Sunday, January 1, 2023

Swarnapureeswarar Temple, Then Ponparappi – The Temple

Swarnapureeswarar Temple, Then Ponparappi – The Temple

This temple is facing towards east with an entrance arch. The entrance arch has stucco images of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati seated on Nandi. Nandi and Balipeedam can be found in the prakaram facing towards the sanctum. Generally, Nandis in other temples looks like a matured one and its face would be slightly turned to one side to enable the devotees to have the darshan clearly. Here, Nandi looks like a calf without much growth of the horns allows the devotees have a clear darshan of the Lord.

Hence, the Nandi is praised here as Bala Nandi. During the abishekam of Nandi with milk, honey and sandal, the devotee can observe a light blue line forming on Bala Nandi. The sanctum sanctorum consists of sanctum, ardha mandapam and maha mandapam. There are two Shiva Lingas in the place of dvarapalas at the entrance of the sanctum. Presiding deity is called as Swarnapureeswarar and is facing east. He is housed in the sanctum in the form of Shodasa Lingam (Lingam with 16 stripes).

The Lingam is about 5.5 feet tall and is made of Surya Kandha stone. The Lingam is mounted on Brahma and Vishnu Peetas. Thus, all the three Lords Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma are in a single form here. The Lingam produces a bronze metal sound when tapped by hand. The sun rays fall on the Lingam through the horns of Bala Nandi on Panguni Uthiram day (Mar-Apr) between 06.00 a.m. to 7.30 a.m.

During the abhishekam, the abhisheka water fall down from top of the Linga separately in 16 lines without mixing and finally confluence at the peedam. Vinayaga, Dakshinamoorthy, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are the koshta idols located around the sanctum walls. Chandikeswarar shrine can be in his usual location. The deepam in the sanctum is always oscillating as mentioned in the palm leaves of Kaagapujandar. Mother is called as Swarnambigai. She is housed in a separate east facing shrine.

She is in standing posture with her face slightly turned towards Lord. She has the attributes of Mother Maha Lakshmi. The Jeeva Samadhis of Kaagapujandar and his wife Bahula Devi are located in front of her shrine. There is a separate shrine for Lord Murugan with his consorts Valli & Devasena in the prakaram. He is about 8 feet tall on his peacock mount in a flying posture. He appears with his six faces and 12 hands. There is a shrine for Vinayaga in the temple premises. Sthala Vriksham is Arasa Maram (Bodhi tree).