February 20, 2013

Thiruverumbur Temple

Site Name: Thiruverumbur Shiva Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Thiruverumbur, 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

Thiruverumbur 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 temple is considered as the seventh among the Devara Paadal Petra Sthalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in Chola country south of Kaveri river. 


Highlights:
  • Appar has revered the temple in his verses in Devaram.
  • Manickavasagar has revered the Lord in Thiruvasakam.
  • Ramalinga Swamigal has also revered the temple in Thiruvarutpa.
  • The current form of the temple was built by Aditya Chola in the 9th century CE. To commemorate his victory in Tirupurambiyam battle, he built a series of temples including this along the banks of the river Kaveri.
  • The temple has a lot of inscriptions of Chola period.
  • It is a declared monument of the Archaeological Survey of India.
  • It acted as an infantry for the French troops when they were fighting with the British in 1752 CE.
  • The main deity is in the form of ant hill (mud mound).
  • God - Erumbeeswarar, Pippilikeshwarar, Erumbeesar, Madhuvaneswarar, Manikoodachalapati or Manickanathar
  • Goddess - Soundara Nayaki, Madhuvaneswari, Narunkuzhal Nayaki, Sugandha Kuzhaleswari or Ratnambal
  • Sthala Vruksha (holy tree) - Vilvam
  • Teerth (Holy water) - Brahma Teerth

Legend:

As per the legend, the Asura named Tarukasura defeated the Devas. As per the advice from Lord Brahma, the Devas along with their leader Indira came to this site to worship the Lord. In order to  escape from the attack of the Asuras, they took the form of ants and came over here. As the surface of Shiv Linga was slippery, the ants could not climb. Hence, the Lord took the form of ant hill and also slightly slanted his head to enable the ants to climb. Erumbu means ant in Tamil language; the Lord is thus called as Erumbeeswarar.

Temple Layout:

Erumbeeswarar temple is located atop the hill at a height of around 60 feet which can be reached by a fleet of steep steps. As the temple is located on top of the hill, it is also called as 'Malai Kovil' (malai=hill). 

The temple has a small two tiered tower. As usual, the flag post, bali peeth and Nandi mandapa are found.

The main shrine has the idol of Lord Shiva in the form of ant hill with its head slightly slanting on its left side. The Lord is named as Erumbeeswarar temple. The marks made by ants can still be seen on this idol.

The Goddess Narunkuzhal Nayaki bearing a very beautiful Tamil name is found in a separate shrine outside the main shrine. 

The temple has two prakaras. The entire complex is surrounded by thick fortress walls.

The first prakara has the idols of Ganesha, Bana Linga, Kailasanathar Linga, Bhairava and Kasi Vishwanatha Linga.

The small shrines such as Ganesha, Subramanya with his consorts, Nataraja-Sivakami, Navagraha and Gaja Lakshmi are also found in this temple.

The idols of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Shankara Narayana, Brahma and Durga and are found as Koshta idols. Chandikeshwara is found near Durga. The images of Shankara Narayana and Brahma are artistically beautiful.

There is a shrine for a slightly bigger idol of Ganesha at the foothill. The holy tank is also found opposite to the temple entrance.

On top of the hill, one can get an aerial view of the entire village, the river Cauvery and the holy tank.

A historically important site with artistically beautiful idols - don't miss!

Happy travelling.




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