January 13, 2011

Tiruvottiyur Thyagarajar and Vadivudai Amman Temple - Part 2

I have been writing about the ancient Tiruvottiyur Tyagaraja temple, located near Chennai in South India, in the past two blog posts. This blog post is a continuation to my earlier posts about this temple. Let me partly describe the structure of the temple in this post.

The Tyagaraja and Vadivudai Amman temple at Tiruvottiyur has a seven tiered tower (raja gopuram) facing east direction. This temple tower can be considered as a masterpiece of South Indian temple architecture. Once you enter into the temple through the tower, you can find various shrines in front of you and two dhwajastambhas (flag staffs) too. You will really be confused with the structure and you might wonder where to start visiting the temple.

One flag staff is facing towards the shrine of Goddess Vadivudai Amman whereas the other flag staff faces the sanctum. However, you can find various shrines in between the flag staff and the main sanctum, thus making the structure of the temple bit complex and unique. You can also find a small Nandi (bull) idol in a raised platform which can be reached only by steps.

It is better to start by moving towards your left, where you can find a small shrine for Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is named as Jagannath in this shrine. An interesting thing is generally Lord Vishnu is named as Jagannath. However, in this temple Lord Shiva is named as Jagannath. The shrine also houses the idols of Ganesha and the goddess named Jagadambikai. There is a Nandi idol located facing this shrine. Adjacent to this shrine, there is another shrine for Shiva named Amrudhakadeshwar, which is a big Shiv Ling idol. In the same shrine, you can find the idol of Lord Ganesha. Opposite to these shrines, the idols of Surya, Moovar and Sundarar with his consort Sangili Nachiar are found. You can recall that this temple is associated with the devotee Sundarar. We can find more details about this later. There is a shrine for Sahasra Linga, the Shiv Linga with thousand eyes. There is another shrine for one more Shiv Ling - Ekambara Nathar. The idols of Ramalinga Swamigal and Ganesha are also found.

I will write more about the structure of this temple in my next post.

Till then...Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Thyagarajar and Vadivudai Amman Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Tiruvottiyur,near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: 1300 years old temple; one of the biggest and ancient temples of Chennai region; historically and religiously rich temple; one of 275 paadal petra sthalams of Lord Shiva
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai - well connected from the cities/towns all over India
Nearest Airport: Chennai has both national and international airports
How to reach: Easily reachable by road, train, and flight
Hotel: Many star hotels, luxury hotels/resorts, and budget hotels are available in Chennai
Restaurants: All options - vegetarian, non-vegetarian, Chinese, South Indian, Gujarati, North Indian, Punjabi,....- you can find everything in Chennai city

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