Tamil Nadu Temples
Tamil Nadu is home to more than 30,000 temples and is aptly called "the
land of temples". The rulers of various dynasties constructed these
temples over centuries. Tamilnadu is the land where Dravidian style of
temple architecture manifested itself in a grand and magnificent way.
Vimanas (storeys) and Gopurams (towering gateways to the temple complex)
best characterize the temples of Tamilnadu. You will be amazed to see
that most of these temples bear a superficial architectural resemblance
with each other as they share the similar physical features- Gopurams
(the imposing tower over the entrance, from all four directions) and the
Vimana (the tower over the sanctum). It is interesting to note that the
temples of South India were not merely a place of worship but a large
part of social and cultural life of the people revolved around them.
The temple architecture in Tamilnadu grew with innovation and experiments.
The rule of the Pallavas, Pandyas, Cholas, Vijayanagar rulers and the
Nayakas saw the construction of a number of magnificent temples. Thousands
of temples, with rising towers that touch the skyline of Tamil Nadu, were
constructed during the reign of the above-mentioned empires. These temples
demonstrate that the Tamils have been the most innovative temple builders.
This fact is very well evident in the temples from the pre Christian era
as well as those from the 20th century. The spectacular architecture of
these temples inspires awe and amazes the onlookers.
of the ancient temples of Tamilnadu were constructed in brick and mortar.
However, by the 7th century AD a unique style of temple construction emerged
when temples were hewn out of caves. The rule of the Pallavas saw (up
to 900 AD) building of temples of stone. The Cholas (900 -1250 AD) were
great temple builders and they have a number of magnificent and spectacular
to their credit. The Brihadeeswarar temple in Thanjavur, built by Raj
Raja I, is a tribute to the Chola rulers. The Chola rulers added many
ornate mandpams (halls) to temples and built large gopurams (towers).
Subsequently, the Pandya Style (Up to 1350 AD) saw the emergence of the
temple architecture with huge towers, high wall enclosures and massive
gateways. The Vijayanagar rulers also made significant contribution to
the temple architecture. They are known more for the intricacy and decorated
As you travel across
the state of Tamilnadu, you will be awestruck and amazed to see the intricately
carved designs and the splendid architecture of the temples spread over
the length and breadth of the Tamil land.
For more information
about the Temples of Tamilnadu, we have mentioned a table below with all
major temples within the state of Tamilnadu, just click on the links for
Temples of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu in Details