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10 Most Well-known Pilgrimage Destinations In South India

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South India is considered as the heavenly home of various magnificent monuments which have stood tall in all their glory since ages. The monuments of South India are breathtakingly beautiful and grand in every sense of the word, starting from the beautiful Dravidian architecture to the grand Vijayanagar style of architecture and many more such fine examples.

Also Read: The Historical Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple

The temples here are not only beautiful and attractive in their architecture, but also offer a sense of peace and fill you with a particular charm. South Indian shrines are one of the best examples for their various legends. One of the best ways to experience them is by visiting them in person and not browsing through the pictures over the Internet.

 Guruvayur, Kerala

Guruvayur, Kerala

PC: Vinayaraj

Situated in the Thrissur district, Guruvayur is considered as Vaikuntam on earth for the devotees of Lord Krishna, making it one of the most visited shrines in South India.

The main deity here is Lord Krishna, who is known as Guruvayurappan, apart from shrines dedicated to Ganesha, Devi and Sastha.

Guruvayur Temple is considered as one of the richest temples in the state of Kerala and is managed by Guruvayur Devaswom Board. The shrine stands at one of the top positions for the number devotees that it gets on an everyday basis.

Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh

Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh

PC: Chandrashekhar Basumatary

Located atop the Seshachalam range, dedicated to Venkateshwara. the temple is considered as one of the richest temples in the country. The temple is also one of the most visited shrines which brings in visitors from not only across the country, but also from across the globe.

Most of the devotees who come to this temple get their head tonsured as an offering to the deity for the numerous prayers answered and for the ones which are yet to be fulfilled.

The shrine is administered by a governing body called Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. Apart from the shrine of Venkateshwara at Tirumala, TTD manages a number of temples across the country which includes historical ones such as the Padmavathi temple at Tiruchanur along with a number of them built by TTD.

Sabarimala, Kerala

Sabarimala, Kerala

PC: Abhilash Pattathil

Located inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve in the Sahyadri ranges of Kerala is Sabarimala. Dedicated to Dharmasastha or Ayyappa, the shrine is one of the largest annual pilgrimages which happens across the globe which brings roughly about 50 million devotees every year.

Unlike other temples, one cannot visit here everyday; the temple opens for worship only for a period of approximately 51 days annually and for the first five days of each Malayalam month.

Women aged between 10 to 50 are barred from entering the temple, while there are no restrictions to women worshipping the deity in other temples.

Madurai Meenakshi, Tamil Nadu

Madurai Meenakshi, Tamil Nadu

PC: Unknown

Located on the southern bank of the Vaigai river, the ancient temple is dedicated to Meenakshi and Sundereshwara. The temple is considered as the lifeline of the ancient city of Madurai.

The shrine is well known across the globe for its grand gopurams which are filled with hundreds of sculptures of various gods and goddesses.

The temple complex showcases one of the fine examples of Dravidian architecture. Here one would come across a 1000-pillar hall known as Meenakshi Nayakkar Mandapam.

Apart from this architectural wonder, there are plenty more which would leave you awestruck by their grandeur and usage of vibrant colours.

Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

PC: Veera

A normal town in the state of Tamil Nadu which is home to the architectural wonders of the ancient Chola dynasty is Thanjavur.

The place is one of the most visited destinations in South India and well known for the magnificent Brihadeshwara Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The temple not only holds an important place for its religious values but is equally important amongst those who love history.

The structure is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one amongst the great living Chola temples. Thanjavur is home to various other temples, such as Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Keelaperumpallam Temple and many more.

Hampi, Karnataka

Hampi, Karnataka

PC: Hakri's

Located on the banks of the Tungabhadra, Hampi is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site. The place is home to the ruins of the glorious Vijayanagara Empire.

Amongst the ruins is Virupaksha Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is well known for its tall entrance tower, intricate carvings and grand architecture.

Built in the 7th century, the temple had undergone a lot of additions by the rulers who came and ruled the place. Amongst the many, the Ranga Mandapa or the central pillared hall is the most visited and the credit for this goes to the king Krishnadevaraya.

Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu

Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu

PC: Karthik Easvur

Dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the rare temples where one gets to worship him in the form of the cosmic dancer, Nataraja. Shiva is worshipped here as Thillai Koothan and is one of the Pancha Bootha Sthalams, which are spread across Tamil Nadu.

The deity here represents the element of the sky and is also known for some unique forms of worship apart from its architecture which is influenced by various art forms.

Sripuram Golden Temple, Tamil Nadu

Sripuram Golden Temple, Tamil Nadu

PC: Dsudhakar555

Dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, the temple complex is a spiritual park, which was opened to public in the year 2007. Covering a total area of 100 acres of land, the temple is constructed by Sri Narayani Peedam and features intricate works which are entirely covered in pure gold.

The temple is designed in the shape of a star and set amidst a star-shaped path which resembles the Sri Chakra. For one to have darshan of the goddess, you must walk along this path where you would come across messages by various spiritual leaders.

Chamundi Hills, Karnataka

Chamundi Hills, Karnataka

PC: Spiros Vathis

Dedicated to Chamundi Devi, the hillock is home to the 12th century Chamundeshwari Temple which was built by the rulers of the Hoysala dynasty. It is believed that the goddess killed the demon king Mahishasura here.

The deity is considered as the patron deity of the city and to the Wodeyar dynasty. To reach the temple, one needs to climb up a large flight of stairs. En route you would come across a huge monolith of Nandi who is worshipped here with utmost devotion.

Puri, Odisha

Puri, Odisha

PC: RJ Rituraj

One of the most worshipped temples in the country. The Jagannath Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna who is worshipped as the Lord of the Universe and is worshipped along with his brother Balarama and sister Subhadra.

The temple houses the wooden idols of Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra which are replaced after certain number of years. The shrine was constructed in the 12th century by Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva, who happenes to be the founder of the Ganga dynasty.

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