India is known for its rich diversity and culture. From north to south, from east to west, we have n temples, old and new, large and small, enshrined for various reasons. Some temples are known for their historical value and culture. One such place where you must visit temples is Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu is a land of temples. The structure itself makes it unique as it has a long triangular pyramidal gopurams on the 4 sides of the shell. Tamil Nadu has many Dravidian style places of worship. You can see the oldest temple in Tamil Nadu as well as the largest temple. In addition, Tamil Nadu has a golden temple known as the Golden Temple, Sripuram. Let’s take a look at the top 9 temples.
9 Hindu Temples in Tamil Nadu Details:
1. Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai:
Located in the temple city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu, this beautiful temple has 14 gupurams and the highest is 170 feet. It is also known as Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, an alternate name for Parvati and Shiva respectively. The temple city of Madurai existed as this sacred building 2,500 years ago. There are two golden carved Vimanas, the shrine above the main shrine. According to statistics, Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple is visited by 15,000 people and 25,000 people every day. The temple is estimated to have 30,000 sculptures. In April and May, one million tourists visit the temple to celebrate the annual 10-day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival.
Temple fair time: Open all day at 9:00am and close at 7:00pm
Temple Address: Madurai Main, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
Dress Code: There is no specific dress code, but the temple requires devotees to wear traditional clothing. Women should wear saris, half saris or churidar. Men should wear clothed dhotis, pajamas or mundu.
how can I get there: By plane, you can stop at Chennai Airport and take a taxi to the temple. It takes 90 minutes by car. If arriving by train, please get off at Madurai Railway Station, which is 1.70 km from Meenakshi Amman Temple. By bus, there are frequent bus services to Madurai. Get off at Mattuthavani bus stop which is a 20-minute drive from the temple.
Nearest Attractions: Aayiram Kaal Mandapam, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Gandhi Museum.
2. Thilai Natarajah Temple in Chidambaram:
The Thilai Natarajah Temple in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Thilai Koothan or Natarajh is the god who presides here since the 12th century. This temple is the beginning of all the temples of Sevite. Chidambaram stands for Aakash (Ether) and it is one of the five canonical elements of the holiest Shiva temple known as Pancha Bootha Sthalams. Chidambaram Temple celebrates different festivals throughout the year.
Temple fair time: Dashan hours are 6:00 am to 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Temple Address: Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu 608001
Dress Code: There is no specific dress code for women, but traditional clothing is generally preferred. Men should take off their shirts when entering temples.
how can I get there: The temple is conveniently located. There are frequent bus services to Chidambaram.
Nearest Attractions: Pichavaram Mangroves, Thillai Kali Amman Temple, Pichavaram Backwaters.
3. Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple in Kanchipuram:
Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple is the oldest building in Kanchipuram and is a Hindu temple in Dravidian architectural style. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it was built by the Pallava dynasty rulers in 685-705 AD. The temple has 58 shrines dedicated to different forms of Lord Shiva. Thousands of devotees pray from all over the night of Maha Shivratri. It is also one of the main tourist attractions in the city.
Temple fair time: Open all day – 5:30am to 12:00pm and 4:00pm to 9:00pm
Temple Address: Pillaiyarpalayam, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu 631501
Dress Code: There is no specific dress code for men and women.
how can I get there: The nearest airport is Chennai. From Chennai, you can take the train to Kanchipuram. But a more convenient option is to rent a bus to get to Kanchipuram. From Kanchipuram, you can choose taxi or car to reach the temple.
Nearest Attractions: Kamakshi Amman Temple, Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Anna Memorial.
4. Mahabalipuram Cave Temple in Kanchipuram District:
The cave temples of Mahabalipuram are located on a hill in the small town of Kanchipuram district. Mahabalipuram has 11 mandalas or caves, the most important of which are Krishna, Mahishasuramardini, Varaha, Trimurti, Kotikal, Tiger, Atirahandana, Panchapandava cave temples. These temples are considered masterpieces of Indian art. One of the best things to do in Mahabalipuram are these caves named “entry points” by UNESCO. These cave temples have a unique style unmatched by any other cave temple in India. When you visit Mahabalipuram cave temples, you can see many cave temples of different gods such as Krishna cave temple, Mahishasuramardhini cave temple, Varaha cave temple, Trimurti cave temple, Kotikal cave temple, Tiger cave temple, Panchapadava cave temples and more.
Temple fair time: Open all day from 8:00am to 5:00pm
Temple Address: Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
Dress Code: There is no specific dress code to visit the Mahabalipuram cave temples.
how can I get there: The most convenient means of transportation to reach the Cave Temple is by train. The nearest station is Chengalpettu, 24 km from the temple.
Nearest Attractions: Shore Temple, Pancha Rathas, Descendants of the Ganges
5. Ramanathswamy Temple in Rameshwaram:
The Ramanathswamy Temple is located in Rameshwaram and is dedicated to Jyothirlinga, a form of Lord Shiva. The temple was enlarged in the 12th century. It is considered a holy place for the Shaivites, Vaishnavites and Smarthas. The main deity is in the form of a linga or phallus stone. This temple is one of the four holiest Hindu Char Dham sites.
Temple fair time: Darshan time starts at 4:30am, closes at 1:00pm, opens again at 3:00pm, and closes at 8:30pm
Temple Address: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu 623526
Dress Code: Suits are not allowed in the temple. Only traditional clothing is allowed, including sarees, churidar, shirts, dhotis, trousers. Men should take off their shirts when entering temples.
how can I get there: There are many buses from Tamil Nadu to Rameshwaram Ramanathaswamy Temple. You can get to the temple by regular bus or taxi.
Nearest Attractions: Agni Tirtham, Ramar Patham, 5 Facing Hanuman Temple, Ariyaman Beach, Dhanushkodi Beach, Adam’s Bridge.
6. Brihaddiswara Temple in Thanjavur:
The Brihadeswara Temple in Thanjavur is one of the largest temples in India and was built by Emperor Raja Raja Chora I in 1010 AD. The main deity of Brihadiswar Temple is Lord Shiva. It also has idols of Ashta-dipaalakas or guardians of the directions of Indra, Agni, Yama, Nirrti, Varuna, Vayu, Kubera and Isana. At the entrance of the temple there is a large statue of Nandi or sacred cow carved from a single piece of rock.
Temple fair time: Open all day – 6:00 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: Traditional clothing must be worn when visiting the temple. Suits such as miniskirts, jeans are not allowed. Men who wear shirts should take them off when entering temple premises.
how can I get there: The most convenient mode of transportation is the railway. The nearest station is Thanchavoor Railway Station. Get off at this station.
Nearest Attractions: Great Living Chora Temple, Thanjavur Maratha Palace, Shiva Ganges Gardens,
see more: Madurai’s famous temples
7. Perur Pateeswarar Temple in Perur, Coimbatore:
The Perur Pateeswarar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located in Perur, west of Coimbatore. It was built by Raja Raja Chola I about 2000 years ago. The temple consists of a golden statue of Nataraja and several gopurams and halls. There is a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva and Ganesha, and several other statues of Gajasamhara, Virabhadra, Saraswati, etc.
Temple fair time: Open all day – 5:30am to 1:00pm and 4:00pm to 9:00pm
Temple Address: Peru, Western Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
Dress Code: No specific dress code
how can I get there: The temple is conveniently located. It is located 5.6 mi (9 km) from Coimbatore. So, you can get off at Coimbatore and take a car, bus or taxi to the temple.
Nearest Attractions: Elephant Mountain, Lake Senguram
8. Ulagalanda Perumal Temple in Kanchipuram:
Ulagalanda Perumal temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in Kanchipuram. This is a Dravidian style building that is glorified in Divya Prabandha. Ulgalantha Perumal, a form of Lord Vishnu is worshipped as one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu. The temple holds six daily ceremonies and various annual festivals, the most prominent of which is the Chariot Festival.
temple timing: Open daily from 6:00am to 12:00pm and 4:00pm to 8:00pm
Temple Address: Gandhimaa Nagar, Peelamedu, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641006
Dress Code: Usually all temples in Tamil Nadu prefer traditional dress. Western clothing is generally not allowed. There is no specific dress code for this temple, but it would be nice to wear national clothes.
how can I get there: The temple is located within easy reach from anywhere in Kanchipuram. So you can choose taxi or car or hail bus to reach the temple.
Located in the village of Tiruvaiyaru on the banks of the Kaveri River, the Aiyarappar Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The hymn of Thevaram is incarnated in the temple. People come together during the Saphta Sthanam festival held every April to witness the gathering of seven glass sedan chairs that carry the main gods from various temples in seven places. On the banks of the river you can see the samadhi (cemetery) of the holy composer Thyagararaja. India’s biggest music festival is held here every year.
Temple fair time: Open all day from 6:00am to 11:00am and 4:00pm to 8:30pm
Temple Address: SH 22, Thiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu 613204
dress code: There is no specific dress code to enter this temple
how can I get there: Thiruvviayaru is located in Thanjavur district. There are frequent buses from Thanjawor to Thiruvayaru.
Nearest Attractions: Thenperambur Dam, Rajagopalaswamy Temple, Thanjavur Palace and Art Gallery.
Planning a trip to India to visit some ancient temples? Then this would be a perfect choice. All these temples mentioned here are known for their historical evidence in ancient Hindu mythology. Every year these temples celebrate festivals on special occasions such as Maha Shivratri, Navaratri, Pongal etc. If you are lucky enough, you can see them if you visit these temples during the festival. Next time you plan to visit a temple in India, head to Tamil Nadu.