Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Sangameshwarar Temple, Bhavani – Mother Shrine

Sangameshwarar Temple, Bhavani – Mother Shrine
Mother is called as Vedanayaki / Bhavani / Sangameshwari / Maruthunayaki / Vakreswari / Pannaar Mozhiyal. Goddess Vedanayaki is housed in a separate shrine and is facing east. The third day from Ratha Sapthami in the Tamil month of Maasi (latter half of February - first half of March) is a special day here as the sun's rays fall over Sangameshwarar and Goddess Vedanayaki. It is believed that Goddess Vedanayaki has been worshipped by the four Vedas themselves which is why she bears that name.

She looks divine and welcoming as if waiting for us to visit her. She has four arms, the lower in abhaya and Vara mudras. The upper arms carry padmam (lotus). Around the garba Graha there is an enclosure for circumambulation. On the walls are beautiful pictures of goddesses of famous temples of Tamil Nadu from Thiruvenkadu to Madurai. This a recent addition to the shrine.

This shrine has a mandapam in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum. One of the unique features of this mandapam is that there are two identical statues on the pillars on either side facing the sanctum sanctorum. When water is poured over them one of the idols has a smiling expression while the other takes on a crying expression.  This is a classic example of the sculptural excellence of the craftsmen of yore.

The sculptures at the Nrithya Mandapam of Vedanayaki shrine is in Taramangalam style similar to the one found in the Kailasanathar temple built by Getti Mudaliyars at Taramangalam. There is a huge book shop in front of Vedanayaki shrine selling interesting devotional literature. The temple got a precious Ambal statue, a Hindu goddess donated by a district collector during British period for saving his life.