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Plan of the Kailasanath Temple, Conjeeveram

Plan of the Kailasanath Temple, Conjeeveram

Artist: Anonymous

Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink

Date: 1800

Shelfmark: WD754

Item number: 754

Length: 65.6

Width: 37.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Pen-and-ink and water-colour drawing of the plan of the Kailasanath Temple at Kanchipuram, dated 1780-1820. Inscribed on front in ink: 'Plan of the Temple of Kylass Naud-Coil at Conjeveram'; also notes.

The holy Hindu town of Kanchipuram was the Pallava capital in the 7th and 8th centuries. The great Kailasanatha Temple was built by the ruler Rajasimha (A.D.700-728) at the beginning of the 8th century. The plan of the temple shows the layout of a typical Pallava sanctuary. The temple, entirely made of sandstone, faces east and is dedicated to Shiva. It is entered to the east through a gateway or gopuram. The courtyard in which it stands is surrounded by smaller shrines framed by pillars rising from the heads of rampant lions, typical of the Pallava style. The sanctuary enshrining the linga is covered by a four-storeyed pyramidal tower. In front of it stands a pillared pavilion (mandapa) decorated with sculptures of rearing yalis and Shaiva figures. This leads to another hall before the cell surrounded by a circumambulatory passageway.

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