December 22, 2015

Uthiramerur Bala Subramanya Temple

Site Name: Bala Subramanya temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:   Uthiramerur, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: 6 feet tall Subramanya; Valli and Devasena in single form
Nearest Railway Station: Kanchipuram
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Kanchipuram and Chennai
Hotel: Go to Uthiramerur for mid-range hotels; for better option, go to Kanchi or Chennai
Restaurants:  Limited options in Uthiramerur

Uthiramerur town is located near Kanchipuram city in Tamil Nadu state of India . An ancient temple called Bala Subramanya temple is located here. Let us explore this beautiful but little known temple.


Legend:

As per the legend, the place on both sides of the river Cheyyaru was called as Uttaravahini forest in the olden days. The sage Kashyap along with the other sages was performing penance in this site. Two demons named Magaran and Malayan were disturbing the sage. The sage requested Lord Shiva for help. Shiva asked his son Murugan a.k.a. Subramanya to help the sage. He also gave his divine sword to Subramanya.

Subramanya tried to advise the demons. But they were not listening. Then, he installed his weapon Vel to stand guard on the eastern side of the hermitage of the sage. He severed the head of Magaran with the sword given by Shiva. Malayan used the magic to protect himself but he was also ultimately killed by Subramanya. 

The place where the head of Malayan fell is called as Malayankulam and the place where Magaran was defeated is called as Magaral. Subramanya built the temple for his father called as Kadamba Nathar. Lord Shiva asked his son also to stay in this site. Thus, he settled down here as Bala Subramanya.

History:

The temple belongs to the Cholas period. 

Temple Layout:

The east facing temple has five-tiered tower with a lot of beautiful stucco images.

The sanctum sanctorum enshrines the majestic six feet tall Bala Subramanya. He has four arms and is found in the standing posture. At the entrance, there is a small Ganesha idol.  In this temple, instead of peacock, the idol of elephant is found as the vahan facing towards the main shrine. The flag staff and bali peetha are all found facing towards the main shrine. 

In the Maha Mandapa, there is a shrine where a lot of utsava idols are placed. Some of the important utsava idols include Shanmukha-Valli-Devasena, Murugan with his two consorts and even Nataraja-Sivakami. The most important idol here is Gaja Valli. She is believed to be the combined form of Valli and Devasena, two consorts of Subramanya. It is very rare form of Goddess. At the entrance of this mandapa too, there is a small Ganesha idol. 

There are two prakaras in this temple. The outer prakara does not have any sub-shrine or idol.

In the inner prakara, there is a sub-shrine for Lord Ganesha. He also has elephant as his vahan which is placed facing towards his sub-shrine. This is also unique feature of the temple.

Chandikeshwara is called as Sumitirai Chandikeshwara in this temple. He adores in his usual place. 

Some of the deities found in the inner prakara include:
  • Selva Ganapati
  • Vishwanatha Linga
  • Vaishnavi
  • Bala Subramanya
  • Ananta Naga
  • Vasuki Naga
  • Kamadhenu
  • Takshaka Naga
  • Shasta
  • Shanmukha
  • Navagraha
  • Surya
There is a sub-shrine in the temple where the holy Vel, the weapon of Subramanya, is worshiped. 

Happy travelling.

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