Meenakshi Temple and the town of Madurai almost co-exist with each other. If Madurai is the the oldest city of Tamil Nadu, Meenakshi Temple is its land mark. Kulasekara Pandya, the rulers from the famous Pandyan dynasty built the original temple, yet the grandeur and glory of the shrine owes a lot to the Nayak rulers. This majestic shrine is attributed to Lord Shiva and his companion Parvati who is referred to as Meenakshi here. Accordingly it accommodates two altars for Sundareshwara (Shiva) and Meenakshi (Parvati) besieged by a few smaller shrines. Special mention should be made of the 12 gopuras that easily catches attention.
Tirupporur, a town lying at a mere 45 km from Chennai is the place where one finds the Murugan Temple. Some others names like Poriyur or Yuddhapuri or Samarapuri are used to refer to this shrine. A coveted religious center, Murugan Temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan, the son of Lord Shiva. One of the most common legend says, it was this father son duo that released Lord Vishnu and goddess Lakshmi from the anathema of sage Kanav. Subsequently Agastya Muni revealed the meaning of Pranava (the Universal Truth) to Lord Murugan and his consorts in this place. The temple bears testimony to the inscriptions that goes back to the 10th and 12th century.
A semi urban locality that sits at 75 kms from Chennai truly justifies the phrase The Land of Thousand Temples that is usually coined for the state of Tamil Nadu. The enormous crowd of temples in this town has earned it the distinction of being the Religious Capital of South India. A perfect blend of Vaishnavism and Shaivism, Kanchipuram is the home to temples like Kamakshi Amman Temple, Varadaraja Temple, Kailashanathar Temple, Ekambareshwar Temple, Kumara Kottam, Ulahalanda Perumal Temple and lot more. All these temples are marked by different festivals at different point of time in the year.
Apart from being the southern most point of India, Kanyakumari sees the convergence of as many as three sea; the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. The temple in Kanyakumari is dedicated to the virgin goddess Kanyakumari who is a manifestation of goddess Parvati. The Idol of the Goddess which is made of blue stone is said to be installed by Parasurama. The major festivals celebrated here are mainly in the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May - June). Navarathri is also observed with devotional activities in the months of September – October.
The town of Mahaballipuram is another town in Tamil Nadu that flaunts its coffer of temples. Placed at 58 km from Chennai, this town has a history that spread over two thousand years. The temples in Mahaballipuram are marked by the unique structure and formation. Two of the most prominent types are the Mandapas and Rathas and a visitor will find numerous temples built on these two heads.
The great shrine of Sri Ramanatha is always a popular destination for the Hindu pilgrims. To put it in a easy way, what Kashi is to North India, Rameshwaram is to South. As the name itself suggests, Rameshwaram is closely and tightly associated with the epic Ramayana. The temple of Sri Ramanatha is in the shape of a conch and stands on the Eastern shore of an island. Mythology holds that, it was here that Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva after the fall of Ravana.