The kanchipuram Kailasanathar temple is the oldest structure in Kanchipuram. It is dedicated to the Lord Shiva, and is known for its historical importance. The temple was built from 685-705AD by a Rajasimha ruler of the Pallava Dynasty. The low-slung sandstone compound contains a large number of carvings, including many half-animal deities which were popular during the early Dravidian architectural period. The structure contains 58 small shrines which are dedicated to various forms of Shiva. These are built into niches on the inner face of the high compound wall of the circumambulatory passage. The Kailasanathar Temple (meaning:“Lord of the Kailas”), is built in the tradition of Smartha worship of Shiva, Vishnu, Devi, Surya, Ganesha and Kartikeya, in Hinduism which is implemented by Adi Sankara.
Kanchipuram – Click here to navigate to google maps
Timings: 6:00AM-12:00PM , 3:00PM-8:00PM
- Daily Pooja- 2 times
- Maha Shivaratri
- Full Moon Days
Upcoming Event: Saturday, February 25
Shivaratri will be celebrated here with huge devotees of Shivay. Special pooja will be performed during this day.
Devotee Expected: 100000+
Best At: Architecture
The Pallava dynasty, established their kingdom with Kanchipuram as a capital city, considered one of the seven sacred cities under Hinduism. There was an interregnum when the Chalukya rulers defeated the Pallavas and occupied Kanchipuram. However, the Pallavas regained their territory and started expanding their capital city of Kanchipuram and built many temples of great magnificence. The only temple of this period which is extant is the Kailsahanathar Temple.
The temple was built during 685-705AD. It is the first structural temple built in South India by Narasimhavarman II (Rajasimha), and who is also known as Rajasimha Pallaveswaram. His son, Mahendravarman III, completed the front façade and the gopuram (tower). Prior temples were either built of wood or hewn into rock faces in caves or on boulders, as seen in Mahabalipuram. The Kailasanathar temple became the trend setter for other similar temples in South India. According to local belief, the temple was a safe sanctuary for the rulers of the kingdom during wars. A secret tunnel, built by the kings, was used as an escape route and is still visible.
The temple complex covers 25 acres, and is one of the largest in India. It houses four gateway towers known as gopurams. The tallest is the southern tower, with 11 stories and a height of 55 metres (180 ft), making it one of the tallest temple towers in India. The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Ekambareswarar and Nilathingal Thundam Perumal being the most prominent. The temple complex houses many halls; the most notable is the thousand-pillared hall built during the Vijayanagar period.
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