India’s ancient temples are architectural marvels that depict the nation’s rich past concerning history, culture and art. In South India, the most famous temples are built in the Dravidian style, marked by constructions in rock, tall towers, sculptures and intricate inscriptions. They frequently differ in design and fashion from one age to the upcoming because of the varied consequences of several ruling dynasties.
1. Virupaksha Temple, Hampi
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- Virupaksha Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, temple is said to function without any obtrusion since the 7-century CE.
- Virupaksha Temple is one of the most sacred temples in South India.
- This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is part of the monuments at Hampi.
2. Meenakshi Temple, Madurai
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- The Meenakshi Temple is also known as the Meenakshi Amman Temple or the Minakshi Sundereshwara Temple is one of the oldest and most important temples of India.
- The temple is located in the city of Madurai.
- The temple was nominated as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ but couldn’t make it to the final list.
- The architecture of the temple such as Meenakshi holding a parrot and the raised leg of Nataraja are enough to keep your eyes wide open.
- ‘Thirukalyanam’ is a festival which attracts more than a million devotees it is celebrated till 10 days
3. The Brihadeshwara Temple, Thanjavur
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- Brihadisvara Temple is a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site and marks the greatest achievement of Chola architects and highlight of Dravidian architecture.
- The temple was built by the Chola King Rajaraja I between 1003 and 1010 AD.
- The sculptures and inscriptions here are related to Shaivism, Vaishnavism, and Shaktism. The quality of the sculpture here is also well-known and the temple is one of the most visited religious sites in Tamil Nadu.
- The Temple has a dress code for men and women. Men should wear dhoti, shirt, kurta, pyjama, or pant shirt and women should be wearing Saree or churidar. Clothes like Lungi, jeans, leggings are not allowed for women.
4. Vittala or Vithala Temple, Hampi
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- The Vittala Temple is an ancient temple on the Southern bank of the Tungabhadra River and it is one of the largest and most famous structures built in Hampi.
- It is the most famous tourist attraction in Hampi and it was built in the 15-century during the rule of the Vijayanagara King, Devaraya II.
- Temple is dedicated to Lord Vittala or Lord Vishnu. Temple also has a famous stone chariot and that stone chariot is one of the three stone chariots of India and also the architecture is an Outstanding architecture.
- Also famous are the musical pillars here which emit musical notes when the pillars are tapped.
5. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam
Image credit- Tamil Nadu Tourism & Temple Services
- The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is located in Tiruchirappalli and is one of the biggest temple compounds in India spread over 156 acres of land and is to Ranganatha, a reclining form of Lord Vishnu.
- The temple is devoted to a lying form of Lord Vishnu, which is known as Ranganathan.
- The temple lies on an island formed by the two rivers Cauvery and Kollidam.
- The temple is said to be in existence since 2-century B.C.E though archaeological inscriptions date back to the 10-century C.E.
- The temple is the biggest functional Hindu temple in India and the Vimana on top of the temple is made of gold.
- It also has the tallest temple tower in India at a height of 236-feet in India.