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Friday, July 26, 2013

Thirukachur Kachabeshwarar & Marundheeswarar Temples (Kanchipuram - Tamil Nadu)

From Appur my next stop was Thirukachur. Thirukachur is a hub containing 3 temples. This again, like Appur, is a hill. But 2 temples are located at hill base and 1 atop. 
The first one at the hill base is called Kachabeshwarar aka Thyagarajar Temple and the second one in the temple base is Marundheeswerar Temple. At one point the road divides into 2. To the left is Marundheeswarar Temple and to the right is Kachabeshwarar Temple. Our first visit was to the Kachabeshwarar Temple. 
Here's the legend of the temple. Kachabam means Tortoise. Tortoise was one of the 10 re-incarnations of Lord Vishnu. He took that form to being out the Amudham (medicine for eternity) out of the ocean called Parkadal. That's when the Samudhra Manthan (churning of Parkadal) happens... Prior to this Lord Vishnu, soon after taking the tortoise form, offers a prayer to Lord Shiva. That spot happens to be this temple! That's why a pillar relief sculpture of a human-tortoise praying a Shiva Lingam.
The Lord Shiva here is called Kachabeshwarar. He is also called Virundhitta Ishwarar and Virundhitta Varadhar. His consort here is called Anjanaakshi Ammai. The Sthala Vruksham is Banyan and the pond is called Koorma Theertham. Another legend of the place is that when Saint Sundarar came here, he was hungry. So Lord Shiva took the form of a man and served food to Sundarar. A feast is called 'Virundhu' in Tamizh and hence the Shiva here is called Virundhu Itta Iswaran. 
The temple's entrance was unique! The main door was facing East. So I entered in and went into the Maha Mandapam. The ardha mandapa was facing south! The Sanctum Sanctorum was facing East!!! 
The ceiling had a Magaram (mythical creature with croc face) soon after the Maha Mandapam entrance. The outer wall of Ardha Mandapam was filled with inscriptions. 

The shrines in the circumambulation passage were of Vinayaka, Dakshinamurthy, Chozheeshwarar, Gnana Ganapathy, Kalatheeswarar,  Maheshwari, Marga Sahaa Ishwarar, Naagalingam, Naagarajar, Kaasi Vishwanathar, Valli Devasena Subrahmaniar, Vishnu, Chandikesa and Durga. 


On the outer circumabulation passage was this cute little shrine of Sri Maha Ganapathy. In the ardha mandapa of this shrine, on the ceiling, in a panel along its edges is a series of mini sculptures depicting the legend of the temple (about Samudhra Manthan). Another of my favourite relief sculpture here was of bull and elephant merged together with a single face!

An Indian labernum tree was in full bloom. And below it were these huge terracotta pots which I think must have been some musical instrument that's in disuse today!!!
From there our second visit was to the Marundhitta Iswarar temple. Unfortunately this temple was closed by the time I reached there. 

The Lord Shiva here is called Marundheeshwarar. His consort is Anthaka Nivaarani aka Irul Neekki Thayar.   The specialty here is of that Chandikesa Statue. The Chandikesa here has 4 faces. The above pic is the frontal and from atop to show his 4th face against the wall. He has vampire teeth. He has 4 hands carrying a beaded necklace, kamandalam (jug like object), Sulam and Mazhu (armaments). Beside him is a statue of Surya.
Another important aspect of this temple is the Nadai paadhai Kinaru or the walk-down well. Water can be drawn directly like a regular well or someone can walk down to the water lever through the long length of steps!!!!!
Since this temple itself was closed, there is no point visiting the 3rd one. So we left from there and set off to Kanchi to visit the Thanthondrishwara Temple and then to Mathangeeshwara Temple... Coming back soon with that!

TO GET THERE:
To Singaperumal Koil: Refer to my earlier post.
From Singaperumal Koil to these temples: 2.2km (Travel 1.3 km on S.P.Koil - Sriperumbudur road and take a right turn. In 1km you'll reach a dead end where you can spot 2 boards pointing to the 2 temples on either sides)
From Appur temple to here: 3.3 km on S.P.Koil - Sriperumbudur road towards S.P.Koil. Left turn and in less that 1km you'll reach here
Google Coordinates: Temple 1, Temple 2

Ph. no. of the priest of Temple 1: Murali - +91 94453 56399; +91 44 27463514
Ph. no. of Temple 2: +91 44 27464325
Both the temples close by about 11, 11:30 A.M...

Dedicated to Siva, Gopu, and Vishwa

27 comments:

  1. Creative as well as informative piece. Although, I was not able to open this post on my mobile. Logged in to PC to read the update.

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    1. Thank you so much Satyender! Its the regular readers like you that keep my blog going! :)

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  2. Wow , nice to know about this temple . Thanks for sharing .

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  3. interesting place..... so near to Chennai....

    thanks for sharing the info....

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    1. Yes indeed. Its been long since I wanted to take this trip towards Chengalpet. Finally did!!! :)

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  4. Another lovely post!

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

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  5. Somehow you manage to go to Temples located in every nook and corner :) The old Tamil script and the way you have photographed it, looks nice.

    Destination Infinity

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  6. Excellent post & photos. It would be nice if you add some ‘Devaram’ at the end. ‘Pattinathar’ prayed and did some songs. Expecting lot.

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    1. Thank you Arishtanemi. Will try adding later on... :)

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  7. Wonderful post with nice captures :) You can find a temple of the same name here in Chennai as well. There is story behind that which i'm not very sure. It is said that an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva has once got stuck in heavy rain which stopped him to visit the temple. So that the Lord appeared before him and hence a temple was erected here in Chennai on that remembrance .

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    1. Yes. That's the one in Thiruvanmiyur!!! :)

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  8. Great temple with such wonderful carvings.

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  9. The Walk down well is something unique. Sad I was in Kanchi last week! Could mot make time to explore

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    1. Yeah. There are very few temples that have this structure. I guess its unique to Cholas. Gangai Konda Cholapuram has this too.
      Do visit next time for sure...

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  10. Very informative article with nice photos.

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  11. very informative with nice photos. Good

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  12. Thank you.Very useful information. Did you get a chance to visit Marundheeshwarar temple later. WIll be interested to know the temple origin facts.

    -BalajiAnnamalai

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    Replies
    1. I couldn't visit the place again! :(

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    2. One of the most Anmeega Temple. Must visit every one to this temple. Thank You for your valuable information. It is very useful

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  13. Please visit 108 Siva Temples of Kanchipuram

    http://spiritualtemples.blogspot.in/2013/12/108-shiva-temples-of-kanchipuram.html

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