Mathangeswara – Another little known Pallava temple

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.

Entrance of Mathangeeswarar temple, Kanchiouram

Entrance to Mathangeeswarar temple, Kanchipuram from Hospital Road

Going through the short passage we were pleasantly surprised to see a quadrangle with a small but imposing temple.

First sight of Mathankeshwarar temple, Kanchipuram

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.

Mathangeeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

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.

Pillar details at Mathangeeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

Pillar details at Mathangeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

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.

Dwarapalaka at Mathankeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

Dwarapalaka at Mathankeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

Gajasamhara Murthy panel at Mathangeeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

Gajasamhara Murthy panel at Mathangeeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

Ravananugraha Murthy - a panel in Mathangeeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

Ravananugraha Murthy – a panel in Mathangeeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

Urdhva tandava Murthy a panel in Mathangeeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

Urdhva tandava Murthy a panel in Mathangeeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

Gangadharan at Matangeeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

Gangadharan at Matangeeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

The figures on the outside walls are highly eroded.

Mathangeeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

Outside view Mathangeeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

There is Nandi with a broken face on a pedestal under a peepul tree but there is no Nandi mandapam.

Mathangeeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

Another heritage monument neglected by the authorities and the public.

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Jwara hareswara Temple, Kanchipuram

 

Jwarahareswarar temple Kanchi

Jwarahareswarar temple Kanchi

This small but important temple is located right on the main road leading from Ekambareswarar temple. Though it is centrally located it is easy to miss this unless one looks out for this as the facade is simple. Once you enter you will be struck by the beauty of the structure and the serenity of the surroundings.

This is a Chola period temple and is currently maintained by the ASI.

 

Ashta dikpaalas of Raja Rani Temple Bhubaneswar

The Rajarani temple (11th -12th C.C.E) of Bhubaneswar is one of the Kalinga temples well known for exquisite sculptures.

Like many other temples, this temple too has representation of the ashta dikpalas

Ashtadikpalas are the guardians of the 8 directions in Hinduism.

I have captured in my camera  5 or 6 of the dikpalas depicted in Rajarani temple during a recent visit. I missed the others due to the paucity of time and due to my failure to do some homework. (Or maybe I was overwhelmed by the beauty and grace of the sculpted female figures!)

Lord Yama with his Danda and noose on a buffalo

Lord Yama with his Danda and noose on a buffalo on the South

The four cardinal directions E, W, N, & S are ruled by Indra, Varuna, Kubera & Yama respectively. The ordinal (Intermediate) directions SE, SW, NE, & NW are guarded by Agni, Nirurti, Isana & Vayu respectively.

Varuna, Lord of the West, water and rain with a noose and crocodile

Varuna, Lord of the West, water, and rain with a noose and crocodile

Vayu rule the North West with an Ankush [prod]

Vayu rules the North West with an Ankush [prod]

Agni on a ram SE (the bearded figure on the bottom right)

Agni on a ram SE (the bearded figure on the bottom right)

Kubera, the Lord of wealth guards the North

Kubera, the Lord of wealth guards the North

Nirrti on the South West?

Nirrti on the South West?

Sometimes, these 8  are supplemented by 2 more directions – Urdhwa (Zenith) and Adho (Nadir) assigned to Brahma and Vishnu.

This concept of Dikpalas are applied in Vaastu Shastra, in temple and house architecture and also in town planning and layout.

Similar concepts also appear in Chinese and Buddhist philosophies. Not surprisingly it is also evident in countries like, Java, Bali, Cambodia etc which have Hindu influences.

Mahishasuramardini

Mahishasuramardini, Odisha

One more Mahishasuramardini. This is from the Parashurameswara temple, Bhubaneswar. Dated c. 7th or 8th C. E. this is one of the oldest structural temples in the region.

Note the divine figure below with intricately carved floral pattern

Ravana and Mount Kailash – a Recap

[This is the second of my Recap series. The first one was on Mahishasuramardini. This is a compilation of my earlier photoblogs.]

 

Ravana shaking Mount Kailash

After severe penances and conquests, Ravana became very strong and arrogant. He went to the Himalayas, defeated his half-brother, Kubera and usurped his Pushpaka Vimana . On his return, he was overflying Mt. Kailash. Nandi advised Ravana to circumambulate Kailash so as not to disturb Shiva and Parvati.

The arrogant Ravana said, “Who is Shiva?” and tried to shake the mountain. Though Parvati and her entourage were frightened, Shiva nonchalantly pinned down Ravana with his toes. Ravana wailed for mercy. Having humbled Ravana, Shiva released him. After this experience, Ravana became a great devotee of Shiva.

In another version, it is believed that Ravana’s mother, Kaikasi, herself a great devotee of Shiva, wanted to go to Mt.Kailash. Arrogant Ravan said that he could bring Kailash to her and attempted to lift it and transfix it in Lanka.

Epilogue: Ravana after becoming a devotee of Lord Shiva sang in His praise. Since he had no musical instruments to accompany his singing, some believe, he cut off one of his heads and an arm to make a stringed instrument with his thigh nerves. This is also believed to be the origin of musical instruments. In fact, an instrument called Ravanahatta (Ravan’s hand) is still in use in some parts of Rajasthan.

ravana

Ravana Shaking Kailash, a pillar in Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakkal.

Other sculptures: the other famous figure of Ravana and Mt. Kailash is in Ellora (Cave 16)

Ravana lifting Mt.Kailash

Ravana lifting Mt.Kailash. Ellora Cave 16

Another image of Raavana shaking Kailash

Another image of Raavana shaking Kailash. ellora

In Cambodia. on the pediment of Bantey Srei temple.

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Ravana and Mt Kailash Bantei Srei, Cambodia

At Belur / Halebidu

Ravana at Halebidu

Ravana at Halebidu

Ravana trying to lift Kailash at Belur

Ravana trying to lift Kailash at Belur

Ravana shaking mount Kailasa

At Murudeshwar ina man-made cave.

Gopuram of Mallikeswarar temple, Mannady, Chennai

Gopuram of Mallikeswarar temple, Mannady, Chennai

There is also the image of Ravana and Shiva with mount Kailash on the vimana of Parasurameswara temple (7-8 C.CE)  at Bhubaneswar. I missed capturing this. However, I was glad to see a post by Bushavali N. This is a link to that image by Bhushavali  

and Link to her blog: http://travel.bhushavali.com/2017/10/lesser-known-bhubaneswar-temples-odisha-2.html

Ravana with Mt Kailash on a Gopuram

Gopuram of Mallikeswarar temple, Mannady, Chennai

Gopuram of Mallikeswarar temple, Mannady, Chennai

another image of Raavana carrying Mt Kailash. On the gopuram of Sree Mallikeswarar temple, Linghi Chetty Street, Mannady, Chennai

 

Mahishasura Mardini – a recap

Happy Navaratri to all. Being Mahanavami today, I thought of bringing you some of the images of Mahishasuramardinis from various locations. The pictures were taken by me at different point of time.

Mahabalipuram Mahishasuramardini

Mahabalipuram Mahishasuramardini

The above is perhaps the most majestic and well-preserved one. With its fluidic movement and detail, it is almost like an animated presentation.

Mahishasuramardini Ellora cave 16 (Kailasanatha )

Mahishasuramardini Ellora cave 16 (Kailasanatha )

 

at Kailasanatha temple, Kanchipuram

at Kailasanatha temple, Kanchipuram

 

Durga at Cave 14

Durga at Cave 14 Ellora

Mahishasuramardini in Kailasanatha temple, Kanchipuram

Kailasanatha temple, Kanchipuram

Mahishasuramardini at Ellora Cave 16 (kailasanatha)

Another Mahishasuramardini at Ellora Cave 16 (Kailasanatha)

Mahishasuramardini near Tiger Cave, Saluvankuppam

Mahishasuramardini near Tiger Cave, Saluvankuppam

☝️Near Tiger Cave, Saluvankuppam

The rock North of Shore Temple Mahabalipuram

The rock North of Shore Temple Mahabalipuram (outside view above & closeup below)

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Mahishasura Mardhini Baijnath temple, Himachal Pradesh.

 

Mini Mahishasura mardini inside the lion, shore temple.

Cave 14 Ellora

Mahishasura mardini cave 14 Ellora & a visitor.

At Aihole, Karnataka

At Aihole, Karnataka

Another one at Aihole, Karnataka

Another one at Aihole, Karnataka