October 28, 2014

Tiruvedikudi

Site Name: Vedapureeswarar temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Tiruvedikudi, located near Tiruvaiyaru, near Tanjore city, 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 and Tiruvaiyaru; public transport is not dependable
Hotel: No good hotels nearby; better to stay in Tanjore
Restaurants: No good restaurants nearby; it is better to go to Tanjore

Tiruvedikudi is a village near Tanjore town in South India. It is located at a distance of around 1 km from Tirukkandiyur, which in turn is located near Tiruvaiyaru. The village has an important temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is considered as the 14th among the Devara Paadal Petra Sthalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in the Chola region south of Cauvery river.

Highlights:
  • Appar and Sambandhar have revered the temple in their verses in Devaram.
  • God Vedapureeswarar aka Vazhai Madunathar aka Tiruvedikudi Mahadevara aka Parakesari Chadurvedi Mangala Mahadevar
  • Goddess Mangayarkarasi
  • Teerth (Holy water) - Vaidha Teerth
  • Sthala Vruksha (Holy tree) - Bilva
  • Considered as one of the Devara Paadal Petra Sthalams
  • Considered as the fourth of Tiruchakrapalli Sapta Sthana Sthalams

Legend:

As per the legend, Surya, Vishnu, Brahma, Vedas, Vyasa and Indira worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple. As the Vedas worshipped Shiva here, it is called as Vedikudi. 

As per another legend, a Chola King was worried as his daughter did not get married for long. After coming to this temple worshipping Lord Shiva, his daughter got married. Hence, he renamed his daughter as Mangayarkarasi after the Goddess of the temple. 

Temple Layout:

The temple which belongs to the period of Aditya Chola has three tiered tower (Raja gopuram) and is facing towards the east direction. 

The main deity Vedapureeswarar is found in the form of a Shiva Linga in sanctum sanctorum. As the site was a plantain field in those days, the deity is also called as Vazhaimadu Nathar. It is believed that he gives boon of marriage for unmarried young people and people would become scholars in Vedas by worshipping him. 

Mangayarkarasi is found in a separate south facing shrine.

The other idols found in the temple include 108 Shiva Linga, Subramanya, Chevi Saitha Vinayakar, Maha Lakshmi, Nataraja, Chandikeshwarar and Sapta Sthana Shiva Lingas. 

Ganesha idol in the Maha mandapa is named as Veda Vinayaka.

The vimana and the wall around the sanctum sanctorum are artistically beautiful and are adorned with a lot of sculptures.  Ardhanareeswara, Dakshinamurti, Brahma and Durga are found as the niche idols. Ardhanareeswara idol is unique. The right portion of the idol is female (Shakti) and the left portion is male (Shiva). Usually, it would be the other way round in other temples. 

Happy travelling. 

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