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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Trichy Tours - Lalgudi

15-1-2008 : Tiruttavatturai at Lalgudi situated 20 kms east of Tiruchirappalli is an ancient shrine dating back to the period of the Nayanmars - this shrine is regarded as one of the Tevara vaippu talangal. The red towers adorning this town caused the newly arrived muslim rulers to refer to this place as Lalgudi. This west facing temple covers an area of about 2 acres and is adorned with a five tiered Raja Gopuram at its entrance. The presiding deities here are Shiva, worshipped as Saptarishiswarar and his consort Srimathi. There are also shrines to Ganesha, Murugan and the seven sapta rishis. Other forms of Shiva such as Bhikshaadanar, Ardhanaareeswarar, Veena Dakshinamurthy are also enshrined here.
Legend has it that the sapta rishis (atri, brihu, pulsithar, vasistar, gauthamar, angeerasar and marichi) were relieved of a curse upon worshipping Shiva at this shrine and hence the name Sapta Rishiswara. There are also legends associated with the worship of Shiva by Lakshmi, Vishnu and Murugan here. The stala vriksham is arasamaram (banyan tree). The sacred water sources are Sivaganga and Chakra Theertham.
Deities : saptarishiswarar sannathi is west facing with idols of dwarpals & garudan at the entrance, north side of west wall - adhirai vinayakar, venugopal, tirumal & south side of west wall - sapta rishis,viswaksenar. West Prakaram-shrines for Saraswathy & Durgai ,North Prakaram - Natarajar, Gajalakshmi,Subramaniar with Valli & Devayani, North East corner Navagrahas, East prakaram - Bhairavar,Suryan,Saptha Ganapathy,South East corner-Sandikeswarar, South prakaram - Naalwars, 63'ars, Soth West corner- Vinayagar. Koshtams - North-Bhikshatanar, East-Ardhanariswarar,South-Veena Dakshinamurthy. Separate shrine for Dakshinamurhty in South prakaram.
Amman Sannithi ( Ambal Shrimathi) is East facing situated on on the West prakaram.
Ambal sannithi koshtam - Narthana Ganapathy, Gowri, Vaishnavi, Brahmi, Kaumari.
Being Sankranti a festival day we were fortunate to be present in the temple when the processional idols were brought out by devotees on palanquins carried on their shoulders. First it was Ganesha seated on his mooshika vahanam - followed by Muruga on his mayil vahanam(the peacock carrying a snake in its mouth) , then Shiva & Parvati(somaskandar) on rishabha vahanam & Ambal also on rishaba vahanam finally followed by Sandikeswarar. It was an awesome site and first ever pancha moorthy procession I have witnessed. We prayed ardently to the Utsavars before returning to Srirangam. The picture of the panchamurthy's is still etched vividly in my mind.

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