We all know that the southern region of the Indian subcontinent is replete with a gamut of delightful sites including some of the most revered temples that are famous all over the world. Right from the significance of Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Tirupati to classic architecture of Meenakshi Temple in Madurai; intriguing legends of Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameshwaram to striking aesthetics of Kumari Amman Temple in Kanyakumari; every temple in this part of the country possess a wide range of fascinating elements that can be intriguing for any kind of traveller. Whether you are a believer, non believer, devotee or first timer, South India Temple Tours are definitely going to be your best experience ever.
So here’s the list of 4 famous temples in South India that must be on your wishlist in pursuit of exceptional and extraordinary experience.
1. Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Tirupati
One of the richest temples in India, Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple holds an imposing religious position. This popular temple in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh is dedicated to Vankateshwara - an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who is believed to have manifested himself here as the saviour of mankind. Every day thousands of devotees pay a visit to this temple that is known by different names such as Tirumala Temple, Tirupati Temple, Tirupati Balaji Temple etc.
Interesting Facts about Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple
1. It is the richest temple in the world that sits over the gold reserve weighing 9,000 kg. Also, the shrine receives offerings worth rupees 22.5 million on a daily basis.
2. The idol present in the temple is believed to be alive as one hears the sound of a roaring ocean after placing an ear on the back of the main idol.
3. Everyday after the resting morning ritual of Abhishekam, the idol of Venkateswara sweats which is wiped with a silk cloth.
4. Hair of Lord Vishnu’s idol present in the temple are real and never gets tangled. Once, the hair were donated to Vankateswara Swamy by the princess of Gardhavan which has become a prominent ritual that is practised till date.
Temple Address: S Mada Street, Tirumala, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh-517504, India
Temple Timings: 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM on all days of the week.
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2. Meenakshi Temple in Madurai
Meenakshi Temple is one of the largest and historic temples of South India that features architectural brilliance and imposing structure. This marvellous shrine of Goddess Parvati who is known as Meenakshi and her consort, Lord Shiva who is known as Sundareswarar is popularly known as Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple. It is located in the temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu and is prominent in Indian Temple Tour for great mythological and historical significance.
Interesting Facts about Meenakshi Temple
1. According to legends, the preceding Goddess Meenakshi emerged from the sacred fire as a three-year-old girl. She had three breasts and was blessed with a boon that whenever she would meet a real partner, her third breast would disappear on its own.
2. Distinct from other temples in India, this famous temple of South India displays unique tradition. Here the daily offerings are first made to Goddess Meenakshi and then to Lord Sundareswarar.
3. The temple houses a massive hall of thousand pillars that is the only accessible point in the temple for non-Hindus. Also, this part of the temple displays extraordinary feats of architects and sculptors who carved the entire section out of single rock.
4. There are 12 heavily carved Gopurams in the temple that are cleaned and reconstructed every 12 years.
Temple Address: Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Temple, Chithirai Street, Madurai – 625 001, India
Temple Timings: 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM on all days of the week.
3. Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameshwaram
One of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples in India, Ramanathaswamy Temple is rightly reckoned as a sacred pilgrimage centre for the Hindus. This revered temple of Lord Shiva is located on the eastern side of Pamban Island in Rameswaram which is considered as a prominent pilgrimage site for Shaivites, Vaishnavites and Smarthas alike. Besides its religious importance, the temple features the world’s longest corridor and 22 wells which are unique in its own way.
Interesting Facts about Ramanathaswamy Temple
1. This sacred temple of Lord Shiva is believed to be one of the famous Char Dhams where he himself appeared in the form of lingam.
2. There are two lingams presiding in the temple namely, ‘Ramalingam’ and ‘Viswalingam’. The Ramalingam is made of sand and was built by Sita whereas Viswalingam was brought by Lord Hanuman from Kailash parbat.
3. The temple complex has 22 wells where devotees have to take bath before entering the main temple.
4. Another striking feature of Ramanathaswamy temple is its majestic corridors which are considered as the longest corridors in the world.
Temple Address: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu - 623526, India
Temple Timings: 5:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM on all days of the week.
4. Kumari Amman Temple in Kanyakumari
One of the ancient temples in India, Kumari Amman Temple in Kanyakumari is believed to be 3000 years old. This famous temple in South India is symbolic of Kundalini Shakti and is considered as the significant Shakti Peetha where Sati’s right shoulder and spine fell. It is the imposing seat of Devi Kanyakumari who is believed to be the incarnation of goddess Parvati. Besides its antiquity and religious aspects, the temple is also known for its strategic location as it is situated on the southernmost tip of India.
Interesting Facts about Kumari Amman Temple
1. As per the legend, the temple was built by Lord Parasurama as he requested the Goddess to stay on earth till the end of Kaliyuga. The idol present in the temple is the same as installed by Lord Parasurama.
2. Devi Kanya Kumari is considered the main deity of the temple and faces towards the east. Her idol displays her as a beautiful adolescent girl wearing a garland in her neck and gleaming nose ring.
3. The idol of Goddess is known for a special nose ring that possesses extraordinary lustre. According to legend, the nose ring was obtained from King Cobra and many times sailors thought it to be a lighthouse which led to accidents. This probably is the reason why the eastern gate of the temple remains shut and is opened only during special occasions.
4. It is also believed that the water of holy confluence near the temple is blessed by the Goddess and therefore washes off all the sins of people who bathe in it.
Temple Address: Sannathi Street, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, 629702, India
Temple Timings: 4:30 AM to 12:30 PM and 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM on all days of the week.
Check out the ultimate South India Temple Tour Itinerary mentioned below:
6N/7D South India Temple Tour | Tirupati - Madurai - Rameshwaram - Kanyakumari
Day 01: Arrival at Tirupati
Day 02: Temple Visit to the Holy Site of Tirupati Balaji
Day 03: Tirupati to Trichy (8 hours Drive)
Day 04: Trichy to Madurai (2 hours Drive)
Day 05: Madurai Sightseeing & Rameshwaram Stay (3 and half hour travel)
Day 06: Rameshwaram Sightseeing & Kanyakumari Stay (5 and half hour drive)
Day 07: Kanyakumari Sightseeing & Kanyakumari Station (or) Trivandrum Departure
We are happy to serve you again with yet another promising itinerary.
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--- Published By Shradha Mehra
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