Tamil Nadu is famous for the age-old temples and rich cultural celebrations. The temples in Madurai, Kancheepuram, Thanjavur and Kanyakumari are world-famous for their unique architecture and stunning idols. Here are 6 Tamil Nadu Temples you must visit without fail if you want to know about the rich and vibrant Hindu culture and tradition:
Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai
Photo by Ashok666
The Madurai Meenakshi temple is a historic temple located on the southern bank of Vaigai River. The deity of Meenakshi temple is Parvathi, also known as Meenakshi, and her better half, Lord Siva. But here Siva is known as Sundareswarar. Madurai Meenakshi temple is one of the most influential among Tamil Nadu Temples. This temple is the lifeline and was established in heart of the 2500-year old Madurai city. Meenakshi temple has been mentioned in Tamil antiquities. As per the relics, the temple was built in the 6th century BC by Kumari kandam. But during the 14th century, a Muslim Commander attacked this temple and took away all valuables from there. Later, it was rebuilt in the 16th century (1623 to 1655) by Vishwanatha Nayakar and that’s the latest structure you see now.
Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur
Photo by Alagu.
Brihadeeswarar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is located at Thanjavur, which as the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu. Brihadeeswarar temple is also known as Rajarajeswara and Peruvudayar Temple. This is one of the famous Tamil Nadu Temples built by Raja Raja Chola. This is the largest temple in India and it is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Airavatesvara temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Brihadeeswarar temples are known as the “Great living of Chola Temples”. The temple which was completed in 1010 CE has already lived over 1000 years.
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam
Photo by dalbera
Sri Ranganathaswamy temple is a Hindu temple which is dedicated to Ranganatha which is a reclining form of Vishnu. This temple is located at Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli. This temple has been described in Dhivya Pirabandham, a famous Tamil literature by Alvar saints from 6 AD – 9 AD. It is counted among the 108 Divya Desams devoted to Vishnu. Thenkalai tradition of worship is followed here. This is one of the famous Vaishnava Tamil Nadu Temples on the Island of Cauvery River.
Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchipuram
Photo by Well-Bred Kannan (WBK Photography)
Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple is the oldest temple in Kanchipuram. This Hindu temple is made in Dravidian Architecture. Rajasimha, a Pallava Dynasty ruler, built this temple during 685 to 705 AD. This is one of the famous Tamil Nadu Temples devoted to Lord Shiva. Idols of half-animal gods and stonework with lots of carvings are important features of Dravidian Architecture which you can see here. The temple is located on the banks of Vegavathy River. The temple has 58 small shrines where you can see different forms of Lord Shiva. Kanchi Kailasanathar temple is one of the prominent tourist spots in South India.
Ekambareswarar Temple, Kanchipuram
Photo by Arian Zwegers
Ekambareswarar temple is another famous Hindu temple located at Kanchipuram. This temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and it is one of the important Tamil Nadu Temples dedicated to Saivism. Ekambareswarar temple is connected with five elements of human life in the earth known as Pancha Bhootas. Shiva is represented as lingam in this temple. His companion Parvathi is represented as Gowridevi Amman. Ekambareswarar temple is one of the largest temples in India and it spreads across 25 acres of land. The present structure was made by a Chola Ruler in the 9th century and later the Vijayanagar rulers made some expansions.
Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameswaram
Photo by ruffin_ready
Ramanathaswamy temple at Rameswaram is a famous Shiva temple in Tamil Nadu. It is one of India’s Jyotirlinga Temples. This very place is one of the 274 Paadal Petra Sthalams. It is where three of the Nayanars – Sundarar, Appar and Tirugnana Sambandar – glorified it with their songs. This temple’s corridor is the longest in Tamil Nadu Temples. The temple was expanded by Pandya dynasty in the 12th century and the shrine was renovated later by Jaffna Kingdom’s Jeyaveera Cinkaiariyan and Gunaveera Cinkaiariyan respectively. Shaivites, smarthas and Vaishanavites used to consider Rameswaram as a holy Pilgrimage site for them.
Featured Photo by Marmontel