near Thanjavur in Tamilnadu, Thiruvarur is an
ancient shrine steeped in mysticism. It is rich in legend, history
Temple History: Trace the history of Thiruvarur
through insights gained from the Tevaram hymns, temple inscriptions
and other sources.
Deities: Vanmikanathar represents the Moolavar
while the shrine dedicated to Thiyagaraja is the better known
shrine in the temple.
Vanmikanathar Legend relates to Shiva appearing
within an anthill in response to prayers from the Gods.
has it that the Thiyagaraja (Somaskanda) image at Thiruvarur
was created and worshipped by Maha Vishnu. Somaskanda is symbolic
of fertility, of royal lineage etc.
Iconography: Somaskanda refers to a manifestation
of Shiva with Skanda and Uma by his side.
represents the Somaskanda manifestation of Shiva at Thiruvarur
and at a few other shrines. Thiyagarajar is referred to as Veedhi
Vitankar in the Tevaram hymns.
Thiyagaraja Shrine at Thiruvarur is steeped in mysticism.
Thiyagaraja is associated with the Ajapaa Natanam.
Natanam: Lord Thiyagaraja is said to have raisen from
the navel of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu in his yoga stage breaths,
and when Adisesha also breaths, there are waves found in the
parkadal, the milky ocean at the vaikuntha, where Lord Vishnu
Chola Legend: The valorous Chola king brought back
from Indra 7 images of Somaskanda.
Vitanka Shrines refer to seven temples in the Chola
kingdom enshrining images of Thiyagaraja brought to earth by Mucukunda
Natanam Cont':This causes tilting and lord Thiyagaraja
is always visualised like doing a rhythmic dance which is known
as "Ajaba Natanam".
Whenever, the lord moves from vasantha mandabam to the chariot
or to the thousand pillar mandapam to give dharsha to his bhakthas.
hymns dedicated to Thiruvarur describe festivities in the
temple town during the 1st millennium CE. 62 of the Nayanmaar
preceding Sundarar are mentioned in Tiruttondattokai.
associated with the lives of other Saivite Saints at Thiruvarur.
Naminandi Adikal, Dandi Adikal and Somaasi Maaranaar are some
of the other saints associated with Thiruvarur.
Temple Layout: The vast temple complex at Thiruvarur
with several shrines has many spacious mandapams and towering
Nilothpalambal Inside the main temple there
is another seperate shrine for Goddess Nilothpalambal. The Goddess,with
two hands is Aadi Parasakti.Alongside the Goddess,an assistant
is seen carrying on her shoulder Lord Muruga- an interesting
feature-and the Goddess is shown touching the head of Lord Muruga.
- In all temples there's only one Chandikesvarar. At Thiruvarur,
there are two Chandikes-varars, one known as Chandikes-varar
and the other called as Yama Chandikesvarar,
with curles of hair and beard. It is said that all those born
at Thiruvarur are Sivaganas and lord Yama does not have any work
to do. He complains to Easwara and says he does not have any
Chola:There was a Chola king who ruled Thiruvarur by
name Manuniti Chola. Once his son, when riding the Chariot,
accidentally killed a calf on the road. As per the rules of
the kindom, a bell was kept outside the palace and any one wishing
to have one's grievance attended to should ring the bell. The
cow mother of the calf, pulled the bell on seeing the dead calf.
The king, the just ruller that he was, rode the chariot over
his son. Pleased with the king's sense of justice, the gods
are set to have revived.