Posts Tagged ‘gajaprushta vimanam’

Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam is near Tambaram. Madambakkam is an upcoming suburb of Chennai off Tambaram Velachery Road. The Presiding Deity Dhenupureeswarar got His name because He gave moksha to a cow or Dhenu in Sanskrit. His Consort here is Dhenukambal. The Lord faces East and His Consort faces South in this temple. The Shiva Lingam is Swayam Bhu Lingam or Self Manifested Lingam.

Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam

Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam

Dhenupureeswarar temple was built by Parantaka Chola, also known as Sundara Chola between 956 – 973 A.D. Sundara Chola was the father of Raja Raja Chola I. Later, the temple was rebuilt by Kulothunga Chola. Additions were later made by the Cheras, Pallavas & Vijayanagara Kings. This temple is under the care of ASI. There are some exquisite sculptures in this temple. The inscriptions also provide a great insight into the history.

Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam

Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam

The Legend of the temple is associated with Sage Kapila. King Sagara had performed Ashwamedha Yagna. This Yagna is performed by a King to assert his supremacy over the neighbouring Kingdoms. During the yagna a horese is set loose and the king’s army follows it. Whenever the horse enters another kingdom, the king has to either fight or cede his kingdom to the King performing the Ashwamedha Yagna. In this instance, King Sagara’s 60000 sons were following the horse. As it wandered, it entered the ashram of Sage Kapila, who was then in deep meditation. In the meanwhile, Indira who was envious of King Sagara and also fearful of the consequences of a successful Ashwamedha Yagna tied the horse inside the Ashram. The King’s sons who found the horse tied inside the Ashram accused the Sage and wanted to take him into custody for capturing the horse. The Sage grew furious on being accused when he had done no wrong burnt down all the sons of King Sagara. Once he came to know the truth, he was repentant. He performed a puja to Shiva lingam. He was reluctant to place the Lingam on the ground and hence held the Shiva Lingam in his left hand while performing the puja with his other hand. Holding the Shiva Lingam with the left hand is a sin and hence he was to be born as cow for the atonement of his sins. One can see this imgae of Sage Kapila holding Shiva Lingam in his left hand in one of the pillars in the mandapam.

The Sage was born as cow at Madambakkam. The cow used to empty all her milk by performing abishegam to the Shiva Lingam in the forest. The cowherd was upset that he was losing the milk everyday. One day he lost his temper and beat the cow. In spite of the beatings the cow continued her practice of emptying her milk on the Shiva Lingam. One day the cowherd caught the cow in the act and beat her udder. The cow was in great pain. Unable to bear the pain the cow started running, when her hoof hit the Shiva Lingam and a portion in the top of the Lingam broke. This can still be seen in the Shiva Lingam here. The Shiva Lingam also started bleeding. The cowherd who noticed the Shiva Lingam and that it was bleeding. Both the cow and the cowherd then prayed to Lord Shiva for atonement. Lord Shiva appeared before them and pardoned them. He also blessed Sage Kapila who was reborn as the cow with Salvation. Indira is said to have prayed to the Lord at this place.

The vimanam of the Sanctum Sanctorum is a Gajaprushti vimanam which is a feature of quite a few temples built by the Cholas around Chennai. In place of Lingothbavar behind the Sanctum Sanctorum, there is Vishnu.

The weekly puja during the Rahukalam on Sundays (4.30pm to 6 pm) to Sarabeswarar is considered important. It is a staunch belief that all wishes will be fulfilled if one attends this puja for six consecutive weeks. Panguni Uthiram which would occur between the 3rd week of March to the 2nd week of April is the most important festival at this temple.

Kapila Theertham, Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam

Kapila Theertham, Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam

The temple tank which is adjacent to the temple is quite huge and is well maintained and filled with fresh water. Madambakkam was also known as Chaturvedimangalam in ancient times as it was the home of many vedic scholars who had mastered the Vedas.

Location: The temple is at a distance of about 3 kms from Rajakilpakkam on Tambaram Velachery Road. Buses operating in route 51G, 51k, 18L, X51D, X151, X70C & SM14ET go to Madambakkam. See this link for the frequency.

Temple Timings: 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. & 5.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Dhenupureeswarar Temple

Madambakkam,

Chennai 600 073.

Phone: +91- 44- 2228 0424

Somangalam, a village close to Chennai is the seat of Kamakshi Amman Sametha Somanatheswarar Koil. This temple is one of the nine temples dedicated to navagrahas around Porur. This is a Chandran Sthalam. The village itself gets its name from Chandran or Soman as he prayed to The Lord at this temple to get rid of his sin.

SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

King Dakshan gave all his 27 daughters in marriage to Chandran. Those 27 wives of  Chandran are the 27 stars in Tamil Calendar. As Chandran’s favourite was Rohini and he spent most of his time with her, the others complained about this to their father. King Dakshan asked Chandran to treat all of them equally, which Chandran refused.  An angry Dakshan, cursed Chandran that all his beauty and brightness will disappear slowly everyday. A worried Chandran, on the advice of Lord Brahma, then performed penance on Lord ShivaLord Shiva appeared before him and adorned his forehead with the crescent-shaped Chandran. Shiva then came to be known as Chandrasekaran also.  He blessed Chandran to regain his beauty and brightness slowly day by day.  This waxing period of the moon is called Sukla Paksham or Valarpirai.  Chandran gets back all his beauty and attains full brightness on Full moon day or pournami.  From Pournami to the full moon day he again starts loosing his beauty and brightness till the New moon day or Ammavasai.  This waning period of the moon is called Krishna Paksham or Theipirai.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There is also another interesting story pertaining to the waxing and waning periods of Chandran, which goes thus.  When Lord Vishnu was distributing the Amrutham amongst the devas, at the behest of Sukracharya, one of the asuras in the guise of a deva consumed the nectar. Suryan and Chandran noticed this and complained to Lord Vishnu.  An angry Vishnu used his chakrayudham (discus) to cut the asura into two and threw them away. The head joined with a snake’s body to become Rahu Bhagavan. The body portion kept growing because the asura had consumed Amrutham.  This later joined with the head of a snake and became Kethu Bhagavan.  Now, Rahu and Kethu did not forgive Suryan and Chandran.  Rahu went after Chandran and started consuming him.  This is one of the temples that Chandran prayed to Lord Siva and got his blessings. Shiva blessed Chandran with the power to grow back to full size in 15 days after being consumed by Rahu.  That is why we have the waxing and waning moon.  Shiva also blessed Chandran by adorning Chandran on his forehead so that anyone who prays Shiva will have to pray Chandran.

Chandran. SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

Chandran. SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

Inscriptions in the temple have brought to light the fact that this temple was built by Kulothunga Cholan. There are also details about various repair works and donations made to the temple by various rulers and the affluent from time to time. These include mention of donation of cows for meeting apart of the daily pooja expenses at the temple. This temple has been reconstructed several times over the years. Somaskanthan the local king, was one of those who constructed this temple. The King had channelled all his resources to the temple construction. While in the midst of the temple construction, an enemy King saw the opportunity and mounted an attack. The king was totally taken aback and was absolutely not expecting or prepared for this. He prayed to The Lord here to save him and his kingdom. The Lord immediately obliged by directing His vehicle Nandhi to fight the advancing army of the enemy. Nandhi is supposed to have blown away the enemy with one big snort. Lord Shiva then directed Nandhi to face East permanently and guard the kingdom against future attacks. The Nandhi is seen with his back to Lord Shiva and facing East. This is a rare feature in any Shiva temple.

SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

The main shrine is a Gajaprushta vimanam, which resembles the back of an elephant in sleeping posture. There is a separate shrine for Kamakshi Amman facing South. Vinayakar, Dakshinamurty, Mahavishnu, brahma, Durga and Sandigeswarar are all present as Koshta murthys like in all Shiva temples. There is a separate shrine for Lord Murugan present with His wives Valli and Deivayanai. There are separate shrines for Bhairavar, Suryan and of course Chandran.

Gajaprushta Vimanam. SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

Gajaprushta Vimanam. SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

People pray here for getting rid of marriage obstacles, progeny, mental illness etc. There are two theerthams associated with this temple – Chandra theertham is located a bit away from the temple and Chandeeswara theertham is located adjacent to the temple.

Nagar under the Sthala Vruksham. SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

Nagar under the Sthala Vruksham. SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

 

 

Location: There are frequent buses from Kunrathur to Somangalam. The temple is about a kilometre from the Somangalam bus stop.

Bus Routes: 578 A Vadapalani to Sriperumbudur

88M Broadway to Somangalam

M18S Broadway to Somangalam

M88R Broadway to Amarambedu

M89 Porur to Somangalam

Temple Timing: 8 AM to 10 AM & 5 PM to 7 PM

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Kamakshi Amman Sametha Somanatheswarar Temple,

Somangalam

Kancheepuram District

PIN 602 109