Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sundararaja Perumal Temple, Sitharkadu – The Temple

Sundararaja Perumal Temple, Sitharkadu – The Temple
The east facing temple has a beautiful five tier Raja gopura with a lot of interesting stucco images. The temple is spread across one acre of land. Presiding Deity is called as Sundararaja Perumal. He is housed in east facing sanctum with his two consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi on his either sides. All of them are found in the standing postures. The bali peetha, tall flag staff and Garuda shrine are found facing towards the sanctum. The Dwarapalas at the entrance of the sanctum look gigantic and interesting.

The idols of Tirumazhisai Alwar, Nammalvar, Tirumangai Alwar, Senai Mudaliyar and Ramanujar are situated in the Mahamandapam. The Utsava metal idols of Sundararaja Perumal with his two consorts, Achyuta, Ananta, Nardana Krishna, Sudarshan, Tirumazhisai Alwar, Nammalvar, Tirumangai Alwar, Senai Mudaliyar and Ramanuja are situated in a separate shrine in the Mahamandapam area. Tirumazhisai Alwar is very prominent and big.

The temple has two prakaras around the sanctum. In the outer prakara, the shrines of the Goddess Sundaravalli and Andal are located. Both the shrines have beautiful vimanas and the front side mandapams full of sculpted pillars. The Kalyana Mandapam which is found near the flag staff has many pillars with beautiful sculptures. There is a small shrine of Nardana Krishna located in the temple. The shrine of Hanuman is found outside the temple complex and it faces the Raja gopuram. A big tank is found between this temple and Shiva temple of this village.

The sculpture of Garudakkodi Siddhar found in a pillar in the mandapam of Andal shrine has become very popular among the devotees nowadays. He is sitting in rare posture having a jar (like Kamandalam) in one hand and holding a creeper called Garudakkodi. It is believed that this Siddha lived in this village and was a great devotee of Garuda. It is believed that a prayer to this Garudakkodi Siddhar will cure all eye related problems. Abhishekam is performed with rose water to the statue of Garudakkodi Siddhar and this water is applied on the eyes for relief. Sandalwood paste applied on the siddhar's idol is also applied on the eyes. 

Near the shrine of Andal, the Tulsi plant and Amla (Nelli) tree are found together. It is believed that if the childless couple perform the marriage of these two plants, they would beget children. For those who wish to get married would also get their wish fulfilled by following the same ritual.

There are 17 relief images of Narasimha in different postures found in various pillars throughout the temple. Narasimhar in a standing posture is very attractive and graceful. Inscriptions found in this temple refer to it as Thirumandram Hariharanalayanallur.