Rare Linga-pitha in Ancient Shiva temple in Chennai, is dedicated to Thiruvareshwarar

An ancient temple located in Sadras near Chennai has a very rare linga-pitha with some unfamiliar features and a number of charming sculptures and artifacts

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Lord Shiva. Image Source: Wikimedia

Chennai, Jan 11, 2017: Originally known as Chaturangapattinam, Sadras, located on the East Coast Road, is approximately 70 km from Chennai.  An archaic temple for Shiva is located here is dedicated to Thiruvareshwarar.

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The entrance, devoid of a gopuram, takes the visitor to a granite mandapam with a bali-pitham, dvajastambham and a Nandi, which is facing the small Shiva Lingam. An unusual feature is that the base of the Lingam called Avudaiyar or the Linga Pitam is square in shape and not round like the other ones found in other shrines. The passage around the principal sanctum has shrines for Pillaiyar, Nalvar and Subramanya and also has a modern image of Arunagirinathar, the ardent worshipper of Muruga.

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The pillars of the mandapam whichh can be found in front of the main shrine have statues of many forms of Shiva such as Nataraja performing the Urdhva Tandava, Bhikshatana (Shiva as a mendicant) and also a portrait sculpture of a person, probably the donor of this structure. The shrine for Goddess Parvati, worshipped as Thiruvatishvari Amman is in the same mandapam with a narrow prakaram around it.

The holy tree (Sthala Vriksham) has traditionally been the Pipal tree (Arasa Maram) which is however, can not be found in the temple today. The temple tank called Karakulam is located a few meters away from the temple. There is a small Vinayaka temple-Karunya Vinayaka which was originally known as Karani Vinayaka near Karakulam.

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On the walls of the Shiva temple, there is a damaged Tamil inscription which probably belonged to the reign of a chieftain named Rajanarayana Sambuvarayar. It records the assignment of tolls and duties on articles of merchandise on the king’s orders, by the local people and the merchants, to this temple.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

 

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