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Kailasanathar temple in Thirumangalam (Salem dist.), an epitome of unexplored architectural elegance

KailashaNathar Temple, Tharamangalam, near salem twitter.com

Above image: Masterfully crafted monolithic stone  bracket, stone rings and fearsome Yali. KailashaNathar Temple, Tharamangalam, near salem city, (Tamil Nadu)…….

Kailasanathar temple in Thirumangalam  near Salem city Tamil Nadu is a treasure trove of Architectural grandeur.  An awe-inspiring imasterpiece of rare  kind that lies hidden in a remote place due to lack of publicity. It is world of architectural wonder. 

Kailasanathar temple, Salem dt rotating ball inside Yali’s mouth
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Kailasanathar temple, Salem dt rotating ball inside Yali’s mouth
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Above image:  Astone carved  Yali  (a mystic animal) with a  stone ball  inside its wide open mouth  which can also be rotated.  That  how this rotating  monolithic stone ball inside  the grotesque  figure  was sculpted  is a riddle. This fine craftmanship  showcases the  technical knowledge and sculptural finesse of  richly talented stone workers of the past era…………… 

entrance Kailasanathar temple, Thirumangalam Salem dt.
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With a view to creating  awareness among people on the importance of monuments and historical places and their protection for the posterity,  way back in 2016  members of Tamil Nadu Heritage Volunteers of the district and Salem Historical Society  conducted  a heritage walk in Tharamangalam town near Salem city covering important sites including  the 10th century CE Kailasanathar temple that has lots of   exquisite stone sculptures, impressive mantaps (halls) with ornate pillars.  

The temple that was renovated by Hoysala ruler King Veera Ramanathan in the 13 century and later in the 17th CE by Ketti Mudali King Mummudi and Vanangamudi.  The heritage walk also  covered places where  gigantic monolithic pink granite pillars are found scattered outside the temple.  It is said they have been there since 1667. Believe it or not among  500 such ornate pillars – a whooping number that  lie  buried  in the ground only 20 pillars lie exposed.   It is further mentioned way back in 1975 the   district administration was keen to have a hall – mandapam built using all the stone pillars following old technique but their efforts ended abruptly as PM Mrs. Indira Gandhi had just introduced Emergency in the last week of June in the same year.  The ruler during the reign of  the Gatti Mudhali dynasty in the 17th century CE was keen to build a 1000 pillar. As he was killed in the war in Omalur in 1667 A.D, the work on the pillars stopped midway and the mantap  project remained unfinished.  

Entrance wooden door with iron knobs.nandinisquare.blogspot.com/

Above image:   Kailasanathar temple Thirumangalam, Salem district. Tall  wooden door with sharp iron knob. Could it be for protection against war elephants in case of war? 

ornate pillar top. Kailasanathar temple, Salem dt.commons.wikimedia.org
Kailasanathar temple Thirumangalam, Salem d justdial.com

Above image:  Richly ornate monolithic pillars in the hall at Kailasanathar temple Thirumangalam, Salem district. 

Kailasanathar temple Thirumangalam, Salem dt.thehindu.com/

Above image: One of the ancient stone pillars that remains neglected at Kailasanathar Temple.  Lying outside the temple are  gigantic monolithic pink granite pillars (orthopyroxene-bearing quartz-feldspar rock rich in Hypersthene  called Charnockite). The famous site is St. Thomas Mount, Chennai. Apparently, mined near-by the iodine rich pink granite was  chosen by the builders to give better look to the pillars. They appear to be fully cut, carved and polished. Though ready for installation to build a mantap, they lie  scattered outside the temple for many decades……..

Dedicated to God Shiva,  this temple  is not popular across Tamil Nadu  because of  lack of publicity on the part of the Tamil Nadu Tourism department, This temple, an architectural wonder  remains unnoticed by people visiting Salem and its vicinity  This 10th century temple is endowed with amazing stone sculptures,  attractive mantaps (halls) with ornate pillars

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/heritage-walk-to-stress-need-for-protecting-monuments/article8582590.ece

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/call-to-restore-374yearold-exquisitely-carved-pillars/article6166597.ece

http://nandinisquare.blogspot.com/2013/11/kailasanathar-temple-tharamangalam.html

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