KAUŚIKĪŚVARA TEMPLE, KĀÑCĪPURAM

  1. Present Name of the temple : Kauśikīśvara, Co(To)kkīśvara
  2. Name in inscription : Teṙkkirunda Nakkar
  3. Location of the temple : Centre of the city, South west corner of Kāmākṣi Amman temple, Kāñcīpuram
  4. Period of the temple : The Parakesari inscription in the temple was assigned to Uttama Coḹa by the early scholars and the temple assigned to Parāntaka I by Sri. S.R.Balasubrahmanyam. But Sri. K.R.Srinivasan rightly pointed out that the temple belongs to the phase II on the ground of Architectural features and the parakesari is Rājendra I. Hence the temple belongs to the first quarter of the 11th Century CE.
  5. Structure of the temple : The temple is a simple Ekatala ṣaḍvarga vimāna. The vimāna is divided into Adhiṣṭhāna, Pādavarga, Kapotavarga, Grīvā, śikhara and stūpi.
  6. Type of the vimāna : Nāgara till Prastara and Veśara above. (Veśara according to Vāstu texts and Nāgara-veśara according to āgama texts.)
  7. Architectural features
KAUŚIKĪŚVARA TEMPLE

KAUŚIKĪŚVARA TEMPLE

          The temple has a square garbhagṛha and a ardhamaṇḍapa. The portions after the ardha maṇḍapa are damaged which can be traced from the cut parts in the adhiṣṭhāna and the kapota varga at the front. The Koṣṭhas have the recent figures (inscribed 2009 beneath them) except the Gaṇeśa in the ardhamaṇḍapa Koṣṭha. The ardha maṇḍapa is lesser in breadth than the garbhagṛiha which lays on the Vinyāsasūtra. The Adhiṣṭhāna is of pādabandha type. A siṃhamukha praṇālikā is placed by cutting the Kaṇṭha portion of the adhiṣṭhāna.

Adhiṣṭhāna

Adhiṣṭhāna

The Koṣṭhas might have had the usual Pañca koṣṭha deities. The figure of sages on either sides of the right koṣṭha and the Dakṣiṇāmūrti in the grīvākoṣṭha above suggest that the Koṣṭha was adorned with the figure of Dakṣiṇāmūrti. The Left Koṣṭha at the ardha maṇḍapa has a siṃha in the gāḍha of the toraṇa above which clearly indicates the koṣṭha is dedicated for Kātyāyanī. Behind to that, the koṣṭha with haṃsa in the gāḍha of the toraṇa above and the grīvā koṣṭha clearly indicate that the koṣṭha is dedicated to Brahmā.

Left Koṣṭhas

Left Koṣṭhas

The Devakoṣṭhas are placed by cutting the Vedī varga. All the Devakoṣṭhas are decorated with fully ornamented toraṇas. The Devakoṣṭhas that is dedicated for Dakṣiṇāmūrti has a decorated prastara. The Nakulapāda flanking the Koṣṭha are of Brahmakānta type and ¾ in breadth of the Kuḍya stambhas. The prastara of the Koṣṭhas are decorated with Koṇapaṭṭas and two Alpanāsikās. The nāsīs of the Koṣṭha prastara have siṃhavaktras and the lupa portion is decorated with beautiful Candramaṇḍalas. The Gāḍhas of the kapota nāsikās have Padma padakas and the Mukhapaṭṭis are adorned with śaivālas. Above the prastara portion a small vyāla mālā with makaras in the edges is carved. A small grīva-bhūṣaṇa portion followed by a Vedikā portion is decorating the upper portion. The Toraṇa is of Patra type and extended upto the Prati portion. The Gāḍha has an image of Dakṣiṇāmūrti with four hands and seated in Utkūṭikāsana. The upper hands have Akṣamālā and agniśikhā and the lower hands are abhaya and doḷā positions.

Koṣṭha for Dakṣiṇāmūrti

Koṣṭha for Dakṣiṇāmūrti

Other Devakoṣṭhas have the same pattern except the toraṇa portion. The toraṇa above the Gaṇapati is very unique and the gāḍha portion divided into three portions.  The left portion has Umāliṅganamūrti in seated position. The upper two hands are not clear and the right hand touches the breast of pārvatī. Pārvatī seated on the lap of my father has karaṇḍa makuṭa and other ornaments. The central portion has Nṛtta ganapati with a bhūta. The right edge has the figure of Pārvati worshipping my father under the mango tree. The Toraṇa is of makara type and has a kīrtimukha at the top.

Toraṇa above Gaṇapati

Toraṇa above Gaṇapati

Gaṇapati in the Koṣṭha is very beautiful and common of the period. He is decorated with Karaṇḍa makuṭa. Graiveyaka and Upagraiveyaka adorns his neck. He has four hands with Pāśa, Aṅkuśa, Danta and Modaka. His trunk seems to be attached recently. He has upavīta and udarabandha. He seated on Lalitāsana above a Padma pīṭha. A Mūṣika and three bhūta gaṇas are carved beneath his pīṭha. Two bhūtas are depicted on both sides.

Koṣṭha for Gaṇapati

Koṣṭha for Gaṇapati

The Padma Valabhi instead of the usual Bhūtamālā is very significant. The full Kapota in the prastara varga has Candra maṇḍalas and beautiful koṇapaṭṭas at the edges. The special feature of this temple is the Gāḍha of the kapota nāsīs which depicts various sthala purāṇas. Worship of Liṅga by pārvatī, monkey, serpent, cow and so on are depicted inside the gāḍha portion. Mukhapāṭṭi of the nāsīs have beautiful śaivālas and a well carved siṃhavaktras. Some of the nāsīs are damages and others remain very beautiful. Few nāsīs at the front have only padma padakas inside the gāḍha.

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The Vyāla varga above the prastara varga has makara faces. The pratis are designed upon the antari, āliṅga, Vājana and kampa segments.

Bhūmi deśam and super structure

Bhūmi deśam and super structure

The Rudra chanda grīva portion is well designed and the grīvākoṣṭhas are very excellently carved. The grīvā koṣṭhas have Dakṣiṇāmūrti, Yoga Narasiṃha and Brahmā as prescribed in Pūrvakāraṇāgama.

कुमारं पूर्वदिग्भागे दक्षिणामूर्तिकं यमे।

वारुणे तु नृसिंहं वा केशवं वापि कारयेत्।।

ब्रह्माणमुत्तरे देशे स्कन्धरे तु विशेषतः।।

पूर्वकारणागमः 7.90,91

The Dakṣiṇāmūrti in the grīvākoṣṭha is seated on Vīrāsana and has four hands Agniśikhā, akṣamālā, Cinmudrā and a grantha adorn his hands. He has jatāmakuṭa with karoṭikā inside. Beautiful anklets adorn his legs.

Dakṣiṇāmūrti

Dakṣiṇāmūrti

Yoga Narasiṃha in another grīvā koṣṭha has karaṇḍa makuṭa. He has four hands and śaṅkha, cakra adorns his upper hands. His lower hands are placed on his knees which has a yogapaṭṭa.

Narasiṁha in Grīvākoṣṭha

Narasiṁha in Grīvākoṣṭha

Brahmā in the left grīvā koṣṭha is four faced and four handed. His upper hands bear Akṣamālā and Kamaṇḍalu whereas the lower hands have Abhaya and Kaṭaka. He is decorated with the neck ornaments, Upavīta and udarabandha. Āprapada silk cloth adorns his lower body. Kirīṭa makuṭa adorns his head.

Brahmā in Grīvākoṣṭha

Brahmā in Grīvākoṣṭha

All the grīvākoṣṭhas have vṛṣas with well carved bells on either sides except the one in the front. The Nakulapādas of the grīvākoṣṭhas are of brahmakānta type. A small vedikā is placed beneath the nakulapādas. The Mahānāsīs above the koṣṭhas are well carved with Mṛṇālikās and the siṃhavaktra is well designed. The gāḍha portions of all the grīvā koṣṭhas have motif of vimāna in them. The grīvā portions are projected approximately one third of the length of the koṣṭha.

The Karṇa kūṭas in the grīvā are very much notable. The Karṇakūṭas are of Catur varga type and the Prastara portion has nāsī. Koṇapaṭṭas are decorating the edges and the stūpīs are missing. Only two karṇakūṭas are there and one is put on the surface and partially demolished.

Karṇakūṭa

Karṇakūṭa

The portions beneath the Oṣṭha are Uttara, vājana and valabhi. The rudrakānta śikhara is crowned by the limbs, Pālikāstāna, Mahāpadma and ūrdhvapaṭṭikā.

Oṣṭha details

Oṣṭha details

The stūpī consisting of Padma, Gala, Ghaṭa, pālikānāla and kuḍmala is crowning the whole structure.

Measurements

The garbhagṛha is measured as 15 x 15 feets and the ardhamaṇḍapa measures 5 x 12. The breadth of the ardhamaṇḍapa is minimized to 9/10th and further to 4/5th of the garbhagṛha. The length of the ardhamaṇḍapa is reduced to 1/3rd of the grbhagṛha.

7.1. Adhiṣṭhāna varga

          The Upāna acts as a base on which a kampa, Padma and a upopānas are placed. The heights of the these limbs are

          Upāna          –        1½ Aṃśas

          Kampa          –        ½ Aṃśa

          Padmopāna   –        2½ Aṃśas

          Upopāna       –        ½ Aṃśa

          The Adhiṣṭhāna is of normal Pādabanda and has Jagatī, Aśṭāśra kumuda, Kampa, Gala, Ūrdhva kampa, Vājana and a Kampa above the last. The measurements of the limbs are

          Jagatī           –        7 Aṃśas

          Kumuda        –        7 Aṃśas

          Kampa          –        1 Aṃśa

          Gala             –        3 Aṃśas

          Ūrdhva kampa-       1 Aṃśas

          Vājana          –        3 aṃśas

          Kampa          –        1 aṃśa

          These measurements follow the prescription of Pūrvakāraṇāgama’s Adhiṣṭhāna vidhi paṭala.

पर्वतांशं जगत्युच्चमब्ध्यंशं कुमुदोन्नतम्।

वस्वश्रं कुमुदं ज्ञेयमेकांशेनोर्ध्वपट्टिका।।

कन्धरन्तु गुणांशेन व्योमांशेनोर्ध्वपट्टिका।

महापट्टी गुणांशेन एकं स्यात्पादबन्धनम्।।

पूर्वकारणागमः 5.22-24

7.2. Vedīvarga

Then the Vedikā starts with the following measurements.

          Vedikā kaṇṭha         –        2 Aṃśas

          Kampa                   –        1 aṃśa

          Padma                   –        1 aṃśa

          Vājana                   –        1 aṃśa

          Ūrdhvakampa         –        ½ aṃśa

7.3. Pādavarga

The Pāḍavarga is consisting with Kuḍya stambhas of Brahmakānta type. The measurement till the Mālāsthāna is of 15 Aṃśas and the further parts of the pilasters are as follows

          Mālā                      –        4½ aṃśas

          Kampa                   –        ½ aṃśa

          Abja                      –        1 aṃśa

          Hīrakam                 –        ½ aṃśa

          Abja                      –        1 aṃśa

          Kampa                   –        1 aṃśa

Laśuna                   –        4½ aṃśas

          Kaṇṭha                   –        1 Aṃśa

Tāṭī                       –        3 aṃśas

Padma                             –        1 aṃśa

          Maṇḍī                    –        2 Aṃśas

Phalaka                  –        2 Aṃśas

Vīrakaṇṭha              –        4 Aṃśas

          Potīkā                    –        4 Aṃśas

          Uttara                    –        5 Aṃśas

          The Mālāsthāna is decorated with Muktādāma and Adhomukha padma. The Laśuna part is adorned with pūrima type of decorations. The Pālī is of Padma type. Potikā is of tenon type.

Kuḍyastambhas

Kuḍyastambhas

7.4. Prastara varga

          The measurements of the elements of the above limbs are as below

          Uttara                    –        3½ aṃśas

          Vājana                   –        1 Aṃśa

          Padma valabhi        –        3 Aṃśas

          Antarī                    –        ½ Aṃśa

          Ūrdhva Kṣepaṇaka   –        1 Aṃśa

          The limbs above the prastara couldn’t be measured by me since climbing is prohibited.

The Ekatalavimāna prescribed in Pūrvakāraṇāgama is near to the measurements of this temple.

          This type of Ekatala vimāna with karṇakoṣṭhas is named as suviśāla in Ajitāgama. Other scriptures like Kāśyapa śilpa, Kāmikāgama, Dīptāgama and Mayamata give the name as śrībhoga.

  1. Inscription

          There is one inscription at the Paṭṭikā part of the adhiṣṭhāna. The text of the inscription is

Line 1: ஸ்வஸ்திஸ்ரீ கோப்பரகேசரி பற்மற்கு யாண்டு பதினைஞ்சாவது காஞ்சிபுரமானகரத்தோம் இந்நகரத்தில் கோனேரியார் எல்லைக்குத் தெற்கு இன்நிலம் உடையார் முத்தவாள் பெற்ற கைக்கோளரில் ஆச்சன் சேனாச்சன் இந்நகரத்து கடும்பிடுகு மேற்காப்பில் கரிகாலப்பிள்ளையாற்கு திருவமுதுக்கு மாநகரத்தோம் விற்றுக்குடுக்கிற நிலமாவது வடபாற்கெல்லை

Line 2:           கோநேரியார் நிலத்துக்குத் தெற்கும் கீழ்பாற்கெல்லை பெருவழிக்கு மேற்கு தென்பார்கெல்லை திருவூரகத்தாழ்வாழ் நிலத்துக்கு வடக்கும் மேற்பார்க்கெல்லை குழிக்குக் கிழக்கும் இன்னாற்பாற்கெல்லை உள் அகப்பட்ட நிலம் உடையார் முத்தவாள் பெற்ற கைக்கோளரில் ஆச்சன் சேனாச்சன் பக்கல் பெறுவிலைக்….

Line 3:           கப்பட்ட நிலம் முன்னூறும் விற்று விலையாவணஞ்செய்து செம்பிலும் கல்லிலும் வெட்டிக்கொள்வதாகவும் செய்து குடுத்தோம் கடும்பிடுகு மேல்காப்பில் தெற்க்கிருந்த நக்கர் கோயிலில் கரிகால சோழப்பிள்ளையார்க்கு ஆச்சன் சேனாச்சனேன் தெர்க்கிருந்த நக்கர்க்கு வைத்த சந்தி விளக்கு ஒன்றுக்குமிக்கோயில் காணியுடைய பாதபதி எங்குச்சோழந்தரணேந்திரபட்டனும் இவந்தம்பி திருவேகம்

Line 4:            பட்டனும் கைக்கொண்ட பழங்காசு ௩ மூன்றுங்கைக்கொண்டோம் இவை தரணேந்த்ர பட்டஸ்ய

Line 5:             சிலாலேகை பண்ணிநேந் திருவேகம்ப பட்டஸ்ய.

Line 1: svastiśrī kopparakecari paṟmaṟku yāṇṭu patiṉaiñcāvatu kāñcipuramāṉakarattom innakarattil koṉeriyār ĕllaikkut tĕṟku iṉnilam uṭaiyār muttavāḽ pĕṟṟa kaikkoḽaril āccaṉ ceṉāccaṉ innakarattu kaṭumpiṭuku meṟkāppil karikālappiḽḽaiyāṟku tiruvamutukku mānakarattom viṟṟukkuṭukkiṟa nilamāvatu vaṭapāṟkĕllai

Line 2: koneriyār nilattukkut tĕṟkum kīḻpāṟkĕllai pĕruvaḻikku meṟku tĕṉpārkĕllai tiruvūrakattāḻvāḻ nilattukku vaṭakkum meṟpārkkĕllai kuḻikkuk kiḻakkum iṉṉāṟpāṟkĕllai uḽ akappaṭṭa nilam uṭaiyār muttavāḽ pĕṟṟa kaikkoḽaril āccaṉ ceṉāccaṉ pakkal pĕṟuvilaik….

Line 3: kappaṭṭa nilam muṉṉūṟum viṟṟu vilaiyāvaṇañcĕytu cĕmpilum kallilum vĕṭṭikkŏḽvatākavum cĕytu kuṭuttom kaṭumpiṭuku melkāppil tĕṟkkirunta nakkar koyilil karikāla coḻappiḽḽaiyārkku āccaṉ ceṉāccaṉeṉ tĕrkkirunta nakkarkku vaitta canti viḽakku ŏṉṟukkumikkoyil kāṇiyuṭaiya pātapati ĕṅkuccoḻantaraṇentirapaṭṭaṉum ivantampi tiruvekam

Line 4: paṭṭaṉum kaikkŏṇṭa paḻaṅkācu ௩ mūṉṟuṅkaikkŏṇṭom ivai taraṇentra paṭṭasya

Line 5: cilālekai paṇṇinen tiruvekampa paṭṭasya.

           This record registers a sale of three hundred Kuḹi land by the nagarattār of Kāñcīpuram to Āccaṉ Seṉāccaṉ, a member of Mūttavāḷ peṙṙa kaikkoḷar who endowed it for providing food offerings to the god Karikālacoḹappiḷḷaiyār in the temple of Teṙkkirunda nakkar at Melkāppu.

The limits of the land are

          Northern limit         :        south to the land of Koṉeriyār

          Eastern limit           :        west to the main road (peruvaḹi)

          Southern limit         :        north to the land of Tiruvūrakattār (Ulakaḷanda perumāḷ)

          Western limit          :        east to the Kuḹi land.

          The land that falls on the above four limits is sold to the Āccaṉ. The same donor also endowed three Paḹaṅkāśu for a twilight lamp to the god Teṙkkirunda nakkar. The priests of the temple Pādapadi alias Coḹan Dharaṇendra bhaṭṭan and his brother Tiruvekampa bhaṭṭan took over the kāśu and agreed to burn the lamp. It is allowed to record the same in stone and copper plate. Tiruvekampa bhaṭṭan made the stone inscription.

Koneri referred here can be compared with that of Konerikuppam in Kāñcīpuram.

The inscription is published in South Indian Inscription Vol XIX with the number 365.

  1. Legends

          Once Pārvatī closed the eyes of my father and three worlds fell into darkness. My father cursed Pārvatī to born in the earth. Due to her curse, her body became very dark and the dark form separated from her which was called as Kauśikī. She has worshipped here at the temple and the name of the lord became Kauśikīśvara. This legend is found in Kāñcīpurāṇa.

காஞ்சிப்புராணம்

சிவாலய சருக்கம்

  1. உமைகவுரி யாகியநாட் டிருமேனித் திமிரமதோ ருருவ மாக

            வமர் தருமூ விலைச்சூலி புரி தொக்கீசம் அப்பால் ஞால

kāñcippurāṇam

civālaya carukkam

umaikavuri yākiyanāṭ ṭirumeṉit timiramato ruruva māka
vamar tarumū vilaiccūli puri tŏkkīcam appāl ñāla

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