Monday, October 10, 2005

Weekend Pilgrimage

It was Sholingar last week and Kancheepuram this week. We(myself, Bala and Prabhakar) decided to visit the temples in Kancheepuram.Since the proportion of temples in the city is very high we decided to limit our visits to the divya desams around the city and the famous Kailasanathar temple.

We started on our bikes on Friday night and reached Kancheepuram sometime around 10.00 P.M.On saturday morning at 7.00 a.m after a refreshing tea at Saravana Bhavan we started our trip.
Ulagalandha Perumal Temple
The following divya desams are found inside this temple as separate sannidhis.

Thiru Ooragam (Ooragathaan)
Thiru Neeragam (Neeragathaan)
Thiru Kaaragam
Thirukkaar Vaanam

One would not realise what is he/she going to witness before entering the temple.The moolavar in this temple is stunningly big and beautiful.He seems to be growing in ones vision and thats what is the story behind this temple. It depicts the Vamana Avatharam, with the King Mahabali at Lord's feet.The credit goes to the sculptors for wonderfully carving the Lord's face.I was also fascinated by the details present in the dress.


Sri Kamakshi Amman Temple

The temple is a very popular one and hence more crowded.There is a divya desam inside this temple (ThirukKalvanoor),in fact inside the Garbha Graham. But we were not fortunate enough to go inside the sannidhi. In other words we were not aware on what conditions one will be allowed inside.

Sri Ekambareswar Temple

This is one of the temples that impressed me due to its size.Some painting and repair works are in progress.There is a divya desam inside the temple(Thiru Nilathingal Thundam). The pillars inside the temple has some carvings that are really impressive. The pillars and the mandabam are by themselves far more impressive.The temple is also famous for a Mango tree that is supposed to be 3500 years old.
The beautiful Mandapam inside the temple.
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The reflection of the temple gopuram.

Thiru Varadaraja Perumal temple
This again is a really huge temple.As it was a puratassi Saturday there were bunches of people in every sannidhi. We waited patiently for the darshan of Lord Varadharaja which almost took 30 minutes in queue.This a divya desam by itself which is famous for the Atthi Varathar Utsavam and Garuda Sevai. Since we were frustrated by too much of people and hot sun we didn't get a chance to enjoy the beauty of the sculptures in the temple.

The following Divya Desams are present near this temple.

Thiruvekka - Sri Yathothakaari TempleWe had to come to this temple three times to darshan the lord.The Utsavar was decorated beautifully(think on account of Navarathri!!!). The Moolavar was aranganathan and was majestic in his pose.

Ashtabuyagaram (Ashtabujam)
The moolavar in this temple has eight hands and contains a weapon in each of his hands.

Thiru Velukkai
It is easy to locate the temple if the name Yoga Narasimhar is used. Quite an impressive one too.

ThiruthankaSimilarly using the name Deepaprakasar one could locate this temple. SOme renovations are in progress, so we ditn get a chance to have a darshan of the lord.

ThiruputkuzhiThis temple is some 7 kilometers from Kanchipuram and is located near the Bangalore Highway.The lord in this temple is called Vijaya ragava perumal.

Thiru Paadagam (Pandava Thoodhar)
I was very much impressed by the sheer size of the moolavar in this temple. If the lord was standing in Ulagalandha Perumal temple, he is sitting here as Lord Krishna.(Pandava Thoothar). The designs on the Lord's garments are fantastic.

Thiru Pavala Vannan and Pachai Vanna perumal
These are two separate temples situated in opposite directions in the same street.It is said that if one visits one temple, visiting the other temple is also mandatory.Another uniqueness is that these two temples collectively form a single Divya Desam.
The temples below are the ones that impressed me too much.They also gave me a terrible feeling that in the past twenty five years of my life,this is the first time that i'm coming to such a wonderful place, an abode of art and architecture.Do not miss them when you get a chance to go to Kanchipuram next time.

Kailasanathar Temple and Vaikunda Perumal Temple

As the name suggests the major difference between these two temples,one is Saivite and the other is a Vaishanvite.Is there any other difference on the basis of architecture.Hardly any.Both the temples are made up of sand stones sculptures.The carvings made on these sand stones are breathtaking.I can even spend a day in each of the temples and try to figure out what are the stories that are being told in the sculptures in and around the temple.Every other time we see a sculpture we identify a new part and try to fit a story to that part. We were infact trying to decode the story written(yes I can call it written or Inscribed, but without even a bit of space between two sculptures).We were quite impressed with the sculptures namely those that depicts the king's court,people dancers,Visitors, army men etc.,

The sunset as seen from Kailasanathar temple.

The array of Sculptures inside the Kailasanathar temple.


Both these places should be visited by each and every one of us,may be not spiritually but as one who appreciates the art.It would ceratinly make one proud of the rich tradition that south India possesed.There are places in world where people protect monuments that are not more than 100 years old. But these two temples if Im not wrong are some 1000 years old.Thanks to ASI for taking care of these temples and maintaining them.I still could not get the sight of the Lions(or Yazhis in tamil) inscribed on the pillars out of my eye. Last but not least Thanks to Prabhakar for all his creative photographs.

10 Comments:

Blogger Peelamedu_bulls said...

Vatsa, Kailasanadhar and Vaikunda perumal temple sculptures are still vivid in my memories.

October 10, 2005 4:23 AM  
Blogger srivat said...

Yes Prabhakar for me too. It could only be attributed to the skills and dedication these sculptors possessed.

October 10, 2005 8:52 AM  
Anonymous b a l a j i said...

super travelogue da. I will link u to my blog.

October 10, 2005 7:17 PM  
Blogger srivat said...

Thanks Bala.

October 11, 2005 1:24 AM  
Blogger Yadhvi said...

Good blog and great pics. Kindles the spirutality and quest for art in one!

October 12, 2005 1:19 AM  
Blogger blogSurya said...

I am balaji's friend,came here to checkout the photographs looks better than I expected.

October 12, 2005 4:45 AM  
Blogger srivat said...

Thanks Yadhvi.

October 12, 2005 9:20 AM  
Blogger srivat said...

blogsurya,
Thanks.

October 12, 2005 9:21 AM  
Blogger Mukunth said...

kewl potos

October 18, 2005 8:55 AM  
Blogger Vasudevan Deepak Kumar said...

Excellent Srivat!

I would like to see that if you can renew your weekend pilgrimage and put more on your blog regarding the same.

For sometime, I guess, you have'nt taken any weekend pilgrimage.

March 30, 2006 2:49 AM  

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