Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ashtalingams around Thiruverkadu



Vedapureeswarar Temple (Photo Courtesy: Dinamalar)
Devotees who perform the Giri valam around Tiruvannamalai worship the eight lingams around Arunachaleswara, one for each direction, namely
Indralingam
Agnilingam
Yamalingam
Nirudhilingam
Kuberalingam
Vayulingam
Varunalingam and
Eesanyalingam
to maximise the benefit of worship and to be bestowed of the grace and blessings of these lingams installed and worshipped by the lords of the eight directions.

Not many of us are aware that similar Ashtalingams, one for each direction, are found around the Vedapureeswarar Temple in Thiruverkadu. These lingams are located over a radius of 24 kms around this temple and several people undertake to visit all eight lingams on special days like Full Moon days, New Moon Days, Mondays and Monthly Sivarathri. Performing this Pradhakshina on Wednesdays is said to bring all sixteen elements of prosperity to the worshipper.

History of the Ashtalingams:


Kulothunga I (Anabaya Cholan)
When Sage Agasthya was going down South to balance the Earth during the celestial wedding of Lord Siva and Parvathi, he installed Shivalingams at several places. Since he could not participate in the wedding, Lord Shiva agreed to grant him the vision of the divine marriage at will. When Agasthya came to worship at Thiruverkadu, he sought to see the Lord's marriage there. So the Lord appeared before him along with Goddess Parvathi in the Marriage Kolam as Vedapureeswarar. Goddess Parvathi teased the Lord saying that while he immediately manifested in whatever form the Sages wanted, what would he do for simple devotees? With the smile, the Lord manifested himself in the form of Lingams on all eight directions around Vedapureeswara, much to the delight and happiness of Goddess Parvathi. King Anabaya Cholan (Kulothunga II) had constructed the Vedapureeswarar temple as well as temples for eight lingams around it.

However, with the passage of time, and several invasions, the temples have become lesser known shrines.

1. Indra Lingam - Vallikollaimedu


Sri Indrasenapatheeswarar Temple, Vallikollaimedu



Indralingam - Sri Indrasenapatheeswarar 
The Indrasenapatheeswarar Temple is to the East of Vedapureeswara Temple at Vallikollaimedu, which  is quite close to the Karumariamman temple at Thiruverkadu. This lingam is said to have been worshipped by Lord Indra to regain his status as King of Indraloka. People worship this lingam to gain promotion at work and to obtain or complete Government related work or orders.
Google Map Link

2. Agni Lingam - Noombal
This temple is found to the South East of the Vedapureeswara temple and is found on the opposite side on NH4 behind Gajalakshmi Kalyana Mandapam.This temple has been recently reconstructed and several new shrines like Navagraham, Murugan, etc added. The original shrine of Agnilingam known as Agastheeswara worshipped by Sage Agasthya is over 2300 years old.

Sri Anandavalli Samedha Sri Agastheeswara Temple at Noombal
Agni Lingam - Sri Agastheeswara
The trustee and priest of the temple Mr Bhadrachalam lives opposite to the temple and is happy to facilitate worship at any time of the day. He can be contacted on 98401 23464. The Agni Lingam is worshipped to be rid of enemies and to find lasting happiness.
Google Map Link

3. Yama Lingam - Senneerkuppam

The Yama Lingam is found to the South of the Vedapureeswara Temple and can be found on the Poonamallee - Avadi Road. There are a number of temples close to this temple and it is right in the middle of a residential locality so one has to check by both names, Yamalingam as well as Kailasanatha to find the place.

Sri Maragathambigai Samedha Kailasanatha Temple, Senneerkuppam

Yamalingam - Sri Kailasanatha
Worshipping at this temple is said to help one stand steadfast by the truth, and be rid of Ezharai Sani, Kanda Sani, Padha Sani and Janma Sani (the various ill effects of Saturn). Iron merchants can also benefit immensely in their trade by worshiping this Lord.
Google Map Link

4. Nirudhilingam - Parivakkam


Sri Balambigai Samedha Sri Paleeswarar Temple

Nirudhilingam -Sri Paleeswarar
By turning right at RRB Energy on Poonamallee High Road, towards Pattabhiram, you will reach Parivakkam and the temple is quite easy to find. There is an arch at the beginning of the road to the temple, which will be found on your left when you go from Poonamallee High Road. This 2320 year old temple, located to the South West of the Vedapureeswara Temple is very well maintained. It has Subramanya as the prime deity in its Swamy Vimana and it is interesting to note that the Goshta Devathas are duplicated at all levels of the Vimana on each side. The temple although lesser known, celebrates Manickavasagar Vizha for ten days every year.The temple is open from 9.30 to 11.00 am. The resident across the road is very helpful in opening the door for those who arrive before or after this time. The priest Mr Balaji can be contacted on 98403 35378.

Worshipping the Nirudhilingam helps one recover debts, and the Lord is known to save and protect those who are hapless and have no one to support them.

Not very far from this temple, is the Sithukadu Dhatriswara Temple, a temple where Lord Shiva has been installed and worshipped by Siddhars. This temple is the first project of Aalayam Kanden Trust and we are happy that the reconstruction is now complete and the Kumbabhishegam is to be performed on July 9, 2014. Article on Sithukadu temples can be found on Aalayam Kanden here.

5. Varunalingam - Mettupalayam:

Close to Parivakkam, near the Christian Graveyard at Kaduvetti, is found the Varunalingam. This lingam must have once been housed in a majestic temple, but today is found inside a very humble shed. This shrine is to the West of Sri Vedapureeswara Temple.

Sri Jalakandeeswari Samedha Sri Jalakandeswarar Temple
Varunalingam - Sri Jalakandeswara
Worshipping this lingam is said to protect one from diseases, help with a good yield in agriculture, and grant boons of childbirth and prosperity.
Google Map Link

6. Vayulingam - Paruthipattu
This temple is found to the North West of the Vedapureeswara Temple. This is the only temple that closes at 10 am and opens only at 5 pm. All the other seven can be worshipped even if the priest is not around. This temple is found in Paruthipattu on Avadi Road and is quite well maintained.

Sri Viruthambigai Samedha Vayulingamoorthy Temple
It is believed that in days of yore, there were cotton plants in plenty around the temple,and the cotton flowers would burst and send cotton flying into the temple. The Lord would very often be covered by cotton and hence the place came to be known as Paruthipattu. Worshipping here rids one of airborne diseases, and helps regain lost property.
Google Map Link

7. Kuberalingam - Sundaracholapuram

Sundaracholapuram, named after King Rajaraja I's father, is not very far from Paruthipattu. There are two temples here, both of them equally beautiful. The Kamakshi Samedha Sri Somanadheeswara Temple comes first as we enter Sundarachola puram. Though this temple is not part of the Ashtalingams, we were drawn to visit by the really ancient Ganesha found under the Peepal tree.

The Ganesha at Somanadheeswara Temple

Sri Somanadheeswara at Sundaracholapuram
Somanadheeswara sits magnificently in the Sanctum Sanctorum. A few hundred metres away from this temple is our destination - the Kuberalingam which is found to the North of Vedapureeswara Temple.

Sri Vembunayaki Samedha Kuberalingeswara
Worshipping Kuberalingeswara brings lasting riches and prosperity. The contact numbers of the temple are
98847 89835, 97104 47760, 93833 85400.
Google Map Link

8. Eesanya Lingam - Chinnakoladi

The Eesanya Lingam is found on the North Eastern side of the Vedapureeswara Temple. Easanya Shivan is the provider of Mukthi which is not easy to attain for mere mortals. Similarly, finding this Shiva was not easy for us. We had to go around in circles around Koladi and Chinnakoladi asking for directions at different places. Even those who stayed a few hundred metres away from this, by far the most magnificient among the Ashtalingams, did not know the location. Finally when we found the place, we were shocked.
The Lord, a favourite diety of the Cholas, who started any new task only after worshipping him, is found in the middle of the fields, in a thatched roof. The size of the lingam can help one well imagine the size of the temple, once built by Anabaya Cholan would have been.

But today one has to wade through ankle deep slush, that sometimes threatens your balance, to reach him.

Sri Gnaneswari Samedha Easanyalingam
This temple is referred to as Gnaneswari Samedha Easanya lingam. But all you can see of the temple is what you see in the picture. Gnaneswari is now visible to those who have "Gnanakan" (divine vision)!
Worshipping this Shiva brings removes hurdles and barriers, brings success in life and grants liberation.
Google Map Link

Except for Vayulingam, all other lingams can be worshipped at any time of the day. It is better to complete the visit before dark,as a couple of lingams like Varunalingam and Easanyalingam are not in very approachable locations. The Ashtalinga Sivanadiyargal Sangam is trying to create awareness about these magnificient and divine shrines so that there is better patronage and these temples are first able to sustain themselves and slowly regain their lost glory.

We started the trip at about 10 am and were able to complete it by about 3.30 pm. We also visited Sitthukadu, Karumari Amman Temple at Thiruverkadu and Somanadheeswara Temple at Sundaracholapuram during this period. The time taken could reduce much if one had a GPS enabled phone as I have now marked all the locations on Google maps. The office bearers of the Ashtalinga Sivanadiyargal Sangam are also willing to guide anyone interested in visiting these shrines and can be contacted at the mobile numbers below:

Mr. M Periasamy - 99400 54455
Sri K. Kumara Sivachariyar - 91765 39026
Mr V Mahendran - 93808 02626

Let us worship the Yen Kailayam in Chennai and be blessed with all the prosperity in life!









11 comments:

  1. Reading about these temples woulld have equal benefits, isn't it?

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  2. Great Contribution. Madam. Thanks.

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  3. Thanks for sharing the information. Was never aware of it.

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  4. Thanks for this excellent post with details of contact numbers,google marks for easy locating of these temple etc.Whereas you have to face lot of difficulty in locating these temples and visiting you have made it much easier for the followers of your blog in visiting the Ashtalingha temples.Thanks for this service too.

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  5. Thanks for the visual tour of the Ashtalingams. :)

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  6. These temple lingams are near to my house...i didnt know about it.....thanks for the info.I will visit the astalingams...god bless you..OM SIVA SIVA OM..

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  7. thanks a lot. I'v completed 5 of the 9 temples. little difficult for first time locating esp'lly eesaanya lingam& kubera lingam. both are now in identifiable locations. eeasana lingam is now rested in concrete temple adjoining ponniyamman temple. marutha maram, a rare tree,grown in marutha malai mountain ranges is visible here. the branches extend like dancing natarajar's hair beads. the tree looked divine.

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