Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Sangameshwarar Temple, Bhavani – Sanctum

Sangameshwarar Temple, Bhavani – Sanctum
Presiding Deity is called as Sangameshwarar / Alagesan / Sangamanathar / Maruthuvalingam / Vakreswarar / Nattatriwarar / Thirunannavudayar / Vanilingeswarar. Here Lord is 'self-manifested' as a Swayambu Lingam and is facing east. It is of special significance that the sannidhi of Lord Subrahmanya (Muruga) is situated between those of his parents, akin to Somaskandar who is always under the love and care of his parents. Lord is in the form of a small lingam with the Avudaiyar shining like a metal piece.

The separate shrine for Saturn and the ornamentation of Avudaiyar seem to be later additions. Dwajasthambam can be found facing the sanctum. This shrine has a captivating Nrithya Mandapam, Maha Mandapam, Ardha Mandapam and Garbha Graham. The 18 pillars of Nrithya Mandapam have sculptures of smiling figurines, crouching lions with their mouth wide open, a hunter on a prancing horse and figures of Sivanadiyars, besides those of Immadi Getti Mudaliyar and his sister Chinnammal.

Sculptural excellence peaks at the centre of its ceiling where four (originally eight should have been there) parrots are pecking at the whorls of a lotus flower. The ceiling also carries the inscription that the Nrithya Mandapam was constructed by Chinnammal, sister of Mummudi Getti Mudaliyar. The Getti Mudaliyars ruled over Dharmapuri, Salem and parts of Coimbatore with headquarters at Amaragundi near Taramangalam in Salem district.
Since they were loyal to the Chola, Chera and Pandya kings, Mummudi Getti Mudaliyar, the first ruler in this lineage, carried in his state flag the logos of tiger, bow and fish. There are small shrines of Vinayakar and Subramanian situated on both sides of the entrance of the Nrithya Mandapam. One could also find a Nandi of moderate size beautifully sculpted with its head tilted to the left.

Statues of Chandra and Surya are found at the entrance to the maha Mandapam. Incidentally this sthalam is called Bhaskara Kshetram as Surya worshipped Siva here. Interestingly, for three days during Ratha Sapthami, the sun’s rays fall on the Shiva Lingam and the images of Vedanayaki and Muruga. The huge shrine has several sculptures and beautiful stone carvings on the pillars.

There is a mandapam, in which where we see Stone pillar to the centre with Ganesha to a side and Cow with calf to other side which looks very attractive. Special mention must be made of Dakshinamurthy idol. Seated under a Kallala tree with lotus flowers elegantly sculpted at the top and stone chains running around the niche. Lord Dhakshinamoorthi’s shrine is beautifully architected with intricate reliefs and iconographical sculptures.