Gopurapatti Amaleeswarar Temple (Trichy - Tamil Nadu)

Recently I ventured to Srirangam near Trichy. It trip was a couple of days at Srirangam and a couple of days around Srirangam. So, here comes the travelogue on the entire trip. But before I start about Srirangam Ranganathar Temple, let finish on what all I saw around Srirangam... 
To begin with here's Gopurapatti. Gopurapatti is recently in news with the renovation of the Vishnu Temple here. But mostly unknown is this temple of Lord Shiva. This is a a tiny little temple is located in the middle of nowhere, in the midst of several acres of fields and no buildings at all. 
The temple is called Amaleeswarar Temple. It was built by the Chola kings in 975 A.D. It has the inscriptions of Uthama Chola, Raja Raja Chola I, Rajendra Chola I. One of the inscriptions here say that Chembian Madevi who was the wife of Gandaradhitha Cholan and mother of Uththama Cholan, gifted lamps to this temple.
Reaching this temple, in the first hand, was difficult. Yes, we ventured in a car, but I suggest a bike. If you must take a car, I hope you're a very good driver, who can drive in a narrow strip of uneven terrain. As usual we enquired for Siva temple (Ishwaran koil) once in the locality. 
The temple is East Facing. As I took the circum-ambulation passage, in the north facing wall, the first sculpture in goshtam was of Kottravai or Durga. This sculpture is very pretty and very elegant. Unlike the later era where the proportions were blown out of proportion, here her breast, waist, hips were realistic! Above her, in miniature, within the Makara thoranam (that's the header design), was the Gaja Samhara Moorthy. 
Another Goshtam in the north facing wall was of Brahma. Unlike the so well proportioned Durga, Brahma was a wee bit stout from hip below. Atop Him, in the Makara thoranam was Lord Shiva who appeared as Nataraja to me, but I'm a bit confused.
In the west facing wall was HariHaran, which is Half Siva and Half Vishnu. Again, very beautiful in proportions and elegance. He looks so serene and handsome! Notice the above thigh outfit on left and ankle length outfit on right?
In the south facing wall, ofcourse, Dakshinamurthy. One of the early and beautiful Dakshinamurthy-s! His hair was so perfectly curly, his face has a tinge of smile, a smiley face popping out of his matted locks, a hollow in the tree behind him, an owl peeping out of that hollow, 2 lizards and a snake on the tree, a handbag meant to carry holy ash. I couldn't spot the rudradsha bead necklace which should have been there... the entire sculpture was such an awesome work of art!!! And guess what, on the Makara Thoranam was another miniature Dakshinamurthy!!! 
There's more, in the pillar to the right, was a miniature panel of dancing girls, each one about 2" x 3".
Rama chasing after Mareesan, the deer

Rama & Lakshmana perform puja to Lord Shiva before the battle

The Monkey clan in full support for Rama & Lakshmana

Building of the bridge to Lanka. Monkey soldiers carrying stones...

As I thought that's an awesome work of art, there was something beneath, that was all the more awesome! A miniature panel series!!! Most of the panels told stories from Ramayana and few from Krishna Leela and Siva Puranam. The panels were really small, almost 4" x 6". And each of those panels told a story. Each one had several characters in them. Sadly the stone used is a soft stone and that has resulted in corrosion and lot of detailing are gone. And practically nothing can be done to prevent any more corrosion!!!
Shiva Purana - Siva as Tripurantaka

Krishna Leela - Infant Krishna sucking life instead of milk from a demon.

I dunno what's the scene. But it did remind me of the folded legs of Uma from Kanchi & Villupuram.

A pretty huge, broken Nandi (bull) is placed in the midst of the fields. Sadly, presently renovation is going on and very simialar to the Unamancheri Temple, the temple is losing its antiquity and originality. Most probably, by the time, anyone is reading this post and venturing there may not see the original beauty that I saw. 

TO GET THERE:
To reach Manachanallur: 
From Srirangam: 9km across Kollidam River
From Trichy: 18km via Cauvery, Srirangam, Kollidam
From Perambalur: 46km via Agaram, Samayapuram
From Manachanallur to Gopurapatti Temple: 5 km
Google coordinates: 10.904524,78.67081

TO STAY:
Plenty of hotels in all price points are available at Trichy aka Thiruchchirapalli.

Ph. no. of the temple priest: +91 99426 32564
Dedicated to Prof. Swamination and co...

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

20 comments:

  1. Stone sculpture is fascinating. Isn't it? :)

    Can I request you something? Can you post a bit bigger images here? It'll enhance your post also.

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    1. Thank you Nisha!
      The images get bigger if clicked!! :)

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  2. Beautiful sculptures. I have been to Srirangam Temple, but not to any other places.

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    Replies
    1. Next time you visit Srirangam, make sure you visit the rest of the places too! :)

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  3. I am constantly fascinated by the quaint, serene temples tucked in nondescript villages. Just as I am amazed by the grand ones. Thank you for your kind comment on my blog. There's something hugely familiar about you. Though my stint in Chennai was during a different era! Just a thought - Good Luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your endearing comment!
      So happy that you feel some familiarity about me! :)
      Thanks for visiting my blog. Do visit often! :)

      Delete
  4. beautiful temple sculptures, you clicked beautifully and photo of green field is nice

    thanks bhusha

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  5. Lovely note. The next time am around Trichy Mannachanallur is on my schedule. Nice details. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you Ramjee! Do visit. Its definitely a place you'll love! :)

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  6. Fascinating to see the details that were carved in the stone

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  7. Lovely post on this little known temple.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2013/02/welcome-to-benares.html

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  8. thanks for showing this pics..... this temple is my favorite

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  9. nan entha koviluku selvathu vallakam......megavum alagana shivan.....i like this temple thanks for showing wonderful pics and i like know about this temple history very deeply....if you have any idea please give me.... thanks once again....

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  10. for more information please visit in facebook Amaleeswarar Temple Gopurapatti.please like this page

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  11. Thank you for sharing this. Hare Krishna!

    ReplyDelete

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