Thursday, March 30, 2006

Weekend Darshan - 9

Over the weekend, we wanted to go somewhere nearby Chennai and came to know about this place called Madambakkam. It is oddly 5-10 kms from Tambaram. (Forgetful me, did not notice the exact distance)

There is an old temple belonging to the Chola period, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The lord is referred as "Thenapureeswarar" here. We were completely taken aback by the serene ambience in that place. It is a calm and peaceful place to visit in the morning. The temple has undergone renovation over the years and we can observe the concrete ceilings and painted walls, which have marred the originality of the otherwise beautiful temple.

A few interesting observations about this place

- Although the history and the external architecture(with 'kumudam' and 'jagadhi') point to the Cholas, the inner walls of the sanctum sanctorum is semicircular in the rear side, reminding me some of the Pallava temples in Kanchipuram.

- Among the inscriptions found on the south side wall of the sanctum sanctorum, we found the name "Sundara Pandian". This is the first time in our limited experience that we find a non-Chola name in a Chola temple.

- There is deity of five headed Hanuman on one of the pillars. We could see more images of Lord Vishnu depicted as baby Krishna, as Ranganthar in this temple. Also there is a deity of Sarabeshwarar in this temple.

Here are some pics of Madambakkam

Outer wall at Madamabakkam


Here's the history

Historic details about the temple can be found here...

From there we went to a place called Tirukachur, which is 5 kms off NH 45 from Singaperumal Koil near Chengalpet. There a couple of temples again belonging to Chola period. More about this place is available in Ferrari's blog here

Something amusing was waiting for us here too. On one side of the walls, we found an image of two fishes facing each other. Fish being a symbol of Pandyas, we couldn't quite guess the reason, why it was there. May be it was inscribed much later???

Fishes facing each other

The difference in archiectural style can be well observed by comparing these two images of Lord Subramaniam

Dsc01574 Dsc01588
Madambakkam & Tirukachur

Until now I didnt know that there were such good places around Chennai


Blogger srivat said...

The sculptures in Madambakkam were real treat to the eyes.Those sculptures of Lord Krishna are still vivid in my memory.Pity that the guy didn't allow us to click these sculptures.Eppo thaan ivangellam thirunthuvangalo.

8:53 PM  
Blogger b a l a j i said...

Ivangala ellam ASI maintain panna koil-a poyee pakkanum... appa thaan budhi varum...

enna irundhalum ASI range-y thani

9:00 PM  
Anonymous F e r r a r i said...

I disagree. ASI does not do anything apart from a compound wall and a sprawling lawn(why do we need a lawn).

And isnt it the duty of ASI to go and unearth rare temples?

10:46 PM  
Blogger b a l a j i said...

Ungalukku ASI pathi sariya theriyala-nu nenaikkiren...

u must visit Darasuram temple, to find out how much they have reclaimed....

lawn is to add beauty and attract tourism.... any place looks great with a lawn....

but thats not just it.... its not an easy joke to maintain huge temples like Thanjavur, Gangai Konda Cholapuram and very old ones Kailasanathar, Mahabalipuram temples etc...

11:56 PM  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Hello. I enjoy your travels. May I add you to my list?

11:59 PM  
Blogger b a l a j i said...

sure....its my pleasure

12:00 AM  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Hey, thanks. I did that.

2:14 AM  
Anonymous F e r r a r i said...

My remark on ASI was not based on a single temple visit. Based on my observations of what ASI has done to many places in India(Right from taj mahal, goa fort etc till temples) I made that comment.
There is a temple called maagaRal near uthiramerur. It is not maintained by ASI. Check how the temple is maintained :-)
There are millions of archaelogical importance begging for attention. Even after repeated requests to ASI, the focus is not there!
For instance, who stopped ASI from maintaining tirukachur? Or tirupulivanam? or serapanancheri?

And check with Ravages on detailed info on what ASI does :-)

11:09 AM  
Anonymous shampath said...

pl accept my heart felt wishes and appreciation for the efforts you have taken in sharing these information.
psbl make the index of the places in such a way that it looks like a MAP so that visitors would know the geographical position of each place in relation to other places. psbl you can also provide hot clickable spots to make it more interactive .

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi friends, I am Balasubramanian, from T Nagar, Chennai - My mobile : 9840013132 and mail id is : and Please help me in getting donation for the renovation of the Kailasanathar temple at Manimangalam, which is more than 1000 years old.We have created a trust called ARULMIGU KAILAYANATHAR GNANAMBIGAI EDUCATIONAL & CHARITABLE TRUST. Balalayam for the above temple was performed on 20.01.2008. If anybody can get in touch with me I will give more details and ready to accept donations with pranams for the renovation of this ancient temple ^b^

5:14 AM  

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