A Gallery of sandstone art at Kailasanathar Temple

11:01 PM

A Gallery of sandstone art at Kailasanathar Temple:

The entrance wall of the Kailasanathar temple with independent small shrines
The entrance wall of the Kailasanathar temple with independent small shrines
Kailasanathar temple is the oldest temple in Kanchipuram. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was built between 685-705 AD by the Pallava kings in the Dravidian style of architecture. Unlike the Pallava temples at Mahabalipuram, here the Kailasanathar temple is functional. The temple is visited mostly by the tourists mainly for its architectural significance rather than its religious importance.
The entire temple complex including the sculptures is built using sandstone, while the temple's foundations are made of local granite, to withstand the weight of the temple.
Garbhagriha Mantapa and Vimana of Kailasanathar temple
Garbhagriha Mantapa and Vimana of Kailasanathar temple
Passage around main shrine
Passage around main shrine
Inner court with sub-shrines
Inner court with sub-shrines
The entrance wall has eight small shrines and a Gopura. The main shrine rises up in a pyramidal shaped vimana (tower).
Pyramidal shaped vimana of the main shrine with supporting pillars having lions in standing pose
Pyramidal shaped vimana of the main shrine with supporting pillars having lions in standing pose
The main temple is surrounded by a wall enclosure with 58 small shrines on to its inner wall which are dedicated to various forms of Lord Shiva. These shrines along with other large shrines around the main shrine all have one thing in common, which are the pillars with statues of lions standing on their hind legs and sculptures of Shiva inside, giving a sense of a Gallery or a museum.
Amazing craftsmanship of the 58 small-shrines
Amazing craftsmanship of the 58 small-shrines 
Close up of the lions on the pillars of 58 small-shrines
Close up of the lions on the pillars of 58 small-shrines
A sculpture in one of the niches of the 58 small sub-shrines
A sculpture in one of the niches of the 58 small sub-shrines
Panels of sculptures on the exteriors of the main-shrine
Panels of sculptures on the exteriors of the main-shrine
Another exquisitely carved Shiva panel on the exteriors of the main-shrine
Another exquisitely carved Shiva panel on the exteriors of the main-shrine
Some more panels of sandstone sculptures
Some more panels of sandstone sculptures
Typical design of pillar with multi-directional mythical lions with panel of Shiva at the center
Typical design of pillar with multi-directional mythical lions with panel of Shiva at the center
One of the many sculptures on the exteriors of the main Shrine
One of the many sculptures on the exteriors of the main Shrine
Large plastered sculpture of Shiva  in one of the sub-shrine adjoining the main-shrine
Large plastered sculpture of Shiva  in one of the sub-shrine adjoining the main-shrine
The wall enclosure contains a large number of carvings, including many half-animal deities in interiors as well as exteriors.
Sculptures on the exteriors of the temple complex
Sculptures on the exteriors of the temple complex
The Sandstone exhibition at the Kailsanathar temple is truly a marvel of art taking us 1300 years back into the sands of time.
Kailsanathar temple complex with the entrance shrines
Kailsanathar temple complex with the entrance shrines
Entry ticket and Parking fee: Entry is free for temple; car parking is on the road and there is no parking fee.

Timings: 6:00am to 12:00 pm and 4:00pm to 7:00pm

Click Here for other temples of Kanchipuram

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