Constructed under the aegis of the Chola dynasty during its early days, the Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, Tamil Nadu was further renovated and extended by the Nayak and Maratha dynasty. Spread over four acres, the temple is enclosed within high walls and has four huge towers. A nine tiered 128 feet high rajagopuram stands tall over the east entrance of the temple.
The temple and its artifacts are a fine example of the finesse and high skill of the artisans of that time. Every inch of the temple is sculpted and ornamented. Scenes from the Puranas, the 27 asterisms, the 12 zodiac signs are all depicted on the bas relief sculptures on the ceiling of the main hall. The chain links hanging from the roof are also made of stone. An underground tunnel has been discovered near the inner sanctum. The lingam depicting Lord Kumbeswarar is a swayambhu. It is worshipped by anointing it with the musk from the civet (punugu). To prevent the brittle lingam from damage, it is encased in silver. The sanctum of the Goddess Mangalambigai is four feet tall and is covered in gold and stands on a gold base. The walls and ceiling of the bedroom of the Goddess (palliyarai) are covered with Tanjore paintings made with vegetable dye and encrusted with gems. The shrine of Jurahareswarar is also visited by devotees at this temple. Said to cure fever, the Prasad here is that which is given to people suffering from fever - paruppu thuvayal (lentil mash), parboiled rice kanji (porridge) and jeera rasam.
Perhaps the one artifact that showcases the skill of the artisan in the best possible way is the stone nadaswaram (a type of wind instrument). Although made of stone, it is so finely crafted that it can actually be played.
|Timings||All days of the week 5:00 AM - 12:00 PM 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM|
|Visit Duration||Around an hour|