India is a land of temples. That should be obvious considering that it is the origin of four major religions of the world. No matter what part of India you are in, a temple is always nearby. However, south India in particular is home to some of the most stunning temples which take you back in time with their ancient architectural splendor. Each of these temples have an intriguing history which makes for a great story about their origin. These temples are visited by millions of pilgrims all year round. Some of these old temples are a delight for architecture students and history buffs as they remind you of an era of skilled sculptors and masons. These are the oldest temples in south India that deserve a visit at least once in a lifetime. ALSO SEE 10 most famous temples in India you must visit Also Read - Football: UEFA Denies August 3 Deadline For Champions League Conclusion
Badami cave temples, Badami
Also Read - Shahid Afridi, Jahangir Khan Come Forward to Help Minorities in Fighting Coronavirus Pandemic
Badami in Karnataka was once the capital of the Chalukyas. It is most famous for its rock-cut temples which date back to the 5th and 8th century AD. These temples are epitomes of the great Badami Chalukyan architecture. Badami’s history is considered to date back to PaleoLithic times, and it is believed to be the very first human settlements in the region. As such, the Badami cave temples have huge historical significance. CHECK OUT 15 breathtaking photos of Hampi and Badami in Karnataka! Also Read - Pakistan: Coronavirus Cases Cross 3,000-Mark, Govt Taking Measures to Curtail Its Spread
Virupaksha temple, Hampi
Hampi in Karnataka is famous all over the world for its historic ruins. Its group of monuments is a designated World Heritage site. Prime amongst them is the ancient Virupaksha temple located on the banks of the Tungabhadra river. Virupaksha temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of south India’s popular pilgrimage centres. The inscriptions on the temple walls date back to the 9th and 10th century making the temple an ancient wonder.
Aihole temple complex, Aihole
Located close to Badami on the banks of the Malaprabha river is Aihole, another ancient site known for its ancient rock-cut temples. There are around 125 temples in the village built during the Chalukya dynasty rule.These temples reflect Jain and Buddhist styles of architecture and are divided into 22 groups by archaeological department. Legend has it that Parshuram (an incarnation of Vishu) cleaned his axe at Aihole after annihilating the Kshatriyas.
Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, Trichy
Renowned as one of the most illustrious temples in south India, Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam is dedicated to Ranganatha, a reclining form of Vishnu. Not only is it one of the largest religious complexes in the world, it is also one of the eight Swayam Vyakta Kshetras of Lord Vishnu. Its Dravidian style architecture draws all kinds of tourists throughout the year. This temple is glorified in the Thiviya Pirabandham, which is an early medieval Tamil literature canon of the Alvar saints from the 6th to 9th centuries AD. It is believed to be one of the largest functioning Hindu temples in the world. The annual 21-day festival conducted here during the Tamil month of Margazhi (DecemberJanuary) attracts close to a million visitors.
Brihadeeswara temple, Thanjavur
Built in 1002 AD by King Rajaraja Chola, the Brihadeeswarar temple is part of the Great living Chola temples. Its Dravidian architecture is famous all across the globe and makes it one of India’s most visited temples. The group of temples is a UNESCO site and a major tourist attraction. The Dravidian architecture during the Chola period is considered to be one of the best forms of architecture to have evolved in India. This is what makes the Brihadeeswarar temple a preferred choice for history lovers and pilgrims alike. NOW SEE 11 most famous temples in Mumbai you must visit
Have interesting travel photos youd like to share with us? Send photos from your travels to email@example.com, dont forget to mention where youve shot the picture and get a chance to be featured on our website! So what are you waiting for? Hurry!
Have something to add to this story? Post your comments in the discussion board below; we will be thrilled to hear from you!