January 23, 2011

Tiruvottiyur Tyagarajar and Vadivudai Amman Temple - Part 6

I have been writing in the past five blog posts about the legend and architecture of the ancient gigantic temple of Thyagarajar and Vadivudai Amman located at Tiruvottiyur near Chennai in South India. This post is a continuation to those posts.

I have completed writing about the main sanctum of Adi Pureeswarar and the shrine of Tyagaraja. Now, let me cover the outer corridor of the temple. Unlike other temple, this corridor houses a lot of idols and shrines. The outer corridor, basically the entire temple was covered by tall and thick walls similar to that of a small fort.

As per Hinduism, there are 27 stars and each month is divided into 27 days pertaining to these stars; each human being in this world is born on any of the day pertaining to any of these stars. The great corridor of Tyagarajar temple has 27 small shrines housing small Shiva Lings in each shrine representing all these 27 stars. This is one of the unique collection of shrines which cannot be seen normally in the other temples. Adjacent to these shrines, there are idols of Ganesha and Murugan. There is a shrine for a Goddess named Valarkali which is a bust image. It is believed that this idol grows inch by inch periodically and hence got the name 'Valar Kali' as the word 'Valar' in Tamil language means 'growing'.

There is a separate shrine for Shiva in this corridor. You would wonder what is unique about this shrine as it is normal to find Shiva shrine in a Shiva temple. However, Shiva in this shrine is in a unique posture. He, named as Gowlishankar, is in Padmasana posture (yoga). Two idols of Adi Shankara are also found in the same shrine. This small shrine has the idols of Brahma and Vishnu on its surrounding wall. All the above shrines and idols are present in the south direction of the temple.

The west side of the temple houses a shrine for a big Shiv ling named Annamalai and a Nandi idol in front of him, a long steep Shiv ling named Agasa Ling in a separate shrine, a big ling named Jambukeswarar in another separate shrine, and two small shrines for two small Shiv lings named Nagalingeswarar and Kalatheeswarar adjacent to a tree.

There is another shrine which enshrines Meenakshi and Sundareswarar. In addition, Ganesha and Murugan are also present. The wall surrounding the shrine houses the niche images of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga. Chandikeshwari is found near Brahma's image.

Apart from that there is a big shrine for Tiruvotteeswarar. As I need another post to write about this shrine, let me continue the same 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

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