September 22, 2013

Perumpuliyur Vyagrapureeswarar Temple

Site Name: Vyagrapureeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Perumpuliyur, adjacent to Tiruvaiyaru, near Tanjore town, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of 274 Paadal Petra Sthalams (the most important temples of Lord Shiva)
Nearest Railway Station: Tanjore
Nearest Airport: Trichy
How to reach: Well connected by road from Tanjore, Tiruvaiyaru and Kumbakonam
Hotel: Go to Tanjore or Kumbakonam for good hotels 
Restaurants: Go to Tanjore or Kumbakonam for good restaurants

Perumpuliyur is a small quiet village located at a distance of 3 kms from Tiruvaiyaru near Tanjore town in South India. The village has an important Shiva temple called as Vyagrapureeswarar Temple. It is considered as the 53rd among the Devara Paadal Petra Sthalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in Chola region north of Cauvery river. 

Highlights:
  • Sambandhar has revered the temple in his verses in Devaram.
  • Arunagirinathar has sung the praise of Lord Murugan in this temple.
  • The main deity, Shiva Linga is placed on a lotus petal peeth (Kamala peetha).
  • God Vyagrapureeswarar aka Puliyurnathar
  • Goddess Soundra Nayaki aka Azhagammai
  • Sthala Vruksha (holy tree) - Sarakondrai
  • Teerth (Holy water) - Cauvery
Legend:

As per the legend, it is one of five sites visited by the seer with the tiger's legs called as Vyagrapata. The site is named after him.

Temple Layout:

The temple is simple in design and small. The east facing small tower (Raja gopuram) has three tiers. There is no flag staff; the bali peetha and Nandi mandapa are located facing the sanctumm sanctorum.

Vyagrapureeswarar is in the form of a tall Shiv Linga in the sanctum santorum. He is placed on top of a lotus petal peeth called as Kamala peetham. It can be seen from the back side wall of the sanctum sanctorum.

The Goddess Soundra Nayaki is found in a separate east facing shrine in the prakara.

The entrance of sanctum sanctorum has a Ganesha idol and a sub-shire for Kasi Vishwanatha and Vishalakshi.

The prakara has sub-shrines of Siddhi Vinayaka, Nataraja, Murugan with his two consorts Valli and Devasena, Nalvar and Navagraha in a rare form with all the eight planets facing towards Surya.

The idols of Sapta Matas (some of them are missing nowadays), Bhairava, Surya, Chandra and Uma-Maheshwara (Linga) are also found in the prakara.

The Vimana and the Koshta idols appear to be very ancient. Dakshinamurti, Ganesha, Ardha Nareeswarar, Brahma and Durga are found as the Koshta (niche) images. Also, the sub shrine of Chandikeshwara is located near Durga's image.

Happy travelling.

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September 21, 2013

Tillaisthanam Neyyadiappar Temple

Site Name: Neyyadiappar Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Tillaisthanam aka Tiruneittanam, 1km from Tiruvaiyaru, near Tanjore town, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of 274 Paadal Petra Sthalams (the most important temples of Lord Shiva)
Nearest Railway Station: Tanjore
Nearest Airport: Trichy
How to reach: Well connected by road from Tanjore, Tiruvaiyaru and Kumbakonam
Hotel: Go to Tanjore or Kumbakonam for good hotels 
Restaurants: Go to Tanjore or Kumbakonam for good restaurants


Tillaisthanam is a small village located adjacent to Tiruvaiyaru near Tanjore town in South India. The village has an important Shiva temple called as Neyyadiappar Temple. It is considered as the 52nd among the Devara Paadal Petra Sthalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in Chola region north of Cauvery river. 

Highlights:
  • Sambandhar and Appar have revered the temple in their verses in Devaram.
  • Pugalendi Pulavar and Ottakkoothar have also revered the temple in their poems.
  • Dakshinamurti is portrayed in the standing posture.
  • It is considered as the 7th of Tiruvaiyaru Sapta Sthana temples.
  • God Neyyadiappar aka Kritapureeswarar
  • Goddess Balambikai aka Ilamangai Ammai
  • Teerth (Holy water) - Cauvery

Legend:

As per the legend, Saraswati, Kama Dhenu and Gowthama Rishi worshiped the Lord in this site.

Temple Layout:

The temple has a grand 75 feet five stories tower facing the east direction. Two small sub-shrines of Ganesha and Murugan are located at the entrance. The temple's area is huge and is spread across two acres. It is believed to have been built by the Cholas as the Chola inscriptions are found in this temple. However, few pillars in the temple are supposed to be of Pallava style; there is a possibility that even Pallavas would have contributed some sections of the temple during their rule. The Sri Lankan ruler named Kayavahu had the Lord of this site as his "Kula devta".

The temple has two prakaras. The sanctum sanctorum is facing the east direction. Lord Shiva in this temple is called as Neyyadiappar or Kritapureeswarar. He is found in the form of a moderately big Shiva Linga.

Facing the sanctum sanctorum the bali peetha, flag staff and Nandi mandapa are located. There is a small artistically beautiful inner tower at the entrance of the maha mandapa.

The Goddess Balambikai who also has a beautiful Tamil name, Ilamangai Ammai, is found in a separate shrine facing the south direction and is located in the outer prakara. A separate Nandi idol is located facing the Amman shrine.

The inner prakara has the sub-shrines of Ganesha, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena, Chandikeshwara, Lakshmi and Saraswati.

The koshta images of Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found on the wall around the sanctum sanctorum. Dakshinamurti is found in the standing posture which is unique. All the koshta images except Durga appear to be very old. The exterior wall of sanctum sanctorum as well as the vimana have not lost the antique beauty yet.

A separate Ganesha idol is located at the entrance of Ardha Mandapa. Bhairava, Surya, Anugraha Bhairava, Chandra and seven Shiva Linga idols representing Sapta Sthana sites are all located in the inner prakara.

Happy travelling.


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