January 17, 2011

Tiruvottiyur Thyagarajar and Vadivudai Amman Temple - Part 5

Let me continue to write about the structure of the ancient Tiruvottiyur Thyagaraja temple from where I left in the previous post. Please note that I have already written four posts about this temple, and this is continuation to them.

The magnificent temple of Thyagaraja at Tiruvottiyur has many shrines. We have already seen the Thyagaraja shrine and the main sanctum of Adi Pureeswarar. Let me take you to the corridor (prakara) surrounding the sanctum of Adi Pureeswarar. In the corridor, you can find Polla Pillayar idol and Sekkilar idol along with 63 Nayanmars (the great devotees of Lord Shiva). In addition to that, you can find a separate idol for Kaliya Nayanar, one of those 63 devotees. Kaliya Nayanar, the great devotee of Lord Shiva, lived in Tiruvottiyur. He was a merchant who used to visit Adi Pureeswarar temple and light the oil lamps. In due course, he became very poor. After sometime, he couldn't even light the oil lamps. Hence, he decided to sacrifice his life and wanted to light the lamps using his blood. Lord Shiva stopped him from doing that by appearing in front of him. As Kaliya Nayanar is associated with this temple, there is a separate idol for him.

The walls surrounding the sanctum of Adi Pureeswarar are architecturally beautiful. They have few ancient idols which again are artistically beautiful. It is done on the basis of a typical Chola architecture of the backside of the sleeping elephant. The idols that are present on the sanctum walls are Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma, Durga, and Chandikeswarar.

The corridor also houses various other idols such as Ganesha, Naga, two more Ganesha, four Shiv lingas, three big Shiv lings along with three small Shiv lings, and Naga Arutjothi Murugan. The shrine of Nataraj with Sivakami as well as the shrine of processional idol of Chandrasekhar are also found in the corridor. The shrine of Nataraj (the dancing Shiva) has the idols of Vishnu, Brahma, and Eka Pada Murti on the walls. Eka Pada Murti idol is one of the highlights of Thyagaraja temple, as this idol is a combination of three Gods - Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu with one leg.

The corridor also houses few more important shrines - one shrine for Adi Shankara, one shrine for processional idol of Vattaparai Amman, and another shrine for the ancient stone idol of Vattaparai Amman. There is a small entrance opposite to Vattaparai Amman. It is believed that Adi Shankara visited this temple and stopped sacrifices of animals that used to happen in front of Vattaparai Amman shrine. In addition, there is a shrine for Ling Peetam in the corridor.

There is still more to be covered about this temple. I will try to cover as much as possible in the 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


View Larger Map

1 comment: