Jul 14, 2014

Chettinad Temples

The Chettiyar (earlier known as Nagarathars) community of Chettinad region constructed temples wherever possible. Like in other communities, this community too had clans. Each clan was associated with one temple with its own water tank. Each clan had their own rules and protocols to be maintained. The temple committee often played a big role in town planning, and a flourishing city soon developed around these temples.

These are some of the pictures of the interiors of the temples. Not all of them allow photography; wherever they permitted I clicked to my heart’s content. The sculted figures are so life like, almost telling a story.



Nine of these temples are the most famous ones. Illaiyathangudi, Mathoor, Vairavankoil, Nemamkoil, Illupaikudi, Surakuddi, Velangudi, Iraniyur and Pillaiyarpatti. Very complex names, but all are reachable and we toured them in a span of threes days crisscrossing the entire Chettinad region.


Each temple is unique. Religious activities dominated the daily life of people in these regions for centuries. The traditions and rituals handed down generations after generations and watching them perform these activities is interesting and valuable.

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One unusual aspect that was shared with me was that: People within the same temple are considered as siblings. The bride and groom should belong to different temples if they are to be married. Mathur temple is one exception where there are subdivisions within the temple. So marriage among brides and grooms of certain subdivisions are permitted.

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Our World Tuesday 

29 comments:

DeniseinVA said...

Greetings Indrani, your photos are always marvelous and show places I would love to see. This is a magnificent Temple, the engravings are fascinating with such lovely colors.

Sylvia K said...

And another incredible temple, glorious colors, incredible design/art!! They never cease to amaze me!! Thank you so much, Indrani, for sharing the beauty of your world!! Have a wonderful week!!

Cloudia said...

Striking especially to see western cherubs!



ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
=^..^= <3

Carver said...

Great shots of the temple. I love the artwork in the stone.

Photo Cache said...

a different temple from the usual that we see. love the ceiling art, is that considered mural?

Indrani said...

Thanks for the comments friends.
Photo Cache, those are paintings in ceiling.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Beautiful photos of the temples and interesting information.

ladyfi said...

Wow - wonderful temple shots. So gorgeous!

Sudhir R said...

Grand, Colorful, Unique these temples are. Good captures!

Bob Bushell said...

The wall paintings are amazing, I would like to go there, thanks Indrani.

Jane said...

How interesting and beautiful to see all the beautiful works of art! There must be so much history and symbolism associated withit all.
Thanks for sharing

Karen said...

Such beautiful detail everywhere!

Meghana Hassan said...

Beautiful architecture..

George said...

Thank you for these beautiful interior photos of the some of the temples. The details are very impressive, and the colors of some of the art is very vibrant. I'm glad you were able to get pictures.

Team G Square said...

Lovely pictures, those ceiling with painting are just marvelous.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Amazing art in stone and paintings - Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for stopping by.

Bushra Muzaffar said...

These pix look glorious...in South India temples were hub of socio-political life besides being the religious fronts...interesting to know a clan/family known by their temples...perhaps something related to gotras.

Athenas Take said...

Its nice to see people taking interests in maintaining the beauty of the temple, loved the paintings on the ceilings.

My Unfinished Life said...

awesome carvings and paintings on the temples!!

http://www.myunfinishedlife.com

EG CameraGirl said...

It's wonderful that at least some of the temples permit you to take photos, otherwise I might never see there wonders.

Jeevan said...

Interesting brief on the temples and its commitments over there! Excellent perspectives in photos...

R Niranjan Das said...

Such wonderful sculptures. Nice post!

Mahesh Divya said...

post n pics both are beautiful. Chettinad famous for its food too !

Kokila Gupta said...

Beautiful! As always... The names certainly are tongue twisters but I managed them alright :) The roofs offer a vibrant colour display which I have not seen in other temples in south... the sculpture as always is awe inspiring ...

Datta Ghosh said...

The use of pillars, is exquisite in all of them, It just adds to the grandness. The sculptures are flat not much elevated,Great pics, Thanks for sharing!

Beloo Mehra said...

Some great pictures, as always! Chettinad is one part of TN I have yet to explored. Thanks for this visual tour :)

Balaka Basu said...

I have read and heard a lot about Chettinad, but never got to visit. Your post almost gave me a tour. Thanks for this beautiful post.

Maniparna Sengupta Majumder said...

I'm yet to visit this part of the country...great sculptures and an informative account too, Indrani... :-)

Shweta Dave said...

Beautiful shots as always. I haven't seen these but temples always entice me. Thank you Indrani for sharing this post, liked it a lot.