Saturday, February 24, 2018

Suddha Rathneswarar Temple, Ootathur, Trichy

Suddha Rathneswarar Temple, Ootathur, Trichy
Suddha Rathneswarar Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at Ootathur Village in Trichy District of Tamilnadu. The presiding deities are Sri Sutha Rathneswarar and Sri Akilandeswari. This is one of the Devara Vaipu Sthalam on the Nandhi river bank. This is an early Chola temple of 7th century rebuilt by Rajaraja Chola and occupies an area of 5 acres. The temple is filled with vintage pillars with beautiful sculptures. Few pillars even have carvings which are suggestive.












Legends
For brief details, please refer below link;
History
This temple, said to have been originally built in the 7th Century, has been rebuilt by Raja Raja during his rule. It has received further patronage from his son Rajendra Chola I and grandson, Rajadhiraja Chola. There are over fifty inscriptions in this temple from the times of Raja Raja, Rajendra and Rajadhiraja. The Goddess' shrine was built by a dancer girl during the reign of Kulothunga Chola III. Nayaka kings built the gigantic wall surrounding the temple complex.






The Temple
For brief details, please refer below link;
Temple Opening Time
The temple remains open from 5.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. Daily Abhishekam for Sri Natarajar is being done between 10 am and 11 am.
Pooja Timings
·        Ukshakala Pooja – 05:30 am
·        Kala Santhi Pooja – 08:00 am
·        Uchikala Pooja – 11:30 am
·        Sayaratchai Pooja – 05:30 pm
·        Irandam Kala Pooja – 07:30 pm
·        Arthajama Pooja – 09:00 pm
Festivals
Prathosam Pooja, Masi Magam, Thiruvathirai, Navratri Vazhipadu, Karthigai Vazhipadu, Margazhi, Chitra Pournami, Vinayagar Chaturthi, Diwali, Tamil New Year, Pournami Pooja and Amavasya are the festivals celebrated in this Temple with much fanfare.
Prayers
The Natarajar at Oothathur is made out of Panchanadhana Stone and he is believed to cure all kidney related problems. People garland this Natarajar with a garland made of 45 small bundles of Vettiver and perform Abhishekam with the water of Brahma Theertham. On consuming this water for 45 days after dipping the vetti ver one on each day, people are relieved completely of their ailments.
Contact
Suddha Rathneswarar Temple,
Oottathur, Lalgudi Taluk,
Tiruchirappalli District – 621109
Phone: +91 4328 267 126
Mobile: +91 97880 62416 / 8883852198 / 8015402683
Connectivity
For brief details, please refer below link;

Suddha Rathneswarar Temple, Ootathur – Connectivity

Suddha Rathneswarar Temple, Ootathur – Connectivity
The Temple is located at about 6 Kms from Padalur, 5 Kms from Padalur Bazaar Bus Stop, 7 Kms from Poomalai Sanjeeviraayar Temple, 11 Kms from Siruganur, 15 Kms from Thirupattur, 25 Kms from Perambalur, 27 Kms from Samayapuram, 37 Kms from Srirangam and 43 Kms from Trichy.
By Road:
The Temple is located at about 5 Kms from Padalur Bazaar Bus Stop. Padalur is well connected to Trichy and Perambalur by Bus. On the NH 45 when you are travelling towards Trichy after you cross Thanthai Hans Roever College and Sanjeeviraya Hanuman Temple on your left, you would find a board reading Padalur. Turn left and proceed for about 6 Kms on the Oottathur Scenic Driveway. At one point, you will find that the road forks into two, and there is a huge stone crushing unit there. Take the right and you will reach the temple in a couple of hundred metres.
By Train:
Nearest Railway Stations are located at Pullambadi (21 Kms) and Trichy (46 Kms).
By Air:
Nearest Airport is located at Trichy (48 Kms).

Suddha Rathneswarar Temple, Ootathur – Legends

Suddha Rathneswarar Temple, Ootathur – Legends
King Raja Raja Chola I:
This temple, said to have been originally built in the 7th Century, has been rebuilt by Raja Raja during his rule. It has received further patronage from his son Rajendra Chola I and grandson, Rajadhiraja Chola. There are over fifty inscriptions in this temple from the times of Raja Raja, Rajendra and Rajadhiraja. King Raja Raja had constructed a temple to the North of Ootathur called Chozheswaram. He often visited the temple.
The original Suddha Rathneswarar Temple had been buried under the sand during that time and was covered by thick Bilwa trees and bushes. The King's men set out to clear the path for the King to pass through comfortably. As they cut the bushes, one of the men found that his spade encountered an object below the ground. As it made contact, blood started gushing out from it. Startled, the men cleared the ground around.
To their utmost surprise, they found a Shivalingam made of the purest form of ruby (Suddha Manickam or Suddha Ratnam) with a deep cut on top from where blood was gushing out. The King rushed to the spot, found the priceless treasure, and decided to build a temple for this unique God. Further excavations revealed the intact remains of the old temple, which was renovated and extended to the form that exists today by Raja Raja.
Brahma Theertham:
Once there was an argument between Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma as to who was the greater among them. For determining this, they chose a challenge. They decided to find the base (foot) and top of the head of Lord Shiva. Brahma took the form of a swan and went up to find the top of Lord Shiva's head while Vishnu took the form of a boar and dug into the ground below to find his feet. They went on and on for a long, long time but were not successful in their mission.
On his way up, Brahma encountered a Thazampoo (Ketaki Flower) that fell from Shiva's head. He asked the flower if it would stand witness if he were to declare that he had reached Shiva's head. The flower agreed. So, Brahma proclaimed himself to be the greater of the two as he had been able to bring evidence from the top of Shiva's head. Vishnu humbly accepted defeat. Angered that Brahma had lied and used a false witness, Shiva cursed Brahma that he would not have a separate temple anywhere and that Ketaki flowers would not be used for Shiva's worship.
Brahma begged forgiveness and asked to be relieved of his curse. Lord Shiva told Brahma to worship him with water from all the holy rivers in the world. Brahma came to Ootathur and created a spring of water which came to be known as Brahma Theertham right in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum. To this spring, he added water from all the holy rivers in the world. The village came to be known after this spring (Ootru - Spring, Ootraththur which has now transformed to Ootathur).
He performed poojas and Abhishekam with the water of Brahma Theertham and was relieved of his curse. Even today, only the water from Brahma Theertham is used for Abhishekam for Lord Suddha Rathneswarar. This water is said to have medicinal properties and is capable of curing several diseases and ailments. It is believed that when Raja Raja was unwell, he came here and sprinkled the water of Brahma Theertham on himself and that gave him good health for the rest of his life. Till date, several hundreds of devotees carry back the water of Brahma Theertham and are relieved of ailments.
It was difficult to find ground water anywhere above 25 feet. However, the water in the Brahma Theertham is perennial in source and remains at the same level (around 10-12 feet) throughout the year. It is indeed unique that a spring is found right in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum. There is an underground tunnel connecting the Suddha Rathneswarar Temple and the Perumal Temple opposite to it through which water from the Brahma Theertham used to be carried for the Abhishekam of the Perumal as well. This tunnel is now closed.
27 Stars, 12 Sun Signs and 9 Planets:
On the ceiling, near the Dwajasthambam, can be seen the 27 stars along with the 12 sun signs facing the ground below and in a separate panel nearby are the 9 planets. Any yaagas or homams performed beneath these panels is said to yield complete results immediately. People born under any star can perform homams here. Because of this, the Ootathur Suddha Rathneswarar Temple is popularly sought after for conducting marriages.
Nandhiyaaru Nandikeswara:
It is usual to see Nandi facing the Lord in the sanctum sanctorum. But as far as the Suddha Rathneswarar temple is considered, the usual is unusual. Apart from the usual Nandi, there is another Nandi facing the East, on one side of the Artha Mandapa. The story behind this is really interesting. Once there was an argument among the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswathi, Narmada, Sindu, Kaveri and Tungabhadra as to who was the holiest among them.
They brought this issue to Lord Suddha Rathneswarar. He ordered Nandikeswara to drink up the waters of all seven rivers. The Nandi did as ordered and lay down facing the East. Only the Water from the Ganga flowed out of his mouth. This formed a river near the temple which is called Nandiyaru (Nandi River). This river flows into the Kollidam and from there joins the sea.
Holier than Kashi:
A local legend says that Raja Raja wanted to immerse the ashes of his father Sundara Chola in Varanasi. On his way, he stopped overnight near the Nandi River. To his surprise, he found that the bones and ashes had turned into sweet smelling flowers. When he went to Varanasi and opened the urn, they had turned back to ashes and bones. Not wanting to immerse the ashes there, he came back and immersed them at the Nandi River. There is a saying " Kaasikku Veesam Kooda" which means performing the last rites on the banks of the Nandi river is better than performing the same in Varanasi. Raja Raja is said to have built a Kasi Viswanatha Temple on the banks of the river which does not exist now.
Appar:
When Appar, one of the Nayanmars tried to visit Ootathur from the place now known as Paadalur, he was amazed to see the whole path to the temple covered with Shivalingams. Fearing he cannot put his feet at a place covered with lingams, Appar stood at Paadalur and sang about the Suddha Rathneswarar temple. Since he sang from there, the place came to be known as Padalur (the place where the song originated) which has now been transformed to Paadaalur.
Indra regained his lost power by worshipping Lord Nataraja here:
It is believed that Indra regained his lost power and position by worshipping the Nataraja of this Temple and like him anyone who worships the Nataraja with sincere devotion will regain lost power. Several politicians and those with political aspirations visit this temple regularly.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Suddha Rathneswarar Temple, Ootathur – The Temple

Suddha Rathneswarar Temple, Ootathur – The Temple
This is an early Chola temple of 7th century rebuilt by Rajaraja Chola and occupies an area of 5 acres. The gopuram and a few mandapams had been constructed by Nayaks. The temple has a large five-tiered gopuram. The Temple is considered to be one of the Thevara Vaippu Sthalams. The temple is filled with vintage pillars with beautiful sculptures. Few pillars even have carvings which are suggestive. The Brahma Theertham well lies in between the main deity and Nandhi Devar, which is very sacred. The wooden temple car has exquisite sculptures.



















On the ceiling, near the Dwajasthambam, can be seen the 27 stars along with the 12 sun signs facing the ground below and in a separate panel nearby are the 9 planets. Any yaagas or homams performed beneath these panels is said to yield complete results immediately. People born under any star can perform homams here. Because of this, the Ootathur Suddha Rathneswarar Temple is popularly sought after for conducting marriages.
Mother Akilandeswari Shrine:
Mother is called as Akilandeswari Ambal. The Goddess Akilandeswari idol is big and found in the standing posture. The idol is located in a separate big shrine in the outer praharam of the temple. This shrine has its own Nandi mandapa and bali peetha. There is a small praharam around the shrine. Iccha Sakthi, Gnana Sakthi, Kriya Sakthi, Chamundi, Brahmi and Varahi sculptures are sculpted in the wall surrounding the shrine. Ganesha and Subramanya idols are found at the entrance of the shrine. The shrine appears like a separate small temple; it is also facing the east direction like the garbhagraham.
Sanctum:
Presiding Deity is called as Sundravaneyswarar / Suddha Rathneswarar. Lord is a Swayambu Moorthy. Suddha Rathneswarar as the name depicts - the purest of gems, the real ruby, stands magnificently in the Sanctum Sanctorum. It is indeed a scintillating experience, to watch the light of the Harathi reflect on and within the Bana of the Lingam. The sanctum sanctorum has a big Shiva Linga with a small Nandi in the front in the maha mandapa. There is one another Nandi idol in the corner of the same mandapa facing the opposite direction.
There is a strong belief that the river Nandi started to flow from the mouth of this idol. There is another Nandi idol, a beautiful sculpture situated near the Brahma Theertham. It is unusual to find a well in front of the main shrine. The outer praharam also has a huge Nandi idol near the long dhwajastambha and bali peeta. Sun' s rays fall on the idol of Suddha Rathneswarar for three days in the Tamil month of Maasi (12, 13, 14) and for three minutes on Vaikasi Visakam day.
Panchanadhana Nataraja:
To the left of the Sanctum Santorum, is a separate shrine for Nataraja and his consort Sivakama Sundari. There are five types of stones which are used to make icons of Gods and Goddesses, namely, Aalinga Nadhanam, Panchanadhanam, Singanadhanam, Yaanainadhanam and Yaazhinadhanam. Out of these, Panchanadhanam stones have the ability to absorb sun rays. The root of a plant called Andhaka Narimanam will pierce through and break one in a million stones. Such stones are called Panchanadhana Stones.
When struck with a coin, they emit a sound equivalent to "Aum". The Natarajar at Oothathur is made out of Panchanadhana Stone and he is believed to cure all kidney related problems. People garland this Natarajar with a garland made of 45 small bundles of Vettiver and perform Abhishekam with the water of Brahma Theertham.
On consuming this water for 45 days after dipping the Vetti Ver one on each day, people are relieved completely of their ailments. If you stand in front of Nataraja Consort Sivakami Ambal, she looks right at you. If you look at her from any other angle, you can see that she has her head titled to one side, admiring her Lord as he dances merrily.
Goshta Idols:
The temple also houses big and beautiful sculptures of the deities Ganesha, Dhakshinamoorthi, Vishnu, Brahma. Durga and Chandikeswara are found as Goshtamurtham surrounding the garba Graha wall. The Dakshinamurthy here is a delight to watch. With the Kallala tree behind him, designed to look like a fan, a small straw bag and a piece of cloth hanging from it, reminding one of the Dakshinamurthy mural in the Big temple of Thanjavur, his unique hair style, in short everything about him, is simply superb. Worshipping him for eleven weeks in Guru Horai between 4.30 and 7.00 am by adorning him with garlands of chick peas (kotthu kondalai) is said to grant sincere prayers. The Goddess Durga at the temple can be seen with fangs on either side of her mouth. Worshipping her with lemon garlands for 11 weeks grants the boon of marriage for those girls who seek good alliances.
Kala Bhairava:
The uniqueness of this temple is that Lord Bhairava is seen facing Gajalakshmi. Performing Sahasranama Archana for 11 weeks here, is said to cure children of irrational fears. This Bhairava is also worshipped to ensure livestock are not affected by the outbreak of an epidemic. Those suffering from chronic ailments, worship this Bhairava on Ashtami day and recite the Kalashta Mantram. This rids them of the fear of death and helps to improve their health condition.
Veerabhadra:
The Veerabhadra Swamy seen in this temple is very unique. He carries a Shiva Lingam over his forehead.
Other Shrines:
The inner prakara is decked with the idols of 63 Nayanmars, Kailasanathar, Brahma, Samba Parameswara in Linga form, Saraswathi, Katyayani, Vishwanathar-Vishalakshi, Gaja Lakshmi, Adhikara Nandi and Surya. The sub shrines such as Somaskandar, Chandrasekhar, Murugan (Utsava), Subramanya with his consorts and Veerabhadra are found in the same prakara. Two small shrines for Vinayaka and Bala Murugan are found at the entrance of the maha mandapa. The Dwarapalakas statues are big and beautiful like in any other Chola temples. A small four pillared mandapa and the adjoining Navagraha shrine are also located in this temple.
Inscriptions:
There are more than sixty inscriptions in this Temple which refer to the Temple being patronized by Rajaraja Chozha, his son Rajendra and Rajadhiraja Chozha (Rajendra Chozha's son).

Apradeeswarar Temple, Nagar, Trichy

Apradeeswarar Temple, Nagar, Trichy
Apradeeswarar Temple, is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at Nagar in Trichy District of Tamilnadu. Presiding Deity is called as Apradeeswarar and Mother is called as Athula Sundari Amman / Oppila Maniammai. Theertham associated with this Temple is Panguni river and Sthala Vriksham is Vilwa Tree. The temple is known as Pancha Linga Kshetram.



History
Based on the architectural style and the stone inscriptions, this temple can be dated to the 11th century CE and can be attributed to the Cholas. As per stone inscriptions Raja Raja Chola constructed the temple and the architect was Thillai Nayakan.

The Temple
The east facing temple does not have a tower. Instead of a tower, an arch with few stucco images is present in the long front side mandap. Both the sides of the entrance have the idols of Ganesh. The bali peetha and Nandi are found outside the temple complex and face towards the temple. The temple is known as Pancha Linga Kshetram. Presiding Deity is called as Apradeeswarar. Lord is Swayambu Moorthy.



The east facing sanctum with the extraordinarily beautiful Vimana, enshrines the big Shiv Linga called as Apradeeswarar. At the entrance of the Moolasthana, the idol of Ganesh is found. In the Maha Mandapam, various bronze idols of several deities such as Nataraja, Sivakami, two pairs of Uma-Chandrashekhar, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena, Ganesh and others are found in a single sub-shrine.


Nardana Ganapati, Dakshina Murti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found as the Koshta deities around the sanctum. Mother is called as Athula Sundari Amman / Oppila Maniammai and is facing south. In the courtyard, the shrine of the Goddess Athula Sundari is located. This shrine faces the north direction. Theertham associated with this Temple is Panguni river and Sthala Vriksham is Vilwa Tree without thorns.


Shrines for Vada Kailasa Nadhar, Then Kailasa Nadhar, Bairavar, Suryan, Durgai, Chandikeswarar, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena, Navagraha, Nardana Vinayakar, Nagareshwarar (Shiv Linga), Dakshina moorthy, Gaja Lakshmi, Thirumal & Brahma can be found in the prakaram. The idols of Surya and Bhairava are also found in the prakara.


Connectivity
The Temple is located at about 2.5 Kms from Mandurai, 3 Kms from Mandurai Bus Station, 3.2 Kms from Mandurai Railway Station, 7 Kms from Lalgudi, 14 Kms from Anbil, 14 Kms from Srirangam and 21 Kms from Trichy. As you go from Trichy to Lalgudi take a left before Manthurai and drive for a couple of kilometers to reach this Temple. Nearest Railway Stations are located at Mandurai (3.2 Kms) and Trichy (25 Kms). Nearest Airport is located at Trichy (26 Kms).