January 12, 2011

Tiruvottiyur Tyagarajar and Vadivudai Amman Temple - Part 1

This blog post is a continuation to my previous post on Tiruvottiyur Tyagaraja and Vadivudai Amman temple. As I mentioned in my previous post, it is impossible to cover everything about this great temple in a single post. Hence, I will write multiple blog posts about this ancient temple of around 1500 years old.

Tyagaraja and Vadivudai Amman temple, located at Tiruvottiyur, a town near Chennai city, the gateway to South India, was originally called as Adipureeswarar temple. Even today, this temple is referred either as Adipureeswarar temple or Tyagaraja temple. Lord Shiva is found in this temple in three main ways - formless, physical form and also in an indescribable form.

The  sanctum of the temple enshrines  Lord Shiva in three forms. The first form is either Agni (fire) or light, which is not seen to human eyes. As this is referred as the first temple in the world, this is called as Adi Pureeswarar (the word "Adi" means "ancient"). The second form of Shiva is in the form of a snake pit (Swayambhu Lingam - the self-manifested form). The Shiv Linga is always covered with kavach (covering) and it is removed only on the full moon day of Krithika month. The third form of Shiva is indescribable who is present inside the snake pit, who cannot be touched. He is called as Padampakka Nathar. Hence, we can find (or feel) all these three forms of Shiva in the same sanctum. If we visit this temple on a normal day, we can find a big and broad  Shiv Linga (the snake pit covered with kavach) in the sanctum.

As I write this post, I am wondering if this temple is a single temple. Nope, it is a temple containing multiple temples within it. Apart from Adipureeswarar shrine, there is a separate shrine for the Goddess Vadivudai Amman, who is considered as one of three important Goddesses in and around Chennai. There is another shrine for Tyagarajar, yet another name given to Lord Shiva. This is one of the important temples of Tyagarajar. Also, we can find the shrine Tirovottreeswarar and the original Shiv Ling near the sthala vruksha (the divine tree of the site). In addition to that, the temple also houses a lot of shrines. I will write in detail about all these shrines in the forthcoming posts.

Till then....Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Tyagarajar 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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