Friday, July 14, 2017

Sundara Kamakshi Temple, Sirukarumbur, Vellore

Sundara Kamakshi Temple, Sirukarumbur, Vellore
Sundara Kamakshi Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Sirukarumbur village near Kaveripakkam in Kanchipuram District of Tamilnadu. Presiding deity is called as Thirupuranthaga Easwarar. Mother is called as Sundara Kamakshi. Mother is given importance over Lord Shiva. This is one of the Kamakshi’s installed by Adhi Shankara.

The temple with great religious importance as well as beautiful icons is situated in a very beautiful ambiance amidst green fields. From the outside, it looks like a small village temple. Indeed it’s a small temple with just a Shiva and Ambal shrine, both not so big, but it is a hidden treasure trove for devotees, heritage and art lovers with so many unique features.

In this small village the historical temple was covered with sand due to the foreign invasion. During 1958 Baskara Tondaiman the Vellore collector took initiative to uncover the sand and find out what is the hidden treasure behind this sand hill.

It is also said that erstwhile Kanchi Periyava visited it during the 1970’s as he stayed here and do pooja to Sundara Kamatchi. He was instrumental in conducting the Kumbabishekam in 1980. The sculpture and shape of the temple suggest that it belongs to the chola period. It is also believed that one the earliest Hindu guru Adisankara visited this place and installed the Sundarakamatchi.

The Temple
Lord Shiva here is called Sri Thirupuranthaga Easwarar as Swayambu lingam and Ambal is Sri Sundara Kamakshi. The Linga is Swayambhu. Though this is a Shiva Temple, importance is for Sundara Kamakshi Ambal and she is very beautiful, as the name signifies. Unlike Kamakshi Ambal in other temples, here she is in a standing posture. Sri Adhi Sankarar had visited this place and installed the Sri Chakra in front of her. The Srichakra has the presence of Ashtadhik Balagars in it.

The Ambal shrine is totally different. It is built of green granite stones and its goshta walls are completely filled with exquisite carvings and very rare and special moorthies. The Devi Temple stands close to the Easwara Temple and is made of green stone. A lot of dilapidation had been there and renovation has been done and is still taking place. A few stones have been arranged near the wall inside the Temple that shows the glory of the Temple. The sculptures here are intricate in places and worth seeing.

Normally, one would find a Peepal tree and a Neem tree growing together in many Temples. Here you find a tall Bilva tree (Aegle marmetos / Stone apple/ Bael/Shivadruma)branching into three trunks three feet above ground level and a Neem Tree growing through the space between the Thrisul like trunks. Vilva represents Lord Siva and the Neem Tree, the Devi. Puja is done here by couples who wished to be blessed with children. Under the trees is a huge Linga which had been brought here from a distant hill.

There are sculptures in relief of Naga and fish on the ceiling of the Mandapa just outside the Garbha Griha which implies that those with Naga dosha can get rid of them by worshipping the Devi here. There is a Sannidhi for Lord Ganesha, Lord Karthikeya, Lord Bhairava and the Nava Grahas. Fearing attacks from the invading forces, the people here had covered the Temple with sand and mud in the early nineties and this Temple was exposed to people only in the year 1958. This is one of the Kamakshi’s installed by Adhi Shankara.

The sanctum Sanctorum of Lord Siva abounds in sculptures too and so does that of the Devi. At the inner entrance to Shiva shrine there are icons of Sage Patanjali on the right side and Sage Vygrapathar on the left. On either side of the innermost entrance to the Shiva shrine there are icons of male and female versions of Purusha mirugas in the posture of doing poojas. They are considered to be present always and doing the daily poojas to Easwarar.

Lord Veera Badhrar inside the Shiva shrine has a Shiva linga on his forehead. Lord Dakshinamurthy here is unique. He has in his Jata, sixty three tiny Lingas which the Priest refers to as the 63 Saiva- Devotees called the Nayanmars, who have sung praises of the Lord.

Stone inscriptions dating back to the 10th and 11th century AD in the Temple throws light on the way records of properties were maintained during the Chola times. The stones disclosed the many agreements reached between different groups of people for endowments and upkeep of the temple. The inscriptions also revealed that there were Chola bronze images, consecrated and worshipped in that temple.
One of the stone documents recorded that a bronze idol of Umaparameswari, consort of Lord Nataraja, was installed and worshipped by the villagers in the year 1013 AD, the 28th year of the reign of Rajaraja Chola-I, in the temple. The stone records also brought to light the agreements reached by a group of people in the village to endow paddy for the upkeep and maintenance of the temple.
Names of the people of the community like Arunan, Ezhilan Pondhai, Mani Nagan, and village posts like "Gramavitthan", mentioned in the stones, revealed that the temple had been a common holding of the community.
Sundara Kamakshi Temple,
Sirukarumbur, Kaveripakkam
Kanchipuram District
Mobile: +91 - 94863 70223 / 94860 60120
Sirukarumbur is located at about 3 Kms from Ocheri, 16 Kms from Walajapet, 23 Kms from Arcot, 46 Kms from Vellore, 34 Kms from Arakkonam, 19 Kms from Thirumalpur, 6 Kms from Kaveripakkam and 97 Kms from Chennai. Sirukarumbur is located in the Chennai - Mumbai highway. The temple is located at a distance of about 400 meters from the Chennai – Bangalore highway at the Sirukarumbur junction between Ocheri and Kaveripakkam. The Sirukarumbur junction is 1 km after Ocheri junction; 2 kms before Murugan Idly Shop; and around 4 kms before Kaveripakkam while going from Chennai. Nearest Railway Station is located at Thirumalpur and Arakkonam. Nearest Airport is located at Chennai.

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