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Jalakandeswarar Temple


The temple which had been built in the late Vijayanagar style, comprised of the main shrine and closed ambulatory passage around, and the integral Mahamantapa, with a northward projecting shub-shrine for Nataraja, containing also several other sub-shrines. The temple has two court yard, one is inner prakara and the other is outer prakara.

The structures in the court yard on the outer prakara include the lofty Gopuram on the southern side which is the entry to the temple. One the South-West corner of outer court yard is the Kalyanamantapa which is the gem of architecture of Late Vijayanagar style in embellishments and the art motifs of its pillars, ceilings and plinth moldings. It stands as testimony for the architectural workmanship of that period.
Jalakanteswarar or "Siva residing in the water" temple entrance is topped with a fine gopuram with massive wooden gates and studded with bosses of iron like lotus flowers. The best sculpture is found on the left side of the entrance, a porch which contains monolithic pillars of grandeur and delicacy of execution. The temple is adorned with some remarkable sculptures.

Walls have been built between its piers and white wash and fittings have reduced it to the condition which we thought appropriate to the noblest works of India. The great cornice has double flexures and its little trellis work of supports is a very elegant form. The outer facing is said to be about only an inch in thickness and its network of supports is more elaborate and delicate.

The bracket shafts are attached to the pier by a very elegant open work. The bracket shafts are mere monuments in a neglected condition. There are impressive sculptures in the temple particularly outside the swami sannathi and inside the main mandapam. The temple could be entered from the northern side and the sanctum sanctorum is a small low building and at the entrance there are dwarakapalas in blue granite. At the main entrance there are solid pillars, highly sculptured and decorated, supports the upper works.

The shrine is enclosed within an inner line of walls, having a low gopuram at the entrance. The carvings are crude compared with the outer enclosure. Sculpture work on the ceilings and pillars are rich in its characteristics. In the north west corner of the outer prakara there is a well which has a stone door way opening on a point which is usually below water level. The under ground mandapa or Neerazhi Mandapa is said to lead to a subterranean passage leading to the River Palar.


Fort, Vellore - 632 001
Telephone: 0416 - 222 3412, 222 1229
Mobile: +91 98947 45768, +91 98946 82111.