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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Sikkal-Tirunallar

8 March'2008:
Sikkal: After Soundararaja Perumal we rushed to Sikkal, a tiny village around 10 Km from Nagapattinam. Devotees throng the Singaravelar temple at Sikkal because it is believed that all diseases will be cured and all troubles melt like butter here. It was here that Lord Subrahmanya got the Vel (lance) from His Mother Goddess Parvati to kill Surapadman, the demon king. The monster was slain at Tiruchendur on Skanda Sashti.
This Tevara Sthalam is a maadakkovil built at an elevation The presiding deity is Lord Navaneetheswarar with His consort Vel Nedum Kanni Amman. It is considered to be the 83rd in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom located south of the river Kaveri. . There is a Tyagaraja Shrine here, although it is not one of the Saptavitanka Stalams
Legends: Sage Vasishta had visited the place and moulded a Lingam from the butter churned from the milk of Kamadhenu (the divine cow) and offered prayers to help Kamadhenu regain her form. And Lord Siva appeared before Sage Vasishta and fulfilled his prayers. Therefore, the presiding deity is known as Vennainathar.
Kamadhenu had consumed meat & cursed by Siva with a Tiger face. Lord Siva told Kamadhenu that she would regain her form after taking a bath in the holy tank of the Sikkal temple after filling it with her divine milk. The temple tank is therefore called Ksheera Pushkarani.
Vasishta tried to remove the Lingam (made of butter), he could not succeed as it got stuck to the place firmly. Hence the name Sikkal. According to Puranas, Lord Vishnu came as a child and took away some butter from the Lingam worshipped by Vasishta. When Vasishta became angry the child appeared as Lord Vishnu (Vennai Peruman) and gave darshan to Vasishta. Hence, both Siva and Vishnu shrines are situated in the same temple.
Lord Subrahmanya at Sikkal is named Singaravelar because of His beautiful form. The beautiful panchaloka Singaravelar idol, with consorts Valli and Deivanai, on the peacock with gold kavacham at Sikkal temple has unique divine powers.
During the Skanda Sashti festival ( a week after Deepavali), every year, the idol of Singaravelar is taken in procession, first to His Mother Goddess Vel Nedum Kanni Amman for receiving the Vel and then to the shirine of Somaskandar on the hillock. During the journey the idol of Singaravelar breaks out into sweat on the face.
The King of Ayodhya, Musukunda Chakravarthy is said to have built the temple for Navaneetheswarar at Sikkal several centuries ago. It was renovated during the fourth century by the Chola King Kochenkannan.
About the Temple: The 7 tiered Rajagopuram that adorns the entrance to this temple is about 80 feet in height. Inscriptions from the Imperial Chola period and from the Vijayanagar period abound in this temple. The Kartikai Mandapam in the forefront exhibits a number of paintings depicting legends related to Subramanya
Tirunallar Saneeswarar: After Sikkal we returned to Nagapattinam for lunch & then proceeded via Karaikal towards Tirunallar where we reached around 2.30 afternoon. This Thevara Sthalam is a vast temple shrine of great significance, especially in light of Saneeswarar's sannidhi here, which attracts thousands when the planet Saturn transits between zodiac signs. Tirunallar is one of the 7 Saptavitanka stalams of Tyagaraja connected with the Mucukunda Chola legend and housing Nagavitankar (Unmatta Natanam).
The presiding deity is Shiva: Darbaranyatyagar, Darbaranyeswarar & Ambal: Bogamaatha Poonmulaiyaal, Pranamba. Patikam : Sambandar, Appar, Sundarar.
HISTORY OF THE TEMPLE: This is an ancient Siva temple probably constructed in 7th Century A.D. Dharbarenyeswarar is the main deity and Lord Saturn, Sri Pranambigai, Sri Thiagarajar and Sri Vinayagar are other deit ies.
As per legend King Nala of Puranic fame was relieved of the affliction of Lord Saturn or Lord Saneeswaran after worshipping the Lord consecrated in this temple. Whoever visits this temple and prays before Lord Saneeswaran is believed to have been relieved of all the curses and sufferings and get the blessings of Lord for a happy and prosperous life.
DIVINESS OF THE TEMPLE:The moolavar of Dharbarenyeswarar is Swayambu Lingam . The place was originally a forest of Dharba grass and it is stated that the Lingam even now has impressions left by the Dharba weeds within which it was situated. The Lord here is also known as "Adhimoorthy or Nallarar" . The great Saivite saints Thirugnanasambhandar, Sundaramurthy Swamigal, Thirunavukkarasar and Arunagirinadhar have worshipped at this shrine and sung about the glory of the Lord. "PachaI Padhigam" sung by the great saint Thirugnanasambhandar is very famous one.
For photo gallery log onto: http://picasaweb.google.com/ramakrishnan49/Tirunallar

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