Dedicated to Lord Siva, Kailasanatha is one of the earliest temples built by the Pallava Rajasimha Varman and his son Mahendra Varman in the 8th century A.D. There are 58 small shrines situated round the main shrine. The Pallavas also built the better known Mahabalipuram monuments and anyone who has seen these will experience a sense of deja vu at the Kailasanathar complex. An epitome of an early structural temple, Kailasanath Temple reflects the rapidly emerging South Indian style: gopuras, pilastered walls, a pyramidal shikhara, and a perimeter wall enclosing the complex.
Paintings of Fresco-style adorn the inner walls of the shrines. It has an attractive panel depicting Shiva and Parvathi in the midst of one of their innumerable dance competitions. Sandstone was used in the construction of this temple. It is the only temple at Kanchipuram which is not cluttered with the more recent additions of the Cholas and Vijayanagar rulers. Fragments of the eighth century murals which once graced the alcoves are a visible eminder of how magnificent the temple must have looked when it was first built.
King Rajaraja Chola’s visit to Kailashanathar temple inspired him to build the big temple at Thanjavur.
There is a curious tunnel around the sanctum sanctorum which has a very narrow opening at the entrance and a larger one at the exit. The interesting belief is that of the cycle of life. The passageway around the inner sanctum in this temple is blocked at the entrance and in the exit – with only a one feet tunnel like opening to enter the passageway. You have to crawl through these small tunnels in order to go around the sanctum. The belief is that, once you have crawled through these two tunnels, you have left your sins behind and have been reborn.The sanctum is closed between 12noon and 4pm but the main temple is open throughout the day for non worshipping visitors who want to see the architectural marvels.
The temple was relatively less crowded and that enhanced the beauty of this exquisite temple.
Darshan Timing : 6.00am-12.00pm & 4.00pm-7.00pm