Rudhra Kodeeswarar Temple, Thirukazhukundram, Kanchipuram
Rudhra Kodeeswarar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Thirukazhukundram Village in Kanchipuram District of Tamilnadu. Main Deity is known as Rudrakoteeswarar and Mother is known as Pennin Nallaal. Main deity of this temple is a Suyambu Moorthi. This Temple is located at about half a km east of Vedhagreeswarar temple.
Many know the hill temple of Vedagiriswarar in Pakshithirtham, more popularly known as Thirukazhu (gu) kundram, but not all would be aware that an equally important and even more ancient temple of Rudra Koteeswarar exists at the foot of the hills, apart from the Bhaktavatsalar temple there. It is magnificently built, consisting of a very long temple corridor and a very tall stone wall surrounding it.
This is an ancient Shiva temple at the foot of the hill near the Sangu theertham. This temple is the oldest of the three temples in Thirukazhukundram. The locals know it as Easwaran koil or Rudran Koil. Thirunavukarasu Nayanar has referred about this temple in his hymns.
Thirukazhukundram, also known as Dakshina Kailasam, is one of the most celebrated temples of the 275 glorified by the Thevara hymns. This ancient temple, believed to be built nearly 2,600 years ago, is located nearly ½ Km away in the southwest direction from Thirukazhukundram village.
Rudras merged with Shiva Heart:
It is said to be 1,700 years old, the Lord in the temple is known as Rudrakoteeswarar. According to legend, the celestial beings who could not bear the torture of the Kodi Asuras who emanated from Kashyapa rishi, prayed to Lord Siva, who let loose a Kodi Rudras from his chest who killed the asuras. The Rudras, after finishing the task assigned to them, worshipped the Lord to atone for the sin of killing them. Rudras were pardoned and got merged in his heart.
Story behind the partly buried Nandhi:
Once Vishnu came to see Shiva here in the form of Garudan; When Garudazhwar was waiting outside, before Vishnu came out, Nandikeswarar blew his breath over Garudazhwar and the feathers of Garudazhwar fell off. Shiva then punished Nandikeswarar by making him sink to the ground. When Nandhi’s body started to sink into the ground, at the behest of Vishnu, Shiva stopped Nandikeswarar at that point. So, you can see Nandikeswarar partly buried at the ground.
Benefit of doing Pradhakshina of a crore of Rudhrars at a time:
By worshipping here once, one can get the benefit of doing Pradhakshina of a crore of Rudhrars at a time.
Story behind reclined position of Ambal:
Ambal, also known as Sri Abirami, has calmed down Sri Kali Devi, who was brimming with anger. Hence, she is appearing in a slightly reclined position.
The Rudhran Temple is older than the Vedhagreeswarar temple. As per procedure, one has to first visit Rudhran temple and then only the Vedhagreeswarar. Main Deity is known as Rudrakoteeswarar and Mother is known as Pennin Nallaal. Main deity of this temple is a Suyambu Moorthi. Kodi (One Crore) Rudhra devas have worshipped this deity and got relieved of their curse. Hence, the main deity is called as Sri Rudhra Kodeeswarar. Ambal, also known as Sri Abirami, has calmed down Sri Kali Devi, who was brimming with anger. Hence, she is appearing in a slightly reclined position.
The temple entrance has Nandi with his consort, Suyaprabha Devi on the wall. Sthala Vriksham of this Temple is Vilva tree (each leaf containing nine petals) and Theertham of this Temple is Rudhra Theertham (situated inside the temple complex). The temple has an east facing entrance with a Balipeetham, Vinayaka and Murugan sannidhis in front. The Koshta Vigrahas and four savants are represented in statue form.
The Rudrakoteeswarar Temple, where the name of the Goddess is Rudrani, (also known as Abhirami Nayaki) has a five-tier Rajagopuram. The tower was in a dilapidated condition, but due to the effort of devotees, four tiers, besides the Kalkaram, have been renovated. The flooring around the prakaram outside the sanctum sanctorum has been newly laid. The superstructure above the Nandi mandapam has been rebuilt. But the Madapalli (kitchen) is in a highly dilapidated condition & requires immediate repair.
The shrine of the Goddess is situated on the left side and She looks southwards through an opening on the temple wall towards the Kali Temple at Vattaparai (circular rock), situated at some distance. The temple also has shrines for Dakshinamurthi, Vinayaka and Subramania with his consorts, the Thevaram trio — Appar, Sundarar and Gnanasambandar — and also Manickavasagar. While in the Siva temples the image of Lingodbhavar is found on the western side of the sanctum sanctorum, here one can find the image of Mahavishnu with Varada Hastham.
An ancient poem, inscribed in the inner wall of the temple says, while Kasi (Benares), Thiruvarur, Chidambaram, Thiruvannamalai, Kanchi, Kalahasti and Madurai formed the body of Lord Siva the Koteeswarar Temple at Rudrakoti or Rudran Koil is his heart.
Poojas & Festivals
All the annual functions pertaining to a Sivan temple are being celebrated in this temple. At present, one time pooja is being performed in this temple, every day. Since it is not known to many, the no. of devotees visiting this temple is very less compared to the hill temple in Thirukazhukundram.
According to Saiva Siddhanta, Rudra is the presiding deity of one of the five elements of Nature — Fire. Rudra is referred to in the Vedas, not as a sectarian deity, but as the Supreme Lord, who guides the Universe from one level of perfection to the higher one. Sri Rudram, which forms part of the Upanishads, speaks of the glory of Rudra and says that the Lord is always pleased with obeisance and it offers salutations to him many times.
Praying to Rudrakoteeswarar at this temple continuously during 16 Pradoshams, would rid one of ailments of the heart, hypertension, diabetes and also problems caused by planetary changes. The Vedas also speak about the presence of 11 Rudras and their consorts, 11 Rudranis. Of the 108 Sakthi Peetams, the 24th is considered to be Rudrakoti's Sakthi.
Devi Bhagavatham says that she adorns the Rudrani Peetam. It is believed that praying to her at the temple on nine full moon days helps a devotee unite in wedlock, lead a happy family life and be free from all afflictions. It is believed that each prayer is multiplied one crore times here hence it is a very sacred place to pray.
Rudhra Kodeeswarar Temple,
Mobile: +91 – 98941 27930
Thirukazhukundram is located on State Highway 58 between Sadras & Thiruttani, 70 kilometres (43 mi) from Chennai and 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the tourist town of Mahabalipuram. It lies 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from Old Mahabalipuram Road, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from East Coast Road, and 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from GST road.
This Temple is located at about half a km east of Vedhagreeswarar temple. Plenty of buses are available from Chennai, Mahabalipuram and Chengalpet. Nearest Railway Station is located at Chengalpet and Nearest Airport is located at Chennai.