June 15, 2017

Periyandavar Temple - Chennai

This article is about a lesser known temple of a lesser known deity located in a lesser known site. Unamancheriy is a small village located at a distance of around 13 kms from Tambaram in the outskirts of Chennai in Tamil Nadu state of India. Kodanda Ram temple in this village is a beautiful Vijayanagara period temple. Behind the temple of Ram, there is a tank and if we cross the tank, we could reach Periyandavar temple.

Who is Periyandavar? As I mentioned in few other articles earlier, we could probably count the Vedic deities of Hinduism, but it is not possible to count the village deities (Grama devta). There are innumerable village deities all over India. In Tamil Nadu, Madurai Veeran, Ayyanar and Muneeswaran are some of the famous village deities. Periyandavar is also a village deity of Tamil Nadu, but he is lesser known. He is found in few villages in Kanchipuram and Chenglepet localities. Periyandavar is considered as the incarnation or form of Lord Shiva. As per the legend, due to a curse by Uma, Shiva took the form of a human and wandered on the earth. This form of Shiva is called as Periyandavar.

In this village called Unamanchery, a small temple of Periyandavar is located. This is small temple which enshrines a big stone idol of Periyandavar and a much bigger stucco image of the same deity behind the stone idol. Periyandavar is found in the standing posture. He has four arms and holds whip and sword in his upper arms. He sports a big mustache.

The temple also enshrines the idols of Uma Maheswari, Ganesh and Subramanya-Valli-Devasena.

Below the stone idol of Periyandavar, a small Mukha Linga is found. It also represents Periyandavar. Adhikara Nandi with his palms folded is found facing towards the presiding deity.

This temple is situated in a proper village setup and is very peaceful. It is surrounded by paddy fields, trees and few hills at the backdrop.

The temples of Nagathamman and Gangai Amman are situated near this temple.

Happy travelling.

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