Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur
Brihadishvara Temple called Rajarajesvaram or Peruvudaiyar Koyil, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the largest South Indian temples and an exemplary example of a realized Dravidian architecture, it is called as Dhakshina Meru. Built by Raja Raja Chola I between 1003 and 1010 AD, the temple is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Great Living Chola Temples", along with the Chola dynasty era Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple and Airavatesvara temple that are about 70 kilometres and 40 kilometres to its northeast respectively; the original monuments of this 11th century temple were built around a moat. It included gopura, the main temple, its massive tower, inscriptions and sculptures predominantly related to Shaivism, but of Vaishnavism and Shaktism traditions of Hinduism; the temple was damaged in its history and some artwork is now missing. Additional mandapam and monuments were added in centuries; the temple now stands amidst fortified walls.
Built out of granite, the vimana tower above the sanctum is one of the tallest in South India. The temple has one of the largest Shiva lingas in India, it is famed for the quality of its sculpture, as well as being the location that commissioned the brass Nataraja – Shiva as the lord of dance, in 11th century. The complex includes shrines for Nandi, Kartikeya, Sabhapati, Chandeshvara and others; the temple is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Tamil Nadu. Brihadishvara is a Sanskrit composite word composed of Brihat which means "big, lofty, vast", Ishvara means "lord, supreme being, supreme atman"; the name means the "great big Shiva" temple. Locally, the temple is called the big temple, while in historic inscriptions it is referred to as the Rajarajeswaram and Peruvudaiyar temple; the Brihadeswara Temple is located in the city of Thanjavur, about 350 kilometres southwest of Chennai. The city is connected daily to other major cities by the network of Indian Railways, Tamil Nadu bus services and the National Highways 67, 45C, 226 and 226 Extn.
The nearest airport with regular services is Tiruchirappalli International Airport, about 55 kilometres away. The city and the temple though inland, are at the start of the Cauveri River delta, thus with access to the Bay of Bengal and through it to the Indian Ocean. Along with the temples, the Tamil people completed the first major irrigation network in the 11th century for agriculture, for movement of goods and to control the water flow through the urban center. A spectrum of Hindu temple styles continued to develop from the 5th to the 9th century over the Chalukya era rule as evidenced in Aihole and Pattadakal, with the Pallava era as witnessed at Mamallapuram and other monuments. Thereafter, between 850 and 1280 CE, Cholas emerged as the dominant dynasty; the early Chola period saw a greater emphasis on securing their geopolitical boundaries and less emphasis on architecture. In the 10th century, within the Chola empire emerged features such as the multifaceted columns with projecting square capitals.
This, states George Michell, signaled the start of the new Chola style. This South Indian style is most realized both in scale and detail in the Brihadeshvara temple built between 1003 and 1010 by the Chola king Rajaraja; the main temple along with its gopurams are from the early 11th century. The temple saw additions and repairs over the next 1,000 years; the raids and wars between Muslim Sultans who controlled Madurai and Hindu kings who controlled Thanjavur caused damage. These were repaired by Hindu dynasties. In some cases, the rulers attempted to renovate the temple with faded paintings, by ordering new murals on top of the older ones. In other cases, they sponsored addition of shrines; the significant shrines of Kartikeya and Nandi are from the 16th and 17th-century Nayaka era. The Dakshinamurti shrine was built later; the Brihadeshvara temple plan and development utilizes the symmetrical geometry rules. It is classified as Perunkoil, a big temple built on a higher platform of a natural or man-made mounds.
The temple complex is a rectangle, two stacked squares, covering 240.79 metres east to west, 121.92 metres north to south. In this space are five main sections: the sanctum with the towering superstructure, the Nandi hall in front and in between these the main community hall, the great gathering hall and the pavilion that connects the great hall with the sanctum; the temple complex integrates a large pillared and covered veranda in its spacious courtyard, with a perimeter of about 450 metres for circumambulation. Outside this pillared veranda there are two walls of enclosure, the outer one being defensive and added in 1777 CE by the French colonial forces with gun-holes with the temple serving as an arsenal, they made isolating the temple complex area. On its east end is the original main gopuram or gateway, barrel vaulted, it is less than half the size of the main temple's vimana. Additional structures were added to the original temple after the 11th century, such as a mandapa in its northeast corner and additional gopurams on its perimeters to allow people to enter and leave from multiple locations.
Some of the shrines and structures were added during the Pandya, Nayaka and Maratha era, before the colon
Hinduism is an Indian religion and dharma, or way of life practised in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal tradition", or the "eternal way", beyond human history. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder; this "Hindu synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE, after the end of the Vedic period, flourished in the medieval period, with the decline of Buddhism in India. Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, shared textual resources, pilgrimage to sacred sites. Hindu texts are classified into Smṛti; these texts discuss theology, mythology, Vedic yajna, agamic rituals, temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Āgamas.
Sources of authority and eternal truths in its texts play an important role, but there is a strong Hindu tradition of questioning authority in order to deepen the understanding of these truths and to further develop the tradition. Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma, Artha and Moksha. Hindu practices include rituals such as puja and recitations, meditation, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals, occasional pilgrimages; some Hindus leave their social world and material possessions engage in lifelong Sannyasa to achieve Moksha. Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, forbearance, self-restraint, compassion, among others; the four largest denominations of Hinduism are the Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Smartism. Hinduism is the world's third largest religion. Hinduism is the most professed faith in India and Mauritius, it is the predominant religion in Bali, Indonesia.
Significant numbers of Hindu communities are found in the Caribbean, North America, other countries. The word Hindū is derived from Indo-Aryan/Sanskrit root Sindhu; the Proto-Iranian sound change *s > h occurred between 850–600 BCE, according to Asko Parpola. It is believed that Hindu was used as the name for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. According to Gavin Flood, "The actual term Hindu first occurs as a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus", more in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I; the term Hindu in these ancient records did not refer to a religion. Among the earliest known records of'Hindu' with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by Xuanzang, 14th-century Persian text Futuhu's-salatin by'Abd al-Malik Isami. Thapar states that the word Hindu is found as heptahindu in Avesta – equivalent to Rigvedic sapta sindhu, while hndstn is found in a Sasanian inscription from the 3rd century CE, both of which refer to parts of northwestern South Asia.
The Arabic term al-Hind referred to the people. This Arabic term was itself taken from the pre-Islamic Persian term Hindū, which refers to all Indians. By the 13th century, Hindustan emerged as a popular alternative name of India, meaning the "land of Hindus"; the term Hindu was used in some Sanskrit texts such as the Rajataranginis of Kashmir and some 16th- to 18th-century Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava texts including Chaitanya Charitamrita and Chaitanya Bhagavata. These texts used it to distinguish Hindus from Muslims who are called Yavanas or Mlecchas, with the 16th-century Chaitanya Charitamrita text and the 17th-century Bhakta Mala text using the phrase "Hindu dharma", it was only towards the end of the 18th century that European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus. The term Hinduism spelled Hindooism, was introduced into the English language in the 18th century to denote the religious and cultural traditions native to India. Hinduism includes a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions, but has no ecclesiastical order, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, no prophet nor any binding holy book.
Because of the wide range of traditions and ideas covered by the term Hinduism, arriving at a comprehensive definition is difficult. The religion "defies our desire to define and categorize it". Hinduism has been variously defined as a religion, a religious tradition, a set of religious beliefs, "a way of life". From a Western lexical standpoint, Hinduism like other faiths is appropriately referred to as a religion. In India the term dharma is preferred, broader than the Western term religion; the study of India and its cultures and religions, the definition of "Hinduism", has been shaped by th
Architecture of Tamil Nadu
Nearly 33,000 ancient temples, many at least 800 to 2000 years old, are found scattered all over Tamil Nadu. As per Tamil Nadu Hindu Endowments Board, there are 38615 Temples. Most of the largest hindu Temples reside here. Studded with complex architecture, variety of sculptures, rich inscriptions, the temples remain the essence of the culture and heritage of Tamil land, with historical records dating back to at least 3,000 years; the state abounds with a large number of temple tanks. The state has 2,359 temple tanks located in 1,586 temples. and confluence of many architectural styles. From ancient temples to the Indo-Saracenic style of the colonial era, mosques to 20th-century steel and chrome of skyscrapers. Throughout Tamilakam, a king was considered to be divine by nature and possessed religious significance; the king was'the representative of God on earth’ and lived in a “koyil”, which means the “residence of God”. The Modern Tamil word for temple is koil. Titular worship was given to kings.
Other words for king like “kō” “king”), “iṟai” “emperor”) and “āṇḍavar” “conqueror”) now refer to God. Tolkappiyar refers to the Three Crowned Kings as the “Three Glorified by Heaven”. In the Dravidian-speaking South, the concept of divine kingship led to the assumption of major roles by state and temple. From 300BCE - 300CE, the greatest accomplishments of the kingdoms of the early Chola and the Pandyan kingdoms included brick shrines to deities Kartikeya, Shiva and Vishnu. Several of these have been unearthed near Adichanallur, Kaveripoompuharpattinam and Mahabalipuram, the construction plans of these sites of worship were shared to some detail in various poems of Sangam literature. One such temple, the Saluvannkuppan Murukan temple, unearthed in 2005, consists of three layers; the lowest layer, consisting of a brick shrine, is one of the oldest of its kind in South India, is the oldest shrine found dedicated to Murukan. It is one of only two brick shrine pre Pallava Hindu temples to be found in the state, the other being the Veetrirundha Perumal Temple at Veppathur dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
The dynasties of early medieval Tamilakkam expanded and erected structural additions to many of these brick shrines. Sculptures of erotic art and deities from the Meenakshi Temple, Ranganathaswamy Temple date from the Sangam period. Many of the temples of this time would of been wooden thus would not have survived til modern times; the Pallavas ruled from AD and their greatest constructed accomplishments are the single rock temples in Mahabalipuram and their capital Kanchipuram, now located in Tamil Nadu. Pallava art and architecture represent an early stage of Dravidian art and architecture which blossomed to its fullest extent under the Chola Dynasty; the first stone and mortar temples of South India were constructed during Pallava rule and were based on earlier brick and timber prototypes. The earliest examples of Pallava constructions are rock-cut temples dating from 610 – 690 CE and structural temples between 690 – 900 CE. A number of rock-cut cave temples bear the inscription of the Pallava king, Mahendravarman I and his successors.
The greatest accomplishments of the Pallava architecture are the rock-cut Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram at Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the Shore Temple. This group includes both excavated pillared halls, with no external roof except the natural rock, monolithic shrines where the natural rock is cut away and carved to give an external roof. Pallava sculptors graduated to free-standing structural shrines which inspired Chola temples of a age; some of the best examples of Pallava art and architecture are the Kailasanathar Temple at Kanchipuram, the Shore Temple and the Pancha Rathas of Mahabalipuram. Akshara was the greatest sculptor of their time. After the close of the Sangam age, the first Pandyan empire was established by Kadungon in the 6th century by defeating the Kalabhras, The empire ruled AD. Rock cut and structural temples are significant part of pandyan architecture; the Vimana and mandapa are some of the features of the early Pandyan temples. Groups of small temples are seen at Tiruchirappalli district of Tamil Nadu.
The Shiva temples have a Nandi bull sculpture in front of the maha mandapa. In the stages of Pandyas rule, finely sculptured idols, gopurams on the vimanas were developed. Gopurams are portals of the temples. Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai and Nellaiappar Temple in Tirunelveli were built during the reign of the Pandyas. Nellaiappar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located in Tirunelveli, built by Pandyas and the sanctums of the temple were constructed by Nindraseer Nedumaran who reigned in the 7th century; the mani mandapam with its famous musical pillar was built by Later Pandyas in the 7th century. Nellaiappar temple is spread over 14 acres; the gopuram of this temple is 756 feet wide. Sangili Mandapam built on 1647 by vadamalaiyappa pillayan connects the Ganthimathi Amman and Nellaiyappar temples. From the inscriptions of Kulasekkara Pandiyan we learn that he defeated the Chera and Hoysala kings and built the outer walls of the temple with the war booty; the temples in Kalugumalai, a rocky hill in Thoothukudi district in southern Tamil Nadu.
Kalugumalai houses the 8th century Jain Beds, Vettuvan Koil and Kalugasalamoorthy Temple, a Murugan temple at the foothills. The rock-cut temples and the carvings are exemplary of early Pandyan architecture; the Jain beds are dedicated to the Hindu religious figures. Constructed in rock cut style, the unfinished temple was built during the reign of Pandyan king Parantaka Nedunjadaiya. There are approx
Mandapa in Indian architecture is a pillared outdoor hall or pavilion for public rituals. In the Hindu temple the mandapa is a porch-like structure through leading to the temple, it is part of the basic temple compound. The prayer hall was built in front of the temple's sanctum sanctorum. A large temple would have many mandapas. If a temple has more than one mandapa, each one is allocated for a different function and given a name to reflect its use. For example, a mandapa dedicated to divine marriage is referred to as a kalyana mandapa; the hall was pillared and the pillars adorned with intricate carvings. In contemporary terms, it represents a structure within which a Hindu wedding is performed; the bride and groom encircle. When a temple has more than one mandapa, they are given different names. Artha Mandapam or Ardh Mandapam – intermediary space between the temple exterior and the garba griha or the other mandapas of the temple Asthana Mandapam – assembly hall Kalyana Mandapam – dedicated to ritual marriage celebration of the Lord with Goddess Maha Mandapam – When there are several mandapas in the temple, it is the biggest and the tallest.
It is used for conducting religious discourses. Sometimes, the maha mandapa is built along a transversal axis with a transept. At the exterior, the transept ends by a large window which brings light and freshness into the temple. Nandi Mandapam – In the Shiva temples, pavilion with a statue of the sacred bull Nandi, looking at the statue or the lingam of Shiva. Ranga Mandapa Meghanath Mandapa Namaskara Mandapa Open Mandapa In Indonesia, the mandap is known as a pendopo. Unusually, Indonesian pendopos are built for Muslim communities. Many mosques follow the pendopo design, with a layered roof to resemble Mount Meru. In Tamil, this platform is the Aayiram Kaal Mandapam – a distinctly thousand pillared hall close to the vimana of the Koil which forms a distinct part of the site plan of classical Dravidian architecture; the Burmese term mandat, which has etymological origins in Pali maṇḍapa, is an open platform or pavilion from which people spray water to passers-by during the Buddhist festival Thingyan.
A mandapa in Thai is a mondop. It features in Thai temple art and architecture, either in the form of a Hor Trai or as an altar shrine such as the one in Wat Chiang Man in Chiang Mai. Pendopo Wedding mandap Zayat Photo of four-pillared Kakatiya mandapa Photo of relief in a mandapa Floor plan of North Indian temple with mandapa
Surya is a Sanskrit word that means the Sun. Synonyms of Surya in ancient Indian literature include Aditya, Bhanu, Pushan, Martanda and Vivasvan. Surya connotes the solar deity in Hinduism in the Saura tradition found in states such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. Surya is one of the five deities considered as equivalent aspects and means to realizing Brahman in the Smarta Tradition. Surya's iconography is depicted riding a chariot harnessed by horses seven in number which represent the seven colours of visible light, seven days in a week. In medieval Hinduism, Surya is an epithet for the major Hindu gods Shiva and Vishnu. In some ancient texts and arts, Surya is presented syncretically with Ganesha or others. Surya as a deity is found in the arts and literature of Buddhism and Jainism. Surya is one of the nine heavenly houses in the zodiac system of Hindu astrology. Surya or Ravi is the basis of Sunday, in the Hindu calendar. Major festivals and pilgrimages in reverence of Surya include Makar Sankranti, Ratha Sapthami, Chath puja and Kumbh Mela.
The oldest surviving Vedic hymns, such as the hymn 1.115 of the Rigveda, mention Sūrya with particular reverence for the "rising sun” and its symbolism as dispeller of darkness, one who empowers knowledge, the good and all life. However, the usage is context specific. In some hymns, the word Surya means sun as an inanimate object, a stone or a gem in the sky; the Vedas assert Sun to be the creator of the material universe. In the layers of Vedic texts, Surya is one of the several trinities along with Agni and either Vayu or Indra, which are presented as an equivalent icon and aspect of the Hindu metaphysical concept called the Brahman. In the Brahmanas layer of Vedic literature, Surya appears with Agni in the same hymns. Surya is revered for the day during the night; the idea evolves, states Kapila Vatsyayan, where Surya is stated to be Agni as the first principle and the seed of the universe. It is in the Brahmanas layer of the Vedas, the Upanishads that Surya is explicitly linked to the power of sight, to visual perception and knowledge.
He is interiorized to be the eye as ancient Hindu sages suggested abandonment of external rituals to gods in favor of internal reflections and meditation of gods within, in one's journey to realize the Atman within, in texts such as the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Chandogya Upanishad, Kaushitaki Upanishad and others. The Mahabharata epic opens its chapter on Surya that reverentially calls him as the "eye of the universe, soul of all existence, origin of all life, goal of the Samkhyas and Yogis, symbolism for freedom and spiritual emancipation. In the Mahabharata, Karna is the son of unmarried princess Kunti; the epic describes Kunti's trauma as an unmarried mother abandonment of Karna, followed by her lifelong grief. Baby Karna is found and adopted by a charioteer but he grows up to become a great warrior and one of the central characters in the great battle of Kurukshetra where he fights his half brothers. Surya is celebrated as a deity such as the ancient works attributed to Ashoka, he appears in a relief at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya, riding in a chariot pulled by four horses, with Usha and Prattyusha on his sides.
Such artwork suggests that the Surya as symbolism for the victory of good over evil is a concept adopted in Buddhism from an earlier Indic tradition. Sun is a common deity in ancient and medieval cultures found in South America, Europe and Asia; the features and mythologies of Surya share resemblances with Hvare-khshaeta of pre-Islam Persia, the Helios-Sol deity in the Greek-Roman culture. Surya is a Vedic deity, states Elgood, but its deity status was strengthened from the contacts between ancient Persia and India during the Kushan era, as well as after the 8th-century when Sun-worshipping Parsees moved to India; some Greek features were incorporated into Surya iconography in post-Kushan era, around mid 1st millennium, according to Elgood. The iconography of Surya in Hinduism varies with its texts, he is shown as a resplendent standing person holding lotus flower in both his hands, riding a chariot pulled by one or more horses seven. The seven horses are named after the seven meters of Sanskrit prosody: Gayatri, Ushnih, Trishtubha and Pankti.
The Brihat Samhita, a Hindu text that describes architecture and design guidelines, states that Surya should be shown with two hands and wearing a crown. In contrast, the Vishnudharmottara, another Hindu text on architecture, states Surya iconography should show him with four hands, with flowers in two hands, a staff in third, in fourth he should be shown to be holding writing equipment, his chariot driver in both books is stated to be Aruṇa, seated. Two females flank him, who represent the dawn goddesses named Usha and Pratyusha; the goddesses are shown to be shooting arrows, a symbolism for their initiative to challenge darkness. The iconography of Surya has varied over time. In some ancient arts from the early centuries of the common era, his iconography is similar to those found in Persia and Greece suggesting adoption of Greek and Scythian influences. After the Greek and Kushan influences arrived in ancient India, some Surya icons of the period that followed show him wearing a cloak and high boots.
In some Buddhist artwork, his chariot is shown as being pulle
Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram
Varadharaja Perumal Temple or Hastagiri or Attiyuran is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in the holy city of Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the Divya Desams, the 108 temples of Vishnu believed to have been visited by the 12 poet saints, or Alwars, it is located in a suburb of Kanchipuram known as the Vishnu Kanchi, a home for many famous Vishnu temples. One of the greatest Hindu scholars of Vaishnava VisishtAdvaita philosophy, Ramanuja is believed to have resided in this temple; the temple along with Ekambareswarar Temple and Kamakshi Amman Temple in Kanchipuram is popularly known as Mumurtivasam, while Srirangam is referred to as: ‘Koil’ and Tirupati as:‘Malai’. Among the Divya Desams, Kanchipuram Varadaraja Perumal temple is known as: ‘Perumal Koil’; this is one of the most sacred places for Vaishnavites. The fourth of the Divya Desams that completes this series is Melukote--which is known as Thirunarayanapuram. Vaishnavites believe that visiting all four places without a break will guarantee one a place in paramapadam.
There is another famous temple of Varadarajaswamy in Kurmai, of Palamaner mandal in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh, called the Kurma Varadaraja Swamy Temple. Indra, the king of celestial deities, after getting released from the curse of Goddess Saraswati, installed the silver and golden lizards who were the witness of the ordeal. Brahma performed a yagna here, about to be washed away by the fast flowing river Vegavathi, known today as Palar River; the temple deity, Vishnu laid himself flat to stay the flow and the yagna was performed. Vishnu stayed here permanently; as is the case with the association of South Indian temples with a sacred tree, the name of the temple, Attigiri is derived from Atti tree, considered sacred to Vaishnavas. As per Hindu legend, the Hindu god of creation, separated with his wife Saraswathi over a misunderstanding, he did an Aswameda worship seeking boons from Vishnu. Vishnu was pleased by the devotion and came out from under the earth as a boar and got Saraswathi unite with Brahma.
As per another legend, Saraswathi cursed the king of celestial deities, Indra, to become an elephant and roam around the place. He was relived off the curse with the divine power of Vishnu, who appeared as Hastagiri. Attagiri indicates a mount in the form of elephant; as per another legend, the disciples of sage Gautama were cursed to become lizards. They were relieved off the curse by the divine grace of Vishnu. There is a panel in the temple. Thirukkachi Nambigal was an ardent devotee of this temple, he used to bring flowers everyday from Poovirundhavalli. He did Aalavatta Kaingariyam, waving to produce breeze with the help of hand fan, it is believed. Aalavatta Kaingariyam is a worship practise followed in modern times also. Nambi composed Devarajaashtakam on the presiding deity. Sri Ramanujar, another great Vaishnavite, got answers to his six questions from Lord Varadharaja through Sri Thirukkachi Nambigal; the temple has around 350 inscriptions from various dynasties like Chola, Telugu Chodas, Cheras, Sambuvaraya and Vijayanagara indicating various donations to the temple and the political situation of Kanchipuram.
There is a belief that the temple was first built by the Pallava king Nandivarman II. Varadharaja Perumal Temple was built by the Cholas in 1053 and it was expanded during the reigns of the great Chola kings Kulottunga Chola I and Vikrama Chola. In the 14th century another wall and a gopura was built by the Chola kings; when a Mughul invasion was expected in 1688, the main image of the deity was sent to Udayarpalayam, now part of Tiruchirapalli District. It was brought back with greater difficulty after the involvement of local preceptor who enlisted the services of general Todarmal. Robert Clive, the British general during the colonial period visited the Garuda seva festival and presented a valuable necklace, adorned during a special occasion every year. There are inscriptions dated 1532 CE indicating the gift of number of villages made by Achutaraya. Vira Narasingaraya Saluva Nayaka, directed by Achutaraya broke the royal order by giving more lands to Ekambaranathar temple than the Varadaraja Swamy temple against the instruction of an equal gift to either of the temples.
Achutaraya on hearing this distributed the lands to both the temples. In modern times, the administration is carried out by Hindu Religious and Endowment of the Government of Tamil Nadu. There are inscriptions dated 1532 CE indicating the gift of number of villages made by Achutaraya. Vira Narasingaraya Saluva Nayaka, directed by Achutaraya broke the royal order by giving more lands to Ekambaranathar temple than the Varadaraja Swamy temple against the instruction of an equal gift to either of the temples. Achutaraya on hearing this distributed the lands to both the temples. There is an inscription from the 13th century from the Hoysalas, indicating a gift of a crown to the presiding deity. During the 17th century, the temple was under the attacks from Mughals headed by Aurangazeb; the idols of the temple were ported to Udayarpalayam in modern-day Tiruchirapppali district during 1688. It was only during 1710, but the chieftain of Udayarpalayam opposed the move and only after the intervention o
Chennai is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is the biggest cultural and educational centre of south India. According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the sixth most populous city and fourth-most populous urban agglomeration in India; the city together with the adjoining regions constitute the Chennai Metropolitan Area, the 36th-largest urban area by population in the world. Chennai is among the most visited Indian cities by foreign tourists, it was ranked the 43rd most visited city in the world for the year 2015. The Quality of Living Survey rated Chennai as the safest city in India. Chennai attracts 45 percent of health tourists visiting India, 30 to 40 percent of domestic health tourists; as such, it is termed "India's health capital". As a growing metropolitan city in a developing country, Chennai confronts substantial pollution and other logistical and socio-economic problems. Chennai had the third-largest expatriate population in India at 35,000 in 2009, 82,790 in 2011 and estimated at over 100,000 by 2016.
Tourism guide publisher Lonely Planet named Chennai as one of the top ten cities in the world to visit in 2015. Chennai is ranked as a beta-level city in the Global Cities Index, was ranked the best city in India by India Today in the 2014 annual Indian city survey. In 2015 Chennai was named the "hottest" city by the BBC, citing the mixture of both modern and traditional values. National Geographic mentioned Chennai as the only South Asian city to feature in its 2015 "Top 10 food cities" list. Chennai was named the ninth-best cosmopolitan city in the world by Lonely Planet. In October 2017, Chennai was added to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network list for its rich musical tradition; the Chennai Metropolitan Area is one of the largest municipal economies of India. Chennai is nicknamed "The Detroit of India", with more than one-third of India's automobile industry being based in the city. Home to the Tamil film industry, Chennai is known as a major film production centre. Chennai has been selected as one of the 100 Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under Smart Cities Mission.
The name Chennai is of Telugu origin. It was derived from the name of a Telugu ruler Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu, father of Damarla Venkatapathy Nayak, a Nayak ruler who served as a general under Venkata III of the Vijayanagar Empire from whom the British acquired the town in 1639; the first official use of the name Chennai is said to be in a sale deed, dated 8 August 1639, to Francis Day of the East India Company before the Chennakesava Perumal Temple was built in 1646 while some scholars argue for the contrary. The name Madras is of native origin, has been shown to be in use before the British presence in India. A Vijayanagar-era inscription dated to the year 1367 that mentions the port of Mādarasanpattanam, along with other small ports on the east coast was discovered in 2015 and it was theorised that the aforementioned port is the fishing port of Royapuram. According to some sources, Madras was derived from Madraspattinam, a fishing-village north of Fort St George. However, it is uncertain.
The British military mapmakers believed Madras was Mundir-raj or Mundiraj,which was the name of a telugu community of rulers of nayakasThere are suggestions that it may have originated from a Portuguese phrase Mãe de Deus or Madre de Dios, which means "mother of God", due to Portuguese influence on the port city referring to a Church of St. Mary. In 1996, the Government of Tamil Nadu changed the name from Madras to Chennai. At that time many Indian cities underwent a change of name. However, the name Madras continues in occasional use for the city, as well as for places named after the city such as University of Madras, IIT Madras, Madras Institute of Technology, Madras Medical College, Madras Veterinary College, Madras Christian College. Stone age implements have been found near Pallavaram in Chennai. According to the Archaeological Survey of India, Pallavaram was a megalithic cultural establishment, pre-historic communities resided in the settlement; the region around Chennai has served as an important administrative and economic centre for many centuries.
During the 1st century CE, a poet and weaver named. From the 1st–12th century the region of present Tamil Nadu and parts of South India was ruled by the Cholas; the Pallavas of Kanchi built the areas of Mahabalipuram and Pallavaram during the reign of Mahendravarman I. They defeated several kingdoms including the Cheras and Pandyas who ruled over the area before their arrival. Sculpted caves and paintings have been identified from that period. Ancient coins dating to around 500 BC have been unearthed from the city and its surrounding areas. A portion of these findings belonged to the Vijayanagara Empire, which ruled the region during the medieval period; the Portuguese first arrived in 1522 and built a port called São Tomé after the Christian apostle, St. Thomas, believed to have preached in the area between 52 and 70 CE. In 1612, the Dutch established themselves near Pulicat, north of Chennai. On 20 August 1639 Francis Day of the East India Company along with the Nayak of Kalahasti Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu, travelled to the Chandragiri palace for an audience with the Vijayanager Emperor Peda Venkata Raya.
Day was seeking to obtain a grant for land on the Coromandel coast on which the Company could build a factory and warehouse for their trading activities and was successful i