April 23, 2017

Tirumangalam Sama Vedeeswarar Temple

Site Name: Sama Vedeeswarar temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Tirumangalam, 4 kms from Lalgudi, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: The only Shiva temple which is named after Ved
Nearest Railway Station: Lalgudi
Nearest Airport: Trichy
How to reach: Well connected by road from Lalgudi and Trichy; public transport is not dependable
Hotel: No good hotels nearby; better to stay in Trichy or Lalgudi
Restaurants: No good restaurants nearby; it is better to go to Lalgudi

Tirumangalam is a village located at a distance of around 4 kms from Lalgudi town in Tamil Nadu state of India. This village has an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The name of the temple is Sama Vedeeswarar. This ancient Chola period temple is architecturally beautiful and has many unique sculptures. It is sad that this temple remains lesser known. Let us discuss about this temple which has a lot of unique features in this article.

Highlights:


  • God Sama Vedeeswarar 
  • Goddess - Loka Nayaki
  • Teerth (Holy water) - Gaya Phalguni or Parasurama Teerth
  • Sthala Vruksha (Holy tree) - Jack 
  • The birth place as well as the Mukti Sthalam of Anaya Nayanar.
  • Unique sculpture of Shanmukha with four arms.
  • Unique sculptures of Valli seated on peacock, whereas her co-wife Devaseana in the standing posture.
  • Dakshinamurti with Abhaya mudra.
  • Kala Bhairav and Swarna Bhairav are found together.
  • Chandikeshwara is unusually found in Ardha Mandap.

Legend:

This lesser known temple has so many lesser known but interesting tales.

Sama Ved:

Ved Vyasa divided the ancient Vedic hymns into four categories and named them as Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. He passed on the knowledge of those four Vedas to his four disciples. Jaimini was one of those four disciples who learnt Sama Ved from Vyasa. It is said that Jaimini interpreted Sama Ved and further classified that into multiple verses as per his interpretation in this temple. Hence, the presiding deity of the temple is named as Sama Vedeesswarar. It should be noted that no other Shiva temple is named after a Ved.

Parasuram:

Parasuram had to kill his own mother due to some reasons. He came to this temple to get rid of his Matru hatya sin. Hence, the holy tank of this temple is named as Parsurama Teerth and the village is also called as Parasurameswaram.

Lakshmi:

Lakshmi worshiped Shiva in this temple. Hence, the village is called as Tirumangalam.

Gaya:

Ravikuruva Rishi, a lesser known sage, wanted to attain liberation and came to this village. As he could not find a river nearby, he decided to go to Gaya and Kasi. Lord Shiva stopped him and he created a river in this village. The river that flows in this village is called as Gaya Phalguni river. This site is considered as equivalent to Gaya and Kasi.

Anaya Nayanar:

Anaya Nayanar is considered as one of the 63 Nayanmars. He was born in this village. He was a cowherd and a great devotee of Lord Shiva. 

Anaya Nayanar used to play the Panchakshara Mantra in this flute. He was so good in his music and his devotion to Shiva that even teh animals and birds would listen to his music. The celestials and the sages would gather to listen to him. Ultimately, Shiva along with his consort Uma, pleased by his bhakti and music, appeared to him. The great devotee got absorbed into the supreme deity in this village. 

Chandikeshwara:

Chandikeshwara visited many pilgrim centers to absolve his sin of killing his own father. Ultimately, he came to Tirumangalam and worshiped Sama Vedeeswarar. His sins were absolved in this site.

Ravan:

As per a legend, the presiding deity of the temple was installed by Ravan.

Uthanga Rishi:

Uthanga Rishi did penance towards Shiva and got amrit in this site.

History:

The stone inscriptions of the Chola period are found in this temple. Based on those inscriptions and the architectural style of the temple, we could assume that the temple must have been built or rebuilt in the 11th century CE by the Cholas.

Temple Layout:

Entrance:

The east facing temple has a three tiered tower.

The flag staff, bali peetha and Nandi are found facing towards the sanctum in the courtyard. The courtyard is actually a long mandapa with so many pillars containing sculptures.

The idol of Ganesh called as Kodimara Ganapati is installed near the flag staff.

The idols of Adhikara Nandi with his consrt in one side and Agnaya Ganapati on the other side are found in the inner entrance.

Sama Vedeeswarar:

The east facing sanctum enshrines the big Shiv Linga named as Sama Vedeeswarar

Nandi in Maha Mandap faces the sanctum.

In Ardha mandap, the idols of Ganesh and Chandikeshwara are found. It is believed that Chandikeshwara got the blessing of Shiva in this place. It is unusual to find Chandikeshwara in Ardha Mandap.

Loka Nayaki:

Near the flag staff, in a separate south facing shrine, the Goddess Loka Nayaki is found in the standing posture. She has four arms. 

Aadal Vallan:

The shrine of Nataraj is called as Aadal Vallan in this temple. It is located in the first prakara. It is a significant shrine.

Apart the big bronze idols of Nataraja and Sivakami, the bronze idol of Anaya Nayanar is also found in this shrine. Anaya Nayanar is found playing a flute with his crossed legs, similar to the posture of Venu Gopal. He is found under a tree and is surrounded by cattle.

Another unusual idol found in this shrine is the bronze idol of Parasuram.

Near the Nataraj's shrine, the sub-shrine of the village deity is located. It enshrines the utsav idol of Kali with eight arms.

The idols of Shaneeswara, Vishnu Durga, Kala Bhairav, Swarna Bhairav and Navagraha are also located nearby. The specialty is to find Swarna Bhairav and Kala Bhairav together. Shaneeswara's vaahan crow has its head towards the north direction, which is unusual. 

Koshta Murtis:

The Koshta Murtis around the sanctum are very attractive and they appear to be of the Chola period.

Dakshinamurti, Bhikshatana, Shankara Narayana, Brahma and Durga are found as the Koshta deities. 

Dakshinamurti's right arm is in abhaya mudra, which is very rare. In front of Dakshinamurti, a separate idol of a sage (Jaimini?) is found seated. This is again unusual.

Durga is found resting not on Mahisasura, but on a lion. 


Other shrines and idols:

In the prakara, there are few other sub-shrines located such as:


  • Maha Ganapati
  • Shiv Linga that was worshiped by Parasuram
  • Gaja Lakshmi
  • Amman who granted mukti Anaya Nayanar 
  • Chandikeshwara
Some idols not located within sub-shrines are also found. They include:

  • Anaya Nayanar
  • Shiv Linga who granted mukti to Nayanar along with Nandi
  • Chandikeshwara
  • Baana Linga
  • Appar
  • Sambandhar
Kalyana Subramanya:

Kalyana Subramanya shrine needs special mention. Subramanya is in the Shanmukha form and has six heads. However, he has only four arms instead of 12 arms in this shrine. Another unique feature is that Valli, his consort is found seated on a peacock. Her right arm is in Varada mudra. Subramanya's another consort, Devasena is found holding flower in her right arm. She is in the standing posture. Even Subramanya is in the standing posture and not seated on peacock.

Happy travelling.






No comments:

Post a Comment