Monday, 22 October 2012

THIRUKAZHUKUNDRAM - Siva Temple,pic 1--6

Thirukkalukundram is an ancient town in Kanchipuram district of the South Indian
state of Tamil Nadu. The town is famous for its Hindu temple, Vedagiriswarar temple, popularly known as Kazhugu koil (Eagle temple). There are two temples, one in the basement of the hill and other atop the hill. The main attraction here is the large temple located atop the mountain which houses the deity of Vedagiriswarar, Lord Shiva. The temple at the foothills is dedicated to Thirupurasundari amman, Parvathi, the consort. It is surrounded by four gopurams which resemble the temple architecture of Thiruvannamalai  Annamalaiyaar temple.
. Thirukazhukundram is located  70 km away from Chennai and 15 km away from the famous tourist town Mahabalipuram.
The two sacred eagles appearing over the temple to worship the Lord every day are a major attraction for the visitors. They come down to a rock where sweet rice is offered as food. To watch these eagles taking the food is a rare experience.
According to tradition, the four Vedas, Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana, are seen here in the shape of four boulders, placed one above the other, with Lord Siva as Vedagiriswarar, emerging from the head of the fourth Veda, Atharvana. Hence the place gets the name Vedagiri, where the presiding deity on the hilltop is Vedagiriswarar

  The Moolavar is Vedagiriswarar and Ambal is Tirupurasundari.  The theertham is Changu theertham and the sthala vriksham is kadali (plantain) tree.  Several Saivaite saints and poets such as Appar, Sundarar, Manickavaasagar, Pattinathaar, Arunagirinathar, Tiruporur Chidambaram Swaamigal, Andagakavi Veeraraga Mudaliar, Ramalinga Adigalar, Ramanathapuram Somasundaram Pillai, Kanchipuram Mahavidwan Sabapathi Mudaliar have sung the praise of this sthalam.
The total area covering the temple and hill is over 265 acres and 500 feet high and the hilltop can be reached by ascending 562 well-laid stone slabs. On the way there are small mandapams, for pilgrims to rest. The steps and the walls on the sides have been built from donations. For the infirm and the aged, dholis carried by two persons are available at nominal charges.

It is believed that the hill has innumerable medicinal herbs and plants and therefore the cool breeze is said to cure ailments. As the Vedas exists as Hill - it is believed that undertaking circumambulation of the Hill gives effect equivalent to worshipping the Vedas.

There are 12 Theerthams (holy water tanks) around the hillock. They are :-
1. Indra Theertham, 2. Sambu Theertham 3. Rudra Theertham, 4. Vashishta Theertham, 5. MeygyAna Theertham, 6. Agasthiya Theertham, 7. Markandeya Theertham, 8. Kaushika Theertham, 9. nandi Theertham, 10. Varuna theertham, 11. Agalikai Theertham, 12. Pakshi Theertham..

The temple has four gopurams (towers), the tallest with nine tiers (on the southern side) and the other three with seven tiers.
In the prakaram of the temple, the tank, Nandi Thirtham, is located. It has a huge Nandi (mount of Siva), facing Vedagiriswarar on the hilltop. The absence of a Nandi before the presiding deity on the hilltop is a unique feature
Goddess Tirupurasundari has a special shrine. Around the sanctum engraved on marble slabs fixed on the walls, are verses from the "Abhirami Andhathi

According to the legend the two birds fly every day from Varanasi on the Ganges(Northern India) to this temple flying about two thousand miles, arriving at noon. They have lunch here and then fly southern most point of India, to Rameswaram. They then fly north up the coast to Chidambaram, go to sleep, and in the morning they fly north to Varanasi for a bath in the Ganges and then off back to Thirukazhukundram again.  They are not considered as normal birds but as mythical “eight sages” or Asthavasus. In Indian Mythology, Asthvasus were guard to the eight points of the compass. But they did penance on which Hindu Lord Shiva was angry and cursed them to turn into vultures. When they asked for forgiveness, Lord Siva directed them to the temple of Vedagiri Ishwara where they would be fed and worshiped. They remained there in the temple. In the last three yugams(epoch), three pairs died leaving the last couple surviving in this epoch. Legend also says that the birds will not come if there are sinners in the crowd which assembles at the temple.
Till 1998 , the mystical bird pair used to appear every day at noon at Thirukazhukundram. But one day they stopped coming and they simply vanished. For the local people its a bad omen and attributed to the presence of “sinners” among the onlookers. For a decade now, no mythical birds has visited the temple but the ritual is of practised by the temple priest in the hope that they eventually will turn up some day.


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  2. about Thirukalukundram Temple History click

  3. Agreed with the story. As Hindus, we must accept such religious sentiments. Because in other religions, if anyone talks ill of their belief, they will be taken to severe task. But in Hindu religion, it is not so. Really Great!