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There are many important Pilgrimage center in Tamil Nadu. Explore some of the popular pilgrimage places of Tamilnadu.

Pilgrimage in Tamil Nadu

Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial, KanyakumariA land of shrines dedicated to Shaiva, Vaishnava and Shakti cults of Hinduism, Tamil Nadu is a land of culture and religion. The shrines range from the rock temples with huge Gopurams to the cave temples, shore temples and open-air bas-reliefs to the ones built in the Dravisian style of architecture, with wide Prakarams, ornamented with elegant sculptures and wall and ceiling paintings. Srirangam, the abode of Lord Ranganatha is situated in the enchanting island of the hallowed South Indian River Cauvery, near Trichy. The temple of Ranganatha here is the largest and one of the most sacred temples in India. One of the most ancient shrines of India at Chidambaram has great historic as well as religious and cultural significance.

It is dedicated to Lord Nataraja or Shiva in the pose of Cosmic Dance of Bliss. It is one of the few temples where Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are enshrined under one roof. The Dargah of Meeran Sahib Abdul Qadir Shahul Hamid Badshah at Nagore with beautiful domed arches and slender minarets is one of the popular pilgrimage centers for Muslims in Tamil Nadu. The artistic excellence of Cholas' 11th century Brihadeeswara Temple manifests itself in the fact that the 'Vimana' here never casts a shadow at noon at any part of the year. Besides the above, there are Nanguneri, Palani, Tiruttani and Velangani as some of the other important pilgrim centres of Tamil Nadu. The most popular of the centers are discussed below:

Kancheepuram or Conjeevaram is situated on the banks of River Vegavati. While Kalidasa referred to the city as the best among the cities (Nagareshu Kanchi) in his works, Yuan Chwang, the great Chinese traveler, who wandered to the place in the 7th century, wrote about the bravery, piety, love of justice and veneration for learning of its people. According to the latter, Buddha had also visited the place.

Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India, presents a confluence of the three great seas of Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. The regular coastline protrudes out into the sea at Cape Comorin. The district headquarters of the region, Kanyakumari is also a prominent pilgrim centre. Much famous for its beaches and picturesque sunrises and sunsets, it is a wonder to witness the sun rising and setting in the seas here especially on full moon

The lotus-shaped city built around Meenakshi Temple, Madurai is the oldest and second largest city of Tamil Nadu. Once the capital of Pandyan rulers till 14th century, it was named 'Madhurapuri', as it is said, that Lord Shiva showered divine nectar or 'Madhu' on the city from his matted locks as his blessings on the day, the city was to be

Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram became the capital of Pallava rulers after Kanchipuram. 58 km from Madras, the tiny seaside village on the shores of Bay of Bengal is world-famous for its shore temples. The boulder-strewn landscape of the village is hardly a consideration for the huge influx of tourists who come here to explore its miles of unspoiled beaches and witness the splendor of the rock-cut art and architecture of the region.

Varanasi of the South, Rameshwaram is one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage centres in India, second only to Varanasi itself. However, a pilgrimage to Varanasi too is not considered complete without a trip to the temple of Sri Ramanatha in the island of Rameshwaram, where Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva on his way back from his triumphant expedition to Lanka. The temple is said to enshrine one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of India.

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