Saturday, January 20, 2018

Parthasarathy Temple, Parthivapuram – The Temple

Parthasarathy Temple, Parthivapuram – The Temple
The temple complex covers an area of about 2.50 acres. This west facing shrine has a three tired vimana that is built on a square plan from adhishtana to sikharam. The adhishtana is made up of granite. The pranala is in the form of a fluted shaft with a curved lotus bud end that appears out of the Simha mukha. One can find the Bhootha Ganas seated below the pranala. The temple walls are made of granite blocks with few portions of it plastered with lime. Floral design is also carved on the temple walls with a Simha mala at the top.

The niche in the walls is literally non-functional and doesn’t hold any deity. A square shaped sanctum sanctorum (garbha griha) is found at the centre of the temple complex with Pradikshina Patha (path for circumambulation) all around it. There is a mukha mandapa with an attached portico made of granite and has a tiled roof. A Namaskara Mandapa seems to have been built later in front of the portico and has four granite pillars on all the four corners. In between them on the four sides are wooden arches supported on wooden pillars.

The Namaskara mandapa has no ceiling as such, but the wooden rafts converge on the roof top, covering the Mandapa from top. The mukha mandapa has three entrances from the west, north and south directions. The southern entrance leads to the thitappally (temple kitchen). The portion above the entablature in the main vimana is constructed of brick. The second tala has deities placed at four cardinal nooks; Brahma on the north, Indra on the east, Dhakshinamoorthy on the south and Narasimha on the west. These images are made of stucco.

The stupi crowning the edifice is of metal. There are four small turrets on the four corners of the vimana. The temple encompasses six sub shrines with the Krishna shrine being the oldest. This shine in located in south-west corner of the temple complex, built in the Dravidian style. It is also an example of sama-chaturashra vimana, with square griva (neck) and shikhara (roof above griva), the latter as usual pinnacled by a stupi (finial). A small mukha mandapa extends out from the Lord’s sanctum to the east.

The vimana over Krishna’s shrine has a well-crafted Mriga mala (animal chain) at its lower and the subsequent upper level. This temple is believed to be from the 9th century AD and stands as the finest examples of such Mriga mala exposition. The sub shrines of Varaha Perumal and Vadakkum Perumal (Vishnu) is found on the north side, while Karakandiswaram Siva shrine is found on front of Krishna temple in the south side. Sastha and Dhakshinamoorthy grace from their respective shrines located in the west side of this temple complex.