Sunday, 9 June 2013

Jagannath temple, Thirumazhisai,chennai pic 1--5

Tirumazhisai Alwar is one of the twelve alwars - the twelve great devotees of Lord Vishnu from South India who were responsible for the Bhakti movement. The town where Tirumazhisai Alwar was born is Thirumazhisai Nagar, which is located near Chennai city. There is a 1000 year old temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu in this town. The name of the deity in this temple is Jagannath.

Lord Jagannath temple in Thirumazhisai Nagar is one of the three important Jagannath temples in the world. Jagnnath is a name given to Lord Krishna. Puri is considered as Uttara Jagannath Kshetra (North Jagannath), and Tiruppullani is considered as the Dakshina Jagannath Kshetra (South Jagannath), and Thirumazhisai Nagar is considered as the Madhya Jagannath Kshetra (the middle Jagannath site).

Even though the exact age of Jagannath temple is unknown, from the records and inscriptions, it is evident that this temple was maintained by Kulothunga Chola III of 12th century AD. Tirumazhisai Alwar, the great devotee of Lord Vishnu, who was associated closely with this temple, belonged to 8th century AD. Hence, we can assume that this temple should be at least 1000 years old. It could have been built by Chola kings when they were ruling this region.

There is another temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, in Thirumazhisai Nagar, which is located well on the high road. However, Jagannath temple is located interior in the town. The temple has a majestic temple tower (Rajagopuram) with five levels, and the temple tank (Bruhu Teerth) and a mandap stand in front of the temple tower. If you enter into the temple, you can find the dhwajasthambha in front of the main shrine. The main shrine has the main deity of the temple, Lord Krishna, who is called as Jagannath in this temple. Jagannath is found with his consorts Rukmini and Satyabhama on his either sides. All the three idols are big, wide, and gigantic, and they are in sitting posture. The idols of the saints Markandeya and Bruhu are also seen in the sanctum itself. There is a separate idol for Tirumazhisai Alwar - a big idol in sitting posture with his third eye on the thumb nail in his right leg.

The goddess of the temple Tirumangai Valli Thayar has a separate shrine in the corridor. There are separate shrines for Andal, and Narasimha with Lakshmi on his lap in the corridor. Near the main sanctum, next to the shrine of Tirumazhisai Alwar, there is a shrine for Kannan (Krishna). The idol is too beautiful. Garud is found in front of the main sanctum as usual. There are shrines for other alwars too in this temple. The walls of the temple have the idols of Ganesh, Vishnu, and Vaishnavi.

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