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Tharamangalam

Tharamangalam Kailasanathar Temple 

Tharamangalam is a small town situated near Salem in Tamil Nadu, which could go easily unnoticed by pilgrims or tourists visiting places like Salem, Yercaud etc. Kailasanathar (Lord Shiva) Temple here is truly an architectural wonder, being home to some exquisite stone carvings.
Taramangalam Siva Temple
Tharamangalam is famous also for its beautiful and historic Kailasanathar temple. The temple features exquisite stone carvings of the Yaali(mythological dragon), depicted with an actual stone ball inside its mouth (one can even put one's finger inside the Yaali's mouth and rotate the ball). The Kailasanthar Temple also has a carving of Manmathan looking at Siva and Parvathi, where if you look from Manmathan's side both Siva and Parvathi are visible but if you look from Parvathi's side, Manmathan is not visible since he is supposed to be hiding from Siva's view. Also depicted at the temple is a scene from the Hindu epic Ramayanam (Vali & Sukrivan fighting, depicted on one pillar, and Lord Ram with bow and arrow aiming to kill Vali depicted on another pillar).

Temple History and Architecture :  A Siva temple, perhaps the most beautiful of its kind in Salem District. Parts of it existed as early as the tenth century: as it stands now, it is the product of the Gatti Mudhali dynasty of the seventeenth century. Reconstruction and elaboration of the old temple was begun by Mummudi Gatti Mudaliyar, continued by Siyazhi Gatti Mudaliyar, and was brought near completion by Vanangamudi Gatti Mudaliyar.
Dharaimangalam Shiva Temple Near Salem
Tharamangalam Kailasanathar temple
This west facing temple is enclosed by a massive stone wall measuring 306' by 164' reportedly built in the thirteenth century. The main entrance tower ( 5 storeys 90'high) is conceived as a chariot on wheels, drawn by elephants and horses. The huge entrance doors, made of vengai ( pterocarpus marsupium) wood, are studied with untrusting iron knobs each of a different pattern. Their panels are decorated with wooden carvings depicting incarnations of Vishnu.

The entrance to the inner sanctum is through a portico supported by six sumptuously carved stone pillars. The scenes of tiger hunting by princes seated on horses and accompanied by footmen are depicted very realistically and with great sensitivity. A pillar of yazhi ( a mythical animal combining features of the lion and the elephant) is so ingeniously carved that a stone ball ( 4 ' diameter) in its mouth can be freely rolled but cannot be rolled out. The wooden doors of the portico are adorned with twenty four panels of excellent carving, some of which have been vandalized. The motifs for these carvings are drawn from the divine exploits of Siva and scenes from the daily lives of ordinary people.

The great hall is a fine gallery of sculptures of men, women, and Gods among which the sculpture of the voluptuous rishi pathini ( sages wife) is notable .

The ceiling is supported by rows of stone pillars from whose capitals hang elegant chains carved out of solid stone. The ceiling in front of the main shrine is covered by a block of stone seven feet in diameter carved in the shape of an inverted open lotus with parrots. This carving is surrounded by the Gatti Mudhali insignia. The outer walls of the inner most sanctum are covered with inscriptions.

Every year on February 21, and the consequent 3 days, a great solar and architectural wonder can be seen in the temple. During sunset, the rays of the sun travel down through the front Gopura at the temple's entrance gate and through a small hole in the and travels across the front plane to fall directly onto the statue of Siva. The movement of the sun beam can be witnessed as it progresses across the front of the temple, making the lingam appear to glow.

Several gigantic monolithic pillars of pink granite carved, polished, and ready for erection in the proposed Thousand Pillar Hall lie outside the temple. More are said to be under the ground. Before this project could be completed, Vanangamudi Gatti Mudaliyar was killed in 1667, leaving the foreground of the temple littered with ruins of a noble dream.

A temple tank (about (180' 180') is one of the finest of its kind in South India. Thirty Six Nandhi Sculptures (2' high) of black stone sit at intervals on top of the parapet wall whose inside holds 365 lamp niches. One for every day of the year.

How to Reach : Taramangalam is a panchayat town in Salem district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Tharamangalam Shiva Temple is located at a distance of 23 km from the city of Salem.
Frequent Town buses are available from Salem. And Buses are also available from Mettur, Erode and salem, Omalur.  தாரமங்கலம் சிவன் கோயில்
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