February 17, 2013

Thirunedunkalam Temple

Site Name: Thirunedunkalam Shiva Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Thirunedunkalam, near Trichy city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of 274 Paadal Petra Sthalams (the most important temples of Lord Shiva)
Nearest Railway Station: Trichy
Nearest Airport: Trichy
How to reach: Well connected by road from Trichy 
Hotel: Go to Trichy where there are a lot of options 
Restaurants: Go to Trichy where there are a lot of options

Thirunedungalam is a village located near Trichy city in Tamil Nadu state of South India. It has an important Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This lesser known temple is considered as the eighth among the Devara Paadal Petra Sthalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in Chola country south of Kaveri river. The nearest popular site is Thiruverumbur.

Highlights:
  • Sambandhar has sung the hymn of the Lord in this site.
  • The sanctum sanctorum has two vimanas which is rare.
  • Yoga Dakshinamurti idol in this temple is a rare one.
  • A Chola period temple - might be 1000 years old.
  • God - Nedunkalanathar aka Nithya Sundareshwarar
  • Goddess - Oppila Nayaki aka Mangalambigai
  • Sthala Vruksha (holy tree) - Vilvam
  • Teerth (Holy water) - Agastya and Sundara Teerth
Legend:

As per the legend, Lord Shiva took the form of a burglar and playfully scared the Goddess who was doing penance in this site.

Temple Layout:

The little known temple of Nedunkulanathar has two towers, one at the main entrance and another at the inner entrance. The area between both the towers has the flag post, Nandi mandapa and a wide bali peetha.

The sanctum santorum has a small Shiv Linga named as Nedunkulanathar. It is believed that the Goddess Parvati is also present in the same shrine but in invisible form. Hence, this shrine has two vimanas. It is said that apart from Kasi, this is the only site having two vimanas.

The west facing temple has two prakaras. The Goddess Oppila Nayaki is very beautiful as per her name. She is found with four arms and in the standing posture in a separate shrine with a pillared mandapa on the front side. The shrine is found on the left side of Nandi mandapa.

The wall surrounding the main shrine has an interesting koshta idol of Yoga Dakshinamurti - a rare form of Dakshinamurti found in Padmasana. The other koshta idols include Ardha Nareeswarar, Durga and Chandikeshwarar. 

The prakara has a lot of idols and few sub shrines. Some of the idols found are Surya, Chandra, Bhairava, 2-3 Shiv Lingas, two Sapta mata idols, two Chandikeshwara idols, Nalvar and Varadaraja with his consorts. 

Some of the sub-shrines in the temple include Ganesha, Subramanya with his consorts, Varadaraja with his consorts, Bhairava and Nataraja-Sivakami.

Happy travelling.




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