January 23, 2011

Tiruvottiyur Thyagarajar and Vadivudai Amman Temple - Part 8

I have been writing about the ancient gigantic temple of Tiruvottiyur Thyagarajar and Vadivudai Amman temple located near Chennai city in the past 6-7 blog posts. This post is a continuation to those posts, where I am going to write about Vadivudai Amman shrine and the remaining areas of the Thyagarajar temple.

In my previous post, I have written till the Tiruvottreeswarar shrine. Now, I am continuing from where I left. Once you visit Tiruvottreeswarar shrine, you would enter into the northern corridor of the temple. There is a big tank located in this corridor. This temple also has another big tank, which is located outside the temple complex. Near the temple tank, there is a separate shrine for Bhairav. Vasanta Mandap (the hall) is also located near the tank where you can always find some musical consorts or religious functions going on.

The ancient tree (sthala vruksha) of the temple "Magila" tree (Ficus tree) is also located near the tank. The great devotee of Lord Shiva, Sundarar married Sangili Nachiar in Tiruvottiyur. He already had a wife. Hence, Sangili wanted Sundarar to swear in front of the God that he would not leave her. Sundarar requested Lord Shiva to shift from the main shrine to Magila tree, so that he could avoid swearing infront of the God. However, Shiva played trick and appeared in Sangili's dream and asked her to request Sundarar to swear near the tree. Hence, Sundarar had to swear in front of Magila tree where God was present. It's a different story that he broke the oath and lost his eyes. The reason why I mentioned this story over here is because the Magila tree located in this temple now is believed to be the same tree where Sundarar took oath in the 7th century AD. There is a Shiv Ling idol near the tree.

Near Vadivudai Amman shrine, there is another hall named Kalyana Sundara Murti Mandap. The entrance of the hall has a small shrine for Shaneeswara. There is a shrine having two idols of Ganesha named Rettai Pillayar shrine.

We have visited all the shrines of the famous Thyagarajar temple so far. Let us explore the shrine of Vadivudai Amman, the powerful Goddess. Vadivudai Amman is in fact more famous than Thyagarajar or Adi Pureeswarar, and due to this people often refer this temple as Vadivudai Amman temple. There are hundreds of people who visit Vadivudai Amman shrine alone in this temple by neglecting the other sections of the temple.

Vadivudai Amman, the goddess of the temple, is considered as Gnana Shakti. She is considered as one of the three main Goddesses of Chennai region. The other two Goddesses are Tiruvudai Amman (Ichchaa Shakti of Melur and Kodiyudai Amman (Kriya Shakti) of Tirumullaivayil. Vadivudai Amman is believed to have served the 19th century saint Ramalinga Adigalar, who used to visit her shrine daily. Vadivudai Amman, as per the name, looks very beautiful, and appears in the standing posture. The shrine faces the souther direction. The shrine of Vadivudai Amman also houses the utsav idol (metal idol) of the Goddess, and Sukravaramman. There is also a small shrine with Shiv Linga and the Goddess.

With this, I complete my series of blog posts on Thyagarajar temple of Tiruvottiyur. When you get a chance to go to Chennai, ensure that you visit this historically and architecturally rich ancient temple of Lord Shiva.

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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