Religion holds a central place in the Indian way of life. In Southern India (Karnataka,Telangana, Andhra Pradesh,Tamil Nadu,Kerala, Pondicherry), several Hindu traditions have existed in relatively pristine form over several centuries, and especially so in the temples that have a huge religious, social and cultural significance in the lives of people living here. The Early Cholas, Pallavas, Chalukyas,Pandyans, Later Cholas, Rashtrakutas, Badami empire,Hoysalas and finally the towering Vijayanagara empire have left their indelible imprint upon this land. Huge and small, they have all added invaluably to the distinctive architecture of this place.
In 1994 I visited Hyderabad, situated in the then- Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana), my first visit to the South. I still vividly recall the impression that the small temple situated at Ramachandrapuram, in the outskirts of Hyderabad, made upon my young impressionable mind, which had not see the beauty of Dravidian (Southern) temples till that time.
Much water has passed down the Godavari, Krishna and Kauvery since then, and I have been fortunate enough to have had several visits and periods of stay/study in the South over the past two and a half decades. Each time, these temples, starting from the bigger ones such as Tirupati, Annamalaiyar and Srirangam, to even the smaller, lesser known ones, have impressed me with their architectureand brought a measure of devotion and happiness to my mind.
These blog articles attempt to capture the grandeur and beauty of these citadels of faith, as seen through my lens.
More information about Dravidian architecture can be found at:
I am attaching a pictorial structural conception of temple architecture.
And here is the link to my article on one of the grand temples of the South, Annamalaiyar Temple, Tiruvannamalai: