Whenever we talk of India, spirituality is the first thing that comes to our mind. Our deep-rooted belief in spiritualism from the very past is still with us and upholds our country’s rich culture and tradition. One cannot run away from spirituality while being within the boundaries of India. Spirituality is like a scent in the air that follows you everywhere.
The great thing is that the Indian culture is the amalgamation of various cultures, from deep-rooted history falling back to thousands of years. Unity in Diversity is what India relies on.
Here is a list of some most famous ancient temples in South India that attract tourists in large numbers every year. Many historians consider these temples as the best places for devotional people and also one should visit them to see the incredible architecture made at a time when there were no modern tools.
1. Venkateshwara Temple
[Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh]
Situated in the hill town of Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh, Venkateshwara temple is dedicated to Lord Balaji, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is one of the most majestic temples situated in the southern part of India. The Venkateshwara temple is also known as Tirupati Temple.
Another interesting fact about the temple is, it is one of the wealthiest temples in the world in terms of the donations made by the devotees. This temple will not just allow you to explore the spirit of spiritualism among the devotees but will also amaze you with its incredible architecture known as the Dravidian Style of architecture.
2. Virupaksha Temple
Virupaksha Temple of the Vijayanagara Empire is situated on the beautiful banks of river Tungabhadra. This marvelous temple is famous for its great architecture and eye-catching carvings. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple gives shelter to the main events of annual chariot festivals and marriage festivals. Another interesting fact is that UNESCO has listed this place as a World Heritage Site.
The best time to travel to Karnataka is in the summers, and visiting the city of Hampi, exploring the Virupaksha Temple, makes you travel even more beautiful. It is also said that this temple has been functioning since the 7th century AD uninterruptedly.
3. Meenakshi Temple
[Madhurai, Tamil Nadu]
Located on the southern banks of the river Vaigai, Meenakshi Temple is the most important and marvelous temple in South India. Spread over an area of 1500 acres, with four thousand plus pillars and around 12 towers, this temple is a must-visit.
The Temple comes to life during the 12-day Chithirai Festival in April each year, which features a celestial wedding of the god and goddess of the temple. The other name used for the Temple is Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, considering the adorable sculptures around the temple.
4. Vitthala Temple
Another marvel of Hampi is Vithala Temple. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, stand apart from another temple in terms of its spectacular architecture.
Here are the two major attractions because of which the temple is famous – Firstly, a giant chariot fully architectured with stone excites a lot of tourists. Secondly, its musical pillars. It is said that the pillars when played in a certain way emit musical notes.
5. Ranganathaswamy Temple
[Srirangam, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu]
Also known as the Srirangam temple, Ranganathaswamy is the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world situated in Trichy, Tamil Nadu. Nested on the beautiful island of Srirangam, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Spread in an area of around 156 acres, the temple exhibits a beautiful form of the Dravidian architecture style.
The town is also an archaeological site offering a new window to explore the culture of South India for tourists. The main tower of the Srirangam temple which is 73 meters high is the second tallest temple tower in Asia.
6. Sabarimala Temple
Dedicated to Lord Ayyappan, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Sabarimala Temple is situated on a hilltop and surrounded by dense forest lines, the temple also excites the adventurous side of you when you use the traditional forest routes to reach the temple. The temple is significant not only for its religious elements but also because of the societal and cultural elements attached to it.
The temple was recently a lot popular in media because women of age between 10 to 50 were not allowed to go inside the temple, but after the order of the Supreme Court in 2018 solved all the issues, removing the restriction from women on entering the temple.
7. Ramanathaswamy Temple
[Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu]
One of the 12 sacred Jyotirlinga Temples of the country is Ramanathaswamy Temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is also said that the deity of the temple was worshipped by Lord Rama. Built in the 17th Century, attracts a lot of tourists from around the country to watch its longest hallway with around 4000 pillars. Also, Rameswaram is one of the Char Dhams pilgrimages.
8. Thanumalayan Temple
[Suchindram, Tamil Nadu]
Also called the Sthanumalayan Temple, the Thanumalayan temple is an important Hindu temple built in the 17th century. It is yet another example of historical but majestic architecture. The legends of Anasuya and Ahalya are attracted to the temple, attracting various pilgrims to explore the temple. Four musical pillars, the single Linga, and the hanging pillars, representing Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh, also excite the pilgrims visiting the temple.
So, whether you wanna explore the art and culture of South India or wanna take a memorable trip with families, these are some best ancient temples in South India to visit and explore spirituality as well as great architecture.
Also, briskly tell me the next place, where you are planning to travel.