Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Kailasnathar Temple - from the Pallavas

Kanchipuram –   synonymous with the rich silk Kanjeevarams , traditionally woven and originated from this small town of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu.  But this is not why I was in this town Or to be honest, not primarily.

Kanchipuram from being the capital of the Pallavas, is also famous for its ancient and very old temples – and this is what got me here, 75 kms from Chennai . I wanted to see the structures , the pillars, the sculptures which were laid over 1300 years ago .One such temple is the Kailasnathar Temple , the only extant and testimony of the first Pallava Dynasty structure in South India. Prior to this, temples were constructed from wood  or carved within caves / rocks and boulders.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva , Kailasnathar Temple was constructed between 685 -705 AD . The architecture is unique and since it is one of the earliest structures it perhaps does not  bear much  resemblance to the temple structures built by succeeding rulers though the latter structures have drawn influences from here.

The inner courtyard . There are 58 subshrines within the complex 

All the pillars are adorned with the mythical half lion face.
As per mythology and beliefs ,Lord Shiva appeared to a sage named Romasa and mentioned to him the Circumambulatory passage inside the Kailasanathar temple grants salvation. Many devotees still come here and crawl through the narrow passage for deliverence .

There are many exquisite temples all over Tamil Nadu , few of which I managed to see.  But the Kailasnathar Temple holds a command and authority of its own. 

Today this temple is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India.

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