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The glorious history of Tamil Nadu Temples & Shrines manifests the architectural brilliance of the bygone centuries. Exotic creative skills of the Cholas, Pallavas, Pandyas and the Nayakas have left their imprints in the numerous Temple structures that don the holy land of Tamil Nadu.
From Lord Venkatesha, Vinayaka and Shiva to Murugan and Vishnu, the Temples of the place are enshrined with the marvelous idols of various Gods and goddesses. From the prehistoric ages to the recent 20th century, Tamil Nadu showcases both period and contemporary style of Temple architecture. Inspired by the art, culture and mythic sagas of the ancient rulers, the Temples & Shrines present an awe-inspiring series of ancient extravaganza of Tamil Nadu.
Characterized by a common tower, also known by the name of gopurams, the Temples of Tamil Nadu dates back even to 700 AD. Primarily built with the raw materials of brick and mortar, these sacred places of worship are revered worldwide for their majestic pillar structures, spacious prakarams and embellished entrances.
The outstanding Temples & Shrines that adorn the landscape as well as the sky of Tamil Nadu are the Maruthamalai Shri Murugan Temple at Coimbatore and the Nataraja Temple at Chidambaram. However, the district is dominated by several other equally fascinating Temples like the Meenakshi Temple, Ramanatha Swamy Temple, Gangaikonda cholapuram Temple, Rajagopala Temple, Nageswaran Temple, Tyagrajar Temple, Murugan Tample, Chayavaneswara Temple, Krishnapuram Temple, Pancha Sabha Temples, Srivilliputtur Temple, Chidambaram Kapaleeswarar, Swamimalai and Kailasamundaiyar Temple, among others.
Being visited by thousands of devotees from every corner of India, the Temples & Shrines offer blessings of various deities of Hindu mythology. By providing opportunities for social celebrations and educational programmes, the Temples of Tamil Nadu sets a unique mark of their own.
It is said to be nearly 1300 years old. The Temple has a huge premises, established over an area of 30181 sq ft, with a length of 750 feet, and breadth of 252 feet respectively. The vast temple complex is decorated with wonderful artwork. It has three Praharas and three Gopurams in the eastern, northern and western directions of the temple. During 16th century, Govinda Theeksithan, the Chief of Achutha Nayakar of Thanjavur, revived Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, Kumbakonam. The East Gopuram is 128 ft in height comprising of 9 stories. The temple constitutes of Mangala Theertham, Marriage hall and small temples for Muruga, Ganapathi and Mangalambigai.
Situated at about twenty-one kilometers northeast of the City of Madurai, is the temple of Alagar Koil, Madurai. The presiding deity in the temple is Lord Vishnu. The Alagar Koil Temple is at the base of the beautiful Alagar Hills. The temple of Alagar is also known as Azhagarkovil.
The idol of Lord Vishnu is made out of stone and is known as Kallalgar. In this temple, more than one idols of Kallalgar are seen in different postures. Lord Vishnu is seen in standing, sitting and reclining positions. Although there are a total number of one hundred and eight Divya Desam, which are also called Vaishnavite Shrines, in the temples of India; it is only in two temples that there are idols of Lord Vishnu in different postures.
It is a magnificent temple built by the Vijaynagar kings. The temple is dedicated to one of the chief Gods of Hindu religion, Lord Vishnu. Devarajaswami Temple, Kancheepuram is located on the eastern end of Kancheepuram, nearly 76 km from Chennai. It is popularly believed that after creating the Universe Brahma wanted Lord Vishnu to reside on the Earth. So He performed the Aswamedha Yagam and when the Yagam was about to end, Lord Varadaraja and His Consorts, Sridevi and Bhudevi emerged from the flames of the Yagam. Lord Brahma requested the Lord to come on Earth and bless devotees. The Lord agreed and thus stayed behind in Hasthagiri.
It is devoted to Lord Vishnu, one God of the Divine Trinity in the Hindu Mythology. A unique feature of this temple is the three different postures of the same God residing in three different alter. The three figures of Vishnu are in standing, sitting and reclining postures. These three figures of the deity are known by three different names. The most venerated of the three figures is Lord Vishnu in the seated posture. The seated Lord Vishnu is locally known as Lord Koodal Alagar from whom the temple derives its name. The reclining idol is more popu-larly known acknowledged as Sri Ranganatha. Sri Surya Narayan Perumal is the name for the standing image of Lord Vishnu.
Kumariamman Temple is situated in Kanniyakumari which is on the southernmost tip of India, where the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet. It is a well known pilgrimage center and a famous tourist spot of India. Kanniyakumari was ruled by various dynasties like the Cholas, Cheras, Pandyas and Nayaks. These rulers have contributed immensely to enrich the architectural wealth and heritage of Kanyakumari, by building many temples. Apart from Kumariamman Temple the other popular tourist destinations at Kanyakumari are Mahatma Gandhi Memorial, Thiruvalluvar Statue, Kamarajar Manimandapam, Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Sri Sthanumalayan Temple at Suchindrum, Kanyakumari Bagavathiamman Temple, Udayagiri Fort, Mathur Hanging Bridge, St. Xavier Church etc.
It is actually a collection of temples, that surrounds the famous Mahamaham Tank in the city. Located near the Head Post Office of Kumbakonam, the tank is encircled with sixteen small Mandapams or temple structures and the Nava Kannika Temple in the east of the tank. The deities, which are kept and worshiped in these Mandapams are Mukunthar, Bhramatheerthesar, Rishkesar, Umalpakesar, Thalesar, Brahmeesar, Nairuthesar, Gangatheerthesar and Seshtra Paleesar.
Mariamman Theppakulam, Madurai is located at about five kilometers east of the most famous Temple of the city, the Meenakshi Temple. An enormous water tank, it has its source in the river of Vaigai. The tank was built back in the year sixteen hundred and forty six. It covers an area of three hundred meters by two hundred and eighty five meters.
There is a dais in the center of the tank. A Mandap is built on the platform in which there resides an idol of Lord Ganesh. People worship the Ganesh idol and He is better known as Lord Vigneshwara or Vinayaka. This Ganesh temple is known as tank temple as it is placed on a tank. Surrounded by a serene ambiance, the tank temple of Mariammam Theppakulam enjoys the status of being one of the most popular tourist spot in the region.
The historical facts indicate that Vaikuntha Perumal Temple, Kancheepuram was constructed shortly after the Kailashnatha temple was built. It was built by the Pallava king Nandivarman and was completed in the 7th century A.D. There are three different levels of the main shrine. There are a number of sculptures of Lord Vishnu in the main shrine, which are quite massive in size depicting the Lord in sitting, standing and reclining postures.