Friday, December 14, 2018

Tirusoolanathar Temple, Tirusulam – The Temple

Tirusoolanathar Temple, Tirusulam – The Temple
This temple is said to have been built during the reign of Kulothunga Chola. The temple is facing east with an entrance arch. Immediately after the arch, Dwajasthambam, Palipeedam and Nandhi mandapam can be found facing the sanctum. The base of the temple is about 3 feet below the ground level. Presiding Deity is called as Tirusoolanathar. Lord is a Swayambu Moorthy and is facing east. He is housed in the sanctum in the form of huge Lingam. The sanctum has been built in Gajabrushta or Thoongayanai Maadam shape.

Vinayagar, Veeraasana Dhakshinamoorthy, Lingothbavar, Brahma and Durgai are the Koshta Deities located around the sanctum walls. The Ganapathy is having a Naga Yajnopavita (Poonul) and is considered very auspicious. to remove obstacles especially for marriage and marital harmony. There is the Veeraasana Dhakshinamoorthy, as he is seen sitting in the ‘Veeraasana’ Posture, with his left leg folded and his right leg on the Muyalagan Asura. The Lingodhbava has a panel showing Vishnu worshipping Shiva. The Brahma and Durga are also very intricate.  

Mother is called as Thirupurasundari and is facing south. Mother Idol is about 5 foot tall. There is another deity of Thiripurasundari inside the main sanctum, just in front of the presiding deity. During a Muslim invasion, the original deity of Devi from outside the sanctum was damaged by intruders, thus the new Idol was installed in its place. A temple priest then dreamed that the Lord instructed him to place the damaged deity next to the main deity itself. So, the damaged deity of Devi found a place just next to Tirusoolanathar, and a new deity of his consort was placed outside the sanctum door.

There are shrines of Lord Srinivasan, Viswanathar with Visalakshi, Lord Murugan with his consorts Valli and Devasena, Arumugam, Muthu Kumaraswamy, 16 faced Markandeya Lingam (Shodasa Lingam), Naalvar, Natarajar Saba and Bairavar in the inner courtyard. Nandhavanam, Nagars under peepal / Bodhi tree, Vahana Mandapam, Urchava Mandapam and Navagrahas can be found in the outer courtyard.

Lord Aiyappan and Adhi Sankarar Shrines can be found on the North-east corner of the sanctum sanctorum in the outer courtyard. There is a rare Sarabeswara with two faces carved on the pillar in front. The Sthala Vriksham is the Vilvam Tree. Theertham associated with this Temple is Brahma Theertham. The walls of the temple have inscriptions from the Chola period.

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