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The Ultimate Source of Information on Indian Temples

Temples of Tamilnadu
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Temples of Tamilnadu

Special Templenet Feature - April 2001

The Tyagaraja temple at Tiruvarur is one of the ancient heritage sites of India and is a representation of the religio-socio-cultural history of the Tamil region for a period spanning over a millennium and a half. Little is known about this shrine to much of India. The vast temple complex today is truly a standing monument to centuries of history and tradition. Templenet takes great pride in presenting a comprehensive feature on Tiruvarur.

Located near Thanjavur in Tamilnadu, Tiruvarur is an ancient shrine steeped in mysticism. It is rich in legend, history and tradition. Tiruvarur Temple History: Trace the history of Tiruvarur through insights gained from the Tevaram hymns, temple inscriptions and other sources. Tiruvarur Deities: Vanmikanathar represents the Moolavar while the shrine dedicated to Tyagaraja is the better known shrine in the temple.
The Vanmikanathar Legend relates to Shiva appearing within an anthill in response to prayers from the Gods.

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Legend has it that the Tyagaraja (Somaskanda) image at Tiruvarur was created and worshipped by Maha Vishnu. Somaskanda is symbolic of fertility, of royal lineage etc.
Somaskanda Iconography: Somaskanda refers to a manifestation of Shiva with Skanda and Uma by his side. Tyagaraja represents the Somaskanda manifestation of Shiva at Tiruvarur and at a few other shrines. Tyagarajar is referred to as Veedhi Vitankar in the Tevaram hymns. The Tyagaraja Shrine at Tiruvarur is steeped in mysticism. Tyagaraja is associated with the Ajapaa Natanam.
Ajapaa Natanam is associated with the dance of the image of Somaskanda worn by Vishnu, in synch with his breath. Mucukunda Chola Legend: The valorous Chola king brought back from Indra 7 images of Somaskanda. Sapta Vitanka Shrines refer to seven temples in the Chola kingdom enshrining images of Tyagaraja brought to earth by Mucukunda Chakravarti.
Tiruvarur Temple Layout: The vast temple complex at Tiruvarur with several shrines has many spacious mandapams and towering gopurams. tyaga.jpg (188287 bytes) Tevaram hymns dedicated to Tiruvarur  describe festivities in the temple town during the 1st millennium CE. 62 of the Nayanmaar preceding Sundarar are mentioned in Tiruttondattokai.
Miracles associated with the lives of other Saivite Saints at Tiruvarur. Naminandi Adikal, Dandi Adikal and Somaasi Maaranaar are some of the other saints associated with Tiruvarur. Visit our earlier feature on the Sapta Vitanka shrines in the ancient Chola Kingdom of Tamilnadu. Visit our earlier feature on Tiruvarur (in conjunction with Abodes of Shiva - published in October 1999).