(Last Updated on : 23/08/2010)
The legendary temple of Lord Bhaktavatsala Perumal represents a wonderful architectural specimen. The carvings and the architectural trappings on the temple wall are the clear evidence of the craftsmanship of the ancient artists. The main shrine of this east-facing temple houses the imposing image of Bhaktavatsala Perumal in a standing posture under the Srinivasa Vimana. The standing posture of the Lord is the chief attraction of the temple.
Apart from the architectural trappings engraved on the temple walls, the structural design of the shrine is no less good example of the architectural excellence. The Theatre is a very narrow circumambulatory (pradakshina) passage around this shrine. It is in the second and larger outer enclosure (prakara) that many of the sub-shrines are situated. The planned structure of the main shrine and the sub shrine are the important attractions of the temple. The sanctum of the Lord's consort here is popularly known as Ennai Petra Thayar and also Sudhavalli. This sanctum is facing to the east and is located to the right of the main Sannidhi, while to its Bhaktavatsala Perumal and Ennai Petra Thayar, Andal. The shrine of Sudarsana (Chakrattazhvar), is considered consecrated by the devotees. In the Shrine of Sudarshana, is rested the icon of Yoga Narasimha usually found on the rear of most Sudarsana images is not seen here. Moreover, the Chakrattazhvar image and that of Adisesha in this temple are not of granite but made of stucco. The fine carving represents the excellence of the architecture prevalent in this period. Some of the other fanes in this temple-complex are for Vishvaksena, the Azhvars and Manavala Mamuni. This temple also has a Paramapada vasal and an Aiankara mandapa. A tall five-tiered gopura is seen on the eastern side which is the main entrance to this temple.
In front of the gopura or the main entrance is posted the beautiful and well-maintained temple chariot called ther .The upper portion of which is painted in vivid colors. The base of ther is studded and carved with innumerable intricately wrought wooden sculptures. These sculptures depict the numerous incarnations of Vishnu and also various episodes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas.
Thus the architecture enhanced the popularity of the legendary temple and endowed it with unusual grandeur.