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Kailasanathar Temple

The Kailasanathar Temple of Kanchi is the oldest structure in Kanchipuram. It is a Hindu temple built in the Dravidian architecture style. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is known for its historical importance. The temple complex boasts of a large number of carvings, including many half-animal deities which were popular during the early Dravidian architectural period. Containing 58 small shrines, each of the shrine inside the temple is dedicated to various forms of Lord Shiva. The temple is one of the most prominent tourist attractions of the city.

History
The literal meaning of Kailasanathar Temple is “Lord of the Cosmic Mountain”, and is built in the tradition of Smartha worship of Shiva, Vishnu, Devi, Surya (Sun), Ganpati and Kartikeya, in Hinduism, a practice which replaced the Buddhism. The temple construction is credited to the Pallava dynasty, who has established their kingdom with Kanchipuram as the capital city.
The temple was built during 685-705AD. According to local belief, the temple was a safe sanctuary for the rulers of the kingdom during wars. A secret tunnel, built by the kings, was used as an escape route and is still visible.

Temple Architecture
The architecture of the temple depicts a fine example of Dravidian style of architecture carved out of sandstone. The walls of the temple are decorated with beautiful paintings and sculptures of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in different postures. Situated in a rustic suburb, the temple is located in the hustle bustle of the city. The architectural beauty of this temple stands out from all other temples in Tamil Nadu. One of the unique features of this temple is the 16 sided Shiva lingam made up of black granite at the main shrine.

How to reach
By Air – Chennai is the nearest airport. From Chennai the temple is 75 kms away.

By Train – The nearest Railway Station is Kanchipuram. From Kanchipuram, the temple is 2.7 km away. Private taxis are available to reach this temple.

By Road – Kailasanathar Temple situated west side of kanchipuram and is 3 Km from Kanchi bus stand; and 2.7 km from railway station. There is no local bus service in Kanchipuram, but there are many auto-rickshaws that drives you to the temple.



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