We started our half day in Kanchipuram with two Shiva temples, followed by two Vishnu temples. The morning was very grey and cloudy, but by the time we were in the second temple, the sky was blue and the sun was out. Uncomfortable for us, but way better for pictures! We went to the Vaikunta Perumal and Varadharaja Perumal temples, and you can guess by pattern recognition that Perumal means Vishnu :)
Vaikunta Perumal Temple
The Vaikunta Perumal Temple was built in the 8th century by the Pallava king Nandivarman II. As with other temples in Kanchipuram, additions were made by later rulers of the Chola and Vijayanagara empires. Wikipedia tells me that the intricate carvings on the walls of the corridor around the temple depict the events leading to his (Nandivarman's) accession to the throne. Lion pillars like the ones in the Kailashnathar temple make an appearance in this corridor as well. The temple is under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India.
|An Iyengar priest at the temple|
Varadharaja Perumal Temple
The Varadharaja Perumal Temple was built in the 11th century, when the Chola kings ruled over the region. Additions were made by later Chola and Vijayanagara rulers. The structure to the left of the above photo is a 100 pillared hall, an exquisite example of Vijayanagara architecture. The pillars are carved with scenes from the Ramayan and Mahabharat. Some details I shot inside the hall:
As with most temples, photography isn't allowed in the innermost part of the shrine, where the idol of the main deity is. The walls and ceilings in this part are covered with gorgeous murals from the Vijayanagara period.
A couple more pictures from the temple:
|A small shrine on the way to the main one of Varadharaja Perumal. The temple was shutting down for lunch.|
|A small shrine under a peepal tree in the huge open corridor around the temple.|
And that ends my series of posts about my first ever trip to Kanchipuram. The best part about the drive between Chennai and Kanchipuram was that we spotted many exotic birds (exotic for us, because we've only recently started noticing birds). I'll leave you with a picture of my favourite - the Indian Roller Bird, also the state bird of Andhra Pradesh:
|The Indian Roller Bird|
Labels: Architecture, Art, Chola, Culture and Heritage, Hindu, Kanchipuram, Nikon D700, Pallava, Sculptures, Tamil Nadu, Vaikunta Perumal Temple, Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Vijayanagara