Showing posts with label Kanchipuram. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kanchipuram. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Kanchipuram (12.82°N 79.71°E), the pilgrimage city, in South India, also known as Conjeevaram during the British rule, built during the Pallava Dynasty between 6th and 8th centuries, located on the bank of the Vedavathi River, has an architectural legacy of over 1000 years. Before this period, it was the capital of early Cholas in the 2nd century BC. After the rule of the Pallava Dynasty, the Vijayanagar empire and the Nayaka dynasty period followed, in that order. Prior to the Pallava reign, it is conjectured, based on the chronicles of the Xuan Zang, the Chinese pilgrim who visited Pallavas court, that the city was under the influence of Ashoka, the Mauryan emperor in 3rd century BC. Xuan Zang had also noted that Buddha had visited this place. Jain and Buddhist temples and stupas of the Chola Dynasty reign have been recorded but mostly do not exist on ground. But South Indian architecture got a fillip only during the Pallava rule, particularly of rock cut temples during Mahendarvarman I's reign after he converted from Jainism to Hinduism . He was considered a man with vision and intelligence, a scholar, musician and a playwright. Kanchipuram was considered second only to Varanasi city in fame and learning. Adi Shankara, the Hindu philosopher saint, who propagated the Advaita philosophy lived and taught here in the eighth century AD.
The city has 108 Shaiva and 18 Vaishnava temples. The Hindu philosopher Ramanujacharya who propagated the Vishishtadvaita philosophy studied here. The temples are distributed in three zones of the city namely, the Vishnu temples are in the east zone, the Shiva shrines are on the outskirts of the city in the northern zone and the Jain mandirs are on the east across the Vedavathi River.
Some of the exquisitely designed and built temples of the Vijayanagar period in Vijayanagara architecture style are the Ekamabaranath temple tower which is 192 feet (59 m) in height, and the Varadaraja Swamy temple, which has a 1000-pillar hall.
Kamakshi Amman temple is an ancient temple here and the most famous of all the temples in the city. It is associated with Adi Shankara. Legend has it that Kamakshi offered worship to a Shivaling made out of sand and gained Shiva's hand in marriage. The temple covers an area of about 5 acres (2.0 ha) and the sanctum is covered with gold plated Vimana. Kamakshi is enshrined in the temple in a sitting posture called the Parabramha Swaroopini, seated with the trinity of Bramha, Vishnu and Shiva.
It is located 75 kilometres (47 mi) from Chennai, the provincial capital of Tamil Nadu and 277 kilometres (172 mi) from Bangalore, the provincial capital of Karnataka. It has a good net work of roads, rail links and transport services to all parts of the country, and the nearest domestic and international airports are at Chennai.
Mahakal temple at Ujjain
Ujjain (23.182778°N 75.777222°E) with an ancient scriptural name of Avantika compliments both rich historical and religious traditions. The history dates its links to the period of Vikramaditya and Ashoka (3rd century BC). The religious tradition links it to god Shiva triumphing over the demon king Tripurasura and then renaming the city as Ujjainyini (meaning 'conquers with pride'
Ujjain, probably, also marks the spread of Hindu religious beliefs to the Central Asia region. Particular mention could be made to the reign of Vima Kadphises, during the Kushan Dynasty, who considered Shiva as his divine patron. During his reign, apart from the influence of Greek religious practices, worship of Shiva, in particular, was also seen as an accepted practice in Iran. This leaning is attributed to Vima Kadphises’s victory over Indian territory. Inscriptions of his times in Iran establish that he had converted the temple of Dioscuri (built during Greeko – Bactrian period) at Dilberjin into a sanctuary for Shiva by decorating the place with a painting of Shiva and his wife Parvati. He got the wall painting of Shiva (Oeso) done by craftsmen he had taken from Ujjayani (Ujjain), apart from constructing a water conveyance system to the sanctuary of Shiva. Inscriptions further testify that the Kushan king attributed his rise to power to Srava (=Shiva) and Candavira. It is deduced that Candavira may be the same god as Candishvara, the God of Mahakala temple at Ujjain. It is also conjectured that the support of the Indian community (who worshipped Shiva) settled in eastern Iran and the encouragement he got from their priesthood, before and during his Indian campaign, and his relations with Ujjain, contributed to his deep involvement with the cult of Shiva. This devotion was continued by him even after his Indian campaign.
Emperor Ashoka also played a significant role as the Viceroy of Ujjain in enhancing its importance. Ashoka who ruled for three decades between 268 and 233 BC started his career in Taxila (now in Pakistan) in the north west by subduing a revolt. Thereafter, his father Bindusara, of the Mauryan Dynasty, transferred Ashoka as his Viceroy to Ujjain, which was the famous capital of the earlier kingdom of Avanti, in Central India.
It was once the largest city and capital of Malwa region. In the ancient city of Ujjain, Jai Singh II ruled in the 18th century. Jai Singh II built an observatory here, called the Jantar Mantar. The reason for building the observatory here was that it was the centre of Hindu Astronomy since ancient times and it was located on the prime or first meridian (of longitude) established on the canons of Hindu astronomy. According to Indian astronomy, the first meridian of longitude passes through Ujjain. The modern calculations have established that the Tropic of Cancer passes through Ujjain.
Ujjain is about 776 kilometres (482 mi) south from Delhi, the capital city of India, and 183 kilometres (114 mi) west of Bhopal, the provincial capital of Madhya Pradesh. It is 402 kilometres (250 mi)away from Ahmedabad, and 655 kilometres (407 mi) north-west of Mumbai.
Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia
Images: Google,com

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Kailashnathar temple, Kanchipuram 7 th Century CE

A user's photo.
Kailashnathar temple, Kanchipuram
Dated: ~7th century CE
It is of stone built architecture unlike the rock cut architecture built into hallowed caves or carved into rock outcrops as in Mahabalipuram. The tall gopuram (tower) is to the left and the temple complex is to the right. The temple's foundations are made of granite, which could withstand the weight of the temple, while the super structure including the carvings are all made of sandstone.
The temple complex is complet...e in all respects as it has garbagriha (sanctum sanctorum), antarala (inner enclosure), mandapa, a high compound wall, and an entrance gate, the gopuram. The mandapa, which was initially detached, was made part of the main shrine by interposing an ardhamantapa (smaller hall).
The structure has a simple layout with a tower or shikara at the center of the complex. The shikara of the temple, above the main shrine (sanctum sanctorum), is square in plan and rises up in a curvilinear style or pyramidal shape. The tower has many levels rising proportionately. At the top of this tower, there is a small roof in the shape of a dome.