Panels behind Garbhagriham, Kailasanatha Temple, Great Conjeeveram, Chingleput District
Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the sculpture panels on the walls of the shrine of the Kailasanatha Temple at Kanchipuram, taken by a photographer of the Archaeologogical Survey of India around 1900-01. 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 at the beginning of the 8th century. It is dedicated to Shiva and faces east. The courtyard in which the temple is situated 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 pyramidal tower. In front of it stands a hypostile pavilion (mandapa) decorated with sculptures of rearing yalis and Shaiva figures. This leads to another hall before the cell surrounded by a circumambulatory passageway. The sculptures in this view depict Bhikshatanamurti and Shiva appearing out of the linga flanked by Vishnu and Brahma. In the foreground there is a monolithic sculpture of the bull Nandi.