Among the thousands of holy places through out India, some had achieved greater significance than the others as the spiritual followers increase over the times. Each region has one or two incarnation of the Lord Vishnu or other Deities that they especially worship. Lord Rama is worshiped from Uttar Pradesh to Bihar. In the western India is Lord Krishna, In Maharastra is worshiped Vittala, In the southern region of Tamil Nadu is Lord Vishnu and in Andhra Paradesh is Narashimha.
Each region consists of one or two major shrines. There are the Guruvayur and the Padmanabha temples in Kerala, Sri Meenakshi in Madurai and Sri Rangam in Tamil Nadu. The famed Chamundeswari and Udupi in Karnataka and Tirupati in Andhra pradesh. The Pallava rulers, the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Nayaks all have contributed to the Southern style of temple creation.
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Architecture of the South Indian Temples
The South Indian temple design is in the typical Dravidian style that is usually made from stones. The shape of the temples may be rectangular, square, star shaped or octagonal. These temples in general have large towers known by gopurams places at the entrances. A vimana is the tower over the sanctum where the deities are placed while the large pillared hall with corridors are common in all the south Indian temple architecture.
Some temples dates back to more that 1700 years displaying a rich heritage of South India. The most sacred place in the architecture of the temples is the pitha, the pedestal, that is placed in the sanctum sanctorum or the inner sanctum. The sanctum santorum is topped by a pyramidal tower having several high storied called the vimana. Many temples have halls such as the ranga mahal intricately carved for occasional sacrifices and dance recitals. The main area to the halls are surrounded by a single wall of many miles in length.