21 of us started at 4.30 AM from Chennai to explore and admire the sculptural and architectural sites of Kanchipuram.Kanchipuram
is a land of 1000 temples and was the capital of Pallavas during the 8th century period. It is 65 km from Chennai. We reached by 8 AM. Our first architectural site was Varadaraja Perumal Temple, which was built by the Cholas and is an abode of Lord Vishnu. It is 23 acres in size and has a huge wall built around the temple. It is constructed on the basis of Vijayanagara architecture. There is a 100 pillar hall inside the temple, which has mind boggling architectural carving of the various happenings of Ramayana and Mahabarath. Every pillar has been sculpted in a single stone. There are no joints in the carving.
Every pillar has a significant story. By 9.30 AM our tummies were calling us to feed themJ. So we headed straight to the hotels near the bus stand to energize ourselves for the next 3 hours. By 10.15 AM we started to Kanchi Kailasanathar temple, which was constructed by the Pallavas in the 8th century and is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.
It is an abode of Lord Shiva. King Raja Raja Cholan had built the Brihadeeswarar temple in Tanjore, based on architecture and inspiration of Kailasanathar temple. This temple has been constructed based on Dravidian architecture. It was a beautiful site to wonder about the many people who had sculpted the temple with such perfection and dedication. Some sculptures were eroded in time and weather but well preserved by the Architectural Survey group. There was a good shady spot and hence we halted to get out of the heat which was piercing our skin. It was 11.30 AM and we were running short of time, since the temples would close to visitors by 12 Noon. We moved to Vaikuntha Perumal Temple which was also maintained by the architectural survey of India.
It had a similar architecture of the Kailasanathar temple. It was 12.30 PM when our heritage photography journey was coming to an end. Our tummies were filled with soda and water as no one could bear the heat. We started to Chennai and reached by 4 PM.
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