Visit These Top 14 Temples in South India for Spiritual Trip

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Is there anything more mysterious than the Bermuda Triangle? Yes!

Hinduism has been the powerhouse of moral and spiritual teaching for many centuries. Tourists from across all the regions of India have heard about temples in south India once in their lifetime. When you compare the south Indian temples with the north Indian mandirs, you will observe that South Indian kings invested a lot of money to preserve their culture. As a result, the south region has India’s one of the oldest temples under its belts. If you want to see some bizarre, mysterious shrines in India, head to south India. A perfect place to unfold mysteriously that puts the Bermuda Triangle to shame.

Unknown to many, Tamil Nadu itself has 33,000 temples. The predominant gods worshiped in south India include Shiva, Murugan, Vishnu, Karthikeyan, and Lord Krishna. Moreover, the Venkateshwara Temple in Andhra Pradesh is the richest temple in India; Karnataka has Betta Bhairaveshwara Temple that has traces of Pandavas stay. Virupaksha Temple in Hampi, dedicated to Shiva, is famous for celebrating the annual chariot festival.

What’s Unique About South Indian Temples?

I am guessing you are asking about the difference between north Indian temples and south Indian temples:

  1. Most of the temples of south India are big in size compared to the north mandir.
  2. South Indian temples are made from granite sandstones. It is the only stone wheel that possesses all the balanced elements like heat, space, air, earth, and water.
  3. Hinduism in the south Indian dynasty’s heyday harnessed the Hinduism power as an integration instrument to spread peace and prosperity.
  4. Chera, Pallavas, Hoysalas, and Vijayanagara empires constructed thousands of Dravidian rock-cut temples and deleted intricately carved temples.

14 Famous Temples in South India That Are More Complex Than Bermuda Triangle Theory

There are more than 30 places to see the exceptional architecture in south India. Out of them, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Hampi, Kerala. I have curated the 14 famous temples in south India for a spiritual sojourn. Now enough with the waiting; let’s divine in! Also, you can bookmark the write-up for later!

1. Sri Virupaksha Temple in Hampi

Sri Virupaksha Temple in Hampi

Timings: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and then from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Entry Fee: Free for all

A part of a group of UNESCO heritage monuments in Hampi, Sri Virupaksha Temple is dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, an incarnation of Shiva. This is the oldest and principal temple since the 7th century A.D. take help from your tour guide to learn in-depth info about the three gompas and craftsmanship on the Eastern Tower at the main entrance. The principal high of Virupaksha Temple on the banks of the Tungabhadra River is the gopuram that reflects as an inverted at the temple’s backside. Undoubtedly, Virupaksha Temple shows how the kings of the Vijayanagara empire took care of their kingdom and culture.

2. Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai

Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai

Timings: 3:15 am to 12:00 am, and 5:00 pm to 7:20 pm (every day)

Entry Fee: INR 50 (approx.) per person

Earning the credit of being the largest temple complex in Tamil Nadu, Meenakshi Amman Temple in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai symbolizes Dravidian architecture and is dedicated to goddess Meenakshi, an avatar of Parvati. During your Tamil Nadu tour, witness 14 colorful gopurams (gateway towers) dominating Madurai’s skyline. Even from a mythological lens, Meenakshi Amman Temple makes jaws drop. With 33,000 sculptures, including two golden sculptured vimanas and elephant sheds, this temple in south India also hosts the annual Meenakshi Thirukalayanam festival in April.

3. Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameshwaram

Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameshwaram

Timings: 5:00 am -1:00 pm and 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Entry Fee: Free for all

Touted as one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples in India, Ramanathaswamy Temple is a holy pilgrimage site for Smarthas, Shaivites, and Vaishnavites. Here the principal deity is Lord Shiva in the lingam form. You can enter at any of the temple’s 4 gates. Unknown to many, Ramanathaswamy Temple is a part of Bada Char Dham Yatra. It was the Pandya Dynasty that built this temple during the 12th century. Folktales of these temples go like Lord Rama bowed his head before he embarked on the bridge to conquer Lanka. Remember that you have to put your electronic gadget inside the locker facility available at the entrance.

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4. Naganathaswamy Temple in Tamil Nadu

Naganathaswamy Temple in Tamil Nadu

Timings: 6am–12:30pm, 3–8:30pm

Entrance Fee: Abhishek Pooja at mandir starts at INR 600 (approx.) onwards

After or before Pompuhar beach hopping, head to Naganathaswamy Temple if you suffer from Lord Kethu’s punishment. Naganathaswamy Temple is dedicated to Lord Kethu, aka night planet navagrahas, according to Hindu mythology). Locals and many tourists alike believe that it is a very powerful temple showing blessings to its devotees. There is a wooden tie outside the temple complex where women tie thread if they long for the child. So if you are planning to get married anytime soon, you must visit Naganathaswamy Temple.

5. Brihadeshwara Temple in Thanjavur

Brihadeshwara Temple in Thanjavur

Timings: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. a

Entrance Fee: INR 50 (approx.) per person

Suppose you are lounging to seek blessings from Lord Shiva on a Tamil Nadu visit. In that case, Brihadeshwara Temple is a good place to start. This Hindu Dravidian-themed-style temple on the south banks of the Cauvery River is the testimony and glory of the Chola empire. Raja Cholan and his sister built it because they both were ardent followers of Shiva. Personally speaking, 2 eyes can’t describe the sheer architectural splendor of Brihadeshwara Temple. Come, bring your kids on the Tamil Nadu tour package and let them discover the unique history of the Chola Dynasty on a guided excursion.

6. Sri Venkateswara Swamy Vaari Temple in Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)

Sri Venkateswara Swamy Vaari Temple in Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)

Timings: Morning (6:00 am to 11:00 am), Evening (2:00 pm to 7:00 pm), Night (8:00 pm to 1:00 am).

Entrance Fee: INR.20 (approx.) per person and V.I.P Darshan – INR.100 (approx.) per person

Famously known as Tirupati Balaji, it is a famous lord Vishnu temple in south India dedicated to Venkateshwara, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. According to the legends, the principal deity appeared here to save the mankind and troubles of Kali Yuga. Unknown to many, Sri Venkateswara Swamy Vaari Temple bags itself as one of the richest temples in India in terms of monetary collections. If you are in a quest to become a better soul, seek Lord Venkateshwara’s blessings. To enter the temple, you must follow the strict dress code. For example, men must wear dhoti/pajamas and women must go with a saree.

7. Ekambareswarar Temple in Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu

Ekambareswarar Temple in Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu

Timings: 6 am – 12:30 pm, 4 pm – 8:30 pm

Entrance Fee: Free for all

Ekambareswarar Temple is one of the oldest Shiva temples in South India. Additionally, this temple is significant as per the Hindu section of Saivism. Locals worship Ekambaranathar (Shiva) inside the temple. On your visit, be amazed at the Dravidian-style architecture. On the temple walls, one can observe astounding carvings of deities. Outside the temple complex, a 3,500 years old mango tree is still alive and producing fruits. Most importantly, compared to other South Indian temples, the darshan queue is also short at Ekambareswarar Temple. If you want to contact Pandit for performing any poojas like Archana or Abhishekam, feel free to contact them directly.

8. Guruvayur Temple in Thrissur District of Kerala

Guruvayur Temple in Thrissur District of Kerala

Timings: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Entrance Fee: Free for all

Kerala has earned the tag of God’s Own Country for many reasons. And guess what? Its amazing temples are the prime reasons. Guruvayur Temple is a 5000 years old temple in the Thrissur district – according to the records. It is dedicated to Lord Guruvayurappan (the four-armed form of Lord Vishnu). Most tourists crowd the temple before 9 a.m. to skip the crowd. In addition, you can register online if you want to have an aarti or some other offering. However, the entrance to the temple is completely free but follows the strict dress code as per the south Indian temples.

9. Kandhakottam Temple in Chennai

Kandhakottam Temple in Chennai

I went to Kandakottam Temple and found it is located in the middle of the city, but you can still feel pure silence when you enter the complex. It is one of the Lord Krishna temples in south India as Kandakottam Temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga, a form of Lord Krishna. Embark on a guided tour to the temple to determine why the annual Skanda sashti festival is the hype at Kandhakottam Temple. Lastly, the real asset to the temple is the pond inside, which never dries up.

10. Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Timings: 3:15 am to 12:00 am, and 5:00 pm to 7:20 pm (every day)

As a man, you should wear a dhoti, and women must wear a saree to enter inside ​​Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Located in the capital of Kerala, you must have to profess the Hindu faith. Otherwise, you are not allowed to enter. The temple is dedicated to Lord Padmanabhaya, Avatar of Vishnu, and is currently run by the trust under the Royal Family of Travancore. To your surprise, the government provides the highest degree of security to secure the temple’s wealth inside the cellars. Plus, get smitten by the Chera-style architecture when you go on a guided tour.

11. Veerabhadra Temple: Lepakshi District in Andhra Pradesh

Veerabhadra Temple: Lepakshi District in Andhra Pradesh

Timings: 5:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. (all days of the week)

Punctured with mythological grandeur to the extreme, Veerabhadra Temple has legends associated with Valmiki Ramayana. According to the same, this is the same place where Lord Rama met Jatayu when he was wounded. Mythological tales suggest that Lord Rama helped Jatayu achieve salvation by uttering ‘Le Pakshi’ or “Rise.” Furthermore, there are 70 pillars, and one pillar stays intact without any support. Lord Kal Bhairav Nath (reincarnation of Lord Shiva) is the ruling deity here. Inside the temple complex, several details are carved on the walls.

12. Ananthapadmanabha Lake Temple: Kasaragod District in Kerala

Ananthapadmanabha Lake Temple: Kasaragod District in Kerala

Timings: 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (all days of the week

This temple in Kerala has a mysterious touch that rests in the middle of the lake. The real icing on the cake is the Ananthapadmanabha Temple is guarded by predatory animals, which is strict to the vegetarian diet only! The temple priest feeds the animal prasad. It is one of the oldest south Indian Lord Vishnu temples. The original deity is Sri Padmanabha, an incarnation of Vishnu. Did I mention that only Hinduism followers are allowed a strict dress code inside the temple premises?

13. Nachiyar Kovil in Tamil Nadu

Nachiyar Kovil in Tamil Nadu

Timings: 6.30 a.m. – 12.30 pm4.30 pm ­ 8.30 p.m

Do you want to manifest a spiritual experience in Tamil Nadu that will touch your soul? Plan to go a little outside of the main town to visit Nachiyar Kovil. This temple is dedicated to Hindu God Lord Vishnu and his wife, Lakshmi. In addition, this temple of south India is amongst 108 divya desams dedicated to Vishnu. The architecture is punctured with the Dravidian style. What’s surprising is the Kal Gruda structure, whose weight increases every year.

14. Kapaleeshwarar Temple: Chennai District in Tamil Nadu

Kapaleeshwarar Temple: Chennai District in Tamil Nadu

Timings: 6 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4 – 8 p.m

Entrance Fee: Free for all

This is another famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Mylapore. Its history dates back to the 7th century, and Pallavas built this temple. A Dravidian theme inspires architecture. The presiding deity at Kapaleeshwarar Temple is Arulmigu Kapaleeswarar (a form of Lord Shiva) and Goddess Karpagambal (a form of Parvati). Inside the temple, you will see stone carvings and wood carvings. Plus, the intricately decorated pillar and Gopulam at the doorway are enticing. Come over folks during Panguni and Arubathimooval festival to see the temple in full enthusiasm.

Wrapping Up

South Indian temples are larger and grander when compared to other temples in India. There is no shortage of temples in south India, from Andhra Pradesh to Kerala, Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, and even Pondicherry. All the states under the south India umbrella have the perfect melange culture and fabulous architecture.

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FAQ’s About Temples in South India

What are some famous Lord Vishnu temples in south India?

There are dozens of temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu in South India. But the famous temples include Venkateshwara Temple in Tirumala, Ranganathaswamy Temple in Karnataka, Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Trivandrum are some famous Lord Vishnu temples in South India.

Are there any shiva temples in south India?

Yes, south India has dozens of shiva temples under its belts. Examples include Annamalaiyar Temple in Tamil Nadu, Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur, Mallikarjuna Swamy in Andhra Pradesh, and Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram.

What are some unique south Indian mandirs?

The unique south Indian mandirs are more bizarre than the Bermuda triangle. For instance, Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple allows only Hindu devotees. In addition, Venkateshwara Temple in Tirumala is where devotees donate their hair.

What is the oldest temple in south India?

Although most of the temples in South India date back to the 3rd century. But most of them are in ruins. Still, a handful of oldest temples in south India are still functional, including Badami cave temples and the Hampi Group of monuments.

Which city is synonymous with the temple town of south India?

Tamil Nadu itself has around 33,000 temples. At the same time, Mahabalipuram is also called the temple town of south India.

What are some tips to follow before you visit south Indian temples?

 Always be ethical inside the temple premises. Remember, most south Indian temples follow a strict dress code for men and women.

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