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110. Kodimaadachenkunrur


Location: Tiruchengode near Salem, Erode
(Kongu Naadu)
Shiva: Ardhanareeswarar
Ambal: Baagampiriyaalammai .
Theertham: Sangu Theertham
Patikam : Sambandar
Travel Base:Salem
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Description: Tiruchengode is in the vicinity of Erode and Salem in Kongunaadu. Ardhanareeswarar - one of the 64 manifestations of Shiva, representing the unity of Shiva and Parvati, is enshrined in this revered hill temple of great significance, acessible by a motorable road; this is an ancient temple mentioned in the Tamil work Silappadikaram as Neduvelkunru. The red color of the hill caused the name Chengode. The image above, shows the view of the surrounding area from the top of the Tiruchengode hill. This temple  is regarded as the 4th of the 7 Tevara Stalams in the Kongu Region of Tamilnadu.

Legends: Adi Kesava Perumal, enshrined here, instructed Gowri on the Kedara Gowri Vratam which she performed to unite with Shiva as Ardhanareeswarar. One of the 64 manifestations of Shiva - the man-woman form with Parvati constituting the left half of Shiva.

A battle of strength between Adi Seshan and Vayu, saw the former clinging tightly to Mount Meru and Vayu using his might to blow it away. The latter succeeded in blowing it away to Tiruchengode and the blood spilled by Adiseshan colored it red. Kamadhenu is said to have obtained 5 hills from Shiva, of which this was one; hence this hill with 2 stories of its origin,with rocks colored both red and yellow represents the masculine and feminine aspects of the Ardhanareeswara manifestation of Shiva.

The Temple: Ancient walls, mandapams and sculptured pillars (now in a state of disrepair) add to the awe that this temple perpetuates, on top of the hill. The motorway and the renovated Rajagopuram are of recent origin. True to the name Nagagiri, there is a 60 ft long snake carved on the hill.

Although the sanctum faces the West, entrance to it is from the South. A majestic image of Ardanareeswarar  adorns the sanctum.There is a water spring at the foot of the image  which is said to have been divinely manifested (Uli Padaa Uruvam). There are inscriptions here from the times of Parantaka Chola, Gangaikonda Chola, the Vijayanagar & Mysore Kings and the Nayaks.

The Tiruchengottuvelavar shrine (to Subramanyar) attracts a number of pilgrims.

Sambandar composed the Tiruneelakandapatikam here, to help rid fellow travellers of an affliction. Muthuswamy Deekshitar has sung of this shrine in Ardhanareeswaram in Kumudakriya.

Festivals: Three worship services are offered each day. The late night worship service (Artha Jaama Pooja) is considered to be of importance here. New moon days are also considered to be special. The annual festival is celebrated  in the tamil month of Vaikasi, when the festival image of Ardhanareeswarar is brought down from the hill.

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