Monday, 9 November 2015

Manikandeswarar – Shiva Temple, Thirumalpur

This Shiva temple has a unique feature among the Paadal Petra Sthalams where one can have the Darshan of both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu simultaneously. Inside the sanctum, it is blissful to see Mahavishnu standing exactly opposite to Mahadeva and offering his prayer. I feel devotees worshipping in this temple will be bestowed with the grace of both the Lords.

Another interesting feature is the presence of Nandi in the form of statue with a monkey face. Nandi and Ravana had a quarrel once when the latter insulted both Shiva and Nandi. Enraged by the insult, Nandi cursed Ravana that his destruction will be accelerated by an army of monkeys. This curse later supported Rama to slay Ravana. There is also a Shivalinga – Choleeswarar installed inside the temple in memory of the great chola king – Parantaka Chola.

Inspired by the greatness of temple, Thirugnanasambandar has sung 2 hymns and Appar has sung 4 hymns. This temple is open from 7 am to 12 noon, 5 pm to 8 pm every day.

Lord Siva: Manikanteswarar, Maal Vanagiya Eswarar
Ambal (Goddess): Anjanatchi, Karunai Nayagai Ammai
Sthala Vriksham : Vilva tree
Theertham : Chakkara Theertham

How to reach
This temple is located at a distance of about 20 kms from Kanchipuram on the Kanchipuram-Arakkonam Route. There are bus services available from Kanchi and Arakkonam. There are electric trains from Chennai Beach to Thirumalpur directly although the service is very limited, if using this service alight at Thirumalpur railway station and from there share autos are available. It is better to travel during day time as it will be difficult to navigate in the night in Thirumalpur.

Temple Legend

Lord Vishnu once waged a war against the rishi Thutheesi in order to protect a king named Kuban. He hurled his Chakra against the rishi but due to spiritual powers of the rishi the Chakra lost its cutting edge. Mahavishnu desired to get the Sudharshana Chakra from Shiva which He had used to slay the mighty asura Chalandran. Mahavishnu started worshipping Shiva in this temple by offering 1000 lotus every day. One day Shiva wanted to test Him and made one of the lotus flower to disappear resulting in a shortage. When Vishnu noticed the shortage, He immediately offered His own eye in place of the 1000th lotus. Extremely pleased by His ardent devotion, Shiva blessed Vishnu with the Sudharshan Chakra and restored His beautiful eyes.

Once Parvathi closed the eyes of Shiva with her hand playfully which resulted in the temporary disruption of functioning of the universe. In order to remediate this error, She constructed the lingam from the sand and offered Her prayers. This lingam is the presiding deity in this temple, worshipped by both Parvathi and Vishnu.

Nearby attractions
Kanchipuram – plenty of temples around to visit
Takkolam – Another paadal petra sthalam is located about 12 kms from here.

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