Tuesday, 29 September 2020
TIRUVETKALAM PASUPATHESWARAR TEMPLE / PASUPATHESWARAR TEMPLE / பாசுபதேஸ்வரர் கோவில், திருவேட்களம் / THIRUVETKALAM/ Chidambaram - Annamalai Nagar/ CUDDALORE DISTRICT, TAMIL NADU.
Sunday, 27 September 2020
NATARAJA TEMPLE / THILLAI NATARAJA TEMPLE / சிதம்பரம் நடராசர் கோயில் / அருள்மிகு தில்லை நடராஜர் திருக்கோயில்., CHIDAMBARAM ( KOYIL ), CUDDALORE DISTRICT, TAMIL NADU
This is the 55th Thevaram Paadal Petra Shiva sthalam and 1st Sthalam on the north side of river Kaveri in Chozha Nadu. This place Thillai was named after a flora called Thillai Tree ( Excoecaria agallocha Linn ) that dominates in this area. Chitrambalam ( Chit+Ambalam – small veli or sky ), which turned to the present name of Chidambaram. Hence this is one of the Pancha Bhutha kshethra / sthalam. Chidambaram was also called different names line, Puliyur, PerumpaRRappuliyur during 7th to 8th Century and Pundarikapuram during purana period. This is the place where the devotees attains mukthi, who worships Lord Shiva.
In Periya Puranam, Sekkizhar mentions that, Thirugnanasambandar went to the temple through south side entrance gopuram / thiruvayil, and he was welcomed by the Thillai vaazh Andhanars with poornakalasa, Lighting lamps and mangala musical instruments.
சீதவாசநீர் நிறைகுடம் தீபங்கள் திசை எலாம் நிறைந்து ஆரச்
சோதிமாமணி வாயிலின் புறம் சென்று சோபன ஆக்கமும் சொல்லிக்
கோது இலாதவர் ஞானசம்பந்தரை எதிர்கொண்டு கொடுபுக்கார்
எல்லை நீங்கிஉள் புகுந்துஇரு மருங்கும்நின்றுஎடுக்கும் ஏத்து ஒலிசூழ
மல்லல் ஆவணம் மறுகுஇடைக் கழிந்துபோய் மறையவர் நிறைவாழ்க்கைத்
தொல்லைமாளிகை நிரைத் திருவீதியைத் தொழுது அணைந்தனர் தூயோர்
Thirugnanasambandar, Appar, Sundarar, Vallalar and Idaigal Kadavarkon has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple.
செல்வநெடு மாடம் சென்று சேணோங்கிச்செல்வமதி தோயச் செல்வ முயர்கின்றசெல்வர் வாழ் தில்லைச் சிற்றம் பலமேயசெல்வன் கழலேத்தும் செல்வம் செல்வமே........ திருஞானசம்பந்தர்பத்தனாய்ப் பாடமாட்டேன் பரமனே பரமயோகீஎத்தினாற் பத்தி செய்கேன் என்னை நீ
இகழவேண்டாமுத்தனே முதல்வாதில்லை அம்பலத்தா டுகின்றஅத்தா உன் ஆடல் காண்பான் அடியனேன்
வந்தவாறே........ திருநாவுக்கரசு சுவாமிகள்மடித்தாடும் அடிமைக் கணன்றியே மனனே நீ
வாழு நாளுந்தடித்தாட்டித் தருமனார் தமர் செக்கி
லிடும் போது தடுத்தாட்கடுத்தாடு கரதலத்தில் தமருகமும்
எரியகலும் கரிய பாம்பும்பிடித்தாடிப் புலியூர்ச் சிற்றம் பலத்தெம் பெருமானைப் பெற்றா மன்றே.......... சுந்தரர்ஓடுகின்ற நீர்மை ஒழிதலுமே உற்றாரும்கோடுகின்றார் மூப்புங் குறுகிற்று –
றம்பலமே நண்ணாமுன் நன்னெஞ்சேதில்லைச்சிற்றம்பலமே சேர்......... ஐயடிகள் காடவர்கோன்
சொற் பேறு மெய்ஞ்ஞானச் சுயஞ் ஜோதியாந்
தில்லைச்சிற்சபையில் வாழ்தலைமைத் தெய்வமே –
நற்சிவையாந்தாயின் உலகனைத்துந் தாங்குந்திருப்புலியூர்க்கோயிலமர்ந்த குணக் குன்றமே........ வள்ளலார் திரு அருட்பா
Moolavar : Sri Thillai Natarajar, Sri Ambalakoothhar, Sri
Chirtrambalmudayavar, Sri Ambalavaanar.Consort : Sri Sivakami, Sri Sivakamsundari
Some of the important features of this temple are....
Chitrambalam : Roof was covered with Gold. Moolavar – Natarajar not the usual Shiva Linga with avudai and banam. Moolavar Natarajar is of metal icon in dancing posture, facing South. Natarajar belongs to 10th Century Chozha period. Spadika Linga is kept under the feet of Natarajar in a golden box. Daily Abhishekam is to this Spadika Linga and Linga is taken to Palliyarai after artha jama pooja. There are 5 steps panchachara steps made of stone built to climb up to the sanctum. There are two stone elephants on both sides. It is believed that when one of the 14 shasthras placed on the step, one of the elephant took and placed under Lord Nataraja’s feet. Hence that book is called as Thirukalitrupadiar. Right side of moolavar “Chidambara rakasyam” is in the form of golden vilva leaves maala/garland, hanging on the wall - which signifies the Lord Shiva and Parvati are there without roopam or aroopam). As per Appar, this Chitrambalam roof top was paved with pure Chempon. This Chitrambalam is also called as “Thapra Sabha”. Thiruvalangadu copper plate and the Leiton copper plate records that golden plate was paved by Aditha Chozha’s son Parantaka-I. The Sthala purana mentions that roof was paved with Golden plates by Hiranyavarman.
Ponnambalam ( Kanaka Sabha ): This is the place where Lord Shiva’s sacred bath is done, front portion of the Chitrambalam. The 6 kala abhishekam with pooja are conducted for the Spadika Linga and 2nd kala abhishekam will be done for Rathana Sabapathy. As per Sekkizhar, in Idangazhi Nayanar’s purana he records that the roof was paved with gold, which was brought from Kongu mandalam by Aditha Chozha-I. One of the inscription in the form of poem, records the gold plate paving was done by ardent Devotee and a Chieftain Manavil Koothan alias Kalingarayan.
Perambalam: Also called as Deva Sabha. This sabha’s roof was paved with copper plates by Vikarama Chozha’s Chieftain Manavil Koothan alias Kalingarayan, which is inscribed in the form of poem. The Inscriptions further records that Manavil Koothan gifted Chemporkaalam, built 100 pillar mandapam, Nandhavanam, Mandapa for reciting Thevara Thirupathikams / hymns, Thirumurai Cheppedu, and 1000 cows to this temple. Latter this was replaced with gold plates by Kulothunga-III.
Nirutha Sabai: This sabha is on the South side of dwajasthamba. Lord Shiva danced in this place and the dance is called as Oorthuva thandavam. An idol is in this sabha.
Raja sabai: This is also called as 1000 pillar mandapam ( Details are written below ). Abhishekam will be done at Chitrambalam panchatchara steps and Coronation Ceremony of Chozha kings used to be conducted in this mandapam. The Coronation to the kings was done by the Andhanar’s of Thillai.
15th Century Arunagirinathar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Muruga of this temple
இருவினையின் மதி மயங்கித் திரியாதே எழுநரகிலுழலு நெஞ்சுற் றலையாதே’பரமகுரு அருள் நினைந்திட் டுணர்வாலே
பரவு தரிசனையை யென்றெற் கருள்வாயேதெரி தமிழை யுதவு சங்கப் புலவோனே சிவனருளு முருக செம் பொற் கழலோனேகருணை நெறி புரியுமன்பர்க் கெளியோனே கனக சபை மருவு கந்தப் பெருமாளே
HISTORY AND ARCHITECTURE.
The prakaram wall bearing the Vikrama Chozha inscriptions was constructed during 12th century with an entrance opposite to stucco Rishabam and balipedam. The South entrance, was existed till 19th century. It was told there was a Nandanar statue at the south side entrance. The entrance was closed during, 20th century beginning and the fate of Nandanar’s statue is not known.
There are 4 Rajagopurams ( all the Rajagopurams are built with same height even though they were built during different periods and by different Dynasties ) of 7 tiers, 135 feet tall. The entrance is of 40 feet high and 16 feet wide with single stone lintels. The Rajagopuram is constructed with stone up to lintel and the super structure is of stucco. The passage walls has the reliefs of 108 Bhartha natya postures. Stucco images of deities are on the Gopuram. All the 4 saints are believed to be entered through 4 Rajagopurams, though it may not be existed during their periods.
The east Rajagopuram was constructed by Vikrama Chozha through which Manickavasagar entered in to the temple. The base has two tiers in which various sculptures and deities like Bickshadanar, Gajasamhara murti, Gangadhara, Gangalar, Mahishasuramardhini are there. The Tri colour National flag will be hoisted on this top of the gopuram on August 15th of every year, by Deekshithars.
The south Rajagopuram facing Nataraja is called as Chokka Seeya Gopuram, the title of Koperunchingen, who built it and Thirugnanasambandar entered through this Rajagopuram.
The west Rajagopuram was built by Jadavarman Sundara Pandyan and the entrance to the sanctum complex is opposite to it and also called as Akalangan Vayil. Appar entered through this Rajagopuram.
The 16th century North Rajagopuram was built by Krishna Devaraya of Vijayanagara Dynasty. Krishna Devaraya and his sthapathi’s images are in the North side of the Rajagopuram passage. Sundarar entered through the Rajagopuram ie from back side of Natarajar.
Nirutha Sabha ( Ethirambalam ). As per the legend, Dance competition was held between Thillai Kali and Lord Shiva in which Thillai Kali could not perform Dance like Lord Shiva. The mandapam was built like a chariot pulled by galloping horses with 56 intricately carved pillars.
Deva Sabha is facing south with 100 bronzes idols (?). Kulothunga-II, covered this roof with gold, Kanaka Sabha and Chit Sabha otherwise called as Ponnambalam. As per the legend the Viswakarma built this Sabha on the request of Indran for Shiva’s Ananda thandavam. This was believed to be constructed by Aditya-I. It is also believed that, this Sabha was constructed with 64 wooden beams ( represents 64 arts ), 2600 lotus petals ( this represents the breathing count of a human ), 72,000 nails ( human body’s nerves, veins and heart beats ) and 9 kalasas.
Mukkuruni Vinayaga is sculptured out of a monolithic/single stone belongs to 17th century. Heramba Ganapathy bas relief is on the second pillar from the entrance of the mandapa.
Thirumoola Vinayagar sannadhi is on the right side of the West side Rajagopuram. The mukha mandapa is supported with a single pillar. It is believed that, it signifies the Kundalini sakthi.
Sivakamasundari Temple was constructed during Kulothunga period. Chithra gupta Shrine. Dwajasthamba mandapa, which has beautiful paintings on the ceiling. Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple built by Pandyas after defeating Chozhas, in remembrance of Madurai. Pandi Nayakam temple was built by the Pandyas with 56 intricately carved pillars.
Next to north side Rajagopuram is the Nine Shiva Linga Temple. The Shiva Lingas are of Dhara Linga with 8 flat surfaces. The nine Shiva Linga’s flat surfaces are added which works out to 72, which signifies the addition of Nayanmars and Thokai adiyars. As per the inscriptions this temple is called as "Thiruthonda thokaieechuram".
The Urthava Thandava murthy is on the western side of the Nirutha Sabha mandapam. Shiva is in dance postures with lifting his leg up pointing the sky.
Some claims that, during Rajarajan period thirumurai were brought to light from a closed room of the prakaram through Nambiyandar Nambi ( The prakaram Vinyagar showed the way ). But as per the experts Since Nambiyandar Nambi doesn’t belongs to Rajaraja period and Rajarajan was not responsible to bring out the Thirumurais.
In 1753 CE, the temple was occupied by the French and a garrison was set up in side the temple premises. In 1759 CE the temple was attacked by British and latter occupied by the French.
As per the early Chozha period inscriptions this place was called as Perumpatrapuliyur and Chidamvbaram was mentioned in the latter period inscriptions. Lord Shiva is called as Thiru Chitrambalamudayar and Ambal is called as Thiru Kamakottathu Periya Nachiyar. About 500 inscriptions are recorded from this temple belongs to 850 to 1300 CE, out of them more than 50% belongs to Pandyas, Vijayanagars, etc,. The Chozha period inscriptions refers nearly 34 other temples, 12 mutts and 3 institutions close to Chidambaram.
The Prantaka-I period inscription believed to be earliest records the renovation, extension of Chit Sabha and celebration of festivals.
Nearly 70 numbers of Chozha period inscriptions records the establishment of nandhavanams / flowering gardens, appointing gardeners, and offering flowers for garlands. It was mentioned that at one time 2750 garlands per day are offered to the temple.
Several inscriptions records the establishment and maintenance of complicated but organised network of irrigation channels to the settlements in and around Chidambaram.
The Chozha King Kulothunga Chozha’s inscription speaks about the special and rare stone gifted by the king of Kambhoja placed in the Chitrambalam. The inscriptions reads as ”இந்த கல்லு திருவம்பலத்து திருக்கல் சரட்டில் திருமுன்பட்டுக்கு மேலே பட்டியில் வைத்தது”.
Nralokaveera, the Commander in chief of Kulothunga-I and Vikrama Chozha has several long running inscriptions in Tamil and Sanskrit records his contributions to the temple. The list includes Sandhi Vilakku / veethi deepa/ street lamp, a mandapa near the sea for Nataraja’s Theertha yathra, broadening the processional streets, gilding several structures, footpaths around the temple, gold, precious stones, jewels, gold vessels, Vahanas, tanks, Compound walls, etc,. He also has got around 8000 Thevara hymns, engraved on a copper plates and kept them in reverence in the temple. He also installed the image of Thirugnanasambandar and made endowments to recite his hymns during festival times.
Vikrama Chozha period inscription records the a Chariot, canopied with pearls to be drawn around the streets in the Tamil month of Puratasi ( Sept- Oct ).
An inscription records the existence of manuscript Library called Saraswati Bhandaram in the temple. Several important texts including Sidanta Ratnakara was available in the Library. It has existed more than 500 years and is last mentioned in the Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan’s period inscriptions. Latter might have been brought down and burnt during Islamic invasion.
The latter Pallava King Koperunchinga frequently referred ( AR 455 to 168 of 1902, SII, VIII- 43 to 56 ) in many inscriptions. His Coronation was done here, built the west Rajagopuram and donated extensively to this temple.
The Temple faced a massive destruction during Malik Kafur’s invasions of South India between 1311 and 1325 CE.
DHIKSHITHARS AND THEIR ROLE.
As per the legend, 3000 Deekshithars went for Brahma’s Yaga conducted at Andharvedi a place on the banks of river Godavari. After completion of the Yaga, Brahma asked them to take food. The Deekshithars politely denied and said that they can take food only after Nataraja’s darshan. Brahma knew that his Yaga will not be fulfilled if Deekshithars do not take food. So he started meditate on Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Rathnasabapathy and gave darshan to Deekshithars. After return when they counted it was only 2999. They confused, who was missing and counted again and found the same one short of 3000. When they were puzzled, they heard the divine Voice of Lord Shiva from Chitrambalam, saying that he was one among them, who accompanied with them to the Yaga and asked them to count him ie Lord Shiva as one. Hence the Deekshithars treat Lord Shiva as one among them in all respects.
Lord Shiva’s Dance in this temple is called as Ananda Thandavam. At the end of Pichadanar form to teach lesson of Whos is great, for Tharuka vana Rishis, Lord Shiva Danced the Ananda Thandavam which was witnessed by Maha Vishnu, Brahma and other Devas. Pathanjali and Vyagrapadhar also wants to see Lord Shiva’s Ananda Thandavam. As advised both installed Shiva Lingas at Thillai and worshiped Lord Shiva ( Vyagrapureeswarar / Ilamaiyakkinar and Anandheeswarar Temple ). For both of them Lord Shiva danced this ananda thandavam at this place.
This legend is related to The Kouda deasa ( Present Bengal, part of Odisha and Bihar ) King Hiranyavaraman. The Koudadesa Kings son Swethavarman was suffering a from a skin decease. Even-though he has to crown as next king, he gave it his brother and started his pilgrimage. He took bath in many holy rivers and tanks before reaching Chidambaram. A hunter guided him to this Thillai Natarajar temple. He came to Natarajar Temple and he was guided by the Deekshithars and took bath in the Holy Sivagangai tank. To his surprise he came out like golden colour complexion and relieved from the decease. The Deekshithars, Pathanjali and Vyagrapatha requested him to rule this place. So he sent people to Kouda Desam and brought his crown and coronation was done by the Deekshithars at this temple as a King of this place.
Nandanar also called as Thirunalai Povar, one of the 63 Nayanmars, after three days circumambulation of Thillai / Chidambaram, he was very much disappointed of not having darshan of Lord Nataraja. On the third day night he stayed in a coconut palm farm, on the outskirts of Chidambaram. Gopalakrishna Bharathi, in his sings express the feelings of Nandhanar than Sekkizhar. Written like “irakkam varaamal ponathen ? – இரக்கம் வராமல் போனதேன் ?”… Lord Shiva decided not to make Nandhanar to wait any more. In that night Lord Shiva came in his dream and asked him to come to the temple for the darshan. Dhikshithars will welcome you and they will create a fire, immerse and come out like Yogi, leaving the pulayar caste sentiments. Lord Shiva also told the same in all 3000 Dikshitar’s dream.
Next morning all the Dikshitars were waiting with poorna Kumba to welcome Nandanar at the south side entrance of Natarajar temple. Nandanar came to the south side entrance and hesitate to enter in to the temple. Dikshitars told him that Lord Shiva had asked to welcome him in all Dikshitar’s dream. Nandanar immersed in the fire and came out as Nandha Mamuni with Jadabaram over his head, wearing rudraksha and yaknopavithira. Nandanar went inside the temple along with Dhikshithars and had the darshan of Lord Nataraja. Nandanar went near Nataraja and disappeared. As per Sekkizhar.. ..
உலகு உய்ய நடம் ஆடும்எல்லையினைத் தலைப்பட்டார்யாவர்களும் கண்டிலரால்.
Some of the Miracles happened in this temple are :
Manickavasagar defeated Buddha and make the dumb girl to speak. Thirugnanasambandar treated all Thillai andhanars as Sivagnanis. Umapathy Siva sung the Kodikavai to hoist the kodi ( Flag ). Senthanar has sung the song to make the Chariot to move / run. In this temple only Thirumaraikal came to this world after it was locked in a room after many years. Lord Shiva asked Sekkizhar to write the Siruthondar puranam with the first step given by lord.
The phrase “Chidambara Ragasiyam” is not the literal meaning of that place covered with curtain where the Vila leaves ( Aegle Marmelos) malas are hung. The actual meaning is different. It is believed that Lord Shiva and Parvati are in aroopa form. The significance of removing of curtain – ie removing the person’s maya between him and Lord Shiva. To realize or to see himself, the person has to apply his soul and mind.
POOJAS & CELEBRATIONS
Apart from regular poojas, special poojas are conducted 6 annual mahaabhishekams ( Chithirai onam, Aani Thirumanjanam, Aavani Chathurdhasi, Puratasi Chathurdhasi, Arudra abhshekam and Masi Chathurdasi ), Nayanmar Utsavam, Sri Sivakamasundari Utsavam, Amman Rathotsavam, Pooarachalankai Pattu Vaangal, Maalai Maatral Kannoonjal- Thirukalyanam, Soora Samharam, Devasena Subramanyar Kalyanam, Srimoolanathar annabhishekam, Thai Poosam Pancha moorthy veedhi purappadu, Theerthavari in Sivagangai, Thandava Darshana aarathi and maha Shivaratri. Anna pavadai and Dasa Theertha festival, in which Natarajar is taken to 10 different Tanks around the temple/ city are also conducted.
The temple will be kept opened between 06.00 hrs to 12.00 hrs 17.00 hrs to 22.00 Hrs
Nirtha Sundhara Deekshithar 9443635280 /9791494280
S. Sreshton Deekshithar 9442233225/9790204027
Mobile number is + 9194439 86996
HOW TO REACH:
Buses are available from all district head quarters of Tamil Nadu.
The temple is 1.8 KM from railway Station 1 KM from Bus terminus.
The Temple / Chidambaram is 19 KM from Sirkazhi, 39 KM from Mayiladuthurai, 54 KM from Virudhachalam, 56 KM from Cuddalore, 75 KM from Villupuram and 230 KM from Chennai.
Nearest Railway station is Chidambaram
LOCATION OF THE TEMPLE : CLICK HERE
Krishna Devararaya & Vijayanagara Sculptors on both sides
Nirutha mandapa Pillars
Nalvar Sannadhi- Believed that the Thirumurai was kept here
Chozha period inscriptions on the wall
Inscription stone placed on the floor during renovatiions
Govinda Raja Perumal sannadhi