11 Famous Temples in Tamil Nadu Reflecting India’s Rich Culture

The ancient temples found all over Tamil Nadu, being resplendent in striking architectural and sculptural details, significantly recall a prosperous bygone age dominated by such powerful kings as the Pallavas, Nayakas or Cholas. Visit these divine abodes to enjoy the mesmerizing art forms, preserved over several centuries and also satiate your longing of a spiritual quest.

Tamil Nadu Temples

Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai

Popular Temples of Tamil Nadu

Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva preside in the form of Meenakshi and Sundareshwarar in this ancient temple, hailing as one of the most prominent ones in India. Believed to have originally been constructed in the 6th century AD, it was restored in the 16th century by the Nayak rulers due to its destruction by Muslim invaders in the 14th century. The temple brilliantly features Dravidian architecture and some of the most notable details are, the thousand pillared hall, the magnificently sculpted Gopurams and the exquisite portrayals of Indian mythological scenes.

Major Festivals:

Meenakshi Thirukalyanam celebrated in April

Timing:

Open from 9 am to 7 pm

View Photos


Popular Temples in Tamil Nadu Popular Temples in Tamilnadu

Thiruthani Murugan Temple, Thiruthani

Popular Temples in Tamil Nadu, Thiruthani Murugan

Located between Tirupati and Kanchipuram, this hill temple was made by the Pallava kings in the 9th and 10th century CE and represents one of the six battlegrounds of Lord Murugan or Kartikeya, the other five being, Palani, Swamimalai, Tirupparangunram, Pazhamudircholai, and Thiruchendur. To reach it, you may mount its 365 steps or avail a motorable road. Look out for the Rudraksha tower that contains a gigantic ornamented image of Lord Subrahmanya, beautifully adorned with green stones.


Major Festivals:

Monthly Krittikai, yearly Aadi Krittikai, 31 December New Year Step Festival

Timing:

Open from 5.45 am to 9 pm (except for some special days, when it remains open until midnight)

View Photos


Popular Temples in Tamilnadu Thiruthani Murugan 

Nellai Krishnapuram Temple, Dinamalar

Temples in Tamil Nadu Nellai Krishnapuram

Located at a distance of 10 km from Tirunelveli, this temple offers a grand view of the Dravidian style of architecture. Its area of 1.8 acres is surrounded by massive granite walls, and there are also shrines and pillared halls built way back in the 16th century by the Nayak and Vijayanagar kings. The temple’s gateway tower has a commanding height of 110ft, and there’s a standing image of Venkatachalapathy that goes up to 4ft.


Major Festivals:

Brahmmotsavam held in September-October and Vaikunda Ekadasi observed in December-January

Timing:

Open from 6.00 am to 11.00 am, and from 4 pm to 11 pm

View Photos


 Temples in Tamilnadu Nellai Krishnapuram Sculpture

Apatsahayesvarar Temple, Alangudi

Shiva Temples in Tamil Nadu Apatsahayesvarar

In this Hindu temple, Lord Shiva is prayed as Apathsahyesvarar and Parvati as Tribuvananayagi. According to legends, the name “Alangudi” comes from the terrible poison that Shiva consumed and since he survived the ordeal, consequently, the term “Apathasahyesvarar” signifies a savior during troubled times. Regarding its construction, people believe that the Cholas built the original temple, while the present structure was made by Nayak rulers in the 16th century. Covering 2 acres, the temple consists of multiple shrines and a two-tier gateway tower called gopurams.


Major Festivals:

Poornima day (Full moon day) held in April-May, and Thai poosam in January-February

Timing:

Open from 6 am to 11 am and again from 4 pm to 8.30 pm

View Photos


Famous Shiva Temples in Tamil Nadu Apatsahayesvarar Popular Temples in Tamil Nadu Apatsahayesvrar

Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Tirupattur

Popular Temples in Tamil Nadu Brahmapureeswarar

Dedicated to Lord Brahma, this temple is believed to change the destiny of all those who come to seek blessings. The 12 Shiva Lingams within the temple complex recall an interesting tale of how Lord Brahma, after being cursed by Lord Shiva for his mounting pride, erected them to appease him. Lord Brahmapureeswarar and Devi Brahma Sampath Gowri are the presiding deities of this temple built in the 8th century.


Major Festivals:

A festival of ten days is celebrated in the months of March and April.

Timing:

Open from 7 am to 12.30 pm and 4 pm to 8 pm

View Photos


 Temples in Tamil Nadu Brahmapureeswarar

Brihadeshwara Temple, Thanjavur

Popular Temples in Tamil Nadu Brihadeshwara

Also known as Periya Kovil, Raja Rajeswara Temple, and Rajarajeswaram, this is one of the biggest temples in India, visited by tourists from all over the world. Built by Raja Raja Chola 1 in 1010 CE, it is famous for a number of structures. It’s tower, commanding a height of 216ft is among the tallest temple towers in the world, while its apex, carved from a single rock weighs nearly 80 tons. There is also a massive statue of “Nandi” that is 13ft high.


Major Festivals:

An annual festival is held in May, while a monthly festival is held on the day of the ruling star

Timing:

Open from 6 am to 12.30 pm and 4 pm to 8.30 pm

View Photos


Temples in Tamil Nadu Brihadeshwara

Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram

Temples in Tamil Nadu Thillai Nataraja

There are multiple attractive features of this temple in Cuddalore District. Firstly, the stone scriptures, bronze statues, and surrounding Thillai trees vividly recall early Chola and Pallava art. Secondly, the gold plated towers notably point at the Medieval structural inclusions put in by kings like Aditya I, Parantaka Chola I, Kopperunchinga I, Krishnadevaraya. Lastly, it is important to note that it’s the only temple of the later Chola period that sports significant architectural features like,  the “nritta maṇḍapa” or the Sūrya shrine having chariot wheels.


Major Festivals:

Natyanjali dance festival held annually on Maha Shivaratri, and Margazhi festival in December-January.

Timing:

Open from 6 am to 12.30 pm and 4.30 pm to 10 pm

View Photos


Popular Temples in Tamil Nadu Thillai Nataraja Popular Temples in Tamilnadu Thillai Nataraja

Sripuram Golden Temple, Vellore

Top Temples in Tamil Nadu Sripuram Golden Temple

The most remarkable feature of this temple dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, known as ‘Sri Lakshmi Narayani’ is that it is made of pure gold! Built in 2007 and covering an area of 100 acres, it is an amazing spectacle for striking carvings, artwork, and sculptors, befittingly adorning the ceilings, walls, and pillars.


Major Festivals:

Vaikunda Ekadasi celebrated in December-January

Timing:

Open from 8 am to 8 pm

View Photos


Temples in Tamil Nadu Sripuram Golden Temple Popular Temples in Tamilnadu Sripuram Golden Temple

Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameswaram

Popular Temples in Tamil Nadu Ramanathaswamy

Counted as one of the Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, this temple gets visited by countless devotees every day. Built by the Pandya rulers way back in the 12th century CE, it comprises of several attractions like the four gopurams of 414ft each, an extensive corridor hall full of granite pillars, and a gigantic statue of “Nandi” almost 20ft high.


Major Festivals:

Mahashivaratri in February and March, and Vasanthautsavam observed in May and June

Timing:

Open from 4.30 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 8.30 pm

View Photos


Temples in Tamil Nadu Ramanathaswami 

Suryanar Kovil Temple, Thanjavur

Nabagraha Temples in Tamil Nadu Suryanar Kovil

This temple, dedicated to the Sun God, is the only one in India that consists of all nine shrines of Nabagraha or the nine planets. Sporting Dravidian architectural style, it was built when king Kutottunga Choladeva ruled the region.


Major Festivals:

Ratha Sapthami held in January-February

Timing:

Open from 6 am to 11 am and 4 pm to 8 pm

View Photos


Popular Temples in Tamil Nadu Suryanar Kovil 

Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram

Popular Temples in Tamil Nadu Varadharaja Perumal

Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this temple secures a number of fascinating legends. One narrates how Lord Vishnu, pleased with Brahma’s Ashwamedha worship, helped in reuniting Brahma with his wife Saraswati. Another is about how Lord Vishnu relieved Sage Gautama’s disciples, who had been cursed to become lizards. Originally believed to be built by the Cholas in 1053 and expanded by kings such as Kulottunga Chola 1 and Vikrama Chola, it is famous for upholding Vijayanagar architectural style.


Major Festivals:

Brahmotsavam in May, and a float festival held from February to November

Timing:

Open from 6 am to 12 pm and 4.30 pm to 8.30 pm

View Photos


Temples in Tamil Nadu Varadharaja Perumal 

Besides these, there are other temples in Tamil Nadu that you might like to visit like Kalabairavar temple in Dharmapuri, Jambukeswarar temple in Thiruvanaikaval, Sri Kalyansundareswarar temple in Thanjavur and Sri Ema Dharmaraja temple in Dinamalar.

There are about 33,000 temples in Tamil Nadu, and each one is majestic in its own way. So, to savor some moments of inner peace, embark upon a devotional journey of these marvelous temples and get enlightened by India’s rich and vibrant cultural heritage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *