Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Neelakandeswarar Temple, Erukkattampuliyur, Cuddalore

Neelakandeswarar Temple, Erukkattampuliyur, Cuddalore
Neelakandeswarar Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at Erukkattampuliyur (Thirukoodalaiyathoor Village) in Cuddalore District of Tamilnadu. Now this village is called as Rajendra Pattinam which has no relation to the original name. The Temple is also called as Kumaraswamy and Virar Mulaiyammai Temple / Thirukumaresar Temple / Erukkattampuliyur Temple / Rajendirapattinam Temple. Presiding Deity is called as Neelakandeswarar / Suvethaaranyeswarar / Thirukumaresar. Mother is called as Neelamalar Kanni / Virar Mulaiyammai / Abeethakuja Nayagi / Neelorbalaambal.



The temple complex covers around half acre and entered through a five tiered gopuram, the main gateway. The temple has many shrines, with those of Thirukumaresar and his consorts Verumulai Amman, being the most prominent. All the shrines of the temple are enclosed in large concentric rectangular granite walls. The original complex is believed to have been built by Cholas, while the present masonry structure was built during the Nayak during the 16th century. In modern times, the temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.



The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Thevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the Nayanmars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. This is the 36th Devaram Padal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 4th Sthalam in Nadu Naadu. Arunagirinathar has sung Thirupugazh in praise of Subramanya of this Temple. Sivaprakasa has authored the Sthala Puranam of this Temple. The temple is also the birth place of Saiva saint Thiruneelakanta Nayanar.



The temple has four daily rituals at various times from 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and four yearly festivals on its calendar. Mahasivarathri festival celebrated during the month of the Chittirai (March - April) is the most prominent festival of the temple. It is one of the five Puliyur shrines worshipped by Vyagrapada, the other four being Perumpuliyur, Omam Puliyur, Paatirippuliyur & Perum Patrappuliyur (Chidambaram). The last consecration ceremony (Maha Kumbabishekam) took place on 02.09.1996.



Legends
For brief details, please refer below link;
The Temple
For brief details, please refer below link;
Temple Opening Time
This temple remains open from 6.00AM to 11.00AM in the morning and 4.00PM to 8.00PM in the evenings.
Festivals
The temple priests perform the puja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. The temple rituals are performed four times a day; Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 a.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m, and Arthajamam at 8:00 p.m. Each ritual comprises four steps: abhisheka (sacred bath), Alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and Deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for Thirukumaresar and Verumulai Amman. There are weekly rituals like Somavaram (Monday) and Sukravaram (Friday), fortnightly rituals like Pradosham, and monthly festivals like Ammavasai (new moon day), kiruthigai, Pournami (full moon day) & Sathurthi. Mahasivarathri during the Tamil month of Panguni (March - April) is the most important festivals of the temple. Other festivals celebrated here include Kartikai Deepam, Thai Poosam, Aavani Moolam, Aani Tirumanjanam, Navaratri and Aippasi Pournami.
Literary Mention
For brief details, please refer below link;
Prayers
Those suffering from speech impairment visit this temple and worship the lord here in order to seek relief. It is also believed that those seeking “santhana prapthi” (child boon) can pray to the lord here.
Contact
Neelakandeswarar Temple
Rajendirapattinam Post
Vridhachalam Taluk
Cuddalore District – 608703
Phone: +91 4143 243 533
Mobile: +91 99761 73524 / 94877 03524 / 93606 37784
Connectivity
The Temple is located at about 26 Kms from Sethiyathope, 7 Kms from Srimushnam, 6 Kms from Karuvepilankurichi, 44 Kms from Chidambaram, 73 Kms from Cuddalore, 13 Kms from Vridhachalam, 16 Kms from Pennadam, 25 Kms from Jayamkondan, 34 Kms from Gangai Konda Cholapuram, 38 Kms from Vadalur, 28 Kms from Neyveli, 92 Kms from Puducherry, 132 Kms from Trichy and 243 Kms from Chennai.
The Temple is located on Vridhachalam to Jayamkondam route. The temple is easily found just by the side of the highway. Also, it is located on the way to Vridhachalam to Srimushnam route via Karuvepilankurichi. Nearest Railway Station is located at Vridhachalam and Nearest Airport is located at Trichy and Pondicherry.

Neelakandeswarar Temple, Erukkattampuliyur – Literary Mention

Neelakandeswarar Temple, Erukkattampuliyur – Literary Mention
It is one of the shrines of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams - Shiva Sthalams glorified in the early medieval Thevaram poems by Tamil Saivite Nayanmars ApparSambandar and Sundarar. This is the 36th Devaram Padal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 4th Sthalam in Nadu Naadu. Arunagirinathar has sung Thirupugazh in praise of Subramanya of this Temple. Sivaprakasa has authored the Sthala Puranam of this Temple.
Saint Thirugnanasambanthar visited this temple and sang this Pathigam. Devotees visiting this temple should make it a practice to recite this Pathigam.
படையார் தருபூதப் பகடார் உரிபோர்வை
உடையான் உமையோடும் உடனா யிடுகங்கைச்
சடையான் எருக்கத்தம் புலியூர்த் தகுகோயில்
விடையான் அடியேத்த மேவா வினைதானே.
இலையார் தருசூலப் படையெம் பெருமானாய்
நிலையார் மதில்மூன்றும் நீறாய் விழவெய்த
சிலையான் எருக்கத்தம் புலியூர்த் திகழ்கோயிற்
கலையான் அடியேத்தக் கருதா வினைதானே.
விண்ணோர் பெருமானே விகிர்தா விடையூர்தீ
பெண்ணாண் அலியாகும் பித்தா பிறைசூடி
எண்ணார் எருக்கத்தம் புலியூ ருறைகின்ற
அண்ணா எனவல்லார்க் கடையா வினைதானே.
அரையார் தருநாகம் அணிவான் அலர்மாலை
விரையார் தருகொன்றை யுடையான் விடையேறி
வரையான் எருக்கத்தம் புலியூர் மகிழ்கின்ற
திரையார் சடையானைச் சேரத் திருவாமே.
வீறார் முலையாளைப் பாகம் மிகவைத்துச்
சீறா வருகாலன் சினத்தை யழிவித்தான்
ஏறான் எருக்கத்தம் புலியூ ரிறையானை
வேறா நினைவாரை விரும்பா வினைதானே.
நகுவெண் டலையேந்தி நானா விதம்பாடிப்
புகுவா னயம்பெய்யப் புலித்தோல் பியற்கிட்டுத்
தகுவான் எருக்கத்தம் புலியூர்த் தகைந்தங்கே
தொகுவான் கழலேத்தத் தொடரா வினைதானே.
ஆவா வெனஅரக்கன் அலற அடர்த்திட்டுத்
தேவா எனஅருளார் செல்வங் கொடுத்திட்ட
கோவே எருக்கத்தம் புலியூர் மிகுகோயில்
தேவே யெனஅல்லல் தீர்தல் திடமாமே.
மறையான் நெடுமால்காண் பரியான் மழுவேந்தி
நிறையா மதிசூடி நிகழ்முத் தின்தொத்தே
இறையான் எருக்கத்தம் புலியூ ரிடங்கொண்ட
கறையார் மிடற்றானைக் கருதக் கெடும்வினையே.
புத்தர் அருகர்தம் பொய்கள் புறம்போக்கிச்
சுத்தி தரித்துறையுஞ் சோதி யுமையோடும்
நித்தன் எருக்கத்தம் புலியூர் நிகழ்வாய
அத்தன் அறவன்தன் அடியே அடைவோமே.
ஏரார் எருக்கத்தம் புலியூர் உறைவானைச்
சீரார் திகழ்காழித் திருவார் சம்பந்தன்
ஆரா அருந்தமிழ் மாலை யிவைவல்லார்
பாரா ரவரேத்தப் பதிவான் உறைவாரே.

Neelakandeswarar Temple, Erukkattampuliyur – Legends

Neelakandeswarar Temple, Erukkattampuliyur – Legends
Vyagrapathar worshipped Lord Shiva here:
Pulikkal Munivar was the son of Madiyanthina Munivar. He was also called Bala Munivar as he became a sage at a very young age. He lived in Chidambaram and worshipped Lord Shiva there. He used to pluck flowers from various trees in the surrounding areas to worship the Lord. Since he wanted to pluck the flowers before the flies or bees could take their nectar (magarantham), he would do so during pre-dawn. He prayed to Lord Shiva that he may be given the feet and eyes like that of a tiger so that he could see in the dark and climb the trees easily. His prayers were answered and he came to be known as Pulikkal (Pulikkal means tiger legs in Tamil) Munivar. He was also known as Vyagrapathar (Vyakra is tiger in Sanskrit).
It is believed that he would make offerings of four types of flowers - “kodi poo” from the creepers, “Neer poo” found in water, “Nila poo” found on earth and “Kottum poo” the flowers that fell to the ground on their own. Sage Viyakrabathar worshiped Lord Shiva of this temple. There are five Shiva Sthalams where Sage Viyakrabathar worshiped Lord Shiva and the names of all these places end with “Puliyur”. They are - Erukkattampuliyur, Omam Puliyur, Perumpattra Puliyur, Thirupathiri Puliyur, and Thiru Perum Puliyur.
Etymology:
Vanniyur is named after the Sthala Vriksham of the place, namely, Vanni. Thillai tree is related to Chidambaram. Thirumullaivayil gets the name after the shrub called "Mullai". Similarly, the plant, "Erukku", being the Sthala Vriksham, forms the first part of the name of a place and the second part is attributed to a Rishi known as Vyagrapathar. Both put together, the place is called as "Erukkattampuliyur." It is now called as Rajendra Pattinam.
Thiru Kumara Swami:
The legend is that once Lord Shiva was teaching the meaning of Vedas and Agamas to Goddess Parvathi in Mount Kailash. Since she failed to listen attentively, Lord Shiva cursed her to be born in Bharathavar (fishermen) community. Angered by this, Lord Murugan threw the Vedas in the sea. Lord Shiva cursed him to be born as a mute child in the trader’s community. Murugan was born in Madurai as Rudrasanmar to Thalapathy and Gunasalini. Since he could not speak, he started visiting many Shiva shrines to seek relief and gain the gift of speech. He was blessed with speaking skills at Erukkattampuliyur. As Lord Murugan (also called Kumaran) worshipped Lord Shiva in this place, the Lord here is named Thiru Kumara Swami. There is an idol of Rudrasanmar in the temple. 
Birth Place of Thiru Neelakanta Yaazhpaanar:
This is the birth place of Saint Thiru Neelakanta Yaazhpaanar, a maestro of the Yazh (a lute). He is one of the celebrated saints of Hindu mythology and a member of the 63 Nayanmars. Yaazhpaanar and his wife Madhanga Soolamani Ammaiyar accompanied and played Yazh with Saint Thirugnana Sambandhar during most of his pilgrimages. Thirugnanasambanthar’s legend states that during his wedding at Nallur Perumanam near Sirkazhi (Achalpuram), he along with all the attendants at his wedding were consumed by a huge fire (Shiva Jyothi) and were granted salvation by Lord Shiva. Both Yaazhpaanar and his wife are also believed to have been among those attendees. It is also believed that at a much later date, a woman from Yazhpanar’s lineage composed the melodic musical notes for the Devaram on the advice of a Chola King. These notes are called “Pann” in Tamil.
Suvedhan got relieved of Leprosy:
Another legend is that a king named Suvedhan, a staunch Lord Shiva devotee, was infected with leprosy due to his past sins. It is believed that he got relieved of this disease by worshipping the Lord here and taking a dip in this temple’s sacred tank. Incidentally, Erukku plant is said to have the power to cure leprosy.
Rajendra Pattinam:
According to the Sthala Puranam, Chola King Raja Rajan visited this temple and worshiped the lord here to seek child boon. The King was blessed with a son, Rajendra Chola, hence this place was also given the name Rajendra Pattinam.
Boothaganas worshipped Lord Shiva and attained salvation:
It is also mentioned that some of Boothaganas (the Lord’s guards) visited Vridhachalam temple and sought the lord’s help to find a place where they could attain liberation. The lord advised them to go to Erukkattampuliyur. It is believed that they came to this temple, worshiped the lord and attained salvation.
Story of Erukku Plants around here:
Another legend mentioned in the Sthala Puranam is related to the Erukku plants around this temple. After knowing about the greatness of the lord of this temple, some of the Sages (Naimisaranya Rishis) and Devas in the celestial world came to this place in the forms of birds and trees and worshiped the lord here. However, they were troubled by the wood cutters and hunters and they complained to Lord Shiva. Then they heard a divine voice directing them to become Erukku plants because these plants are not useful to anybody and hence there would be no danger to them.

Neelakandeswarar Temple, Erukkattampuliyur – The Temple

Neelakandeswarar Temple, Erukkattampuliyur – The Temple
The east facing Temple has two prakarams and three Mandapams. The temple has a three-tiered 40 feet high gateway tower and all the shrines of the temple are enclosed in concentric rectangular granite walls. The temple occupies an area of around 0.5 acres (0.20 ha). The Nandi Mandapam is located between the Rajagopuram and the Temple Tank. The central shrine houses the image of Neelakandeswarar / Suvethaaranyeswarar / Thirukumaresar in the form of Lingam. Lord Shiva in this temple is a Swayambumurthy (self-manifested).




It is believed that Lord Suryan (Sun) worships Lord Shiva of this temple by directing his rays on the lingam for five days from March 16 to 20 (Tamil month Panguni 3 to 7). The central shrine is approached through the flagstaff and Mahamandapam, both which are located axial to the gateway. As in other Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu, the shrines of Vinayaka, Murugan, Navagraha, Chandikeswara and Durga are located around the precinct of the main shrine.




Mother is called as Neelamalar Kanni / Virar Mulaiyammai / Abeethakuja Nayagi / Neelorbalaambal. The shrine of Veramulai Amman, the consort of Shiva facing West is in the Mahamandapam leading to the sanctum. Goddess Parvathi’s shrine is on the left side of Lord Shiva’s shrine. Both these shrines are in the same direction.




Shrines and idols of Lords Kodi Vinayakar, Murugan with his consorts, Kasi Viswanathar and Visalakshi, Srinivasa Perumal, Mahalakshmi, Anjaneyar, Nalvar, Thiru Neelakanta Yaazhpaanar and his wife Madhanga Soolamani Ammaiyar, Sekkizhar, Dakshinamurthy, Sattainathar, Brahma, Lingothbavar, Durgai, Chandikeswarar, Navagraham, Suriyan, Chandran, Saneeswaran, Bala Ganapathi, Bala Murugan and Rudrasanmar can be seen in the corridors.




Theerthams associated with this temple are Skanda Theertham, Neelorpala Theertham and Senkazhuneer Theertham. The temple tank is located opposite to the temple and is called Nilorpala Theertham. Sthala Vriksham is Vellai Erukku Plant. Lots of white Erukku plants can be seen in the outer corridor of this temple.