Friday, July 14, 2017

Uyyakondan Thirumalai Temple – The Temple

Uyyakondan Thirumalai Temple – The Temple
The temple is located on a rock about 30 metres (98 ft.) tall and is surrounded by granite walls. The temple complex covers four acres. The temple is approached by a flight of 100 steps from the basement that houses the temple tank. It is maada kovil architecture; the entire temple excluding the outer prakara area is located on a raised platform. There are three entrances – two facing south and the other facing east. At the foothills, the shrines of Lord Ganesha and Subramanya-Valli-Devasena are located.












The shrine of Vinayagar is located in a cut in the first ten steps and the other shrines are located on the hillock. After the fleet of few steps, you can enter into the temple through a small temple tower. The whole temple is fortified and another temple tank is located inside the fortification. The temple was built by Later Cholas around 950 CE. Presiding Deity is called as Uyyakondar / Ujjevanatha Swamy / Uchchi Nathar / Mukteesar / Karpaganathar. The main deity of the temple faces western direction. 












There are two mothers namely Anjanakshi or Maivizhiyammai and Balambikai. The sanctum sanctorum has a small Shiva Linga idol named as Ujjevanatha Swamy. The main deity is in the form of Shiva Linga on a square 'Aavudai'. On the left side of this east facing main shrine, there is another shrine facing the same direction with almost of similar size which is dedicated to the Goddess Anjanakshi; she is found in the standing posture with four arms; the idol looks very attractive.












It is unusual to find two Goddesses in the temple; there is another shrine facing western direction dedicated to Goddess Balambikai. All the three main shrines have separate Nandi idol facing them. The prakara surrounding the shrine of Anjanakshi has the sub-shrines of Ganesha and Subramanya. The idol of Chandikeswari is also found here. Sthala Vriksham (holy tree) is Vilvam. Theerthams associated with this temple are Ponnoli Lake, Kudamurutti river (not the one in Tanjore; it's different), Gnana Vavi, Engona Theertham and Narkona Theertham.












All the shrines of the temple are enclosed in large concentric rectangular granite walls. The east facing temple has flag post, Nandi idol and bali peetha, all facing the direction of main shrine, as usual as in any other Dravidian temple architecture. However, the entrance to the inner temple is not found opposite to the flag post. It is unusual; the entrance is located on the right side in the south direction.












The prakara surrounding the Shiva shrine has the sub-shrines of Ganesha, Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Balathiripurasundari and Subramanya with his consorts. The idols of Bhairava, Surya and Saneeswara are also found in the same prakara. The wall has the Koshta idols - Dhakshinamoorthi, Arthanareeswarar, Brahma, Durga and Chandikeswarar.











The temple also houses the shrine of Nataraja-Sivakami and Jyeshta Devi. It should be noted that Jyeshta is still worshiped in this region. There is a theory that Jyeshta Devi worship has been stopped which is not correct. There is a Vinayagar sannidhi with a statue with a human face. There is also a shrine of Idarkathan who is supposed to clear all the doubts in our mind and offer clarity in our thought process.  












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