The southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu is marvellously blessed with rich culture and history. It can be clearly felt in its age old temples and pilgrim centres. Most of these shrines and worship sites date back to more 600 years old. The brilliant architectural designs of these shrines, relics and idols truly speak of the glorious bygone era of this south Indian land. Times have passed but yet the rich cultural and religious heritage of the place has been aptly preserved in these exotic temples.
Famous Temples of Tamil Nadu
No doubt it is one of must see temples in this south Indian destination. It is located on the island town of Rameshwaram which attracts unnumbered devotees every year. Dedicated to Lord Shiva it has some interesting mythological connections with Ramayana. People believe that Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva here in order to wash away his sins of killing the demon king Ravana who was a Brahmin. It is strongly believed that a visit to this ancient temple will relieve you of your dreadful sins and lead you to salvation.
Located in the Madurai district, it is a beautiful work of architectural brilliance. Though started by Kulasekara Pandya, the actual credit for the construction of this fascinating shrine goes to the Nayaks. It is a beautiful structure comprising of two twin temples with exquisitely carved gateways having intricate paintings. Dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi respectively, numerous travellers pay visit to this sanctum each year.
It is one of the oldest surviving shrines of Lord Krishna in this ‘Land of Temples’. The construction of this temple dates back to 8th century A.D. during the times of Pallava reign in the region. Since then it has gone under considerable renovations under other dynasties who ruled this land. Devotees flock here to worship the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as the ‘charioteer of Arjuna’. It is located in the capital city of Chennai.
It is one of the most beautiful and brilliant example of the rich architectural heritage of the bygone era. Dating back to more than 300 years old, it is one of the most popular holy sites in southern India. You can see many unique statues of almost all the Gods and Goddesses of Hindus in this age old sanctum. Moreover, the 37m finely carved ‘Gopuram’ of gods and saints here is just mind blowing. Overall, the temple is a living testimony of the spiritually inclined Pallava kings and their architectural magnificence.
Located in the heart of the city, this historic holy site is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Here devotees come to worship Lord Shiva in the form called as Natarajar. It is again a fine example of rich Pallava art and architecture. An interesting part of this ancient sanctum is that you can see the deities of both Shaivite and Vaishnavite enshrined together in the temple. Every year the festival of Natyanjali is celebrated here with great joy and fervour which lasts for 5 days.
It is again an important site of worship in this south Indian destination. Located in the Thanajpur city, it clearly reflects the captivating Chola art and architecuture. It is solely dedicated to Nandi, the mount of Lord Shiva. It is a 10th century shrine and is a major tourist attraction in the state.
Apart from these, other temples like Kothandaramaswamy, Tirupullani, Arunachaleshwara, Ekambareswarar, Kailasanathar, Kamakshi Amman, Mahabalipuram, etc. are also equally popular and worth visiting.