April 20, 2016

Dhatreeswarar Temple - Tirumanam Village, Sidharkadu

Site Name: Dhatreeswarar Temple  
Site Type: Ancient Hindu Temple
Location:  Tirumanam village, Vayalanallur Post, Sidhukkadu (Sidharkadu), Near Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: Pandya period ancient lesser known temple
Nearest Major Railway Station: Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: The village is reachable by road; public transportation is not dependable; it is a little known remote place and the roads are not in good condition; 
Hotel: Go to Chennai where there are lot of options 
Restaurants: Go to Chennai where there are lot of options

Tirumanam is a small village that falls under Vayalanallur post. The place is more famous in the name of Sidharkadu. The village is located at a distance of around 30 kms from Chennai. The nearest well known locality is Pattabiram, which is at a distance of around 10 kms from this village. The beautiful village has two ancient and interesting temples. One of those temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is called as Dhatreeswarar in this temple. Let us discuss about this temple in this article.

Highlights:

  • God Dhatreeswarar or Nelliappar
  • Goddess Prasunakundalambikai or Poonkuzhali
  • 800 years old Pandya period temple
  • Special temple for those who have Swati as their birth star
  • This Shiva temple has many bas-reliefs related to Vaishnaivism


Legend:

Origin

In the olden days, this village was in the form of a forest with a lot of Sowgandhika flower plants. Hence, it was called as Sowgandhika Puram. 


Name of the Village

It is believed that the village was originally called as Tirumandram or Harisaranalaya Nallur. Tirumandram has become Tirumanam nowadays. 

As a lot of Siddhas lived in this village, it is also called as Siddharkadu.

Poonkuzhali

It is believed that the idol of Goddess was found in a flower garden and hence she was named as Poonkuzhali. The word 'Poo' means flower in Tamil. The Sanskrit name of Poonkuzhali is Prasunakundalambikai.


Siddhas


It is believed that the Siddhars named Jatamudi Siddhar and Prana Deepika Siddhar worshiped Lord Shiva Linga under the Nelli tree in this site. The word 'Nelli' in Tamil and 'Dhatree' in Sanskrit mean gooseberry. As the Shiv Linga was worshiped under the Nelli tree, he is called as Nelliappar in Tamil and Dhatreeswarar in Sanskrit.

History:

It is believed that the temple was originally built by the Pandya King Jatavarman Sundara Pandya in the 13th century CE. Later additions and renovations were done by the Nayaka kings. 

Temple Layout:

The east facing temple has a beautiful five tier Raja gopura. The nice idols of Ganesha and Kartikeya are found at the entrance wall below the tower.


The east facing sanctum enshrines Shiv Linga called as Dhatreeswarar

There is a separate south facing shrine for the Goddess Prasunakundalambikai

The bali peetha, tall flag staff and Nandi mandap are found facing towards the sanctum.

The sculptures of Nardana Ganapati, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found as the niche idols. Chandikeshwara is found in his usual location.

The prakara has the sub-shrines of Ganesha and Murugan with his two consorts. Nataraj-Sivakami is found in a separate shrine.

There is a separate sub-shrine enshrining the beautiful metal idols of Somaskanda and one more shrine is dedicated for all other utsav idols.

The temple has a lot of pillars that contain beautiful relief images. Some of the relief images include the images related to Vaishnaivism such as different forms of Vishnu and Dasavatar, which is rare to find in a Shiva temple. 

Also, a lot of Siddhas' relief images are found in the walls and pillars of this temple.

One more interesting feature of the temple is the sculptures on the ceilings. Especially, the ceiling in the Maha Mandap has a slab with Linga in the center and a lot of deities around him in all the four directions. It looks very intricate and attractive.

In the prakara, the idols of Saraswati, Adi Shankara, Lakshmi, Veera Bhadra, Adikara Nandi and Ganesha are also situated.

Happy travelling.



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