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Issue No. 129

இதழ் 129
[ அக்டோபர் 20, 2016 ]


இந்த இதழில்..
In this Issue..

எவ்விதத்தானும் அறமன்று
புள்ளமங்கை பயண அனுபவங்கள் - ஒரு பகிர்வு
வாசிப்பில் வந்த வரலாறு - 6
SOMUR SOMESWARA TEMPLE - 3
TEMPLES IN AND AROUND THIRUCHIRAPPALLI - 2
மதி சேர்ந்த மகம்
Issue No. 129 > English Section
TEMPLES IN AND AROUND THIRUCHIRAPPALLI - 2
S.Sumitha


CHANDRASEKARASWAMI TEMPLE – THIRUCHCHEDURAI
 

Thiruchchendurai, also known as Jeeyapuram is situated on the southern banks of the river Cauvery, is 11kms from Thiruchirappalli city lying on the Thiruchirappalli-Karur highways. The Chandrasekaraswami temple known in the inscriptions as ‘Thiruchchedurai karrali Mahadevar’ lies adjacent to the highways that stretch along the banks of the river Cauvery. The temple is rich in inscriptions. The inscriptions mention the village as Thiruchchendurai, a suburb of Isanamangalam, a brahmadeya. The temple was constructed by Pudi Adichcha Pidari daughter of Tennavan Ilangovelar (a) Maravan Pudiyar and wife of Arikulakesari, son of Chola Parantaka I. (SII 3:96)

Nearly fifty two inscriptions are found in this temple complex belonging to Cholas and their chieftains Velirs. The inscriptions reveal that the temple was under the lush contribution of Pudi Adichcha Pidariyar. Besides, the socio-political condition of the period and region also gleaned through it. Since a brahmadeya it was under the administration of the Sabha, popularly known as ‘Mulapparudaiyar’. The Later Chola inscriptions (SII 8:622, 606) picture it as a Chaturvedimangalam carrying one of the title of Kulottunga Chola I ‘brahmadeya Virudhuraja bayangara chaturvedimangalam’. Isanamangalam was under the administrative division of Uraiyur kurram in the early period with the development of administrative divisions the Uraiyur kurram came under the sub division of Rajamahendra valanadu. However, some of the early inscriptions refer Isanamangalam with a mysterious phrase ‘ninruthuninju poya tharamparrur nattu padaiyeviya brahmadeya Isanamangalam’.

 

THE TEMPLE COMPLEX

The temple complex consists of two prakaras with the main shrine lying in the centre of the inner prakara and sub-shrines surrounding it. The outer prakara has a gopura in the east which forms the main entrance to the temple complex. Huge compound wall stretching both sides of the gopura encompasses the prakara. The gopura leads to the outer prakara where on the southern side is seen a pillared mandapa in dilapidated condition. Besides, a lush garden with trees and flower bushes are seen. Nandi placed inside a small mandapa oriented towards the sanctum is found on the pathway that leads to the inner prakara.

 

Eastern side of the Gopura

 

GOPURA

The gopura is a five tier structure raised on a upapitha, is partially inhumed in the ground, in which the peruvajana is formed as kapota. It has an adhishthana, bhitti, prastara and segmented as projected karna-panjara-sala paththis with recession in between. The adhishthana is padabandha with octagonal kumuda and the vedika complex above it. The wall is cantoned by vishnukantha pilasters which possess capital ornamentation of kattu, kalasa, tadi, kumbha, pali and phalaka. The corbels that rest above the pilasters are nanudal. Uttira, vajana, valabhi and kapota forms the prastara. Each paththi is adorned with a pair of kudus. The tala is crowned with the hara.

Western side of the Gopura

 

The hara elements karnakuta-panjara-sala are connected by the harantara. The successive talas are followed in the same pattern except the fourth tala; instead of hara it is closed with the vedika complex. The gopura is richly adorned with stucco figures based on puranic themes and themes picturing the later medieval society. According to Dr. R. Kalaikkovan, it is one among the few gopuras of Tamil nadu being richly adorned with stucco figures.

Siva in various forms, Vishnu in avatars, various gods, goddesses, minor deities, rishis, ganas, door keepers, devotees, erotic figures etc. are find place in the gopura as stucco figures. The hara of the first tala is adorned with rare icons; Sakthi chathuska, Vishnu in anantha thandava, Pancha mukha Narasimha, Sarabheswara etc. Besides Siva-Kali dance contest, Ulagalanda Perumal, Bikshadana, Vishnu with devotees, Surya, Agni are seen.

Sakthi Chathuska

According to Dr. R. Kalaikkovan, Sakthi Chathuska is a rare icon, consort of four-faced Vishnu is seen in the temples of Kashmir and Himachal valleys. Such form of Vishnu though pictured in literature is hardly seen in iconic form in Tamil nadu. Here the goddess is seated in suhasana looks ferocious with four different faces and ten hands, the uppermost carrying sankha and chakra while the lowermost in abhaya and varada and the rest of the hands carrying various weapons. A corpse is seen in her foot. Besides, Vishnu in anantha thandava, Ulagalanda Perumal with ten hands on each side, carrying various weapons are also rare icons shown as stucco figures in the first tala hara.

Bhairava, Nataraja, Umasahita, Somaskantha, Ekapada, Gajasamhara are the various forms in which Siva is depicted. Aslike, Vishnu with consorts, in avatars are repeatedly shown. In that little Krishna’s action themes are frequently seen. Durga, Kali in dancing and in ferocious postures, Ganesa, Muruga with Siva-Parvati, Ganesa dancing in urthuvajanu are also seen.

Bracket figures are the other frequently shown category in every tala. It is peculiar to see at some places, deities bear the roof. Erotic figures are another set of frequented category. Peculiar scenes and postures are other interesting aspect to note. Besides, hair dressing, attire, ornaments adorned by the stucco figures give a rich glimpse on the fashion trend of the period.

Except the fourth tala all the other talas are decked with animals at the four corners viz., elephant with riders in the first tala, riders in a pouncing horse in the second tala, Nandi in the third tala.

Griva is decked with Rishis and at the four corners, men are shown as bracket figures bearing the sikhara. The gopura is crowned with sala shikara and a row of stupis. Mahanasikas are shown in the four cardinal directions adorned with deities.

 

THE INNER PRAKARA

GOPURA

The outer prakara leads to the inner prakara which has a gopura entrance. The gopura is a single tier structure with pratibandha adhishthana, wall adorned with brahmakantha pilasters carrying upper ornamentation, the vettu potikas resting above the pilasters bear the uttira which is followed by thin vajana and plain valabhi. Each paththi is adorned with a pair of kudus. The tala ends with bhumidesa. On the roof a niche with Umasahita mounted on Nandi is shown. Besides, Muruga and Ganesa are shown flanking the niche. The prakara is encompassed by a huge compound wall.

In the centre of the inner prakara is the main shrine with a vimana, ardha mandapa, mukha mandapa, and open pillared mandapa. On the south east of the prakara is seen the shrine for Dakshinamurthy facing south, shrines of Sri Nruthi Vinayaga and Sri Visvanatha-Visalatchi are facing east. The madapalli is in the south east corner. A shrine for Subrahmanya lies on the west facing east. The shrines of Chandeswara and Durga are seen on the northerside, the former facing south and the latter facing north. Besides, the stala vrksha is also seen on the northern side of the prakara. The shrine of goddess Manenthiyavalli is seen on the northeast facing south.

 

THE SUB-SHRINES

MANENTHIYAVALLI SHRINE

The goddess shrine consists of a sanctum and a mukha mandapa. The shrine lack adhishthana instead it is raised on the upapitha. The wall is cantoned by brahmakantha pilasters, four on each side. The vettu potikas above the pilasters bear the uttira. The other prastara components are plain valabhi and kudu adorned kapota. The tala ends with bhumidesa. Niches are shown on the three sides of the wall and are adorned with goddess Manendiyavalli. Above the roof Nandi is shown in the four corners. The shrine is crowned with dravida sikhara.

A flight of two steps on the south leads to the mukha mandapa, which is a pillared hall. The pillars are rudra shaft with vettu potika above it bearing the prastara elements. The roof of the mandapa is covered with stone slabs. The goddess is standing in sama on a padma pedestal with her front hands in abhaya and varada where as her back hands instead of carrying flowers they carry axe and deer. In silk dress and jatamakuta the goddess is also decked with ornaments like makarakundalas, necklace, bangles, armlets. The goddess shrine may belong to CE. 13th or 14th century.

Sri Nruthi Vinayaga Shrine

The shrine is on the south west corner of the prakara. The shrine consists of a sanctum and a porch. The sanctum is constructed adjoining the prakara walls and possess walls of stone blocks. The porch has a raised basement and has two pillars and the roof is covered with stone slabs.

Ganesa is seated in lalitasana on a pedestal with the front hands in varada and abhaya and the back hands carrying pasa and ankusa. Karandamakuta adorns his head.

 

CHANDESWARA SHRINE

Chandeswara Shrine

The Chandeswara shrine consists of a small sanctum and a porch. The sanctum has plain walls constructed out of stone blocks and houses a Chandeswara.

Chandeswara is seated in suhasana on a pedestal with the right hand holding an axe and the left hand is in kataka. His locks are arranged as jatabhara and decked with head patta, the other ornaments worn by him are charapali, bangles, armlets, udarabandha, and kundalas; makara in the right and patra in the left. His lower garment is a short attire and the yajnopavita is worn in upavita fashion. On the basis of features and ornaments it is suggested that Chandeswara can be of later Chola origin.

Chandeswara

 

The other shrines

The Dakshinamurthy shrine is entirely of cement construction with vesara sikhara and houses the deity Dakshinamurthy. As like, the Durga shrine found on the northern side of the prakara is also a modern construction with a dravida shikara in the top. The goddess standing on ox head is adorned with karanda makuta, silk dress and ornaments, is carrying sankha and chakra in the back hands and the front hands are in abhaya and varada.

The Subrahmanya shrine found on the western side of the prakara consists of a sanctum and pillared mandapa. The Sanctum is constructed out of stone blocks but the mandapa is a cement structure. The sanctum is crowned with dravida sikhara. The sanctum houses god Subrahmanya and his consorts Valli and Deivanai in standing posture. The features of the deities reveal its period as later origin.


 

(To be continued...)

       
இப்படைப்பு குறித்த தங்கள் கருத்துக்கள் வரவேற்கப்படுகின்றன. கீழுள்ள படிவத்தில் தமிழிலோ ஆங்கிலத்திலோ பின்னூட்டமிடலாம். தமிழில் பின்னூட்டமிட ஏதேனும் ஒரு தமிழ்ச் செயலி பின்னணி செயல்பாட்டில் இருக்க வேண்டும்.
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