THE MAGNIFICIENT ROCK-CUT CAVE & OTHER TEMPLES OF MUTHARAYARS



Thirumaiyam + Pazhiyileeswaram + Vijayalaya Choleeswaram + Circular Temple + Samanar-Kudagu + Ettikudi Subramanyar + Brhadishwara + Uttamanath Swami + Biligiri Ranganatha + Gomateswara (Bahubali ) + Kunnandar Kovil + Goreeswara + Nimishamba + Hritapureswara Swami + Enkan Subramanyar Temple + Kadambar koil + Muttarasa Nallore, Trichy. + Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangapatna. + Alappadu Sree Murugan Temple, Kerala. + Mutharasa Cherry Temple, Adinadu, Kerala. +



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01. THIRUMAIYAM TEMPLE :

Thirumaiyam Temple
This cave temple was established by Kuvavan Mutharayar during his rule at Thanjavur from 610 AD – 649 AD inn Tamilnadu. There stands a statue of Kuvavan Mutharayar in the form of Twara Balaga (Dwara Palaka = Gate keeper = Security guard) on the right side of temple door. It is believed that Kuvavan was brought from Renadu (Rayalseema) as a step son by his ancestor Nalladi alias Bhima Solan. Mahendra Pallavan took over Kanchi from Bhima Solan.

On the left side of temple entrance, there stands another Twara Balaga, which is said to be the statue of Kuvavan's younger brother Punniakumaran. At the time of Kuvavan's rule Punnia Kumaran was the Yuvaraja. That is why the Dwara Palaka on left entrance is seen without crown. At that time his father was on the seat of power in Renadu. The elder brother Kuvavan was crowned as king at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The younger brother was serving his elder brother faithfully by staying with him. The elder brother Kuvavan honored his younger brother for his love and faithful services by installing his statue along with him as Dwara Palaka in Thirumaiyam temple in Pudukottai Temple.




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02. PAZHIYILEESWARAM TEMPLE :

Pazhiyileeswaram
Pazhiyileeswaram is another rock-cut cave temple with a Siva linga inside a small sanctum sanctorum with two beautiful dwarapalakas. The inscription at the base of the temple is an extremely interesting piece that belongs to the period of the Pallava king (Nirupatunga Varman 855-896 A.D).

The inscription says that the cave temple was built by the Mutharaya king. Mutharayar and his son Sathan had built the Mukha Mandapam, Nandimandapam and Balipeetam at the temple. This inscription helps to read the lineage of the Mutharayar kings, who were the vassals of the Pallava kings.

This rock-cut cave temple is dedicated to Siva and located opposite to the Vijayalaya Chozhisvaram temple, about 30 feet south of Samanar-kudagu.

This Siva cave temple was excavated in the seventh year of the Pallava king Nripatunga (862 AD.) by a Muttaraiyar chief, Sattan-pazhiyili, son of Videl-vidugu Muttaraiyan, which is where the temple gets the name. An inscription on the basement, states that the temple was excavated by Pazhiyili. It also states that his son built the front mandapam and installed a nandi, while his daughter Pazhiyili Siriyanangai made a gift of land to the temple.

Pazhiyili was a Mutharayar king, who ruled in 857 AD in Narthamalai region. Pazhiyili figures in the inscriptions found near Pudukkottai - Narthamamai - in 857 AD. Pazhiyili practised Jainism and donated lands to Siva temple and named it as Pazhiyileeswaram. Pazhiyili as the contemporary chieftain under Pallava rule in Kodumbalur region and deviating from his predecessors practised Saivism and made a rock cut temple.




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03. VIJAYALA CHOLEESWARAM :

Vijayalaya Choleeswaram
The Vijayalaya Choleeswaram in Narthamalai, though so called under the name of the founder of the Chola dynasty of Thanjavur, is a fine example of Mutharayar style of construction and indeed a forerunner of the magnificent temple at Gangaikondacholapuram built by Rajendra Chola. The first and second thala (base) of the temple vimanam is square in shape while the third is circular (vasara) and the griva and Sikhira also are circular.

This is the first time when Nagara and Vasara styles have been incorporated in the construction of the vimanam. The inner wall enclosing the sanctum sanctorum is circular (omkhara shape), leaving an intervening passage all around. The Adithala hara extended over the top of the mandapam shows a series of dance sculptures. The dwarapalakas at the entrance of the temple are beautifully decorated. The temple as well as the six shrines and one upto the foundation level around the temple are all built with granite stones. About 15 years ago, the Archaeological survey of India had restored and re-built the dilapidated parts of the temple complex in a brilliant manner keeping to the original style which exhibits the pioneering efforts of the Mutharayars.

There is an inscription at the base of the dwarapalaka statue which clearly states that the original temple was built by Ilangovathi Mutharayar (alias) Chathambuthi which was damaged by rain and the same was rebuilt with granite stones by Mallan Vithuman Mutharaya king in 886 A.D. This is a clear evidence that the temple was in existence prior to Vijayalaya chola, though at present the temple is called Vijayalaya Choleeswaram.

Opposite to this temple is the famous rock-cut temple. In the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, one can see a brown Siva Lingam and in the Ardha Mandapam - in front of the sanctum sanctorum there are 12 brilliant rock-cut images of Lord Vishnu which are almost identical.

According to Dr. R. Kalaikovan, Director, Dr. Rajamanickanar centre for historical research, though the rock-cut temple houses the broken Siva Linga and Vaishnavite statues, it is surprising that the structure is termed as Samanar Kudagu, since so far there is no structural or epigraphical evidence of Jain rock-cut temples in this place. There might have been a Mukha Mandapam in front of the Ardha Mandapam, housing the Vishnu statues. Though there are no walls or roof, the base of the Ardha Mandapam is full of brilliant sculptures of Yalis, Elephants, a combination of elephant and makara etc. And interestingly there is an Egyptian Sphinx like statue which is an indication of the cultural heritage reflecting the high-level trade and commerce between Egyptian and Indian merchants.

There are many more such temples built by Mutharaiyar kings which were by mistake categorised to be built by Cholas by archeologists. Now they have started realising their mistake.

The earliest all-stone temples are those in the Pudukköttaá region in the present Tiruchiräppalli district, many of which were until recently considered to be of Cola. origin but are now categorized as of Pändya, or Muttaraiya origin. These include the shrines at Kaliyappatti, Tiruppür, Viéalür, Enädi, etc. All the temples are small in size and have only one storey (ëlcatala). Side by side with these all-stone temples we also come across almost contemporaneous constructions in brick and stone. The Saptarsîévara, temple at is one of the best extant examples of this kind. In this stone is employed only in the ground tala and the superstructure over the entablature, whether it is square or circular in shape, is of brick. All these are datable in the second half of the ninth century which formed the most important period in the history of South Indian temple architecture as it witnessed Very fruitful experiments in architectural models in the new and challenging medium of stone, and which laid the foundation for the architectural development of the succeeding centuries.

Webmaster
Kokolu Anka Rao
5th May 2012
Nagpur, Maharastra, India

On Tue, 26/3/13, araya samajam ( arayasamajam@gmail.com ) wrote:

Ilango Adi-The author of Chilappathikaram.

Everybody knows that the famous ancient epic “Chilappathikaram” was written by Ilango Adi, brother of the king Chenkuttuva whose capital was Chenkintoor alias Chengannur of Chera kingdom. Ilango Adi was one among the Muthuraja communities because; the word” Adi “was the sub title of king Mutharayars.

The following reference about the temple Vijayala Choleeswaram proves that the Chera kings were Muthurajas.

The temple Vijayala Choleeswaram was built by a Mutharayar king” Ilango Adi Arayan/Ilango Adi Mutharayar alias Chathambuthi. This is inferred from an inscription under one of the Dwara- Palakas.

“The inscription says that the temple was originally built by one sembudi also called Ilango Adi Arayan, and that is suffered damage by heavy rains and the same was repaired and rebuilt by one Mallan-Viduman/ Mallan- Vithuman Mutharaya king also called Tennavan Tamil Adi Arayan in 886 AD.”

More over The king Chenkuttuva had been admired as “Pani Thurai Parathava” by Paranar in his book “Pathittu Pathu”. Pani Thurai Parathava means that “The fisherman of cold sea port”. Parathavar was the ancestors of Pandya kings and they were closely related with the emperors of Chera, Chola Dynasties and they had also matrimonial alliance too.

During the reign of Chenkuttuva, (sangham period) the caste system had been existed. Hence The Chilappathikaram would not have been written by Ilango Adi if Kannaki was not the same clan. It clearly indicates that the ancient kings of Chera-Chola-Pandya Kingdoms were from Muthuraja/ Mudiraja /Mutharayar communities.

M.B.Shivakumar.
arayasamajam@gmail.com




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04. STRUCTURAL STONE CIRCULAR TEMPLE :

Structural Stone Circular Temple
Narthamalai is 17 kms from Pudukkottai. Here, on the hillsides, several Jain monasteries can be seen. There are several rare medicinal plants and herbs such as black gooseberry (Karunelli), Jathi tree etc. in the forest here. It was also the capital of Mutharaiyar chieftains. The important visiting places here are the earliest structural stone temple, circular in shape built by Mutharaiyars. This temple has six large skillfully carved statues of Vishnu in the central hall.

Northamalai is a place of historical importance and the headquarters of the Muthuraiya Chieftains. The earliest structural stone temple, circular in shape, built by the Muthuraiyar. In the movement of scooping out live rocks for divine abodes minor dynasties like the Atiyas and Muttaraiyars also participated, though stylistically their excavations are much akin to those of their political master. The cave at Namakkal is evidently an Atiya enterprise while Muttaraiya involvement may be seen at Tiruvellarai, Narttamalai, Kunrlandarkoil etc.




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05. SAMANAR KUDAGU TEMPLE :

The Samanar-Kudagu Temple
This temple is also associated with an Ariyan of Telugu origin. There is an inscription which registers sale of land by the Nagarattar to thevan-periyan also called Mudikonda-chozha Telungai-araiyan for the conduct of daily worship to the arumanikka-azhvar of Thirumer-koil. It appears that Thevan Periran was an Araiyan (subcaste of Muthuraja of Tsmilnadu) and he was also Telungai (belonging to Telugu speaking origin )

Opposite to the structural temple Vijayalaya Chozhisvaram there are two cave temples, excavated on the steep slop of the rock. Of these, the one on the northern side is popularly called Samanar-kudagu ('cave-of-the-Jains').

This cave temple is also called Padhinen-bhumi Vinnagaram. 'Padinen' refers to the 'eighteen regions' (seats of the corporation of Ainurruvar). Vinnagaram means temple for Vishnu.

Perhaps, it was originally a Jaina cave in the 7th century AD, but converted into a Vishnu shrine in 12th or 13th century AD. The date of this conversion is still under debate.

After this conversion it came to be called as Thirumer-koil or Merrali and Padhinen-bhumi Vinnagaram. Presently it looks like a Vaishanavite shrine.

It consists of a rectangular garbha-griham and an ardha-mandapam in front, both excavated from the living rock.

Presently the garbha-griham is empty, except for a broken stone pitham . This pitham is also carved out of the living rock.

The ardha-mandapam has two massive pillars and two pilasters in the front, also carved out of the rock. It houses twelve identical but wonderful relief sculptures of Vishnu on the walls.

Each of them is six feet five inches tall and carved on the rock. The sankhu, conch), chakra, discuss), the garments and the ornamentation deserve praise. One of the lower hands is in the abhaya-mudra ( pose indicative of protection) and the other touches the thigh. The twelve figures perhaps represent those of the twelve common names of Vishnu – Kesava, Narayana, Madhava, Govinda, Trivikrama, Vamana, Achyuta, Sridhara, Padmanabha, Damodara, Vasudeva and Madhu-sudhana.

In front of this cave temple is a stone plinth of the maha-mandapam . Judging from the remains, this mandapam must have been a closed one supported by square pillars, with walls ornamented with pilasters crowned with capitals.

On the plinth of this mandapam, above the kumudam, runs a beautiful frieze of lions, elephants, and vyali-s. At the corners are projecting makara heads, with human figures sporting inside their gaping mouths. Carved with loving care, these graceful figures of elephants, lions and vyali-s in playing are one among the finest in existence in this region. They exhibit high levels of creativity, artistic skill and imagination of the sculptors.

There are a number of loose sculptures broken parts sculptures kept on this plinth and also inside the ardha-mandapam. Those on the plinth include two dvara-palaka-s, a Sapta-matrika group and an Ayyanar. Those inside the ardha-mandapam include two Ganesa-s. All these sculptures are excavated in and around Narttamalai.

There is an inscription on the moulded basement dated in the 45th year of the Chozha king Kulottunga I (1115 AD). This inscription registers a sale of land by the Nagarattar to thevan-periyan also called Mudikonda-chozha Telungai-araiyan for the conduct of daily worship to the arumanikka-azhvar of Thirumer-koil.

There is also another inscription dated 1228 AD on the rock, north of the cave temple (PSI 281) of the reign of Mara-varman Sundara-pandya I mentioning that the 'western temple' was consecrated and in it were installed the idols of Vishnu and those of his consorts.

So the date of conversion of the Jain cave into the Vishnu shrine is still under debate.




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06. ETTIKUDI SUBRAMANYAR TEMPLE :

Ettikudi Subramanyar temple :
Th image of Skanda in the sanctum of Subramanyar temple is an exquisite one and said to have been installed during the rule of the Muttaraiyar chieftains.

Sri Subramania swamy temple is situated facing towards East at Ettukudi about 30 km south west of Nagapattinam, 28 km South East of Thiruvaarur, NorthEast of Thiruthuraipoondi 19 km from Thirukuvalai. It is easily accessd from Tiruvarur. It has been revered by the hymns of Arunagirinathar. The name Ettikkudi is derived from the Etti trees which dominated this area. The name Ettukkudi is derived from the fact that this shrine is surrounded by Shivastalams in all eight directions.

A monolithic Scupture of Lord Muruga with 3 faces and 12 arms is seated on a Peacock which is facing towards North is seen here. The Scupture is carved in such away the whole weight of the Sculpture is supported by the peacocks legs Architectural style of (Chola period) is seen in the temples of Lord Muruga and Vinayaga.

The sanctum enshrines an imposing image of Shanmukhar with 6 faces, seated on a peackock mount. There are also shrines to Sundareswarar and Anandavalli here. Other shrines here include those to Mahalakshmi, MahaVishnu (Venkatachalapati), Natarajar, and Valmiki Munivar.

As the temples of Swami, Ambal and perumal had been destroyed due to the ravages of time, new stone temples were constructed in their place following 20th Century Architectural style. This image of Skanda in the sanctum is an exquisite one. The entire image is supported only by the 2 legs of the peacock mount. This image is said to have been installed during the rule of the Muttaraiyar chieftains of Tamilnadu. Accorcing to historians this temple is considered to be constructed during the period of Mutharasa,15th cpentury. Apart from Thirupugal by Arunagirinathar. There are no proofs for the period of this temple.

The shrine is called Ettukudi as the Sthalavriksham here is Ettimaram. Here Lord Murugan appears in a sitting posture on the peacock with his consorts Valli and Devayanai. According to the legend, while a king named Mutharasar was ruling this place, a sculptor with divine blessing was in a process of creating an image of Lord Murugan with six faces sitting on a peacock. To his surprise he noticed that there was blood circulation and sweat while creating the same. Afraid by the site, he thought that after creating the image the peacock will come to life and Lord Murugan would fly using the same. So he made the peacock by tying a chain around it so that it cannot fly. At last when he opened the eyes of the peacock, it came life and it tried to fly, to prevent flying the sculptor curtailed the foot nails. This is a very famous shrine visited by many devotees.

This temple is linked closely with Sikkal and Ennkann through the legend that the images of Skanda in all three of these shrines were made by the same sculptor.

This shrine is closley tied to the legend of Ardhanareeswarar, and Parvati's performance of Kedara Gowri Vratam, to become a part of Shiva. No Tevara Patikams exist for this shrine though. Valmiki is said to have worshipped here.

The theertham here is Saravana Poikai and the stala vriksham is the vanni tree.

Karthigai festival is celebrated by performing Archanai, Paal Kaavadi and the presiding deity is taken on procession through the streets during Night kandhasasti festival is celebrated for 10 days during which procession of presiding deity takes place in the morning and Night. Soora samharam is performed on the 6th day Divine wedding of Deivanai on 7th day Divine wedding of Valli on 8th day.

Chithira Pouranami festival is celebrated grandly once a year. Ollai chappara festival on 7th procession of car on 9th day. The temple day is kept open for continous two days to facilitate devotees taking part in Paal Kaavadi abishekam and Archanai.

References of Mutharayars for their Rock-cut temples
Though Mahendravarma Pallava (604-630 A.D) inherited the Pallava empire from his victorious father Simhavishnu that reached up to the bank of the Cauvery, Cholamandalam could not be retained by his immediate successor, as it was over-run by the Pandyas of the further south. The tract north and south of river Vellar were in the hands of the Mutharayar chieftains who till their annihilation by the resurgent Chola line of Vijayalaya, were owing alternate allegiance to the super powers. The Irukkuvelirs, at the end became the firm allies of the Cholas. Thus, one cannot expect to find early Pallava monuments, antiquities and inscriptions in Pudukkottai region but only those of the contemporary Pandyas along with those of Mutharaiyars and Irukkuvelirs. Later Pallavas wrested the tract from the hands of the Pandyas. The tract come under the Pallavas from the time of Nandhivarman-II (730-796 AD) when the Pallavas power reasserted itself in Cholamandalam and the tract south of Kaveri, reaching a little south beyond Vellar, comprising the northern half of the Pudukkottai district. This period is thus marked by the presence of rock cut cave temples of the Pandyas and Mutharaiyars.

Webmaster
Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 24th August 2009
Nagpur, Maharastra, India


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7. BRHADHISWARA TEMPLE, THANJAVUR

The mysterious events that took$place have been recorded by Dr.AV Jeyachandrun, a very great versatile and many faceted scholar of the last century. He was a District Information Officer of Tamilnadu State Government.
xbr> The Great Temple of Thanjavur, otherwise known as the Brhadhiswara Temple or Peruvudaiyar Koyil was completed by Raja Raja Cholzan and the kudamulzukku took place in 1012 AD. But the Vaaraahi sannidhi has already been there and scholars consider that it comes from an earlier temple that must have been in existance somewhere around. During the times of ThEvAram hymns, there is mention of a temple called 'Thanjai ThaLikkuLaththaar'. Whereabouts in ThanjavuR it was, nobody knows.

The figure of Vaaraahi of ThanjavUr belongs to the 6th century AD. To have a look at Tahnjai Vaaraahi, please visit the following URL :

http://www.geocities.com/visva.geo/thanjai_vaaraahi.jpg

You will notice that She is two-armed. As a rule, Vaaraahi figures are usually four-armed.That was time when the worship of Vaaraahi, Nisumbha Sudhini, Mahisha mardhini, Vaishnavi, Jyeshta, Sapth Matrikas, etc., were popular. Ritualistic self-sacrifice, slitting of own throat, etc., were rather in vogue. If you are interested in knowing more about this practice, pl%ase visit the following URL:
http:/owww.geocities.ckm/Vienna/Choir/p262/navkanta.htm

Many royal and feudatory dynastiesdhad such deitie7 as their kula $evathas. The Vaaraahi must hava been important$to the Post-Sancgam Age Cholza /r the Muthareiyars, or e6en the Post-Sanggam Pandiyas wh+ held the terri4ory for sometime. She must have been worshippeddby them. So the$origin of the s(rine of Thanjai$Vaaraahi is shrkuded in mysteryn

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8. UTHAMA NATHASWAMI TEMPLE, TAMILNADU

It was an important locality in the middle ages. The Uthama Nathaswami temple here has a Mutharaya edifice (bulding / structure). The temple has epigraphs of the Cholas and Vijayanagar.

Keeranur is a panchayat town in Dindigul district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Keeranur is a place which is about 30dkm from Pudukottai on the way to Thiruchirapalli. Keeranur 15 kms from trichy. Keeranur is located in between Dharapuram and Palani.

It is already seen that Muthurayars, Cholas and Vijayanagar kings are either related or belong to the same royal blood & race

Legend has it that Keechaka (of Mahabharata) ruled here and worshipped the Lord. Thus the place came to be called Keechaganur. Evidence for this lies three feet beneath the ground, says Sivachariar, adding, "Arunagirinathar has sung about Keeranur in his famed Thiruppugazh." Dr. B. S. Baliga's `Madras District Gazetteers — Coimbatore' also mentions "Kiranur (sic) is believed to have been the place where Keechaka was killed by Bhima."

According to S. R. Krishnaswamy, a chronicler, central to the place is the Vageeswara (Siva) temple, at least 800 to 1,000 years old. Half a kilometre east is the Kandiamman temple, dating back to about 800 years, and to the west, past the canal, is an idol of Durga, Kandiamman's elder sister.

PUDUKOTTAI: Work on renovation of an ancient temple dating back to 9th century AD and accounting for a good number of inscriptions in an interior village is in full swing by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

The temple, built during the reign of Ko Ilango Mutharaiyar in an isolated village of Keezha Dhaaniyam near Ponnamaravathy in the district, has been dedicated to Sri Uthamadhaneeswarar.

The temple, which was in a dilapidated condition, was . Every stone and pillar was carefully removed and numbered for its re-alignment in the same order. We utilised only the conventional materials including lime, gall-nut, ('kadukkai') and jaggery, said Senior Conservation Assistant, ASI, S. Bagavansarathy.

The temple testifies to the importance of Ko Ilango Mutharaiyar rule that lasted for over 15 years during which time another temple was built at Keeranur in the district, also dedicated to Sri Uthmadhaneeswarar, say Karu. Rajendran, epigraphist and C. Govindaraj, curator of the Government Museum.

Distinct feature
The popular form of 'all-stone and all-square' style is the characteristic feature of the architecture as the structure is in a perfect square shape right from the base (Ubanam) up to its top. The ASI has retained the original structure intact.

The 'mandapam' and a shrine for Sri Ambal were other additions made during the later period. The architecture of the 'mandapam' testified to the style of 12th century AD. The shrine for Sri Ambal was added during the later Pandya era.

The Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Chennai, Sathybama Badrinath, said that the temple was one of the earliest stone temples of the early Chola period. The beams got weakened and went out of plumb. The interior location of the village, coupled with the absence of road link, posed challenges in moving building materials to the site, she said explaining the hardships faced by the ASI in renovating the temple.The renovation work would be completed in a few weeks, she added.

Webmaster
Kokolu Anka Rao
22nd December 2009
Nagpur, Maharastra, India


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9. RANGANATHA TEMPLE, BILIGIRI RANGANA BETTA, KARNATAKA

There is the famous temple of Ranganatha atop Biligiri Rangana Betta hill. A copper plate record dated 1667 and belonging to Mudduraju, son of Trimalarajanayaka of Hadinadu sheds light on the history of the temple.

Mudduraju = Mudduraja = Mudiraja = Muthuraja

Biligiri Rangana Betta (literally meaning - Ranganatha's Whiterock Hill in Kannada) is a lofty hillock situated at a distance of 28 km from Yelandur and 90 km from Mysore. The forest around is named Biligiri Rangaswamy Wildlife Sanctuary after this place. One can have a breath taking view of the forest around from the platform behind the temple atop the hill.

Here these hills are mentioned as that of Thiru Venkatanatha of Bilikal (White Rock). In Sanskrit, this hill was called Shwetadri meaning white hill. This is because the hill's weathered granite cliff face appear white in colour. The Venkatanatha temple became known as Ranganatha temple after Tipu Sultan visited this temple while on a hunting expedition and described it as a temple of Lord Ranganatha. Hence, the name Biligiri Rangana Betta.

The highest point of the hill is 5091 feet above sea level. At the foot of the hill on Chamarajanagar road, there is a brindavana (small lake) known as Kanakadasa's cave. It is believed that the celebrated spiritual guru Haridasa Kanaka lived here singing praises of the lord for some time.

There is a mysterious tradition and legend about this temple. Anyone visiting the temple can see a huge pair of sandals. Legend has it that these sandals are used by the presiding deity Lord Ranganatha to roam around these forests. Mysteriously, these sandals wear out and are replaced regularly with new ones by the villagers.

The original inhabitants of these forest areas are a tribal community called Soligas (bamboo people). Even now, these people live in settlements around these forests.

The Hill is covered with thick forest and it is at a height of 5091 feet above sea level and it has width of 16Kms at the base to the south. There is a temple for Billigiri Rangaswamy at the top of the hill and that's why it is known as name BR Hills. The Temple is of Dravidian style. Eventhough the deity is that of Lord Venkatesha it is popularly known by the name Ranganatha Swamy. The Idols of Ramanuja and Alva has been placed in this temple. Kankadasa Guha, Brindavan and other temples on the hills are of religious importance. The remains of a fort (kanchina kote) said to be built in 15-16th Century by the Shivasamudra Gangaraja can be found here. A small rivulet flowing at the foot of the hills is called Bargava Thoray. The hills are inhabitated by the Soliga Tribal people and this forest has rich flora and fauna.

The Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple wildlife sanctuary (BRT) is spread over an area of 540 sq.km. Located at the eastern most edge of the Western Ghats, it is an important link between the Western and Eastern Ghats. The hills are in the Yelandur taluk of Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka.The hills are contiguous with the Satyamangalam range southwards, in the Erode district of Tamil Nadu. The sanctuary derives its name "Biligiri" either from the white rock face that constitutes the major hill crowned with the temple of Lord Rangaswamy, or from the white mist and the silver clouds that cover the hills for a greater part of the year.

The hills are in the Yelandur taluk of Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka. The hills are contiguous with the Satyamangalam range southwards, in the Erode district of Tamil Nadu. The area is 90 km from Mysore and 180 km from Bangalore. It is connected by road, one from Yelandur and the other via Chamarajanagar. The hills are located at the easternmost edge of the Western Ghats and support diverse flora and fauna in view of the various habitat types supported. A wildlife sanctuary of 322.4 km² was created around the temple on 27 June 1974, and enlarged to 539.52 km² on 14 January 1987. BRT has an amazing diversity of vegetation types such as scrub, dry and moist deciduous, evergreen, sholas and high-altitude grasslands.

It is connected by road, one from Yelandur and the other via Chamarajanagar. Bangalore is about 200 km away, Mysore, 85 km away and Ooty, 225 km away. There are buses to BRT from Mysore.


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10. GOMATESWARA (BAHUBALI) OF SRAVANA BELAGOLA

The statue of Gomateswara is regarded as one of the largest monolithic statues in the world. It was fashioned during the prosperous reign of Rachamalla Saytavakay in 983 A.D. It was the Ganga King Rachamalla who commissioned the sculptor Arstameni in 981 A.D. to create this mammoth statue.

Rajamalla belonged to the line of Sripurusha of Western Ganga Dynasty who assumed the title of Muttharasa. So Rachamalla was one the well known Mutharaya kings of Ganga dynasty of Talakad (in present day Karnataka, India). Though territorially a small kingdom, the Western Ganga contribution to polity, culture and literature of the modern south Karnataka region is considered important. The Western Ganga kings showed benevolent tolerance to all faiths but are most famous for their patronage towards Jainism resulting in the construction of monuments in places such as Shravanabelagola and Kambadahalli.

The people having surname Rachamalla can now be seen among Kapu and Telaga communities. A branch or variant of Mudiraj people are known as Tenugu in Telangana Region and they are also known as Telaga in other parts of Andhra and South India. They fall under Kapu and Balija community who are very closely related to Mudiraj and often known as a rivals in warrior profession.

It is very interesting to note that the Gangas played an important role by patronising Jainism. Shravanabelagola drew the attention of Ganga dynasty from 4th century to 13th century. Its glorious past called as Gangavadi-96000 (Ganganadu) encompassed the frontiers of the kingdom with the religious compassion of Jainism. The famous rulers such as Shivmara I, Shivmara II (A.D. 788-812), Amoghavarsha, Marasimha II, Rachamalla IV (A.D. 964-999) and the minister Chavundaraya stood as the golden link between Jainism and Shravanabelagola.

. Simhanandi, the Jain muni was the great inspirant for the foundation of Ganga dynasty as revealed by an inscription in Shravanabelagola dated 1179 A.D.. Another inscription of the place (A.D. 1129) has mentioned emphasising the fact that Simhanandi blessed his disciple Konganiverma with the sword incarnated with the name of Arahantha to revolt against the gamut of sins. An inscription of 1400 A.D. also mentions the name of Simhanandi Acharya. The inscription found in other parts of Ganga domain also mention the importance of Shravanabelagola. According to these Madhava, also called Konganivrma was the founder of Ganga kingdom. He is described as a great warrior and was blessed by Arhatbhattakha. Simhanandi also showered his blessings on him to combat his enemies and attain supremacy. An inscription of A.D. 810 mentions that Amogavarsha the first Ganga king associated with Shravanabelagola built Chandraprabha Basadi. An inscription found in Kyathanahalli in Srirangapattana taluk has mentioned about the liberal donation by Rachamalla II (A.D. 870-919) and Yerayappaarasu (A.D. 886-913) to Shravanabelagola. Gangas also patronised mural art (paintings) as found in Jain mutt of Shravanabelagola and Jain temples of Gubbi and Nittur.

From all the available and reliable evidences of a historical nature it is quite clear that the colossal image of Bahubali or Gommata ( lord Gomateshwara) we caused to be erected around 983 AD by Chamunda-Raya a minister of the Ganga King, Rajamalla. The image was carved out a great rock which stood on the top of the Vindhyagiri hillat Sravana-Belagola. It is nude and stands erect facing the north.

Chamunda-Raya was a great warrior, military commander, Jain, poet, Scholar and devotee, served as the prime minister and commander-in-chief under the three famous kings of the Ganga dynasty of Talakad, Viz., i) Marasimha II(961-974 A.D.), ii) Rajamalla IV ( 974-984 A.D.), and iii) Rachamalla V( Rakkasa-Ganga). It was during this period of service that Chmunda-Raya installed the gigantic colossus of Bahubali or Gommata at Sravana-Belagola and it was in recogonition of that unmatched and unmatchable pious act of his that the king conferred upon him the title of "Raya", which means a king or prince.

When the entire work of installation of the image was completed the 'Pratishtapana Mohostsava', i.e., the Consecration Ceremony, according to strict religious rites, was performed on an suspicious day by Chamunda-Raya on a very large scale and in a manner feftting his extremely high political statues and the extra ordinary size and special location of the image at a renowned sacred place of great antiquity and historical significance.

Gomateshwara is a monolithic statue standing at 60 feet above a hill in a place called Shravanabelagola in the Hassan district of Karnataka state, India. The statue was built by the Ganga minister and commander Chamundaraya in the honour of Lord Bahubali. It was built in the 10th century AD and is the size Jains believe humans used to be. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, devotees and tourists from all over the world flock to the statue once in 12 years for an event known as Mahamastakabhisheka.

The statue is remarkable both for its size and the artistic control exercised by the sculptor. The great image of Gommatesvara is the most remarkable and one of the largest freestanding images in the world. The intensity of Gomatesvara's meditation is portrayed by the serenity on his face; the creepers that have begun to climb, undisturbed, up his legs and the snakes lying at his feet. The saint is represented in the immovable serrenity of one practicing the 'kayotsarga' austerity, undisturbed by the serpents about his feet, the anthills rising to his things, or the growing creeper that has already reached his shoulders.

According to Jain tradition Gomateshwara is not a mere monolithic image. He is regarded as Jain saint and in fact is the symbolical expression of Bahubali, in fact the image is of Bahubali Swamy, there is a story as to how image was got carved. Purudeva was the first Thirthankara. He had two sons by name Bharatha and Bahubali. Once they quarreled amongst themselves for the sake of kingdom. In that fight Bahubali succeeded. But he was overcome by grief and shame of seeing his defeated brother. His mind was transformed. He renounced the Kingdom in favour of his brother and retired to penance and attained Kevalagnana and Bharatha got his image erected in Paudanapura. After several years ant hills and serpents covered the hill. He came to be recognized as Kukkuteshwara. Only the pious could see the image. In course of time Chavundaraya who had heard of the story resolved to have an image of the same description installed on the hill at Shravanabelagola. He accordingly discharged an arrow to the top of Indragiri and the figure of Gomateshwara flashed. The image was got carved under the supervision of a sage by name Arishtanemi.

It is also said that Mauryans were a branch of kolis of North India and gangas too belong to the same koli block of fishermen of North India. It might be one of the reasons why Gangas were attracted to Jainism adapted by Mauryas. Kalabhras who invaded South India might not be different from these Jain warrior race of people.

Its antiquity dates back to 3rd century B. C. when the great Mauryan Emperor Chandragupta Maurya handed over his empire to his son Bimbisara and sought the serenity of Sravanabelagola. His only companion was his Jain Guru Bbhagavan Bhadarabahu Swami. Chandragupta became a Jain ascetic and is supposed to have ended his days by ritual starvation. His Guru stayed on in Sravanabelagola and won a small band of devotees who spread his teachings all over the region. Soon Jainism gained a large following and received a great boost by attracting royal believers like the Gangas. The other attractions in the little township of Sravanabelagola are the Jain BASTIS [temples] and MATHS [monasteries]. One among them is the Chandragupta basti built by Emperor Asoka, the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya. It has eight splendid carved idols studded with semi-precious stones.

The seeds of Jainism in Karnataka were sown in the 3rd century B.C., when Emperor Chandragupta Maurya renounced his kingdom and came to hill at Sravanabelagola, accompanied by his guru Bhadrabahu. The hill acquired the name of Chandragiri on account of association with Chandragupta Maurya. The oldest temple on the hill is called Chandragupta basti. here is a cave in which there are foot-prints carved out and is known as Bhadrabahu cave. There are thirty-one inscriptions on this hill which refer to Bhadrabahu and Chandragupta.

The colossal monolithic statue of Gomateswara is situated at Sravanbelgola, 158 km away from Bangalore. This gigantic statue of lord Gomateswara, the Jain saint, is carved out of a single block of granite and stands majestically on top of a hill. For centuries, Sravanabelagola has remained a great Jain center and thousands of pilgrims flock to see the magnificent, gigantic statue of the Jain saint, Lord Gomateswara. The statue of Gomateswara shows the recluse completely nude, in the Jain custom. This statue of lord Gomateswara is 17m. (55 ft) high and is visible from a distance of 30km.

The neighboring areas have Jaina bastis and several images of the Jaina Thirthankaras. One can have a beautiful view of the surrounding areas from the top of the hill. At Sravanbelgola the Mahamastakabhishekam festival is held once in 12 years, when the image of Gomateswara is bathed in milk, curds, ghee, saffron and gold coins.

Webmaster
Kokolu Anka Rao
10/08/2007
Nagpur, Maharastra, India


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11. KUNNANDAR KOVIL CAVE TEMPLE NEAR PUDUKOTTAI

Kunnandar Kovil is a Kallar settlement in the former State of Pudukottai. The village was divided into two. The northern part belonged to Vedamalai Kallar and the Southern to the Tenmalai Kallar, during the 14th century.

Pudukottai in Tamilnadu has a good number of ancient cave temples which are in a good state of preservation. The cave temple Kunandar Kovil, which is situated about 16kms north-west of Pudukottai, has a fine Shiva shrine the origin of which goes back to the 18th century A.D. It is said that this temple was built by a Muttarayar Chief , who was probably a vassal of Nandivarman II Pallava Malla (710 – 775 A.D.).

The area round about Tanjavur was under the sway of a dynasty of chieftains known as the Muttaraiyuar whose inscriptions are found at Sendalai and Niyamam, and who seem to have ruled either independently or as vasslas of the Pallavas. One such chief was Kataka-Muttaraiyan mentioned in theVaikuntha-Perumal temple inscriptions at Kanchipuram as a Pallava subordinate in the reign of Nandivarman II. No. 18 of the "Pudukkottai Inscriptions" refers to a Muttaraiyar chief called Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan as a feudatory under Dantivarman.

Sripurusha was a Western Ganga Dynasty king. He assumed the title of Muttarasa and ruled from 726 - 788 C.E. The rule of Sripurusha seems to have been filled with conflicts with the Pallavas of Kanchi, Pandyas, later the Rashtrakutas. Sripurusha Muttarasa won the victory over the Pallava Nandivarman and assumed a title Permanadi.

The Muttaraiyar and Kodunabnalar chiefs of Kalabhra origin, according to one view, were feudatory to the Pallavas and the Pandyas respectively, and in the contest between two powers, they fought on opposite sides. The Muttaraiyar ruled over Tanjore and Pudukkotai as the feudatories of the Pallavas from the 8 A.D to 11 A.D. There is a reference to Perumbidugu - Muttaraiyan- II who attended the coronation of Nandivarman Pallavamlla. One of the titles of the Muttaraiyar was Lord of Tanjore. Vijayalaya Chola, who conquered Tanjore from a Muttaraiyan in the 9 A.D., was a Pallava feudatory.75 Pazhiyiliwas a Mutharayar ruled in 857 AD - found in Narthamalai region.

Located around 25 kms away from Pudukkottai, Kunnandar Koil houses a famous rock-cut temple located at the foot of a hill, which illuminates the archeological magnificence of the ancient Dravidian civilization which once dwelt here. Kunnandarkoil is an interesting monument for archaeological studies. The Kalyana Mandapam in the Vijayanagar style in the form of a chariot drawn by horses is an interesting piece of art. The cave houses some amazing portrait sculptures and are admirable. One of the two portrait sculptures is identified as the Muttarayar Chief, who built the temple. The other is probably that of this chief assistant.

The word 'Kunru – Andan – Koil', literally means the 'Temple of the Lord of the Hill'. The place has been mentioned in the inscriptions as 'Tirukkunrakkadi'. The earliest inscriptions belong to the period of Nandivarma Pallava Malla and his son Dantivarman, and record the elaborate feeding of learned people and scholars during the 'Tiruvatirai' festival. The other inscriptions are of the Cholas, Chalukyas, Pandyas and Vijayanagar rulers. Famous Sundara Varadaraja Perumal Temple, beautifully carved / sculpted built during Nandivarma Pallava Malla wonderful with Pallava stamp.

This temple which combines the features of the late Pallava and early Chola styles, has a beautiful 'Nritta mandapa' and a hundred pillared 'Mandapa', both being excellent specimens of Vijayanagar art. The shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva called popularly as Parvatagirishwara. There are a number of sculptures on the rock face to the south of the cave. The main idols are Valampuri Ganesha, Somaskanda and the two 'dwarapalas', which are of very good workmanship. One of the two portrait sculptures is identified as the Muttarayar Chief, who built the temple. The other is probably that of this chief assistant.

Kunnandar Kovil has some excellent bronze sculptures which are remarkable in their workmanship and design. Shiva seated with Parvati their young son Skanda (Somaskanda), Nataraja and Shivakami are exquisite examples of South Indian art and craft.

The village Kunnandar Kovil is connected by a good road with Tiruchirapalli and Pudukottai. State Road Transport buses and private vans operate in this route at frequent intervals. The nearest railway station is Kiranur on the Tiruchi – Pudukottai line.

Webmaster
Kokolu Ankarao
Date : 27th August 2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India.


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12. GOWREESWARA TEMPLE, YELANDUR, KARNATAKA
The 300-year-old Bale Mantap near the 15th Century Gowreeshwara Temple at Yelandur in Chamarajanagar district is in a dilapidated state. Unlike other temples and mantaps at Yelandur, the Bale Mantap (Mahadwara Mantap), facing the East, was built by the chieftain of Hadinadu, Mudduraja, in 1654 AD in the Hoysala style of architecture.

Hadinadu is Mysore : Historically known as 'Hadinadu,' in some 10th century archaeological records, the city was named 'Mysooru Nagara' in 1524 by Chamaraja Wodeyar.

Yelandur came into prominence under the Cholas. The Cholas were the emperors of the Tamil kingdom. The first known prince of the dynasty to have ruled this region is Singadepa or Devabhupala of Chola dynasty. He is said to have built the famous Gaurishwara temple of Yelandur at about 1550 A.D. This is a magnificient temple. This temple speaks volumes of the Cholas as great builders. It has a very beautiful main entrance. It went into a decreipt state but was later erected in 1654-55 by his great grandson Muddabhupa.

An inscription found in the temple premises states that the Gourishwara temple was built in 1550 AD by Singadepa, the first known prince of the Hadinadu. The mahadwara of the Gaurishwara temple in Yelandur is an architectural marvel, with its monolithic stone chains surrounding the shrine. Gaurishwara temple was built in 1550 A.D during the reign of Devabhupala (Singadepa) of the Chola dynasty. This temple was rebuilt in 1654 -1655 by Muddabhupa, grand son Devabhupala, as the old temple was highly dilapidated.

The temple has some unique features which makes it very distinctive. Though there is no towering entrance gopura (as is common in South Indian temples), it has a mahadwara or gate called "Bale Mantapa" (Bangle entrance) which has exquisitely stone carved themes, on the walls and pillars, depicting mythological stories of Andhakasura (slaying of demon Andhakasura0, Narasimha (Half Man – Half Lion God) in various manifestations of Dakshinamurthy and Sharaba, Bhirava, Kalingamardhana krishna, Vali and Sugriva. Monolithic stone chains (stone carved rings - 20 cm each) adorn the four corners and the door side of the entrance which gives the name of Bale (Bangle) Mantapa to the temple entrance.

Singadepa = Devabhupala

Tirumalarajayya = Trimalarajanayaka
Muddabhupa = Mudduraja
Singadepa => ??? => Tirumalarajayya => Muddabhupa

Muddhubhupa was a Mudiraju chieftain of Hadinadu and he is said to the great grandson of Singadepa Chola. Here, we get a clear proof that cholas and mudirajas were one and the same people.

Gaurishwara Temple is in Yelandur, 61 km from Mysore. Built in Vijayanagar style of architecture in 1550 by Singadepa, the first known prince of the Hadinadu Dynasty, it consists of a garbhagriha, an ardhamandapa and a large frontal mandapa. The garbhagriha and ardhamandapa are sanctified with the shivling, idols of Vishnu, Parvati, Mahishasuramardini, Bhairava, Durga, and Ganapati. The majestic mahadwara or gateway of 1654, the main attraction of the temple, is a rare specimen of the Hoysala style of architecture. This rectangular shaped gateway is popularly known as 'Balemantapa' as it resembles bangles. It has beautiful carvings on its walls illustrating the events from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Shaivapurana.

The Gaurishwara temple's attractive entrances have no gopura (towers built on the entrance arches). However, the entrances have artistically created fine sculpture embedded into the walls and on pillars. Stone carved themes like Andhakasuravadha (killing of the demon Andhakasura), Shoolabrahma, Bhikshatanamurthy, Bhairava, Kalingamardana, and Dakshinamurthy tell these mythological stories. Narasimha in various manifestations like Dakshinamurthy, Sharabha, Vali and Sugriva can also be observed on these walls and pillars. The four corners and the door side of the mantapa have monolithic stone chains formed by circular stone carved links - each 20 centimetres in diameter. This mahadwara (great door) is therefore locally called as bale (bangle) mantapa, as these links resemble bangles.

The Bale mantap is in a rectangular shape and has carvings on its walls. White and black stones used for the construction of the mantap add to the beauty of the carvings. The outer wall has magnificent sculptures depicting some instances in the Ramayana, the Mahabharatha, and the Shaivapurana. The carvings on the floor, and on the huge beams in front of the mahadwara are exquisite.

The engravings on four pillars depict the war between Vaali and Sugreeva. The image of Mudduraja has been carved on the outer wall. Inside the mantap, there is an image of Bhuvaneshwari sitting on a lotus. Some of the stone rings hanging from the ceiling of the mantap have been damaged.

There is a temple in front of the mantap with panchalingas inside the garbhagriha. It is alleged that the monument is in a dilapidated state because of the apathy by Archaeological Survey of India. Members of various local organisations say that work on widening the national highway that passes through Yelandur had its adverse impact on the mantap. The movement of heavy vehicles on the highway is affecting the mantap. They have appealed to Archaeological Survey of India to strengthen the mantap. They have also submitted memorandums to the Government to deviate the highway to protect the mantap.

This king Mudduraja seems to be the son of Trimalarajanayaka of Hadinadu. There also lies a copper plate at Biligiri Ranganna Temple Mysore on which the evidence dated is 1667. This copper plate belongs to Mudduraju, son of Trimalarajanayaka of Hadinadu and sheds light on the history of the Biligiri Ranganna Temple in Mysore in India.

Webmaster
Kokolu Anka Rao
Nagpur, Maharastra, India
Date : 29 / 11/ 2008


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13. NIMISHAMABA TEMPLE NEAR MYSORE, KARNATAKA

Mutharasa of Surya Vamsam performed penance at Nimishambal Temple. Definitely this Temple has great relevance to the Mutharayas !

Muktaraja, the Suryavamsha Mutharasa king, who performed penance
This is a place where a king by name Muktaraja belonging to "Suryavamsha" had performed his penance (tapas). This is considered as a holy place. The Raja and also Rishi Mukthaka could be the suryavamshi Mutharasa who performed the penance. Some more details are given below under heading "origins of temple".

Mutharasa kings ruled parts of Mysore Region Temple situated on the banks of the river Lokapavani (Cauvery) near Mysore. Over 400 years old. The Divine Mother (Goddess) is known to grant all your wishes instantly. Srirangapattanam and Nimishambal are great places for history, old architecture, river side, bird watching et all - again best during monsoons.

Dr. Nagaswamy, on his study of Muthurasas postulated that the king Vridharaja found at Mysore around 5th AD was Mutharasa from TN who paved way for this sect and probably this is time for evolution of Kannada language ! Dr. Nagaswamy, in his Mutharayar - defines them as Ganga Kings of Kongani belonging to Tamil Mudhu Velir kudi.

Vridha = Mudi = Old = Ancient = Great
Vridharaja = Mudiraja = Great king

Meaning of Nimishamba
Nimishambal temple is situated on the banks of one of the branches of Cauvery that encircles the Sri Rangapattanam island near Mysore. It is an old temple where Adi Shankara meditated and Ambal gave a darshan for him for one minute. About 3 kms from Srirangapattana there is a famous temple called Sri Nimishamba temple situated on the bank of river Cauvery. It is an ancient temple and the atmosphere here is quite mind relaxing. It is believed that the main deity Goddess Nimishamba had killed a demon every minute and it is also believed that she blesses her believers every minute. According to some, the goddess is beleived to kill a demon a minute and equally offers blessings and grants wishes of her devotees every minute. The deity is supposed to answer honest prayers within a minute. And therefore the name "Nimishamba". Nimisham - Minute, Amba - Goddess. Yet some believe that Muktaraja was blessed with the boon that Sri Nimishamba will come to his aid in his fight against the demons in a minute.

Nimisha = Minute = One Minute
Nimisha + Amba = Nimishamba
Nimishamba = Goddess who blessess a devotee every one minute.

Goddess Nimishambika is enshrined in an ancient Shiva temple (20 km from Mysore) on the banks of river Cauvery. The temple is dedicated to Lord Mouktikeshwara. Also enshrined in the temple is Lord Lakshminarasimha. The devout strongly believe that the Goddess helps them succeed in any step they take by invoking Her. Many devotees make a thanks-giving visit to this temple later.

Nimishamba is considered as the incarnation of Parvathi, the goddess wife of Lord Shiva. Nimisha means minute. Goddess parvati blesses her devotees every minute hence temple has the name nimishamba. On every full moon day , there are special poojas. opening timings : Everyday from 6:00 am (morning) – 8 or 8:30 pm (evening).

There is a temple fair on "Vasavamba Jayanthi", which is also known as "Nimishamba Jayanthi". There is a festival on "Nimishamba jayanthi" by Somavamsha Arya Kshtriyas, which is also celebrated as "Vasavamba jayanthi" by arya vysyas.

Nimishamba Temple area is a piligrim center
The temple of Nimishamba lies at a distance of two kilometres from Srirangapatna bus stand in the eastern direction beyond Tippu's summer palace on the road leading to Sangam.. The temple is at a higher elevation on the bank of the Cauvery, and faces east. The river flows by at a lower level, and steps have been neatly cut on stone slabs to reach it. It is a small shrine with a seven-tiered rajagopuram. Goddess Nimishamba's sannadhi is to the right as one enters the shrine. It is a fine piece of icon, and on the day of our visit, She was beautifully bedecked with jewellery and garlands of red roses. In front of the Goddess is placed the Sri Chakra to which puja is done with kumkum by the priest. The devotees were in rapt attention till deeparathanai was shown to the deity.

Adjoining the sannadhi of the Goddess is that of Siva, whose appellation is Aksheeswara. The icon is a small sized linga. The Nandi is proportionately small sized, and is diagonally facing Siva. Only after showing `deeparathanai' to Siva, it is shown to the Goddess. Adjoining this sannadhi is that of Lakshminarayana. All the three sannadhis are in a row. There are no suka nasi and Navaranga. There is only a muka mantapa.

There is a big brass bell hanging from the ceiling, which is rung by the priest himself after placing the `bali bhojanam' on the bali peetam for the crows to eat. Once the bell is rung, the crows come down to the bali peetam in an orderly way to partake it! It is indeed unique to this temple. There is a prakaram for circumambulation. The Nimishamba temple has shot to fame recently for its instant granting of boons to those who pray here.

It would be of interest to note that marriage proposals which have been dragging on for years, get clicked immediately after visiting this shrine. It is probable that the temple might have been built during the reign of Raja Wadiyar I (1610-38 A.D.) who ascended the Mysore throne at Srirangapatna. Regular puja has been done for the last 50 years. The temple falls under the HR&CE of Karnataka State.

History of Shri Shri Nimishamba temple at Ganjam
The temple of the Divine Mother Shri Shri Nimishamba Devi is located at Ganjam, a small village in the town of Srirangapatna near the palace city Mysore. The origin of this temple has a long and interesting history which dates back to 1548 A.D. The Divine Mother took the form of Shri Shri Nimishamba as an answer to the Rishi Mukthaka's prayers for protection against the two demons.

Origin of Nimishamba Temple
Around 1548 AD a Rishi (Sage) called Mukthaka was asked by King Sumanaska to perform a Yajna (A sacred fire ritual to eliminate negative forces and invite Divine Grace) for the prosperity of the Kingdom. Rishi Mukthaka selected a village called Ganjam on the banks of the River Kaveri for this holy purpose. This is at present in Srirangapatna near Mysore, Karnataka state. While he was immersed in Tapas (Austerities), he was constantly harassed by two demons (Asuras) named Jaanu and Sumandala. The Great Sage invoked Adishakthi (The primordial energy that created this Universe) by offering oblations through the sacred fire (Homa). Adishakthi, the Infinite Cosmic Energy, manifested in the form of the Divine Mother in all Her resplendent glory from the Sacrificial Fire and vanquished the demons in an instant.

How the Temple came into being
The Divine Mother instructed Rishi Mukthaka to build a temple for Her worship at that spot. She asked him to call her Shri Shri Nimishamba. Rishi Mukthaka reverentially built the temple and consecrated the image of Devi Nimishamba. He then continued meditating on her in a state of total Samadhi. Nimishamba Devi is the Absolver of all Karma and the Liberator of Souls. She creates, nourishes and maintains the Cosmos. All those who worship her will obtain Her All Encompassing Love and Divine Grace.

This Hindu holy spot was believed to have been established by a king called as Muktharaja who had inscribed the 'Shri Chakra' on a stone and then went into penance. This stone still exists and is is being kept in front of the deity. In fact Muktaraja had got carved "Shrichakra" on a stone and started performing poojas. It has been kept in front of Nimishamba deity inside the temple, which we can see even today. There is a belief that Parvathi is going to clear off all the problems and trouble of her devotees within a minute. That is why she is called as "Nimishamba". "Nimisha" means a minute. Muktaraja blessed with "moksha" by Lord Shiva that is why there is a deity by name Moukthikeshwara. This was installed at the time of Mummadi Krishnaraja Odeyar about 300-400 years back.

How to Reach Nimishambika Temple
Nimishamba temple is located at Srirangapatna near Mysore. This temple is 5 to 6 kms away from Sri Ranganathar temple. You can drive down from Bangalore and it takes approximately 2 hours to reach this temple. he main idol is goddess Nimishamba. You can also find Lord Anjaneya.

Nimishamba temple is about 125km from Bangalore. Auto rickshaws are available in front of the Srirangapatna bus stand. You can also reach Nimishamba temple from the Srirangapatna railway Station by auto. Srirangapatna is situated about 25km from Mysore. Frequent buses are there from the KSRTC bustand to reach Srirangapatna. The approximate time to reach this temple from Mysore would be around 20minutes.

Webmaster
Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 06/01/2009
Nagpur, Maharastra, India

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14. HRITAPURESVARASWAMI TEMPLE, TILLAISTHANAM, TANJORE DIST, TAMILNADU

Photograph of the tower in second prakara or enclosure of the Ghritapuresvaraswami Temple at Tillaisthanam, Thanjavur District, taken by Alexander Rea in around 1892. Tillaisthanam is located in the modern state of Tamil Nadu. The Ghritapuresvaraswami temple is two-storeyed and has a number of features typical of the Muttaraiyar period. This dynasty of rulers flourished just before the advent of the Cholas and built a number of temples in southern India. It has been suggested that the temple could date to the early years of the Chola period or to the Pandya occupation (A.D. 864-878). This is because the temple does not fit easily into a single architectural style, but incorporates features of many different styles. The temple faces east and enshrines a lingam. The tall pyramidal gopura consists of diminishing storeys and ends with a vaulted roof.

Thillaisthanam is a calm and lovely village,2 kms away from Thiruvaiyaru on Kumbakonam - Kalanai road.It is a historical place where Appar, Sundarer, Arunagiri Nnadhar has sung on Lord Siva and Murugan.Neiadiappar and Balambal resides in this village.Sabdasthanam is a famous festival celebrated in 7 villages around Thiruvaiyaru.

Thillaisthanam (Tillaistanam) is situated near Tiruvaiyaru in Thanjavur District. It is situated about 13 km from Thanjavur. This place is renowned for the Neyyadiappar Temple, one among the Saptastana Temples. It is believed that Goddess Saraswati, Nandhi Dhevar, Sambandhar, Appar, Pukazeendhi and Ottakkuththa have visited here. The late Thillaisthanam Rama Iyengar was a senior disciple of great Thyagaraja. Tiruchirapalli Airport and Thanjavur Junction Railway Station serves Tillaistanam.

Webmaster
Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 14/ 01/ 2009, SANKRANTI
Nagpur, Maharastra, India

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15. ENKAN SUBRAMANYAR TEMPL:E, TAMILNADU

Enkan is situated near Thiruvarur. EnKan is on the Thanjavur - Koradacheri - Tiruvaruyr route in Tamil Nadu about 13 km from Koradacheri. Lord Murugan is blessing is devotees in a sitting posture with his consorts Valli and Devayanai. Vanni tree is the sthalavriksham of the temple.

The ancient Subramanyar temple at Enkan is located near Nannilam in Thanjavur (Koradacheri). The presiding deity here is Bhramapureeswarar (Shiva) although the Arumugaswamy shrine is of greater significance as in Sikkal and Ettukkudi and has been glorified by the Tiruppugazh hymns of Arunagirinathar.

A Chola King named Mutharasa Chola wanted to build a temple for Lord Murugan, so he called a sculptor to create an image for Lord Murugan. As per King's order the sculptor made a wonderful image of Lord Murgua and his consorts in a sitting posture with six faces and peacock. Wonderstruck by the beauty of the idol, the King had a evil thought that the sculptor should not make an idol like this to nobody in the world other than him, so he decided to cutoff the thumb of the sculptor. As per divine wish the sculptor created another image in Ettukudi. The enraged King punished the sculptor by making him blind. The sculptor remained unshaken by the act of the King and proceeded with his work on creating another idol with divine blessings. While doing so Lord Murugan blessed him and gave back his eyesight and thumb. As Lord Murugan restored the sculptor's eyesight the place is called Enkan.

It is said that, with utmost perfection the stone peacock started flying with the idol, then the sculptor threw his hammer which made a demark in the idol.

The temple is located in between Kudavasal and Enkan - on the route from kumbakonam to tiruvarur ( Murugan Temple) – Lord muruga is carved in a single stone and the entire wight of muruga is supported on peacocks two legs – This temple is also under renovation.

We can also find Lord Shanmuga with his consorts Valli and Devayanai is in the form of granite statue at Sikkal.. The peacock, Lord Muruga and the Tiruvakchi are all made of a single piece of granite. Sikkil is an excellent murugan sthalam. 'Sikkalil vel vAngi Senthuril samhAram' is a famous quote. Near this place, ENkaN, Ettukudi etc. are the other Murugan sthalams in this Nagapattinam belt.

One sculptor made three similar statues at Sikkal, Ettukkudi and Enkan. The beauty of Arulmighu Subramanyar is one of the speciality of this temple. The sculptor who made the Subramanyar idol of Sikkal and Ettukkudi, designed the Subramanyar of Enkan. We can able to see the same pattern of Subramanyar in all these three temples.

The sculptural work is something marvellous with no parallel anywhere in the world. Minute details such as nails and veins are intricately carved. The peacock is holding a snake in its mouth and the snake is curving with a hole. The Lord is six-faced with twelve hands with usual weapons in ten hands and the other two displaying varada and abhaya hasta.

Webmaster
Kokolu Anka Rao
23rd November 2009
Nagpur, Maharastra, India

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16. KADAMBAR KOIL, TAMILNADU

The Kadambar-koil is another beautiful temple complex in Narttamalai, situated at the foot of the Kadambar-malai, north-east of Mela-malai. Kadumbar koil was built for Kadambanatha Swamy by Mutharaiyar chifetians on kudumbian malai in puttukottai. The Mutharaiyar chieftains during those years were subordinate kings under Cholas and also Pandyas. Kadambar Koil is in the Uthiramerur- Kanchipuram main road. In fact the rocky hillock, Kadambar-malai, is named after this temple. The temple has an air of simple grandeur, with its background of hills and beautiful natural scenery.

Narthamalai: It is 17 kms from Pudukkottai. Here, on the hillsides, several Jain monasteries can be seen. There are several rare medicinal plants and herbs such as black gooseberry (Karunelli), Jathi tree etc. in the forest here. It was also the capital of Mutharaiyar chieftains. The important visiting places here are the earliest structural stone temple, circular in shape built by Mutharaiyars, the Vijayalaya Choleswaram cave temple built by Vijayalaya the first king of the later Cholas and Kadambar Malai temple. It is also a known fact that Vijayalacholeeswaram, Thirumayam and Kadambar koil were originally built by Mutharayars.

The Cheyyar river which normally flows east-west, flows north-south at Kadambar Koi. Ganges also normally flows east-west but is considered holy only at Kasi where it flows north-south. This can be seen very well in this satellite picture. There are two tanks near the hillock. The smaller one near the temple is the Mangala-thirtham mentioned earlier. The other one is a bigger one, which is little west of the first.

Highlights: It is much holier than Kasi. A place to do all the rituals that are normally done at Kasi, a place to get salvation. There is a Swayambhu lingam. Small, beautiful and cleanly maintained without any great sculpture works. Sung by Thirugnana Sambandar and so should be more than 1300 years old.

Legend: When a Pandya brahmin called Gunaseelan was dead, as per his wish, his son Budhisenan brought his ash to immerse it in Kasi. When he was doing Sandhyandhanam here keeping the pot with ash in the bank, he smelt flowers' smell from the pot. He was surprised to find that the bones got changed to flowers in the pot. At that time, a sacred voice was heard that this place is much holier than Kasi and so let the ashes be immersed here. He did the same in the river Cheyyar here so as to fulfill his father's wish. So this is a place where one can do the rituals for the forefathers like in Kasi and to worship for salvation.

The Kadambar-koil complex with its background of Kadambar-malai: There are four monuments in this complex that attract the visitors. They are the main Siva shrine, the Amman shrine, another Siva shrine called Nagarisvaram and a large inscription on the rock surface.The main shrine is ascribed to the reign of Raja raja I Chozha (985-1014). The earliest inscription in the temple belongs to the 22nd year of Raja raja Chozha (1007 AD). The presiding deity is called Malaik-kadambur Thevar. The other two shrines belong to the reign of the Pandya King Mara-varman Sundara-pandya I (first half of 13th century). Here, there is a plethora of inscriptions. The inscriptions range over the entire Chozha period starting from Raja raja I Chozha till Rajendra III , the last of the Chozha rulers.

The Kadambar-koil Assigned to the period of Raja raja Chozha I (985-1014 AD), this main shrine in the complex is called Tirumalaik-kadambur Isvaram. It is situated at the north side of the temple complex. Apart from the name Malaik-kadambur Thevar referred to in the Raja raja inscription, the presiding deity is also called as Thirumalai-Kadambur-Udaya-Nayanar , Sri Kailasam Udaiya Nayanar, Kooththadum-thevar, Nataraja) and Thiru-anaikka-udyaiya-nayanar in various other inscriptions. Most of the inscriptions found in Narttamalai are on the mandapam walls of the Kadambar temple and on the rock-face adjoining to it. Eleven of these are of the Chozha-s and ten of the Pandya-s. These relate to gifts and conveyance of land by Nagarattar-s, instituting of festivals and sandhi-s (worships) and rewards for services to the temple.

The Architecture: The temple faces the west. It consists of a garbha-griham, an ardha-mandapam, a maha-mandapam, and a prakaram. A part of the hill serves as the northern wall of the temple prakaram. In front of the temple are a fine sculpture of nandi and some broken parts of bali-pitham and dhvaja-sthambham.

: To the south of Kadambar-koil is a Siva temple, called Nagarisvaram. According to an inscription (PSI 283) this temple was built in the 12th year of the reign of Mara-varman Sundara-pandya I (1228 AD). This east-facing shrine consists of a square garbha-griham and an ardha-mandapam. It has a flat roof. The walls of the garbha-griham and the ardha-mandapam have pilasters and deva-koshtam-s. There are no sculptures in the niches. The shrine is rather plain, and the usual dvara-palaka-s are absent. There is no lingam in the sanctum now.

The Amman Shrine : Towards south-west of the Siva shrine is a beautiful Amman shrine. The goddess is called Mangalambikai. Two inscriptions (PSI 279 and 325) in the reign of Mara-varman Sundara-Pandya (1st half of 13th century) refer to the building of this shrine by one Periya-thevan (called Marududaiyan Periya-devanudaiyan ) in the first inscription and Paluvurudaiyan Periyan in the second).The shrine consists of a garbha-griham, an ardha-mandapam and a small mandapam in front with two pillars. All these have a common moulded plinth. The approach into the front mandapam is from the sides by a flight of steps having rolled-balustrades. There is a Devi idol inside the garbha-griham. Beautiful pilasters and kumbha-pancharam The walls of the garbha-griham and the ardha-mandapam are adorned with polygonal pilasters with idal-s and thin palagai and corbels ( potikai). There are deva-koshtam-s on the walls. They are flanked by circular pilasters and surmounted by pancharam-s with wagon shaped tops ( sala). Presently there are no sculptures inside these niches, but traces of their existence can be seen. On the west wall of the garbha-griham is a small relief sculpture depicting a cow performing the abhishekam on a lingam with its milk.The shrine has a flat roof and no superstructure remains above the sanctum.

The large inscription on the hillock It contains two inscriptions. The older one is an 11-line long Tamil inscription (PSI 91) is executed in the 28th year of Raja raja I (1012-1013 AD). This incomplete inscription records a grant of land by the people of Telungu- kulakala-puram in Annavayil-kurram, a sub-division of Konadu in Keralantaka-valanadu for uvachchu service in the temple. The other is a 28-line Tamil inscription (PSI 170) belongs to the 37th year of Kulottunga Chozha III (1214-1215 AD). This registers a sale of land by the residents of Telungu-kulakala-puram in Irattapadi-konda-chozha-valanadu, to two merchants of the same place.

Webmaster
Kokolu Anka Rao
22nd December 2009
Nagpur, Maharastra, India

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17. MUTTARASA NALLORE, TRICHY, TAMILNADU

Muttharasa nallore Siva temple : This place is 7 kms from Trichy to Karur. There are three sanctum for Lord Siva and three sanctums for goddess.

Main Deity is Siva Lingam known as Rathna gireeswarar and Aralakesari amman in different sanctum. Engoinadhar and his consort Maragadha valli amman in different sanctum.Kadamba vaneswarar, and his consort known as Bala kujalambikai in separate sanctum.

Purana says a king by name Muttarasu used to worship Siva in Kulithalai in morning, Rathanagireeswarar of iyer malai in the noon, and Thiru engoinadhar of engoi malai in the evening everyday.

When he was old he was not able to do the worship like before, he was sad and praying. Siva wanted to help his devotee he came in the dream of King and asked him to remove the three idols that are in the ground near the vanni maram and build temple there.

The king in the morning found the idols of Siva and Goddess. He built the temple and installed all the idols and the place was named after him.

Other deities seen in the temple are Murugan with Valli and Devayany, Dakshina moorthy, Ganapathy, Chandeeswarar, Navagraha, Birava, Sani, and Surya.

Webmaster
Kokolu Anka Rao
17th July 2011
Nagpur, Maharastra, India

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18. RANGANATHASWAMY TEMPLE OF SRIRANGAPATNA

Srirangapatna also spelled Shrirangapattana; anglicized to Seringapatam during the British Raj is a town in Mandya district of the Indian state of Karnataka. It is located near the city of Mysore and is of great religious, cultural and historic importance. The religious history of Srirangapatna dates back to 9th century AD when the Ganga Muttarasas ( Western Ganga dynasty ) ruled this region from their capital at Talakkadu. They built the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in this island and hence the name Srirangapatna.

The entire Srirangapatna is enclosed by the river Kaveri to form an island. This island in the river Kaveri, is referred to as Goutama Kshetra. The town takes its name from the famous Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, one of the main attractions of the town.

The town takes its name from the celebrated Ranganathaswamy temple which dominates the town, making Srirangapattana one of the most important Vaishnavite centers of pilgrimage in south India. The temple was built by the Ganga dynasty rulers of the area in the 9th century; the structure was strengthened and improved upon architecturally some three centuries later. Thus, the temple is a medley of the Hoysala and Vijayanagar styles of temple architecture.

Ranganatha Swamy Temple was built by a Ganga chieftain, Tirumalaraya in 894 AD, this east facing temple was later expanded by the Hoysalas, Vijayanagara monarchs, Mysore Wodeyars and Hyder Ali, The Presiding deity is a colossal statue of Lord Vishnu as Ranganatha, reclining on the huge coils of the serpent Sesha, with multiple hoods. Lord Ranganatha swamy is portrayed as resting on the bed of Aadi Sesha. This is the largest image of a reclining Vishnu in Karnataka. This temple is considered as one of the most important Vaishnavite centers of pilgrimage in south India. The Navaranga doorway is guarded on either side by two large Dvarapalakas. Most of the pillars in the courtyard are in the Hoysala style. The main entrance has four pillars of the Vijayanagara period sculpted with the 24 forms of Vishnu.

There are many other shrines like Ranganayaki, Naraslmha, Sudarshana, Gopalkrtshna, Srinivasa, Rama Group and Ramanuja Desika in the Complex. The large granite, pillared collonade in front of the main shrine has a monolithic garudastambha of the late vijayanagara Period.

Sri Ranganatha Temple is situated in the historical island town of Srirangapatthana, Mandya district. Srirangapattana is 15 Km away from Mysore.

The temple comprises of the Navaranga mantapa surrounding the sanctum sanctorum. The presiding deity Sri Ranganatha is in a sleeping posture on Adi Shesha, the seven-headed serpent. An idol of Goddess Lakshmi is installed at the foot of Lord Ranganatha. The presiding goddess of the temple is Goddess Ranganayaki. A diamond nose ring gifted by Alumelamma wife of Srirangaraya the viceroy of Vijayanagara empire is still worn by the goddess.

The temple was built during the 9th century by kings of Vijayanagara Empire and then maintained and expanded by Hyder Ali, Ganga dynasty and Hoysala dynasty. Hyder Ali was a great devout of Lord Ranganatha and made a lot of contributions and donations to the temple. There are many shrines inside the temple dedicated to other gods and gurus like Panchamukha Hanuman, Sri Krishna, Lord Srinivasa, Alwars and Vaishnava Acharya/Gurus of Vaishanava faith.

Webmaster
Kokolu Anka Rao
13th January 2012
Nagpur, Maharastra, India

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19 ALAPPADU SREE MURUGAN TEMPLE, KERALA

The temple is established on AD 205. Lord muruga is the presiding deity here .It is believed that the temple is built by old worshipper Valiadithya Mutharasan Thryambakan. This king is also known as Adicha Mutarayan or Adicha Mutharasan or Aditya Mutarasan.

The Legend behind the temple is that once by the curse of Lord Siva, Murugan lived in the sea as “makara matsya”. Lord Siva set free Muruga from the curse and returns to his original form and allowed to settle in this temple. The History of this temple and Chengannur Mahadevar temple are closely related.

Before 1807 years onwards the Arayan’s of Alappattu give “Parisam veppu “ regularly to Chengannur Mahadevan on Mahasivarathri day. That is recorded in the history of the temple. In the Thamil holybooks like chilappathikaram, Thiruvilayadal, Valaveesu padalam and “Thiruvachakam” discuss about the place where Lord siva, parvathy and muruga come before the eyes. Another book named Mamanar parishath or Thrichemkundur parisam pattu also recorded about Alappattu Subramanya temple.

The details of Upadevathas in this temple complex : Lord Ganapathy, Lord Paramasiva, Lord Durga, Lord Ayyappa, Lord Nagaraja & Nagayakshi, Balasarpangal. Yogeeswaran, Hidumban.

The temple is located in the beautiful costal area of Alappadu, which is well connected with Rail and Road : (i) 8 kms away from NH 47 at Lalaji Jn., Karunagappally, (ii) 9 kms from the Karunagappally Railway station. And (iii) 29 kms away from Kollam, the district HeadQuarters.

Nearest Airports : Nedumbassery – 130 kms and Thiruvanathapuram – 100 kms

There are many legends told about the sanctity and greatness of this village where daily life and social custom are still closely associated with divine history which the villagers strongly believe took place thousands of years ago. One such legend is as follows: Once Lord Subramanya, son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, committed a serious error. Infuriated by the transgression of His son, Lord Shiva cursed Subramanya, causing him to be born as a fish. Dejected by the fate of her son, Parvati requested the Lord to forgive Subramanya’s fault. Instead of consoling Her, Shiva became more angry and condemned Parvati as well to be born as a fisherwoman. Later when Lord Shiva’s anger had subsided, He told Subramanya that He Himself would come after 12years and liberate both of them at the appropriate time and thus blessed them. In accordance with Lord Shiva’s curse, Lord Subramanya assumed the form of Makara Fish, rather, of a huge whale. Appearing in the sea of Alappad, the whale caused the fishermen terrible harm. Accustomed to fishing both during the day and night, the fishermen could now no longer venture into the seas. Sometimes the whale tore the nets of the fishermen to shreds, and at others it overturned their boats, endangering their very lives. The villagers were doomed to poverty and starvation.

The king of Alapadu failed to find a solution. His treasury was becoming empty, as he was feeding the starving people. Finally, in an attempt to solve the problem, he made a declaration: the person who could catch the troublesome whale would be richly rewarded, and would also be given the hand of the king’s beautiful daughter in marriage. Yet the huge whale was so fearsome that nobody came forth to accept the challenge. The king and his subjects were completely disheartened, when an old man mysteriously appeared from the north. Nobody knew who he was. Approaching the king, his back bowed with age, he boldly declared that he could catch the huge whale and save the people from complete devastation.

Accompanied by the astonished king and his subjects, the old man walked confidently toward the sea. Making a long natural rope ( Now known as Adimpi Valli ) by twisting long strands of vines, the old man threw one end into the sea while holding the other end tightly in his hand. The rope of vines encircled the place where the huge whale was lying submerged. Passing the rope to the fishermen, he instructed them to pull with all their strength while chanting a particular mantra " Oh vela, va vela elo ayya" means oh velayudha...come velayudha.... As instructed by the old man, the fishermen started pulling the rope while chanting the mantra. After hours of tremendous effort, the giant fish, entrapped in the vine rope, was dragged to the shore.

Suddenly, to everyone’s amazement, the whale vanished, and in its place stood Lord Subramanya, released by Lord Shiva from the curse. A temple for Lord Subramanya was built on the spot where the giant fish had been shored. That temple stands today as a living monument to remind us of the old story.

The legend does not end there. Now Lord Shiva, in the guise of the old man, stepped forward and stood before the king, demanding the reward of the hand of the princess in marriage. The king, who had promised his only daughter to the champion who saved his people, was now trapped in a dilemma. He and his subjects were completely distraught. How could a father, especially as king, give his beautiful young daughter in marriage to an old man? The king begged him to ask for anything in the entire kingdom but his daughter. The old man calmly replied that a king must keep his promise and be truthful to his word.

Now the king was in a real quandary. Truth was the strength of the fishermen; they firmly believed that truth was their protector. If one were not truthful, they said, one who went fishing was jumping into the wide-open, fierce mouth of death. The king was paralysed; he could neither break his vow nor give his beloved princess in marriage to the old man. At this point, the princess, who was in fact Goddess Parvati Herself, stepped forward and spoke without hesitation: “Father and most noble king, it is everyone’s duty to protect and preserve righteousness (dharma). Nothing should stand against it.” Despondent, the king had no choice but to allow her to depart with the old man. No one suspected that the humble fishing kingdom of Arayars had become the stage for a divine drama in which Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati had been reunited. With heavy hearts, the people followed the divine couple for some distance asking, “Where are you going? We would like to come with you.” They replied, “We don’t have any particular dwelling place (ooru); the spot we reach will be our dwelling place (chellunna ooru).”

Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati continued on their way, followed by the fisherfolk, finally reaching a spot where they stopped. As decleared Alappadu Arayan submitted the Parasam ( Dhowry) befor them. ThenLord Shiva stood facing east and Goddess Parvati faced west, the two became transformed into stone images. Chellunna ooru (the place reached) later became Chenganoor of the present day.

Chellunna ooru => Chellunnooru => Chellunganoor => Chenganoor

In time a temple was constructed and daily worship was begun, when something very strange occurred. Whenever water was brought to the sanctum sanctorum to perform the worship, the priests found a fish in it. This made the performance of the daily worship impossible. In order to find a solution, the temple authorities made an astrological calculation and discovered the whole story of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, and the curse of Lord Subramanya. The astrological forecast further revealed that the marriage ceremonies of the old man and the princess had never been conducted. According to the custom, the people of the Alappad coast, where Goddess Parvati had been born as a fishermaid, should come with dowry and other marriage presentations to Chenganoor in order to conduct the marriage. Subsequently the necessary preparations were made in Chenganoor and Alappad. The villagers of Alappad duly assembled the paraphernalia and travelled to Chenganoor to conduct the divine marriage ceremony. To this day, every year during the festival season, this custom is followed in memory of the ancient legend. This Subhrahmanya Temple still remains a centre of attraction to laks of devotees as a monement of this events ie holy appearance of God Siva, Godess Parvathy & Sree Subrahmanya Swami.

The minutes of Sivarathri celebration and parasam vappu by Alappattu Arayan written every year by Chengannoor devaswam authorities and kept there.

The parasam veppu and sivarathri maholsavam is being celebrated jointly by Sevan Thuras of Alappadu, Cheriyazheekkal, Kuzhithura, Parayakadavu, Srayikkadu, Azheekal south and North thuras who are the predicissors of Alappattu Adicha Mutharasan.

The webmaster is highly thankful to Masood Madhusudhanan from Kerala who has informed about the Kerala Mutharasan king Adicha or Adithya.

WEBMASTER
Kokolu Anka Rao
Nagpur
Date : 12/ 07/ 2012

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20. MUTHARASA CHERRY ( MUTHARASERRY ) TEMPLE, ADINADU, KARUNAGA PALLY, KOLLAM, KERALA.

This Mahadeva temple was established in between 205-2015 A.D by Adicha Mutharasan during the time of the migration of Araya Community from Chengannur to the coastal region of Alappadu of karunagappally in kollam district. This temple runs under the administration of Araya Vamsa Paripalana Yogam, Cherizheeckal. “This temple has been bearing a pair of beautifully carved “Dwara palakas” from a single rock since its creation.

Mutharasanallur : This is an example for the temple architecture of great king Mutharayars. This temple was named in memory of a Siva temple at “Mutharasanallur village” of south belt of Kavery River in Tamilnadu district. The Mutharasanallur Siva temple was established by a king “Mutharasu”. This place is 7 kms from Trissinappally (Trichy). And this is about 403 Km from Karunagapally. There are three sanctums for Lord Siva and three sanctums for Goddess.

Main deity is Siva lingam known as Ratnagireeswarar and Arala kesari Amman in different sanctum. Engoinadhar and his consort Maragadha Valli Amman in different sanctum. Kadamba vaneswarar and his consort Bala kujalambikai in separate sanctum.

Purana says a king by name Muttarasu used to worship Siva in kulithalai in morning, Ratna gireeswarar in Iyermalai in the noon, and Thiru engoi nadhar in the evening, everyday. When he was old, he was not able to do the worship like before, he was sad and praying. Siva wanted to help his devotee.

He came in the dream of king and asked him to remove the three idols that are in the ground near the Vanni maram and build temple there.

The king in the morning found the idols of Siva and Goddess. He built the temple and installed all the idols and the place was named after him.

Other deities seen in the temple are Murukan with Valli and Devayani, Dakshinamoorthy, Ganapathy, Chandeeswarar, Navagraha, Bhairava, Sani, and Surya. It is believed that the Mutharasanallur Siva temple and Sree Mutharasa Chery Mahadeva temple were established by the same royal family members of Mutharasa clan.


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