The Kampahareshwarar temple is approximately 9 kms from Kumbakonam on the Kumbakonam – Mayiladuthurai road and located in small town called Tribhuvanam. This temple is dedicated God Shiva. The story goes that a King once killed a Brahmin by mistake and was cursed with “kampa” (a Sanskrit word which means shivering). He prayed to God Shiva and Shiva being pleased with his prayers cured him from shivering. Thus the temple is known as Kampahareshwarar or one who relieves you of kampa or shivering.
The temple was constructed during the reign of King Kulothunga III and the last of the temples to be built by the Chola dynasty. Later on other dynasties such as the Chera and the Pandya made additions to this temple. The temple is very artistic, impressive and very colourful. The temple has a massive “Vimana” (the tower structure above the sanctum sanctorum of a South Indian temple) which is about 160 feet tall. There are intricate sculptures all over this temple and the temple is replete with sculptures depicting various episodes from Hindu epic such as “The Ramayan”. There are innumerable dance poses, procession of musicians and I have tried to capture these during the course of my photography of this temple. One of the fascinating feature of this temple is that the front part has been has been designed and constructed to resemble a chariot.
There is also a shrine dedicated to “Sarabeshwara” a deadly fusion of man, eagle and lion. The story goes that God Vishnu who took the form of “Narasimha” - Half man half lion to vanquish the demon Hirnayakashipu. Thereafter God Vishnu became uncontrollable. The celestials beings prayed to God Shiva to subdue Narasimha. God Shiva took the form of Sarabeshwar a strange fusion of man, eagle and lion to quell the fury of Narasimha.
I was saddened to see many beautiful carvings of Ganesh, Subramanya and other beautiful icons that have suffered damages at the hands of invaders in the past unceremoniously dumped in a dusty corridor of this temple. These are beautiful priceless icon and though damaged deserve to be cared for and displayed with reverence.
There is also an exquisitely charming statue of Goddess Vishnu Durga whose nose has been chopped off by the invaders many centuries ago. Despite the damage the beauty is unmistakable. This icon is being worshipped despite the damage (a damaged icon is not worshipped in South Indian temples).
A very beautiful, huge, impressive and a colourful temple indeed.
Enjoy the pictures.
Category:Architecture and Structures
Keywords:Southindiantemples, Choladynasty, Kampahareshwra, Kulothungaiii, Shivatemple, Shivatemple, Tribhuvanam
The pictures are exquisite and so is the temple. The courtyard is huge and clean and the outer carvings are beautiful.
Who would wonder that a small town like Tribhuvanam can contain such glorious piece of art. Thanks for bringing this alive through your photography.
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© Shankar Adisesh