Friday, July 22, 2016

Kachabeswarar Temple, Thirukkachur, Kanchipuram – The Temple

Kachabeswarar Temple, Thirukachur – The Temple

This Temple is facing towards east with a flat gateway tower. The Temple covers an area of about two acres and has two prakarams. The Temple is enclosed within the granite walls. Dhwaja Sthambam, Balipeedam and Nandi can be found immediately after the gateway town in the outer prakaram, facing towards the sanctum through a window. Nakshatra Mandapam is a 27 pillared mandapam situated close to the southern entrance. The 27 pillars in the mandapam denotes 27 stars.

Sculpture of Lord Vishnu in his Kachaba avathara (turtle form) worshipping Lord Shiva can be seen in one of the pillars of the mandapam. Also, sculpture of Anjaneya worshipping Lord Shiva with a flower on his right hand and a pooja bell on his left hand can be seen in another pillar in this mandapam. Shrine of Thyagaraja Swamy can be seen after the Nakshatra Mandapam. His shrine is facing towards east. He is called as Amudha Thyagesar / Ubhaya Vidangar. He is in the form of Somaskanda.

Though the presiding deity is Kachabeswarar, the temple is popularly called as Thyagaraja Swamy Temple. This Temple is considered as is one of the important Thyagaraja Swamy Temples in Thondai Nadu. Mother is called as Anjanakshi / Kanniumai Ammai / Mayil Vizhiyal / Sundaravalli. She is housed in a separate south facing shrine and situated in maha mandapam. She is four armed and in standing posture. Her shrine can be reached through the southern entrance of the Nakshatra mandapam.

Her shrine is like a separate temple with its own prakaram for circumbulation. Utsava idols are kept in the maha mandapam. The sanctum can be approached from the eastern side of the mandapam in front of the Parvathy shrine. Presiding Deity is called as Kachabeswarar and is facing east. He is housed in the sanctum in the form of Lingam. Lord is a Swayambu Moorthy (self-manifested). The sanctum sanctorum is of Agazhi type. It is surrounded by a moat like formation on all the 4 sides.

Vinayaka, Dakshinamoorthy, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are the koshta idols located around the sanctum walls. Chandikeswarar shrine can be seen in his usual location. The vimana, structure over the sanctum is in the form of Gajabrusta, the shape of an elephant in its sitting posture. There is a panel along the edges of the artha mandapam with series of mini sculptures depicting the Samudra Mandan. There is another sculpture depicting the bull and elephant merged together with a single face in the temple.

Shrines of Nalvar, Nataraja, Vinayaga, Margasahayesvarar, Choleeswarar, Kalatheeswarar, Ramanatheeswarar, Kashi Viswanathar, Nagalingam, Maheshwari, Nagarajan and Subramanyar with his consorts Valli & Devasena can be seen in the inner prakaram around the sanctum. There is a shrine for Gnana Vinayagar on the south west side of the outer prakaram. This shrine has rich carvings on the pillars and along the side of the steps.

There is a shrine for Virunthitteswarar (Lord Shiva offered food to Sundarar) on the western side of the outer prakaram. There is another shrine for Irandeeswarar (Lord Shiva begged for alms for feeding Sundarar), situated at a short distance from the temple. There is a shrine for Lord Murugan with his consorts Valli & Devasena on the northern side of the outer prakaram. Lord Murugan of this shrine is praised in the Thirupugazh hymns of saint Arunagirinathar.

Shrines of Bhairavar and Sundarar can be seen in the outer prakaram. There is a beautiful stone mandapam at the southern side of the temple. This mandapam is used during the festivals. Theertham associated with this temple is Koorma Theertham. It is situated just outside the temple, diagonally opposite to the temple. There is a 16 pillared mandapam situated close to Koorma Theertham. It is said that Sundarar and his followers took rest in this mandapam during their visit to this temple.

The pillars of this mandapam are richly carved with sculptures of Lord Vishnu, Oordhuva Thandava Moorthy, Goddess Kamakshi embracing Shiva Lingam, Lord Shiva on Rishaba Vahana etc. Shrine of Thalamoola Vinayakar / Karukkadi Vinayakar can be seen outside the temple close to sixteen pillared mandapam. Sthala Vriksham is Banyan Tree (Kallala Maram).