The rich heritage and culture of south India get mirrored in its ancient architectural achievements that include splendid temples and other architectural marvels. The former rulers of dynasties in south India were highly religious and patronized the creative pursuits, including the building of exquisite temples. The Pallavas and Cholas were known for their extraordinary sense for creative arts and for promoting Dravidian architecture. There are many temples dotted all over south India and are some of these are major crowd pullers attracting tourists from the distant corners of India and abroad. Enjoy the beauty of the south India temples while you enjoy the amazing diversity of peninsular India.
The most important temples of South India include the following -
It is one of the most important stopovers in the itinerary of any south India temple tour of India. It was a major center for Pallava culture and arts. Here, you will come across four kinds of rock architecture, including open air bas - relief, structured temples, man-made caves and monolithic structures. The Shore Temple is a leading attraction here and is characterized by intricate carvings and amazing rock cut designs. Arjuna’s Penance is another marvel and is actually an open air bas relief featuring figures of Gods, sages, semi-divine beings, huge elephants and a few other animals. You will also come across the famous monolithic Rathas (chariots) and shrines that still reflect the religious flavor of the place.
The temples of Kanchipuram occupy an indispensable place among the various other south India temples and are especially important for the tourists on pilgrimage. The ancient Dravidian architectural heritage is well-preserved in these architectural wonders that are simply masterpieces. The temples house the fascinating images of the Hindu gods and goddesses that still enrich the charm of these temples substantially. The noteworthy temples of Kanchipuram are Kamakshi Amman Temple, Kailashanathar Temple, Kumara Kottam, Varadaraja Temple and Ulahalanda Perumal Temple.
On your tour of south India, you just cannot afford to miss out the temple town of Rameshwaram.. The main temple here is located on the Rameshwaram Island and is called Sri Ramanathaswamy temple, which is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas (abode of Lord Shiva) of India, is one of the most important temples of South India. The island is shaped like a conch shell that Lord Vishnu bears in one of his hands. There are teerthas (pilgrimage spots) and shrines inside the temple that accentuate the aesthetic value of the temple. Rameshwaram is as important for Hindus as Banaras in north India.
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