Thursday, 19 May 2016


17th May 2016
A temple walk around Thiruvottiyur Thyagaraja swamy temple ( Popularly known as Sri Vadivudai Amman Temple ) was planned at 3.45 PM on 16th May, 2016 (since the temple reopens at 4pm). It will include discussions on Thyagaraja cult, Nayanmars and Thiruvotriyur and similarities between Thiruvarur and Thiruvottiyur based on the Thyagaraja cult. 

Even-though I  had been to this temple number of time, this visit is on a different perspective. The walk was lead by Mr Madhusudhanan, an architect by profession and passion on temple architecture. He had done a wonderful presentation of the temple and explained all the details from the place where changes were made. I really wonder how he could collect the details in the midst of his professional work. It will be difficult  for me  to recollect many things which told during the discussion. 

Thyagaraja cult is a set of characteristic features, norms to be followed, similarities in which the way it was practiced. Most of the Vidanga sthalangal in and around Thiruvarur practiced the similar cult. There are some shiva temples on the coromandal coast, which has Thiyagaraja Sannadhi, but Vidanga moortham is (of rare gem,)  missing. Somaskanda is generally called as Thyagaraja, Thyagaraja and the secret ( covering Kanda in the middle  by the flowers, some times without Kanda ) is of family tradition type of moorthams and they are Somaskandar where Murugan will be in the middle and Ganesha anugraha moortham in which Ganesha is seating on the right side of Lord Shiva. Both of the sudhai/stucco moorthams are available in the 2nd level of east side Rajagopuram. The original Vindangar was worshiped by Sri Mahavishnu keeping it on his chest. The vidanga moortham was transferred to Chozha King  Musukundha chakravarthy through Indran. ( Which has a separate story).Similarly the natanam is also different in each temples.

Ajaba natanam
Depends on the chest movement due to  breathing ( Maha Vishnu)
Sundara vidangar
Vici natanam
Dancing like sea wave
Avani vidangar
Dancing like a bee that hovers on the flowers
Nagara vidangar
Unmatha natanam
Dancing like an intoxicated person

Kukkuta natanam
Dancing like a cock
Dancing like lotus moves due to breeze
Dancing with the gait of swan

All the vidanga moorthams are of rare gem and kept in a safe custody. ( It was told that some places original vidanga lingas  were stolen). The name Vidangar might have came from the  name of Vidalai ( a young Shiva).

The Thiruvottiyur temples has the contributions of Chozha,  Pallavas, Nayaks etc. The Thyagaraja sannadhi at Thiruvitriyur was built adjacent to main Chozha period temple  with out much damage to the kodungai. The mandapam was built in stages may be by different king’s period. The Thyagarajar sannadhi  pillars are of round with lot of inscriptions and front mandapam are of square in shape with reliefs on all the sides. The reliefs are  signifies the different forms/ school of worshiping like thanthirka, Kaabalika, etc.

A new comer to this temple will be confused very much by seeing the layout of the temple. Sannadhis are built in a haphazard manner and moorthams were located in different positions.  The Dwarabalakars are beautiful and miniature of Shiva’s dance, Gajasamkaramurthy are chiselled on the cap  are worth to see. The Dwarabalakas might be originally in the inner prakaram and latter  shifted to the present place which obstructs the view of  inscriptions. The mandapam pillars has the reliefs of Nayanmar’s  siddu, ( Sundarar – at avinashi, child came out of corc’s mouth  and Thiurganasambandar – poompavai comes alive from ashes). Also the sacrificing releifs with a head and two ladies holding thirisool.

There is a Sandeswarar moorham kept in the mandapam, which is not it’s original place. In the nayanmars place a boothagana’s moortham is named as Nambiyandar nimbi. Then comes the vattaparai Amman Sannadi. This might be of Kannaki worship, to prove this during function the pandal  erected outside will not be removed, instead burnt out. Also there is a possibility that Vattaparai amman might be a Village god with ant hill near by ( Moolavar Lord Shiva is in the form of Ant hill ) and  the construction of the Vattaparai Amman sanndhi, which has no space with main sanctum.  There is a Dwajasthambam installed in front of Vattaparai amman sannadhi with it’s base in round shape, This might be a soolam once.  
After that we had visited the Thiruvotreesar Temple, which has the main contribution of Nattukkottai Nagarthars. Sandikeswarar, Bairavar relefs are  in actual place on the pillars. The medalians  are just modern as flowers and Subramanya standing on Lotus.  Then comes the  Bairavar Sannadhi whose hair touches the ground and the dog is missing.

In The Vadivudai Amman sannadhi we had seen a moortham of Saamundi with skull on it’s head. There  must a sapthamathrikas sannadhi previously. This is the one escaped from ..... and installed here. It was interesting to note that Sri Sankarar worshiped Sri Vadivudai Amman. To prove this still pooja is conducted by the malayalis.  

The Voice of Madhusudhanan : CLICK HERE

 Thyagarajar sannadhi buil with main sannadhi without damaging the kodungai 
 Thanthirika worship 
 Kaabalika worship ( holding spinalcord bone )
 Thabas standing on one leg 

Sundarar and the chile cames out of crocodile’s mouth  
 Thiruganasambandar and Poompavai   

 Homa mandapam where moorthams on the top
 Sandikeswarar in the front mandapam 
 A miniature shiva’s dance on the cap of Dwarabalaka 
 A miniature shiva’s dance on the cap of Dwarabalaka 
 A 1963 beautiful painting of Kaliya nayanar  tried to cut himself to get blood to burn light in the sanctum, where Lord Shiva appeared and blessed him 
 The round pillar with inscriptions of Rajaran’s meikeerthi – back of sanctum 
 Sri Kowleeswarar back of Sri Thyagarajar Sannadhi  

 Dwajasthambam with circular base in front of Vattaparai amman Sannadhi 
 Subramaniyar on Lotus 
 Bairavar sannadhi 

Samundi – in Vadivudai amman temple