Friday, August 26, 2016

Kumarakottam Temple, Kanchipuram – The Temple

Kumarakottam Temple, Kanchipuram – The Temple
Kumara Kottam is a well visited temple with two prakarams and a complete pantheon of parivara devatas enshrined in their respective shrines. The Karthikai asterism each month attracts large crowds. The temple, as now rebuilt, has the temple pinnacle (shikara) above the main sanctum (garbhagriha), which is built in granite and is in the shape of a dome called the chakravimanam (circular dome) which is a Chola period structure. The corbels and the pilasters with epigraphs decorate the walls of the temple.

The central image of Murugan is uniquely depicted as Brahma-Shasta, holding a kamandalu (water pot) and beads of Rudraksha. The linga worshipped by Murugan is deified in a separate shrine within the temple complex and is called Devasenapatisar or Senapatisvara. It is to be noted that there is no separate shrine to Ambal in any of the Shiva temples at Kanchipuram, and that the Somaskanda shrine at the Ekambareswarar temple is of great significance.

The priests here are said to come down the lineage of Kachiappa Sivachariyar associated with the Skanda Puranam. The temple has west facing tower (Raja gopuram). The sanctum sanctorum enshrines Murugan. He has two arms and is found in the standing posture. His sculpture is exceedingly attractive. As stated above, he is in the form of Brahma Shasta.

Only few temples depict this form of Murugan and it is considered to be unique and rare form. The main shrine has a long ardha mandapa and maha mandapa apart from the sanctorum. Near the tower, the flag staff, Bali peetham and peacock vahana are found facing towards the main shrine. The entrance of the temple's area enclosing the main shrine and inner prakara has the sub-shrine enshrining big idol of Ganesha.

The temple has two prakarams around the main shrine. The outer prakara is open space whereas the inner prakara has many sub-shrines and idols. The mandapa where Kachiappa Sivachariyar composed Skanda Purana is found in the outer prakara. In the maha mandapa, facing the presiding deity, the idols of Shiva Linga named Senapateeswarar and Santana Ganapati are situated.

The inner prakara has the following sub-shrines:
·        Palani Andavar with Ganesha at the entrance
·        Arumugam with Valli and Devasena - Utsava idols
·        Urugum Ulla Perumal (Vishnu) with his two consorts
·        Somaskanda  - Utsava idols
·        Muthukumaraswamy - Utsava idols
·        Nava Veeras - Utsava idols
·        Gaja Valli - a combine form of Valli and Devasena - Utsava idol
·        Valli - Utsava idol
·        Devasena - Utsava idol
·        Murugan with his two consorts - Utsava idols
The following idols are also situated in the inner prakara:
·        Nava Veeras
·        Pamban Swamigal
·        Ramalinga Adigal
·        Kachiappa Sivachariyar
·        Veerabhadra
·        Dakshinamurti
·        Vishnu
·        Chandikeshwarar
·        Navagrahas