July 14, 2014

Veeravanallur Bhoominathar Temple

Site Name: Bhoominathar Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Veeravanallur, near Ambasamudram town, near Tirunelveli city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: Shiva gave back life to Yama; temple entrance in different style due to arch on top of incomplete tower
Nearest Railway Station: Veeravanallur
Nearest Airport: Tirunelveli
How to reach: Well connected by road from Ambasamudram and Veeravanallur; local buses are available from Ambasamudram and Tirunelveli
Hotel: Few options in Ambasamduram and no option in this village; more options in the nearby city Tirunelveli
Restaurants: Only limited low cost options; Ambasamudram has comparatively better options

Ambasamudram is a picturesque town located on the banks of the beautiful Tamrabharani river and on the foothills of the Western Ghats. The nearest city of Ambasamudram is Tirunelveli. It is located in Tamil Nadu state in South India.The town has a lot of scenic spots and temples. Veeravanallur is a small village located near Veeravanallur near Ambasamudram. The village has an ancient temple, Bhoominathar temple. Let us explore this temple in detail.




Highlights:

  •  God Bhoominathar
  • Goddess Maragathambigai
  • Teerth (Holy water) – Gnana Teerth
  • Sthala Vruksha (Holy tree) – Punnai
  • Yama got back his life in this site
  • The temple entrance has different style of architecture

Legend:

As per the legend, after Yama, the God of death, was kicked off by Lord Shiva in order to save Markandeya, he became a creeper plant in this site. As Yama could not perform of his job, there were no deaths on the earth and Bhoo Devi could not bear the weight of heavy population. She prayed to Lord Shiva. Shiva gave back Yama his life. Hence, he is called as Bhoominathar in this temple.

Temple Layout:

Entrance:

The east facing temple is big in size but not gigantic like other temples in this region. The east facing temple has an incomplete tower. The entrance doors have very fine wooden carvings of various deities. 

The flag staff, Nandi mandapa and bali peetha are all located facing towards the main shrine in a broad and long covered mandapa full of carved pillars. Near the flag staff, the bas relief images of Ganesha and Kartikeya are found.

Main Shrine:

The main shrine is built in 'maada kovil' architectural style (raised platform which can be reached through steps). The main shrine has moolasthan, ardha mandapa and maha mandapa. Bhoominathar is in the form of a small Shiva Linga and is located inside the moolasthan. At the entrance of ardha mandapa, there is a Ganesha idol. The entrance of maha mandapa has two bas relief images - Ganesha and Kartikeya on peacock. 

In maha mandapa, there is a sub-shrine where so many utsava (metal) idols such as one set of big Nataraja and Sivakami, two sets of smaller Nataraja and Sivakami, Chandrasekhar - Uma, Bhikshatana, etc. are all found. Nandi is facing towards the moolasthan and it is located in this hall.

The front side mandapa of maada kovil has many yazhi pillars. The inner prakra is full of pillars with beautiful carvings. Dakshinamurti alone is found as the niche sculpture.

Inner Prakara:

In inner prakara, the idols of three Ganeshas, 63 Nayanmars, Sapta matas, Surya, Chandra, Veerabhadra and Adhikara Nandi are found.

The sub-shrines of Ganesha, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena and Mahalakshmi are also located in the inner prakara.

Maragambika:

The Goddess of the temple is Maragambika. She is found with two arms and in the standing posture. A separate main shrine with front side pillared mandapa and Nandi mandapa is dedicated to her. This shrine is also facing the east direction and located to the left side of Bhoominathar shrine.

Sandana Sabhapati:

Near the Nandi mandapa, there is big mandapa and a big sub-shrine. It is dedicated to Natarja. There, all the idols such as Natarja and Sivakami, Patanjali, Karaikkal Ammaiyar and Vyagrapathar are all made up of sandolwood. Nataraja is named as Sandana Sabhapati.

Navagraha, the nine planets, are located near the Nandi mandapa.

The outer prakara is an open space and it is full of trees and plants.

An important factor of temple is beautiful sculpture found in the pillars all over the temple.

Happy travelling.



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