Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sri Nooreteashwarar koil –Chinnakavanam- Ponneri

This is a very ancient temple with an interesting story and sthalavriksham which adds antiquity to this temple.The temple itself is very small and neat but the legends and the Angola tree( Eru azhingal in tamil) add to the sanctity of the temple
How to reach:
From Ponneri after you cross the raiway underpass and before the bridge over the arani river take the right this will take you to the prosperous village of Chinnakavanam. The temple is on the outskirts and easily found. This place is the birth place of saint Ramalinga adigalar andf his maternal home is being built into an ashram so also the Balasubramnania swamy temple which is run by his descendents.
Legends of this place:
This temple has been present since antiquity and the original lord is  Sri Chathurvedheeswarar and Goddess Sri Sivakami Amman.Their sannidhis are also found inside. Agasthiyar was informed that to do sivapuja under this azhingal tree for 180 days was the same as going to kasi  so he went about making a  sivalingam from the clay of the arani river behind and doing puja daily under this tree and when he had made  108 lingams ,all  the lingas merged into the form of ganapathy and he was informed by the lord that this happened as he did not do ganapathy puja before starting the sivapuja!!. The same ganapathy is now installed below this tree though Invading forces have chopped off the trunk partially. Agasthiyar then  prayed to ganesha and did puja for a new  sivalingam and established this lingam in the sanctum here which is called nootreteashwarar and ashtothranayaki is his consort. Unlike other koti lingams/ sahasra lingams this lingam does not have lingams carved on it it is a smooth structure with a square avudiar a classic of Agasthiyarinstalled lingams.
The Azhingal tree is called eru that is rising  tree. All prayers to this tree are bound to give ascendency.The peculiarity of this tree is that the seeds of the fruit of this tree invariably get attached to the trunk of the tree- Nature’s quirk. This finds reference in the 61 st canto of the Sivanandalahiri by Adi Shankara
which says our devotion to the lord must be  like
अन्कोलम् निजबीजसन्ततिरयस्कान्तोपलम् सूचिका
साध्वि नैजविभुम् लता क्षितिरुहम् सिन्धु: सरिद्वल्लभम्
प्राप्नोतीह यथा तथा पशुपते: पादारविन्दद्वयम्
चेतोवृत्तिरुपेत्य तिष्ठति सदा सा भक्तिरित्युच्यते ॥ ६१ ॥
Ankolam nijabIjasantatirayaskAntopalam sUchikA
sAdhvi naijavibhum latA kShitiruham sindhu: saridvallabham
prApnotIha yathA tathA paSupate: pAdAravindadvayam
cetovRuttirupetya tiShThati sadA saa bhaktirityuchyate || 61 ||
Like the real seed progeny reaches for the mother ankola tree,
Like the iron needle reaches for the load stone.
Like the chaste woman reaches for her lord,
Like the tender creeper reaches for near by trees,
Like the river reaches for the sea,
If the spirit of the mind,
Reaches for the lotus feet of Pasupathi,
And stays there always,
Then that state is called devotion.
(The above is a verbatim account of Dr.S.Subramaniam’s comments  in Shantiraju’s blog on this temple 058 Ponneritemples 081
The locals say this happens mainly when there is thunder and lightning!
I quote verbatim from the coments  of Dr.Sundaram in this blog  of Sri raju  ://
"This temple has another background.
When Sage Agastiyar emptied the Oceans to enable the destruction of Vriththirasura, 840 Mil jeevarasis of the seas got destroyed and this gave severe stomach ache to Agastiyar. He approached Lord Muruga at Tiruttani who asked him to build 108 siva temples and worship to get vimochanam from this. For any temple one needs thirtham.He had only kamandalam and darba grass with him. He threw the Darba(Kusam) and immediately a river was born-which is the present Kusasthalai river. He built 108 siva temples on the shores of this river and all these Sivas were called Sivanandeswara, and goddess Anandavalli.
These temples are found at Siruvapuri also. Thirukkallil is one of these.(Swami Sivanadeswarar-Anandavalli) The 108 th temple is said to be this Chinnakkavanam and hence the Lord is known as Noortiyetteeswarar and Ambal Ashtotravalli.
The legend goes further that after this pooja he prayed Lord Siva and he asked him to come to Thiruvanmiyur where He is present as Marundeeswarar. He asked the Sage to establish 108 Lingas again in this temple -which you can find in the inner prakaram north side and then only Lord Siva as Marundeeswarar cured Agastiya.
In fact I had taken up a Poject to locate all these 108 temples on the river Kusastalai in whatever form they are now in. Due to my health I could not poroceed after the prelimnary stage as this needed travel in these villages and search for them.Most of the Agstiyar pratishta Lingams are having rectangular/square avudai unlike normal ones round.
Sage Agastiyar is really a Water Sage. He was responsible for the rivers-Kaveri, Kusastalai Tambirabarni and probably all southern rivers"
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The view of the rajagopuram
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The famous tree
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The vinayaka under the tree.There is a plaque whichsays this tree is more than 2500 years old as proved in 2005 Ponneritemples 052
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The ashtotharanyaki sannidhi in front of the azhingal tree
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The nooreteshwarar sannidhi inside which has a large lingam with a square base (Avudiar) classic of agasthiya lingams.
Next door is the Chaturvedishwarar and Sivagami amman sannidhis
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The outer praharam is open to nature and the Kosta vigrahas of Ganesha,guru, Vishnu, brahma and durgai are found along with chandikeshwararPonneritemples 071
There are twonandis for the  two SivalingamsPonneritemples 074
There is a seperate navagraha sannidhi and a bhairavar Ponneritemples 075 Ponneritemples 066
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Ponneritemples 084 Ponneritemples 082 The gnarled trunk and the ganesha
A peaceful and ancient temple
  • The Angola Ganapathy grants the wishes for his devotees. After the wish is fulfilled, it is a custom here to offer Vada malai (54 to 108)to Him. Normally Vada malai will be offered only to Anjaneyar and possibly this is the only place where Vada malai is being offered to Vinayaka.
  • People, who want to get married, worship the Goddess on a full moon day with a rose garland for continuous 3 full moon days to get their wishes sanctioned.
H.Ganesh Gurukkal,
24a, Sivan koil st.,
Chinna Kavanam,
PIN: 601204
Ph: 27973061 / 9843708593
I found him very pleasant and he opened the temple at 2 PM for me to see and also offered me good payasam as food on the hot day.He lives next door to the temple