I visited Chennai last June and immediately my good friend Mr. Chandra invited me for sunday trip to Uthiramerur. I jumped at this lucky chance little knowing what was in store.
We merrily got off early by 8 and reached this historic town by 10. After a hot breakfast of delicious pongal and dosas, we went to visit the Perumal temple ( with some lovely sculptures and edicts - will most later)
We then adjourned for the main event, visit to mark the opening ceremony for renovation of the Kailasanatha Temple. As i turned left into the road, i was hit by a thunderbolt. Nothing had prepared me or this sight, ok we have seen quite a few dilapidated temples, but something of this scale.
The temple was obviously a pallava build, a brick structure on a granite foundation. The overgrowth gave it a kind of Angkorian look, complete with huge overhanging rooted plants. We went round inspecting the amazing struggle of this edifice - as we entered the main shrine - something remarkable happened. I couldnt take pictures ( as this was the Garba graha) but let me try n bring you the sight in words. We were expecting the worst, the panel behind the main shrine was empty ( could have held a wooden somaskanda panel in days of yore), the main ceiling slab had cracked, was expecting the worst seeing the collateral damage outside, but the ingenuity and engineering of the ancients was there for everyone to see - there stood the most perfect jet black shiva linga - shining in all his glory, not a scratch on him. With watery eyes and flesh tingling with goose pimples, we went around the gopuram ( tower) - the granite foundation has inscriptions all over, covered in dust, filth, dirt, name it.
As we cleaned it, we had a trained epigraphist who read out the old tamil…the inscriptions were those of Rajendra Chola ruled 1014 AD ( the son of Raja Raja Chola who built the great temple in tanjore and who himself built the temple in Gangaikonda cholapuram)
Some more and we fond inscriptions of Danti Varma Pallava ( 830 AD approx)
But due to the sterling efforts of REACH foundation and a generous donation from this noble soul, ( who sold his land to fund the initial renovation ) work has started to restore this great temple to its former glory. We seek the support of like minded souls to contribute generously.
Read this in தமிழ்