Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thiru Othandeeswarar Temple, Thirumazhisai

 

On the Chennai Tirupati road when you take a right turn from Poonamalle and enter the town of thirumazhisai you can not miss this big temple and the tank on your right hand side. It is about 25 kms from chennai

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. The Legend behind the temple:

Sage Agasthiyar along with his disciples came walking towards south of Thiruverkaadu and stayed in this place, which was a forest filled with Azhinjal trees. As Azhinjal tree is considered most sacred, Sage Agasthiyar installed a Shiva Lingam and worshipped Lord Shiva here. God, pleased with Agasthiyar’s prayers gave dharshan of His wedding ceremony to Agasthiyar and all his disciples.Sage Agasthiyar overwhelmed by the mercy of the God, requested God to take abode in this place in Kalyaana Kolam (posture as just wed couple). As wished by Agasthiyar, Lord Shiva and Parvathi took abode here as Uma Maheshwara just behind the Shiva Lingam, worshipped by Agasthiyar.

There are 3 places of then ‘Thondai Mandalam’, where Sage Agasthiyar had worshipped Lord Shiva under Azhinjal tree. They are Azhisoor near Kanchipuram, Thirumazhisai near Poonamallee and Chinnakkaavanam near Ponneri. The divine coincidence is all the 3 temples lie on a straight line.
As centuries rolled by, the place again became a dense forest. An ancient Chozha king called Karikaal Chozha was ruling this Thondai Naadu having Kanchipuram as his capital. He was troubled by people called Kurumbars near his frontier( refer posts on the Thirupachur temple). He was passing through this forest on his elephant for a battle against them. While crossing this forest, he found that his elephant got couldn’t move further as some wild creeper encircled its leg. The king got down from the elephant, took his sword and whipped to cut the creepers off.
He was shocked to find blood oozing out from the place where he hit the sword. He found the beautiful Shiva Lingam, which was earlier worshipped by Agasthiyar at this place. Realizing the sin committed by him but cutting the Lord’s idol itself, he immediately took his sword and cut his arm. The Lord was pleased by the devotion of the king towards Him and made the king get his arm back.
The king after winning the battle against his enemies came back here and built this temple for Lord Siva. Since, the Lord gave back the hands to the king the deity got the name 'Kai Thandha Piraan' ( in Tamil means 'God, who gave hands').

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The main entrance leads to the outer praharam seen above.

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The main vimanam is built in the gajaprushti style . The entrance to the sannidhi is by the east  facing gate where there is a huge temple tankDSCN2310DSCN2305

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Lord Ganesha gives dharshan here as Devaraja Ganapathi facing the main entrance . The Nandhi is called Dharma nandi . The main sannidhi has Shrines for Sivan. Parvathi and Utsava moorthis of Ganesha. Natarajar., Murugan.

The main deity (Shiva Lingam) is facing east here, behind which Lord Shiva and Parvathi are seen here in Kalyaana Kolam, blessing the devotees. Many devotees come here and worship the Lord, praying for their sooner marriage.

The Ambal sannidhi is facing south and the idol is called Sri Kulirndha Naayagi  holding Angusam and Paasam (weapons) on hand and showing Abhaya Hastham, blessing the devotees.

Sri Maha Bhairavar is present north east to Sri Ambaal and is facing south. Other deities are Sri Dhakshinamurthy, Naalvar, Lord Brahma and Sri Durga in the Praakaaram.

In the outer Praakaaram, there is another shrine for Lord Shiva called Sri Gangadareswarar. It is believed that Sri Gangadareswarar was installed and worshipped by Sage Pulasthiyar, who was the disciple of Agasthiyar. The Goddess for this shrine is Sri Parvatha Vardhini.( seen in the back ground of the photo of the well below)
There is a separate shrine for Lord Saneeswarar, facing west, at the north east corner of this temple.

There is a well nearby, from which the water is used for Abishegams to the deities. This is called Kalyaana Theertham.DSCN2309

Originally Azhinjal tree was the Sthala Viruksham for this temple. But, as Azhinjal trees are not found here at present, Vilvam and Paarijaatham are considered Sthala Virukshams for this temple. There is a very huge and beautiful temple pond on the eastern side of the temple. This pond is called Agasthiya Theertham.

 

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The present priest is the second generation priest  here and his family have been in service since last 100 years!