Friday, September 29, 2017

Vilvanatheswarar Temple, Thiruvalam, Vellore

Vilvanatheswarar Temple, Thiruvalam, Vellore
Vilvanatheswarar Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at Thiruvalam near Ranipet in Vellore District of Tamilnadu. Presiding Deity is called as Vilvanatheswarar / Vallanathar / Vilvanathar. Lord Shiva in this temple is a Swayambumurthy (self-manifested lingam). Mother is called as Thanumathyambal / Vallaambikai / Theekkali Ambal. This temple is located on the banks of the Neeva river (also called Ponnai river).

Tamil poet Avvaiyar is said to be associated with this shrine. This town was known as Theekkali Vallam and the waters of the Pennar were once known for their healing powers. Tiruvallam is referred to as a Muktistalam. The Ambal shrine is said to be of great significance here. Nandhi here is huge and is facing away from the shrine towards Kanjangiri nearby and is said to be guarding the temple from a demon Kanjan of Kanjan Giri.

Vinayakar is said to have obtained the celestial mango from Shiva here after the circumambulation of Shiva and Parvathi Devi. That’s why the place is called Thiruvalam. This is one of the 276 Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams and 10th Shiva Sthalam of the 32 Thevara Shiva Sthalams in Thondai Nadu. This temple town is also home of "Haindava Thiruvalam", an organization which conducts various pious activities related to "Hindu Religion" silently.

For brief details, please refer below link;
This town as is today, was a gateway to the north, during the period of king Rajaraja Cholan. During the same period, the area comprising present day Chittoor to Hosur was called as Thondai Mandalam, which was ruled by Vandhiya Thevan / Vallavarayan Vandhiyaththevan. The town Thiruvalam as is known today was actually Thiruvallam, as the Temple Deity Vallanathar was the family deity of Vandhiya Thevan Vallavarayan. Just outside the Shiva temple, is the Samadhi of the great saint who was known as Thiruvalam swamigal. It is inferred that the temple of Vilvanathar dates prior to the Tanjore Brihadeeswarar Temple.

The Temple
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Temple Opening Time
This temple remains open from 6.30 AM to 12.00 PM morning and 4.00PM to 8.00 PM in the evening.
On all full moon days, special poojas are performed to the Shiva lingams in the Kanjan hill. The event of Lord Shiva granting “mukthi” to the demon Kanjan is celebrated in a grand manner on the 10th day of the Tamil month of Thai (January-February). On this day, the procession idol of Lord Shiva is taken to Kanjangiri (a nearby hill). Other important festivals celebrated in this temple are - Brahmotsavam in the Tamil month of Panguni (March-April) and Theerthavari in the Neeva river on Masi Makam day (February-March). 
Literary Mention
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Consuming the prasadam here bestows the devotees with wisdom and progeny. It also relieves the devotees from skin problems and laziness. As Lord Shiva is named Vilvanatheswarar, Vilwa leaves are offered as Prasad.  Consuming the Prasad, according to faith, relieves devotees from dullness and skin problems and ensures child boon and wisdom. Devotees perform abishek and archanas to Lord and Mother and offer Vastras.
Vilvanatheswarar Temple,
Thiruvalam Post,
Ranipet Via, Kudiyatham Taluk,
Vellore District – 632 515
Phone: +91 416 2236088 / 2236491
Mobile: +91 9894922166 / 9043363818 / 9360040807 / 9245446956
For brief details, please refer below link;

Vilvanatheswarar Temple, Thiruvalam – Connectivity

Vilvanatheswarar Temple, Thiruvalam – Connectivity
The Temple is located at about 20 Kms from Vellore, 10 Kms from Ranipet, 18 Kms from Katpadi, 14 Kms from Walajapet, 34 Kms from Sholinghur, 60 Kms from Arakkonam, 58 Kms from Thiruthani, 56 Kms from Kanchipuram, 84 Kms from Sriperumbudur and 124 Kms from Chennai.
By Road:
The Temple is located at about 20 Kms from Vellore Bus Stand. Thiruvalam is located on Vellore to Katpadi Route. Thiruvalam is located on the bus route Chennai to Chittoor (Route No 144), after Ranipet. From Chennai, take a bus to Vellore and get down at Muthukadai after Walajah and catch a bus to Thiruvalam. Buses are available from Vellore, Chennai, Arcot, Ranipet, Katpadi and Arakkonam.
This temple is on the way to Katpadi from Walajapet via SIPCOT (Ranipet). While traveling from Vellore, take the Katpadi route, and take the road (towards east) to Thiruvalam at Katpadi bus stand. Proceed till you meet the Chennai-Chithur NH4 highway and Thiruvalam is right at this junction. Immediately after crossing the iron bridge of Thiruvalam one can see the temple on the left side. The Vilvanatheswarar temple is on the western bank of Pennai (Neeva) river.
While traveling from Chennai on the Bangalore highway, immediately after the tollgate at Walajapet, take the right road NH4 under a road over-bridge towards Chithur (old Bangalore road). Travel in the NH4 itself and you will pass through a railway Over-bridge and immediately after, you can see a junction of two bridges. Take the old bridge on the left and the temple is just at the end of the bridge.
By Train:
Nearest Railway Station is Katpadi Junction, located at about 17 Kms from the temple.
By Air:
Nearest Airport is Chennai Airport located at about 115 Kms from the Temple.

Vilvanatheswarar Temple, Thiruvalam – Literary Mention

Vilvanatheswarar Temple, Thiruvalam – Literary Mention
This is one of the 276 Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams and 10th Shiva Sthalam in Thondai Nadu on the banks of River Ponnai (There is also another name “Neeva (நீ வா)” to this river – The river changed its direction and came nearer, when Lord Shiva asked) in Thondai Nadu. Saint Thirugnanasambanthar in his hymn has praised Lord Shiva of this temple as the lord who can grant the boon of salvation.
This temple is also referred to as a Mukthi Sthalam (a place to attain salvation). Saint Arunagirinathar has also sang songs in praise of Lord Murugan of this temple in his revered Thirupugazh. Saint Thirugnana Sambandhar visited this temple and sang this Pathigam. Devotees visiting this temple should make it a practice to recite this Pathigam.
எரித்தவன் முப்புரம் எரியில்மூழ்கத்
தரித்தவன் கங்கையைத் தாழ்சடைமேல்
விரித்தவன் வேதங்கள் வேறுவேறு
தெரித்தவன் உறைவிடந் திருவல்லமே.
தாயவன் உலகுக்குத் தன்னொப்பிலாத்
தூயவன் தூமதி சூடியெல்லாம்
ஆயவன் அமரர்க்கும் முனிவர்கட்குஞ்
சேயவன் உறைவிடந் திருவல்லமே.
பார்த்தவன் காமனைப் பண்பழியப்
போர்த்தவன் போதகத் தின்னுரிவை
ஆர்த்தவன் நான்முகன் தலையையன்று
சேர்த்தவன் உறைவிடந் திருவல்லமே.
கொய்தஅம் மலரடி கூடுவார்தம்
மைதவழ் திருமகள் வணங்கவைத்துப்
பெய்தவன் பெருமழை யுலகமுய்யச்
செய்தவன் உறைவிடந் திருவல்லமே.
சார்ந்தவர்க் கின்பங்கள் தழைக்கும் வண்ணம்
நேர்ந்தவன் நேரிழை யோடுங்கூடித்
தேர்ந்தவர் தேடுவார் தேடச்செய்தே
சேர்ந்தவன் உறைவிடந் திருவல்லமே.
பதைத்தெழு காலனைப் பாதமொன்றால்
உதைத்தெழு மாமுனிக் குண்மைநின்று
விதிர்த்தெழு தக்கன்றன் வேள்வியன்று
சிதைத்தவன் உறைவிடந் திருவல்லமே.
இகழ்ந்தரு வரையினை எடுக்கலுற்றாங்
ககழ்ந்தவல் லரக்கனை அடர்த்தபாதம்
நிகழ்ந்தவர் நேடுவார் நேடச்செய்தே
திகழ்ந்தவன் உறைவிடந் திருவல்லமே.
பெரியவன் சிறியவர் சிந்தைசெய்ய
அரியவன் அருமறை யங்கமானான்
கரியவன் நான்முகன் காணவொண்ணாத்
தெரியவன் உறைவிடந் திருவல்லமே.
அன்றிய அமணர்கள் சாக்கியர்கள்
குன்றிய அறவுரை கூறாவண்ணம்
வென்றவன் புலனைந்தும் விளங்கவெங்குஞ்
சென்றவன் உறைவிடந் திருவல்லமே.
கற்றவர் திருவல்லங் கண்டுசென்று
நற்றமிழ் ஞானசம் பந்தன்சொன்ன
குற்றமில் செந்தமிழ் கூறவல்லார்
பற்றுவர் ஈசன்பொற் பாதங்களே.

Vilvanatheswarar Temple, Thiruvalam – The Temple

Vilvanatheswarar Temple, Thiruvalam – The Temple
The temple is facing east with an entrance from south. The First level Rajagopuram is of 4 tiers and the second level Rajagopuram is of 3 tiers and this temple has three corridors (Praharam). The Temple is believed to about 2000 years old and covers an area measuring 5 acres. This temple is on the Western Bank of the Pennar river, the water of which was once known for its healing powers. The river is also called Neeva, Shiva said “nee vaa” and the river sprang forth.

There is a huge Nandhi sculpture at the entrance of the temple and is said to have been installed by Siddhar Sivanandha Mouna Guru Swamigal. Nandhi is facing the entrance of the temple (not facing the Lord). The legend of Nandhi protecting the village from demon Kanjan is depicted in a sculpture in the temple. Adhikara Nandhi, Sudhai Nandhi and the Nandhi in the inner prakaram are facing east along with moolavar.

A small shrine dedicated to Sage Sanakar, a disciple of Lord Dakshinamurthy, can be seen between the idol of Nandhi and Lord Shiva. It is believed that meditating here can relieve devotee from sins of their previous birth. Vishnu, Urchavars, Chandrasekharar are located in the Arthamandapam. Dharshan of Lord Shiva and Vishnu can be seen from a particular point in Artha Mandapam.

As Lord Mahavishnu worshiped Lord Shiva here, his footprint is kept for worship in front of the flag post. Near the second tower entrance, there is a beautiful bowl chiseled in the stone – depicting the game “Kolattam” – a game often played by ladies. A fine image of Perumal also adorns the temple. The Dwarabalakars are not a regular sculpture. The left side Dwarabalakar is somewhat, a regular with usual mudra (the index finger – to threaten).  The right side Dwarabalakar is like dancing with a beautiful smile on his face.

Presiding Deity is called as Vilvanatheswarar / Vallanathar / Vilvanathar. Moolavar is Suyambhu Lingam housed in square Peedam and is facing East. Moolavar is little inclined to north looks majestic. The Natarajar Sabhai is adjacent to the Maha Nandi. Next to that is Navagraha Sannathi. There is a tub-like structure on the right of Lord’s shrine filled with water in which Lord Jalakandeswarar graces in the name of Padala Lingeswara. Pujas are performed to him praying for rain. Vinayagar, Dhakshinamoorthy, Vishnu, Brahma and Durgai (Not standing on Mahishasura) are the Koshta Idols surrounding the sanctum.

Mother is called as Thanumathyambal / Vallaambikai / Theekkali Ambal. The goddess is in a separate temple facing east. Sthala Viruksham Vilvam is located opposite to Ambal Shrine. The corridor of this temple houses the Shiva lingams that are believed to have been installed and worshipped by Goddess Parvathi (Gauri), Lord Mahavishnu and Sage Sanakar. She was also called as Theekkali Ambal with ukram on her face. It was believed that Adhi Sankara had changed the ukram in to a Shantham. Vinayagar, Annapoorani, Ambal with Abayavaram and Durgai are the Koshta Idols surrounding Mother Sanctum.

There are beautiful sculptures for the 27 Nakshatrams (constellation depicting the birth stars) on one of the tower (Vimaanam) of Saba Mandapam. Also, almost all the pillars are very nicely decorated with beautiful sculptures and reliefs. Ambikeswarar Sannathi is located on the left side of Third Prakaram.  In the second praharam, while you go left to right around (Valam) the temple one can see Uthsava Mandapam, Kasi Viswanathar, Chandramouleeswarar, Arunachaleswarar, Sadhasivar, Anandhar, Sreekandar, Ambikeswarar, Vitharaeswarar and Guru Eswarar Lingams.

Also, there is a separate Sahasra lingam (1008 very small lingams engraved in a big lingam) in the corridor. Separate shrines Aadhi Vilvanathar and Sundareswarar with Meenakshi can be found in this Temple. Separate shrine for Lord Murugan with Valli and Devasena can be found in this Temple. Saint Arunagiriar has sung in praise of Lord Muruga of the temple in his Thirupugazh. Both granite and bronze procession idols of the 63 Nayanmars can be seen in the inner corridor. Yaga salai and Bairavar Sannathi are there in the outer praharam.

Mangani Vinayakar is located before the entrance of the temple while going out. There is a story behind this Vinayakar. Lord Vinayaka got the mango fruit from Lord Shiva this way and is praised as Kani (fruit) Vangiya (getting) Pillayar (Vinayaka).  He is sitting on his mouse vehicle. He came to this temple with the Mango fruit – the wisdom fruit. The Gowri Theertha Kulam with Neerazhi mandapam is located on the right side between 1st and 2nd level Rajagopurams.

On the left side, temple for Rajarajeswari can be seen.  At the 2nd level Rajagopuram, moortham of Valampuri Vinayagar and Aathmalingeswarar are located on the left side.  Immediately after the 2nd level Rajagopuram Kaala Bairavar Shrine is located on the right side. A copper plate with inscriptions can be seen on the left side near Sri Ambikeswari samedha Sri Raja Rajeswarar temple between the two Rajagopurams.

Almost all the pillars are very nicely decorated with some sculptures. There is a ‘100 pillars Natarajar Mandapam’ here which is extremely quiet. In the left side, outer praharam, there is an underground passage and no one knows where it leads to. The temple has highlighted all the inscriptions with white and yellow paint and made it easy to read. Special pujas are performed to the Swayambulinga in the Kanjan hill on all full moon days.  The event of Lord granting salvation to Kanjan at the eight places where his limbs fell is celebrated on the third day of Pongal festival. 

Gauri Theertham and Neeva River are the Theerthams associated with this Temple. Gauri Theertham is located on the right side of third prakaram Sthala Vriksham is Vilvam. Sthala Viruksham is located opposite to Ambal Shrine. This Vilwa leaves has abundance of therapeutic qualities to heal the mental illness, skin diseases and most importantly it provides the childless couple with a boon of virtuous offspring. This temple was home to a very old mango tree (almost 1300 years old) but it fell recently. There is also another old jack fruit tree here.

This is a huge and beautiful temple, built by the kings of Pallava and Chola dynasties. There are quite a few references of Rajendra Chola in the stone inscriptions. The stone inscriptions in this temple reveal that this was an important pilgrimage centre in the past. We can find references of pilgrims using Thiruvalam as a resting place before journeying to other pilgrimages in southern states and as far off places as Banaras (Kasi) in Uttar Pradesh. Most of the inscriptions found in the temple mainly speaks about the building of mandapams, donations of land, cattle, etc., and the income form to be used to burn the lamps and neivedhyam.

Siddhar Sivanandha Mouna Guru Swamigal’s Jeeva Samadhi can be seen on the left side of the temple. Also, Saint Sivananda Mauna Guru Swamigal performed penance here sitting under the jack tree in the temple.  There is a mutt for him near the temple. It is said that he had done a lot of services (Thirupani) for this temple. It is believed that he was blessed by the lord and he had cured many diseases by offering sacred ash (Vibhuthi) and Vilva leaves to the patients. He spent all the donations he received for the improvement and renovation of this temple. His idol is kept in the front hall (Mandapam) and devotees regularly perform bhajan and poojas.