Sringandeeswarar Temple, Thiruvur – The Temple
The east facing temple has a three tier Raja gopura with two attractive and big stucco images of Nandi in the entrance belonging to recent times, holding deer and axe, signifying the deer symbolism throughout the temple. Nandi is found in the standing posture with four arms. The inscription slabs along with the symbol of Vijayanagara Kings are also found near the temple tower. The Rajagopuram was built during Vijayanagara period.
The small Maha mandapam area has pillars with a lot of interesting carvings. One of the sculptures is that of Rishya Shringa Rishi. The stucco idols of Nataraja-Shivakami and Nandi with his consort are also situated in the Maha Mandapam. The idol of the sage Rishya Shringa along with Shiva Linga named Vishwanath is the highlight of this temple. The bali peetha, flag staff and Nandi mandapam are found facing towards the sanctum.
Presiding Deity is called as Sringandeeswarar. Lord is a Swayambu Moorthy in the form of Big Shiva Linga. He is housed in the east facing sanctum. Vinayagar, Dhakshinamoorthy, Lingothbavar, Brahma and Durgai are the Koshta Idols located around the sanctum walls. Chandikeswarar is found in his usual location. Mother is called as Uthpalaambal. Mother is of Chola period Idol in standing posture with a beautiful smile on her face. Mother is housed in a separate Shrine, situated adjacent to the sanctum and her shrine is south facing shrine.
The ceiling is covered by an exquisite Ashtadikpalakas panel, with an image of Sastha (Ayyanar/ Sathanar) flanked by two fishes, as well as an image of a fish fighting a monitor lizard. The Fish fighting the monitor lizard, probably is to symbolize the victory of the Pandyas over the Cholas. Sculptures of Rameswarar, Tirunageshwarar, Jambukeswarar (Tiruvanaikkaa), Rishya Sringandeeswarar can be found on all four sides of a pillar in the Artha Mandapam.
There are few interesting sculptures in the pillars which include Vali worshiping Linga, elephant worshiping Linga, Nardana Ganapati, etc. The temple has just one prakara which is wide with a lot of open space. The Shrines of Vallal Peruman (Murugan) with his consorts Valli and Devasena and Athi Mukha Vinayakar are found in the prakara. The idol of Annanmars (seven idols of warriors) can also be found in this temple.
There are shrines for Nayanmars, Singara Chandran, Singara Suryan, Singara Bairavar, Vallalar, Saptha Kannigaikal and Naagar in the outer prakaram. There is no Navagrahas Sannadhi. Since Ashtathik Balakas are on the top of Rajagopuram, a separate Sannadhi for Navagrahas was not built. It was also told that there is an underground tunnel available from the present Madapalli and the same was closed during the Kumbabhishekam without any investigation.
Some of the old idols found during the excavations are kept in various places in the temple. Some of them such as a Murugan idol near Amman shrine and a Ganesha idol at the entrance of the temple are in good condition. The other sculptures are found broken. Throughout the temple, are various images of Sage Rishya Shringa, reiterating the fact that he had installed the main deity.
The walls are lined with inscriptions (total of 12 inscriptions have been recorded at this temple) which today have been sadly painted over. One such inscription speaks about grants given to the Kariamanicka Perumal temple, which is on the opposite lane. A beautiful temple, built out of laterite stones, is currently being renovated. This temple, is almost on the banks of the Cooum river. Inscriptions also mention grants given to the Ganesha shrine to light lamps in the 14th Century by Anukki Purushotama Bhattar Varadan. This Ganesha is found in a separate shrine behind the temple.