Tamil Nadu is known as the land of temples. One of the biggest is Ekambaranathar.
This Hindu temple in Kanchipuram is dedicated to Shiva. Its one of the oldest, dating from around 600AD. The temple is huge with five prakarams (courtyards) covering about twenty five acres. The Raja Gopuram or entrance tower is one of the tallest. Rituals are performed throughout the day and it is always busy. Everyone was amazingly friendly and several asked to have photographs taken. We really enjoyed our time walking round in here.
In India mango trees are sacred so we had to visit the famous three thousand five hundred year old tree. It has four different types of mango each growing on different branches.
This temple in Tanjore has a long unpronounceable name and an equally incomprehensible explanation of its origins and history. It was built in the eleventh century by Rajendra Chola in honour of Shiva. All the rest of the information about its history was very – Indian! even in translation it made no sense at all. However it is a very nice temple.
Another temple dedicated to Shiva Brihadeshwara is said to be one of the best examples of Dravidian architecture. It was started in the eleventh century but has had may additions since. It is made of granite although this is not a local material.
This temple was built in the fourteenth century by Thirumalai Nayak. the ruler of Mudurai. It was destroyed but rebuilt again in the sixteenth century.
Completely different from the last one its very colourful. Thousands of figures stand between columns all brightly painted.
Very different temples but all amazing but this was enough temples for anyone. Time for a change of pace and state.
Next stop – Kerala.