Kailasnathar Temple
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 Video - In and Around Kailasanathar Temple
The famous Kailashnath temple is situated at Putleri Street, 1.5 km from Kanchipuram. It is an ancient temple and is a specimen of the Pallava architecture. The Pallava king Rajasimha started the temple in the 7th century AD and was completed by his son Mahendra.

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The Kailasanathar Siva temple is located in the temple town of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, India. It was built great by the Pallavas in the early 8th century CE. It is famous for its splendid vimana. It also contains numerous panels showing lord Siva as Nataraja in various postures. This temple was built by Pallava King Narasimhavarman II (Rajasimhan).

Significance of the temple
Kailasnathar Temple
It is one of the oldest structure in Kanchipuram and the finest example of Pallava architecture in South India. The foundation of the temple is made of granite while the superstructure is carved out of sandstone. The circumambulatory path around the sanctum is made in such a manner that it requires visitors to climb up and down a flight of seven stairs and to crawl through narrow ways.

The temple is adorned with many interesting sculptures of Lord Shiva in 64 poses, which presents a picture of different aspects of mythology. The fresco paintings embellish the inner walls of the shrine. The temple is unique in its architecture and is viewed more as an architectural wonder than as a holy place.

Kailasnathar Temple
Pujas are offered regularly here to the Lord Shiva-Kailashanatha. The festival of Shivaratri is held here once every year. Of all the temples in India, no other edifice has been so elaborately filled with all the 64 aspects of Lord Shiva. Two circuits, one outer and another around the sanctum adorn this temple. It is not mere walls that fringe the corridor. Small shrine-like cells have been constructed along the entire length of both sides and filled with the various exploits of Lord Shiva, not found anywhere else.

Shiva Lilarnavam, Sambu Nadaname and such other literatures have exquisitely described the dances of Lord Shiva. Come straight to this temple and walk around the corridor. The cells on the periphery are small, while on the inner wall they are big with big images.

Kailasnathar Temple
Lord Shiva's leg outstretched and piercing the high heavens; Gajantaka who attired himself with the torn skin of the elephant Asura, with Uma standing coyly nearby; Bhikasadana who with his comely figure disturbed the hearts of the wives of the sages, and as a charming Mohini lured the sages from their rituals; "Ardanari", a half blended with Uma; Sandya Thandava Shiva who danced at dusk wielding a Trisula (also spelt as Trishula);

Gangadara who stemmed the force of Ganga in his locks; Brahma-Chiracheda murthi who clipped off the fifth head of Brahma by his nail; "Vishapaharana" who arrested the poison Alahala in his throat; Gowriprasada who changed the colour from black to a golden hue; "Chanda Thandavan" with "Rowdram" (anger), "Karunai" (mercy), "Sringar" (amour), "Bayam" (fear), "Nagai" (Smile) and "Veeryam" (Valour) exhibited in his face, Thiripurantakan who without a single weapon destroyed the Asuras (demons) with his mere smile, Kritarjunamurti in the guise of a hunter, Chandesvara Anugraha, LinGodbavar, Bairava, Harihara are some the innumerable forms of Lord Shiva that can be witnessed here.

Kailasnathar Temple
The Chola King Rajaraja Chola I visited this temple and named this temple as Kachipettu Periya Thirukatrali (Stone Tenple of Kachipettu (ancient name of Kanchipuram).It is believed by many archeologists that this Kailasanathar temple must be the inspiration for Rajaraja Chola I to built the Tanjore Brihadeeswarar temple.

A huge kneeling Nandi stands in the front facing the temple and a look at it clearly indicates it must have been painted in gorgeous colours once. In those days, all the sculptures were painted brightly. Now only traces are seen; and they are not inferior to those of Ajanta.

Though the construction of the Kailasanathar Temple was started by Rajasimha Pallava, it was his son Mahendra Varma Pallava who completed the construction. Local people believed that the temple of Kailasanathar served the purpose of a shelter for the king during the time of the battles. The origin or the legend behind building this temple is lost in the distant past.

Kailasnathar Temple
A unique example of Dravidian style of architecture this temple is constructed mostly by sandstone. Fragments of 8th century's mural art are still visible reminder of the temple's architecture.The walls and the vimanam of this temple are filled with great art works in form of paintings and sculptures.Perhaps the most beautiful temple in Kanchipuram, this temple is regarded more as an architectural wonder rather than as a holy place. Currently the temple is well maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India

Kanchipuram's Kailasanathar Temple can be described as the successor of the rock temples at Mahabalipuram. The bases of the pillars in Mahabalipuram temples have seated lions while the Kailasanathar temple have confident grimacing lions standing on their hind legs.

It is learnt that the Shiva lingam has the flat stripes inside the temple which is specialty of this lingam. It is 10 feet high and the temple closes by 6 to 6:30 PM daily. There is a story behind this early closure. Temple priests narrate it to the visitors. Nearby tourist places to Kailasnathar Temple



Kailasnathar Temple

How to Reach the Temple
  1. Through Airways -Chennai is the nearest airport to Kanchipuram. One can take flights for most of the important Indian cities and cities abroad from Chennai.

  2. Through Railways- the Trains for Kanchipuram are available from Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tirupati, and Bangalore.

  3. Through Roadways- Kanchipuram is 75-km away from Chennai and is well connected by a network of roads. There are frequent buses from the city to Chennai, Bangalore and other places.

  4. For local transportation, bicycles can be hired from the shops near the bus stand. Cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws are also available on hire to move in and around the city.