The Temples of Tiruchanur – The Parasaresvara Temple

This temple is situated in Jogi-Mallavaram, a hamlet to the south of Tiruchanur. It is inhabited by the weaver community which plies a busy trade. There are eleven inscriptions incised on the walls of this temple. The earliest of them is dated in the 23rd year of the  reign of the Chola king, Rajaraja I, corresponding to 1008 AJ>. and the latest belongs to the 14th year of the reign of Rajaraja HI i.e., 1230A.D. The foundation of this temple may, therefore, be ascribed to about the middle of the 10th century, to a date very near the Chola conquest of Tondamandalam. The architectural features of die temple also justify this date. This temple seems to have lost its importance about the middle of the thirteenth century partly because the Alagiya perumal shrine of Tiruchanur became more popular and paidy because the Yadavaray a rulers of this region were more interested in the temples of Govindaraja in Tirupati and Sri Venkateswara at Tirumala.
The earliest inscription in this temple states that a certain Kodinambiyangadi of Solamandalam gifted 26 kalanju of gold for an offering to be made on the Uttarayana-Samkranti day (I- 18). A certain Naranadeva gifted the taxes due from a village for the burning of a lamp during the 3rd year of Rajendra Chola (1-21). Four servants of the temple received 128 cows from Tiruchchir- rambalanambi, another temple servant, and undertook to bum four lamps in the temple in the 24th year of Kulottunga I (1-23). A record dated in the 41 st year of the same reign states that the Mahesvaras of lirukkalatti-udaiyar (Kalahastisvara) excavated a tank for god Parasaresvara (1-25). One record of the 16th year of Vikrama Chola refers to the Vaikhasi festival (1-33). The Yadavaraya chief, Viranarasingadeva, gifted in the 7th year of Rajaraja III, sixputdof land and some taxes to this temple for instituting an offering named liruvardhayamam-padi and Tiruveluchchippadi to the god for the spiritual benefit of Narayanapillai, the son of the temple treasura; Pandiyadarayyar, and one who was killed in the battle of Urattut; fought by the Yadavaraya with the Kadavarayar (1-35). Rajarqja settled, in the 9th year ofbis reign, a dispute regarding a gift previouafy made by Kodinambiyangadi (1-36). A record dated in the 14th yell of the same reign registers a gift made by Vita Narasingadeva for  the celebration of the Masifestival (1-38). One undated fragment refers to the figure ofVighnesvara incised on a wall of the temple by an accountant of the temple (1-39).
This temple consists of a mantapa cum shrine ofVijayanagara times, a Nandi-mantapa behind it and die main shrine behind, which faces the east. The main shrine is in a rectangular enclosure with an only entrance in the south. It is surrounded by aprakara built of large blocks of stone. There is a narrow extension to the north enclosing a small shrine of Devi. .
There is a narrow verandah running on the south, west and north of the main shrine with the prakara wall at the back and a row of pillars in die front There are six pillars in the northern and southern verandahs, of which the last four have three rectangular blocks each below the capital while all the others are cubical. The capitals above all these pillars are alike. They consist of a rectangular block with an angle of 45° on the sides and a small rectangular block projecting to the sides at the bottom. These are typical Chola capitals the like of which can also be found in the earlier parts of the Govindarajasvami temple at Tirupad. There is a narrow open space between this verandah and the main shrine.
The Mukhamantapa is to the east of the main shrine. It contains two rows of four pillars each with corresponding pilasters in the eastern prakara wall. There is a low platform in the northern part of this mantapa on which the Navagrahas have been installed recendy.
The main shrine consists of two parts, the Garbhagriha and the Antarala. The latter is slightly narrower and projects from the former. Both face the east. Both are located over an Adhishtana or base, which has the Upana, griva, tripatta another griva and alingapattika. Above this are the walls of the Garbhagriha and Antarala, The walls of the Garbhagriha on the north, west and south contain two pilasters at either end with a koshtha between  two pilasters each, in the centre. This koshtha is surmounted by a plant domical torana which is typical of the Chola style. The walls of the Antarala contain three pilasters each. Each pilaster consists of a plain body with a kalasa, a cusion capital and a square phalaka above. The prastara above them is decorated with a Bhutamala or row of dwarfs in various comic poses. The Kapota or Cornice above it is ornamented with Nasikas at intervals. The central Koshta in the southern wall of the Garbhagriha contains a fine image of Dakshinamurthi, that in the western wall has the figure of Vishnu and the Koshta in the northern wall contains a figure of Brahma. The roof or Achchadana above the Garbhagriha contains on the edges a low parapet adorned with mahxras. The portion above die koshta in the wall below, contains the seated figure of Siva moulded in plaster. There are Nandis at the four comers.There is no parapet on the roof above the Antarala.
There is a low Vimana above the sanctum. Its Griva contains, in the four cardinal directions, a big Nasika or gable surmounted by Simhalalata. In between these Nasikas are shorter Nasikas resting on two pillars each. The bigger Nasikas contain inside them a kuta or a member with a domical crown. The space between thebiggCf and smaller gables is filled with rows of rafter ends. Above this Gtiydi
or neck is a large round Sikhara surmounted by a lotus and a kalasa  in the centre. The body of the temple is of stone while the Vimana  above is of brick and plastered all over.
This temple contains the following fine icons in the Chola style.

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