Tamil Nadu Temples - Chidambaram, Madurai, Rameshwaram and Kanyakumari

Tamilnadu is a land of temples. There are many big and famous temples in Tamilnadu with lofty towers dot the skyline. All of them have many stories to tell and the devotees throng these temples during festival seasons. On other times also, the temples are crowded with people of all ages.

The temple architecture in Tamilnadu temples is something very marvellous. The Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas, Vijayanagar rulers and the Nayakas have made immense contributions to temple art in Tamilnadu. The age of a temple could be determined from the architectural features exhibitied by it. It can also be determined from references to the temples in ancient literature.

Chidambaram Temple, Madurai Meenakshi Temple, Rameshwaram Temple, Mahabalipuram Temple, Kanyakumari Temple, Tanjavur Temple, Kanchipuram Temples, Kumbakonam Innambar Temple, Thiruvannamalai temple etc. are some of the famous temples in Tamilnadu. There are many other important temples in Tamilnadu.

Chidambaram Nataraja Temple : Nataraja Temple at Chidambaram is one of the most significant among Tamilnadu temples. Chidambaram deifies Shiva in his most poetic form as
the Cosmic Dancer, the 'Nataraja'. The huge and vast temple campus has a large number of shrines for various deities. There are numerous mandapams and towers also. Margazhi Tiruvaadirai and Aani Tirumanjanam are the most important annual festivals celebrated at Chidambaram. Chidambaram is one of the Panchabhoota Stalams signifying the 5 elements of wind, water , fire , earth and space. There are many literary works praise the glory of Chidambaram. The temple is located at Chidambaram, about 250 kms south of Chennai. Chidambaram can be reached by bus and train. Chidambaram is connected to various towns and cities in Tamilnadu by bus.

Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple : Madurai is regarded as a temple town. It is known for the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple. Madurai is one of the most ancient heritage sites of India. Madurai is centered around the Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple. The magnificent temple complex sprawls over an area of 6 hectares. It also has 12 gopurams or gateways, ranging in height from 45 to 50 m, the tallest being the southern one. The southern gateway is beautifully proportioned and is nine stories high. Like the other gopurams, it is also crowded with the Sculpture Meenakshi Templeimages of gods, goddesses, gargoyles, and gryphons. Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple was rebuilt with amazing resilience by the Nayak rulers of Madurai. Madurai can be reached by train, bus or flight. Madurai has daily flights from Chennai and four times a week from Bangalore. Madurai is an important junction in the South Indian Rail Network. Madurai connects to many cities and towns in Tamilnadu and also to other states.

Rameshwaram Temple : Rameshwaram is known as the 'Varanasi of the South'. This is a major pilgrimage centre for both Shaivaites and Vaishnavaites as it was here that Rama offered thanks to Shiva. Ramanathaswamy Temple at Rameshwaram is one of the most important temples in south India.

Kanyakumari Temple : The Kanyakumari temple is an ancient temple in South India. It is believed that the image of Kanyakumari was installed and worshipped by Parasurama, who is credited with reclaiming Kerala from the ocean, and building several shrines. The Vaisakha festival is celebrated in the tamil month of Vaikasi where an image of the goddess is taken around town in procession on various mounts. The car festival, the Aaraatu (when the eastern door to the shrine is opened) and the float festival here are of significance.