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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tiruvidaimarudur Temple - Kumbakonam

22-1-2014: Mahalingeswarar Temple in Tiruvidaimarudur is a 2000 year old Shiva temple.It is one of the 275 sthalams where the three of the most revered Saivite Saints Appar, Sundarar and Tirugnanasambandhar have glorified the temple with their hymns. The temple was built during the Chola period and widely expanded during the Nayak period in the late 16th century. There is a separate sanctum to Goddess Brihatsundarakuchambikai.  
Legend: The name "Kumbakonam" is believed to be an allusion to the mythical pot (kumbham)of the Hindu God Brahma that contained the seed of all living beings on earth. The kumbha is believed to have been displaced by a Pralaya(huge flood that led to the dissolution of the universe) and ultimately came to rest at the spot where the town of Kumbha-konam now stands.The drops of nectar believed to have fallen in five shrines around Kumbakonam, namely Mahalingeswarar temple at Tiruvidaimarudur, Tirudharasuram, Tirunageswaram,Tiruvorgam and Tirupadalavanam.
Another legend is that of  a Chola prince who killed a Brahmin and was in turn, pursued by his spirit (brahmahatthi) The Chola prince entered the Mahalingeswarar Temple and prayed to Siva for relief from the clutches of the brahmahatthi. The Chola prince made his way out through another entrance thereby saving himself. This practice continues till day where people take the second entrance to exit the premises after worship. There is a sculpture of Chola brahmahatthi on the eastern premises in one of the inner gopurams.
The Temple Tank
The Gigantic white Nandi or bull erected in front of Shiva's sanctum
Ammunu Bai -  In 1775: Pratap Singh the Maratha King fell in love with Ammunu Bai. After their marriage Ammunu Bai lit one lakh oil lamps in the temple sanctum
The lovely bronze statue of Ammuni Bai - see how exquisitely the hair, plaits,sari pleats and ornaments are sculpted
Natarajar and Sivakami
The Temple Chariot and the huge pillared corridor below
Durgai as Mahisasuramardini - the destroyer of all evil

15 comments:

  1. I have read the history of the temple. I have visited it long long back but don't remember much. Thanks for reminding the beautiful architecture of the temple.

    The cloth is tied so nicely on Nataraja vigraham. Ammuni Bai's statue is beautiful. She has got a parrot also sitting on her shoulder! The ornaments are lovely. The prahaaram is beautiful.

    Thanks for the interesting post!

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  2. the details on the Ammuni Bai is amazing as is the age of this temple....

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  3. Another lovely temple. You seem to be on a temple spree. Would love to visit these temples.

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  4. Love stories out of legends. Lovely place, especially that hallway shot. :)

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  5. Some interesting sculptures here. I also like the reflections in that first shot. A couple of other observations: 1) It must be difficult to remember and to be able to spell the names of some of these gods and temples! Are Indians good spellers? 2) the myth of a universal flood is pretty much universal around the world, representing no doubt the terror experienced by flooding that ravaged the homes of people. But this myth causes the universe itself to crumble. Fascinating. So far as I know the only people without a flood story are the American Indians (or "Native" Americans.)

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  6. after seeing the blog, I have a feeling to visit the temple.

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  7. Nice to visit this temple with your help...

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  8. One of my favorites Ram.. this place is really awesome.. I don't remember seeing the Mahishasuramardhini.. Superb capture..! You have captured the mandapam also very well..!

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  9. Love the chariot! Beautiful colors and details Ram. Thank you!

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  10. Wow! Your country has wonderful temples! Great photos!

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  11. The Temple Chariot is lovely and reminds me so much of the historic carousel at Balboa Park in San Diego. I also love the detail on bronze statue of Ammuni Bai.

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  12. Beautiful and elegant sculpture of Ammuni Bai! Great details on the Temple

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  14. Beautiful photographs - makes me want to visit the temple. (BTW I removed the duplicate comment :-D )

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