Saturday, 1 October 2016


...a Continuation post. 
26th September 2016.
On the second day of our Ponniyin Selvan meet at Tanjore, Periya Koil,  Mr Anusha Vekatesh, the historian and writer also joined with us for the Thirumalapadi  and  Mela Palur ( Constructed by Pazhuvetaraiyar  during 7th century ). For the second day Program we vacated the Lodge at Kumbakonam and hired the same Taxi  up to Thanjavur via Thirumalapadi  and  Mela Palur.       

During one of the Nandhiyamperuman’s Marriage urchavam, I had the opportunity to see the function sitting on the banks of river Kollidam.  It is a popular belief in this area that impediments in getting married will be overcome if they see the marriage festival of Nandi Devar. Sundarar has sung the Devara hymns start with ‘Ponnar meniyane’ on this temple God Sri Vaidyanatha Swamy. During morning dharshan we had the opportunity of hearing this hymn through the othuvar. During this time we looked the temple with History and Heritage point of view. ( for Details of my first visit : Click Here )  

The antiquity of this place goes back to the Sangam Period. It was an army camp of the valiant Malavar Clan of the Sangam Age and hence called Malavar-padi and later as Thirumalapadi. There is another saying that Lord Shiva danced in this temple with a Mazhu in his hand for Markandeya maharishi, hence called as Thiru mazhapadli. This temple has the  devara hymns of  Appar, Sambandar also. It was also visited by Ayyadigal Kadavarkon who praised it in his hymns of Shetravenba. This saint has been identified with the Pallava king Simhavarman (540-558), the grandfather of Mahendra Varman Pallava (598-630).

The outer walls of the temples has about 140 inscriptions of Chozha, Rajaraja -1, Marathas and Vijayanagara kings.  Which speaks about the Queens of Aditya–I, Rajaraja–I, and Rajendra–I made gifts to the temple in the form of lands and ornaments. The first and second gopurams of this temple were built during the periods of the Pandyas and Cholas respectively.

Chembian Mahadevi, grandmother of Rajaraja the Great, hailed from Chembiakudi, 4 kms from Thirumazhaipadi. Other historical places like Pazhuvur, Alambakkam, Kandaradithyam (birthplace of Kandraditha Chola) are all situated within a radius of 15 kms. There are quite a few references to the Thirumazhaipadi Temple in the famous Tamil litterateur Kalki’s work, ‘Ponniyin Selvan’.

The Siva temple was built of stone during the period of Aditya–I (871-907). Rajaraja–I ordered for its rebuilding and was completed by his son Rajendra–I. Again it was repaired by the Hoysala king Viranarasimha in A.D. 1235-36. They are superb examples of the meticulous care taken by the Pallavas who rebuilt built it in the 7th century CE. The 108-ft tall, seven-tiered Rajagopuram of Thirumazhaipadi Temple faces east and towers over the landscape of the banks of the Kollidam. It looks magnificent when viewed from the river bed. The second gopuram with five tiers is about 80 ft. tall. Both the rajagopurams are decorated with a rich array of stucco sculptures that tell the many stories from the Thiruvilayadal, the history of Lord Shiva. The Somaskandhar of this temple made of single stone. The Vaidyanathaswami Temple at Thirumazhaipadi and the temple of Sundarambika lie within a sprawling 10-hectare campus full of coconut and palm trees. The Amman temple has the  contribution of Nattukottai Nagarathars also.

For More Photos:  CLICK HERE
.......... to be continued ( Mela Palur ).


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