October 27, 2009

An ancient temple near the beach - Kovalam Kailasanathar Temple, Chennai, India


Kovalam village, which is located on the East Coast Road (ECR) between Chennai and Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu, India, is famous for its beach. A lot of people who travel to Chennai would have visited this beach. However, most of the people including the locals are not aware of the ancient temple located in this village.

If you travel around 300 meters from Kovalam beach towards East Coast Road, you can find the small ancient temple of Lord Kailasanathar (Shiva). It is slightly difficult to locate this temple as even locals of Kovalam village do not seem to have much idea about this temple. One way to locate this temple is look for the architecturally beautiful but old tower when you move towards ECR.

Kailasanathar temple is very small. Lord Kailasanathar, in the form of Shiv Linga, is the presiding deity of this temple. The Goddess Kamalavalli is found in a separate shrine.

There are other idols such as Ganesha and Subramanya with his consorts Valli-Devasena found in this temple. In the prakara, some of the 13th century CE period idols of Surya, Kali, Bhairav and Vishnu with Bhooma Devi (Earth Goddess) are kept. They were excavated in the site near the temple.

Kailasanathar temple was believed to have been built as a brick temple during the 8th century CE, and it was rebuilt as the stone temple during the 12th century CE. The current idols in the temple are believed to be of the period 13th century CE. The idols in the outside corridor and the temple tower are extremely beautiful.

If you happen to go to Kovalam, it doesn’t matter whether you visit the beach or not. You should definitely visit this beautiful ancient temple. This is unfortunate that such an architectural marvelous remains unknown to the outside world – even to the locals.

Happy traveling.


View Larger Map

3 comments:

  1. Very informative. I have decided to visit the place with my family.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We are pleased to inform you that after extensive facelift and renovation, Maha Kumbabishegam works are in now full swing at Arulmigu Kanagavalli Ambal udanurai Kailasanathar Temple, Kovalam.

    We take great pleasure in inviting you for the Maha Kumbabishegam which will be held on 9th February, 2015, Monday between 6.00 to 7.30 AM. Yaagasaalai Poojai will commence on 8th February 2015, Sunday morning.

    Our whole hearted thanks to you for your kind help, support and contribution in renovating this 1200 years old Arulmigu Kailasanathar Temple.

    “Vaazhga Aramudan Valarga Aruludan”

    ReplyDelete
  3. We are pleased to inform you that after extensive facelift and renovation, Maha Kumbabishegam works are in now full swing at Arulmigu Kanagavalli Amman udanurai Kailasanathar Temple, Kovalam.

    We take great pleasure in inviting you for the Maha Kumbabishegam which will be held on 9th February, 2015, Monday between 6.00 to 7.30 AM. Yaagasaalai Poojai will commence on 8th February 2015, Sunday morning.

    Our whole hearted thanks to you for your kind help, support and contribution in renovating this 1200 years old Arulmigu Kailasanathar Temple.

    “Vaazhga Aramudan Valarga Aruludan”

    ReplyDelete