Sunday, February 6, 2011

As i mentioned earlier, the temple is with four corridors and we have seen one of the corridors which leads to the Antarala. Photography is not allowed as we go inside the Antarala, so do not have any pictures. Within, we find long pillars with DSC00216amazingly carved sculptures and deities of all forms whether it is Vishnu, Siva or Devi. With the wear and tear since centuries, some of the sculptures have been disfigured. However, with excellent preservation techniques, we still can see their beauty. Lord Siva as Ekambareshwar in the Linga form is the primary deity in the sanctum and it being worshipped since centuries. I had a nice darshan of the Lord and moved on for a tour to the other parts of the temple complex.

The four corridors of the temple enclose the temple tank which sets a beautiful view. I hired a local guide who walked mDSC00233e through the temple. He showed me the various parts of the temple referring to legends that are associated with it. The most beautiful parts of the temple are its corridors. They are long with pillars on the left and right. There are small inner corridors on the left in which you can find various smaller shrines like Murugan. Also, you can find One Thousand Eight Siva Lingas in one of the left corridors. On the right, you have the sanctum and the Ranga Mantapa which are spacious. The corridors are dark with sunlight passing through the upper part of the wall beams. I really felt great when i was walking inside the pavilion and the voices echo inside as its enclosed. It was an amazing experience and better seen than said.

All the pillars inside the pavilion are sculpted with intricate designs all over them. The Kanchipuram Silk sarees are inspired by these designs. Each pillar has a unique design and an ardent art lover can spend days exploring this temple in its entirety. DSC00235There is a small Devi shrine and a legendary mango tree near it. It is said that it was under this three that Goddess Kamakshi did penance and Siva wedded Kamakshi under this very same place. The three has four branches and each branch produces mangoes which are of different shapes and tastes. It is estimated that the age of this tree is over 3500 years.

Each part of the temple has its uniqueness. On the pavilion that we walk, you will find a Mantapa full of pillars and each pillar has an Yali carved on it. Yali, in art terminology is an imaginary and legendary animal which is ferocious and has a lion’s or an elephant head and an other animal’s body. Some of the pillars have peacocks DSC00243carved on them beautifully. In other words, this temple is a textbook on Pallava and Vijayanagara art. You can clearly distinguish between both forms of art as the shrines and Mantapas are carved with things that are a signature of the respective art forms.

I then go for a second darshan inside the sanctum and i was lucky enough to capture a picture of the Utsava Vigraha. I spent more than an hour in this temple complex. Take very good care while walking in this temple as walking barefoot on stone is not easy. I next move on to the Vaikuntha Perumal Temple.


Shadows Galore said...

Wow ! I studies in this city and you made the memories come back ! Beautiful article and pics!

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