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Virattaneswara Temple
About Shiva  -  Shiva Image Gallery
Pooja Cost : US$ 9.00 Leadtime : 3 Days
Location : Kancheepuram.
Main Deity : Virattaneswarar.
Nearest Town : Kancheepuram District : Kancheepuram State : Tamil Nadu
A shrine called Virattanesvara about a mile north-east of Ekambaranatha temple in Kanchi houses several Paadas (Foot-prints) in a row. Another oddity is that this temple is completely devoid of any parivara devatas like Nataraja, Bairavar, Brahma etc. but they are represented in paintings on the wall. Another curious feature is the presence of two broken pillars each exhibiting three images at the bottom of the shaft. In style, especially in the fall of the attire and head dress, they resemble the figures of Nagarjunaknoda of the Ikshavahu period.

The inside of the temple is not fashioned in the usual style. A big hall greets one at the entrance. In the north-west corner in a cell is Somaskanda of Rajasimha Pallava, heavily plastered with lime. Periapuranam relates the story of Chakya Nayanar converted from Buddhism to Saivism. The story goes that he threw stones at the Lingam instead of flowers as a devout offering. The paintings on the wall belong to the Vijayanagara period. In all probability, the early Pallavas true to their custom adorned the walls with Chitra instead of images, which must have been damaged provoking the Vijayanagara rulers to paint them afresh. Even Nayanmars like Appar find a place in the paintings. But all the paintings like Nataraja, Bairava and Surya have been badly damaged by soot.