Friday, February 23, 2018

Suddha Rathneswarar Temple, Ootathur – The Temple

Suddha Rathneswarar Temple, Ootathur – The Temple
The original temple is believed to be built during 7th century AD and later rebuilt by Rajaraja Chola I during 10th Century AD. The Temple covers an area of about 5 acres. The gopuram and a few mandapams had been constructed by Nayaks. The temple has a large five-tiered gopuram. The Temple is considered to be one of the Thevara Vaippu Sthalams. The temple is filled with vintage pillars with beautiful sculptures. Few pillars even have carvings which are suggestive. The Brahma Theertham well lies in between the main deity and Nandhi, which is very sacred. The wooden temple car has exquisite sculptures.

Rasi & Nakshatra Panels and Navagraha Panels:

Rasi & Nakshatra Panels and Navagraha Panels can be found on the ceiling near flagstaff. People can perform homams for any Doshas related to Nakshatra, Rasi and Grahas.

Mother Akilandeswari Shrine:
Mother is called as Akilandeswari. The Goddess Akilandeswari idol is big and found in the standing posture. The idol is located in a separate big shrine in the outer praharam of the temple. This shrine has its own Nandi mandapa and bali peetha. There is a small praharam around the shrine. Iccha Sakthi, Gnana Sakthi, Kriya Sakthi, Chamundi, Brahmi and Varahi sculptures are sculpted in the wall surrounding the shrine. Ganesha and Subramanya idols are found at the entrance of the shrine. The shrine appears like a separate small temple; it is also facing the east direction like the garbhagraham.
Presiding Deity is called as Sundravaneyswarar / Suddha Rathneswarar. He is housed in the sanctum in the form of Lingam. Nandi can be found in the Artha Mandapam facing the sanctum. There is an another Nandi in the corner of the same mandapa facing the opposite direction.
There is a strong belief that the river Nandi started to flow from the mouth of this idol. There is another Nandi idol, a beautiful sculpture situated near the Brahma Theertham. It is unusual to find a well in front of the main shrine. The outer praharam also has a huge Nandi idol near the long dhwajastambha and bali peeta. Sun' s rays will fall on the Lingam for three days in the Tamil month of Masi (12, 13, 14) and for three minutes on Vaikasi Visakam day.
Panchanadhana Nataraja:
There is a separate shrine for Nataraja and his consort Sivakama Sundari to the left side of the sanctum. Idol of the Nataraja is made from  Panchanadhanam stones. These stones have the capability to absorb sun rays. Nataraja of this Temple is believed to cure kidney related problems. 
Goshta Idols:
Ganesha, Dhakshinamoorthi, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are the Koshta Idols located around the sanctum walls. Chandikeswarar can be found in his usual location. 
Kala Bhairava:
The uniqueness of this temple is that Lord Bhairava is seen facing Gajalakshmi. 
The Veerabhadra Swamy seen in this temple is very unique. He carries a Shiva Lingam over his forehead.
Other Shrines:
The inner prakara is decked with the idols of 63 Nayanmars, Kailasanathar, Brahma, Samba Parameswara in Linga form, Saraswathi, Katyayani, Vishwanathar-Vishalakshi, Gaja Lakshmi, Adhikara Nandi and Surya. The sub shrines such as Somaskandar, Chandrasekhar, Murugan (Utsava), Subramanya with his consorts and Veerabhadra are found in the same prakara. Two small shrines for Vinayaka and Bala Murugan are found at the entrance of the maha mandapa. The Dwarapalakas statues are big and beautiful like in any other Chola temples. A small four pillared mandapa and the adjoining Navagraha shrine are also located in this temple.
There are more than sixty inscriptions in this Temple which refer to the Temple being patronized by Rajaraja Chozha, his son Rajendra and Rajadhiraja Chozha (Rajendra Chozha's son).

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