South India has some of the best monuments and temples that are architecturally brilliant. Some of these historical monuments and temples are visited both by national as well as international tourists. In South India, the temples that were constructed long back can even be classified as monuments because of their old world charm and their architectural profoundness. Let’s find out the best temples and monuments that you just need to visit when you have south India on your travel agenda.
Mamallapuram Shore Temple, Chennai
Located in the Kanchipuram district, it is about 60 kms from Chennai. Being one of the oldest temples of the country and a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is also a good example of structural temples made in stone. It was in fact the first building of its time that was made of granite stone rather than rocks. It was built in the 7thcentury; this temple is a group of three temples located overlooking the Bay of Bengal in Mamallapuram. The temple is literally located on the shore, and an early morning sunrise when the sun shines through the sea onto Shiva Linga in the main shrine is a sight to behold.
Mysore Palace, Mysore
This palace belongs to the royal family of Wodeyar Maharajas. The palace you now see was redesigned and remade by an English architect in 1912. This breathtaking beautiful building has beautiful interiors and you can see different artifacts and paintings inside. One day of the week, the palace is lit with around 10000 light bulbs that make its majestic charm visible.
Meenakshi Temple, Madurai
Meenakshi temple is the temple of Parvati who is the consort of Shiva. It is also one of the few popular temples celebrating a goddess. What makes the temple so epic is the fact that it has 33000 sculptures and is the largest temple complex in the state of Tamil Nadu. The other highlight of the temple is the 14 differently made Gopurams and the thousand pillar hall that has almost 1000 pillars arranged in a fashion that they appear to be in neat rows and columns, no matter which angle you look at them from.Gopurams are pyramid shaped towers that appear mostly in the entrance of temples. It is, in fact a prominent feature of Dravidian architecture.
Charminar is a famous mosque in the heart of Hyderabad. This place is often recommended to be the top 10 places that need to be on your travel list in India. Built in 1591 by the fifth ruler of the Qualb Shahi dynasty, it is a tourist spot that represents Islamic architecture well. Though the reason why he built it is debated, this monument is famous because of its ornate and beautiful designs. It is during winter that most people visit the mosque. It is a square structure with 20 meters each side and with four arches that face a direction that also opens into four streets. Though it is a piece of Islamic architecture, its architecture is also inspired by Hindu architecture. Many people say that the building does justice to the Hindu and Islamic cultures led by the society of Hyderabad.
Brihadeeshwarar temple, Thanjavur
Built only out of granite, this temple is one of the greatest buildings of the Chola dynasty. Located in the city of Thanjavur, it is a temple dedicated to Lord Brihadeeshwara who was an avatar (form) of Lord Shiva. The most beautiful view is the one inside the temple of Lord Shiva which is one of the biggest idols of the deity. Many say it is one of the temples that showcase Dravidian architecture brilliantly. The temple is also famous for its sculptures of various gods like Dakshinamurthi, Ganesha, Vishnu as well as “Ashta-dikpaalakas” (deities who rule the specific directions of the space) – Indra, Agni, Yama, Nirrti, Varuna, Vayu, Kubera and Isana.