April 19, 2016

Sundararaja Perumal Temple - Tirumanam Village, Sidharkadu

Site Name: Sundararaja Perumal 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 villages has two ancient and interesting temples. One of those temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who is called as Sundararaja Perumal in this temple. Let us discuss about this temple in this article.

Highlights:

  • God - Sundararaja Perumal
  • Goddess Sundara Valli
  • 800 years old Pandya period temple
  • Special temple for those who have Swati as their birth star

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. Lord Brahma liked this beautiful forest much and started his penance towards Vishnu in this site. Vishnu along with his consort Lakshmi gave darshan to Brahma. Brahma became excited and called them as Sundararaja and Sundaravalli as they appeared to him extremely beautiful. (The word 'Sundar' means beautiful).

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.

Tirumazhisai Alwar

It is believed to be the site where Tirumazhisai Alwar performed penance towards Lord Vishnu.

History:

It is claimed that the temple was originally started by the Pandya King Jatavarman Sundara Pandya in the 13th century CE. The King died in a battle before completing the work. It was taken over by a rich person from this locality named Nalla Chinnaswami Mudaliyar. He completed the construction of the temple and started maintaining the temple with the income that he got from his 100 acres of field. His descendants have been continuing to maintain the temple and take care of the temples through this income even today.

(The style of the temple architecture does not appear to be of Pandyas, though. It is more aligned with Vijayanagara style.)


Temple Layout:

The east facing temple has a beautiful five tier Raja gopura with a lot of interesting stucco images. The temple is spread across one acre of land.


The east facing sanctum enshrines Sundararaja Perumal with his two consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi on his either sides. All of them are found in the standing postures.

The bali peetha, tall flag staff and Garud sub-shrine are found facing towards the sanctum.

The dwara palas at the entrance of the sanctum look gigantic and interesting.

In the Maha mandap, the idols of Tirumazhisai Alwar, Nammalvar, Tirumangai Alwar, Senai Mudaliyar and Ramanujar are situated. The utsav metal idols of Sundararaja Perumal with his two consorts, Achyuta, Ananta, Nardana Krishna, Sudarshan, Tirumazhisai Alwar, Nammalvar, Tirumangai Alwar, Senai Mudaliyar and Ramanuja are situated in a separate sub-shrine in the Maha mandap area. Tirumazhisai Alwar is very prominent and big.

The temple has two prakaras around the sanctum. In the outer prakara, the shrines of the Goddess Sundaravalli and Andal are located. Both the shrines have beautiful vimanas and the front side mandaps full of sculpted pillars. 


Rare sculpture of Lord Shiva in Vishnu temple
The Kalyana Mandap which is found near the flag staff has many pillars with beautiful sculptures.

The sculpture of Garudakkodi Siddhar found in a pillar in the mandap of Andal has become very popular among the devotees nowadays. It is believed that this Siddha lived in this village and was a great devotee of Garud.

There is a small sub-shrine of Nardana Krishna located in the temple. The sub-shrine of Hanuman is found outside the temple complex and it faces the Raja gopura.

A big tank is found between this temple and Shiva temple of this village.

Near the shrine of Andal, the Tulsi plant and Amla (Nelli) tree are found together. It is believed that if the childless couple  perform the marriage of these two plants, they would beget children. For those who wish to get married would also get their wish fulfilled by following the same ritual.

There are 17 relief images of Narasimha in different postures found in various pillars throughout the temple.

Happy travelling.







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