South India’s temple towns are known across the world. They are conclaves of not just devotees, but of spirituality and rituals that define the cultures of the region. Get a closer look at this living narrative of the Hindu way of life by visiting some of the most enigmatic temple towns near Bangalore.
Find reliable cabs in Bangalore that will ensure a hassle-free experience as you head off to these peaceful destinations.
The town of Puttaparthi is located on the banks of the Chitravathi River and features picturesque hilly landscape in the backdrop. Its claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of the famous Indian guru, SathyaSai Baba. He was a spiritual guru and philanthropist who has millions of devotees across the world.
The biggest landmark in Puttaparthi is the PrashanthiNilayam, the main ashram of this temple town. Some of the other attractions include a planetarium, the ChaitanyaJyoti Museum, the Gopalaswamy temple and the VataVriksha or meditation tree.
Tirupati is arguably the richest temple town in India and remains a hub of devotees throughout the year. The highlight of this spiritual destination is the TirumalaVenkateswara Temple. This famous temple is on the Tirumala Hills and is the summit for one of the most important Hindu pilgrimages.
The temple itself showcases the detail that Dravidian architecture is famous for, featuring multiple entrances and the distinctive pyramid shape. Every day is a festival at this site; in fact, across the year 433 festivals are celebrated in the TirumalaVenkateswara Temple. The biggest of these festivals is the 9-day Sri VenkateswaraBrahmotsavams which happens in October. The Padmavathi Temple is another old temple in the town and others include the Sri Kodandaramaswami and Govindaraja Temples. Find Bangalore to Tirupati cabs to witness this great temple city.
Shravanabelagola is one of the most important sites for Jainism. One of the major landmarks here is the GommaṭteśvaraBahubali statue, a monolithic structure that is 58 feet tall and dates back to the 10th century.
Shravanabelagola has many Jain legends attached to it and it is believed that this was where the great emperor Chandragupta Maurya spent his last days. The Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri hills are the main locations for shrines and temples in the area. Some of the famous temples here are the AkkanaBasadi, the Chandragupta Basadi and the ShantinathaBasadi, all dating between the tenth and twelfth centuries AD.
A town that has seen many ages, from the Pallavas and Cholas to the Carnatic and British rulers, Kanchipuram has been immortalized because of its beautiful temple architecture and the famous saris that are made here. The oldest temple in the city is the Kailasanathar Temple, which features intricate carvings and sculptures, an ideal example of older Dravidian architecture. The largest temple in the city is the Ekambareswarar Temple, dedicated to Shiva.
Just 120 kms north of Bangalore, Lepakshi presents a fascinating look at the architectural prowess of the Vijaynagara Empire, showcased in the two archaeological sites – the Veerabhadra Temple and the Lepakshi Nandi statue, one of the largest depictions of Shiva’s bull. Some of the famous features of the temple that fascinate historians and design aficionados include the various rock reliefs and ceiling murals. Some of the other temples in Lepakshi include the Raghunatha and Durga temples, situated on a nearby hillock.
Relish these cultural trips that take you into the soul of South India. Enjoy the detailed architecture and witness the crowds that these spiritual centres attract. Step out and discover the temple towns of South India. All you need to do is book taxi in Bangalore and plan your adventure.