About Nageswaran TempleLocation:
Kumbakonam, 36 kms from Thanjavur
: 1005 AD
The Tanjore District has a definite magic- a magic endowed by the towering
presence of many ancient temples, built over 1000 years ago. One such temple
is the Nageswaran Temple India, a place where where devotion, mythology and
aesthetics form an ideal medley. Built around 1005 A.D, it is an outstanding
symbol of Chola sculpture. It draws many foreigners keen to interpret the
rock wall edicts and study the sculptures and also Tourist Place to See in Tamilnadu
Structure of the Temple
The main sanctum has a large lingam and legend stated that the temple got
its name because of a snake found worshipping the lingam. The front tower is
of moderate height, with very lovely sculptures. A peculiarity of the temple
is that the Sun_s rays fall directly on the lingam, every year, for three
days, from April 14, the traditional Tamil New Year day. Crowds gather
during this phenomenon, as the deity_s powers, it is said, are further
A Close View
Going round the temple prakaram, one comes across some of the most splendid
architectural sculpture ever seen. Niches in the outer wall of the sanctum
contain large, graceful figures in standing postures-both male and female.
Their beauty, hairstyle, attire, jewellery and shape are all examples of the
supreme skill of the Chola sculptor. These are not figures of gods, but
those of the wealthy patrons of the temple. A fabulous Brahma and
Ardhanariswara are found on the other side of the outer wall. Smaller
sculptures can be seen along the temple main walls.
Idols and Images
A mesmerising Goddess Durga is housed in a separate shrine here. Further
down the compound on the left, is a huge Mandapam complete with giant
chariot wheels in stone. Mythology states that the entire Mandapam descended
from heaven, on a chariot drawn by elephants. One has to climb the steps of
the chariot to the shrine of Nataraja and Sivakami- said to be one of the
loveliest bronze images that exist. Lord Siva is seen dancing vigorously
here, and Sivakami is shown keeping tala (the beat) for his cosmic dance.
Thanjavur has road links to all major cities. Connected by rail with
Trichy, Madurai, Nagore, and Madras directly. The nearest airport,
Tiruchirapalli, is 58 kms.
Tourists can unpack at the various hotels available in Thanjavur.