Tharamangalam Kailasanathar temple, Salem dist of TN, a hidden architectural treasure

Kailasanathar swamy temple, Tharamangalam, Salem Dt. , TN

Door with spikes, Tharamangalam temple, Salem

Kailasanathar temple entrance Tharamangalam

Above images: Kailasanathar temple, Tharamangalam, near Salem city of Tamil Nadu. Tall wooden  entrance doors with sharp spikes.  This temple is a hidden architectural wonder. ..............

 People of Tamil  Nadu are not familiar with  a beautiful old Hindu temple of Tharamangalam, a small  town  located about 27 km  west of  Salem City.  Dedicated to God Shiva,  this temple known as Kailasanathar temple is not popular as other Shiva temples of this state. Part of the reason is  lack of publicity on the part of the Tamil Nadu Tourism department, hence  this temple  go unnoticed by people visiting Salem and its vicinity  This 10th century temple is endowed with amazing stone sculptures,  attractive mantaps (halls) with ornate pillars.

it is said that parts of the temple have been around since the 10th century and records point out that the entire temple was completed by the 17th century during the reign of  the Gatti Mudhali dynasty.  The interesting aspect of  stone sculptures of this temple is they are all made out of monolithic stones and the catchy carvings are done with meticulous care and imagination.  

Kailasanathar temple, Tharamangalam, Salem

Tharamangalam, Salem

Above image: Kailasanathar ytemple, Tharamangalam, salem, dedicated to Sri Shiva. The image shows ornate pillar with Yali images supporting the cross stone beams and the ceiling.................

On the ceiling just in front of the entrance to the inner sanctum, one can see an  inverted open lotus with pairs of  beautiful  chains carved out of stone. The architectural marvel here is this  lotus can be rotated with a stick. The sculptors were not only imaginative, but also would have spent much time on  such  grand  sculptures. Another attraction is  an imposing Yali  (a mystic animal) with a big stone ball  inside its mouth, which can also be rotated.  That  how this  grotesque stone  figure with a huge rotating ball inside  the mouth  was sculpted  is a mystery. It shows the technical knowledge and sculptural finesse of  talented stone workers of the past era.  The  temple mantap also has  various  nicely carved  sculptures of  deities, men , women and others...........................

The main tower of the temple   conceived as a chariot drawn by elephants and horses  is a tall one -  90foot tall.  The main deity - God Shiva is enshrined in the sanctum and its access is  through a portico supported by six carved stone pillars.  There are  well- executed sculptures of princes  on horseback, apparently on a hunting expedition. On the walls of the temple  are embedded Nandi images, yet another common features in all south Indian Shiva temples.  Every year, it is said, in February the sun rays falling through a small hole will bathe the the image of Shiva in the main shrine. 

Tharamangalam temple ornate pillars

Salem, Tamil nadu, location map.

As in many of the Hindu temples  there are numerous well-made stone carvings of puranic episodes  from the Ramayana .The sculpture depicting the killing of Vali (Vali Vadham) by Sri Rama (hiding behind the tree) gets the attention of the visitors to this temple  From Vali's position, Rama's position is not visible, on the other hand  Sri Rama can view Vali's position.