5 Temples of Tamil Nadu That You Must Pay A Visit To

by Paripsa Pandya
places to visit in south india

Tamil Nadu is known as the Temple Land and is home to close to 39,000 temples! Built by many dynasties, the temples of Tamil Nadu are brilliant, so they should surely be on your bucket list. Some of them have fascinating tales behind them so they make it to the must-visit places for history lovers.

From the beautiful stone carvings to the unique architecture; the temples of Tamil Nadu have a charm of their own. So if you’re someone who likes to know the history of places, you should definitely add these to you list.

If you’re travelling to South India, do visit these 5 temples of Tamil Nadu

1. The Meenakshi Amman temple – Madurai

Meenakshi temple gopura and water pool
Image source: wikimedia

The Madurai Meenakshi temple was built during the 6th century AD. The architecture and the history of this work of art is reason enough to draw you to it.

The temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. It is built in Dravidian style and was destroyed in the 14th century. Consequently, it was restored to its original state over time. While you’re there, take your time and enjoy the cool walk through the temple. If you tap on the unique pillars carved out of a single rock, you can literally create music!

2. Sri Ranganathaswamy temple – Srirangam

Some gopurams of the Ranganathaswamy Temple
Image source: wikimedia

Dedicated to lord Ranganathaswamy or Shree Vishnu, the temple is a marvel. The main gopuram or tower is the largest in Asia and stands 236 ft tall. While you’re there, you shouldn’t miss the famous 1000 pillar hall which is filled with intricate carvings. The base of the pillars are horses, almost made life-like by the sculptors of the time so it can be said that a lot of effort went into crafting the temple.

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Pondicherry East Coast Road

3. Ramanathaswamy temple – Rameswaram

A large stone statue in front of a building

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Image source: wikimedia

Since it is dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is part of the holy “Char Dham”  yatra, the other 3 being Badrinath, Puri and Dwarka.

As the story goes, since Lord Rama vanquished Ravana, he wanted to do penance by offering puja at Rameswaram and asked Hanuman to bring the largest Shiv ling possible. But the hunt for the largest Shiv ling took time and in the meantime, Rama’s wife Sita made a Shiv ling out of sand. This is called Ramaling in Hindu folklore. On the successful return of Hanuman and seeing him sad, Rama also placed his Shiv ling , called Viswaling in the temple premises and ordered that Hanuman’s shiv ling be always prayed to first. Even today, the first puja is done at Viswaling and then only to Ramaling.

4. The Shore temple – Mahabalipuram 

A group of people standing in front of a building

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Image source: wikimedia

This complex, which is a UNESCO heritage site. has numerous temple structures. The complex also has various monolithic structures like the 5 chariots since each is made for the Pandavas of the Mahabharata. 

Set in the back drop of the ocean, the temples are close enough to drive from Chennai which is a bustling metro and the capital of Tamil Nadu. While you’re at it, enjoy some beach time as well! This can also be seen while on a road trip to Pondicherry.

5. Kumari Amman temple – Kanya Kumari

A large building

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Image source: wikimedia

Legend has it that a demon had won a boon and since then he could only be defeated by a virgin. Goddess Parvati saw his atrocities so she reincarnated as Kanya Kumari. When he saw the beautiful Kanya kumari, the demon tried to force her to marry him, which led to a battle where he was defeated. Since the people were thankful, they made a temple for the goddess at the same site. The temple is around 3000 years old. Since the temple is near the sea, it offers great views too.

Feeling excited already? Plan your next temple trail through Tamil Nadu while the weather is good. Hire a Scout to plan the ideal temple getaway for you and to make your travel more convenient!

Check out the trip plan to visit these temples in Tamil Nadu below.

temples of Tamil Nadu

> Get the entire route here.

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7 comments

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