Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Top Ten Temples you should visit when you’re in South India

The southern part of India is known across the world for its majestic temples- noted for their architectural splendor and grandeur. What more? You can actually go on to write pages just about the diversity of craftsmanship demonstrated by these prestigious monuments. Vijaynagara, Dravidian, Chalukyas and so on… the gamut of architectural designs is as diverse as it can get.

Today, we will offer you a rundown of the top 10 famous South Indian Temples that every Indian should visit at least once in his or her life.

Top 10 temples in South India that every Indian should visit once

  • Meenakshi Temple in Madurai: This one can top the list of any devotee out there – not only because of its awe-inspiring architecture but also because of the sheer reason that it had actually made it to the list of nominees for the New Seven Wonders of the World. Do watch out for the shrine of Meenakshi holding a parrot and the right raised leg of Nataraja besides its other ornate shrines and halls.
  • Brihadeeswarar Temple: This one is located right at the center of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. Dedicated to lord Brihadeeswarar Temple (Lord Shiva’s incarnation), this archeological wonder was built 1000 years ago by the Cholas. The tower of temple remains one of the tallest in the world. Intricate Chola Nayaka paintings are its other highlights.
  • Virupaksha Temple: Nestled on the banks of Tungabhadra, this splendorous creation is attributed to the Vijayanagara Empire. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and established in the seventh century. Gopurams, detailed carvings and marvelous architecture are its assets.
  • Chamundeshwari Temple: Set foot on Mysore, Karnataka and you will definitely hear a lot about this temple from the folks around. Goddess Chamundeswari is a form of Goddess Shakti. The doors of the shrine are made of gold and silver. Perched atop the beauteous Chamundi Hills (3000 ft high), you can climb up a thousand steps to reach it.
    Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai
  • Airatesvara Temple: It is situated four kilometers on the west of Kumbakonam (40 kms from Thanjavur). It’s a 12th century temple, especially noted for its art and stone carvings. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site.
  • Shri Shri Madana Mohana(ISCKON) Temple: It was  His Divine Grace Abhay Caranarvinda Bhaktivedanta Swami who had established ISCKON or the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Situated in Nampadi, Hyderabad, this particular temple remains crowded with devotees all the year round. Pilgrims can also secure valuable insights regarding bhakti yoga and the sustenance of balanced mental and physical health.
  • Arunachaleswar Temple: This temple rests just at the base of holy Mount Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai. The entire temple complex consists of three courtyards and nine towers. Lord Shiva is worshipped (as is the case with many temples in South India).
  • Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple: This temple is located at the capital of Kerala – Thiruvananthapuram. Lord Vishnu is worshipped with noted reverence here. You can see the idol of Lord Padmanabhaswamy in the posture of eternal sleep right on Adisesha, the snake with a thousand heads.  The importance of this temple itself can be comprehended from the fact that this is the temple which gave the city (Thiruvananthapuram) its name – which literally translates to the Holy Abode of Anantha Padmanabha.
  • Ranganathaswamy Temple: Situated in Trichi (Tiruchirapalli), Ranganathaswamy Temple is supposed to be the largest temple in India – spanning across a whopping 156 acres and actually has 21 towers or gopurams. Its 73m high main tower is the second tallest tower in Asia.
  • Thalumalayan Temple: Built in the 17th century, this particular temple is known for its musical pillars. The legends of Anasuya and Ahalya can be found here. Besides its musical pillars, do watch out for its hanging pillar and the solo Linga representing Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh as well. 

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