Mukteswara Temple is located in Kanchipuram(Kanchi) and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This lesser-known temple Mukteswar Temple built in the 8th century CE during the period of Nandivarman Pallava. This gem of a temple is one of the few structures that have remained in their original condition with no damage except natural wear and erosion. The temple has been built in a mixed style of architecture on a raised platform.
Kanchipuram – The City of Temples
Kanchipuram, situated on the banks of the Vegavathi river is the place where Lord Brahma worshipped Varadharaja Perumal (Lord Vishnu). The earliest archaeological evidence found tells us that Kanchipuram was a flourishing religious, political, and trading center in 300 BCE. Kanchipuram is not only an important center for Hindu temples but also for Jainism and Buddhism. Among the major temples located in Kanchipuram are Ekambareswarar, Kamakshi Amman, Kailasanathar, and Kumarakottam temples. Kanchipuram is home to Kanchi Math known as Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. It was established by Adi Shankaracharya. Kanchipuram is divided into two parts – Shiva Kanchi and Vishnu Kanchi. The western part of the city is Shiva Kanchi and has most of the Shiva temples. The eastern part is Vishnu Kanchi and has most of the Vishnu temples. The area around Kanchipuram is rich in medicinal plants, some of them are found only in this area and are mentioned in historical inscriptions. Kanchipuram now is also known as Kanchi.
Muktesvara – Giver of the Ultimate Aim of Life
Mukteswar Temple is made up of two words – Mukti and Ishwar. Translated this means the ‘Lord who Frees’. Freedom from what? Freedom from the cycle of birth and death is the final aim and goal of Sanatan Dharma. Mukti is the last and the highest position a devotee can get to after many births.
Mukteshwar Temple Architecture and Artistry at Par with the Finest
This lesser-known temple almost lost in the bylanes of Kanchipuram is a splendid example of ancient architecture. The temple itself is not very large in comparison to other contemporary structures but is a marvel that has miraculously survived in its original form since the 8th century CE. The damage that can be noticed is due to natural wear and erosion. The temple has been in existence for more than 1200 years and some damage is to be expected.
The small but magical temple has sculptures and carvings on its wall to rival the finest workmanship of that period. The temple consists of the Sanctum and the Mukhya Mandap. Enshrined in the Sanctum is a Shivling known as Muktesvara. Behind the Shivling is a panel known as Somaskanda with carvings of Lord Shiva, Mata Parvati, and Kartik Swamy. Two Dwarapalakas can be seen on the side of Somaskanda. Adjacent to the Somaskanda are sculptures of Lord Brahma and Vishnu. The walls of the Sanctum have carvings of various Devtas on them. Outside Nandi can be seen waiting patiently for His Lord to come out. The pillars of the temple also have intricate carvings of lions and Lord Shiva’s Ganas. Besides these, there are many other sculptures and carvings on the outer walls. The entire temple inside and outside is covered with these.
Don’t miss out on this temple
Mukteshwar Temple history records show this temple was built by Nandivarma Pallava in the 8th Century CE. At that time it was also known as Dharma Maha deveeswaram in honor of his queen Dharma Devi. The temple was also patronized by the Cholas and Vijayanagar dynasty in later centuries.
If you are planning to go to Kanchipuram be sure to include this temple on your visiting list. Among the many other attractions of Kanchipuram, it is easy to miss out on Mukteswar Temple. This is a temple that will fill your heart with joy and bring out inner peace in you.
Kanchipuram Mukteswara Temple Timings
|Morning Hours||6:00 am – 12:00 pm|
|Evening Hours||4:00 pm – 8:30 pm|