Sunday, October 30, 2011

Manimangalam Dharmeeshwarar temple

A stones throw away from the Kailasanathar temple is this temple. The temple is ASI managed and I was impressed by the presence of a supervisor on a Sunday who ran to the kurukkal’s house and got the keys at about 11 am and showed us around. He refused any remuneration!!

On the approach road is a well directed sign DSCN3214

There is a prominent board by ASI also DSCN3213

The front lawn was occupied by young men playing cricket on a Sunday morning in the shade of the peepul tree

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As in any ASI monument photography was allowed and I post these here

As you enter the main gate you see the ambal sannidhi in front (Vedhaambigai) with the main  Nandi and balipeetam placed outside the main  temple wall!! there is a small recess for Nandi to see the lord inside. So ambal and Nandi are away from the inner temple!DSCN3183

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( Ambal sannidhi seen in front) The ambal was covered with greenish moss/ fungus probably due to the monsoon rains

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The entrance to the main temple with the pillars having many miniature carvings of Ganesha and Subramanya in many formsDSCN3190

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The entire outer walls have extensive inscriptions about the endowments, history and local grants by prominent citizens a virtual history record!!DSCN3189

The sanctum has a huge Siva lingam in the Garbagruha with a navagraha in the ante chamber. there is a separate grilled area inside for the utsava moorthy which is sadly lacking as it was apparently stolen long time ago.

The outside of the temple has multiple ganeshas under Bilva trees, a Bairavar is also there in a separate niche along with a  separate Shanishwara.sannidhiDSCN3196

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Murugan

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(second ganesha)

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(Shanishwara with Crow as vahana in his separate niche )

The walls of the main  temple have Ganesha, Dakshina murthy,Perumal,Brahma,Durga and also a chandikeshwarar nearby

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(side view of the temple with ganesha and Dakshinamurthy)

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(Dakshinamurthy)

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Ganesha

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Perumal behind the temple

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There are a lot of vigrahas partly damaged and kept aside

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A very peaceful temple so close to bustling civilisation crying for patronage!!

Manimangalam Shri Rajagopalaswamy temple

This is also a very old temple I could not go inside as the bhattar had already left by11:30 Am

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Mandapam in front of the main entrance

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Main entrance

A couple of ornamental pillars seen here by the side of the main entrance

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More details after i visit the temple

Manimangalam Kailasanathar Temple

I read an article  once

in the Hindu where a 1000 year temple was in dilapidated condition. http://www.hindu.com/2006/09/02/stories/2006090208830100.htm

Thankfully a group of people from SRI PALANIANDAVER TRUST have come forward and are in the process of renovating the temple since 2009. The temple is supposedly built in 950 AD by the telugu Chola king Vijaya Baalaya chola. Later, this temple was renovated during various periods by Raja Raja Chola (985 AD), Rajendra Chola (1014 AD) and Kulothunga Chola (1070 AD).as per the local inscriptions available

This is the first temple you see on the left when you enter manimangalam from tambaram/ mudichur.The lord has been shifted to a shed and Balalayam has been done and the temple is being rebuilt

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( Main sanctum being built)

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(Nandi mandabam in front of the sanctum the lord is now housed in the shed seen behind)

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(A view inside the shed)

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There is a new ganapathy temple painted yellow which has been constructed here

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Manimangalam Temples

History

Having been inspired by Kalki’s Sivagamiyin sabadham I was very keen to visit this place a small village near Sriperubudur and Tambaram. This is the place where the pallava king  Mahendravarma and later his son  Narasimha varma Pallava  (Ma mallan) along with his minister Paranjothi (also known as Siruseedan one of the nayammars round about 735 AD). defeated Pulakesi II of the chalukya dynasty and they proceeded to chase him as far north as VATAPI (present day Badami in North Katrnataka) and vanquished him  The original name of this place was Chaturvedi mangalam and it is said that there are numerous stone sculptures strewn around this village and also the temples here bound with lots of inscriptions which talk of how the chalukyas needed to be decimated and not shown any mercy!!

Dr.Gift Siromoney a legend of madras christian college in his book has this to say about Manimangalam and its archeological treasures

http://www.cmi.ac.in/gift/Archeaology/arch_mpillar.htm

once I reached i came to know that there is another temple for Vishnu Vaikunta perumal temple . There are a lot of inscriptions found here .in these temples

http://www.whatisindia.com/inscriptions/south_indian_inscriptions/volume_3/manimangalam.html

I have been greatly helped by the blogs  of Sri raju and Shri saravanan about these temples

http://www.dharsanam.com/2009/03/manimangalam-sri-dharmeswarar.html

http://shanthiraju.wordpress.com/2008/02/28/visit-to-somangalam-and-manimangalam-temples/

How to reach::

There are three routes toreach this village.

1) From Tambaram : Just before the Hindu mission hospital take a right turn into Sriperumbudur road /Mudichur road. Proceed for 10 kms when the road takes a turn to the right which is Manimangalam

2) From Sriperumbudur: On NH 4 after you cross the rajiv gandhi memorial there is a signal with a left towards Vandalur. It is also called Darkas road State highway 110  or Kodambakkam sripermbudur road proceed for about 1 km and take a right turn towards vandalur to reach manimangalam. It is about 19-20 kims from the NH 4

3) From Kunrathur: From kunrathur  Thirunageshwaram temple/Sekkhizar school take the highway adjacent to the temple.it will run parallel to the NH 4. After about 1 Km the road cuts across the Outer ring road from thiruninravur to vandalur. Take a left into this road and you will reach mudichur in about 10 kms. manimangalam is a further  km away on the right. The distance is about16 kms from Kunrathur

This trip I could see only the two shiva temples the Kurukall of the perumal temple had already left by 10 Am after completing the daily pooja so I was unfortunate to find the Vishnu temples locked. i shall maybe come back another day

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tirukoilur Ulagaanda perumal-Trivikrama temple


My next stop was this temple which I could see from the shiva temple. Tirukoilur is a small place and I could find the temple easily . The whole town seems to be around this temple and the outer walls have been severely encroached upon by shops so much so the outer praharam is non existant the gopuram leads to a blocked passage overflowing with shops!! as you can see below the view from outside
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and the view of the same gopuram from inside!!
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(Below a view of the Rajagopuram)
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Legends of the temple;
This temple was oringinally a brick and mortar structure in the period of Parantaka Chola I (early 10th century); it was patronized by the great Chola rulers Raja Raja Chola I and Raja Raja II.  Rajendra Deva in the 11th century rebuilt it of granite.
The temple has a large number of inscriptions. The most important is the record if the 6th year of Rajendaradeva II. One of his governers for this area, Narasimhavarman, pulled down the old bricks which were cracking and rebuilt the central shrine entirely of fine black granite. He also built the enclosing verandah and the front mandapa. He also presented the central deity a canopy of pearls. After the construction, he engraved the walls with true copies of records found on the walls of the earlier structure.
There are plenty of other inscriptions that record many gifts from various kings such as Kulottunga I, Vikrama Pandya, Kulottunga III, Rajendra Chola I, Saluva Deva Narasinga Maharaja, Chakravartin Rajarajadeva, Rajaraja Chediyarayan, Immadi Narasa Nayak, to name a few
. The story is about the vamana avatara
click here for elaborate link to Vamana avatara
This divya desam is held sacred by all Vaishnavites as it is here that the Divya prabandham was composed. The first three azhwars met here and sang the glories of Lord Vishnu here. On one stormy night, Poigai azhwar sought shelter at a dehali (known as Rezhi in tamil). Soon, another passer by, Bhuthath azhwar sought shelter at the same dehali. The shelter was very small and both could sit. Some time later, a third passer by, Pey azhwar requested shelter at the same place. They all decided that they could stand in the small area. suddenly they felt another presence in their midst. Since it was dark and there was no light, both Poigai azhwar and Bhuthath azhwar sang a song praising Vishnu and when the song was over, the third visitor Pey azhwar had the vision of the Lord. He described what he saw and all three azhwars enjoyed the vision. The three then started to sing the glory of Lord in 100 verses each. They form the part of Iyarpa, a portion of the Divya Prabandham. Thus the Divya Prabandham was born at Tirukkoilur on a stormy night.
Click here for a detailed description of the temple's  speciality
The temple proper:
As you enter the main gopuram you are in the outer praharam.a short staircase leads you to the main praharam after you cross the kodimaram.
The main sannidhi has a huge 17 feet Ulaganda perumal with his right foot raised. You can see brahma worshipping the right foot and lakshmi sitting below this foot. The left foot is being worshipped by Bali’s grand son namunchi. In front of the lord are Prahaladha and Bali chakravarthy on one side and several rishis Mirukandu rishi, Brahma, Sounaka rishi, Kashyapa rishi, kavala rishi,on the other side. Today was the purattasi sunday  so the lord was in the Muthangi (Pearl studded dress). The unique feature here is the chakra is in the lords left hand and the conch is in his right hand a reversal signifying his happy mood!!
Sri Trivikramaswamy Temple – Thirukovilur
As you exit from the main sannidhi you see a unique sannidhi for Vishnu Durga which is rare in Vishnu temples. She is the Maya devi who is born as the eight child before Sri krishna.
The outer prahara has seperate sannidhis for thayar Poonkoval Nachiyaar(Pushpavalli), Vamana,Lakshmi narayana, Lakshmi hayagreeva,Lakshmi Narasimha,,Andal, Udayavar, Senai Mudaliyar, Manavala Mamuni, Chakrattalwar,  Varadarajar and Venugopalar here. There is also a Ramar temple behind the Taayar shrine.
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The place is one of the Pancha krishna kshetrams
The five panchakrishna kshetrams are Tirukkovilur, Tirukkannankudi, Kapistalam, Kannapuram and Kannamangai.
The Temple is under control of the emperumanar Jeeyar mutt
I visited the temple again today 27/4/2013 here are a few more snaps
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View from the Main east facing gopuram

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view of the Rajagopuram from inside

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Lakshmi narasimhar sannidhi

I learnt today that the rajagopuram is the third tallest in Tamilnadu behind Srirangam and Srivilliputhur

Tirukoilur Shri Athulya Nadheswara Temple, Arakandanallur


This is a very ancient and historical temple connected with many legends. It was built around 700 AD and is one of the southern most pallava rock cut temples barring Trichy rockfort temple
How to Reach:
The temple is situated on the tirukoilur Villupuram road about 2 kms away. You will reach the tirukoilur Railway station on the left.Directly in fron of the station is a small road which will lead you on to the hill top
Legends associated with the temple:
Sage Thirugnanasambandar when he came here was prevented from entering the temple with huge rocks blocking the temple doors but listening to his songs the stones moved and he had a darshan of Tiruvannamali from here. to commemorate this there is a small pedestral with two small feet carved in front of the Annamalai sannidhi.
Mahavishnu after killing King Bali in  Vamana avatar prayed to shiva to relieve him of the dosha Shiva asked him to do penance near a swayumbhu lingam.The entire hill looked like a sivalingam and Vishnu prayed here along with sridevi. Inside you can see a bass relief ofSridevi with a bird in one hand and a staff in the other.
This is the place where Shri Ramana first came to and was in meditation and was stuckwith a brillian tlight which transformed him to a maharishi!!
Click the link below for a detailed account
The early life history of Shri Ramanamaharishi
 The temple proper:
As you enter the huge complex you can see a seven tiered rajagopuram,  and separate shrines for Arunachaleswara, and the goddess Soundara Kanagambikai, (as seen below)
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apart from the main shrine which is seen at the right side of the photo below
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The separate shrine for arunachaleshwara is seen above in the middle the idol of arunachaleshwarais seen below. In front of this sannidhi is the pedestal with the small feet of Thirugnana sambandar
.When you enter the main temple you see an outer praharam and the inner praharm has the majestic Sivalingam
There are two Nandi's in front of the lord which are both turned so as to allow Gnanasambhandar to see the lord clearly as he was only a small boy!!
The surrounding praharams have very unique gods as below . The Carvings were mostly in relief forms signifying Pallava work
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(Balamurugan and Gaja lakshmi on the right)
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There were a lot of inscriptions about the temple
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Shri Mahavishnu
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Shri.Shankaranarayanan

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The famous four tamil savants appar,sundarar,Thirugnanasambandar and Manickyavasagar
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The youthful statue of Ramana maharishi
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Next as you come out is the ambal sannidhi
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The Main Gopuram  steps descend towards the Pandava caves
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The place was full of dirty water. It was supposedly made by the force of Bhimas Gadha

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A view of the Tirukoilur Ulaganda perumal from the main rajagopuram
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( A view of the temple rajagopuram from Kapilar’s shrine in the pennar river)