April 18, 2016

Voyalanallur Temples

Site Name: Kandaswamy Temple and Shaktimuttreeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temples 
Location:  40 kms from Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: Unknown ancient temples; Life size sculpture of Skanda in the form of Brahma Shasta 
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

Voyalanallur is a small lesser known village located at a distance of around 40 kms from Chennai city in Tamil Nadu state of India. The nearest well known site is Tirumazhisai, which is at a distance of 4 kms from here. This village has two unknown ancient temples. One temple is dedicated to Lord Kandaswamy and the other one is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Let us discuss about these two temples.

There are many popular temples in Tamil Nadu state that are dedicated to Lord Subramanya a.k.a. Murugan. Some of those temples have very small sized idols of Subramanya. However, in Voyalanallur, there is a lesser known small temple of Subramanya, where the idol is about 7 feet and it looks magnificent.

Subramanya is called as Kandaswamy in this small temple which does not have a tower or vimana. The structure of the temple is new but the idol is ancient. The unique feature of this sculpture is that Kandaswamy is in the form of Brahma Shasta in this temple. He is in the standing posture and holds Akshara Mala and Kamandalu (sacred water pot) in his two upper arms. He does not hold his usual weapon and none of his two consorts is found along with him. As Brahma did not perform his duty properly, Subramanya punished Brahma and took over his job for a brief period. This form of Subramanya is called as Brahma Shasta. This is a rare form of Subramanya and it is not found in many temple. Another important temple where he is found in the form of Brahma Shasta is Kumara Kottam temple in Kanchipuram.

The gigantic idol of Subramanya looks lively and elegant in this temple. There is an inscription pillar and few scattered inscription slabs found outside the temple. The inscriptions belong to Aditya Chola I period (9th century CE). 

At walking distance from Kandaswamy temple, near the lotus pond, there is a temple for a big Shiv Linga called as Shaktimutreeswarar. This idol belongs to Chola period. The idols of Nandi and Goddess are new and the temple structure is also modern day structure. An old idol of Surya, which was discovered in an excavation, is also found in this temple.

Happy travelling.

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