South India is a linguistic-cultural
region of India that comprises the four states of Andhra
Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the two
Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry, whose
inhabitants are collectively referred to as South Indians.
This region includes the entire Indian Peninsula, south
of the Vindhya Range. The Narmada and Mahanadi rivers
form the northern boundaries of the region, while the
Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal surround
the peninsula in the west, south and east respectively.
The main spiritual traditions of South India include
both Shaivite and Vaishnavite branches of Hinduism,
although Buddhist and Jain philosophies had been influential
several centuries earlier. The coastal region of Andhra
Pradesh was a stronghold of Buddhism as exemplified
by the great stupas at Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda.
Shravanabelagola in Karnataka is a popular pilgrimage
center for Jains. Kodagu, in Karnataka is home to one
of the largest Buddhist monasteries in India and provides
sanctuary to Tibetan Buddhist monks that fled Tibet
fearing persecution from communist China. There is a
large Muslim community in South India, particularly
in the Malabar coast, which can trace it's roots to
the ancient maritime trade between Kerala and Omanis
and other Arabs. Similarly, Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu
(also known as Nagore) also has a sizeable Muslim community
- the famed Nagore Dargah is situated in this old town.
The Hyderabad region in Andhra Pradesh has a large Muslim
population and is a historic center of South Indian
Southern India is dotted with places of religious interest.
There are several towns that are referred to as the
temple towns owing to the grandeur of the temples they
are home to. Southern India is dotted with places of
religious interest. There are several towns that are
referred to as the temple towns owing to the grandeur
of the temples they are home to. Rameshwaram is an island-
of Lord Rama's temple at Tamil Nadu is a terrific destination.
Along with being a major pilgrimage for the Hindus,
Rameshwaram is a happening holiday spot too. Rameshwaram
is significant for the Hindus as a pilgrimage to Benaras
is incomplete without a Pilgrimage to Rameshwaram.
Architecture of South Indian Temples
This is the style that developed in the Dravida Desam.
The Vimana and the Gopurams are the distinctive characteristics
of the Southern style. The Vimana is a tall pyramidal
tower consisting of several progressively smaller storeys.
This stands on a square base. The Gopuram has two storeys
seperated by a horizontal moulding. The Prakara or the
outer wall, envelops the main shrine as well as the
other smaller shrines, the tank.The Pallavas, the Cholas,
the Pandyas, the Vijayanagar rulers, the Nayaks all
contributed to the Southern style of temples.