The temples of South India are well-known all over the world for their glory, elegance and rich cultural heritage. These temples tell us a lot about the pomp and grandeur of the South Indian royalties. There were the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Pallavas, the Chalukyas, the Vijaynagar Empire and the Kakatiyas, each of these illustrious dynasties having their own art and architectural excellence to showcase. All the beautiful temples bear testimony to the fact that the rulers loved splendour and had a great taste for architectural detailing.
A visit to South India is incomplete without exploring some of these wonderful pieces of art and architecture. As you would walk through the pages of history while you visit the temples, you are sure to be awed at the brilliance of the craftsmanship and clarity of the thought processes of the people who actually built these masterpieces.
Here is a list of some of the most famous temples, without a visit to which your South India temple tour will remain grossly incomplete.
Tirupati Temple – The Wealthiest Temple in the World
This temple is located in the state of Andhra Pradesh and is dedicated to the Lord Vishnu, who is known here as Sri Venketeswara or Tirupati Balaji. This rich shrine is said to give you the ultimate enlightenment and liberation from all earthly ties. As a result, each year thousands of pilgrims from every corner of the globe pay a visit here.
Apart from its religious fervour, the temple is famous for its architectural brilliance. The deities of Lakshmi Narasimha, Hanuman, KevalaNarasimha are epitomes of beauty and exuberance. The main gate of the temple is also a wonderful creation.
You can easily reach the temple from Chennai or Bangalore by road.
The Ramananthswamy Temple –Architectural Excellence at its Best
One of the most graceful temples in South India, this temple is in Rameshwaram. It is famous for having the longest corridor in any shrine anywhere in the world. The place and the temple hold unparalleled religious significance for the Hindu pilgrims. Lord Shiva is worshipped in the temple in the form of one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in the country. You will also find 22 wells here, where a holy dip can absolve you from all the sins and wrongs.
You can easily reach Rameshwaram from Madurai by taxi or bus. For reaching Ramshwaram, you need to cross one of the longest bridges in the country!
Badami Cave Temples – Out of the World Beauty in Rock Cut Architectural Work
Found in northern Karnataka, the Badamitemples consist of four cave temples, each one radiating the best of the best in Chalukyan architectural skills. The four deities worshipped here are Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Varaha and Krishna.
The temples are quite easily accessible from all parts of the country by regular bus routes.
Some of the other temples that must be included in your tour list are:
- Sri PadmanabhaSwamy Temple in Trivandrum, Kerala
- Lepakshi Temple in Andhra Pradesh
- Meenakshi Temple in Madurai
You can avail of the services of the best tour operators specialising in South Indian tours, who, apart from helping you with the temple tour, can also provide ideas about the most magnificent Kerala honeymoon tour packages as well.