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Exploring Tamil Nadu spiritually

Aug 26, 2020 | 5 minutes read
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Back in the days, Tamil Nadu was ruled by many powerful Hindu rulers and relatively untouched by the foreign invaders. The rich heritage hence remained unmoved for centuries and today, Tamilnadu is known as the “Land of Temples”. It is also one of the most populated orthodox Hindu states in India which can be ideal for religious tourists. Home to four of the five pancha bhootha lingas, there are thousands of temples to visit in Tamilnadu. Here are some temples you should not miss in Tamilnadu; 1. Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai Built by Kulashekarar Pandyan as a traditional Shaivism temple. It is of great mythological and historical importance as its history dates back to the 1st century CE. The temple is spread over 14 acres, enclosed with huge walls built to resist invasions. The temple consists of shrines to other deities also and has a pond called Porthamarai Kulam. It also has several pillared halls, which were built in the later stages, called “Mandapams”. According to a folklore, Meenakshi had appeared from the Yajna as a triple breasted girl and her third breast disappeared as soon she met Sundareswarar (Lord Shiva). 2. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple It is the largest temple in India with the world’s tallest Gopuram. Also known as Bhoologa Vaikuntam, the temple has shrines dedicated to over 108 deities representing Lord Vishnu. The temple which is an abode to Ranganathaswamy, who is Lord Vishnu in a resting position, covers an area of about 155 acres. It has withstood several attacks from invaders and natural disasters over the centuries. The temple also represents several architectural idioms from different ages. The deities, the mandapas, the murals, the inscriptions and almost every aspect of the temple throws a light on the holiness of the temple. 3. Ekambareswara Temple, Kanchipuram It is one of the pancha bhootha sathalam, where lord Shiva represents the earth. The current structure is known to be renovated by the Pallavas at around 600 AD. Goddess Parvati was known to have worshipped this linga as human girl ‘Kamakshi. The temple has 5 courtyards named Prakarams and one temple tank called Kampai Tirthai. 4. Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram This was a major shrine of worship to Lord Shiva since the classical period, with it’s bronze statues and stone sculptures. The deity that resides here is Thillai Nataraja, an important God of classical dances of south India. This is also one of the pancha bhootha sathalam, where Nataraja represents the sky.

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