Tamil Nadu is known for its iconic temples, with some dating back over a thousand years. Must-visit temples include the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, and the Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameshwaram.
Famous Temples to Visit in Tamilnadu
1. Meenakshi Amman Temple – Madurai
Meenakshi Amman Temple is one of the most prominent Shiva temples in Madurai, initially established during the Nayak period. It is also known as the Meenakshi-Sundareshwar Temple and is devoted to Goddess Parvati, who is known as Meenakshi, and her spouse Lord Shiva, who is known as Sundareshwar. His Shiva temple in Tamil Nadu is a popular tourist destination as well as a significant part of the culture of South India. All of Tamil Nadu’s festivals, especially the Chithirai Festival, are celebrated here with great ceremonies. It symbolizes Meenakshi and Sundareswarar’s celestial marriage, and it attracts a huge number of devotees.
Opening hours: 05:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Address: Madurai Main, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
Nearer Attractions: Koodal Azhagar Temple, Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal, Sri Thiru Aappudayar Shiva Temple, Tirupparankundram
2. Kapaleeswarar Temple – Chennai
The Kapaleeshwar Temple was dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Karpagambal in the seventh century. This Goddess is a different form of Parvati, who is also known as Durga, Shiva’s wife. The temple is located in Mylapore, Chennai, and it has a wonderfully unique and beautiful appearance. Every day, this temple conducts six pujas, the gopura and the architecture are a stunning visual treat and it also has a big tank on its west side as well as surrounded on all four sides by broad streets. Thousands of historians and travel junkies go to this divine spot every year because of the Dravidian shape of its architecture.
Opening Hours: 5:30 AM to 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Closed on Monday
Address: 12, North Mada Street, Mylapore(Kesava Perumal Sannathi St Vinayaka Nagar Colony), Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600004, India
3. Annamalaiyar Temple – Thiruvannamalai
Annamalaiyar Temple is located at the foot of the Annamalai hills, belonging to the Chola Dynasty’s 9th century. It is constructed in the Dravidian style and shows the wonderful qualities of artisans of the time. The temple is normally crowded with visitors and locals, but during the annual ‘Karthigai Deepam Festival,’ the footfall increases. Devotees dress warmly during the celebration and have a fine variety of drummers and dancers.
Opening Hours: 5.30 am to 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Address: Pavazha Kundru, Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu 606601
Nearer Attractions: Adhi thiruvarangam, Ulagalantha Perumal
4. Thillai Nataraja Temple – Chidambaram
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva’s Nataraja avatar, a magnificent dancer, as the name indicates. It is one of Tamil Nadu’s most famous ancient temples, known for its religious and architectural significance. This temple is believed to be at the center of the Earth’s magnetic field. The deities of Nataraja and his consort Sivakamasundri are placed in the Chitsabha sanctum. During the Mughal era, the temple was built in the 11th century. It represents the element Space and is one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalas dedicated to the five elements of the universe, namely Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Space.
Opening Hours: 6.00.a.m to 12.00 PM 5.00.p.m. to 10.00 PM
Address: Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu 608001
Nearer Attractions: Thillai Kali Amman temple, Chathapuram Nathar Temple, Thiruvetkalam temple
5. Sri Laxmi Narayan Golden Temple – Vellore
Sri Laxmi Narayan Golden Temple, also known as the Sripuram Golden Temple, is located in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, included almost all south India tour packages. The temple is dedicated to Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, and is known as the Golden Temple since it was built completely of pure gold. Its amazing carvings, sculptures, artwork, and beautiful lighting add to its attraction. This Golden Temple of Tamil Nadu is one of a kind in the world, and it is surrounded by water, making it a magnificent sight to see at night.
Opening Hours: 9.00 AM to 7.00 PM
Address: Sri Narayani Peedam, Thirumalaikodi, Vellore, Tamil Nadu 632055
Nearer Attractions: Sripuram Golden Temple, Sri Mahalakshmi Golden Temple, Golden Temple
6. Bala Murugan Temple – Siruvapuri
The Bala Murugan temple at Siruvapuri is one of several well-known Murugan temples in Tamil Nadu. Lord Karthikeya, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, is known as Murugan. The temple is 500 years old and is known for fulfilling the desires of devotees. Hundreds of devotees visit this Murugan temple in Tamil Nadu every day to worship Lord Karthikeya. A temple dedicated to Lord Murugan and his wife Devi Valli, represented in bridal, is also located within the temple complex. It is visited by couples going to get married.
Opening Hours: 7.00 AM to 8.00 PM
Address: Siruvapuri Rd from National Hwy 5, Chinnambedu, Tamil Nadu 601101
Nearer Attractions: Ariyathurai Varamoortheeswarar Temple, Sri Adikesava Temple, Sri Thiruvaleeswarar Temple
7. 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.
Opening Hours: 6.00 AM to 12:30 PM, 4.00 PM to 8.30 PM
Address: Ambiga Adeeswar temple, Kilambi, Tamil Nadu 631502.
Nearer Attractions: Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple, Varadaraja Perumal Temple, Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Trilokinath Temple
8. 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.
Opening Hours: 6.00 AM to 12:30 PM, 4.00 PM to 8.30 PM
Address: Membalam Rd, Balaganapathy Nagar, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613007
Nearer Attractions: Shri Airavatesvara Temple, Ramaswamy Temple, Kampaheswarar Temple
9. 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.
Opening Hours: 8.00 AM to 5.00 PM
Address: Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu 603104
Nearer Attractions: India Seashell Museum, Five Rathas, Ganesh Ratha Temple
10. Rameshwaram Temple – Rameshwaram
The Rameshwaram temple is said to have been built when Lord Rama prayed to God Shiva for this blessing and mercy. It also has a number of interesting stories to narrate. Lord Hanuman built a strong sand linga when he brought a Shiva statue from the Himalayas known as Vishwalingam to the temple. This temple’s corridor is approximately 3000 feet long. The holy water bodies of the Rameshwaram temple, which are in the form of wells and tanks, are well-known. Visitors and devotees will queue for sacred Theerthams, which are formed like the 22 arrows in Rama’s quiver.
Opening Hours: 5:00 am – 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Address: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu 623526
Nearer Attractions: Kothandaramaswamy Temple, Panchamukhi Temple, Dhanushkodi Temple.