India is a land of temples. The Indian subcontinent is credited as the birthplace of four major religions of the world – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. It is therefore obvious that it is home to a large number of temples. The southern part of India in particular has a number of temples which attract pilgrims all year round. While some of the temples are known for their rich architecture and heavy donations, some are celebrated for their heritage and location. Here are five such famous temples of south India which are totally worth your visit. ALSO SEE 10 most famous temples in India you must visit Also Read - Nizamuddin Markaz Case: 'No CBI Probe Needed,' Centre Tells Supreme Court

Sri Venkateswara temple, Tirupati

Sri Venkateswara temple

Sri Venkateswara temple

Known as India’s second richest temple, the Venkateswara temple or Tirupati Balaji temple in Tirumala is visited by close to 40 million pilgrims every year. It is famous all across the globe for the heavy donations it receives. Around Rs 22.5 million is received by the temple in a day as donation excluding the gold offerings. According to mythological accounts, Balaji sought a loan of one crore and 11.4 million gold coins from Kubera for his marriage to Padmavathi. All the donations from devotees are believed to be a payback for this loan. Also Read - Survey across 13 Cities Reveal Consumer Confidence Touched Historic Low During COVID-19 Pandemic

Brihadeeswarar temple, Thanjavur

Brihadeeswarar temple

Brihadeeswara temple in Thanjavur

Part of the Great Living Chola temples, the Brihadeeswarar temple in Thanjavur is known for its peculiar architecture which has served as the inspiration for several temples in south India. It is over 1,000 years old and is known to house the world’s tallest temple tower. The statue of the sacred bull Nandi, at the entrance is carved out of a single rock. The Brihadeeswarar temple also houses a 3.7 m tall lingam of Lord Shiva making it a significant pilgrim spot for Shiva devotees. CHECK OUT Did you know these amazing facts about Brihadeeswarar Temple? Also Read - HS Prannoy Not Considered For Arjuna Award Nomination on Disciplinary Grounds: Report

Meenakshi temple, Madurai

Meenakshi temple

Meenakshi temple in Madurai

The Meenakshi temple is located on the banks of Vaigai River in Madurai and is dedicated to goddess Parvati in the form of Meenakshi and Shiva as Sundareshwar. With 33,000 sculptures and 14 gopurams or gateway towers, the Madurai temple is renowned for having the largest temple complex in Tamil Nadu. The temple is believed to have been originally constructed in the 6th century by the survivors of Kumari Kandam, a mythical lost continent. Today, it is visited by a number of tourists for its stunning architecture and intriguing history.

Ramanathaswamy temple, Rameswaram

Photograph Courtesy: Pablo Necochea/Creative Commons

Photograph Courtesy: Pablo Necochea/Creative Commons

Known for its long corridors, the Ramanathaswamy temple in Rameswaram is one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India. The temple is home to 22 theerthams (or tanks) where devotees bathe before paying their respects to the presiding deity. Its famous corridors are 6.9 m in height and stretch along 400 feet to the west and as many feet to the east and some 640 feet to the north and south. Held by around 1,212 pillars, each of them measuring 30 feet in height, the corridor is the longest temple corridor in the world.

Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple, Thiruvananthapuram

Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala

Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala

And then there is Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple, the richest temple in the world. A treasure discovered in the temple in 2011 was valued at $1 trillion. The temple is renowned for its Dravidian style of architecture and the royal crown of Travancore which has been preserved here. Vishnu is the presiding deity of this temple making it significant for Hindus. The Laksha Deepam festival is celebrated once every six years in January and attracts a number of devotees to witness a hundred thousand lamps that are lit inside the temple. NOW SEE Kerala Temples: 11 famous Hindu temples in God’s own country

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