Tiruvotriyur is a famed Shivastalam to the North of Chennai in
Tiruvotriyur. The three Shivastalams in (and around) Chennai are Tiruvanmyur, Tirumayilai
and Tiruvotriyur. This is the
20th of the 32 Tevara Stalams in the Tondai region of South India.
Tiruvotriyur is a well
renowned shrine known for Tyagarajar, and for the grandeur of the temple and the
festivals celebrated. Tyagarajar's dance here is Sundara Natanam. Tiruvotriyur is
not one of the Saptavitanka Stalams of Tyagarajar,
although the Tyagarajar shrine here is of great relevance.
The Temple: The Moolavar here (Aadipureeswarar) is a Lingam of earth,
covered with a kavacam, removed only on the occasion of Kartikai Full Moon. The Tripada
Trimurthy image combines the essence of Shiva, Vishnu & Bhrama & shows the latter
two engaged in worship of Shiva.
History: Pattinathar & Ramalinga Adigal have sung praises of
Otriyur. Tiruvotriyur is known for its close association with Sundaramoorthy Nayanar who
was also closely associated with Tiruvarur, home
to Tyagarajar and the foremost of the 7 Saptavitanka shrines. . Sambandar is said to have
visited here after visiting Kalahasti, while
Appar is said to have come here from Tirumayilai.
This is a vast , well visited temple with an impressive Rajagopuram and prakarams.
Inscriptions from the period of Parantaka Chola I and Uttama Chola are found in the
pillars of the mandapams. The central shrine was rebuilt later during the days of
Rajendra Chola, who erected with black stone, the vimanam of Aadipureeswarar.
Festivals: The grand festivals celebrated here are of great
significance and are centered around the dance of Tyagarajar. Sundarar's association with
Tiruvotriyur is celebrated widely. Sundarar is said to have married Sangili Nachiyar under
the stala vriksham Magizha maram, where there is also a shrine to Shiva Aadipureeswarar.
The samadhi and temple of Pattinathar, a devotee of Shiva are also located nearby. Much
more needs to be said about Tiruvotriyur and Templenet will feature a special on
Tiruvotriyur, Tirumayilai and Tiruvanmiyur in the near future.