Architecture of Kailashnath Temple
Kailashnath temple is an ancient temple that boasts about the skills of the craftsmen. It stands as one of the finest example of the architectural beauty of the primeval times. The foundation of the temple has been made of granite and its superstructure has been carved out of sandstone. The adhistana and the walls of the temple are adorned with inscriptions dating back to the time of Rajaraja Chola I, Rajendra Chola I and Virarajendra Chola I. Most of the inscriptions of the temple belong to Rajaraja I. These inscriptions also find reference to Sankara Bhashyam. It is an explanation of the Sankara's philosophy that had been scripted by Chidaananda Bhattaara. The inscription has been carved in Tamil language with certain words punctuated in Sanskrit language written in Grantha characters. The temple has been designed according to the specifications of the Silpa Shasthra. The temple has a central shrine, Ardha and Mahamandapas. The Shiva lingam, the presiding deity of the temple has a square base. The four pillared ardhamandapa is adorned with two dwarapalas.
Devotees visiting the Kailashnath temple circumbulate the temple and chant the names of the Lord. The circumambulatory path built around the sanctum has been constructed in way that the devotees need to climb up and down a flight of seven stairs. The edifice of the temple has been ornately decorated with magnificent sculptures of the Lord Shiva in 64 poses. Different features of mythology thus get exemplified through these sculptural works. Some of the infinite forms of Shiva visible here are Thiripurantakan who without the help of a single weapon annihilated the Asuras (demons) with his mere smile, Kritarjunamurti in the guise of a hunter, Harihara, LinGodbavar, Bairava, Chandesvara Anugraha and others. There are two circuits that fringe the corridor, one outer and another around the sanctum. Several small shrines have been erected on both sides with sculptures of Lord Shiva. Such elaborate sculptural work of Lord Shiva is rarely visible in any other temple in India. The temple has been further embellished with various postures of dancing Shiva. The inner walls of the temple have been adorned with fresco paintings. Among the other sculptural designs the most notable are the Bhikshatana image, a figure of a lady bearing a ladle and a row of pots, Lord Ganesha, Dakshinamurthy and a sculpture of Lord Krishna caught in the act of stealing butter.
Devotees from various places visit the Kailashnath temple to offer their worship to Lord Shiva and receive his blessings. Pujas are regularly offered to the Lord. The festival of Shivaratri is celebrated on a grand scale every year in the temple. During the festival the temple is tastefully decorated with lights and flowers.
Kailashnath temple is well connected with different modes of transport. There are frequent buses available from the city to Chennai, Bengaluru and other places. Kanchipuram is 75-km away from Chennai and is well connected by a network of roads. Cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws are also available. There are trains available from Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tirupati, and Bengaluru. Chennai is the nearest airport to Kanchipuram.
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