Architecture: The temple covers an area of acre. The presiding deity faces the west. Two five tiered towers or Raja Gopurams are over the Eastern and the Western entrances to the temple. The main temple consists of two separate chambers, the Thyagaraja Mandapam and the Marundeeswarar Mandapam. 36 massive pillars are covered with elegant carvings and adorn the Thyagaraja Mandapam, which houses the Somaskanda Swaroopam of Shiva. Tripurasundari the consort of the presiding deity is housed in a separate mandapam. Many images adorn the pillars, while stucco figures grace the gopurams.
Antiquity: Stone inscriptions dating back to the 11th century are found in abundance in this temple. This temple gradually fell into disrepair. Renovation was done in 1913 and in the 70s.
Deities: Marundeeswara is worshipped here and is one and half feet high and self manifested. This deity is called Marundeeswara or Aushadeeswara for having performed the act of introducing the sage Agastyar to the mysteries of medicine. Shiva blessed Sage Valmiki and hence the name Valmikanathar. There is a grand mandapam enshrining Tyagarajar - the festival image. The Goddess Tripurasundari or Chokkanayaki is housed in a separate temple. Vijayaganapati and Subramanya have separate Mandapams smaller in size within the temple complex. Inside the Mahamandapam are the images of the 63 Saivite Saints. This temple has 108 Sivalingams and five massive Sivalingams representing the elements.
Festivals: The annual Bhramotsavam is celebrated in March - April. Other interesting facts: There is a Vanni tree - sacred tree here. Five sacred tanks - Janmanasini, Kamanasini, Papanasini, Gnanadhayini and Mokshadhayini. Gnanadhyayini existed here. Kamanasini and Mokshadhayini are wells. Janmanasini is in the form of the Chitrakulam tank in front of the Eastern tower, while the Papanasini is the massive tank situated a little away from the same tower.
(Last Updated on : 16-09-2010)
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