November 7, 2016

Trichy Bhoolokanathar Temple

Site Name: Bhoolokanathar Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Near Market Bus Stop, Trichy city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: A unique temple where Nandi is found with four arms
Nearest Railway Station: Trichy
Nearest Airport: Trichy
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air
Hotel: A lot of options across the city; this is one of the important cities in South India 
Restaurants: All varieties of restaurants across the city

Trichy is one of the most important cities of Tamil Nadu state in South India. When it comes to Trichy, everyone would think or talk mainly about the Rock Fort. However, Trichy city has few other important but not so popular temples. In this article, we are going to discuss about one such temple, which is called as Bhoolokanathar Temple.

Bhoolokanathar Temple is located near Market Bus Stop at the heart of Trichy city. Although it is not known to the people outside Trichy, it is well known within the city. 

  • Nandi is found with four arms and playing drum (Maddala)
  • Five holy trees are found within the temple
  • God - Bhoolokanathar
  • Goddess - Jagatambikai
  • Sthala Vruksha (holy tree) - Magizham, Vanni, Atthi, Bilva and Kurunthai 
  • It is a specialty temple for those having land and other real estate related issues 

As per the legend, the King who was ruling this region could not resolve any problem. A Yogi met him and told that there were some issues in the construction of his palace. The saint suggested the King to worship Lord Shiva. Accordingly, the King installed Shiv Linga, named him as Bhoolokanathar and worshiped him in the current site where the temple stands. He got his problems resolved. 

Temple Layout:

It is not known who built this temple and when. However, the temple must be few hundred years old and not very ancient. 

The east facing temple has a Raja gopuram (tower) and an arch before the tower.

Bhoolokanathar and Jagatambikai

The presiding deity of the temple is Bhoolokanathar, a very big Shiv Linga. He is found in the east facing sanctum.

In the outermost mandap, there is a separate south facing shrine for the Goddess Jagatambikai. She is found in her usual standing posture and she has four arms with her two upper arms holding flowers.

Two separate Nandis are found, one facing Shiva and the other facing Ambika.

Nataraj and Four armed Nandi

In the Maha Mandap, there is a shrine for Nataraj and Shivakami. The shrine has the usual idol of Karaikal Ammaiyar and an unusual Nandi. Nandi has four arms; his upper arms are folded in the worshiping posture whereas he is found playing drum (Maddala) with his two lower arms.

Various Mandaps

The temple has sanctum (moolasthan), Ardha Mandap, Maha Mandap and two more outer mandaps. The shrine of Jagatambikai is located in the outermost mandap. At the entrance of Maha Mandap, the sculptures of Ganesh and Subramanya are found.

Koshta Deities

Nardana Ganapati, Dakshinamurti, Lingodbhava, Brahma and Durga are found as the niche (Koshta) deities. All Murtis except Lingodbhava are bigger in size and they appear to be old sculptures. However, Lingodbhava is definitely new idol; I wonder what happened to the original niche image.

Chandikeshwara is found in his usual location. Additionally, the female form Chandikeshwari is found separately near the shrine of Jagatambikai.

Sthala Vruksha

Only one tree is usually attributed as the Sthala Vruksha for any temple. However, this temple has five holy trees namely Magizham, Vanni, Atthi, Bilva and Kurunthai.

Other Deities

At the entrance of the temple, the idols of Ganesh and Subramanya are found.

The sub-shrines of Nagabarana Ganesh and Subramanya-Valli-Devasena are located in the prakara.

Among Navagraha, Surya alone is found with his consorts; all eight planets are found facing towards him. Only the temples in Trichy and Thanjavur regions have this sort of Navagraha. In the other regions, each planet is facing in his own direction and not everyone faces Surya.

The idols of Bhairav, Surya, Chandra, Sapta Matrikas, Vishwanatha (Linga), Vishalakshi, Nalvar, Sekkizhar, Anjaneya, Karuppanna Swamy and Ganesha (under Vanni tree) are also located in this temple.

Happy travelling. 

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