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“A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”- Lao Tzu
This quote suffices our love for travelling which is shared by most of us. Travelling is a much needed break from monotonous life. It revitalizes you and relaxes your mind. You come back with abundant memories to cherish. You must visit these unexplored and spectacular southern temples at least once which stand out for their architecture and rich history. These below mentioned temples reflect the splendour of India’s antiquated past.
The temples are as follows:
- Chausath Jogini Mandir:
It is situated in a hamlet called Hirapur. You will be surprised to know, this temple is built in circular fashion with blocks of sand stone. You will come across 56 idols of Goddess centring on the main idol of Goddess Kali, who stands on a human head representing triumph of goodness over vice. 64 Jogini temple is a tantric temple with hypaethral architecture as tantric prayer rituals involve worshipping 5 elements of nature- fire, water, earth, sky and ether. This temple is 20km outside Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Orissa. You can reach this temple by road. You may visit this temple anytime round the year.
- Halebidu, Karnataka:
Nestled in Hassan district of Karnataka, Halebidu is well connected by via road and rail to Bengaluru, Mysore and Mangalore. There are regular buses to Hassan. Halebidu is an exceptional example of Hoysala architecture. It is bustled with temples, shrines and other delectable pieces of architecture. A city famous for its spiritual significance, home to Hoysaleswara temple, Belur, Shantaleswara temple, Kedareswara temple and a number of Jain places of worship. October to February is the best period to visit Halebidu.
- Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh:
Nestled in far flung town of Andhra Pradesh, is a place dedicated to Lord Veerbhadra- the fiery incarnation of lord Shiva. Murals of Ramayana and Mahabharata are painted on the walls and ceilings of buildings. Hanging pillar is the best part of the place in the main Lepakshi temple. Pillar is supported by nothing to the ground, but it is still standing. This temple is close to the Puttaparthi. From here, it is an hour’s drive to the temple. From Hyderabad it is about 480 km and about 130 km from Bangalore.
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- Thekkekudi Rock Cut Cave Temple, Kerala:
Popularly known as Rock Cut Cave temple, this place is noteworthy for its historical importance and is preserved as a monument by the Archaeological Department. It has been built into Pallava Style of architecture and has compelled historians to date it to a period as old as eighth century AD. Temple’s engravings are one of the oldest in Kerala. The God revered here is Lord Shiva, represented in ‘Shivalinga which is three feet in length and carved out of rocks. The temple also has idols of Ganesh, Maharshi and Dwarapalakas. Nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is about 125 km away.
Image credit: http://www.incrediblekerala.org
- Sukriswarar Temple, Tamil Nadu:
This temple is as ancient as 10 century, built by Pandya rulers. Despite of Rich heritage and fascinating architecture this temple is unknown to tourist pilgrims owing to lack of advertisement. Mostly visited during ‘Pradosha’ and ‘Amavasi’ days. The temple is preserved as a monument by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Lord Shiva is worshipped as the main deity here. This place lacks even good approach roads and basic sanitation.
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Hope you would be enthusiastic enough to visit these temples and unearth the untold stories about these shrines.