Sunday, March 25, 2018

Chinthamaneeswarar Temple, Karungali – The Temple

Chinthamaneeswarar Temple, Karungali – The Temple
This Temple should have been a large temple based on the fact that so many of the structures are outside the sanctum sanctorum. This is an east facing temple with no Rajagopuram or compound wall with old temple pillars as fence posts.  The temple is beautifully located with the river on one side and the sea on the other side. Presiding Deity is called as Chinthamaneeswarar and is facing east.

Lord Shiva has five faces and they are Isanam, Thatpurusham, Vaamadevam, Sathyojaatham and Agoram.  This temple represents the Agoram. All the five temples are on the banks of this river Kosasthalaiyar River (Brahmarayanya) and this temple is on the place where the river merges with sea. Nagabaranam adds beauty to the Shiva Lingam. Dwarapalakas are seen guarding outside the sanctum.

The Vimana above the sanctum is built in Gajabrushta shape to look like the back of a sleeping elephant which in Thamizh is called Thoonganai Maadam, a Pallava style of temple architecture. Nandhi is seen facing the Lord towards the sanctum. Lord Ganesha (Vinayakar) and Muruga are present on either side of the sanctum with the names, Chinthamani Vinayagar and Chinthamani Murugar respectively.

Mother is called as Sivagami Ambal / Sivakamavalli and she is housed in a shrine facing south. There is also a Simha Vaahana facing the Goddess. Adjacent to Ambal, there is another small Shiva Lingam present with another Nandhi. There are also other deities like Dhandayuthapani (Murugan), Mahavishnu, Nagar and Durgai next to each other, present in the same shrine.

On the north-eastern side outside the sanctum, there is a separate shrine for Kaala Bhairavar. This temple is also considered a Bhairava Kshethra where people worship Lord Bhairavar for a sooner marriage and other wishes. There is a shrine for Navagrahas in the Temple. The speciality of this temple is that, it has sea in the front side, a river behind it and forest on the other side. It is a very rare sight to see a temple amidst such a natural setting.