20 Famous Temples of Tamil Nadu, South India

Every dynasty through history have contributed and protected these temples. The magnificent mantapas & corridors.

Welcome to the world of Other-Worldly!..

Bygone times brings bygone glories, glories of the past when the grandeur of royal kings were adorning each corner of India in the form of astounding forts, visually appealing temples and tales of valour. When India used to tell tales through various sculptures of artistic artisans and the mystical stories and legends of saints and Gods used to fine tune the spirit of every Indian, which it still does.

Today we are going to talk about the bygone glory one such a land. The land of many tales that are mystic and other-worldly; the land where elaborate architecture and brilliant sculptures of its ancient temples, leave all its tourists spellbound with their astounding beauty, it’s the abode of delightful temples, the abode of other- worldly – Tamil Nadu.

A trip to these temples showcases the opulent and lavish tastes of the erstwhile royal kings, be it Pallavas, Cholas or Nayakas. Standing tall as the backbone of the Tamil culture, these temples are today India’s precious jewels adding to its rich heritage.

Tamil Nadu that not only provides you a great spiritual experience but also gives you a chance to revel in their mesmerizing designs, still speaking stories of their glorious past. Here is a list of 20 Top temples of Tamil Nadu for the divinely inspired travellers.

Meenakshi Amman Temple Madurai – An Ancient Divine Destination

Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai

Dedicated to Goddess Parvati in the form of Meenakshi and her consort, Lord Shiva in the form of Lord Sundareswarar, the Meenakshi Amman Temple is one of the most ancient and famous temples not only in Tamil Nadu but, in entire India.

According to historical and archaeological records, the temple was originally built around 6th century AD and the major portion of it was damaged in 14th century by the Muslim invaders in India. The present structure of the temple dates back to the 16th century when it was again restored to its pristine glory by the Nayak rulers.

Adi Kumbeswarar Temple Kumbakonam – Royal Cholas Rich Legacy

Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, Kumbakonam

The grandeur of Chola dynasty is still intact in the form of divine Adi Kumbeswarar temple. It’s an exquisite Dravidian style masterpiece which was renovated by Govinda Dikshitar, chief of Achutha Nayakar of Thanjavur in 16th century AD. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Brihadeeswarar Temple Thanjavur – One of ‘Great living Chola Temples’

Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur

The ‘Brihadeeswarar Temple’ is a delightful abode of Lord Shiva and is located in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the largest temples in India. This brilliant creation of the Chola dynasty in the 11th century AD stands tall as a testimony to the opulence and grandeur of the Chola rulers.

Today, the temple enjoys the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the list of ‘Great Living Chola Temples’ and is visited by hundreds of thousands of devotees and tourists every year.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam – Spiritual Peace and Wonderful Architecture

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam

Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the ‘Ranganathaswamy Temple’ located on the Srirangam Island of the Tiruchirappalli city in Tamilnadu, is another masterpiece of Dravidian architecture. Spread across an area of over 150 acres, the temple has 49 sub-shrines and is dotted with 21 brilliantly carved Gopurams (tower gateways) with the main or the ‘RajaGopuram’ standing tall at 236 ft. making it the tallest Gopurams in Asia.

Sri Rajagopala Swamy Temple, Mannargudi – Lord Krishna’s Grand Abode

Sri Rajagopala Swamy Temple, Mannargudi

Located in the town of Mannargudi the divine temple of Rajagopala Swamy is one of the most popular shrines of Lord Krishna. The temple is also known as Guruvayoor by Hindus. It is one of the most popular vaishnavite temples in India.

Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval- Divinity of Jambu Tree

Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval

Located on the Srirangam Island of Tamilnadu is the ‘Jambukeshwara Temple’ dedicated to Lord Shiva. Built during the Chola period this temple is a brilliant example of Dravidian style of architecture. It has 7 tiered Gopuram adorned with delicate carvings which depicts the artistic grandeur of Chola Kingdom.

Shiva Lingam is in the form of Appu Lingam (water lingam) and there is an underground stream flowing underneath the Shivling from which water continuously flows out.

Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchipuram

Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchipuram

Kanchipuram, the ancient town of Tamil Nadu has been luring divinely inspired travellers to its divine shores where temples tell the mystic tales of Gods and behind their creation the grandeur and artistic brilliance of Pallava Dynasty. You will see some of the best temples from the period of Pallavas. The city’s dravidian heritage and glorious past will be etched to your soul once you visit this fascinating piece of wonder. The two prominent temples in Kanchipuram are –

  • Ekambareswarar Temple, Kanchipuram- Ethereal Vibes

Ekambareswarar Temple, Kanchipuram

The ‘Ekambareswarar Temple’ attracts thousands of pilgrims and other tourists from different parts of India and abroad. Counted amongst five ‘Panch Bootha Sthalas’ (five elements of the universe), the temple is dedicated to the element, Earth and holds a great religious significance for devotees of Lord Shiva.

Ramanathaswamy Temple Rameshwaram- God’s Own Temple

Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga Temple

One of the four primary pilgrimage destinations (‘Char Dhams’) for all Hindus across the world, the ‘Ramanathaswamy Temple’ is swarmed by hordes of pilgrims every day. Besides being one of the holy ‘Chardham’, the temple is also counted amongst the 12 sacred Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva.

Mayuranathaswami Temple Mayiladuthurai

Mayuranathaswami Temple, Mayiladuthurai

Located in the Nagapattinam District of Tamil Nadu, Mayuranathaswami temple is one of the very popular holy shrines of Lord Shiva. According to a legend, once Lord Shiva cursed Goddess Parvati and as a result Goddess Parvati was born as a Peahen.

Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Chennai – Legend of Peacock Continues

Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Chennai

Located in Mylapore district of Chennai, the ‘Kapaleeshwarar Temple’ was built under the reign of the Pallava Kings during 7th century CE. However, the temple structure that stands today dates back to 16th century CE owing to the fact that the original structure was devastated by the Portuguese and it was in the 16th century that the Vijayanagara Kings brought the temple back to its pristine splendour.

Papanasam Temple, Tirunelveli – Destroyer of Sins

Papanasam Temple, Tirunelveli

The Divine temple of Papanasam at Tirunelveli is dedicated to Lord Shiva. No one knows when this temple came into existence. According to a legend, Once Lord Shiva standing between the horns of Nandi gave his divine darshan to sage Patanjali and Vyaghrapada at the place where this temple stands today.