Friday, July 27, 2018

Kailaya Eswaramudaiya Mahadevar Temple, Kesavaram – The Temple

Kailaya Eswaramudaiya Mahadevar Temple, Kesavaram – The Temple
The site where the temple is located was once called as Kailaya Eswaram. Hence, Lord Shiva in this temple is named as Kailaya Eswaramudaiya Mahadevar, which means Mahadeva (Shiva's another name) who owns Kailaya Eswaram. The temple has the sanctum, ardha-mandapam and mukha-mandapam. The stone temple has the Gaja Brustha Vimana resembling the back side of the sleeping elephant. 

The Gajabrushta vimana is entirely built with granite boulders. It has an ekatala vimana and it has an apsidal (Gajabrushta) plan from adhishtana to shikara, recalling the earlier Buddhist chaitya. The beautiful stone vimana that can be seen in other Coovum sites like Sivapuran, is being held together with metal reinforcements. The east facing temple does not have gopuram or flag staff. The front mandapa is crumbling and a beheaded Nandi.

The sanctum enshrines Lord Shiva called as Kailaya Eswaramudaiya Mahadevar in the form of Lingam. There is no idol found in the Ardhamandapam or Mahamandapam. The beautiful sculptures of Ganesha, Dakshina Murti, Lingodhbava, Brahma and Vishnu Durga are found as the niche images. They are A beautiful Ganesha, a heavily damaged Dakshina Murthi with an oversized Muyalagan at his feet, and a stylish Durga.

The Gajabrushta vimana has Narasimha over Lingothbavar which is a unique feature here. A new Nandi idol and a new sub-shrine for Chandikeswara have been sculpted recently. Beheaded idols of a Dwara Ganapathy, and Uma Sahitha Murthi lay dumped in a corner.  

The temple has Chola period inscriptions. Kulothunga Chola I of 11th century CE gave Uraiyur village as grants for this temple. This temple appears to have been built from the grants given by his wife Ezhulagam Udaiyal. The east facing temple is in a dilapidated condition and some volunteers have conserved the temple from further damage.