This is the style that developed in the Dravida Desam. The Vimana and the Gopurams are the distinctive characteristics of the Southern style. The Vimana is a tall pyramidal tower consisting of several progressively smaller storeys. This stands on a square base. The Gopuram has two storeys seperated by a horizontal moulding. The Prakara or the outer wall, envelops the main shrine as well as the other smaller shrines, the tank.The Pallavas, the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Vijayanagar rulers, the Nayaks all contributed to the Southern style of temples.

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. Kalinga.Statue of Baby Krishna. dancing on the demon snake.

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. pathway around the temple with ornamental pillars.The corridor.

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The intricate workmanship of the sculptures at the entrance pillars. .

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.Eyecatching embellishments on the outside wall of the temple.

The rear wall enriched with the most ornamental carvings .

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sculptors and artists of Ancient India. which bear testimony to the craftsmanship and creativity of the artisans.Architecture found in Ancient Indian Temples showcases the country's old. rich and splendid culture. . These temples (some dating to more than 1700 years old)«display intricate carving and sculptures.

.‡ These also serve as ample evidence of the vision and forethought of the kings and rulers of our olden times to leave behind a heritage that modern India could be proud of.

When it comes to south India temples. towering Dravidian masterpieces. Here are five places to find magnificent south India temples. which display some of India's greatest temple architecture. As if the temples aren't captivating enough. so do look around! . perched high on a rock. and in the remote mountains. These temples. Many of these places have more than just the one temple. the state of Tamil Nadu dominates with its many ancient. many of them are located in spectacular surroundings including an island. are the backbone of Tamil culture.

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featuring a re-enacted celestial wedding of God and Goddess. the Meenakshi Temple should be it. During the heyday of its history. The city of Madurai is more than 4. The 12 day Chithirai Festivals. is held in Madurai during April each year.Ancient Madurai in Tamil Nadu is home to the most impressive and important temple in south India --the MEENAKSHI TEMPLE . many magnificant temples and buildings with superb architecture were constructed.000 years old. These days. If you only see one south Indian temple. when the Nayak dynasty ruled. Madurai attracts pilgrims and tourists in equal numbers. and has remained a major center for Tamil culture and learning. .

Thanjavur emerged as the stronghold of Tamil culture in the eleventh century. the temple's Dravidian architecture is imposing and precise. It's also one of the oldest temples dedicated to Lord Shvia in India. with Chola King Raja Raja I at the helm. The temple. and the passage around the sanctum is adorned with Chola frescoes. with the most outstanding one being the Brihadeswara Temple. Its importance is acknowledged by the fact that it's now a UNESCO World Heritage site.000 years old in 2010. Constructed solely out of granite. Its dome rises to over 60 meters. which turned 1. . The Cholas built more than 70 temples in Thanjavur. is a symbol of the unrivaled power and might of the Cholas.

and Pallavas all fought for control of it. built by the Nayaks of Madurai in spectacular style on a rocky outcrop 83 meters (237 feet) above the city.Tiruchirappalli. it affords a panoramic view. stop at Thayumanaswamy Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva on the way. The focal point of Trichy is the Rock Fort Temple. Also don't miss the Vinayaka Temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh at the top! . or Trichy as its informally known as. was an object of great desire for all the Dravidian rules due to its strategic position on the Kaveri river. As is to be expected. Pandyas. If you get tired walking up the 437 rock cut steps to the Rock Fort Temple. The Cholas.

is also a must-see. . The lost land of Dhanushkodi. Its special feature is the longest hallway in India. located at the tip of the Indian Penninsula. There are hundreds of pillars with detailed carvings. The most important temple on the island. which is also one of India's most worshiped temples. Rameshwaram holds a special place in Hindu mythology as it's where Lord Rama built a bridge across the sea to rescue Sita from the clutches of the demon Ravana.Rameshwaram is a small island off the coast of Tamil Nadu. in Sri Lanka. It's connected to the mainland by one of the longest bridges in India -actually there are now separate bridges for cars and trains. is the Ramananthswamy Temple. at the eastern end of the island.

Otherwise. The temple is one of the most visited and wealthiest in India. as can be seen by its gold plated dome.000 steps up the hill to the temple. . You'll find it nestled on the seventh peak of Tirumala Hill. in the Eastern Ghat mountains. in another striking location. Those who are able can walk the 4. which takes two to four hours. it's easier to go by bus.Situated above Tirupati in the southern part of Andhra Pradesh. rather than in Tamil Nadu. the temple of Lord Venkateshwar (Lord Vishnu) is yet another masterpiece of Dravidian architecture. It's been patronized by all the various rulers and kings over the years.

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