Another place I ventured to, around Srirangam, was Srinivasanallur. The original name of the place is Mahendra Mangalam. Earlier this was a brick temple and Aditya Chola wanted this to be converted to a granite temple. However he couldn't do it in his reign and his son, Paranthaka Chola took it over and made his dad's wish come true in late 9th C.
The temple is a small temple, very similar to that of Gopurapatti temple. The Lord Shiva here is called Thirukkurakkutturai Perumanadigal according to the inscriptions. The upper part of the temple has been recently renovated just like how Kanchi Kailasanathar was renovated, or rather mindlessness in the name of renovation.
There is a foundation inscription along the lower band (adhishtanam) all around the temple.
The scroll details and the very intricate miniature works are a signature style of Paranthaka Chola. Infact, each and every one of these scrolls are unique, no 2 are similar!!! At some places, instead of minature scroll designs, there were some miniature dancing girls too!!!
Another fantastic feature here is the Yaali (mythical creatre) row. At all the corners is a Magaram (crocodile shaped mythical creature) with its mouth open. Within this open mouth are some soldiers and some even have a yaali!!! Excellent, right???!!!!!
Its an east facing temple. The west facing wall has Lord Brahma in it. However it was a sculpture placed here and not carved on the wall. Similarly the north has a highly corroded Dakshinmurthy(!) placed here and not carved on the wall.
However, my favourite thing, in this temple was the south facing wall and the incredibly beautiful Dakshinamurthy compositions sculpted in a high relief here! Remember the Dakshinamurthy of Gopura Patti, this was was several times better than that! The moment I saw it I was reminded of the Dakshinamurthy Fresco in the Thanjavur Brahadeeswara Temple. The detailing was that good! Here's that fresco.
Every detail of that fresco, the snake, the monkey, the owls, the fabric, the rudraksha bead chain, the bag, everything is present in the sculpture as well!
And then the details on the side. Remember the Dakshinamurthy at Kanchi Kailasantha temple. Every being there is here as well - the 2 people in rick sack like outfit, the lions, the seated devotees, the bootha ganas, everything!!!
The Makara Thoranam too was very intricate. Between the 2 Makara in the side and centre are 4 soldiers seated on lions! I really couldn't get enough of this panel.
Atop another goshtam, was another equally beautiful Makara Thoranam, which has similar Makaram and lions and exactly at the centre was a very small miniature of Vishnu as Varaham with Lakshmi on his lap!
Another extremely beautiful aspect of this temple is the dwarapalas. On either sides of all Goshtams were 2 dwarapalas. They were so elegant. And their posture was something that I've never seen anywhere else, so far. They were too very elegant. Again they weren't facing the viewer. They were all slightly at an angle from the plane, to face the God at the centre!
TO REACH THERE:
From Karur: 47km via Puliyur, Kulithalai
From Trichy: 49 km via Srirangam, Musiri
Google co-ordinates: 10.973421,78.388723
Dedicated to Prof. Swamination and co...