India is home to numerous religions, beliefs, and practices.
It is the only place in the world where you can find ancient temples, designed by ardent devotees that exude spirituality till date and make you feel closer to the lord once you set a foot in the temple precinct.
One magnificent temple is the Kanchi Kailasanathar temple, the oldest structure of Kanchipuram, also known as the ‘Golden city of thousand temples’, in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva of Mount Kailash, this temple worships the Kailasanathar form of Lord Shiva which means ‘Lord of the Cosmic Mountain’.
History of Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple:
Kailasanathar temple is the oldest structure in Kanchipuram.
It was one of the temples built in the tradition of Smartha worship of Vishnu, Shiva, Devi, Surya, Ganesha and Kartikeya of the Hindu culture. It is that that this eventually replaced Buddhism.
The temple was built by Narasimhavarman-II, alternatively known as Rajasimha of the Pallava dynasty during 685-705 AD.
His son Mahendravarman-III, finished the front façade and the gopuram (tower).
Prior to this temple, the earlier constructions were usually built in wood or carved out of huge stones in caves.
This temple became a trendsetter and it is credited to the Pallava dynasty who established their kingdom with Kanchipuram as their capital city.
The Architecture of Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple
Inspired by the Dravidian style of architecture, the Kailasanathar temple is built of stone.
Departing from the traditional style of architecture, this temple is unlike the earlier temples that were constructed of wood or built as rock-cut temples out of caves and large boulders.
The foundation of the temple is laid with granite, which has strongly held the temple through ages. The structure above consisting of intricate carvings is made out of sandstone.
The various elements of the temple are its sanctum sanctorum (the main shrine) noted for its 16 sided Shiva Lingam made of black granite, a mandapa (main hall), a gopuram (a pyramidal tower at the entrance of the temple) and a compound wall that surrounds the shrine adorned with 58 intricate are made depicting Lord Shiva and Parvati in various dance forms.
A huge kneeling Nandi facing towards the temple can be found right at the entrance of the temple.
Apart from Lord Shiva, the temple also consists of images of divines figures such as Lord Brahma, Nandi and Durga carved on the outer walls and Vishnu’s avatar, Skanda and Ravana can be found on the inner walls.
The temple is also believed to have a safe sanctuary during wars. The secret tunnel built in the temple was used as an escape route and is still visible.
How To Reach Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple
Located away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the temple is in the Shiva Kanchi region of Kanchipuram. Kanchi Kailasanathar temple is located 75 kilometres away from the capital of the state, Chennai.
Airways: The nearest airport is the Meenambakkam airport in Chennai. Being one of the major cities in India, Chennai is very well connected to all other major cities as well as international destinations.
From the airport, one can take the public bus, or a mode of private transport to reach Kanchipuram.
Railways: Kanchipuram has a railway station and is very well connected to major cities in India as well as major south Indian cities.
Roadways: the Tamil Nadu state government operated transport corporation runs buses to most major towns in Tamil Nadu at regular intervals. Some of the cities near Kanchipuram are Chennai (75 kilometres), Bangalore (279 kilometres) and Hyderabad (644 kilometres)
Best Time To Visit Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple
A devotee doesn’t need a perfect time to visit its lord. One can visit the Kanchi Kailasanathar temple anytime during the year.
However, the peak season to visit Kanchi Kailasanathar is during Mahashivratri (February-March), where one may have to stand in queues to get a glimpse of the lord.
One can also visit during Brahmothsavam (January), Garudthsavam (April), and the chariot festival (May) that are celebrated with devotion and enthusiasm.
The temple bustles with devotees during the Pongal celebrations that mark the beauty of the harvest season in south India.
Frequently Asked Questions About Kanchi Kailasanthar Temple
Q.where is Kanchi Kailasanathar temple?
A. Kanchi Kailasanathar temple is in Kanchipuram in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Q. Who built Kanchi Kailasanathar temple?
A. The Kanchi Kailasanathar temple was built by King Narasimhavarman of the Pallava dynasty and was completed by his son King Mahendravarman.
Q. What are the timings to visit the temple?
A. One can visit the temple from 6 AM to 12 PM and from 4 PM to 7 PM.
Q. Is photography allowed at the temple?
A. Yes, photography is allowed at the temple except in the main shrine of the temple.
Q.what is the ticket price to Visit Kanchi Kailasanathar temple?
A. As it is a holy place, there is no charge to visit this divine temple.
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