15 Famous Temples in South India You Must Visit in 2019

By  | 

When we talk about the sacred and brilliantly looking south famous temple, the first thing that runs through all our minds, are the temples of South India. The southern part of India, without any doubt, is very much known for their exquisite number of temples. The temples that are built in South India all draw the similar form of attention with them being the center of attraction for every tourist visit there. Tourists from all over the world come only to get a glimpse of all the beauty of the south temple images.

The temples to visit in south India mesmerize you with their culture and all their history. They will take back to your roots, and will make you feel very happy and exciting. Therefore, the following are some of the best temples of South India with names and information, so that you will come to know all about them.

Here Is the List of Most Famous Temples In South India:

1. Tirupati Tirumala Temple, Lord Vishnu:

Tirupati Tirumala Temple

The Tirupati Temple which is dedicated to the Lord Venkateshwara, or commonly known as Lord Vishnu, is definitely one of the top 5 south Indian temples in South India. This Balaji temple south India is very much popular with all the pilgrims and is located in the temple city of south India, Chittoor, of state Andhra Pradesh. All the pilgrims have to walk up 3500 steps in order to reach the top of the hill, where the temple is located. From the bottom of the hill to the top, takes about 4 hours to reach either way. You can also take the alternate route and reach the temple by bus as well. This is one of the wealthiest and also the biggest temple in south India. The place has not only been patronized by kings but also movie stars as well.

  • Trip Duration: 1-2 hours
  • How To Reach: Bus/Trek
  • Nearest Bus Stand: Tirumala – 0 km
  • Nearest Airport: Renigunta – 38 km from Tirupati
  • Nearest Railway Station: Tirupati – 22 km
  • Best Time To Visit: Avoid Summer Holidays and Brahmotsavam Time
  • Peak Season: January – December
  • Dress Code: No
  • Timings: 2:30 am to 1:30 am
  • Festivals: Brahmotsavam (Sept/Oct)
  • Other Attraction: Srinivasa Mangapuram, Tiruchanur, Talakona Falls

2. Ramanatha Swamy Temple, Lord Shiva:

Ramanatha Swamy Temple

The temple of Ramanatha Swamy Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is one of the best temples in south India to visit in Rameshwaram. This is one of the ancient temples of south India that has its name in the south Indian temples history because it houses the biggest hallway in India. In the 12th century, the construction of the Rameshwaram Temple had started. The construction was contributed by many rulers in India. The hallway is almost 1220 meters in length, and also has pillars that very brilliantly curved. There is also a 54-meter tall Gopuram which has also become the symbol of divinity as well. There are also 22 wells spread around the premises of the Ramanatha Swamy temple. It has been said that each well’s water tastes very different.

  • Trip Duration: 1-2 hours
  • How To Reach: Cab/Auto
  • Nearest Railway Station: Rameswaram Railway Station – 2 km
  • Best Time To Visit: Feb-March and July-Aug
  • Peak Season: Feb – Aug
  • Dress Code: No
  • Timings: 5 AM – 1 PM & 3 PM – 9 PM
  • Festivals: Annual Brahmotsavams (Feb/March and July/Aug)
  • Other Attraction: Rameshwaram

3. Virupaksha Temple, Lord Shiva:

Virupaksha Temple

The Virupaksha Temple is one of the most famous temples in south India list and also a very significant temple in the city of Hampi. It is located at the western part of the Hampi Bazaar. This is one of the top temples in south India that is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and thus one of the most sacred temples in the state of Karnataka. The temple is still with its ruins and is currently intact as well. The other name of the temple is the Pampapathi Temple. This is one of the most famous temples in south India and was established in the 7th century AD. Therefore, it is one of the oldest temples in India. First of all, it was a humble shrine which was later expanded during the reigns of the Vijayanagara Kings, Chalukyan and also the Hoysala eras too. This temple is the main center of pilgrimage for all the people at Hampi. The tower of the main temple is 160 feet in height. The inner walls of the temple are supported by a large corridor. This temple is listed in the south India famous temples list and it also dates

back to the 15th century and was renovated during the 16th century.

  • Trip Duration: 1 hour
  • How To Reach: Cab/Auto/Walk/Trek/Rental Bike
  • Nearest Bus Stand: Hampi Bus Stand – 0.4 km
  • Best Time To Visit: Feb and Dec
  • Peak Season: Nov – Mar
  • Dress Code: No
  • Timings: 6 AM – 1 PM & 5 PM – 9 PM
  • Festivals: Annual Chariot Festival (Feb) & Marriage Festivities of Virupaksha and Pampa (Dec)
  • Other Attraction: Nandi statue, Bhuvaneswari shrine, Vidyaranya Shrine

4. Sri Meenakshi Agastheeshwara Swamy Temple, Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvathi:

Sri Meenakshi Agastheeshwara Swamy Temple

The Sri Meenakshi Agastheeshwara Swamy Temple is located in the Nalgonda district of Telangana. This Meenakshi temple in south India is very ancient and thereby is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvathi. The south Indian temples information said that it was constructed by the Kakatiya Rulers in the 12th century. The temple is also located in an area where rivers Krishna and Musi converge together. This gives the temple a religious significance. The temple is also known for the continuous water flow from the head of the Shivalinga in the sanctum. It’s also one of the most powerful temples in south India. Even if the source of the water is removed then also the original level of the water remains as well. It is said that the idols of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy and Sri Meenakshi Agastheswara were installed at first in the temple. Then the local rulers replaced them with the idols of Lord Shiva.

  • Trip Duration: 4 hours
  • How To Reach: Cab/Bus
  • Nearest Bus Stand: Wadapally Bus Stand – 1.2 km
  • Nearest Airport: Hyderabad – 172 km
  • Nearest Railway Station: Miryalaguda railway station – 29 km
  • Best Time To Visit: March
  • Peak Season: Feb – April
  • Dress Code: No
  • Timings: 7 AM – 11 PM & 6 PM – 7:30 PM
  • Festivals: Maha Shivratri
  • Other Attraction: Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Temple

5. Darasuram Airavathesvara Temple, Lord Shiva, Lord Yama, Lord Indra:

Darasuram Airavathesvara Temple

The Airavathesvara Temple was built by the Rajaraja Chola II. It was built in the 12th century, and it is one of the five south Indian temples which were regarded as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is a part of the ‘Great Living Chola Temples’. There is a lot of art and architecture built into the temple. The temple’s vimana is 85 feet high as well. The front of the temple has a huge chariot which is drawn by some horses. This is also one of the powerful temples in south India. The temple also has some stone carvings which are exquisite too. The main consort of the deity, which is the Periya Nayaki Amman temple, is very much situated close to the Airavateshwarar temple. The legend says that Lord Indra’s White Elephant used to worship Lord Shiva, and so did Lord Yama, who was the King of Death.

  • Trip Duration: 1-2 hours
  • How To Reach: Cab/Bus
  • Nearest Bus Stand: Kumbakonam Bus Stand – 8 km
  • Nearest Airport: Trichy International Airport – 70 km
  • Nearest Railway Station: Thanjavur railway station – 34 km
  • Best Time To Visit: Nov – Feb
  • Peak Season: Nov – Feb
  • Dress Code: No
  • Timings: 6 AM – 7 PM
  • Festivals: Maha Shivratri
  • Other Attraction: Periya Nayaki Amman temple, Kumbakonam

6. Gangaikonda Temple, Lord Shiva & Lord Saraswati:

Gangaikonda Temple

This temple is a clear example of all the various types of south Indian Hindu temple architecture styles you can see inside the cultural temples and traditions of India. The temple has a lot of interesting features which are all the reasons for its popularity all over the country. The temple was established on the reason due to the great history and victory of the Cholas. The significance of these victories and histories were remembered by the Chola Temples, and thus the art in this temple has its importance as well. The various parts of the temple showcase the various contributions made by the Cholas. The place also has various religious shrines of Lord Shiva and Goddess Saraswati as well.

  • Trip Duration: 30 minutes – 1 hour
  • How To Reach: Cab/Bus
  • Nearest Airport: Tiruchirapalli International Airport – 111 km
  • Nearest Railway Station: Kuthalam railway station – 31 km
  • Best Time To Visit: Sept – March
  • Peak Season: Sept – March
  • Dress Code: No
  • Timings: 6 AM – 12 PM & 4 PM – 8 PM
  • Festivals: Maha Shivaratri, Saraswati Puja
  • Other Attraction: Sri Kaliamman Temple, Pillayar Koil, Sri Periyanayaki Amman Temple

7. Vittala Temple, Lord Vishnu:

Vittala Temple

This temple is located in the southern bank of the Tungabhadra River. It is also one of the largest and also one of the most famous temples as well. It is one of the oldest temples in south India. There is a Stone Chariot and as well as Musical Pillars too. The temple was built around the 15th century AD and was during the reign of King Devaraya II. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Therefore this temple is a must see for all visitors in Hampi. The architecture of this temple has a Dravidian style. The chariot was built from large sized granite rocks that also have mythical battle scenes as well. There are currently two elephants placed beside the chariot, where earlier it was two horses.

  • Trip Duration: 1-2 hours
  • How To Reach: Cab/Bus/Trek/Walk/Rental Bike
  • Nearest Bus Stand: Hampi Bus Stand – 9 km or Kamalapura Bus Stand – 5.5 km
  • Nearest Airport: Ballari Airport – 64 km
  • Nearest Railway Station: Hospet railway station – 10 km
  • Best Time To Visit: Nov-Feb
  • Peak Season: Jan-Feb
  • Dress Code: No
  • Timings: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Festivals: Purandaradasa festival
  • Other Attraction: Kalayna Mantapa

8. Ayyappa Temple, Lord Ayyappan:

Ayyappa Temple

The Sabarimala Ayyappa temple has a history of more than 5000 years. It is one of the oldest south Indian ancient temples in India. The main attraction is that Lord Ayyappan is dedicated to this temple. The temple is situated amidst 18 hills, and also has an altitude of 3000 feet. The idol of Lord Ayyappan was installed by Lord Parasurama. All the devotees offer traditional belongings to the Lord. This is one of the south Indian historical temples which have no such restrictions on caste and religion. It is open to males for all ages, but females from 10 to 50 years of age are not permitted inside the temple. The temple can be easily reached via trekking from Pamba, which is the nearest point of the road to the temple and has a distance of 8 km.

  • Trip Duration: 2-3 hours
  • How To Reach: Trek/Walk
  • Nearest Bus Stand: Sabarimala – 0 km
  • Nearest Airport: Kochi Airport – 158 km
  • Nearest Railway Station: – Kottayam- 94 km
  • Best Time To Visit: Feb – Oct
  • Peak Season: Nov – Jan
  • Dress Code: No
  • Timings: 4 AM – 1:30 PM & 4 PM – 11 PM (Nov-Jan) & 5 PM – 10 PM (Other months)
  • Festivals: Mandalapooja, Makaravilakku, Makara Jyothi
  • Other Attraction: City of Sabarimala

9. Agneeswarar Temple or KanjanurSukran Temple, Lord Shiva, Lord Agni & Goddess Karpagambal:

Agneeswarar Temple

The Agneeswarar Temple is situated at Kanjanur, Tamil Nadu. This Shiva temple in south India was established by the Medieval Cholas and then it was renovated by the Vijayanagar Empire. It was said that Lord Brahma had the vision of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati getting married here. Lord Agni is said to be worshipping Lord Shiva here, and that’s why the name, Agneeswarar. It is said that Sukran is the most successful planet after Guru. Lord Sukran is celebrated on Friday, and thus Fridays are considered to be special as well. This Brahma temple in south India has an extensive architecture and a ground area that is expansive as well. Therefore, this temple is a must visit for those who love history and architecture as well.

  • Trip Duration: 1-2 hours
  • How To Reach: Bus/Cab/Auto
  • Nearest Bus Stand: Suryanar Temple – 3 km
  • Nearest Airport: Trichy Airport – 70 km
  • Nearest Railway Station: Kumbakonam Railway Station – 18 km
  • Best Time To Visit: Aug – Sept
  • Peak Season: Aug – Sept
  • Dress Code: No
  • Timings: 7 AM – 12:30 PM & 4 PM – 9 PM
  • Festivals: Mahasivaratri, Arudra Darisanam, AadiPooram, Navaratri
  • Other Attraction: Suriyanar Temple, Sri Sarabeshwarar Temple, Sri Mahalinga Swami Temple

10. Kapaleeswarar Temple, Lord Shiva:

Kapaleeswarar Temple

The Kapaleeswarar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built in the 8th century by the Pallavas. The current structure was built by the rulers of Vijayanagara, in the 16th century. This is one of the most famous Shiva temples in south India. The temple has a grand gopuram, which is about 37 meters in height. The architecture here is of Dravidian style. Therefore, it is one of the most popular tourist spots in the city of Chennai. The temple has some nice beautiful sculptures. Every year there is a special attraction for all the tourists due to the Arubathumoovar festival. The place is also great for history buffs as well. There are idols of around 63 devotees, who all attained salvation after praying to Lord Shiva, due to their pure devotion towards the Lord.

  • Trip Duration: 1 hour
  • How To Reach: Bus/Cab/Auto
  • Nearest Bus Stand: Chennai Bus Stand – 5 km
  • Nearest Airport: Chennai Airport – 6.5 km
  • Nearest Railway Station: Chennai Central Railway Station – 6.5 km
  • Best Time To Visit: Mar – April
  • Peak Season: Mar – April
  • Dress Code: No
  • Timings: 5 AM – 11 PM & 4 PM – 9:30 PM
  • Festivals: Mahasivaratri, Arudra Darisanam, AadiPooram, Navaratri
  • Other Attraction: Marina Beach, Sri Parthasarathy Swamy Temple, Fort St. George

11. Meenakshi Amman Temple or Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvati:

Meenakshi Amman Temple

The Meenakshi Amman Temple is one of the most 5 famous temples of south India and in Madurai as well. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. This temple in the south temple list is very much considered as an architectural marvel as well. It was also one of the 30 nominees shortlisted for the 7 wonders of the world. The temple forms the lifeline and also the heart of the city of Madurai. The structure was rebuilt by Viswanatha Nayak, in the years 1559-1600. It was then again restructured by Tirumalai Nayak, in the year 1623 – 1655. This south Indian Hindu temple premise is built around 45 acres of land, and it is also surrounded by 14 towers as well. Since, it is one of the five famous temples of south India, every day the temple attracts about 15,000 visitors, and the count rises to 25,000 on Fridays.

  • Trip Duration: 2-3 hours
  • How To Reach: Cab/Auto/Trek/Walk
  • Nearest Bus Stand: Madurai Junction – 2 km
  • Nearest Airport: Madurai Airport
  • Nearest Railway Station: Madurai Railway Station – 2 km
  • Best Time To Visit: April – May (or during June-March, if you want to avoid traffic)
  • Peak Season: April – May
  • Dress Code: No
  • Timings: 5 AM – 12:30 PM & 4 PM – 9:30 PM
  • Festivals: Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival
  • Other Attraction: PotramaraiKulam

12. Thiruparankundram Temple, Lord Muruga:

Thiruparankundram Temple

The Thiruparankundram Temple is known as one of the most sacred places in Madurai. The temple was built in the 8th century and is dedicated to Lord Murugan. This is one of the first temples that is considered to be the place where Lord Muruga used to worship Lord Shiva. This was after when Lord Muruga defeated the demon Surapadman, and then married the daughter of Indra, Deivayani. The main part of the shrine has its temple, which was built from a rock. The shrine also has about 48 numbers of curved pillars. The shrine also has Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu face each other, which is also a rare scene to see in a Hindu temple.

  • Trip Duration: 1-2 hours
  • How To Reach: Cab/Auto/Bus
  • Nearest Bus Stand: Madurai Junction – 8 km
  • Nearest Airport: Madurai Airport
  • Nearest Railway Station: Madurai Railway Station – 8 km
  • Best Time To Visit: Oct – May
  • Peak Season: March – May
  • Dress Code: No
  • Timings: 5:30 AM – 1 PM & 4 PM – 9:30 PM
  • Festivals: Tamil month of Panguni (Mar/Apr), Chittirai festival (Apr/May), Skanda Shashti (Oct/Nov)
  • Other Attraction: Aasthaana Mandapam, Rajagopuram, Statue of Lord Murugan, Pond outside the temple

13. Koodal Alagar Temple, Lord Vishnu:

Koodal Alagar Temple

The Koodal Alagar Temple is one of the most significant temples in Madurai as well. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu as well. This temple is said to be older than the Meenakshi Temple, which is also present in Madurai as well. The most unique feature of this temple is the posture, which is in three positions, of the same God. There are three figures of Vishnu, who is in sitting, standing or reclining postures. There are also some beautiful artworks and architectures inside the temple too. There are many color paintings on the walls, depicting various gods and goddess. On the festival days, this temple gets the most number of devotees.

  • Trip Duration: 1 hour
  • How To Reach: Cab/Auto
  • Nearest Bus Stand: Madurai Junction – 1 km
  • Nearest Airport: Madurai Airport
  • Nearest Railway Station: Madurai Railway Station – 1 km
  • Best Time To Visit: Sept – Oct
  • Peak Season: Sept – Oct
  • Dress Code: No
  • Timings: 5:30 AM – 12:30 PM & 4 PM – 10 PM
  • Festivals: Annual Brahmotsavam Festival
  • Other Attraction: Lord Rama’s Coronation or Pattabhishekham

14. Chamundi Hill Chamundeswari temple, Goddess Chamundeswari:

Chamundi Hill Chamundeswari temple

The Chamundeswari temple was established for Goddess Chamundeswari, who is an incarnation of Goddess Parvathi. This is one of the most important places for pilgrimage in the state of Karnataka. Therefore, if you go on a Mysore Trip, you should visit this place. The altitude of this place is 1065 meters. Also, this golden temple in south India was built in the 11th century as well. The idol inside the temple is made up of pure Gold. The temple also has the Dravidian architecture style as well. The tower of the temple is about 40 meters in height, and also has 7 stories as well. The tower doorway has a nice picture of Lord Ganesha. There are about 1000 steps from the bottom to the temple hill.

  • Trip Duration: 2-3 hours
  • How To Reach: Cab/Bus
  • Nearest Bus Stand: Mysore Junction – 13.5 km
  • Nearest Airport: Mysore Airport
  • Nearest Railway Station: Madurai Railway Station – 13.5 km
  • Best Time To Visit: Sept – Oct
  • Peak Season: Sept – Oct
  • Dress Code: No
  • Timings: 7:30 AM – 2 PM, 3:30 PM – 6 PM & 7:30 PM – 9 PM
  • Festivals: Navaratri
  • Other Attraction: Mahabaleshwara temple

15. Nanjundeshwara Temple of Nanjangud, Lord Shiva:

Nanjundeshwara Temple of Nanjangud

The Nanjundeshwara Temple is built on the sides of the Kabini River. Since this temple is dedicated to the God who drank poison, this is why it is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple has Dravidian Style architecture. It is said that Lord Shiva drank all the poison, in order to stop spreading the poison to other parts of the universe, and stop the universe from getting destroyed. Then after drinking all the poison, her wife, Goddess Parvathi held his throat to prevent the poison from getting spread to other parts of Lord Shiva’s body. In this way, Lord Shiva has grown a blue throat. There are also some small shrines inside the temple as well, like of Narayana, Parvathi, Ganesha, etctera.

  • Trip Duration: 4 hours
  • How To Reach: Cab/Bus
  • Nearest Bus Stand: Mysore Junction – 27 km
  • Nearest Airport: Mysore Airport or Bangalore Airport
  • Nearest Railway Station: Madurai Railway Station – 27 km
  • Best Time To Visit: Oct – April
  • Peak Season: Nov – Mar
  • Dress Code: No
  • Timings: 6 AM – 1 PM & 4 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Festivals: Dodda Jathre & Chikka Jathre
  • Other Attraction: Temple town of Nanjangud, Parashurama Kshetra

Additional Voice:

  • If you’re planning to visit any of these temples, be sure to remember the following tips:
  • Be sure to keep your family members and children close during heavy crowds and traffic inside temples.
  • Always carry food and water bottles with yours, so that you can remain hydrated.
  • Some temples and shrines have strict rules, so be sure to follow them.
  • Wear good shoes, so that when you have to walk or trek, you can do it comfortably, without damaging your feet.
  • Some temples do not allow using camera and other mobile and telecommunication equipment. Be sure to research beforehand, otherwise, you will be paying fines.

Therefore, it can be easily seen that there are numerous kinds of famous south Indian temples with names to discover and visit. From Lord Shiva to Lord Vishnu, every God and Goddess is celebrated and worshipped in the southern part of India. The south Indian temples pictures with name will help you appreciate the cultures and the past Indian rulers and kings a lot more, due to all the Dravidian architecture. Apart from the south Indian temple images, you will also get to experience the beautiful scenery as well as enjoy the local food too.

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers:

1. What is The History Behind The Name of The Nanjundeshwara Temple of Nanjangud?

The main history behind the Nanjundeshwara Temple is that when due to the fighting between the Gods and the demons, and poison was flowing through all of the oceans and was getting spread throughout the universe, Lord Shiva decided to drink all the poison himself, just to save the universe from getting destroyed. This is why the name is given, and Lord Shiva is worshipped in the temple.

2. What is so Much Popular about The south Indian Temple Architecture of The Gangaikonda Temple?

The Gangaikonda Temple is very much a classic example of how much diversity there is between the architectures inside this temple. This temple has the beautiful history of the Cholas, which are remembered by all the Chola Temples. The contribution to the field of art and architecture can also be seen here as well. The contributions of the Cholas are shown throughout the different parts of the temple.

3. How Much You Have to Walk or Trek to Reach The Tirupati Tirumala Temple?

In order to reach the Tirupati Tirumala Temple, one has to cover 9 km. One can easily cover this distance in 4 or 6 hours, but 4 hours is the average time to reach to the top. A person has to cover about 3500 steps. There are various types of shops near the entire distance, so you don’t really have to worry about water and food. The footpath is covered by cement ceilings.