Friday, September 23, 2016

Kandhaswamy Temple, Cheyyur – Architecture

Kandhaswamy Temple, Cheyyur – Architecture
Kandhaswamy temple has a flat Rajagopuram in the North, piercing the rectangular granite walls around the temple. Road construction over the years has resulted in swallowing parts of the idols in the multiple pillars that stand in front of the temple. There are two entrances to the temple. One is through the South facing main entrance. There is an entrance through the East through which also one can reach the inner prakaram and the Artha Mandapa.







The presiding deity Kandhaswamy is housed in the East facing sanctum, with Valli and Deivasena on either of his sides. Kandhaswamy is flanked by the Dwarapalakas, Suveeran and Sujanan on either side. The sanctum is approached from the main entrance through the flag staff hall, Maha Mandapam and Artha Mandapam. There is 5 ft. (1.5 m) granite Vel in front of Kandhaswamy. The flag staff is located in the flagstaff hall axial to the sanctum. An image of peacock, the vehicle of Muruga and Surya faces the main shrine in the Maha Mandapam.







On entering the temple, one can find the Somanathar, Meenakshiammai Shrine to the left of the front Mandapam. There are shrines of Vinayaga before the Mahamandapam and the sanctum is guarded by Brahma and Vishnu, which is an unusual feature in Murugan temples. Nandi is found in front of the shrine. The shrine of Thiripurasundari is located in the second precinct. There are separate shrines of Valli and Deivasena in South facing shrines diagonally opposite to the sanctum.







The image of Somanathar and Meenakshi are in the temple. The images of the 27 Bhutaganas, each 2 ft. (0.61 m) tall are sculpted in the niches around the sanctum. The first precinct around the sanctum houses the images of Nrithuya Kanthar, Bala Kanthar, Brahma Sastha, Sivagurunathar, Veduvar and Navagrahas. A unique feature of this temple is that all Goshta Devathas are different forms of Subramanya.








Usually in Saivaite temples one can see Vinayaka, Dakshinamoorthy, Lingothbhavar or Vishnu, Brahma, Chandikeshwarar, Durga, Bhairava, and Surya are seen as Goshta Devathas. But in this temple, one can see that there is Nrittaskanda instead of Vinayaka, Brahmasasta instead of Dakshinamoorthy, Bala Skanda instead of Vishnu, Sivagurunatha instead of Brahma and Pulindhar (Lord Muruga in the form of a hunter) instead of Durga.







Moreover, Chandikeshwarar and Bhairava who are normally found in Shiva temples are found here in their usual places. The Surya in this temple is called Guha Surya. Apart from these forms of Muruga, there is also an Arumugha Swamy facing the Southern entrance. On the outer Prahara, as we circumambulate, we can find Ganesha shrine and a Nandavanam to the North of the Sanctum Sanctorum.  The Sthala Vrikshams of this temple are Vanni and Karungali.







To the North of the Dwajasthambam, is the Amman shrine and there is a Sarva Vadya Mandapam in front of it. Till the year 1947, all kinds of musical instruments were played and dance recitals conducted during festivals in this mandapam.  Behind the Dwajasthambam, there is a separate Shrine for Navagrahas.









Periyandavar Puja is also observed at this temple. Outside the temple, on the Navasandhis, there are nine Vinayakas said to have been worshipped by the Navagrahas. These also add to the uniqueness of the temple. To the West of the temple, is a tank called Chettikulam. Chetty is one of the names by which Lord Muruga is known. This tank belongs to the temple. The pillars outside the main entrance of the temple also have few intricate Sculptures. There are several beautiful sculpture panels found at the outside of the temple wall.








27 Star Vedhalams:
The most unique feature of this temple is something that cannot be found in any other temple in the world. There are 27 Star Vedhalams (Bethels) one for each star. The Vethalas found here are those Sivaganas that had served on Lord Muruga’s army and helped to fight demons like Soorapadman and others.


These Vethalas obey the instructions of Bhairava. This is the reason we find Bhairava here alongside the Vethalas. On the Ashtami that falls after Full moon day (Theipirai Ashtami) devotees worship the Vethalam that belongs to their star and pray before it to find their wishes being fulfilled. Every month several devotees are benefitted through this worship.


On the Ashtami after full moon day, the Vedhala Puja starts with Vinayaka Sankalpam. Then at 5 pm, the Vethalas are worshipped with Red Arali flowers, and then at 7 pm, Abhishekham is performed to Lord Muruga. This is followed by Archana to Lord Bhairava with eight different types of flowers.


List of the 27 star Vedhalams:

S.No
Name of the Vethalam
Star
1
Nagayudhapani Bootha Vethalam
Aswini
2
Vajradhaari Bootha Vethalam
Bharani
3
Vairagya Bootha Vethalam
Krithigai
4
Katkadhari Bootha Vethalam
Rohini
5
Gnana Bootha Vethalam
Mrigaseerisham
6
Thomara Bootha Vethalam
Thiruvadhirai
7
Vakradantha Bootha Vethalam
Punarpoosam
8
Visaala Nethra Bootha Vethalam
Poosam
9
Anandha Bhairava Bhaktha Bootha Vethalam
Aayilyam
10
Gnanaskandha Baktha Bootha Vethalam
Magam
11
Tharpagara Bootha Vethalam
Pooram
12
Veerabahu Sevaka Bootha Vethalam
Uthiram
13
Soorapadma Dwamsa Bootha Vethalam
Hastham
14
Thaarakaasura Imsa Bootha Vethalam
Chithirai
15
Anadha Guha Bhaktha Bootha Vethalam
Swathi
16
Sooranipuna Bootha Vethalam
Visakam
17
Chandakoba Bootha Vethalam
Anusham
18
Singamukhasura Imsa Bootha Vethalam
Kettai
19
Parakrama Bootha Vethalam
Moolam
20
Mahodhara Bootha Vethalam
Pooradam
21
Oorthuva Shikhabandha Bootha Vethalam
Uthiradam
22
Gadhapani Bootha Vethalam
Thiruvonam
23
Chakrapani Bootha Vethalam
Avittam
24
Perunda Bootha Vethalam
Sathayam
25
Goraroopa Bootha Vethalam
Poorattadhi
26
Ruru Bhairava Sevaka Bootha Vethalam
Uthirattaadhi
27
Kurodhana Bhairava Bhaktha Bootha Vethalam
Revathy

No comments: