Location:Tiruvur village, Near Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights:Chola period ancient lesser known temple
Nearest Major Railway Station: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
Tiruvur (also spelled as Thiruvur)is a small village located at a distance of around 40 kms from Chennai. The nearest well known locality is Tiruvallur, which is at a distance of around 12 kms from this village. The village has an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is called as Shringandeeswarar in this temple. Let us discuss about this temple in this article.
God - Shringandeeswarar
Goddess - Utpalambal
Shiv Linga installed by the sage Rishya Shringa
It is believed that the sage Rishya Shringa, the sage who had horns like a deer, had installed Shiv Linga in this temple. Hence, Shiva is called after him as Shringandeeswarar. (Unfortunately, everyone including the temple authorities misspell the name as Singandeeswarar).
It is believed that the temple was originally built during the Chola period and later renovated during the Vijayanagara period. The inscriptions from the Cholas and Vijayanagaras are found in this temple.
The east facing temple has a three tier Raja gopura with two attractive and big stucco images of Nandi in the entrane. Nandi is found in the standing posture with four arms. The inscription slabs along with the symbol of Vijayanagara Kings are also found near the temple tower.
The east facing sanctum enshrines a big Shiv Linga called as Shringandeeswarar. Adjacent to the sanctum, there is a separate south facing shrine for the Goddess Utpalambal. The bali peetha, flag staff and Nandi mandap are found facing towards the sanctum. The small Maha mandap area has pillars with a lot of interesting carvings. One of the sculptures is that of Rishya Shringa Rishi.
The stucco idols of Nataraj-Shivakami and Nandi with his consort are also situated in the Maha Mandap. The idol of the sage Rishya Shringa along with Shiv Linga named Vishwanath is the highlight of this temple. The temple has just one prakra which is wide with a lot of open space. The sub-shrines of Vallal Peruman (Murugan) and Aththi Mukha Vinayakar are found in the prakara. The idols of Surya, Chandra, Bhairav, Vallalar and Annanmars (seven idols of warriors) are all situated in this temple. There are few interesting sculptures in the pillars which include Vali worshiping Linga, elephant worshiping Linga, Nardana Ganapati, Rishyashringa with Linga, etc. The wall around the sanctum has the niche idols of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Lingodbhava, Brahma and Durga. Chandikeshwarar is found in his usual location. Some of the old idols found during the excavations are kept in various places in the temple. Some of them such as a Murugan idol near Amman shrine and a Ganesha idol at the entrance of the temple are in good condition. The other sculptures are found broken. Happy travelling.