India is known for its rich diversity and culture. From the north to the south, east to west, we have n number of small and big, old and new temples that are being worshipped for mnay reasons. Some of the temples are known for their historical value and culture. One such place where you must have a visit for temples is Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu is a land of temples. The structure itself makes it unique as it has a long triangle cone-shaped gopurams on 4 sides of the enclosure. Tamil Nadu boasts of many Dravidian styled places of worship. You can see the oldest temple as well as the biggest temple in Tamil Nadu. Also, there is a golden temple in Tamil Nadu which is known as Golden Temple, Sripuram. Let us take a look at the top 9 temples.
Top 9 Hindu Temples In Tamil Nadu With Details:
1. Meenakshi Amman Temple At Madurai:
This beautiful temple situated in the temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu has 14 gopurams with the tallest being 170 feet. It is also known as Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple which really are alternate names of Parvati and Shiva respectively. The temple city of Madurai came to existence 2,500 years ago with this holy structure. There are two golden sculptured vimanas, the shrines over the sanctums of the main deities. According to statistics, 15,000 visitors a day and 25,000 on Fridays visit the Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple. An estimation of 30,000 sculptures are boasted by this temple. In the months of April and May, a million visitors visit the temple to celebrate the annual 10 day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam Festival.
- Temple Timings: Open on all days at 9:00 am and closes at 7:00 pm
- Temple Address: Madurai Main, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
- Dress Code: there is no specific dress code, but the temple requires devotees to wear traditional wears. Women should wear saree, half saree or churidar. Men should wear dhotis, pyjamas or mundu with upper cloth.
- How to Reach: By flight, you can halt at Chennai airport and pick a taxi to reach the temple. It takes 90 mins travel. If coming by train, drop down at Madurai railway station which is 1.70 kms away from Meenakshi Amman temple. By bus, there are frequent buses servicing to Madurai. Get down at Mattuthavani Bus stand which is 20 mins travel from the temple.
- Nearest Attractions: Aayiram Kaal Mandapam, St. Mary’s Cathedral Church, Gandhi Museum.
2. Thillai Natarajah Temple At Chidambaram:
Thillai Natarajah Temple at Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Thillai Koothan or Natarajh is the deity that presides here since 12th century. This temple was the beginning of all temples to Saivites. Chidambaram represents Aakash(aether), one of the five classical elements of the holiest of Shiva temples known as Pancha Bootha Sthalams. Chidambaram temple celebrates different festivals all-round the year.
- Temple Timings: Darshan time is from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm
- Temple Address: Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu 608001
- Dress Code: no specific dress code for women, but generally preferred traditional wear. Men are supposed to remove their shirt while entering inside the temple.
- How to Reach: The temple is located at ease of access. There are frequent buses servicing to Chidambaram.
- Nearest Attractions: Pichavaram mangrove forest, Thillai Kali Amman temple, Pichavaram backwater.
3. Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple In Kanchipuram:
Kanchi Kailasanathar temple is the oldest structure in Kanchipuram which is a Hindu temple in Dravidian architectural style. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it was built from 685-705 AD by a ruler of Pallava dynasty. The temple has 58 shrines dedicated to different forms of Shiva. Thousands of devotees offer their prayers on the evening of Maha Shivratri from all over. It is also one of the major tourist attraction spots in the city.
- Temple Timings: Open on all days – 5:30 am to 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm
- Temple Address: Pillaiyarpalayam, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu 631501
- Dress Code: no specific dress code for men and women.
- How to Reach: the nearest airport is Chennai. From Chennai, you can take a train to Kanchipuram. But the more convenient option would be to hire a bus and reach Kanchipuram. From Kanchipuram, you can pick a taxi or auto to reach the temple.
- Nearest Attractions: Kamakshi Amman temple, Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Anna memorial.
4. Cave Temples of Mahabalipuram In Kanchipuram District:
The cave temples of Mahabalipuram are located on the hillock of town in Kanchipuram district. There are eleven mandapas or caves seen in Mahabalipuram out of which the most significant ones are the Krishna, Mahishasuramardini, Varaha, Trimurti, Kotikal, Tiger, Atirachandana, Panchapandava cave temples. These temples are considered as a masterpiece of Indian art. One of the best things to see in Mahabalipuram is these caves which are named as ‘cut-ins” by UNESCO. These cave temples have unique styles which cannot be compare with any other cave temples in India. When you visit Mahabalipuram cave temples, you can see many cave temples of different deities like Krishna cave temple, Mahishasuramardhini cave temple, Varaha cave temple, Trimurti cave temple, Kotikal cave temple, Tiger cave temple, Panchapadava cave temple and many more.
- Temple Timings: Open on all days 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Temple Address: Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
- Dress Code: there is no specific dress code for visiting Mahabalipuram cave temples.
- How to Reach: Most convenient form of transport to reach cave temple is to come by train. The nearest station is Chengalpettu, which is 24 kms from the temple.
- Nearest Attractions: Shore temple, Pancha Rathas, Descent of the Ganges
5. Ramanathswamy Temple In Rameshwaram:
Ramanathswamy temple is located at Rameshwaram is dedicated to Jyothirlinga, a form of Lord Shiva. The temple was extended during the 12th century. It is considered as a holy pilgrimage site for Shaivites, Vaishnavites and Smarthas. The primary deity is in the form of a linga or phallic stone. The temple is one of the four holiest Hindu Char Dham sites.
- Temple Timings: Darshan time begins at 4:30 am and closes at 1:00 pm and again opens at 3:00 pm and closes at 8:30 pm
- Temple Address: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu 623526
- Dress Code: Western wear not allowed in the temple. Only traditional wear is allowed which includes saree, churidar, shirts, dhotis, pants. Men are supposed to remove their shirts while entering the temple.
- How to Reach: there are many buses running from Tamil Nadu to Rameshwaram Ramanathaswamy temple. You can take a regular bus or hire a taxi to reach the temple.
- Nearest Attractions: Agni Tirtham, Ramar Patham, 5 faced Hanuman temple, Ariyaman beach, Dhanushkodi beach, Adam’s bridge.
6. Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur:
The Brihadeeswarar temple in Thanjavur is one of the largest temples in India built by emperor Raja Raja Chola I in 1010 AD. The prime deity of the Brihadeeswar temple is Lord Shiva. It also has the idols for Ashta-dipaalakas or guardians of the directions such as Indra, Agni, Yama, Nirrti, Varuna, Vayu, Kubera and Isana. A big statue of Nandi or sacred bull carved out of a single rock is present at the entrance of the temple.
- Temple Timings: Open on all days – 6 am to 12:30 pm and 4:00 pm to 8:30 pm
- Temple Address: Membalam Rd, Balaganapathy Nagar, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613007
- Dress Code: it is required to wear traditional wears while visiting the temples. Western wears like mini-skirts, jeans are not allowed. Men who wear shirt should remove them while entering the temple premises.
- How to Reach: The most convenient form of mode of transport is the railways. the closest station is Thanchavoor railway station. Get down at this station.
- Nearest Attractions: Great living Chola temples, Thanjavur Maratha Palace, Shiva Ganga Garden,
7. Perur Pateeswarar Temple in Perur, West Coimbatore:
Perur Pateeswarar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located at Perur in western part of Coimbatore. It was built approximately 2000 years back by Raja Raja Chola I. The temple consists of a golden statue of Nataraja apart from several gopurams and halls. There’s a shrine dedicated to Shiva and Ganesha each and several other statues of Gajasamhara, Virabhadra, Saraswati and more.
- Temple Timings: Open on all days – 5:30 am to 1:00 pm and 04:00 pm to 09:00pm
- Temple Address: Perur, Western Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
- Dress Code: no specific dress code
- How to Reach: the temple is located at easily accessible spot. It is at a distance of 9 kms from Coimbatore. So you can drop down at Coimbatore and catch an auto, bus or taxi to reach the temple.
- Nearest Attractions: Elephant hills, Sengulam lake
8. Ulagalanda Perumal Temple In Kanchipuram:
Ulagalanda Perumal temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in Kanchipuram. It’s a Dravidian style architecture glorified in the Divya Prabandha. Ulgalantha Perumal, a form of Lord Vishnu is worshipped which is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu. The temple performs six daily rituals and various yearly festivals among which the Chariot festival is the most prominently celebrated.
- Temple Timings: Open everyday from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
- Temple Address: Gandhimaa Nagar, Peelamedu, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641006
- Dress Code: Normally all temples in Tamil Nadu prefer traditional wear. Western outfits are generally not allowed. There is no specific dress code for this temple, but wearing ethnic dresses would be good.
- How to Reach: the temple is located at an easily accessible location from any part of Kanchipuram. So you can pick a taxi or auto or hail bus to reach the temple.
- Nearest Attractions: Kamakshi Amman temple, Ekambareswarar temple, Kailasnathar temple, Vedanthangal bird sanctuary
9. Aiyarappar Temple In Tiruvaiyaru:
Aiyarappar temple is located in the village of Tiruvaiyaru in the banks of River Kaveri is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The hymns of Thevaram are incarnated on the temple. People gather during the Saphta Sthanam festival conducted in April every year witnesses the convergence of seven glass palanquins carrying principal deities of respective temples from seven places. On the bansk of the river, you can see the Samadhi (burial place) of the saint composer Thyagararaja. It is here where the greatest musical festival in India takes place annually.
- Temple Timings: Open from 6:00 am to 11:00 am and 4:00 pm to 8:30 pm on all days
- Temple Address: SH 22, Thiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu 613204
- Dress Code: there is no specific dress code for entering this temple
- How to Reach: Thiruvviayaru is located at Thanjavur district. There are buses running from Thanjavoor to Thiruvaiyaru frequently.
- Nearest attractions: Thenperambur dam, Rajagopalaswamy temple, Thanjavur royal palace and art gallery.
Planning a trip to visit some of the ancient temples in India? Then this would be the perfect choice to go for. All these temples mentioned here are known for its historical evidence in ancient Hindu mythology. Every year these temples celebrate festivals on special occasions like Maha Shivratri, Navaratri, Pongal etc. If you are lucky enough, you can see them if you visit these temples during the festival time. Next time you plan to visit the temples of India, make it a visit to Tamil Nadu.