The Southern Air Temple was one of the four original Air Nomad temples, located in the remote Potala Mountains in the Land of Fire. It originally housed exclusively male airbender monks before being taken over by the Air Acolytes.
The Southern Air Temple was the childhood home of Mito Uzumaki and her chief mentor, monk Gyatso. It was also the temporary home of Avatar Roku during his quest of mastering airbender during the First Great Shinobi War.
The temple was raided by Konohagakure shinobi and Land of Fire soldiers uring the Air Nomad Genocide, which led to the Second Great Shinobi War. While the temple's inhabitants defended themselves against the invaders, they were no match for their enemies and were all slaughtered. The only survivor of the massacre was Mito, who had ran away from the temple hours earlier.
The temple was settled in 90 AG by the Air Acolytes, an order of nonbender monks who sought to restore the culture and customs of the Air Nomads. The temple was later the site of Naruto Uzumaki's airbending training under the tutelage of Tenzin, an airbender monk whose family survived the Air Nomad Genocide.