Top 10 Holy South Indian Temples

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6. Chennakesava temple


Chennakesava temple, originally known as Vijayanarayana temple is built on the banks of the Yagachi river in Bellur, Karnataka. The temple was constructed by the king ‘Vishnuvardhana’ and there are several tales regarding its construction. The main entrance and the superstructure over it is an example of outstanding craftsmanship of that time. The finely structured pillars, especially the Narsimha pillar, are the major centres of attraction. This temple of Lord Vishnu comprises of images of ‘the dancing Kali’, ‘seated Ganesha’ ‘Ravana, shaking Mount Kailasha’ and ‘Durga, slaying the demon Mahishasura’. The temple has been conferred as a Heritage site by UNESCO.


7. Kapeeleswarar temple


The Kapeeleswarar temple, built by the ‘pallavas’ in the 7th century, is located in Mylapore in the state of Tamil Nadu. The main deity of the temple, Lord ‘Shiva’ is worshiped as ‘Kapeeleswar’. The temple has two entrances on either sides. The beautifully engraved statues of the Gods and Goddesses are placed on various vehicles such as peacock, elephant, goat and parrot. Moreover, the Golden chariot, adds to the beauty of the temple. The serenity of the temple complex due to the sacred worship and rituals performed by the priest attracts devotees from all over the world.


8. Kanchi Kailasanathar temple


The first structural temple, built by Narasimhavarman (Rajasimha) in 81st century A.D and later completed by his son, stands on the banks of Vedavathi river at western boundaries of the Kanchipuram. The temple is dedicated to Lord ‘Shiva’ and is well known for its ‘Pallava’ architecture. There are 58 small shrines in the compound that are devoted to various forms of ‘Shiva’. The large number of carvings of half-animal deities, the 16 sided Shivalinga in black granite stone, the well- sculptured images of incarnations of ‘Shiva’ and ‘Vishnu’and the tall Gopurams embellish the temple. The visit to the temple on the night of ‘Shivrathri’ is considered an auspicious one.


9. Sri Annapoorneshwari temple


Amid the thick, green forests and valleys of Western Ghats of Karnataka, at Hornadu, is located the famous temple of Goddess Annapoorneshwari. The gold-made charming idol of the deity is depicted with four hands, holding Shanka, Chakra, Shri Chakra and Gayathri mantra, one in each hand. It is a belief that those who have the divine glimpse of the goddess will never go hungry in their life. The peculiar thing about this temple is that all the visitors are catered with meals and a place to sleep inside the temple premises. The core attributes of the temple that have been attracting thousands of devotees since a long time are the temple’s main dining hall (Annapoorna), the Mantapam and the ghats surrounding the complex.


10. Meenakshi Amman temple


Meenakshi Amman temple, also known as Meenakshi Sundareswara temple is one of the most splendid masterpieces of the Dravidian architecture.  The temple is situated in the southern bank of river Vaigai in the city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu. The 52m high, historic hindu temple is square shaped and occupies an area of around 45 acres. The temple is devoted to Meenakshi, avtar of the hindu Goddess Parvati and is believed to be founded by Indra (king of Devas). It has been gracefully constructed with four entrances, in four different directions and is surrounded by ten huge gopurams, which are decked with stone figures of animals, Gods and demons.

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