Kanchipuram Temple Tour - Part II (Kanchipuram - Tamil Nadu)

From Vaikundaperumal temple our next stop was Jvarahareshwara Temple. Well, it was technically not in agenda and we were going to Ekambareshwara Temple and saw this enroute, so we stopped to peep in. 
This temple was really a little, cute temple and so were the sculptures here. All were little & intricate. 
This dancing Ganesha was hardly half a foot tall! 

Similar to Madathu Koil, but not that intricate, this too has a foot tall detailing of a miniature temple like relief at the Adishtanam (platform), and half foot tall at the steps. After the Ardha Mandapam, the sanctum sanctorum is a complete circle, which is not usual! Its not curved at the back like Gaja Prashta Sivalaya (Eg: Madambakkam Dhenupurishwarar Temple), it was a complete circle. The Lord Shiva here was ofcourse Jvarahareshwarar and the the Ardha Mandapa also has sculptures of Lord Karthikeya, Lord Vinayaka etc.
The sculptural marvel on the Vimana atop the sanctum sanctorum is mind blowing! The first person to attract me - this several faced Sadasiva Murthi. I was wondering if he actually has 100 (sada) faces, which is depicted with so many faces!!! Other reliefs included were of Lord Vishnu in Parkadal, Gajasamhara Murthi, Narasimhar etc. Like many other temples, this too has the Vimanam made of bricks, so it doesn't weigh too much. Unfortunately this time my bird luck didn't seem to work out. An owl that was sitting between the sculptures was spotted by my friend, but by the time I went over, it went in and wouldn't come out!!!
Another important gorgeousness was the Jali work on the windows. The 3 of the 3 sides were totally different! 

The rows of Bootha Ganas atop and Yaali beneath were great. Esp, 2 Ganas holding one upside down and another Gana depicted with 3 bodies, were a bit amusing!
Next off was Ekambaranathar temple. The Goddess here is Elavarkuzhali. It was built by Pallavas and existing since 6th C CE and was developed all the more by Cholas & Vijayanagaras. Sadly I didn't have too much time to roam around this temple. 
The temple's tree is is ofcourse Mango Tree. And this tree is prayed for every request - marriage, child birth etc! An Ayiramkal Mandapam is here. The inner circum-ambulation passage is filled with several pillars, each of a different type and assorted relief sculptures. 

Here's the Uthsava Vigraham (bronze sculptures) of the Lord & his consort. Look at the decoration with flowers, jewels, fabrics, glass bangles - isn't that amazing! 
By this time it was almost 2 o' clock and everyone was getting real hungry and our next stop was invariably Adyar Ananda Bhavan.

To reach Kanchipuram: Refer my previous post
To reach the temples:
Jwarahareshwarar Temple: http://goo.gl/maps/xcYty
Ekambaranathar Temple: http://goo.gl/maps/u5JeQ

Dedicated to Gopu, Shiva, and Jayram.


An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 2022. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands


  1. Lovely…

  2. Nice place...

    Beautiful temples....

    Your photos also good...


  3. Beautiful Photos. Lots of Love from the Uk.


  4. PS: **New GFC Follower** Just wanted to say hello :D

  5. Beautiful post. Jwarahareshwara as rightly said was some what unusual. May be it was originally a Buddhist shrine. Please enlighten me if you get an answer.

    1. Below are the comments received when I posted your question on FB! :)

  6. Comments received on FaceBook:

    Vijay Kumar: Buddhist shrine in Kanchi? i am not sure if there are any such. Even if there were, they would be centres of learning n small structures - not of this magnitude. the most common fashion is to say converted Jaina shrine - which could carry some weight.

    Arvind Venkatraman: No. The current structure of adhistana is a later chola structure. The temple has Shanka Nidhi and Padma Nidhi as the doorkeepers. This you see in few temples in Kanchipuram like Privatheeswarar. Yali vari is typical of Chola. The apsidal shape of the temple has pralllels in Shivapuram (Could be slightly earlier) and Irumpanadu (almost the same period).

    Ramjee Nagarajan: There is a Budha in the first prakara of the Kamakshi Shrine as Tara Devi, which became Hindu Shrine later. Two more (without heads) on the 2nd prahara (near the garden) of the same shrine...
    Two more are found in Karukil Amandha Amman (Enroute to Vishnu Kanchipuram). There were six monastries (Shadviharas) in Kanchi.
    ~ Courtesy a book named, Kanchipuram--A Heritage of Art and Religion, available at CPR Foundation!

  7. Comments received via E-Mail:

    Gopu Rangarathnam: Bhusha, Sadaa सदा in SadaaShiva does not mean hundred, it means always (unless it has a more esoteric meaning - Balu sir: comment?). The sanskrit word for hundred, is shatam शतं and cannot be used for 24 :-) Also, I am not totally sure that the 24 headed Shiva in Jvarahareshvara is SadaaShiva - it's a unique icon, which I havent seen anywhere else.
    There' a SadaaShiva on one of the gopurams of the Tanjavur brihadeesvara temple, but he doesn't have 24 heads.

    Arvind Venkatraman: I have been to the temple before. As per my notes -
    a. This is an apsidal temple
    b. The current structure is that of later cholas
    c. In place of Dwarapalakas, we have Shanka Nidhi and Padma Nidhi
    d. Sudhai sculptures adorn the vimana of which the 24 faced Shiva is unique
    e. Adhistana -Yali vari and riders from the Yali vari lend credit to the chola syle.
    f. Could have been rebuilt on an earlier pallava structure(?)
    Sadashiva - does mean "Always" as stated. Numbers heads or forms fused into one unit is also thus reffered. Scholars like Kudavoil Sir, refer to the Brahadeeshwara temple vimana as a representation of Sadashiva. As far as I have understood from his lectures, as the structure binds all elements and all directions (dikpalakas) and eternity - it is thus reffered.

  8. Nice temple. Liked that dancing Ganesha.


    1. isn't he cute. At just half a foot, he's so cute, though not intricate! :)


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