The visitors enter through the arch away near the first entrance called
Kerlanthakan gate way, rising to a height of 90 feet. Next comes the grand gate called Raja Raja vasal
embellished with exquisitely carved figures. Beyond this lies the sculptural wealth studded in the
courtyard, measuring about 500 long and 250 feet broad, and is surrounded by a high compound
wall with a deep most to its eastern and western sides. In fact, the temple is occupying a large portion
of a fort built for strategic purpose in the past.
On crossing this, we enter the temple only to be petrified at the multiplicity of minishrines,
mandapams, mahamandapams, Prakarams, Simhadwarams built for several purposes like
Ardhamandapa Sthapanamandapa, Nataraja Mandapa, Vadya Mandapa enshrining statues, paintings etc.
As we go round from one end to another, we come across, many types of imposing statues exuding
sculptural excellence, as it were.
These shrines are dedicated to
Vinayaka, Subramanya, Parvathi and many other adorable personages, like Dwarapalakas and
Jain saints along with a fair sprinkling of the emancipated demons and Nandi.
Of the highlights of this superb shrine, grand frescoes in the inner courtyard deserve mention and
indispensable attention, since they are reminiscent of the splendid Ajanta cave paintings of eternal