Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Edaganatheswar Temple -Tiruvedagam, Sholavandan

This is another very old padal petra sthalam of Siva situated in serene surroundings away from the dust and din of the city. There are two temples here one for Siva known here as Edaganathar and one for Parvati known as Elvaarkuzhali. Both the temples have separate gopurams (tower) and entrances. Edakanthar temple has a Dwaja sthamba at the entrance and a Nandi atop a platform. On either side of the entrance there are shrines for Vinayagar and Murugan . The Sivalingam is small and is visible only with the help of oil lamps.

When we circumambulated the temple we could see the usual shrines dedicated to various Gods typical of any Siva temple like Dakshinamurthy facing the South, Lingodh bhavar at the back facing the West and Durgai amman on the North side. Behind sanctum sanctorum on the right side there is shrine for Shanmugan and just outside his shrine we could see the idols of Sapthu mathrukal, Irattai Ganpathi, Durgai, and Lakshmi. There is a separate shrine for Nataraja and Sivakami on the North -East corner . An idol of Bairavar and Navagrahas are also outside this shrine.

There is an inter connecting door between the Amman and Sivan temple. There are beautiful carving on each pillar inside the temple. There are 3 idols of Sakthi around this sanctum sanctorum known as Ichha sakthi, Gnana sakthi and Kriya sakthi. There is also a small Vinayagar shrine behind this temple in the inner prakaram. The divine couples palliyarai (sleep chamber) is also in this temple.

It is believed that marriage obstacles are removed if one prays and conducts Archana at this temple. A wedding ceremony was in process when we were there. Another specialty of this temple is there is annadanam (offering of free lunch to devotees and poor) in the temple every day , for this contributions are accepted from the interested pilgrims or the temple provides food on its own. This I found very attractive as it may be useful for a wary traveler or a hungry person who will at least get a meal a day.

This is the 14 th Siva sthalam of Pandiya nadu, so reads the sthala puranam board outside. The legend is that a Pandya king had embraced Jainism under the influence of Jains and this was not to the liking of his wife who was the daughter of Chozha king. She arranged to invite saint Gnana Sambandar to resolve the matter. The Jains challenged Tiru Gnana Sambandar for a verbal duel of poetry. The first was fire duel in which both wrote a verse and threw it in fire. The verse of Sambandar survived where as the verse written by Jains turned to ashes. The enraged Jains then challenged for a cold duel in which the verses of both were floated (pathigam) in the Vaigai river. The leaf (edu) of Sambandar reached the other side of the river flowing against the current while the one floated by Jains got blown away in the current and they were humbled, restoring Saivism to its past glory.. The place where Sambandar's Edu landed is called Tiru edagam. Hence the deity here is named Thiruedaganathar. The Eduthurai eriya utsavam is very famous here which falls in the month of May. The sthala vricksham is Vilvam and is just outside the temple and this place is also called as Vilvaranyam. Saint Sambandar has composed many hymns on the God here.

The nearest railway station is Madurai, only 16 Kms. from this temple. Regular buses ply from the city to this place. Madurai is well connected by air to Chennai, Bangalaore and Mumbai.

Madurai city has many hotels suiting to individual needs from budget to luxury hotels.


Anuradha Shankar said...

that was a nice one, chitra... hadnt heard of this temple..... should go there the next time i am in madurai.

chitra said...

Hi Anu

You would definitely enjoy the trip. These temples are not crowded and it is easy to have darshan and at the same time enjoy the beauty of the temple in a leisurely manner. Exquisite carvings are there on the pillars of Amman temple.

HaRy!! said...

14th ithu thana? wow! as again, i think hav been here looong back if i only cud remember well. Anyways nala tour guide neenga! nandri!

chitra said...

Thanks Hary. Good my post helped you to recollect your visit. As all the temples resemble each other and it becomes difficult to recollect after a few years.

Felicity Grace Terry said...

What a wonderful place to be married. I loved the pictures of the shrines and the carvings on the pillars, such workmanship.

chitra said...

Petty Witter,
There are exquisite pillar carvings inside the temple but were unable to take the photos as cameras are prohibited inside the temple.