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12 Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu That You Must Visit!

Tamil Nadu is known for its rich cultural heritage, unique architecture, and religious significance. From the famous Brihadeeshwara Temple in Tanjavur to the lesser-known yet equally enchanting Nellaiappar Temple in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu has no shortage of beautiful Shiva temples.

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Discover Shiva Temples In Tamil Nadu Where Spirituality Breathes!

In this blog, we will be exploring the top Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu that you must visit to soak in the spiritual and architectural beauty of South India.

Top Shiva Temples in Tamil Nadu!

Brihadeeshwara Temple, Tanjavur

Brihadeeshwara Temple, Tanjavur is considered to be an important shiva temples in Tamil Nadu.
Credit: Tamil Nadu Tourism – TN GOV

The Brihadeeshwara Temple, also known as the Brihadisvara Temple or Rajarajeswaram, is an ancient Hindu temple located in Thanjavur (formerly Tanjore), Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the Lord Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu which is considered to be mysterious.

This remarkable temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is an outstanding example of Dravidian architecture from the Chola dynasty. It was built by Emperor Raja Raja Chola I between 1003 and 1010 AD.It is considered to be one of the Old Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu.

  • How to reach Brihadeeshwara Temple? Brihadeeshwara Temple in Thanjavur can be reached by Tiruchirapalli International Airport (180 km), and Trichy Junction (60 km) by train, and is well-connected by road through national highways.
  • What is Brihadeeshwara Temple famous for? Brihadeeshwara Temple is famous for its grandeur and the colossal granite Lingam, one of the largest in India, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • Best time to visit Brihadeeshwara Temple? The best time to visit Brihadeeshwara Temple is during the winter months from November to February when the weather is pleasant and conducive for exploration.

Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram

Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram
Credit: Rameshwaram Tourism

Ramanathaswamy Temple is a prominent Hindu pilgrimage site located in the town of Rameshwaram on Rameswaram Island in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is renowned for its historical and religious significance.

The temple is a significant part of the Char Dham pilgrimage and is considered one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is considered to be a famous lord Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu

  • How to reach Ramanathaswamy Temple? By air: Madurai Airport (IXM) is the closest, about 163 km away. By railway/road: Rameswaram has a well-linked railway station and is accessible via NH87 for convenient access to Ramanathaswamy Temple.
  • What is Ramanathaswamy Temple famous for? Ramanathaswamy Temple is famous for its impressive corridors, colossal pillars, and the longest temple corridor in the world, spanning 1,212 meters.
  • Best time to visit Ramanathaswamy Temple? The best time to visit Ramanathaswamy Temple is during the winter months from October to March when the weather is pleasant.

Airavateshwara Temple, Kumbakonam

Airavateshwara Temple, Kumbakonam is considered to be an old Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu
Credit: Tamil Nadu Tourism – TN GOV

The Airavateshwara Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in the town of Darasuram near Kumbakonam in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

This temple, also known as the Airavateswara or Airavatesvara Temple, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and forms a part of the “Great Living Chola Temples.”

  • How to reach Airavateshwara Temple? To reach Airavatesvara Temple, take a flight to Tiruchirapalli International Airport, followed by a train to Kumbakonam Railway Station, and finally, a bus to Darasuram.
  • What is Airavateshwara Temple famous for? The Airavateshwara Temple is famous for its intricately carved sculptures and its unique chariot-shaped structure in Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Best time to visit Airavateshwara Temple? The best time to visit Airavateshwara Temple is during the winter months, from November to February when the weather is pleasant.

Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Mylapore

Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Mylapore
Credit: Tamil Nadu Tourism – TN GOV

The Kapaleeshwarar Temple is a renowned Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the Mylapore neighborhood of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. This ancient temple is a significant religious and cultural landmark, with a history dating back several centuries.

The temple’s main deity, Lord Kapaleeshwarar (an aspect of Lord Shiva), is worshipped alongside his consort, Goddess Karpagambal.

  • How to reach Kapaleeshwarar Temple? By air: Chennai International Airport; By rail: Chennai Central Railway Station; By road: Well-connected via Chennai’s road network.
  • What is Kapaleeshwarar Temple famous for? Kapaleeshwarar Temple is famous for its Dravidian architecture and the vibrant Arupathimoovar festival celebrated annually.
  • Best time to visit Kapaleeshwarar Temple? The best time to visit Kapaleeshwarar Temple in Chennai is during the annual Arubathimoovar festival, usually in March-April.
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Jalakandeswarar Temple, Vellore

Jalakandeswarar Temple, Vellore
Credit: Wikipedia

Jalakandeswarar Temple is a prominent Hindu temple located in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is known for its intricate Dravidian architecture and rich cultural heritage. The temple is situated within the Vellore Fort complex, which adds to its historical significance.

The temple’s main deity, Lord Jalakandeswarar (Shiva), is enshrined in the sanctum sanctorum, and the temple complex also houses shrines dedicated to Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha.

  • How to reach Jalakandeswarar Temple? By air, Chennai International Airport; by railway, Chengalpattu Railway Station; by road, accessible via the East Coast Road (ECR) in Tamil Nadu, India.
  • What is Jalakandeswarar Temple famous for? Jalakandeswarar Temple is famous for its unique architectural feature where the sanctum sanctorum is submerged in water, located in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Best time to visit Jalakandeswarar Temple? The best time to visit Jalakandeswarar Temple is during the annual Panguni Uthiram festival in March-April.

Ekambaranathar Temple, Kanchipuram

Ekambaranathar Temple, Kanchipuram
Credit: Tusk Travel

Ekambareswarar Temple, also known as Ekambaranathar Temple, is a significant Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India.

It is one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalas, representing the element Earth. The temple is the largest among the 108 Divya Desams, which are revered by the Alvars, a group of 12 ancient Tamil poet-saints.

  • How to reach Ekambaranathar Temple? By Air: The nearest airport to Ekambaranathar Temple is Chennai International Airport; By Rail: Kanchipuram Railway Station is the closest; By Road: Well-connected via road, accessible from major cities in Tamil Nadu.
  • What is the Ekambaranathar Temple famous for? The Ekambareswarar Temple is famous for its massive ancient mango tree, believed to be over 3,000 years old, and dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva.
  • Best time to visit Ekambaranathar Temple? The best time to visit Ekambaranathar Temple is during the Tamil month of Panguni (March-April) when the annual Panguni Peruvizha festival occurs.

Nellaiappar Temple Tirunelveli

Nellaiappar Temple Tirunelveli
Credit: Spiritual Tourism | Hindu Temples

Nellaiappar Temple, also known as Sri Kasi Viswanathar Temple, is a prominent Hindu temple located in the heart of Tirunelveli in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple complex is renowned for its architectural splendor and historical significance.

The sanctum sanctorum of Nellaiappar is believed to be around 700 years old, and the temple has undergone various renovations and expansions over the centuries.It is considered to be one of the Important Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu.

  • How to reach Nellaiappar Temple? Nellaiappar Temple in Tirunelveli can be reached by air through Tuticorin Airport, by train via Tirunelveli Junction, and by road using national highways like NH44.
  • What is Nellaiappar Temple famous for? Nellaiappar Temple is famous for its intricate architecture and being one of the largest Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Best time to visit Nellaiappar Temple? The best time to visit Nellaiappar Temple is during the months of October to March for favorable weather conditions.
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Gangaikondacholeeswaram Temple

Gangaikondacholeeswaram Temple
Credit: Holidify


The Gangaikondacholapuram Temple, also known as Gangaikondacholeeswaram Temple, is a magnificent Hindu temple located in Gangaikondacholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is renowned for its architectural grandeur, reflecting the Chola dynasty’s artistic and engineering prowess.

  • How to reach Gangaikondacholeeswaram Temple? Gangaikondacholapuram Temple can be reached by air through the nearest airport (Trichy), by train via the Ariyalur railway station, and by road through well-connected highways.
  • What is Gangaikondacholeeswaram Temple famous for? Gangaikondacholapuram Temple is famous for its architectural grandeur and was built by Rajendra Chola I in the 11th century to commemorate his conquest of the Ganges River.
  • Best time to visit Gangaikondacholeeswaram Temple?
    The best time to visit Gangaikondacholeeswaram Temple is during the winter months, from October to March.

Thillai Natarajar Temple

Thillai Natarajar Temple is one of the Famous lord Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu
Credit: Facts.net

The Thillai Natarajar Temple, also known as the Chidambaram Temple, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Located in the town of Chidambaram in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, India, it is one of the oldest and most significant temples in the country.

The temple is renowned for its association with the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva, known as Nataraja, symbolizing the cycle of creation and destruction.

  • How to reach Thillai Natarajar Temple? By Air: The nearest airport is Chennai International Airport (around 220 km).
    By Rail: Nearest railway station – Chidambaram Railway Station.
    By Road: Well-connected by road, accessible via major highways.
  • What is Thillai Natarajar Temple famous for? The Thillai Natarajar Temple is famous for its representation of Lord Shiva as Nataraja, the cosmic dancer, and is a major pilgrimage site for devotees of Lord Shiva.
  • Best time to visit Thillai Natarajar Temple? The best time to visit Thillai Natarajar Temple is from October to March.

Ramalingaswami Temple

Ramalingaswami Temple
Credit: templetownkumbakonam.com

In Hindu mythology, it is believed that after the war against Ravana, Rama installed 108 shivalingas as a penance to rid himself of the sin of killing Kara and Dooshna. While Rama made 107 shivalingas himself, Hanuman brought the remaining one from Varanasi.

The shrine is situated in the west, which is a violation of the Hindu temple architecture canon. The shivalingas also face west.

  • How to reach Ramalingaswami Temple? By air: The nearest airport is Trichy International Airport; by railway: Trichy Junction is the closest railway station; by road: Well-connected via road, accessible from major cities in Tamil Nadu.
  • What is Ramalingaswami Temple famous for? Ramalingaswami Temple is famous for its unique lingam (an abstract or iconic representation of the Hindu deity Shiva) made of a medicinal mixture and is believed to have healing properties.
  • Best time to visit Ramalingaswami Temple? The best time to visit Ramalingaswami Temple is during the Maha Shivaratri festival, typically in February or March.

Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchipuram

Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchipuram is considered to be one of the old Shiva Temple in Tamil Nadu.
Credit: MAP Academy

The Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple is a historic Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in the city of Kanchipuram in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the oldest structures in Kanchipuram and is renowned for its architectural and artistic significance.

The main deity of the temple is Lord Shiva, worshipped in the form of Kailasanathar. The sanctum sanctorum houses a lingam, the iconic representation of Lord Shiva.It is one of the famous lord Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu

  • How to reach Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple? By air: The nearest airport is Chennai International Airport; by railway: Chengalpattu Junction is the closest railway station; by road: Well-connected by road, accessible via NH32.
  • What is Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple famous for? The Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple is famous for being one of the oldest and most well-preserved Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Best time to visit Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple? The best time to visit Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple is during the winter months from November to February for pleasant weather.
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Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram

Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram is one of the famous Lord Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu
Credit: Britannica

The Shore Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Mahabalipuram, a historic town on the Coromandel Coast of Tamil Nadu, India. Dating back to the 8th century AD, it is one of the oldest structural stone temples in South India. The temple is renowned for its unique location, situated on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, and is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Built during the reign of the Pallava dynasty, the Shore Temple is a part of the group of monuments at Mahabalipuram, collectively known for their architectural and historical significance.

  • How to reach Shore Temple? By air, the nearest airport is Chennai International Airport; by railway, Chengalpattu Junction is the closest station; and by road, Mahabalipuram is well-connected via the East Coast Road (ECR) from Chennai.
  • What is Shore Temple famous for? The Shore Temple is famous for being a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the oldest structural stone temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, located on the coast of the Bay of Bengal in Mahabalipuram, India.
  • Best time to visit Shore Temple? The best time to visit the Shore Temple is during the winter months from November to February when the weather is cooler and more pleasant.

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In conclusion, Tamil Nadu is home to some of the most magnificent and sacred Shiva temples in India. From the towering gopurams to the intricate carvings, each temple is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the state. Whether you are a devotee seeking spiritual solace or a traveler looking to explore ancient architecture, these temples are a must-visit.

Suggested Read 14 Ideas For 2 Days Trip In Tamil Nadu

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Which is the oldest Shiva temple in Tamil Nadu?

Uthirakosamangai, also known as Mangalanatha Swamy Temple, is a Shiva temple in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. The temple has been in blossom since 3000 years ago. Uthirakosamangai temple has over 20 acres.

Which is the famous Sivan mountain in Tamil Nadu?

The Shiva temple at Velliangiri on Tamil Nadu’s western border is often regarded as the most famous among the state’s mountain temples.

How many Sivan temples are there in Tamil Nadu?

It is estimated that the Indian state of Tamil Nadu has about 260 Shiva temples.

Which temple is big in Tamil Nadu?

The Srirangam Sri Ranganatha Swami Temple is Tamil Nadu’s largest temple. It is also the world’s second-largest temple (after Angkor Wat), the largest operational temple, and the largest temple in India.

Which is the mysterious temple in Tamil Nadu?

Brihadeeswara Temple is one of the oldest ancient temples in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. There are numerous reasons why you should visit this location at least once, but one of the most compelling is its mystery.

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