I love visiting temple. The South India temples are one of the most magnificent and beautiful works of art. Their architecture is unique and very different from the temples in the north. In this post I bring to you some images from my temple tours. Most of these temples are between 500 to 1000 years old.
Every big south Indian temple can easily be identified by the ‘Gopuram’ or the peak which serves as the entrance
This is one of the tallest Gopurams of my home state of Tamil Nadu belonging to a very ancient temple in a small town of Srivalliputur. In the days of the yore these must have been the tallest structures in the town. Very often the towns and the cities were built around the temples.
These Gopurams depict stories from mythology and are painted in bright primary colors. Here is a close-up view of a gopuram
This is the temple at Rameshwaram, considered one of the holiest places of south India. It lies in the southern tip of India and it figures in the great Indian epic Ramayana. It is believed that lord Rama himself made the deity of this temple with his own hands from the sands of Rameshwaram.
The sculptures that you see in this picture, including the pillars, are all made of granite and chiseled using tools available 100s of years back.
This is an ancient cave temple called Pulliyar patti. Although it looks like a normal structure from outside, when you step in you will find that solid rocks of caves have been meticulously sculptured into intricate figures.
This is the temple tank of pulliyar patti. Most old temples have a tank. Even today, these tanks serve as a major tool for water harvesting.
These guards are placed in every corner of the temple are a supposed to protect it from evil forces
This is the temple door
A few close-up view of the external walls of the pulliayar patti temple
This is another famous temple called Thiruchendur. See how close it is to the sea. This is a region in south India that was devastated by the Tsunami. Not a single drop of water entered the temple. The story goes that the sea god promised Muruga, the god of this temple that he would never cross his boundaries here. It appears that he kept his promise.
Most temples do not permit photographs insides the temple. All the pictures you see above are from outside the temple. There are however some temples that permit limited access to the interiors. I will post some of my best pictures from inside temples in the coming weeks.