Friday, July 7, 2017

Uthira Pasupatheeswarar Temple, Tiruchenkattankudi – History

Uthira Pasupatheeswarar Temple, Tiruchenkattankudi – History
The Shiva temple was known as Siruthonda Ganapatishvara, named over Siruthondar. The name "Ganapatishvara", which also gives the town his alternate name "Ganapatishvaram", denotes Shiva as "Lord of Ganesha" and alludes to the legend that Ganesha killed a demon called Gajamukhasuran and then worshipped his father Shiva here.
The icon of Vatapi Ganapathi is currently enshrined in a secondary shrine in the temple complex of Uthrapathiswaraswamy Temple. As per oral tradition, the icon of Vatapi Ganapathi was brought booty from the Chalukyan capital of Vatapi (presently known as Badami in northern Karnataka) by Paranjothi, the commander-in-chief of the Pallava king Narasimha Varman I (reign: 630–668 CE), following the conquest of Pallavas over the Chalukyas (642 CE).
The icon was placed in Paranjothi birthplace Tiruchenkattankudi. Later, Paranjothi renounced his violent ways and became a Shaiva monk known as Siruthondar, is venerated as a Nayanar saint today. However, no written records substantiate the oral tradition; the Ganesha icon is missing from list of war booty brought by the Pallava general. The famous Kriti Vatapi Ganapathim Bhaje by the composer Muthuswamy Dikshitar, in the Carnatic music idiom salutes this deity.

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