Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tirukazhu kundram Vedagirishwarar ThazhKovil

This a continuation of my earlier post. The temple in the town is known as the The Vedagirishwarar tazh kovil or Tripurasundari Amman koil as she has a separate sannidhi here.The main deity here is known as Bhakta valsaleswar (Siva) and this temple has tall towers on all 4 sides and there is a temple tank in the outer most prakaram and we could see the Nandi of the hill temple near this tank facing the hill.

This ancient temple has exquisitely carved sculptures all around the temple. Outside the sanctum sanctorum there are idols of Aruvathimuvar (63 saints) ,Vinayagar, Dakshinamurthy, Lingodhbhavar, Durgai amman, utsavar, and a separte niche for Bairavar. Outside this prakaram is the Nandimandapam and here we could see the Agora Veera Bhadrar , a fierce form of Siva's idol. We could see many vehicles and chariots used for the festival season in this mandapam.

As we go around the temple there are shrines for Somaskandar, Athmanadhar, Ekambareshwar, Annamalaishwarar,Jambugeshwar (all different names for Shiva), Vinayagar and Shanmugha. There is a shrine dedicated to Manikavasagar one of the four saints, the great devotee of siva. it is believed that the God appeared before him at this place.

The Amman sannidhi, the temple of Tripura sundari is also facing the east but is at the Northen side. The Amman idol was looking beautiful and the idol was decorated beautifully. This temple has separate dwaja sthambam and in front of this temple also there are two shrines one for Vedagiriswarar and other for Kalasthiswar . Nataraja has a separate shrine in the outer most prakaram and there is a long corridor in front of the shrine wih intricate carving on pillars.

The Sanku theertham is again half a kilometre from the temple and people converge here every twelve years for a festival which is next to the Mahamaham in Kumbakonam. The temple has a huge collection of conches numbering one thousand and these are used for performing abhishekam (bathing) the deity on special ocassions.The legends, linking it to various epics always stupifies me and the architecture of the temples makes me wonder how could they create such collosal structures when no machinery was invented.

How to reach: Easily approachable from Chennai via Mahabalipuram .
Regular buses ply from Mahabalipuram


Felicity Grace Terry said...

I agree with you, Chitra, it is amazing how these things were constructed without the use of modern equipment. My favourite picture is of Nandhi facing the hill.

chitra said...

Thanks petty Witter for the comment.
There about 270 Siva temples in India and 256 are in Tamil Nadu only and each temple has its own history. When I see these temples I always wonder how much labour and efforts would have gone into the making.

Anuradha Shankar said...

Great pics, Chitra... tell me, is it true that every year, conches (shanghu) are found in the shanghu teertham??? and did u see the eagles????

chitra said...

Eagles stopped visiting long back Anu.I think that is one of the reasons pilgrims flow is thin here now.

I too read about the conches in the sanku teertham but have no authentic info.
The saddest part is I find it hard to get information regarding the temple. Sometimes even some of the priests do not know about them.We also do not get sthala puranam books.

Anonymous said...

Great Job Chitra in cataloging temples, their mythologies etc. There is a lot to write about these places. I find it fascinating that the myths around these temples have survived centuries but not so much the history behind the creation/renovation of these temples. This is a major difference between history in India & in Europe. In India, history seems shrouded with mythology. We don't seem to give adequate credit/recognition to the emperors & folks that built & sustained these places of worship over the centuries....The period between 7th century AD - 13th century AD in the southland, saw a temple construction boom (with the revival of hinduism with Shaiva/Vaishnava movements). This was mostly funded by the Chola & southern kingdom's control over the sea trading routes with SE Asia. As you have travelled, you can note there are a few pre-pallava temples (not renovated during the pallava-chola-pandya period) or post 13th century temples. Most notable of them is the Rameshwaram temple.

chitra said...

Thanks Anonymous, for the comment and chipping in with information.