This trip was made in July 2008. Left Coimbatore around 6.30 am and drove via Avinashi & Erode to reach Tiruchengode @9.00 am. Went straight to the Kodimaadachenkunrur temple which is atop a hill. This temple is considered the 4th among the seven Tevara Sthalams in Kongunadu.
The main deity is an amalgamation of Siva & Parvati in the form of Ardhanareeswarar (half man & half woman). While there is Dandayutham in Siva's hand , Parvati has her hands on her hips. Ambal is known as Baagampiriyaalammai.
Saint Sambandhar has sung here. There is a water spring at the foot of the image.
Skanda or Tiruchengotuvelavar shrine occupies an important position in this temple.Outside this sannithi are east facing subshrines of Arunagirinathar & Ganesha.
There is a Dwaja Sthambam & a Nandi on the western prakaram facing Ardhanareeswarar shrine. Likewise there is another Dwaja Sthambam & a Peacock on the east side facing Chengottuvelavar.
Legend: Adi Kesava Perumal instructed Gowri on the Kesava Gowri Vritam which she performed to unite with Shiva as Ardhanareeswarar. This is one of the 64 manifestations of Shiva.
A battle of strength between Vayu & Adi Seshan took place & the former was clinging tightly to Mt.Meru while Vayu was trying to blow it away. Vayu succeeded in blowing Adiseshan away to Tiruchengodu. The blood spilled by Adiseshan colored the hill as red & hence the name chengode. If you climb the hill by the steps you come across the image of a snake carved on the hill.
The Temple: Unique feature of the temple are the mandapams carrying exquisitely sculpted pillars which includes sculptures of Veerabhadran, Oordva tandavamurthy, Alangattu kali, Korathan & Koravi and a variety of other figures on stone. The sculptures are a supreme & sublime poetry on stone. There are stone inscriptions reportedly pertaining to the times of Parantaka Cholan, Gangaikonda Cholan, Vijyanagara & Mysore Kings & the Nayaks.
The view of Tiruchengodu town from atop the temple is magnificent. As you drive up or down you come close to the rock face and can clearly see the redness on the surface.
There is an elevated walkway on the South Prakaram from where you can clearly see the North Gopuram as well as well as the Vimanam of Ardhanareswarar. See pics below:
Tiruchengode Hill climb
Rock Surface - black & redTemple Entrance driveway
Sculptures on Temple wall
Exquisite Sculptures on Pillars
Rajagopuram (Entrance Tower)Dwaja Sthambam (Flag Staff) facing Ardhanareeswarar
The killing of a demon
A Man and his consort
Urthva Thandavar - a fierce dance form of Siva
The King and his several wives
Sapth Mathas - Celestial Ladies
Lady paying obeisance to the Lord
A well attired male
Beautiful Lady carrying finely woven basket
Ardhanareeswarar Vimanam & Rajagopuram in backdrop
Ardhanareeswarar Vimanam - close up view
View of sub shrine vimanam
View of Tiruchengode town from Temple top
Return drive down the hill