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Chandesvarar sculpture found at Umaiyalpuram [Art & Culture]
A sculpture of Chandesvarar, believed to belong to 10th century AD, has been found at Sundaikkai village near Umaiyalpuram on Tiruchi-Musiri highway by research scholars of the Dr. M. Rajamanikkanar Centre for Historical Research, Tiruchi.
It is an early Chola icon. Headgear is arranged as "jatabhara" and the apparel at the hip is short and wavy and is kept in place by a well draped 'idaikkattu.' Seated in 'suhasana' with one leg folded and kept on the seat, his other leg rests on a pedestal.
He is decorated with a sacred thread, a band at the stomach, and scanty ornamentation. His left ear has palm leaf rolled and inserted as a kundala while the right ear is naked. A broad necklace adorns his neck. His right hand holds a broad-bladed axe whereas his left hand rests on his thigh.
Chandesvarar is one of the 63 Nayanmars of the Saivite sect and was the first among them to find a place in temples. He is housed in a separate shrine on the northern side of all the Saivite temples, facing the presiding deity.
He is the only devotee to have the credit of getting announced as His son by the Lord Himself and is given the very high rank of Chandesapatham.
The most distinguished shrine of Chandesvara was built by Rajaraja I at the Rajarajesvaram at Thanjavur.
The discovery of the icon suggests the presence of a dilapidated Siva temple in the vicinity and a study would be undertaken by research scholars to identify the same.