple
The main attraction of this temple is the tower situated on the top of the sanctum which is around 216 feet high and can be seen from a long distance. This temple was built by using 130000 tons of granite and consider as one of the best granite temples in the world. This is the best example of south King’s affections towards God. This temple is situated in Thanjavur and the nearest airport is Tiruchapally which is only 60 km.
10. Suchindram Temple, Kanyakumari
The Suchindram temple is also known as the Thanumalayan Temple, This temple is located in Suchindram in the state of Tamilnadu in Kanyakumari district. The main deity of this temple is the trinity god Lord Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh in a single form Sthanumalyam. This temple was built in the 17th century and famous for its grand architecture.
The attraction of Suchindram Temple
People believed Lord Indra still come to visit this temple for performing worship in midnight every day. The main attraction of this temple is are the music pillars and the hanging pillars. This temple is visited by thousands of visitors every day and consider as one of the main Hindu temples of South India. This temple is easily reachable by Trivandrum and Kanyakumari which is widely connected with air and rail network.