Sunday, December 13, 2015

Shikanathar Temple, Kudumiyamalai

Shikanathar Temple, Kudumiyamalai
Shikanathar Temple is a Hindu temple situated in the village of Kudumiyanmalai at a distance of 20 kilometers from Pudukkottai. The temple complex includes a 1000 – pillared hall and has many inscriptions by the Pallava king Mahendravarman including a treatise on music.

Kudumiyanmalai has a very old Shiva temple, which is currently being maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The presiding deities of this temple are Shikhagireeshwarar and Akhilandeshwari.

The village is centered around a small hillock, where a cave temple has been carved on its foot. This cave temple, locally known as Melaikkovil, has been extended continuously during later times which suggest that this place held quite an importance in the past.

We found many inscriptions in and around this temple which go till the advent of British which suggests that this region would have enjoyed the continuous patronage from various dynasties which ruled over this region. However once bustling with social and cultural activities, at present this is a small idle village.
Temple's Speciality
This is a hill temple noted for prayers for relief from adverse effects of Sani Bhagwan – Saturn. Traditionally, the idols of 63 Nayanmars are arranged in the prakara of Shiva temples, which are, in this temple is at the top of the hill. It is also a custom that at the end of the row, Lord Vinayaka is placed. It is different in this temple. With Lord Shiva and Mother Parvathi on the Vrushab vahana in the middle, Nayanmars appear in two parts on both sides. This is the only temple in Tamilnadu having this pattern of Nayanmar seating. While circumambulating the prakara, this could be seen clearly without climbing up the hill.

General Information
This is a temple that has countless sculptures from entrance to the end. As everyone is sculpted with rare minute skills, the Archeological Department has taken up the control of the temple.  Many of them look threatening creating fear.  Some them are very pleasant in look making the visitor happy as Lord Vishnu measuring the world with his legs – Ulagalanda Perumal, the beautiful alluring Rathi, Manmatha – cupid – Agora Veerabhadra, Ravana with his 10 heads, Vishnu in his enticing Mohini avatar, Lord Vinayaka praised as Vinai Theerkum Vinayaka – Vinayaka destroying our ill – fates etc. are feast to eyes.  Students of sculpture arts should not fail to see these.

Greatness of Temple
Though a Shiva temple, the pillars bear sculptures of the Dasavatara scenes of Lord Vishnu.  There are two such sculptures, one a youth on a horse and the other an aged man on a horse.  This is explained as Kalki Avatar when both young and old would be destroyed.

Of the Navagrahas the nine planets, this temple belongs to Sani Bhagwan – Saturn, it is believed.  During the 10th century, this place was known as Thiru Nala Kundram. Emperor Nala who had to experience the ordeal of Sani Bhagwan worshipped Lord Shikanathar for relief.  Those facing the adverse aspects of Sani Bhagwan pray to Lord Shika Nathar. 

There are invaluable epigraphic details written in Grantha letters about the art of music which are useful to those in the field.  It is said that king Parama Maheswaran disciple of Rudracharya was proficient in the Ragas mentioned here.  But nobody can go near the place now as honey bees have their hives around.

Dwarapalakas – securities appear with a face of authority in temples both facing east. Here one is smiling and the other with a hard look facing north and south.

Besides a shrine of Mother Akhilandeshwari, there is another Ambica shrine.  A Devadasi, Umayalnachi by name built an Ambica shrine in the temple and named her Malaya Mangai.  It is believed that this would have changed as Soundarya Nayaki shrine in the days that followed.
Kudumian in Tamil means a person of good qualities.  Kudumi also means a mount. As the Lord is in a temple near a mount, He is praised as Kudumian, it is explained. The priest of the temple had a sweetheart who will visit the temple both for worship and meeting her lover.  One day, when they were happy in talk, the king visited the temple without prior notice.  The priest hurriedly took the flowers from the head of his lover, placed to Lord and gave it as Prasad to the king.  The king saw a piece of hair in the garland and enquired the priest.  Placing his fate at the feet of the Lord, the priest said that it may be from the Kudumi – tuft of Lord.  The priest promised to show the tuft next day. 

The king said that he would test it the next day.  When the king saw the Linga next day, he was surprised to see the Kudumi on the head.  The priest and his sweet heart shed tears of pleasure and fell at the feet of Lord.  Their marriage took place then. There is another interesting fact that Kudumi not only meant tuff of hair but also the top of hill. In that case Kudumiyaar seems to the god on top of the hill. It seems, this story may have been invented in 17th-18th century.

Main Structural Temple – Architecture
Subsidiary Shrines
Pooja Details
Pooja Details
6.00 AM - 6.30 AM
Thiruvanandhal Pooja
6.30 AM - 7.00 AM
Ushat Kalam
8.30 AM - 9.00 AM
Kaala Sandhi
11.30 AM - 12.00 AM
7.30 PM - 8.00 PM
8.15 PM
Artha Saman
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. 8.00 p.m.
Pooja Fees Structure
Fees Structure
5 /- Rs.
Milk Sombu
5 /- Rs.
Mudi Kaanikai
10 /- Rs.
Pillai Theyithu
50 /- Rs.
Ear Boaring
25 /- Rs.
Milk Kaavadi
10 /- Rs.
100 /- Rs.
250 /- Rs.
Prarthanai Ticket
10 /- Rs.
Sandhana Kaappu
50 /- Rs.
Lovers pray in this temple for removal of obstacles in their way. They perform abishek to Lord and Mother and offer vastras.
·        Chithirai
In the month of Chithirai there will be a car festival for Lord Shiva and Arul tharum Sakthi.
·        Vaikasi
Shanmugar Pushpanjali.
·        Purattasi
The Navarathri Vizha will be celebrated for 9 days. It is one of most special festival to be celebrated in this temple.
·        Aipasi
Thirukkalyanam will be celebrated for 10 days.
·        Karthikai
Thiru Karthikai will be celebrated for 10 days.
·        Margazhi
At the month of Margazhi there will be celebration of Thiruppalli.
·        Thai
Thai Poosam
·        Maasi
Maha Shivarathri.
Arulmigu Shikanathar Temple,
Pudukkottai District.,
Pincode: 622 104
Phone: 04322 - 221084 
Mobile: 98423 90416.

1 comment:

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