May 23, 2016

Sekkizhar Mani Mandap - Kundrathur

Site Name: Sekkizhar Mani Mandap
Site Type: Monument
Location:   Kundrathur, Near Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: A building in the memory of Sekkizhar
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Chennai
Hotel: A lot of options across Chennai
Restaurants:  A lot of options across Chennai 


Kundrathur is a peaceful locality near Chennai city, which is popular mainly due to its hilltop Murugan temple. The village has an ancient and big temple of Lord Shiva called as Nageswarar temple. Near that temple, Sekkizhar Mani Mandap is located. Let us discuss about this site in this article.

The famous Tamil scholar and poet Sekkizhar was from this village named Kundrathur. He lived in the 12th century CE during the period of Kulotunga Chola II. He was the author of Periya Puranam, which talks about the lives and greatness of 63 Nayanmars in detail. The temple of Nageswarar was built by Sekkizhar.


In memory of this great poet, a big mandap (hall) was constructed near Nageswarar temple in the recent past. This mandap is called as Sekkizhar Mani Mandap. This big hall has a statue of Sekkizhar in the middle. There is a Dyana mandap situated inside the Mani Mandap. This hall is very well maintained and looks clean and neat.

The open space outside the hall has beautiful gardens and the villagers visit this site during the evening time to enjoy the pleasant weather and breeze.

Happy travelling.


Nageswarar Temple - Kundrathur

Site Name: Nageswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:   Kundrathur, Near Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of Navagraha Sthalams of Chennai
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Chennai
Hotel: A lot of options across Chennai
Restaurants:  A lot of options across Chennai 

Kundrathur is a peaceful locality near Chennai city, which is popular mainly due to its hilltop Murugan temple. The village has an ancient and big temple of Lord Shiva. Let us explore about this temple named Nageswarar temple in this article. 

Highlights:

  • God Nageswarar 
  • Goddess Kamakshi
  • Teerth (Holy Water) - Surya Pushkarani
  • It is a Rahu sthalam and one of Navagraha sthalams of Chennai
  • It is considered as equivalent to Tirunageswaram
  • It is also called as Vada Tirunageswaram

Legend:

Few years ago, as the original Shiv Linga idol which was installed by Sekkizar got damaged, the villagers replaced the idol with a new idol. On that night, Lord Shiva appeared in the dream of a devotee and ordered him to reinstall the original idol. Accordingly, the original idol was reinstalled in the sanctum. 


History:

The famous Tamil scholar and poet Sekkizhar was from this village named Kundrathur. He lived in the 12th century CE during the period of Kulotunga Chola II. He was the author of Periya Puranam, which talks about the lives and greatness of 63 Nayanmars in detail. 

It is said that Sekkizhar had once visited Tirunageswaram near Kumbakonam and he apparently wanted to get darshan of the deity everyday. Hence, he built a similar temple in his native place and this is the history behind this temple in Kundrathur. 


Temple Layout:

The east facing temple has a five tiered Raja gopura. 

The sanctum is east facing. It enshrines a big Shiv Linga idol called as Nageswarar. A utsav idol of Kamakshi is also found in the same sanctum. The entrance has big Dwarapalas and a small Ganesh idol. 

The flag staff, Nandi mandap and bali peetha are found facing towards the sanctum. A small Ganesh idol is situated near the flag staff. 

In the Ardha mandap of the sanctum, there is a separate south facing shrine enshrining Kamakshi.  

There are two prakaras around the sanctum.

In the prakaras, the sub-shrines of Utsav Sekkizhar, Karpaga Vinayak, Satya Narayan, Somaskanda, various Utsav idols, Arunachaleswarar Linga, Vishwanatha Linga, Navagraha, Shani, Sekkizhar, Vempuli Ponni utsav and Natraj-Shivakami are situated. 

Also, the idols of Ganesh, Surya, Sundarar, Paravai Nachiar, Nalvar, Kalinga Nardana Krishna, Naga Nageswara Linga, Nagendra Linga, Bhairav, Veera Bhagu, Saraswati and Lakshmi are found in the prakaras.

Ganesh, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found as the niche idols. Chandikeshwar is found in his usual location.

A huge tank is found outside the temple entrance.

Happy travelling.

May 19, 2016

Porur Ramanatheeswarar Temple

Site Name: Ramanatheeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:   Porur area, Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: An ancient Shiva temple associated with the period of Ram
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Chennai
Hotel: A lot of options across Chennai
Restaurants:  A lot of options across Chennai 


Porur is an area of Chennai city which has become very popular in the last one decade thanks to Chennai city which is expanding faster. In this area, there is an ancient temple of Lord Shiva called as Ramanatheeswarar, which has legend associated with the period of Ramayan. Let us discuss about this temple in this article.

Highlights:

  • God Ramanatheeswarar 
  • Goddess Sivakama Sundari
  • Sthala Vruksha - Amla tree (Nelli/Gooseberry)
  • It is a Guru sthalam and one of Navagraha sthalams of Chennai
  • It is considered as equivalent to Rameswaram
  • It is also called as Uttara Rameswaram

Legend:

When Ram was searching for Sita who had been kidnapped by Ravan, he passed through the site which is called as Porur nowadays. By mistake, his feet touched the head of a Shiv Linga idol. Only part of Shiv Linga idol was seen above and Ram probably mistook it for an ordinary stone. He realized his mistake and performed penance towards Shiva for 48 days by having just one Amla fruit as his food. Lord Shiva gave darshan to him and directed him towards Lanka where Sita was imprisoned. As Shiva is considered as the Guru of Ram, this site is considered as a Guru Sthalam. Thus, Shiv Linga came out of the earth after Ram's prayer and later a temple was built.

History:

The temple belongs to Chola period, probably built by Kulotunga Chola.

Temple Layout:

The temple does not have a tower. (A new gopura is being constructed now - 2016 CE).

This is a small east facing temple with just one prakara. The east facing sanctum enshrines a very big Shiv Linga idol called as Ramanatheeswarar. A big trident (Trishul) is installed near Linga. 


The Goddess Sivakama Sundari is found in a separate south facing shrine which is situated outside the maha mandap area. She is found in the typical standing posture with four arms.

The entrance of sanctum has two big idols of Dwarapalaks and an idol of Ganesha. There is no flag staff. The bali peeth and Nandi idol are found within the Maha mandap area. 

The Vimana is Gaja prshtha style vimana. The beautiful Koshta images of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found around the sanctum.

Chandikeshwara idol looks very beautiful and is located slightly away from its usual location.

In the prakara, the sub shrines of Sandana Vijaya Ganapati and Subramanya-Valli-Devasena are situated. The idols of Bhairav, Shani and Navagrahas are also found. Although it is considered as a Guru Sthalam, there is no separate shrine for Guru in this temple. Navagrahas are found along with their respective consorts, which is unusual. 

The holy Vembu tree along with the idols of Shiv Linga and Rama padam (footprint of Ram) is found in the prakara.

The tradition of keeping Satari on the devotees' heads and giving teertham (the holy water) to the devotees are followed in Vishnu temples of South India. However, in this Shiva temple, those traditions are followed.

Happy travelling.