If you want to visit some of the greatest temples in India, then South India is your place. This part of the country is literally dotted with temples and each of unparalleled fame. A lot of tourists visit this part of the country just to take a tour of the temples!
The temples, in fact, used to be the hub of the culture of South India. It is here that the various South Indian dance forms that we come across today were developed and nurtured for centuries. These temples today stand as one of the most beautiful examples of towering architecture. Since there are a lot of temples to cover, most people often go for a south india temple tour to make sure that they have covered all the important temples.
Let’s take a look at some of the most fascinating and famous temples of South India, which are a must visit:
- The Meenakshi Temple in Madurai:This temple has become almost a signature of South India. Located in the ancient town of Madurai, which is about 4000 years old, this temple, is one of the largest temples in India. It is believed that the Meenakshi temple is about 3500 years old! It is devoted to Lord Shiva, and there is a Shiva lingam inside that is worshipped. The temple covers a total area of about 15 acres, and there are 12 towers and 4500 pillars in total! The southern tower is the tallest one, which is about 170fts and the inner sanctum is dedicated to the worship of both Meenakshi or Parvati and her husband, Shiva. Thousands and thousands visit this temple every year because it is considered to be one of the most auspicious temples in the country.
- The Rameshwaram Temple in Rameshwaram:The focal point of Rameshwaram is the Ramanathaswamy temple. Tourists and pilgrims alike come to Rameshwaram generally in the evening, stay the night and head out to pray at the temple, really early in the morning. The painted ceiling and the beautifully carved hallways are architecturally the mostsignificant part of this huge temple. There are 22 wells in the temple compound where one has to take a bath before going inside the temple to pray. Apart from the temple, Ramashewaram itself is extremely significant since it is believed that Lord Rama built a bridge from here to Lanka, the remains of which are still seen!
- Nataraj Temple in Chidambaram: This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, like most of the South Indian temples, but the rituals that are followed here are based on Vedic mantras propounded by the grammarian Patanjali instead of the mantras from the Sanskrit scriptures. This is a rather offbeat tourist destination. The best part about this temple is that even Non-Hindus can witness the daily rituals and offerings.
If you wish to cover a lot of temples in one trip, then you can go for packaged tours, or you can make room for 5-6 temples in your tour plan of South India. However, you plan your trip; make sure that you do visit some of the temples in this part of the country.