Monday, April 2, 2012

Thiru maagaral Shiva temple

Thiru maagaral is about15 kms from Uthiramerur and also Kanchipuram on the uthiramerur Kanchi  road. it is a paadal petra sthalam Saint Gnanasambandar has sung 11 verses in his Thevaram in praise of this  Lord  This is the 7th shrine in Thondaimandalam region praised in Thevaram hymns.
How to reach:
When proceeding from uthiramerur towards kanchi  at about about 15 kms you will cross a bridge on the cheyyar river  After crossing the cheyyar river we can see the temple on the right. There is also a Perumal temple on the left. The main entrance is guarded by two nandhis
legends about  the temple:
Lord Brahma, after performing puja to the Lord Shiva ,planted a jack fruit  tree that would yield one fruit each day of the year. King Rajendra Chola was enamoured by the tasteof the fruit and ordered that one person from each family should carry this fruit on their head to Chidambaram to be offered as offering to the Lord. After the pujas, it will be sent to the king at his palace in woriyur near trichy.This the person had do by carrying the load on his head and walk barefoot!!.
One day it was the turn of an orphan  Brahmin boy. He thought that the king should have appointed his own soldiers/ messengers on horseback for the job instead of burdening the public. He told the people of the village that he was a young  boy and could not bear the weight of the fruit and requested them to do the job and offered to take care of their houses till their return. All the people left the place together to help the boy. The boy thought that this problem will continue only if the tree existed and he simply burnt it. He told the people that the tree caught fire some how and was reduced to ashes. When the king enquired the boy, he said, “You made no facility for us to carry the fruit to Chidamabaram, hence, I burnt it.” The king replied that the boy ought to have demanded the facility and ordered him to be exiled  after covering  his eyes.he was made to walk overnight and at day break near Tirunindravur he was let loose. (There is another maagaral near Tirumazhisai) 
The king accompanied the boy while being taken for exile.In the forest  he saw a golden Iguana (udumbu in tamil and Maagaral in Sanskrit) on the way which went into an anthill when the king tried to catch it.
( in those days this lizard would be used by soldiers to crawl up ramparts of a fort. The lizard would have a rope tied to it and when it climbed up the wall the soldiers would use the rope to climb. The lizards hold is extraordinary) 
While demolishing the anthill,the King saw the hind portion of the reptile  and fired an arrow .The animal began to bleed and heavenly  a voice condemned the action of the king. The king fainted.and lost his eyesight The voice said that the lizard was none other than Lord Shiva and ordered him to build a temple.. The king repented and after praying to the poyyamozhi vinayagar nearby he regained his eyesight .It may be noted that the size of the Lingam  in the sanctum sanctorum is just the size of the tail of the creature. It looks like the posterior of the  reptile!!
View of the main Rajagopuram
View of the outer praharam and main praharam entrance
View of the Nandi
The inner praharam has a main sanctum for the udumbeshwar a lingam which is swayambhu.
There is a separate sannidhi for the amman Thribhuvana nayaki  who is standing facing south
The vimanam is gajaprushti  type and shows many interesting features20120401_122058
The usual Koshta vigrahas are present  with  Mahavishnu in the western wall as seen below The gaja prushti vimana is clearly seen here!
there is a valamburi vinayagar in the outer praharam
There are a few interesting features in this praharam. There is a Murugan with Valli and Devayani on an elephant Airavatha instead of his usual peacock..
Lord Dakshinamurthy graces with His Veena 20120401_122058
The bhairavar here is in the 20120401_122335 ardhanari form

Prayers are offered to Bhairavar for remedy of Bone related ailments
There is also a chandikeswarar mandapam with some interesting statues of a bleeding leg and a knife weilding man ( ref to my blog on Thirunaavalur temple for an explanation
A whole some feast to the mind and also eyes with history and legends in all a very neat temple