SRI RANGAM - the Largest functioning Hindu Temple in the World was patronised by the Chola, Pandya, Hoysala, Vijayanagara and Madurai Nayak dynasties. Their collective contributions made it as the biggest temple complex in the country.
Ancient Tamil Sangam literature makes mention about this temple and the temple abounds inscriptions dating between the early Chola and late Nayak periods. The inscriptions contain interesting and valuable information on the history, culture and economy during a period of over a thousand years.
”Sesharayar Mandapam” is famous for its monolithic pillars with sculptures of horses built during the Vijayanagara rule (1336-1565 CE). This Mandapam is a symbol of pioneer of art of the rulers of the Vijayanagar Empire and was called as 'Horse Court' by western historians.
The eight magnificent horses and riders on their backs dominate this Mandapam where the sculptors have run riot.
The warriors on the horses are fighting with tiger helped by infantry. The sharp edge of the sword piercing through and peeping out of the tiger's mouth and body must be sculpted with great care and effort.
The intricate carvings in ornamentations with minute detailing stand as witness to the artistic fingers of sculptors of the Nayak era.
Though the temple was crowded as usual, it was a pity that no local visitors were in this mandapam when I visited, except a few foreigners who were wondering and taking notes on the sculptures.
Forgetting to step into this Treasure trove of exquisite sculptures when visiting the Srirangam temple will be a great disrespect to expertise of the artisans.
Thanks To Mister Madhu Jagadish.