1. Mahabalipuram Shore Temple, Chennai
Lord Shiva’s most popular temple is the Mahabalipuram shore temple. It is located on the Mahabalipuram coast of the Bay of Bengal. It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mahabalipuram shore temple, which was built in the 7th century, is the site of several historical events in India. The architecture of this temple shows a combination of Chaityas and Buddhist Viharas and the temple is coated in magnificent sculpted pictures of people going about their daily lives.
Timings: 8.00 AM to 5.00 PM
Address: Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu 603104
2. Gangai konda Cholapuram, Chidambaram
Raja Raja Chola built the town to commemorate his conquest of the Pala dynasty in North India. In Tamil, Gangaikonda Cholapuram means “town of the Chola king who conquered the Ganges.”
Several wars have destroyed Gangaikonda Cholapuram’s historic city over the years. The Lord Maha Shiva Temple is the solitary legacy of its great history. The temple’s magnificence, built in the Dravidian style of architecture, is seen to be believed. The temple includes a 55-meter tower with nine stories. It resembles the Periya Koil at Thanjavur, which was constructed by another Chola king.
Timing: 6.00 AM to 12.00 PM and 4.00 PM to 8.00 PM
Address: Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu 612901
3. Meenakshi Temple, Madurai
The Meenakshi Temple is devoted to Parvati, also known as Meenakshi, and her husband, Shiva. The fact that both God and Goddess are worshipped together makes this temple apart from every other.
The temple’s most prominent feature is its magnificent exterior, which is rich in detailed features and integrates great art pieces into the walls and pillars. The temple complex is created in accordance with the Shilpa Shastra and includes 14 gateway towers or gopurams,’ golden ‘vimanas,’ holy sanctums, and shrines dedicated to the beloved Goddess Meenakshi, among many other things. Thousands of worshippers visit the temple on a regular basis, making it a popular tourist attraction.
Timing: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Address: Madurai Main, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
4. Airavatesvara Temple, Darasuram
The Great Living Chola Temples, which include the Airavatesvara Temple, Thanjavur’s Brihadeeswara Temple, and Gangaikondacholapuram, are UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sacred place is devoted to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped here in the form of Airavat, Lord Indra’s elephant, and is situated in Darasuram. The sacred site is worth visiting and is one of Tamil Nadu’s most popular temples, with its Dravidian architecture style. The pillars of the temple are engraved with various mythical creatures known as Yalis.
Timings: 8.00 AM to 12.00 PM and 4.00 PM to 8.00 PM
Address: Gurunathan Pillai Colony, Darasuram, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu 612702
5. Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur
Brihadeeswarar or Brihadisvara is another well-known Shiva temple in Tamil Nadu. It was built in the 11th century AD during the Chola Period. The temple, which is one of India’s Great Living Chola Temples and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in the Thanjavur district. The 216-foot-tall Vimana, with its 80-ton Kumban, stands in the temple complex and attracts visitors interested in learning about outstanding architectural masterpieces from Indian history. It attracts thousands of devotees every day as one of Tamil Nadu’s most popular Shiva temples.
Timings: 6.00 AM to 12:30 PM, 4.00 PM to 8.30 PM
Address: Membalam Rd, Balaganapathy Nagar, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613007
6. Ekambareswarar Temple, Kanchipuram
Lord Shiva is worshipped in a multitude of temples in Tamil Nadu. The Ekambareswarar Temple in Kanchipuram is one among them. It is one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalas, and it represents the element of Earth. Devotees come to the temple to worship Lord Shiva in the form of a Lingam and an idol Prithvi Lingam, also known as Ekambareswarar or Ekambaranathar. Goddess Parvati is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva in the form of Prithvi Lingam here, under a mango tree. The lord was so impressed by this gesture that he showed himself and married the Goddess.
Timings: 6.00 AM to 12:30 PM, 4.00 PM to 8.30 PM
Address: Ambiga Adeeswar temple, Kilambi, Tamil Nadu 631502.
7. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Tiruchirappalli
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Tiruchirappalli, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is recognized as the first, greatest, and most important amongst 108 Divya Desams (main temples of Lord Vishnu). Periyakoil, Thiruvaranga Tirupati, Bhogamandabam, and Bhoologa Vaikundam are some of the names given to the sanctum sanctorum. It is one of the most prominent Vaishnava temples in South India, rich in history and legend, and it represents the Dravidian style of construction. The shrine consists of 21 magnificent towers and seven enclosures. The temple is renowned not just for its architecture but also for its location, which stands on an island between the Kollidam and Cauvery rivers.
Timings:7.30 AM to 1.00 PM
Address: VM7R+44P, Srirangam, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu 620006