January 13, 2011

Tiruvottiyur Tyagarajar and Vadivudai Amman Temple - Part 3

I wrote couple of posts earlier to explain about the Tyagarajar temple at Tiruvottiyur near Chennai city of South India. This post is a continuation to those posts where I will continue to write about the temple structure.

When the entire universe was getting destroyed, Brahma prayed to Lord Shiva so that he would get the power to create the universe again. Shiva appeared in the form of a yoga agni and granted the required power to Brahma. The Agni kund became the temple and the Agni became the Lord of the temple - Adi Pureeswarar. The site got exempted from getting destroyed, and hence got the name 'Tiruvotriyur'.

In the previous post, I wrote about certain shrines and idols of the temple. Let me continue from where I stopped. Opposite to the dhwajastambha (flag staff), there is a shrine for Ganesha where the idol is very big. The adjacent shrine has a big Murugan idol. Adjacent to that there is a shrine for Shiv Ling named 'Kulandai Eswarar'. Instead of moving further towards right, if you turn towards left and move interior, you can find the shrine of Tyagaraja.

There is a small hall (mandap) in front of Tyagaraja shrine. Tyagaraja is the name given to the Somaskanda manifestation of Shiva. (In South India, people write the word Tyagaraja as 'Thyagaraja'.) Somaskanda and Tyagaraja is the form of Shiv which is found along with Shakti and Skanda in-between. Somaskanda idols can be found in many temples, generally in the form of metal idols (procession idols) and not as stone idols. However, the manifestation is found in the name of Tyagaraja in few temples, especially in seven important temples which are referred as 'Sapta Vitanka Sthalams'. The seven temples where Tyagaraja is found are Tiruvarur, Tirunallar, Nagapattinam, Tirukkaravayil, Tirukkuvalai, Tiruvaaimur, and Tirumaraikkadu. Even though Tiruvottiyur is not one of those Sapta Vitanka temples, Tyagaraja of Tiruvottiyur is very famous and ancient too. Even though the presiding deity of the temple is Adi Pureeswarar, the temple is referred as Tyagaraja temple.

Tyagaraja shrine in Tiruvottiyur temple is very spacious. The procession idols of Tyagaraja, Uma to his left, and Skanda in between them, are found in the shrine. The same shrine also houses the processional metal idol of Tripurasundari too. There is a small corridor (prakara) that surrounds the shrine. The wall of the prakara has the niche images of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu and Brahma. Tyagaraja's shrine is on the way to the main shrine of Adi Pureeswarar. I will write about Adi Pureeswarar shrine 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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