After Ekambaranathar, after A2B, we were off to Mamandur, coz the temples close down for Nadai Moodal from about 1 to 4. Finally we wrapped up with a visit to Kailasanathar Temple.
This is the oldest temple in Kanchipuram. As soon as we entered were these 8 mini structures in to either sides (2 on right, 6 on left) of the entrance. These were built by King Raja Simha Pallava's wife Ranga Padhaagai. The Shiva Lingam there is called the Naradha Lingam coz Saint Narada is believed to have worshiped this. But wait he's not the Kailasanathar!
Trying to start the circum-ambulation revealed that the temple is actually in 2 sections!!! The section behind is the one that has the Shiva Lingam of Kailasanathar with 16 stripes on it. The section behind has several little shrines along the wall. No, I did not count how many. Must be atleast 50+! Each shrine has a relief sculpture. The gap between 2 shrines also has a relief sculpture. The shrines are projected and has a room inside. Each room also has a separate relied sculpture!!! That's a lot of planning and lot of work!!!!!
Each of these shrines had 4 pillars. Each is a very typical Pallava Simha Thoon. Each of these sculptures were also painted.See the double layer of painting in this? Nayaka overdid upon Pallavas???
Long back, I was told that the specialty of Chola painting is the strong red ochre outline. But on seeing this, the Pallavas also seem to have an excellent hand on the red ochre outline.
Unfortunately the paintings have all gone and the sculptures themselves are in a bad state. However some paintings in the inner rooms are still intact. As you may see in the above pic, the rocks used in the construction is also unique. The base is granite, on top of it for a few layers its soft stone, then again a plank of granite, then again soft stone!
Another feature in these little shrines is the inscriptions beneath. 3 lines of inscriptions run through the entire length of all the shrines. As such the 3 lines are technically the same but stylistically different. The first is simple Sanskirt, second is Sanskrit in Grantha - a stylized script (remember I told you about here), third is an extremely stylized Calligraphic Grantha.
Circum-ambulation passage revealed a lot of absolutely stunning sculptures, both small and huge, yet intricate! This Dakshinamurthy in particular has been my fav and ever since I saw a photograph of it, I wanted to see it myself.
A few more of the Pallava Pride! And this time, the bird luck worked with a Parrot, but not putting up the pic here coz there's so much Pallava to be shared!!!
TO REACH THERE:
Dedicated to Gopu, Shiva & Jayram