Sunday, November 19, 2017

Nedungalanathar Temple, Thirunedunkulam – The Temple

Nedungalanathar Temple, Thirunedunkulam – The Temple
The temple is facing west with its two prakaras. This temple is spread over 2 acres and is a Chola period temple. The tank is before the temple. There is no tower at the front entrance. It is at the second entrance with aesthetic sculptures.  The area between main entrance and entrance to the inner prakaram has the flag post, Nandi mandapa and a wide bali peetha. Presiding Deity is called as Nedungalanathar / Nithya Sundareshwarar. Lord Shiva in the temple is a Swayambumurthy. The rays of Sun fall on the presiding deity from Aadi 7th to 12th –July-August.

Mother Parvathi graces in the temple formless in the sanctum sanctorum, hence there are two towers above. This is the only temple in this form next to Kasi-Varanasi in India. The wall surrounding the main shrine has an interesting koshta idol of Yoga Dakshina Murti - a rare form of Dakshina Murti found in Padmasana. The other koshta idols are Ardha Nareeshwarar and Durga. Chandikeswarar is found near Durga. 

Mother is called as Oppila Nayaki / Mangalambikai. Shrine for Mother Ambica is in the northeast corner of the outer prakara with a Wedding Hall – Tiru Kalyana Mandapam. The Goddess Oppila Nayaki is very beautiful as per her name. She is found with four arms and in the standing posture in a separate shrine with a pillared mandapa on the front side. The shrine is found on the left side of Nandi mandapa.

Shrines of Lord Somaskanda and Chandrasekhara are in the southeast of inner corridor.  Saptha Kannikas, Lord Dakshinamurthy and Aiyanar shrines are in the southern prakara with a shrine for Lord Valampuri Vinayaka in the Kanni Moola corner. Shrine of Lord Muruga with his consorts Valli and Deivanai is in the west prakara. The Shrine of Lord Varadaraja Perumal with his Upa Naachiyars is on the southern side and that of Sage Agasthya is in the north. Shrines for Bhairava and Nataraja-Sivakami can also found in the inner prakaram.

It is noteworthy that procession deity Lord Somaskanda does not have his right thumb. It is said that an angry king cut it when he deposed as a witness in disguise to protect a devotee, according to puranas. Theerthams associated with this temple are Agasthya and Sundara Theerthams. The Agasthya Theertham is ever perennial. Sthala Vriksham is Vilvam.