shrine too is guarded by two giant watchmen which are the largest images in the Madurai
temple. At the end of the western corridor is a choice collection of marble figures
representing all the idols in the temple of Banaras, presented by theRaja of Banaras
during one of his pilgrimages.
Beyond the Kambattadi Mandapam and towards the eastern gateway are four figures; three
(Bhairava, Veerabhadra, and
Sabhapati) are forms of Siva and the fourth represents the Goddess Kali. Each is animated
by a of motion and rhythm and "their numerous limbs and elaborate ornaments and
attributes make them probably the greatest triumph of technical skill in stone-cutting to
be found within the temple walls." The most remarkable of these figures is that of
Siva in the form of Sabhapati exhibiting a rare type of dance, which is referred to as
Urdhva Tandava and represents the God with his right leg raised straight up so as to reach
the top of his ear.
The jewels in Madurai temple are of immense value and are rare collections. Precious
stones, diamonds, emeralds and rubies are in abundance, donated through centuries by
princes and devotees. These ornaments are used to decorate the deity on important