A state that truly has everything one could desire, the name that comes to mind is Tamil Nadu. It is renowned throughout the country for countless of its specialties but nothing beats the divinity of the state. On every corner, you can observe a temple, and if you believe that is an exaggeration then you may be shocked to know that there are a total of 38,615 temples found in the state and each of them is unique in its way and provides the devoted mind with solace and calm. Furthermore, the ancient architecture of these temples that date back centuries is simply exemplary. Check out some of the most mesmerizing temples of the state:
1. Meenakshi Amman Temple
At the top of this list had to be the Meenakshi Temple of Madurai which is well-known not only around the state but the entire country. It is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi, an incarnation of Goddess Parvati as well as Lord Sundareswarar, an incarnation of Lord Shiva which is why this temple is also generally referred to as the Meenakshi-Sundareswarara Temple. The reason for its glory stems from its rich history as well as the admirable architecture of the temple. It is said to have been built by a Pandyan King who is said to have built it after receiving instructions from Lord Shiva himself. It was unfortunately ruined by the expeditions of Delhi Sultanate commander Malik Kafur but was later rebuilt in Silpa Shastras style of architecture.
2. Ramanathaswamy Temple
The Ramanathaswamy temple, situated in Rameshwaram, is the absolute ideal destination for your next pilgrimage trip. It derives great importance in Hinduism primarily due to two reasons: it is one of the revered char dhams and is therefore understandably crowded by devotees throughout the year; it is furthermore home to the twelve jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, adding to the temple’s auspicious nature. Similar to the Meenakshi Temple, it possesses a diverse history, after all, the temple has survived through myriad dynasties and empires such as the Cholas, the Delhi Sultanate, the Vijayanagara Empire, to name a few. Its structure is something that simply has to be mentioned because the design and the noteworthy pillars of the temple are a sight to bestow your eyes upon.
3. Nataraja Temple
Situated in Chidambaram, this is a renowned temple of the state of Tamil Nadu that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was constructed during the reign of the Chola Dynasty over the region. For the Chola rulers, Natraja was a prominent deity. The Architecture of this temple is completely mesmerizing and is the bridge between the inculcation of art and divinity that has led to the haven which is the Nataraja Temple. A major allure of this temple is the image of the Nataraja that is beautifully ornamented.
4. Adi Kumbeswarar Temple
Another prominent temple of Tamil Nadu, the Adi Kumbeswarar Temple is situated in Kumbakonam. It was built during the Chola Dynasty and is truly a highlight of their reign. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple follows the Dravidian Style of Architecture and the structure is breathtaking. It is also the site for the much revered Mahamaham festival which observes a plethora of pilgrims from all around the globe visiting this temple to bathe in the sacred Pottramari Temple, which is a major attraction of this temple.
5. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
This marvel of Tamil Nadu is situated across the island of Srirangam in the city of Tiruchirappalli is an exemplary form of the Dravidian Style of Architecture because of which, it has attained fame throughout the country. This temple covers a large area and is divided into 49 sub-shrines. An allure of this temple remains the principal or Raja Gopuram which stands tall at the height of 236 feet and is the highest in the continent. The chief deity of this temple is Lord Vishnu and the perfect cherry on top is the splendid views.
6. Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple
This temple is located in the city of Kanchipuram, renowned for its spiritual aura and fascinating past. The Kailasanathar Temple is certainly one of the city’s crown jewels, to say the least. It is thought that the temple was built by the Pallava rulers, nearing the end of the early medieval period. The temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and has the most brilliant of structures, following Dravidian Architecture. The primary allures of this temple remain the sculptures of Shiva that are intricately carved as well as the sanctum of the temple. The temple attracts thousands of pilgrims throughout the year but gets especially crowded during the festival of Maha Shivratri.
7. Ekambareswarar Temple
This is yet another temple that is the pride of the glorious Kanchipuram. As per ancient beliefs, there are five classifications of matter: earth, water, air, sky, and fire. This temple is dedicated to an integral element that is Earth and has attained a position of importance for those who worship Lord Shiva. The legend that surrounds this temple is based upon an atonement that was executed by Goddess Parvati for Lord Shiva who, impressed, appeared before her. This said the act was performed under a mango tree that still can be noticed inside the temple and continues to bless us with its delicious fruits. The architecture is spell-bounding as the pillars with intricate carvings upon them truly stand out.
Visiting these temples is an experience that you will never forget and can only be described as entrancing and will certainly help you get in touch with your spiritual side as the solace provided by these temples overtakes you. It was truly rightly said by Swami Vivekananda, “Manifest the divinity within you and everything will be harmoniously arranged around it.” Let us know in the comments section below about the temple of Tamil Nadu that spoke to you.