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Kanchipuram Mukteswara Temple Timings, History & Architecture

Mukteswara Temple is located in Kanchipuram(Kanchi) Tamil Nadu 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 amazing temple is one of the few structures that have remained in its 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.

Mukteswara Temple Timings

The Mukteswara Temple Kanchipuram opening and closing timings are given below.

Opening and Closing HoursTime
Morning6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Evening4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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Kanchipuram The City of Temples

Kanchi ka Mukteshwar Mandir, 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.

Kanchipuram Mukteswara Temple Timings

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

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.

Mukteshwar Temple Architecture

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.

Mukteshwar Temple Tamil Nadu History

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 honour of his queen Dharma Devi. The temple was also patronized by the Cholas and Vijayanagar dynasties in later centuries.

Mukha Mandap and a sanctuary are features of the west-facing temple. The structure is a Vesara Vimana with three tiers. This type is called Nagara Vesara Vimana in various Agama literature because the upper section of the vimana is in Vesara style and the lower part is in Nagara style. (For the information provided, we are grateful to the Sanskrit scholar and professor Sri. Sankara Narayanan).

famous temple in kanchipuram

Mukteswara Shiv Linga and the Somaskanda panel on the wall behind the Linga are revered in the sanctum. Brahma and Vishnu are shown standing behind Somaskanda (Shiva, Uma and Skanda). Dwarapalas round the panel on both sides.

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.


1. Why is the Mukteshwar temple famous?

Mukteshwar Temple is 350 year 350-year-old Shiva temple situated on top of a hill. The stone stairs lead you to the deity’s abode. The name Mukteshwar comes from the belief that Lord Shiva killed a demon here and gave him salvation (Mukti).

2. Who built the Mukteshwar temple at Kanchi?

The temple was built by Pallavas and has inscriptions dating back to the time of Nandivarman II.

3. How many temples are there in Kanchipuram?

There are more than one hundred and fifty temples.

4. Is Mukteshwar Temple a jyotirlinga?

It is believed that the Kaleshwara Mukteswara Swamy temple is one of the three temples of Lord Shiva of Trilinga Desham. All three temples are considered as Jyotirlingas that ornament the three corners of Telugu Land.

5. Is photography allowed in Mukteshwar Temple?

Yes, you can take photographs inside the temple.

6. How old is Mukteshwar Dham?

Mukteshwar Temple is 350 years old.

7. which temple is famous in Kanchipuram?

Kanchi Kailasanathar temple is a famous temple that was built in the 7th century AD by a Pallava king named Rajasimha known as Narasimhavarman II.

Thank You!

Sanjay Dangrocha
Sanjay Dangrocha is your guide to a world of adventure through his travel blog. Stay updated for your next journey to famous temples, travel adventures and must-visit places.”
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