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157. Tirunallam


Location: Konerirajapuram near Kumbhakonam, Aaduturai
(Chola Naadu-South of Kaveri)
Shiva: Uma Maheswarar
Ambal: Mangala Nayaki
Vriksham: Bhadraksha
Theertham: Bhrama Theertham
Patikam : Sambandar, Appar
Travel Base: Thanjavur
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Description: This Shivastalam is located 10 km south of Tiruvidaimarudur - on the road between Kumbhakonam and Karaikkal.  Tirunallam  is considered to be the 34th in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom located south of the river Kaveri. Worship offered here on Tuesdays and Fridays is considered special. Natarajar here, is of significance. Shiva here is referred to as Umaikkunallaar in the Tevaram hymns. 

Legends: It is believed that Bhumidevi was instructed by Mahavishnu to build this temple, hence the name Bhumiswaram. It is also believed that a certain king Pururavas was cured of leprosy here, and in return gilded the temple vimanam with gold, and instituted the Vaikasi full moon festival.

This temple was built by Sembiyan Mahadevi the Chola queen (of Gandaraditya). Images of Gandaraditya Chola and Sembian Mahadevi as well as several inscriptions are seen here in this temple. These images are about a 1000 years old. Sembiyan Mahadevi is believed to have provided for the upkeep of the temple and for the performance of the daily rituals. This temple is also known as Gandaradittam. The inscriptions here are of great value as they offer an insight into how, the various sections of  society then  were involved collectively and separately in the day to day activities of the temple. Inscriptions speak of musicians, persons who prepared sandal paste, watchmen, reciters of hymns, managers, accountants, dyers, blacksmiths, etc. etc.

The niche images of Nataraja, Dakshinamurthy, Lingodbhavar, Ardhanareeswarar in this west facing temple are all of great beauty. The mukhamandapam in front of the sanctum is known here as Pugazhaabarana mandapam. Bronze images of Natarajar, Kalyanasundarar dating back ao the 10th century are of great beauty here.

This is regarded as a fully developed early Chola temple. It is well preserved, and it has the finest and richest collection of bronze images.

Festivals: Six worship services are offered here each day. This temple has about 21 vaahanams used during festivals. The annual Bhrammotsavam in Vaikasi, Kartikai Deepam, Arudra Darisanam, Sivaratri, Aadi Pooram, Navaratri and Skanda Sashti are the festivals celebrated here.

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