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Temples in South India >> Tamil Nadu >> Kailashnathar Temple

Dedicated to Lord Siva, Kailasanatha is one of the earliest temples built by Rajasimha and his son Mahendra in the 8th century A.D. There are 58 small shrines situated round the main shrine. Fresco-style paintings adorn the inner walls of the shrines.

Sandstone was used in the construction of this temple. It is the only temple at Kanchipuram which is not cluttered with the more recent additions of the Cholas and Vijayanagar rulers. Fragments of the eighth century murals which once graced the alcoves are a visible eminder of how magnificent the temple must have looked when it was first built.


It was constructed mostly of limestone. The walls and vimaanam of this temple are filled with great sculptures, and paintings. There are 58 small shrines situated


around the main shrine. Paintings of Fresco-style adorn the inner walls of the shrines.It has an attractive panel depicting Shiva and Parvathi in the midst of one of their innumerable dance competitions. It is the only temple at Kanchipuram which is not cluttered with the more recent additions of the cholas and vijayanagar rulers.Fragments of the eigth century murals which once graced the alcoves are a visible remainder of how magnificent the temple must have looked when it was first built.The locals believe that this temple served as a shelter for the king during wars. The architecture of the temple appears to confirm the belief. The remnants of an escape tunnel built by the kings is displayed with pride, even now. Once in a year, the temple is visited en-mass by the local people on the evening of the Maha-Sivaraathri. At that time, there could be hours of waiting in long queues. However, it is a Hindu faith that it is auspicious to visit this temple on the night of Sivaraathri.




The temple lies away from the commotion of the city, in a rustic suburb. It is under the maintenance of the Department of Archeology, Government of India. There isn't much of a security problem. Tourists are allowed to freely photograph the sculpures in and outside the temple, with the exception of the Sanctum and the main Deity.