Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thirupachur vaacheeswaran temple

 

I had  an unexpected trip to Tirupati where I passed by the thirupachur vaacheeswara temple. The temple is situated on the Chennai Tirupati route via Thiruvallur .Thiruvallur is situated at 50 km distance from Chennai The temple is located in Thirupachur just out side the Thiruvallur collectorate,It is  situated at 7 km distance from the Thiruvallur railway station. . As the temple is situated on the Thiruvallur-Thirutani bus route, devotees can reach the temple by bus also.

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DSCN2285 The Temple has many legends attached to it and is a very big complex.The temple has been praised byThirunavukkarasar, Thirugnanasambhandar and Ramalinga Vallalar.The Presiding Diety is Vaacheswarar and has the Srichakra enshrined in front of the sivalingam by Adisankara.

The priest told me the temple is more than a 1500 years old and was primarily built by Karikala Chola.

AS you enter the eastern gate you see the Kodimaram and the Swarnakali.

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(present state with covered enclosure next to kodimaram)

This Kali was fighting against the Chola king aligning with the Kurumbas (local tribals) and upon the request of Karikala Chola who was a great siva bhaktha, Lord shiva enticed kali with a golden necklace and enticed her here so first see her before visiting the temple.

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The word ‘Pachu’ means bamboo in Tamil. Once, when some people were hunting in the forest, they saw a cow showering milk from its udder on something. When they dug the spot, they found a Sivalinga there. The Chola king Karikala came to know about this incident and built the temple here. A race, called Kurumba was giving lot of trouble to the king. Samanas, who supported these people tried to even kill the king through snake-bite. The king prayed at this sthala to protect him from these people. The Lord destroyed the snake and saved the king from the scheming Kurumbas. They wanted to bury the snake and the hunters used axes to dig the spot and one of the axes hit the head portion of the lingam. Even today, the scar is seen on the lingam. The term ‘Vaasi’ means axe in Tamil and it is believed that the deity at this sthala got the name Vacheeswara because of this term.

The Southern entrance Gopuram which is the Main entrance

DSCN2293 The entrance to the main complex is by the southern gate and this leads us to the Ganapathy enclosure 

Upon entering the temple, the devotees are greeted by Lord Vinayaka (Ganesh). Shodasa Ganapathy is depicted in eleven murtis of various sizes, which are grouped together. Elsewhere in the temple another five murtis of Ganapathy are found. The group of eleven Vinayaka murtis is called Ekadasa Vinayaka, ekadasa meaning 'eleven' in Sanskrit. These were worshipped by Lord Vishnu to get rid of his Madhu kaitapa dosha for having killed the two rakshasas by that name  and another version of the priest was to retain his earnings as he was unable to create new wealth as all he obtained was given only  as interest to kubera!!

The next sannidhi is Ambal sanidhi Usually, in Sivalayas, Ambal sannidhi would be located to the left of the sanctum of the Lord. But here, Ambal has been portrayed to the right, facing the east. The sanctum of Vacheeswara is also facing the east. Worship  is offered to the Lord only after it is done to Ambal. The ambal is standing and is respelendent in bridal attire.

The main Sivan  sannidhi is next. It has a gaja prishti vimanam signifying a swayambhu lingam.It is a seperate enclosure which has its own ante chamber and we can see the Sivalingam with the axe mark with sri chakra in front and also Somaskanda sculpture of Siva Parvathy and murugan  in the back ground in the Main sannidhi. Shiva here is also known as Theenda Thirumeni nadhar, referring to one of his dance styles. 

In  the inner  praharam, we see sannidhis of Subrahmanya, Somaskanda and the Navgrahas. Sri Dakshinamoorthy sannidhi is located as a separate sannidhi, facing the south. At the ‘goshta’ of the sanctum, Lingothbhavamoorthy has been portrayed facing the west.

In the temple's inner praharam there is also a very beautiful deity of Lord Brahma.

Found in a standing posture with three faces and four arms, this exceptional deity of Brahmadeva resides in a rectangular stone niche in the outer sanctum sanctorum wall. Holding the mala and lota in his upper hands, his lower right hand is in abhaya mudra, with the other resting on his hip. Brahma wears an ornate crown, girdle and jewelry.

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(pic courtesyhttp://www.harekrsna.com/sun/features/11-09/features1540.htm)

The significance of Brahma here is that Vedas are being given protection by Siva.

At the northern end of the  praharam, Sri Vishnu Durga, Sri Veerabhadra and Sri Sornabhairava can be seen.

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great sages including Bringirishi, Romarishi, Bharadwaj, Kashyap, Vasishta, Narada, Sukar, Viswamitra and Vyasa ,great souls like Mankandeya and Abhimanyu have  worshipped here. The temple has two tanks – Somatheertham and Mangalatheertham. The sthalavritcha is bamboo tree.

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(Inscription in the temple)

Thevarams put up for devotees to recite for general well being)

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The temple is badly in need of planned maintainence but there is no doubt about the deep spirituality of the place when you enter the temple