Meenakshi Temple Gopuram – Madurai

Photo credits : Remash Kidangoor

Photo credits: Remash Kidangoor

Madurai has a historical legacy over 2500 years, making it the oldest city in Tamil Nadu. On the banks of the river Vaigai, Meenakshi Temple dominates the city of Madurai, which evolved around it. The architecture in this temple is purely Dravidian, but the styles of many dynasties have influenced the decorations and construction of Meenakshi since it has changed hands over the centuries. Continue reading

Tibetan Golden Temple – Karnataka

Photo credits : Jithin Vijay

Photo credits: Jithin Vijay

The Tibetan Golden Temple is situated in Kushalnagar Mysore, in the state of Karnataka. It is the second largest Tibetan settlement outside of Tibet and China. The Golden Temple is the main attraction in Kushalnagar; its walls are adorned with colourful paintings depicting gods and demons from Buddhist mythology. Continue reading

Halebidu – Hassan, Karnataka

Photo credits : Dileep Kumar

Photo credits: Dileep Kumar

Located in the Hassan district of Karnataka, Halebidu (which literally means “old city”) is an important Hoysala architectural site being proposed for UNESCO World Heritage status. Once the capital of the Hoysala Empire, the Halebidu temples are excellent examples of South Indian architecture. Continue reading

Gangaikondacholapuram Temple, Thanjavur – Tamil Nadu

Photo credits : Binu Kumar

Photo credits: Binu Kumar

Gangaikondacholapuram temple is situated near the city of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, King Rajendra Chozlan built the temple 1020 -29 AD. The main Mandapa is two storied structure and dotted with pillars with exquisite carvings. There are many beautiful sculptures on the walls of the temple and its enclosures. A huge Nandhi (Shiva’s bull) made of brick and mortar presides in front of the main edifice. Continue reading

ISKON Temple – Bangalore, Karnataka

Photo credits: Dileep

Photo credits: Dileep

The Sri Radhakrishnachandra Temple in Bangalore is part of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKON). It attracts visitiors from different parts of the world that include spiritual devotees and students of architecture. Sri Radhakrishnachandra temple is one of the largest ISKON temple in the world. The gopurams were made with special technology using ferro cement. Continue reading

Hoysaleswara Temple – Karkataka

Photo credits : Ramesh Kidangoor

Photo credits: Ramesh Kidangoor

Hoysaleswara temple was built during 12th and 13th century Hoysala Empire by King Vishnuvardhana. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the ground-plan of the temple is the characteristic star shape common to all the Hoysala temples. Hoysaleswara is actually formed by two temples joined by a common veranda. The temple of the north is known as the Shantaleshwara temple and is named after the beloved Queen Shantala Devi. Continue reading

Gangaikondacholapuram Temple – Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

Photo credits: Ramesh Kidangoor

Photo credits: Ramesh Kidangoor

Dedicated to Lord Shive, Gangaikondacholapuram Temple was built by Chola Emperor Rajendra Ist between 1012 to 1044. The structure is a replica of the Brihadeeswara Temple at Thanjavur and was built in commemoration of Rajendra’s victory through the kingdoms of northern India to reach the Ganges. Continue reading

Mahabalipuram Shore Temple – Tamil Nadu

Photo credits: Ramesh Kidangoor

Photo credits: Ramesh Kidangoor

Completed in the latter half of the 8th century A.D, Mahabalipuram Shore Temple is one of the finest examples of structural temple architecture, meaning that it was built from granite block as opposed to being carved from solid stone. It belongs to a period when this temple construction style was at its peek. Continue reading

Mamallapuram – Pancha Pandava Rathas (Five Rathas)

Photo credits: Ramesh Kidangoor

Photo credits: Ramesh Kidangoor

These Rathas (chariots) are the most extraordinary of all the monuments in Mamallapuram. These monolithic shrines near the beach are carved out of granite boulders. There has been much fanciful speculation about them, mostly by people uninformed that similar such monuments exist elsewhere in India. These particular rathas are among the oldest and well-preserved vimana models in Tamil Nadu. Continue reading

Thirvunamalai, Arunacaleshwara Temple – Tamil Nadu

Photo credits : Ramesh Kidangoor

Photo credits : Ramesh Kidangoor

Thirvunamalai Arunacaleshwara Temple is dedicated to Jyothi Lingam, the fire incarnation of Lord Shiva. Situated amidst picturesque surroundings at the base of the 2600-ft Annamalai hills, it is one of the largest and most revered shrines in South India.  The nine imposing gopurams of the temple constructed in the Vijayanagar style are a magnificent sight. There is a “thousand pillared hall” with intricate carving of minor deities  and demi-Gods. Continue reading