Friday, September 9, 2016

Namakkal Anjaneyar Temple – Architecture

Namakkal Anjaneyar Temple – Architecture
The temple is located in Namakkal, in the downhill of the Namakkal hill in Namakkal district in Tamilnadu on the road from Namakkal to Salem. The temple has a flat gateway tower with a pillared hall leading to the sanctum. The sanctum houses the image of 18 ft. (5.5 m) Anjaneyar axially facing the Narasimha shrine in the foothills, located 130 m (430 ft.) away. The image of Anjaneyar is carved out of a single stone and believed to be existing from the 5th century. There is no roof over the sanctum and Anjaneyar has a unique iconography sporting a sword in his waist and holding a garland made of saligrama. 

The temple is considered one of the prominent temples in the Tamilnadu state and the country. At Namakkal Anjaneyar Temple, Anjaneya is in an open aired space and this temple is called a Digambara temple (with sky as the roof). The gigantic figure of Hanuman is 18 feet tall and he holds a japamala (prayer beads/rosary) in one hand, has a sword at the waist and a bell on his tail. The figure of Hanuman is exposed to the elements as rains pour on him and the sun dries him out.

Hanuman was the messenger of Lord Rama. He jumped across the seas to search, find and talk to Sita, Rama’s wife, who had been kidnapped by the ten-headed demon, Ravana. Hanuman is always shown dressed in silk clothes and adorned with gold and precious stone ornaments. In Namakkal, Hanuman serves Lord Sri Narasimha in all his glory. He has a gold crown, big diamond earrings, long gold chains and garlands, rings and wrist ornaments, hip golden belt, a short bejeweled curved sword in the right hand and decorated ankles.

They say that the imprint of the footsteps of Anjaneya Swami can be seen on the steps of the Kamalalam tank when he went there to have his bath. Anjaneya faces Lord Lakshmi Narasimha at a distance of about 250 feet (76 m). In fact, the eye of Anjaneya is positioned on a straight line with the lotus feet of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha, the lion-man reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Garudalwar shrine (the eagle vehicle of Lord Vishnu) is a good place to see and worship the glorious figure of Anjaneya.

Paintings and Sculptures:
Namakkal Anjaneyar Temple is home to an exquisite piece of sculpture of both Shiva and Vishnu depicted in the same figure. The left side of the icon shows Lord Vishnu from the top to the bottom and the right side depicts Lord Shiva unusually holding a snake in his hand.
The paintings of Sri Ashtapuja Narasimhar, Vaikunda Perumal (Vishnu in his abode Vaikuntam), Varahar (the boar reincarnation of Vishnu) and Ulagalanda Perumal (Lord who measured the three worlds with just three steps) are superb pieces of art.