I had the chance to visit this temple only on my fourth trip to Kanchipuram.
This trip was with my mother in law, sister in law (Saraswathi Manni) and niece (Shwetha). Manni and Shwetha were planning the trip and I got a chance to join them.
First we went to Kamakshi Amman temple, Ekambareswarar temple and then to Kailasanathar temple. In my earlier visits I had been to Kamakshi temple, Ekambareswar temple and a few other temples, but this was my first visit to Kailasanathar temple.
It seemed to be away from the buzz of the town and looked more like a tourist spot minus the crowd. There were a few shops selling assorted stuff on the left and on the right side was the temple. The first impression I had of the temple was – oh, this reminds me of Mammallapuram (another favourite place) The temple had Pallava stamp all over. There was a board mentioning that it is maintained by the archaeological survey of India as a monument, and what a monument it is! The architecture is GRAND. All structures are made out of limestone and typical Pallava style of work. So many statues, pillars and intricate carving! It was built by Rajasimha Pallava (Narasimha Pallava II)
I would have liked to spend more time there but we were on a half a day trip to the town and on a tight schedule.
We went inside the sanctum and there was lone Shivalingam. It is a huge Lingam with stripes on it. Instead of the usual path for pradakshinam, there was a small entrance on either side of the Lingam. Manni told me that one has to bend and crawl inside the entrance on the left and then the path becomes large enough for one to walk around and again at the exit on the right side, a crawl. This signifies the birth and death cycle – if you go inside and come out, you are in a new janam and your earlier sins are washed away! Only a few people ventured the crawl, I definitely wanted to try but was a little scared because of my size. The kurukkal in the temple encouraged me by saying that size does not matter, even small made people may find it difficult to go in, just pray to God and get in. I managed it, went in and walked around the path. Crawling out was easier than crawling in. I really loved the experience and have been ever since describing it to sisters and friends about it.
Thank you Manni and Shwetha for taking me there!
Next trip to Kanchipuram, I hope to spend more time in the town and especially this temple to study the architecture in detail.