January 2, 2016

Chinnakavanam Nootreteeswarar Temple

Site Name: Nootreteeswarar  Temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:   Chinnakavanam, Near Ponneri, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: 108 Shiva Lingas merged into a single Ganesha
Nearest Railway Station: Ponneri
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Ponneri and Chennai
Hotel: Go to Ponneri for limited options; for better option, go to Chennai
Restaurants:  Limited options in Ponneri

Ponneri is a small town located at a distance of around 40 kms from Chennai in Tamil Nadu state of India . Chinnakavanam is a village located near Ponneri. It is located between Ponneri and Pulicat. The highlight of the village is the ancient Nootreteeswarar temple. Let us explore about this temple in this article.


Highlights:
  • God - Nootreteeswarar and Chadurvedeeswarar
  • Goddess - Sivakami and Ashtotravalli
  • Sthala Vruksha (holy tree) - Eruazhingal (Angola) tree
  • Birth place of Ramalinga Adigalar's mother
  • The seeds of the old and holy Eruazhingal tree are getting attracted to the tree itself
  • 108 Shiva Lingas merged into a single Ganesha idol

Legend:

As per the legend, the sage Agastya was travelling to Kasi. On his way, he visited this site and worshiped Chadurvedeeswarar. He came to know that worshiping Shiva Linga under the Eruazhingal tree in this site for 108 days would be equivalent to visiting Kasi. So, he installed Shiva Linga everyday and performed poojas to them. As he did not start the pooja with the worship of Ganesha, all the 108 Shiva Lingas got merged into a single form of Ganesha idol. Lord Shiva appeared as Ganesha to Agastya in this site.

As all the Shiva Lingas got merged and became Ganesha, the sage installed one more Shiva Linga which was named as Nootreteeswarar. The word Nootretu means 108; hence this name refers 108 Shiva Lingas.

As per another legend, the sage Agastya emptied the oceans to reveal the demons lead by Vritrasura. It enabled the Devas to find and kill them. However, a lot of living beings in the ocean lost their lives without water. Due to this sin, the sage got severe stomach pain. He approached Lord Subramanya in the site called Tiruttani. He advised the sage to construct 108 temples for Lord Shiva to get rid of his pain. He created a river called Kusasthalai river and built 108 temples on the banks of that river. It is said that Nootreteeswarar temple in Chinnakavanam is the 108th temple.

History:

It is said that the Pallava King Nandivarma had renovated this temple.

Temple Layout:

The temple has a small south facing tower (Raja gopuram). The flag staff, bali peetha and Nandi mandapa are found facing towards the main shrine.

In the sanctum sanctorum, a large Shiva Linga with square Avudai (base) called as Nootreteeswarar is found.

Near the shrine of Nootreteeswarar shrine, the shrine of another Shiva Linga called as Chadurvedeeswarar and the shrine of the Goddess Sivakami are located. It should be noted that this temple has two Shiva Lingas, two Ammans (Goddesses) and two Nandis.

The sub-shrines of utsava idols and the sub-shrine of Nataraja are also situated near the sanctum sanctorum.

Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found as the niche images on the exterior wall of the main shrine.

The sub-shrines of Ganesha and Subramanya with his consorts are also located in the inner prakara. Some idols of the deities such as Surya, Chandra, Bhairav, Navagraha and Chandikeshwara are also found in the prakara.

The outer prakara is open space with a lot of trees and plants. The sthala vruksha (holy tree of the site Angola tree is found here. Ganesha in an improper form without trunk is found under the tree. It is believed that 108 Shiva Lingas merged into this Ganesha idol. He is called as Angola Ganapati. Opposite to this shrine, the shrine of another Goddess Ashotravallis is situated.

The devotees believe that the holy tree is more than 2500 years old. It is also said that the seeds of the tree that fell down are getting attached to the tree itself.

Happy travelling. 

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