Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Metraleeswarar Temple, Kanchipuram – The Temple

Metraleeswarar Temple, Kanchipuram – The Temple

This Temple is facing towards west with a three tiered Rajagopuram on the eastern side and has two prakarams. Shrines of Dwara Ganapthy and Lord Murugan can be seen at the entrance of the Rajagopuram on both sides. There are two presiding deities namely Metraleeswarar and Odha Urugeeswarar housed in respective sanctums.

Metraleeswarar Shrine:

Metraleeswarar / Thirumetralinaadhar is considered as principal deity in this temple. Metraleeswarar in Tamil can be written as Merku (west), Thali (Temple) and Eswarar (Lord Shiva). Hence, Lord Shiva in this shrine means Lord Shiva of the west facing temple. This Shrine is facing towards west. Nandi and Balipeedam can be found facing the sanctum. His shrine consists of Sanctum, Ardha Mandapam and Maha Mandapam. He is housed in the sanctum in the form of Lingam.

Lord is a Swayambhu Moorthy (self-manifested). Nardana Vinayaga, Dakshinamoorthy, Lingodbhava, Brahma and Durga are the Koshta idols located around the sanctum walls. Muyalagan, symbol of Ignorance under Lord Dakshinamurthy is on the left side of the Lord differently against the right side. Chandikeswarar Shrine can be seen in his location. Utsava Idol is Chandrasekarar and is kept in Maha Mandapam.

Odha Urugeeswarar Shrine:

This Shrine is facing towards east, axial to the three tiered Rajagopuram. Though Metraleeswar is the principal deity, the Rajagopuram and the main entrance belongs to Odha Urugeeswarar.  Nandi and Balipeedam can be found immediately after the Rajagopuram facing the sanctum. The sanctum Sanctorum consists of Mukha Mandapam, Ardha Mandapam and Sanctum.

The Sanctum houses Odha Urugeeswarar in Lingam form and feet of Lord Vishnu can be seen in front of the Lingam. During the weekly and yearly festivals, Odha Urugeeswarar is given importance over the presiding deity Metraleeswarar. The Pradosha puja is dedicated only to Nandhi, the bull vehicle of Lord Odha Urugeeswarar.

Mother Shrine:

The temples in Kanchipuram have no separate shrine of Parvathi as it is believed that Kamakshi of Kanchipuram is considered as the common Parvathi shrine for all Shiva temples. Yet this is one temple with an exception with Mother Parasakthi having her own shrine facing east blessing the devotees. She is also called as Metrali Nayagi. She is in standing posture.

Her shrine might of later addition. Her shrine is situated to the right side of Odha Urugeeswarar Shrine. A newly built Mukha Mandapam can be seen in front of her shrine. Naalvar Shrine can be seen in this Mandapam, situated on the right side of her shrine. The legend of Lord Vishnu attaining Siva Lingam form is depicted above her shrine.

Nataraja Sabha:

There is a Nataraja Sabha in the temple premises. Nataraja is seen in the form of painting here. The original idol of Nataraja belonged to this temple is kept in Kachabeswarar temple for security reasons.

Jyestha Devi Idol:

Jyestha Devi idol is kept in an open area with crow, goat and ghost sculptures.

Other Shrines:

There are shrines for Selva Vinayaga, Siddhi Vinayaga, Subramanya, Kasi Viswanathar, Thirugnana Sambandar, Bhairavar and Navagrahas in the temple premises.


There are inscriptions dated to Pallavas, Sambuvarayars and Vijayanagara Kings can be seen in this temple. These inscriptions talk about gifts, grants and renovation activities carried out in this temple.

Theertham & Sthala Vriksham:

Theertham associated with this temple is Vishnu Theertham. Sthala Vriksham is Mango tree.