October 28, 2016

Sirukalathur Amaravatheeswarar Temple

Are you from Chennai? If yes, you would have definitely heard about Chembarampakkam Lake, which supplies water to Chennai. In this article, I am going to introduce you to a lesser known temple located near Chembarampakkam.

Sirukalathur village is a tiny hamlet located between Kundrathur and Chembarampakkam, at a distance of around 3 kms from Kundrathur. In those days, the village was called as Tirukkaavanur. The village has a small temple of Lord Shiva called as Amaravatheeswarar Temple.

The locals of the village do not even know the name of this temple. They call it as Kaattu Koil, which means a temple in the forest. 

The temple, which is in dilapidated state, is believed to belong to the period of Sekkizhar (12th century CE). For those who do not know, Sekkizhar, the author of Periya Puranam, belonged to the nearby Kundrathur village.

This reportedly Chola period temple does not have any signs of that period now. Based on some of the sources, I understand that there were inscriptions on the walls of the temple dated 13th century CE. There is a high possibility that the temple was rebuilt or renovated few times, as the current dilapidated structure resembles Nayakka style of architecture.

The presiding deity of the temple is Shiv Linga, who is named as Amaravatheeswarar. He is also called as Ramanatheswarar. His consort is called as Parvadavardhini in this temple. 

Like the way how the so-called Chola temple became a later period temple, the people, as per their belief, keep adding new deities and change the names of the deities too. A Goddess named Vaibhava Lakshmi is also found in this temple, who is also considered as the presiding deity of the temple nowadays.

The temple originally had the sub-shrines of Ganesha and Shanmukha along with the idols of Sukravara Amman, Surya, Bhairava and Sekkizhar. 

Currently, the temple is under renovation and we can get darshan of Shiv Linga and the Goddess placed in a nearby structure.

It is said that the utsav deities of this temple were moved to Kovur temple after the theft of niche image from this temple.

Happy travelling.

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