Posts Tagged ‘Kochengat Chola’

The Shiva Lingam at Kalyanasundareswarar Temple in Thirunallur is one of the 64 sayambhu lingams. This is one of the Mada Koil or temples built at an elevation by Kochengat Cholan. This is one of the 275 Padal petra sthalams of Lord Shiva. The main deity here is Panchavarneswarar and His consort is Parvathasundari. He is also known as Kalyanasundareswarar. The sthala cruksham is Vilvam. The holy water here is the Saptha sagara theertham. A dip in this water is supposed to absolve one of all sins.

Saptha Sagara Theertham, Thirunallur

Saptha Sagara Theertham, Thirunallur

Panchavarneswarar Temple Gopuram

Panchavarneswarar Temple Gopuram

Kunti, the wife of Pandu and the mother of the Pandavas had a bath here to attain absolution. Kunti had committed a sin by having a child before her marriage. She then put this infant in a basket and set him afloat in a river. This child grew up to be known as Karna. A repentant Kunti after this act sought the advice of Sage Uromasa. The sage said that she would be absolved of the sin if she takes bath in the waters of all the seven oceans. A flabbergasted Kunti wondered how this could be possible. The Sage then told her that there was a place in the South of Vindhyas which had a pond with water from all the oceans. She then reached this place near Tanjore and prayed to Lord Shiva and also had a bath in the tank. She was then absolved of her sin and also attained mental peace. There is a niche in the temple which depicts Kunti performing the Siva pooja.

Kunti Devi Performing the Shiva Pooja

Kunti Devi Performing the Shiva Pooja

When the marriage of Shiva and Parvati took place, everybody went to Kailash to attend the marriage. This created an imbalance and the Earth tilted. To set right the imbalance, Sage Agasthya came to the South of Vindhyas. Sage Agastya was however disappointed that he could not witness the wedding. At this temple, Sage Agastya consecrated another Lingam beside the already existing one and performed puja. Hence there are two Shiva lingams in one single base (avudaiyar). This is a very unique feature of this temple. Lord Shiva was pleased with Sage Agastya’s devotion and appeared before the Sage with His Consort as groom and bride (Kalyana Kolam), thereby fulfilling the Sage’s wish of attending the wedding. Behind the Lingam in the garbagraham, Shiva and Parvathi are in seated posture. An interesting feature is that Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma are present in the same garbagraham. Brahma is seen standing to Shiva’s right and performing the marriage rites. Vishnu is seen standing to Shiva’s left. I am not sure if this can be seen at any other temple. Like in a Vaishnava temple, Shadari and holy water are offered to the devotees. One of the Vimaanas also has the idol of Narasimha.

Image of Narasimha in one of the Vimaanas

Image of Narasimha in one of the Vimaanas

A very interesting feature of this temple is that the Shiva Lingam here changes colour every six nazhigai (a nazhigai is 24 minutes) or 2 hours and 24 minutes. From 6am to 8.24am the Lingam is Copper coloured, between 8.25am to 10.48am the Lingam is red in colour, changes to golden colour between 10.49am and 1.12pm, between 1.13pm and 3.36pm the colour changes to emerald green. Awe struck!!! Wait till you read this, the Lingam will appear in a colour that the devotee wishes to see, between 3.37pm and 6pm. The last time that I visited this temple, I was on a tight schedule and could not spend enough time to actually appreciate these aspects. I plan to spend enough time, during my next visit, to be able to witness the phenomenon.

Kalyanasundareswarar Temple, Details of the time when the lingam changes colour

Kalyanasundareswarar Temple Sthala Perumai in Tamil

 

Kalyanasundareswarar Temple Sthala Perumai in Tamil

Kalyanasundareswarar Temple Sthala Perumai in Tamil

Colour Changing Lingam at Kalyanasundareswarar Temple, Thirunallur

Colour Changing Lingam at Kalyanasundareswarar Temple, Thirunallur

Thirunallur is also known as Dakshina Kailasam. Once there was a contest between Adisesha the serpent God and Vayu the wind God, to decide who was more powerful. Vayu tried to blow out the thousand peaks of Meru Mountain and Adisesha protected them with his thousand hoods. During a moment of lapse of concentration on the part of Adisesha, Vayu blew the peaks away one of which is supposed to have fallen here at Thirunallur. The Shiva Linga here is said to have been manifested from this peak. There is a belief that the mane of Lord Shiva is at the back of the temple.

Location:

Click here for the map

Thirunallur is located at a distance of 13.5 Kms from Kumbakonam. It is about 2 Kms from Papanasam which is on the Kumbakonam-Tanjore route.

Other Temples Nearby:

Dhenupureeswarar or Durga Temple at Patteeeswaram

Sakthivaneswarar Temple – Thiru Sakthi Mutram

Swamimalai Murugan Temple

Thiruvalanchuzhi – Vellai Pillayar Temple

Avur Pasupatheswarar Temple – Avur

Nathan Koivl, Nandhipura Vinnagaram

Temple Timings:  7 am to 12.30 am & 4 pm to 7 pm

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Pancha Varnasewarar Alayam
Thirunallur Post
Via Sundraperumal Kovil
Valangaiman Taluk
Tiruvarur District
Tamil Nadu – 614208.

Phone: 04374-312857

Mobile: +919442988445

Entrance to Thiruvaneswarar Temple at Ranganathapuram

Entrance to Thiruvaneswarar Temple at Ranganathapuram

Thiruvaneswarar Temple, Ranganathapuram

Thiruvaneswarar temple at Ranganathapuram near Thirukattupalli is the temple to be visited by people born under Pooratadhi, Purva Bhadrapada or Poorva Bhadra Nakshathiram (Birth Star) at least once in a year for leading a trouble free and happy life.  This temple was built by Kochengat Cholan and is believed to be at least 1800 years old.

Mandapam commemorating the Visit of Shankaracharya, Ranganathapuram

Kochengat Cholan was a staunch Shiva devotee and is one amongst the 63 Nayanmars or Great Devotees of Lord Shiva.  Kochengat Cholan built or rebuilt at least 70 temples.  These temples that he built were at an elevation so as to prevent elephants from entering the temple.  There is an interesting story as to why Kochengat Cholan did this.  Thiruvanaikaval, near Trichy, was once a Jambu (Indian Blackberry) forest.  (Jamoon in Hindi, Nagapazham in Tamil).  There was a Shiv Lingam under one of the Jambu trees which was worshiped by a Spider and an Elephant.  The Elephant used to bring water in its trunk from the Cauvery to perform the ablution while the Spider displayed its devotion by weaving a web over the Lingam to protect dust and dry leaves from falling onto the Lingam.  The Elephant which considered the web as dirty used to remove the web everyday and the Spider used to weave the web again. Each of them considered the act of the other as an act of desecration.  Soon the two had a fight and both of them died.  The spider was reborn as Kochengat Cholan.  Since Kochengat Cholan or Kochenganan remembered his previous life and the “havoc” caused by the elephant, he decided to build temples which could not be accessed and disturbed by the Elephants. He called this “Yaanai Era thiruppani”.  The first of such temples he built was at Thiruvanaikaval itself – Jambukeswarar Temple.  The temple at Ranganathapuram could well be the second of those temples.

Between 1311 AD and 1373 AD, there were a few attacks by Mohammedans led by Malik Gafoor on Srirangam.  Srirangam was under Mohammedan rule for some time, when the main idols at Srirangam and Thiruvanaikaval temples were brought to this village and kept hidden.  Those idols were returned to the respective temples after Pandyas defeated the Mohammedans and regained control over Srirangam.  As commemoration of these events, this village has since then been known as Ranganathapuram or Gajaranyam (Anaika).

Thiruvaneswarar at Ranganathapuram

Thiruvaneswarar at Ranganathapuram

Kamakshi Amman

Kamakshi Amman

Elephant Statue on top of which the main shrine is built

Elephant Statue on top of which the main shrine is built

The temple is built on top of the idol of an elephant, hence Lord Shiva is also known as Gaja Aaraohana Eswarar or one who rides an elephant.  In this temple, elephant is Lord Shiva’s vehicle.  The other names of the presiding deity at this temple are Gajaranyeswarar, Aneswarar, Karivananathar & Anaikaraperumanar.  His consort is Kamakshi Ambal.  The sacred tree or the sthala vruksham here is vilvam (a type of wood apple).  Vajra theertham, Indira koobam is the theertham.  Iravatham, Indiran’s elephant was once in deep penance here.  Indiran who came in search of Iravatham was angry and use Vajrayutham on the elephant.  By the grace of Lord Shiva the weapon fell on the ground here harmlessly.  Water sprang from the place where the vajrayudham fell and that became vajra theertham.  The well inside the temple is known as Indira Koobam.  Indiran repented his act and sought forgiveness.  Kanchi Acharya, His Holiness Chandrasekhara Saraswathy was captivated by the beauty of the place and stayed here for a few days.  There is a small mandapam built to signify this event.

Thiruvaneswarar Temple, Ranganathapuram

The main deity faces East and His consort faces South.  There is an idol of Vinayakar in a separate shrine in the south west corner of the praharam (circumambulatory path).  The style and architecture suggests that this was built by the Pallavas.  The vinayakar is valampuri vinayakar.  He is seen as though he is resting his left hand on the ground and raising to His feet.  There is shrine for Murugan along with Valli and Devayanai.  There is also a shrine for Mahalakshmi.  In the North East corner there is a separate shrine for the navagrahas.

Valampuri Vinayakar

Valampuri Vinayakar

Donating clothes of seven different colours at this temple is believed to absolve one of all the sins.

Location: This temple is located at 4 kms from Thirukattupalli and about 40 Kms from Trichy and 30 Kms from Tanjore.  Grand Anicut is about 15 Kms from this place and is a good picnic spot.

Click here for the location Map

Boarding & Lodging: This is a less travelled and remote village.  Have your travel base as Tanjore or Trichy

Other Temples Nearby:

Agneeswarar Temple at Thirukattupalli.

Karumbeswarar Temple at Thirukkanur.

Appakudathan Koil, Thirupennagar

Temple Timings: It will be a good idea to call the temple priest before visiting the temple.

Temple Address:

Thiruvaneswarar Koil

Ranganathapuram village

Via Thirukattupalli

Tanjore District

Temple Priest’s phone numbers:  +91 94439 70397, +91 97150 37810