Vaitheeswarar Temple, Poonamallee – The Temple
The temple is facing east with a 3-tier Rajagopuram with Thirukulam with proper fencing. The Rajagopuram is on north side and there is a Shiva Lingam at the entrance near compound wall. There is also another small entrance on the east. The eastern gate directly leads to the Dwajasthambam, or Kodimaram, Nandi and the main deity. It also has interesting facts associated with it. The North gopuram has exquisite sculptures engraved on it. The temple is a medium sized Chola temple with inscriptions dating back to the times of Rajaraja-I.
This temple is also called Uthara Vaitheeswaran Koil. The main entrance of the temple has some beautiful wall carvings. The 1000 years old temple of Vaitheeswaran has a lot of architecturally beautiful sculptures inside the inner corridor. The entrance to the courtyard has the idols of Ganesha and Murugan on either side. Palipeedam, Dwajasthambam and Nandhi are at the entrance of Maha mandapam facing sanctum. Nandi is named as Vishnu Nandi in this temple.
Presiding Deity is called as Vaitheeswarar. He is in the form of big Shiva Linga facing east direction. The entrance of the sanctum of Vaitheeswaran has the idol of Alagu Vinayaka (Ganesha) on one side and Sevvai Padham (the foot prints of Angarakan) on the other side. This is a rare symbol to find. This temple is a Parihara Sthalam for Chevvai Dhosham. Special Poojas are done here on Tuesdays for Sri Angarakan. Two Dwarabalakars Thindi and Mundi are seen on each side of the sanctum.
The highlight of the temple is that on the 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th of Maasi month of Tamil calendar, Sun rays directly fall on the presiding deity around 6 am in the mornings. Narthana Vinayagar, Dhakshinamoorthy, Mahavishnu in place of Lingothbavar, Brahma and Durgai are the niche idols on the sanctum wall. Mother is called as Thaiyal Nayagi. She is housed in a separate shrine, facing the southern direction near the sanctum. The beautiful Thaayar with benevolent eyes blesses her devotees with all the wealth of life.
The Sthala Vriksham (the sacred tree of the site) for this temple is Thazhi Panai Maram (Palm tree). The temple pond (called Vinai Theertha Kulam) is located on the eastern side. There is special pooja for Angaraka on Tuesdays. similarly, the other speciality in this temple is during month of march, the rays of the sun fall on the sanctum sanctorum in the morning for about five days continuously. This is called as Surya Pooja or the worship of Shiva by Sun god. It lasts for about 5 or 6 mins every day during that five-day pooja.
The another speciality in this temple near the East gopuram is Viduthalai Shani (freedom Shani) that is here the Saneeshwara is standing separately facing east. In front of him both Nala and Damayanti are standing and here is the place where Nala got relieved from Shani. Thus, this temple is connected to the Navagrahas Sun, Shani (Saturn) and Sevvai (Angarakan/ Mars).
There is a large outer Prakaram and a covered inner prakaram with a huge temple tank outside on the east. The outer corridor doesn't have any idol except for one big Bana Shiva Linga. Ko-salai can be seen in the outer prakaram. The South Mandapam has exquisite carvings in the doorways. A pillar is dedicated to Karlakattai Siddhar associated with the temple in the inner praharam.
Shrines of Surya (sun), Veeran, Vinayaka, Vishwanathar with Vishalakshi, Kumbeswarar, Kailasanathar, Annapoorani, Mahalingeswarar, Adi Shankar and Maha Lakshmi can be found in the inner prakaram. Another highlight of the temple is that it has Subramanya Chakra, Sri Chakra and Shiva Chakra installed by the great saint Adi Shankaracharya in the inner prakaram. During Pournami and Amavasya Abhishekam is done for these chakrams.
The inner corridor also has the shrines of Nataraja with Sivakami, Somaskanda, and Muruga with his consorts Valli and Devasena. Navagraha, Bhairava, Chandikeswarar, Nalvar and Chandran are also found in the inner corridor of the temple.