Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tirukoilur temples

  Tirukoilur is a small town between Vilupuram and Tiruvannamalai. about 45 kms from Vilupuram to the west. It is of very great historical as well as Religious significance. Historically The place  has been documented  from the times of the Sangam era  it is also the birthplace of renowned personalities .
It was once a capital of an important chieftain Malayaman of Sangam age datable to 3rd century BCE to 3rd century CE. To corroborate this, a Tamil Brahmi inscription at Jambai (near Tirukkovilur ) mentions about the king Athiyaman Neduman Anchi as Sathiya Puto Atiyan Neduman Anjihi Itta Pali. Malaiyaman Tirumudikkari was the illustrious ruler of this dynasty. The Sangam works speak of the invasion of Tirukkoilur and defeat of Malayaman Tirumudikkari by Neduman Anji, king of Takadur (modern Dharmapuri) who is said to have offered Avvaiyar, the celebrated poetess (of that period), a myrobalan (gooseberry) fruit to increase her longevity.
It also has an important place in Tamil history.Its the Birth place of Raja Raja Chola I.The great King under whom The Cholas were at the height of their power continuously from the later half of the 9th century until the beginning of the 13th centuries. Under Rajaraja Chola I and his son Rajendra Chola I, the dynasty became a military, economic and cultural power in Asia and the chola navy had checked the Oceans of South-East asia for sometime.
Tirukkoilur Malaiyaman's daughter Vanavanmahadevi, a princess from the clan of Malaiyaman was  married to Parantaka Chola II.who's second son Arunmozhi varman famously called as Rajaraja Cholan (Ponnien selvan/Peruvudaiyar/also called as Raja Kesari Varman.. Raja Raja Devar).
He was one of the greatest emperors of the Tamil Chola Empire of India who ruled between 985 and 1014 CE. He established the Chola empire by conquering the kingdoms of southern India expanding the Chola Empire as far as Sri Lanka in the south, and Kalinga (Orissa) in the northeast. He fought many battles with the Chalukyas in the north and the Pandyas in the south. By conquering Vengi, Rajaraja laid the foundations for the Later Chola dynasty. He invaded Sri Lanka and started a century-long Chola occupation of the island.
He streamlined the administrative system with the division of the country into various districts and by standardizing revenue collection through systematic land surveys. Being an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, he built the magnificent Peruvudaiyar Temple (also known as the Brihadeeswarar Temple) in Thanjavur and through it enabled wealth distribution amongst his subjects. His successes enabled his son Rajendra Chola I to extend the empire even further.
, Tamil poet-scholar Athi Madhura Kaviraayan who lived during the period of Kavi Kalamegham, (13th century), King Meyporul Nayanaar also known as Milad Udayar (seventh century) saint-poet Kapila Deva Nayanaar, who authored the 11th Thirumurai, historical story writer Chandilyan..
King Vel Paari vallal’s daughters sangavai and angavai got married to Deiveegan and Yenadhi Kannan, the sons of King Thirumudi Kaari,      ( both kings well known for their generousity and philanthropy), the newly weds are said to have given away a lot of riches to the needy and poor at this place, because of which the name Aramkandanallur came to exist.It has a big siva temple 2 kms fromTirukoilur.
. It is the place where saint Thirugnana sambandar saw the vision of God as a child, so also Ramana Maharishi in recent times, Ramana is supposed tohave attainred enlightenment in the aram kanda nallur temple It is also associated with the Pandavas who have 5 caves nearbynamed after them
Religiously It is also associated with Vaishnavism as the place where the Vamana avatara took place.
The Sangam period poet Kapilar attained jeevanmukthi by fasting on a rock here  in the south Pennar river.
(see the pic of the monument built on the rock  below)16102011510 ,
,. .It is the place of Jeeva samadhi of  two pontiffs of the Uttaradhi mutt Shri.Raghothamma theertha (1557-1596),and in 1997 of Shri.Sathya pramoda. Swami Gnanananda Giri, a Mahayogi and Gnanasiddha,  attained salvation here in 1974 , so also  Gnaniyar Swamigal, founder of the Tirukoilur Tamil Sangam Many miracles and stories have been attributed the above people.
It is one of the 108 divya desams  for Vaishnavaites The meeting of the Mudal Alwars (Poygai, Bhutam and Pey) in the house of sage Mrigandu in Tirukoilur is well known.
It is  a paadal petra sthalam for the Saivaites.in all a very very holy place in Hinduism.
Tirukoilur is one of the "Ashta Veeratanams" [Ashta - eight Veeratanam - Place of Bravery].
Lord Shiva took various forms(incarnations) to destroy evil and establish justice, of which eight Avatars(forms) are very famous and Tirukoilur is one of them.
Lord Shiva's temple has a separate sannadhi[sacred room] for Lord Ganesha, which has historical and epic importance. Here is the place where "Avvaiyar"[Tamil Poetess - Tamil king's court had many Women Poetess, Ministers and Warriors] got the blessings of Ganesha and wrote the famous verse "VINAYAGAR AGAVAL" , which has wonderful Yoga Techniques and has lot of Meta-Physics in it.
Today I had a chance to visit two temples here , The Athulya Nadheswara Temple, Arakandanallur  and the Trivikrama temple in Tirukoilur.