The 100-pillar mandapam at Varadaraja Swami Temple was built around the 15th century by the Vijayanagar rulers. It is well known for the intricate carvings on the pillars. A well-known feature is the monolithic chains hanging from the corners of the mandapa. These chains form an integral part of the roof and have 12 links and an ornate pendant all carved out of a single granite piece. A masterpiece in stone craft and an architectural marvel.
Muthheswara Temple (not to be confused with Muktheswara Temple) is located in the busy Gandhi road of Kanchipuram famous for the Saree shops.
This is the place where Thirukurippu thonda nayanar who is the 19th in the line of 63 naayanars got Mukthi. He was a Vannar (dhobi) by profession and was a staunch devotee of Shiva. He used to wash the clothes of devotees as a service to Shiva. He was also well known for soothsaying based on the face reading. Hence he got the title thirukurippu thondar.
To test his devotion and give him an opportunity for early mukthi, Lord Shiva appeared here in the form of an old devotee with dirty clothes. As was his wont, Nayanar offered to wash the clothes for him. The devotee warned him that he would need the clothes by nightfall as it was his only protection for the night. Due to clouds and rains, Nayanar could not deliver the dry clothes on time and was very agitated. To atone this, he tried to bang his head against a stone. Miraculously a hand appeared and supported him. Shiva appeared and blessed him.
This story was narrated to us by the temple priest.
Though the temple is in the middle of the bazaar, it is fairly big but a bit cluttered with structures. Fortunately, it is clean and the temple tank had some water.
The story of Krishna stealing the clothes of gopis is an interesting and a recurring theme in many temple sculptures. I have already posted a couple of blogs on these with photoes from different locations.
The two pictures in this post are from Kanchipuram but from different sources. The one above is from a mandapam in front of the West entrance to Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple.
The one below is a mural from a private house near the Varadraja Perumal temple. It belongs to one of the descendants of Prativadi Bhayamkaram Annangaracharya. The paintings were done around 1930 and are need of restoration. The helpful owners opened up the door and showed us around all the paintings.
Many of my readers like the theme Stone Windows. At their prompt, I went through my archives and found one more photograph., a stone window from the Dharmeswarar Siva temple from Manimangalam (near Tambaram) taken about 11 years ago.
A recent visit to the Thirupparuthikundram Jain Temple in Kanchipuram added another carved stone window.
Manimanagalam is about 10 Kms from Tambaram on the Mudichur Padappai route. This was the theatre of the Pallava- Chalukya war of 7th C CE. The temple is believed to have been built by the Chozhas.
Here is one from the Thiuruparuthikundram Jain Temple from Jina Kanchi, Kanchipuram. this temple resembles a Hindu temple in architecture but the murals and idols are definitely Jain.
It is always wonderful to be acknowledged and appreciated. For the power of appreciation creates positive intentions and further channelizes creativity to flow even more meaningfully for a larger purpose.
The reason is after the first wave of elation over having received an award nomination you start realizing the responsibility of every word you are putting out there and how it can actually carry the power to transform thoughts if you want it to! And that’s truly incredible!
I would like to especially thank Savvy Raj for nominating me for this award.
Truly grateful to receive this nomination from her.
Do check out the blog https://savvyraj.com/ as she shares her engaging and empowering posts on styling, beauty amongst other interesting things.
What is a Mystery Blogger Award?
The creator of this award, Okoto Enigma, says “It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.
Here are the rules for the award which I have to mention:
Put the award logo/image on your blog.
List the rules.
Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
Answer the questions you were asked.
Nominate 10 – 20 people & notify.
Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
3 things about myself:
I am a senior citizen interested in Photography, heritage and travel.
I was a practicing senior management professional with 35 years in Industry and 10 years in academics.
Though a veteran, I consider myself a learner.
Here are brief answers to questions posed to me.
1: What does your perfect day look like?
Spending with friends and family.
2: If you had only one match and entered a Cold and Dark room, and there was an oil heater, an oil lamp and a candle, which would you light first?
The match, of course!
3: Can you adapt smoothly to changing realities and if so what is your biggest strength?Yes, I can. I take things as they are and see how I can make the best out of it rather than criticising.
4: Are you someone who works well on a team, or prefer to work on your own?
I think I work well in a team.
5: What ridiculously fun thing has someone tricked you into doing or believing?
In school (5th grade?)I was tricked by friends into breaking my own slate. Still remember and laugh about this 60 year old episode.
I would like to thank everyone who is reading, following and visiting my blog.
Now I would like to nominate the following excellent blogs for this Mystery Blogger Award.
https://golisodastore.com/index.php?route=simple_blog/article [what individuals like us can do for a sustainable world]
https://madrasnallamadrasblog.wordpress.com/ [a daily photoblog on Chennai by the same author]
Here are some questions for you.
- What is your idea of a happy day well spent?
- What you want to be remembered for after your time?
- Why do you blog?
- Which do you think is the most useful tool for a blogger?
- How important are images/photographs on your blog?
As we are approaching the New Year, we may like to look through the window to see what to expect in 2018. Similarly, we may also look through the window to see our past events and experiences. So, I thought, the theme of this post could be ‘Windows from various monuments’.
Kailasanatha temple built in 7 C.CE by Rajasimha Pallava is perhaps the oldest temple in Kanchi.
The Jura hareswara temple at Kanchipuram is a Chola temple of the 10th C.CE. It is a comparitively small temple. Though situated on the main road in the city, one may miss this unless you are looking out for it.
The 10th Century Mukteswar temple in Bhubaneswar is one of the temples which started a new trend in Kalinga temple architecture.
Parasurameswara temple, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
Built in the 7th century, Parasurameswara temple is one of the oldest surviving temples in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Note this artistic window where the louvres are designed around the dancers.
Another window from the same temple is below.
The 11th Century Rajarani temple in Bhubaneswar is noted for some exquisite carvings.
[Watch this space. I shall be updating with more images]
After seeing the Vaikunda Perumal Temple, we wanted to see the Mathangeeswarar temple, which according to Google Maps was nearby. However, no one could guide us properly. We ended up at the State Museum (small, but enthusiastic staff) and having an early lunch. After lunch, we decided to have one last try. We parked the car and started walking on the busy Hospital Road. All of a sudden, between two shops, we saw the familiar blue and rusty ASI board informing about all kinds of offences and fines.
Going through the short passage we were pleasantly surprised to see a quadrangle with a small but imposing temple.
The Mathangeeswarar (or Mathangeswarar) temple is built on a high platform. The peaceful ambiance in the midst of the bustle of the bazaar is truly remarkable. There were a handful of young men reading and preparing notes. When we enquired they informed us that they are preparing for the state competitive examinations. To our query whether there is any spiritual significance for choosing this place to study, they said that it is only the peaceful ambiance which attracted them. To our amusement, we found a polite request on the Mukha Mandapam not to sit on it for studying.
The style of architecture as highlighted by the lion pillars is definitely Pallava. The pillar details (ornate brackets, palagai & kumbha) indicate 8th century Pallava style. The sanctum was closed when we were there but we understand that the main deity is Lord Shiva.
The mukhamandapam has six panels. Two are the Dwarapalakas. The others are 1) Gaja Samharamurthy 2) Ravananugrah Murthy [click here for the background story, my blog on Ravana and Mount Kailash] 3) Urdhva Tandava Murthy & 4) Gangadhara.
The figures on the outside walls are highly eroded.
There is Nandi with a broken face on a pedestal under a peepul tree but there is no Nandi mandapam.
Another heritage monument neglected by the authorities and the public.