Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mandagapattu Brahmadesam, Esalam and Ennaiyiram ASI maintained Temples near Gingee

In Villupuram district  between Gingee and Villupuram there are these ancient temples which have all been taken over by the ASI and are being renovated and are no longer in worship. These temples are from 500 AD onwards and have been built by Mahendra pallava and Raja Raja chola and Rajendra chola.The temples were all crumbling and dilapidated. The ASI has re  built them and is still continuing to painstakingly reconstruct them using the same materials to get these temples to their original pristine glory.
Situation of these temples.
All these temples are between Gingee Villupuram road and NH 45 about 18 kms from Villupuram.
On the Villupuram Gingee state highway Mandagapattu is 18 kms away and is on a short road to the right. There is a hillock with rock cut temple built by Mahendra pallava. Since there were ancient stone edicts which were being defaced the ASI has covered these temples with a steel cage gate and posted an employee for information nearby.
Just before Mandagapattu there is a turning to the right at Nemur. This road leads to Brahmadesam, Ennayiream, Esalam and further on to NH 45 via Periya Thatchur and Perani . It can thus also be accessed from NH 45 after Veedur crossing at Perani. .
Do not expect the ASI asst to be in the premise. If you are lucky you can meet him.
The Narasimhaswamy temple at Ennayiram is now having poojas and has rare vigrahas.
The Esalam Ramanadheshwara temple was the source of many idols and copper plates of Rajendra chola the third cache after Thiruvalangadu and is supposedly the last small temple Rajaraja chola built before the Tanjore big temple.
The maternal ancestry of Raja raja Chola is near here with the sambuvarayars . He grew up in this area and the Esalam temple was built as a tribute to his guru at this place.
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For a scholarly review see the link below
http://www.cmdachennai.gov.in/pdfs/seminar_heritage_buildings/Strengthening_and_Restoration_of_Heritage_Buildings.pdf