Sunday, July 15, 2018

Theerthapaleeswarar Temple, Triplicane – The Temple

Theerthapaleeswarar Temple, Triplicane – The Temple
The Temple is one of the seven Saptha Sthana (Saptha meaning seven) temples for Shiva in Mylapore worshipped by the Saptha rishis – Adri (Theerthapaleeswarar Temple), Brugu (Malleeswarar Temple), Kutsa (Virupaksheeswarar Temple), Vashista (Karaneeswarar Temple), Gautama (Valiswarar Temple), Kashyapa (Kapaleeshwarar Temple) and Angirasa (Velleeswarar Temple). Originally, they were all part of a single temple but in due course they have become separate temples.

The east facing temple does not have tower but has an arch at the entrance. Although the temple is supposed to be very old, the current structure seems to be new. Presiding Deity is called as Theerthapaleeswarar. Sun God worships Lord Shiva in the temple spreading his rays on Shivarathri day. Lord and Mother appear short in stature – just two feet tall.  Lord looks leaning on a side in the shape of a cucumber. 

To help Sage Agasthya to worship him, it is said that Lord reduced his height, it is explained. All-important pujas to Lord are performed with sea water only. Nardana Vinayaka, Dhakshinamoorthi, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found as the Koshta (niche) idols on the outer wall of the sanctum. Mother is called as Thiripurasundari and is found in a separate shrine.

Lord Chidambara Vinayaka graces from a separate shrine. Students place a sheet of paper at his feet with their name and class. As beloved of the students, he is respectfully noted as “Pass granting Ganapathi”.  Lord Narayana with Mother Mahalakshmi on his lap and Sun God grant darshan in the Maha Mandapam – Main Hall of the temple facing the Presiding Deity. Magizham tree is before Lord Dakshinamurthy and Vanni before Lord Ganapathy.  

It is the faith of the students that they would be lucky to pray two Gods of Wisdom from a same spot in the temple. Devotees perform Abishek to Lord Shiva and Nagar under the Peepal tree-Arasa Maram in the temple for reliefs from doshas. Stucco images of all the other 6 Saptha Sthana Sthalangal story can be seen in the front mandapam.

There are Shrines for Urchavar, Natarajar, Bairavar, Lakshmi Narayanan, Suryan and Naalvar in the inner prakaram. Vinayagar under the neem tree, Shiva and Ambal Idols, Shrines of Sandeswarar, Valli Deivanai Samedha Subramaniyar, Anjaneyar, Saneeswarar and Navagrahas can be seen in the outer prakaram.

In the olden days, there were 64 sacred ponds leading from this temple till the ocean. The current scenario is bad. Forget about 64 sacred ponds; you cannot find even a single pond. Even the temple remains little known and is located in an encroached lane. Vanni tree is the Sthala Vruksha (holy tree) of this temple.