Temples, Shrines And Spiritual Places Across Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is considered as a perfect place for a pilgrimage tour in the southern India, and famous for ancient temples and rich cultural heritage. You are sure to be mesmerized by the architectural splendor and artistic brilliance of ancient temples that grace this Land of Temples. Dating back to historic times of the Pallavas, Cholas and Nayakas, these enormous and enduring temples offer a glimpse into its rich culture, tumultuous history and glorious heritage.
The most ancient and most stunning example of architecture is the 6th century Meenakshi Amman Mandir dedicated to Goddess Parvati. The towering ‘Gopurams’ of the temple are embellished with thousands of finely sculpted gods and demons. Regarded as the first among the 108 holiest abodes of Lord Vishnu is the 10th century Ranganathaswamy Mandir in Tiruchirappalli adorned with 21 intricately sculpted towers and splendid frescoes. One among the Chardham (four holiest pilgrimage centers) and home to one of the 12 revered Jyotirlingas is the Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameswaram.
Another UNESCO World Heritage site is the 7th century Monolithic Rock Temple in Mahabalipuram featuring five temples in the form of chariots dedicated to the Pandavas. The Nagaraja Mandir in Nagercoil with Vasuki as its deity is famed for its tranquil divinity. Located at the southern tip of the nation, is the 3000 year old Kumari Amman Temple dedicated to Goddess Kanyakumari, and located at the holy confluence of Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal.
Tamil Nadu will delight you with its temples dedicated to the Pancha Bhootas or Five Elements. The 11th century Thillai Nataraja Temple dedicated to the element of space, the 6th century Ekambareswarar Temple signifying the element of earth and the 9th century Annamalaiyer Temple symbolizing the element of fire are famous Shaivite temples. Do not miss the spectacular sight of the Sripuram Golden Temple constructed completely in gold. Its pathways embellished with quotes from Bible, Quran and Gita, blesses visitors with the profound wisdom of universal consciousness.
The roots of Jainism ran deep in ancient Tamil Nadu as is evident from the 135 ancient Jain temples and numerous Jain caves in the state. The 1500 year old Kesarwadi Jain temple in Puzhal, the 6th century Jinakanchi temple near Kanchipuram, the 1st century Ponnurmalai Jain temple in Ponnur village and the 3rd century Jain temples in Munigiri, all replete with attractive paintings, sculpted pillars, carved towers, footprints of Jain saints and grand statues of Tirthankaras.
Located in Rameswaram, the Guru Nanak Dham beholds a historical significance. Shri Guru Nanak ji visited Rameswaram in the year 1511 and stayed there for 19 days on his return journey from Sri Lank, where he made significant contribution in solving the problems of Raja Shivnabh, the King of Sri Lanka. The Gurdwara was built to honour and commemorate the visit of Guru Nanak ji, the first Sikh Guru.
Ancient Buddhist idols have been unearthed in many places in the state. Two large, almost intact, 8th century idols of Buddha are now enshrined in two locations in Salem. The Muniappan Kovil in Salem City features a broken idol of Buddha that is now revered as the local God, Muniappan.
A pilgrimage to Tamil Nadu is a rare opportunity to behold thousands of abodes of the Gods and indulge in its vibrant culture, ancient traditions, fascinating legends and spiritual peace. You can also spend time exploring some of the beautiful hill stations, beaches, and enjoy the traditional, mouth-watering Tamil Cuisines.