From the Jain abode of Kalugumalai, my next stop was a few steps downwards the same hill at Vettuvan Koil.
Its was excavated in 8th C CE by Pandyan Maran Chadaiyan Varaguna I, according to the inscriptions we find here. The inscriptions also mention Parantaka Nedunchezian & Parantaka Veera Narayanan.
The placement of this temple, very much reminded me of Vijayalaya Choleeswaram. Just a top of the temple is visible from a distance, as you go nearer, you see more of the temple. The shikara is almost a sphere, with a lotus petal shaped detailing atop.
The Gopuram is beyond exquisite! The sculptures are just gorgeous. The east facing side has an incredible, very romantic Uma Sahitha atop. The south facing side, has a fantastic Dakshinamurthy. Why fantastic? He's looking so laid back with one hand on his thighs and one leg folded. On the layer atop was another Dakshinamurthy, which very much reminded me of Kailasanatha Dakshinamurthy.
On the western side was a very comfortably seated Vishnu and atop was a seated Yoga Narasimha with 4 hands! On the northern side were Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma. But these are just the beginning...
Their bootha ganas are just impeccable! The sheer number of bhoothaganas were astounding. Their reactions and styling were just not repeated. They were some playing musical instruments, some making faces, some playing with snakes, some wearing skull hair accessories, one wearing a turban & sporting beard, one with a spiked hair accessory, some eating.
I did spot a couple female boothaganas, showing us their back holding the 'tala' atop them!
The corners intrigued me as well! Very intricately done, a more extravagant version of Uthiramerur.
Rishabams were at the corners and some seated women as well! One lady was very stylishly seated with a leg folded and another placed atop a monkey seated beneath!!!
Btw inside the sanctum sanctorum was Lord Vinayaka, a modern sculpture and is been in worship by the locals!!!
TO GET THERE:
Dedicated to Prof. Swaminathan & Co...