Temples in India play a crucial part in our understanding of our history and culture. Much of our culture is shaped by religion and all the myths and legends that surround it. To this day, the way we think is subconsciously affected by these things. India is a land of over 2 million temples. Each year, that number increases substantially even though we are still discovering more about temples that have existed for several centuries now. Many of the oldest temples in our country are found in South India. If ancient temples are a topic of interest to you, then you’re in luck.
Here is a list of the oldest temples from each state in South India that you must visit to enrich yourself.
Chenthilandavar Temple – Tamil Nadu
The Chenthilandavar Temple is supposedly the oldest temple in Tamil Nadu. Believed to have been built during the 1st century A.D., this temple is said to be over a thousand years old. It is located in the town of Tiruchendur and is 40 kilometres from Toothukudi. It is the only Hindu temple not to have an eastern gateway. This temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan.
Parasurameswara Swamy Temple – Andhra Pradesh
Believed to be the oldest temple in Andhra Pradesh and also the oldest temple dedicated to Shiva, This temple has a lot of history behind it. The Shiva Lingam in the temple is said to date all the way back to the 3rd century B.C. The temple is located in the Gudimallam village, which is around 13 kilometres away from Tirupati.
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Chalukya Shiva Temple – Karnataka
Well-known among the oldest temples in India, the Chalukya Shiva Temple dates back to the 5th century. The temple was originally dedicated to Vishnu, however, its main shrine now houses a Shiva Linga with a Nandi. The temple is located in the Bagalkot district and is 37 kilometres away from the city of Bagalkot.
Alampur Navabrahma Temples – Telangana
Despite having “Nava-Brahma “ in their names, these temples are dedicated to Shiva. They were built by the Badami Chalukyas sometime during the 5th century. These temples are easily the oldest temples in Telangana. The temples are located in the town of Alampur in the district of Jogulamba Gadwal. Alampur is 215 kilometres away from Hyderabad.
Vaikom Sree Mahadev Temple – Kerala
This is yet another temple that is dedicated to Shiva. The Vaikom Sree Mahadev Temple is the latest temple on this list to have been built. It was built in 1594 and is said to have been built by the saint Parasurama. This temple has many interesting myths and legends surrounding it and should be an interesting visit for those who are intrigued by its mystery. Vaikom is situated in the Ernakulam district and is around 60 Kilometers from Kochi.
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