If there has to be a town that you can call as a journey to the past,Kanchipuram is one such. The city that prevailed as the capital of the Pallava rulers is still an adobe of temples,dating back to the early 7th Century. While the city brims with temples (read 108 temples in and around the main city of Kanchi ) , Kailasanadhar temple holds a special place for its design excellence and the sand stone structure.
History says that the construction began during the rule of Narasimhavarma Pallava and the construction was stalled when the Chalukyas vanquished the Pallavas. When Mahendravarman recaptured the city, he completed the construction. If you’ve read Kalki’s magnum opus “Shivagamiyin Sapadham”, you can very well picture the scenes of the Chalukya invasion , the interregnum, and Mahendravarman springing into action.
Located in the suburbs of Kanchipuram, this temple is faraway from the hue and cry of the town.As you near the temple, you will see an huge “Nandi” in front of the main passage area ,which is a common sight in any temple devoted to Lord Shiva.
The temple is laid out in a rectangular model, over-spilled with the sculptures of a mythical creature called “Yazhi”(pronounced as ya-lee). These are a mix of lion face and a horse/ snake torso. The lion was the royal insignia of the Pallavas and they immortalized the Yazhis. There are also a few paintings drawn and colored using natural colors .Though not intact, they are still preserved from natural forces.
The inner sanctum has the main idol which is a 16 sided Shiva Linga carved out of a dark stone. The passage inside the sanctum is very narrow and feels claustrophobic. There is a circumlocutory passage which is accessible only by crawling and dwarfing one self through the narrow staircase. It is also said that this passage served as a secret exit passage during the king’s time.
How to reach Kailasanthar temple
The temple is located in the rural suburbs of Kanchipuram. Autos and taxis can be hired from the main city which is approximately 3 kilometers.
Best time to visit
The weather is pleasant amidst October which is extended till February. Plan your visit early before 8 in the morning to avoid the touristy crowd and for ample time to explore the place before the sun gets harsh.
Morning 6 AM – 12 PM
Evening 4 PM – 7 PM
Other things of interest
Century old temples are scattered all around the small town Kanchipuram. Ekambareshwar temple, Kanchi Kamakshi temple and Varadharaja Perumal temples are a few within the town.
The temples in Kanchipuram are closed between 12:30- 4 in the afternoon. So that’s when you can plan to indulge yourself in the richness of the Kanchipuram silk.A visit to Kanchipuram will not be complete without a visit to the silk emporiums.
One last thing to not to forget in Kanchipuram is the foot longed “Kovil Idli” or the “Kanchipuram idli”. Taste it to find how different this one is from the other varieties of idlis. This is such a hit among the foodies and sells very fast.
The cafes have a fixed timetable for selling the idlis. So, be there on time to grab a plate of steaming hot kovil idli and a cup of filter coffee.
While the Pallavas erected rock cut temples along the shores of Mahabalipuram, this temple in their capital city is undoubtedly the most beautiful temples made of sand stone, in the southern part of India.This temple is one of the alluring attractions of the city and who would not like to visit such a place.?
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