Monday, November 13, 2017

Vamanapureeswarar Temple, Thirumanikuzhi – The Temple

Vamanapureeswarar Temple, Thirumanikuzhi – The Temple
This east facing temple has three corridors (Prakarams) with a 5-tier main tower (Rajagopuram). This temple is considered to be significant for its three important attributes – Murthy, Sthalam and Theertham - glory of Lord, sacredness of the land and the auspicious temple Theertham. Dwaja Sthambam and Bali Peetam is located at the entrance of the temple. The entrance to the temple is through the left and a passage leads to the main Shiva complex. Presiding Deity is called as Vamanapureeswarar / Uthavinayagar / Manikkavarathar.

Lord Shiva in this temple is a Swayambumurthy (self-manifested). It is believed that Lord Shiva here is always present with Goddess Parvathy as Shiva Shakti. The sanctum sanctorum itself is considered to be the bed room (Palliyarai in Tamil) of Lord Shiva. This is the only Shiva temple where you cannot have dharisanam of the lord without the help of a priest. In the sanctum, itself the main lord Shiva is covered by a screen with the Bheema Rudra and puja is also done for the Bheema Rudra. The Shivalingam itself is quite small but very attractive.

Devotees can worship the lord for a matter of 2 minutes when the screen is removed. As per the Sthala Puranam, it is believed that this 2 minutes worth of worship is equal to performing Shiva Pooja for 12 days. If this darshan happens on a Pradosham day, it is considered to be equivalent to worshiping 3 times at Chidambaram, 8 times at Thiruvannamalai and 16 times at Banaras (Kasi).

The legend (Sthala Puranam) related to Lord Mahavishnu’s Vamana Avatar and Mahabali Chakravarthy is beautifully chiseled on the front entrance wall of the sanctum. The Sthala Puranam says that the four pillars in the hall (mandapam) before Lord Shiva’s shrine represent the four Vedas. In the next hall, the six pillars represent the six shastras. The 28 pillars in the corridors represent the 28 agamas.

As in Madurai, Kancheepuram, Kasi, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam, Ambica has the ruling dominance in the temple. Mother is called as Ambujakshi / Uthavinayagi / Manikkavalli. The Goddess Ambujakshi is holding two flowers in her hands, lotus and Neelotpala. The woes of devotees would become softer as flowers, it is said. She graces from her own temple complex on the north side she also faces east. The peetam here is known as Ambujakshi peetam.

Nandhi the bull vehicle of Lord Shiva is in the right direction. The Durga is unique in that she is a Raja Durga not standing on the mahisha (Bull). She has a club in her hands. The Mooshika Vahana-mouse vaahana- of Vinayaka is by his side instead of being before him. This temple’s Sthala Viruksham, Kondrai tree is very old and is said to have existed through the previous yugas. Theerthams associated with this temple are Swetha and Gadilam rivers.

Apart from the shrines of Lord Vamanapureeswarar and Goddess Ambujakshi, there are shrines and idols of lords Selva Vinayakar, Udhavi Vinayakar, Murugan and his consorts, Bala Shasta, Lingothbavar, Vishnu Siddhar Lingam, 63 Nayanmars, Saptha Madhakkals, Pancha Murthys, 4 Yuga Lingams, Theraya Maharishi, Markandeya, Thirunavukkarasar, Sattainathar, Goddess Gajalakshmi, Durgai, Chandikeswarar, Navagraham, Bhairavar, Suryan and Chandran can be seen in the corridors. 

Salvation lamp is lit on the hill opposite the mount on the Rohini star day in Karthikai month-November-December. Thousands of devotees undertake Girivalam (going around the hill) on Poornima-full moon days.  All the Gods in the temple are under Aditya Vimana. The last consecration ceremony (Maha Kumbabishekam) took place on 28.10.2012.