May 30, 2010

2500 years old holy place - Kanchi Sankara Mutt, Kanchipuram, India

Kanchipuram, one of the seven holy cities of India, which is considered as city of 1000 temples, has a lot of important beautiful and ancient temples. Apart from these temples, one of the important places in Kanchipuram is Kanchi Sankara Mutt. (In South India, it is written as Kanchi Sankara Mutt, whereas North Indians write this as Kanchi Shankara Math). Even though the Mutt (Mutt means monastery or the holy place where seers live) has a lot of controversies, there is no doubt that this remains as one of the most visited places in Kanchipuram city.

Kanchi Sankara Mutt is located well in the heart of Kanchipuram city. It is believed that this Mutt was established by Adi Shankaracharya, the great reformer of Hinduism religion, in the year 482 BC. It is also believed that he attained samadhi (died) in the year 477 BC in Kanchipuram. However, there are many controversies about the above statements. There are a lot of people who believe that Adi Shankaracharya was born in the 8th century AD, and he attained samadhi in Badrinath. (Interestingly you can find Adi Shankara samadhis in Badrinath as well as in Thrisur.) There are also people who claim that Adi Shankaracharya didn't establish Kanchi mutt; it was a branch of Sringeri mutt in Kumbakonam city which became independent on its own and shifted to Kanchipuram.

Adi Shankaracharya was the one who pacified the goddess Kamakshi by establishing Sri Chakra. His history is very well connected to the temple of the most famous Kamakshi Amman Temple of Kanchipuram city. However, there are people who claim that the Kamakshi Amman temple was originally a Jain or Buddhist temple, and Shankaracharya converted that into Kamakshi temple in the 8th century CE.

I personally believe that Kamakshi Amman temple is very ancient and original. I also believe that Adi Shankaracharya was 2500 years old and not merely 1200 years old. However, I am not sure where he spent his last years in Kanchi.

It was obvious that Sankara Mutt in Kanchipuram became very famous in 20th century CE during the period of then Kanch Shankaracharya (Kanchi seer) Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Swami. He lived for 100 years and there are still millions of devotees for him. You can find the samadhi of Sri Chandrasekarendra Swamiji in Kanchi mutt.

The devotees visit Sankara Mutt to get darshan of two Shankaracharyas (Jeyendra and Vijeyendra), and also to visit the samadhi of Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Swami. There are also some small shrines and idols in Sankara Mutt.

Happy travelling.

Site Name: Sankara Mutt
Highlights:
1) One of the most important places in Kanchipuram city
2) 2500 years old holy place

Location: Kanchipuram, 75 kms from Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Kanchipuram
Nearest Airport: Chennai (around 75 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road and train
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in the city


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May 29, 2010

25 Feet long idol in 1000 years old temple - Pandava Doota Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram, India

Pandava Doota Perumal Temple, which is located  near to the famous Ekambareswarar temple of Kanchipuram city, is one of the 108 Divya Desams (108 most important temples of Lord Vishnu). The historic name of the site is Tiruppaadagam. Lord Krishna is called as Pandava Doota in this temple.

Although the temple is very small, the presiding deity is gigantic in size. He is around 25 feet tall and is found seated. He has four arms and is found along with his two consorts Rukmini and Satyabhama.
As per the legned, the king Janameyajeya listened Mahabharat from the Sage Vaisambhavana and got enlightened by the event of Sri Krishna revealing himself through the Viswaroopa darshan (the large image of Lord) when he went to Hasthinapuri as an ambassador of Pandavas. The king wanted to have the same kind of darshan of Vishnu and so performed an Aswamedha yagna here and got the Viswaroopa dharshan as he wished.

The Pandava Doota Perumal temple is approximately 1000 years old and it is believed to have been built by the Pallava king Rajakesari Varman.

When you visit Kanchipuram, don't miss to visit this rare amazing deity of Kanchipuram.

Happy travelling.

Site Name: Pandava Doota Perumal Temple

Highlights:

1) One of the most important temples in Kanchipuram
2) One of the 108 Divya Desam temples (108 most important temples of Lord Vishnu)
3) 1000 year old temple
4) Gigantic big idol of Lord Krishna

Location: Near Ekambareswara Temple, Kanchipuram, 75 kms from Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Kanchipuram
Nearest Airport: Chennai (around 75 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road and train
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in the city


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May 17, 2010

The 8th Century Architectural Marvel - Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchipuram, India

Kailasanathar temple is located at a remote location from the center of Kanchipuram city. Kailasanathar temple is the best temple in Kanchipuram when it comes to art and architecture. The other temple in Kanchipuram which can be compared with Kailasanatar temple in terms of artistic beauty is Vaikuntanathar temple. If you visit Kanchipuram, you must definitely visit these two temples - Kailasanathar temples and Vaikuntanathar temple, which are the best examples of South Indian temple architecture.


Kailasanathar temple is located at a distance of 4 km from bus stand, and 2 km from the famous Ekambareswarar temple aka Ekambaranathar temple. The temple is being maintained by Archeological Society of India.


The main deity of the temple is Lord Shiva referred as Kailasanathar in this temple. It is a large Shiv linga idol with 16 stripes, which is a rare form. The temple is famous for its splendid vimana  and Nandi statue. The temple is full of architecturally beautiful idols of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati in various forms. This temple was built by the Pallava king Narasimhavarman II (Rajasimhan) in the 8th century CE. This is one of the few temples in Kanchipuram, which was purely a contribution of Pallava kings and which didn't have any additions by the other kings such as Cholas and Vijayanagara kings. The beauty of the idols and paintings in this temple is something which is difficult to explain in writing. You need to go there and feel the experience.


As per the legend, there were three demons named Tharakatchan, Kamalatchan and Vidhyamali (Tiripuraris) who were ardent devotees of Lord Shiva. They were troubling Devas, and no body including Vishnu could destroy them due to their devotion to Lord Shiva. Vishnu took the incarnation of Buddha and along with Narada, he changed their mind and made them non-believers of Lord Shiva. It enabled Lord Vishnu to destroy the demons. After this incident, in order to get rid of the sin, Lord Buddha and Narada installed a Shiv linga idol in Kanchipuram and were praying to Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared before them and said that they may have to take a lot of births to get rid of their sin. There is small passage around the main shrine with two entrances – Janana (birth) entrance and Marana (death) entrance. Shiva suggested them to enter and exit through this passage many times to get rid of their sins. Even today, devotees pass through these two entrances; one has to crawl to get in the Janana entrance and crawl again to get out of the Marana entrance.


As per the other legend, Shiva came in the dream of the King Rajasimhanand asked him to postpone the date of Kumbabhishek of this temple, since he wanted to honour the invitation of Saint Poosalar for the Kumbabhishek of his temple at Thirunindravoor which he (Poosalar) built brick by brick by mentally (not physically) just by sheer devotion. This is inscribed in the temple and Sekkizhar also has mentioned this in his work.


Happy travelling.


Site Name: Kailasanathar Temple
Highlights: One of the most architecturally beautiful temples of Kanchipuram also in India
Location: Kanchipuram, 75 kms from Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Kanchipuram
Nearest Airport: Chennai (around 75 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road and train
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in the city

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May 15, 2010

Ekambaranathar Temple, Kanchipuram, India

Site Name: Ekambaranathar  Temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:  Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of the most popular and the biggest temples of Kanchipuram; one of Pancha Bhoota Sthalams; one of 274 Paadal Petra Sthalams
Nearest Railway Station: Kanchipuram
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road and train
Hotel: A lot of options across Kanchipuram
Restaurants: A lot of options across Kanchipuram


Kanchipuram is one of the seven holy cities for Hindus. The ancient town is located at a distance of around 75 kms from Chennai city in Tamil Nadu state of India. The town is said to have more than one thousand temples. However, currently although one thousand temples cannot be found, there are about one hundred important and ancient temples found across the town. Let us discuss about one of the most popular temples of the town Ekambaranathar Temple in this article.


Ekambaranathar Temple is one of the popular temples of Kanchipuram town as well as the entire state of Tamil Nadu. Kanchipuram is famous for the temples of Shiva, Shakti and Vishnu. This is the most important Shiva temple of Kanchipuram. It is located at the heart of the city and is located very near to Kamakshi Amman Temple.

Highlights:

  • One of the most popular temples of Tamil Nadu state
  • The most famous Shiva temple of Kanchipuram town
  • This is the first Paadal Petra Sthalam in Thondai region
  • A rare temple which has both Paadal Petra Sthalam and Divya Desam
  • God - Ekambaranathar or Ekambareshwarar
  • Goddess - Kamakshi or Elavar Kuzhali
  • Other names of God - Tiruvegambar, Thaluvak Kuzhainda Nathar
  • Sthala Vruksha (holy tree) - Mango
  • Teerth of Divya Desam - Kamba river, Shiva Ganga, Sarva Teerth
  • Appar, Sambandhar and Sundarar have sung about this temple in their verses
  • It is one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams. It represents Earth.
  • Divya Desam Deity - Nila Thingal Thundathan or Chandra Chooda Perumal
  • Divya Desam Goddess - Nila Thinga Thunda Thayaar
  • Divya Desam Teerth - Chandra Pushkarani
  • Divya Desam Vimana - Purushasookta Vimana
  • It is 49th Divya Desam in Thondai region
  • Tirumangai Alwar has sung hymn about this Divya Desam

Legend:

As per the legend, Parvati playfully closed the eyes of Shiva from behind, which resulted in the darkness for the entire universe. To cleanse herself from this sin, Parvati was born as Kamakshi. She came to Kanchipuram, made Shiv Linga out of sand. Hence, Shiv Linga is called as Prithvi Linga. She installed Linga under the mango tree and prayed. Vegavati river overflew and it was about to wash out the sand Linga. To avoid this, Kamakshi hugged Linga tightly. The marks are still seen in Shiv Linga. The mango tree is believed to be there as the Sthala Vruksha in the temple complex. Then, Shiva appeared before her and married her.

There is another legend related to the Divya Desam that is located within the premises of this temple. When Kamakshi was doing penance under the holy mango tree, Shiva wanted to test her devotion and set the tree on fire. She sought the help of Vishnu. Vishnu plucked the moon from the head of Shiva and cooled down the fire. Hence, he obtained the name "Nila Thingal Thundathan".

There is another version for the above mentioned story, which states that during the churning of milky ocean, Vishnu became very warm in order to get nectar. He requested Shiva to alleviate his discomfort by the cool rays of the moon adorning the head of Shiva. Shiva agreed for the same. 


Temple Layout:

Raja Gopura:

The gigantic temple is spread across 23.5 acres. The temple's structures has seen contributions from various dynasties in different periods including Pallavas, Pandyas, Cholas and Vijayanagaras. It is believed that the temple was originally there in this site even before the Pallavas rebuilt it as a stone temple. The south facing 192 feet tall Rajagopura with 9 Talas (tiers) was built by Krishnadeva Raya in the 16th century CE. 

The entrance of the tower has sub shrines enshrining the big idols of Ganesh and Arumugam-Valli-Devasena.


Kamba Teerth:

The mandap that is found immediately after entering into the gopura is called as Sharbheswara Mandap. The holy tank is called as Kamba Teerth, which is located nearby.

Ayirankal Mandap:

The hall with 1008 pillars, which is called as Ayirankal Mandap, that is found inside the temple complex, was built by the Vijayanagar Kings. The architecturally beautiful mandap has 1008 Shiv Lingas. Near this mandap, the sub-shrine of Vikata Shankara Vinayak. The sculptures in the pillars are notably beautiful. Ganesh seated on peacock is a rare sculpture found here.

Shiv Lingas:

Near the flag staff and bali peetha, 16 pillared mandap is located. Another tank named Shiva Ganga Teerth is located. 

A big Nandi mandap as well as another smaller Nandi mandap are located near the flag staff.

The sub-shrines enshrining Shiv Lingas namely Vella Kambar,  Kachi Mayaneeswar and Valeeswarar are located nearby. They were worshiped by  Brahma,  Bhandasura and Vali.

The wall around Kachi Mayaneeswarar shrine has the niche idols of Lingodbhava, Brahma and Durga. 

Towers:

One more south facing tower and another east facing tower are also found in this huge temple.

Entrance of Main Temple:

At the entrance of the main temple area which houses the sanctum, other shrines and the prakaras, has two very big Dwarapala idols. The relief images of Ganesh seated on mouse and Subramanya seated on peacock are found behind the Dwarapalas.

Outer Prakara:

On the way to the outer prakara from the entrance, a part of the mango tree, which is believed to be the original tree of 3500 years old, is found.

A lot of pillared mandaps are located within this prakara area.

Some sub-shrines/sculptures that are found in this prakara:

  • Panel depicting the marriage scene of Shiva and Parvati with the presences of Vishnu and Brahma
  • Pralayakala Amman with eight arms
  • Kalarchinga Nayanar
  • Shiv Linga and Nandi
  • Eight Shiv Lingas and one smaller Shiv Linga
  • Twelve smaller Shiv Lingas
  • Another big Shiv Linga sepearately
  • 108 Shiv Lingas in different sizes
  • Ganesh with five heads and ten arms seated on lion
  • Ganesh
  • Utsav (festival) deities of Ekambareswar and Kamakshi in Gayatri Mandap with Rudraksha ceiling
  • Called as Mavadu Skanda - Shanmukha-Valli-Devasena
  • Ezhavaar Kuzhali utsav deity
  • Big Sahasra Linga - worshiped by Ram
  • Natraj-Shivakami - very big sub-shrine
  • Pralayakala Amman Utsav deity
  • Bhairav
  • Arumuga Nainar with his consorts - Utsav deities
  • Navagraha

Inner Prakara:

At the entrance of the area that includes the inner prakara and the sanctum has two big Dwara palas.

The following idols are found in the inner prakara:

  • 63 Nayanmars
  • Bhikshatana
  • Sowbhagya Ganapati
  • Shakti Ganapati with his consorts
  • Kasi Vishwanatha Linga 
  • Markandeyeswarar Linga
  • Kalla Kambar Shiv Linga (worshiped by Vishnu)
  • Utsav idols of 63 Nayanmars
  • Sundara Vinayak
  • 108 Shiv Lingas without Aavudai bases
  • Arumugam with his consorts
  • Mattala Madhesvara Linga
  • Nalla Kambar Shiv Linga (worshiped by Rudra)



Ekambareswar:

The east facing sanctum enshrines the big and tall Shiv Linga named as Ekambareswar or Ekambaranathar. Behind Shiv Linga, on the wall the Somaskanda panel featuring Shiva, Parvati and Skanda is found. 

The entrance of sanctum has the idols of Dwarapalas. Totally, three pairs of Dwarapalas are found in this temple. 

Holy Mango Tree:

The holy tree that is located in the prakara is believed to be thousands of years old. This is the sthala vruksham. It is said to bear fruits of four different tastes in each season, which is said to be representing four Vedas. A small shrine enshrining Kamakshi and Ekambareswar Shiv Linga is found below this holy tree. 

The idols of Ganesh and Subramanya are also found at the entrance of the site where this vruksham is located.

Divya Desam:

In the inner prakara, there is a west facing shrine enshrining two idols of Vishnu. One is the old idol and the other one is comparatively new. Vishnu is found in the standing posture in this shrine. This is one of the Divya Desams and the deity is called as Nila Thinga Thundathan or Chandra Chooda Perumal. 

Ideally, his consort, vimana and teerth should be present as per the scripts; but only the presiding deity is found currently.













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A 10th century Granite Stone Temple - Chokkeeswarar Temple, Kanchipuram, India

Site Name: Chokkeeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:  Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: 9th century period stone temple
Nearest Railway Station: Kanchipuram
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road and train
Hotel: A lot of options across Kanchipuram
Restaurants: A lot of options across Kanchipuram


Kanchipuram is one of the seven holy sites for Hindus. The ancient town is located at a distance of around 75 kms from Chennai city in Tamil Nadu state of India. The town is said to have more than one thousand temples. However, currently although one thousand temples cannot be found, there are about one hundred important and ancient temples found across the town. Let us discuss about Chokkeeswarar Temple in this article. 

Diagonally opposite to the popular Kamakshi Amman temple, this small but beautiful Chola period ancient temple is located in the North Mada Street.

This is one of the oldest temples of Kanchipuram, which survives in its original form. It is believed that the temple was built by the Chola King Uttama Chola in the 10th century CE. As per an inscription, a Pandya King, who was defeated in the war, won back after worshiping Chokkeeswarar. 

As per a not so popular legend, Kausiki's (Durga) skin turned dark after she killed two Asuras Sumbha and Nisumbha. She worshiped Shiva in this site and got her original complexion back. 

The sanctum enshrines Shiv Linga called as Chokkeeswarar or Kausikeswarar. The complex does not have any other shrine. The entire structure of the temple along with the vimana which is completely made in granite (instead of brick and mortar) looks very attractive. It is a typical Chola period stone temple. 

One major highlight of the temple is that in the sanctum along with Shiv Linga, the Goddess Kamakshi is also found. Usually in Kanchipuram, Shiv Linga is not found along with the Goddess.

The niche images are very beautiful. Ganesh, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Vishnu Durga are found as the niche idols. 

Nandi is found facing the sanctum. A small Ganesh idol is found near the entrance of the sanctum. There is no Chandikeshwara.

The ceiling of the sanctum has the images of fish and snake capturing Sun and Moon, which depicts the eclipse.

Happy travelling.



May 9, 2010

Kamakshi Amman Temple, Kanchipuram, India

Site Name: Kamakshi Amman Temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:  Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: The most popular temple of Kanchipuram; one of the important Shakti Peeths
Nearest Railway Station: Kanchipuram
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road and train
Hotel: A lot of options across Kanchipuram
Restaurants: A lot of options across Kanchipuram

Kanchipuram is one of the seven holy sites for Hindus. The ancient town is located at a distance of around 75 kms from Chennai city in Tamil Nadu state of India. The town is said to have more than one thousand temples. However, currently although one thousand temples cannot be found, there are about one hundred important and ancient temples found across the town. Let us discuss about the most popular temple of the town Kamakshi Amman Temple in this article.

Kamakshi Amman Temple is one of the popular temples of Kanchipuram town as well as the entire state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of three important Mother Goddess Temples in India, the other two being Madurai Meenakshi and Kasi Vishalakshi. It is a famous Shakti Peeth temple and also a Divya Desam


Highlights:

  • One of the most popular temples of Tamil Nadu state
  • The most famous temple of Kanchipuram town
  • One of 51 Shakti Peeth temples
  • 54th Divya Desam temple
  • A  rare combination of Shakti Peeth and Divya Desam
  • Presiding Deity - Kamakshi
  • Presiding Deity of Divya Desam - Kalvar a.k.a. Adi Varaha
  • Presiding Goddess of Divya Desam - Soundarya Lakshmi a.k.a. Anjilaivalli
  • Viman of Divya Desam - Vamana Viman
  • Teerth of Divya Desam - Nitya Pushkarani
  • Tirumangai Alwar has sung about this Divya Desam in his verses

Legend:

There are so many legends associated with this temple.

Birth and Marriage of Kamakshi:

Once the Goddess Parvati playfully closed the eyes of Lord Shiva from behind. The entire universe went into darkness. Parvati was cursed and she took birth on the earth as Kamakshi. She made Shiv Linga idol out of sand and prayed. Shiva wanted to test her. He took the form of Kamba river and tried to wash away the sand Linga. Kamakshi tightly hugged the Linga and prevented it from getting eroded. 

In addition, Kamakshi stood in single leg and did severe penance. She was surrounded by Panchagni. Her fury was felt beyond the village and affected the people. It is said that the sage Durvasa pacified the Goddess. 

At last, Lord Shiva was pleased by the gesture of Kamakshi and married her.

Sri Chakra:

In the olden days, the animal sacrifice was made in this temple. Adi Shankara installed Sri Chakra in the sanctum and stopped this practice. 

Bhandakasur:

An Asura named Bhandakasur was troubling the Devas. They took the form of parrots and came to Kanchipuram. They lived in Champaka tree in the temple premises and prayed to Kamakshi. She killed the Asura and saved the Devas.

Aroopa Lakshmi:

Once Vishnu had cursed Lakshmi to lose her beauty. She became Aroopa Lakshmi. She came to Kanchi and prayed to Kamakshi. She got back her beauty with the blessing of Kamakshi.

Dasharath:

It is believed that the King Dasharath visited the temple and prayed to Kamakshi. As a result, he begot four sons including Lord Ram.

Avatar of Ganesh:

A king named Akasha Bhoopati visited the temple and prayed to Kamakshi. She blessed him and Lord Ganesha incarnated as his son as Thundir Maharaja.

Shakti Peeth:

As per the legend, Sati sacrificed her life by falling into the yagna fire of her father Daksha. Shiva got extremely furious and started dancing with the dead body his wife Sati. To protect the universe from the fury of Shiva, Vishnu cut down the body of Sati into pieces. The sites where the body parts of Sati fell are called as Shakti Peeths. 

It is believed that the skeleton of Sati fell in Kanchipuram. As per another version, the ornament that covers the stomach (ottiyanam) fell in this site.  


Kalvar:


As per the legend, when Kamakshi and Lakshmi were conversing among themselves, Vishnu listened to them without their knowledge. When Kamakshi discovered this, she fondly called Vishnu as "kalvan", which means thief. The idol of Vishnu in this temple is thus called as Kalvan.

Temple Layout:

There are four entrances with four gopuras for Kamakshi Amman Temple. The east facing gopura is the main - Raja gopura. The temple is situated at a vast area of around 5 acres. 

Sanctum:

The layout of the temple is complicated. The main entrance as well as the sanctum face the east direction. But there is no direct access to the sanctum. One has to enter through the north facing mandap and then move towards the left to reach the sanctum.

The sanctum, which has a gold plated vimana, enshrines the very beautiful and attractive Kamakshi. She is found seated in Padmasana posture. She has four arms and holds pasha (lasso) and ankusha (goad) in her upper arms. In her lower arms, she holds sugarcane and bunch of flowers. A parrot is found near the flower bunch. 

Kamakshi is seated in the center of the mandap within the sanctum. This mandap is called as Gayatri Mandap and it has 24 pillars representing the 24 alphabets of Gayatri Mantra. 

Sri Chakra:

The sanctum also enshrines the holy Sri Chakra, a kind of Yantra. This famous Sri Chakra Yantra was installed by Sri Adi Shankaracharya.

Tapas Kamakshi:

In the Ardha Mandap, to the right side of the presiding deity, Kamakshi is found standing with one leg and performing tapas. 

Aroopa Lakshmi:

To the left side of the presiding deity in the Ardha Mandap, the idol of deformed Lakshmi called as Aroopa Lakshmi is found. She is also called as Anjana Kamakshi. 

Divya Desam:

In the Ardha Mandap, the idol of Vishnu called as Kalvar Perumal is found in a niche. Next to him, the idol of Soundarya Lakshmi is found. It is a Divya Desam. 

The original name of the deity is Adi Varaha and the Goddess is Anjilaivalli. 

It is rare to find a Divya Desan within the sancum of a Shakti Peeth. Although the name of Viman is found in the scriptures, the current idol is just a niche idol and of course it does not have a viman.

Other Deities:

In the main shrine, the idols of Sowbhagya Ganapati, Varahi, Ardhanareeswarar and the Santhana Stambha are also found. 

The entrance of the sanctum has the idols of Ganesh and Singara Velan. 

Adi Shankara:

The shrine of Adi Shankara located in the inner prakara is very popular. It also has gold plated viman. There are few bas-relief carvings that depict the life of Shankaracharya found on the walls of this shrine.

Utsav Kamakshi:

The shrine of Utsav Kamakshi is big and has a prakara. The metal idols of Lakshmi and Saraswati are found on either sides of Kamakshi.

Other Shrines:

There is a mandap found in an elevated platform opposite to the sanctum. The idol of Durvasa is found near this mandap. 

At the entrance of the main temple, the idols of Naga and Varasiddhi Vinayak are found. 

The shrines of Annapoorani, Dharma Shasta along with his consorts Poorna and Pushkala, Saraswati and Gaja Lakshmi are found in the inner prakara. The relief image of Thundir Maharaja is also found in a pillar in the mandap opposite to the sanctum.

100 Pillared Mandap:


The 100 pillared mandap in this temple has a lot of beautiful and unique sculptures.

Bhoota Nigraha Perumal:


There are three shrines one above the other for Lord Vishnu called as Bhoota Nigraha Perumal. He is found in three different postures - standing (Nindran), sitting (Irundhan) and reclining (Kidandhan). These shrines are found near the holy tank.

Outer Prakara:


The outer prakara is vast. The holy tank is located here. The 100 pillared mandap is also located here. 

The sub shrine of Kasi Vishwanath Linga and the idols of Kasi Kala Bhairav, Vishnu Durga and Mahisasura Mardhini are located in the prakara.

The inner entrance of the eastern gopura has the idols of Hayagreeva and the sage Agastya.

Happy travelling.