November 8, 2016

Trichy Naganathar Temple

Site Name: Naganathar Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Nandi Koil Street, Trichy city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: An ancient and important temple of Trichy
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 Naganathar Temple.

Naganathar Temple is located in Nandi Koil Street near the famous Rock Fort Temple at the heart of Trichy city. Although it is not known to the people outside Trichy, it is well known within the city. 

  • God - Naganathar or Chevvandi Nathar
  • Goddess - Anandavalli
  • Sthala Vruksha (holy tree) - Bilva
  • Teerth (Holy water) - Shiva Teerth 

As per the legend, some sages thought that they could live on their own and do whatever they wanted without the need for the God. Lord Shiva fought with them in order to teach them a lesson. Those sages released serpents to attack Shiva; however, Shiva wore them as his ornaments. Hence, he got the name Naganathar. 

The sage Sara Mamuni along with the seven Naga Kanyas worshiped Shiva in this site with Chevvandi flowers. Then, they took bath in the holy tank of the temple. Hence, Shiva is also called as Chevvandi Nathar. 

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 recent renovation and the mosaic flooring look not so good.

The temple has two entrances and two towers (gopuras). The east facing gopura is supposed to be the main tower. However, as it faces a small lane, hardly anyone uses this entrance. There is another north facing entrance which is located in the busy Nandi Koil Street. Everyone enters the temple only through this entrance. There is also an arch before the tower in this entrance.

The idols of Ganesh and Murugan grace this entrance.

Naganathar and Anandavalli

The presiding deity of the temple is Naganathar, a moderately big Shiv Linga. He is found in the east facing sanctum. Adjacent to this sanctum, there is a north facing shrine for the Goddess Anandavalli. She is her usual standing posture; she has four arms. 

Both Shiva and Amman have Nandi before them. The flag staff and bali peeth are found facing the sanctum.

The entrance of the main shrine is graced by the sculpture of Sundara Vinayak.

Koshta Deities

Not all the usual Koshta deities are found in this temple. Only Dakshinamurti, Lingodbhava and Durga are found. A small sub-shrine is built for Dakshinamurti Koshta, which looks bad.

Chandikeshwara is found in his usual location. 

Other Deities

Some of the other deities that are found in this temple include Sara Mamuni, Nalvar, 63 Nayanmars, Sundareshwara (Linga), Meenakshi, Ganesh, Bala Subramanya, Dakshinamurti, Veerabhahu, Veera Mahendra, Ganesh, Shanmukha-Valli-Devasena, Shiv Linga with his consort, Ganesh, Vishwanatha (Linga), Vishalakshi, Saraswati, Shiv Linga, Sura Deva, Durga and Dandayudhapani.

The sub-shrine of Nataraja is found in the Ardha Mandap. There is a shrine for Somaskanda in the prakara.

Bhairav, Surya and Chandra are found near the entrance facing towards the sanctum.

Happy travelling.

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