Kailasanathar Temple – Kancheepuram
Kancheepuram Kailasanathar Temple
One of the prominent places highlighting the historical glory of the district of Kancheepuram is the Kailasanathar Temple. One of the oldest temples in Kancheepuram, Kailasanathar Temple is built in the Dravidian architectural style during the Pallava dynasty that ruled over the region.
The temple with its intricate design was built under the reign of the Pallava ruler Narasimhavarman II (Rajasimhar), during the period of 680 AD to 705 AD.
The temple located on the banks of Vegathy River at Pilayar Palayam is dedicated to Lord Shiva worshipped here as Lord Kailasanathar. The temple is referred to as the Sand Temple owing to the sandstone used in its construction.
Currently, the temple is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The Temple and its Structure
The temple consists of around 60 shrines with its prime attraction being tits innermost pathway that circles the shrine of Lord Kailasanathar. The main shrine of Lord Kailasanathar in the Shiva Lingam form has the feature of having 16 faces and is 10 feet high. The 8 Meditation Caves at the temple are found in front of the main temple with 8 shrines of Shiva Lingam installed in them.
The main temple has a blue wooden door in the front with two large-sized Lord Shiva sculptures on either side. At the feet of the sculptures are the animal lions that are the signature stamp of the Pallava dynasty. The temple tower or Shikara is as captivating as the temple itself.
The Parikrama or circumambulatory path that goes around the sanctum is very narrow and one has to crawl over the pathway and climb up steps to reach the exit. This pathway signifies the entrance of a person and his exit from Paradise symbolizing life and death.
The Nandi Mandap facing the sanctum is about 100 metres away from the temple.
Temple Timings in Kailasanathar Temple
The temple is open for worship on all days from 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM and from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
Temple Festivals of Kailasanathar Temple
Maha Shivarathri is celebrated with great grandeur in the temple, in the Tamil month of Maasi (February). A visit to the temple during this time is considered highly auspicious and also to experience the temple is all its glory.
How to reach Kailasanathar temple
The temple is located at a distance of 5 kilometres from Kancheepuram bus stand from where one can avail buses to major cities including Bangalore, Chennai, Tirupati, Vellore etc. Kancheepuram is located just about 75 kilometres from Chennai.
Kancheepuram Railway Station (3 kilometres away), Arakonnam Railway Station (29 kilometres away) and Chennai Railway Station (around 75 kilometres away) are the nearest rail heads. Chennai International Airport (around 70 kilometres away) is the nearest airport.
The Kailasanathar temple with its serene holy ambience and beautiful architectural style attracts tourists from all over the country. The temple is an ultimate epitome of divinity and is hence a must visit place.
The intriguing and unique architecture is a paradise for art lovers and students of architecture. Photography enthusiasts could spend a quality time with their camera in the beautiful backdrop of the temple. Devotees in huge numbers visit this temple due to its alluring structure and religious eminence.