Kailasanatha Temple: Jewel of Kanchi
The sheer beauty of the Kailasanatha Temple of Kanchipuram is said to have saved the city from being destroyed. Probably one of the earliest stone temples built in South India, it also motivated many great rulers, from Chalukyan king Vikramaditya to Rajaraja Chola, who took their inspiration from this shrine dedicated to Shiva, to create masterpieces like the Virupaksha Temple in Pattadakal, in Northern Karnataka and the Brihadeshwara Temple in Thanjavur.
It was Pallava king Narasimha Varman who built the Kailasanatha Temple around 700 CE and called it the ‘Kanchi Mahamanihi’ or the ‘Great Jewel of Kanchi’. The Pallavas, who originally came from the Andhra region, ruled the northern part of present-day Tamil Nadu from the 4th to the 9th centuries CE, with their capital in Kanchipuram.