Temples of South India

South Indian temples  have elaborate rituals. Among the temples of South India, Kerala temples vary from other three states
The marvelous Thousand Pillar temple is located in Andhra Pradesh's ancient city of Warangal. The temple was built by King Rudra Deva in the 12th century. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Surya, one thousand richly carved pillars and a magnificent black basalt Nandi bull are the main attractions here.  Built in the shape of a star, the temple is raised on a 1 metre high platform on the slopes of the Hanumakonda hill. Many small lingam shrines surround the gardens of this shrine. 
Lepakshi Temple One of Andhra Pradesh's best visited temples, Lepakshi temple is located in Anantapur district of the state. The temple was built by the Vijayanagar rulers. In the Lepakshi temple, the best specimens of the mural paintings of the Vijayanagar kings are available.
The temple has been built on a low rocky hill. The hill is called Kurmasaila as it is in the form of a tortoise. They include 14 forms of Lord Shiva. About 500 metres north east of the temple is the largest image of a monolithic Nandi bull.
Guruvayoor Temple, Kerala Guruvayoor Temple of Thrissur is a very important and famous pilgrimage. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who is worshipped as Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Lord Sree Krishna is also called 'Guruvayurappan'. The Guruvayoor temple also holds the reputation of hosting the maximum number of marriages and rice feeding ceremony (the ritual first meal for infants).
Sabarimala Temple, Kerala is located at a height of almost 1000 meters above sea level on the Sahyadri ranges in Western Ghats. The Sabarimala temple of Kerala is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, who is said to have meditated here after killing the demon Mahishi.
Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Kerala is an architectural wonder and a magnificent temple that is sure to amaze you. Situated in the heart of the city, the massive structure has a staggering 100 feet high "Gopuram", the main temple tower. Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple of Kerala is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, one of the Gods of the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. The massive idol of the deity measures 18 feet in length and is covered with gold and other precious stones.
Hampi Temples Karnataka, The temples of Hampi, its monolithic sculptures and monuments, attract huge number travelers because of their excellent workmanship. The Hindu style of architecture found at Hampi reflects the splendor of the Vijaynagar Empire. The rugged landscape adds to the historic ambiance of this site.
Chennakeshava Temple Karnataka,  A supreme example of Hoysala temple architecture, the Chennakeshava temple situated in Belur, leaves one spellbound with its exquisite structure. The temple was constructed in 1117 AD by Hoysala king Vishnuvardhan to celebrate his victory over the Cholas at the battle of Talikad. The Chennakeshava temple is decorated with stories from the Puranas, the Upanishads and the epics of Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Bull Temple, Karnataka A temple built in the Dravidian style by Kempe Gowda, founder of Bangalore is situated at Basavangudi in Bangalore. It has a monolithic bull, made of gray granite which is 4.5 mts high and 6.5 mts long. The Nandi bull is revered as the 'vahana' (vehicle) of Lord Shiva.
Shiva Temple, Karnataka There are various Shiva temples in Karnataka, but the one  located on old Airport Road, Bangalore is a worth a mention. Shiva's idol is a great crowd puller due to its grandeur, aesthetic values, scenic beauty and majestic look. It boasts of Awesome 65 feet high depiction of Lord Shiva seated in Lotus position in the Himalayas. It has the backdrop of Mount Kailash the Lord's heavenly abode and the river Ganga flowing from his matted locks
Rameshwaram Temple  is significant for the Hindus as a pilgrimage to Benaras is incomplete without a Pilgrimage to Rameshwaram. The presiding deity is the Linga Of Sri Ranganatha, which happens to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of India. Rameshwaram is also popularly referred to as the 'Benaras of the south'. In order to attain Moksha it is believed that the visit to Rameshwaram is mandatory.
Brihadeshwara Temple, Tanjavur The biggest and richest temple in Thanjavur is Brihadeshwara, monumental in design, concept and execution and the greatest architectural achievement of the Chola rulers. Built by the Chola King Rajaraja (985-1014), it is dedicated to lord Shiva as a temple fortress with a moat. A huge Nandi Bull guards the gopuram-its 'vimana' is 64 metres high.

The rich carvings of the temple are still fresh. There is also a portrait of the king with his Guru, Karur Thevar. There is a picture of royal visit to Chidambaram, and lord Shiva riding a chariot drawn by Brahma. 
Meenakshi Temple The Meenakshi Temple in Tamil Nadu's Madurai is a masterpiece of architecture of that period. The presiding deity at the Meenakshi temple at Madurai, the Athens of South India, is Goddess Meenakshi. Located within high enclosures, Meenakshi(Parvati) and Sundareshvara(Shiva) are seated in the sanctum sanctorum.  There are 985 beautifully sculptured pillars supporting the temple and forming the thousand pillar mandapan hall.

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