1.Tirupati: This is by far the most popular religious destination in India without one shadow of a doubt. It is frequented by swarms of devotees every year. It is situated in Andhra Pradesh and is the abode of Lord Venkateshwara (popular nomenclature of Lord Vishnu). The temple is marvellous and opulent and boasts of gold plated domes. Many popular celebrities have been spotted praying here. Reaching the idol is a herculean task in itself. 2000 tumultuous steps lead the way and this alone can take around two hours. As they say, finding God demands efforts and perseverance.
2.Rameshwaram: The Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameshwaram is famous for its pillared hallway; it is the longest in India when it comes to the perimeter. The carved pillars along with the magnificent ceiling make for an interesting spectacle. The pilgrims are supposed to take bath first before entering the temple at the Agni Theertham as part of the purification ritual. There is a mythological legend behind the establishment of this temple. See it to believe it!
4.Thiruvannamalai: The Annamalaiyar Temple is the centre of attraction among religious sites of Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. It is also one of the Pancha Bhuta Sthalas. This temple is basically devoted to the worship of Shiv-Parvati. Also central to the temple is the annual Karthigai Deepam Festival wherein the entire temple is lightened up with diyas. It makes for a beautiful view against the backdrop of full moon.
5.Madurai: The Meenakshi temple stands in all its grandeur and opulence in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Many seasoned tourists believe that if you are running short of time and can only visit one temple, this must be the one! It is gigantic in terms of size with approximately 15 acres of land area housing around 4500 pillars and 12 towers. If you do not want to miss the grandeur of Meenakshi Temple, make sure you plan your visit during the Chithirai Festival.
6.Kumbakonam: This town located in Tamil Nadu is a home to more than 18 temples. You should indulge in some temple hopping for sure once you’re there. The Sarangapani Temple is one of the most unique out of all others. Its claim to fame is its shrine which is carved out in the form of a chariot. No wonder the deity this temple is dedicated to is Lord Vishnu. Another prominent temple located here is the Airateswara Temple which is a 12th century marvel. Its stone carvings are a treat to the eye and denote the Chola Dynasty’s finesse and taste for perfection. The detailing is simply phenomenal.
7.Tiruvannamalai: Located in Tamil Nadu, this place boosts of the Arunachaleshar Temple. Lord Shiva is worshipped in this grand and huge temple. The temple complex has three courtyards and nine towers. The way to the temple is replete with many sadhus and their shrines. There are also many meditation caves as well for all those seekers of peace and quiet. In fact, the town has an air of spirituality all around it.
8.Mysore: Devi Mahishmardini resides in the town of Mysore in Karnataka. The exact location of the temple happens to be the Chamundi Hills. It has been a popular pilgrimage site since years. Goddess Chamundini is supposed to have killed the demon Mahishasur during a fierce battle and this temple is thereby devoted to the devi. Not only this, the town of Mysore also has other temples like Prassana Krishnaswamy Temple and Trineshwaraswami Temple.
9.Guruvayur: This famous Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple is located in this town of Kerala.The emergence of the temple falls back on an interesting legend. What is interesting is that there is a strict dress code for entering this temple. Men are supposed to wear mundu around their waists without covering their chests and women are supposed to be covered completely. The temple has a distinct architecture just like many other temples found in Tamil Nadu.
10.Kanchipuram: The land is replete with temples and is considered as the religious capital of South India. Some of the temples include Ekambareshwar Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It dates back to the 2nd century. Can you imagine? This also means that it has been modified more than once to retain its architectural significance. Kamakshi Amman Temple worships Goddess Shakti in all her glory. The temple comes laden with an exquisite golden chariot. The Kailasanathar Temple is a great symbol of architectural brilliance and is a home to the deity Shiva. Spoilt for choice, aren’t you?