January 9, 2013

Kadambar Koil, Kulithalai

Site Name: Kadambar Koil
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Kulithalai, near Trichy and Karur, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of 274 Paadal Petra Sthalams (the most important temples of Lord Shiva); the main shrine has the bas-relief images of Sapta Kannis behind the idol of Shiv Linga
Nearest Railway Station: Kulithalai
Nearest Airport: Trichy
How to reach: Well connected by road from Trichy and Karur
Hotel: Go to Trichy or Karur where there are a lot of options 
Restaurants: Go to Trichy or Karur where there are a lot of options

Kadambar Koil is an important Shiva temple located in a village named Kulithalai near Karur and Trichy cities in South India. This temple is also called as Kadambanthurai. It is considered as the second among the Devara Paadal Petra Sthalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in Chola country south of Kaveri river. Appar sang the hymns of the site.

  • It is considered as one of the five Kadamba shrines installed by Lord Subramanya. The other four shrines are Kovil Kadambar, Aadi Kadambar, Ilankadambanoor and Perunkadambanoor.
  • The site was named as Brahmapuram as Lord Brahma conducted the chariot festival here.
  • Vishnu prayed to Shiva prior to recovering the Vedas from Somasuran; hence the site was also called as Chaturvedapuri. 
  • Muthuswamy Deekshitar's Kriti Neelakantham Bhaje sings the glory of this shrine.
  • As per the legend, the Sapta Kannis were cursed by Katyayana rishi; they got rid of their curse after worshiping the Lord here; hence, the bas-relief images of Sapta Kannis are installed behind the idol of Shiv Linga in the main shrine.
  • There is a saying - "Morning Kadambar, afternoon Thiruvatpokki and evening Thirueengoinathar" which signifies visiting three temples in one day. 
  • The main shrine faces north which is very rare. Hence, it is named as Dakshina Kashi.
  • The God appeared before Kanva rishi under the Kadamba tree.
  • The original temple might have been built by the Cholas; however, it was renovated later
  • God : Kadambavananathar aka Kadambavaneswarar
  • Goddess : Balakujambal aka Muttrilamulaiyal 
  • Sthala Vruksha (the divine tree of the site): Kadambu

The temple has a big five tiered tower and a mandapa in the front side. The sanctum sanctorum has the big Shiv Linga idol facing the north direction. The ardha mandapa has a slightly bigger idol of Ganesha. The Goddess is found in a separate shrine facing the east direction. It is located outside the maha mandapa. The flag post (dhwajastambha), bali peetha and Nandi idols are found separately in front of both the shrines. There is a small bas-relief image of Paramanathar facing the Goddess shrine.

The temple has two prakaras (corridors around the main shrine). The outer wall of the main shrine has the koshta idols (relief images) of Dakshinamurti, Annamalaiyar and Brahma. Chandikeshwarar's small shrine is also found as usual. The first prakara has the idols of 63 Nayanmars, Nalvar, Navagraha, Ganesha, Subramanya with his consorts, few Nagas, few Shiv Lingas, Surya and Agora Veerabhadra. There are few shrines for some deities such as Somaskanda, Utsav idols, Gaja Lakshmi, Ganesha with just two arms and Subramanya along with his consorts. Bhairava in this temple, is very popular among the locals.

The second prakara is an open space. There are no idols or shrines located here except for a divine tree and  few idols below the tree.

Happy travelling.

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