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February 1997

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The Templenet Encyclopedia - Temples of Tamilnadu

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Temples of Tamilnadu (Contd.)

Sankaranarayanar Temple at Sankaran Koil near Tirunelveli: This 900 year old temple enshrines Vanmikanathar - Prithvilingam, Gomathi Amman and Sankaranarayanar - a personification of the unity of Shiva and Vishnu. This temple is surrounded by high walls and the tower has many beautiful images. The Sankaranarayanaswami image has both the symbols of Shiva and Vishnu. The stone idol of Nataraja is unique.

Saptarishiswarar Temple at Lalgudi near Tiruchirappalli: This temple dates back to the 7th century and it was renovated in the 10th century. Saptarishiswarar or Shiva is worshipped here, in this town, originally called Tiruttavatturai. This temple has been glorified by the works of the Saivite Saints.

Sarangapani Temple at Kumbakonam: This ancient and beautiful temple dedicated to Sarangapani - Vishnu is one of the 108 sacred Sree Vaishnavite shrines and its praise has been sung by the Alwar saints. The sanctum is designed to resemble a charriot with wheels and horsees.

Sirkali Bhramapureeswarar Temple at Sirkali near Chidambaram: This ancient temple housing the deity Shiva (Bhramapureeswarar - Sattanathar) is known to have existed 1300 years ago and has been sung by the great Tamil saints. Shiva is worshipped in both the Lingam form and in the human form in this shrine.

Sreevaikunthanathar Temple at Sreevaikuntham near Tirunelveli: Also known as Kallapiranswami temple, this ancient shrine is known for its captivating images. The mandapams are filled with pillars and images of artistic value. This is one of the 108 Sree Vaishnavite sacred shrines and has been sung by the Alwar Saints

Sriranganathar Temple at Srirangam near Tiruchirappalli: A vast and very ancient temple steeped in the Sree Vaishnavite tradition housing the mammoth image of Ranganatha (Vishnu) in a reclining posture, also known for its gold plated vimanam and the lofty Raja Gopuram, one of the tallest in India. It is a treasure house of architectural styles ranging all the way from the Chola and Pandya styles through the Hoysala, Vijayanagar and the Naik styles.

Suchindram Sthanumalayaswami Temple at Suchindram near Kanyakumari: This temple is a large structure with mandapams or halls with exquisite and unique works of art and sculpture. The musical pillars and the huge stone image of Hanuman are noteworthy features here. The origin of the original temple is lost in time. The Naik rulers have made contributions to this temple. The presiding deity here is Shiva Sthanumalayaswami. Tiruvenkata Vinnavar Perumaan - Vishnu is another of the main deities here.

Sukavaneswarar Temple at Salem: This is an ancient temple with several stone inscriptions, said to date back to the pre Christian era. The current structure is a result of several renovations. This temple is dedicated to Shiva and is associated with the Tamil poet Avvai.

Suryanar Temple at Suryanar Koil near Kumbakonam: This is a one of a kind temple dedicated to the Sun God and it also houses shrines to each of the other eight celestial bodies - the Nava Grahams. It was built by the Chola kings and is located near Tirumangalakkudi, another ancient Shiva temple, near Kumbakonam.

Swamimalai Temple at Swamimalai near Kumbakonam: One of this holiest shrines of Subramanya, this temple is within close reach of Kumbakonam. The Subramanya shrine is built at an elevation and is accessed through a flight of stairs. This is a well visited temple.

Swetaranyeswarar Temple at Tiruvangadu near Chidambaram: This Shiva temple is referred to as Budhasthalam, special to Budhan or Mercury, one of the nine celestial bodies - Navagrahams.. It also has a shrine dedicated to Aghoramurthy. It has been glorified by the Saivite Saints

Tenkasi Viswanathaswami Temple at Tenkasi near Tirunelveli: This is a five hundred year old temple dedicated to Shiva where the images in the monolithic pillars are noted for their beauty.

Tiruchendur Subramanya Temple at Tiruchendur near Tirunelveli: This temple built on the seashore is one of the six shrines sacred to Murugan. This temple is believed to be 2000 years old although the current structure is of recent origin. It is a well visited temple where there are several small shrines in the large complex. The lofty temple tower is visible for miles around.

Tirukkadavur Abirami Temple at Tirukkadavur near Kumbakonam: This ancient temple dedicated to Abirami and Amritagateswarar is one of the eight Veeratta Stalams of Shiva, and has been sung by the Saivite Saints. The Abirami shrine here, is of significance. Tirukkadavur is in close proximity to Mayiladuturai near Kumbakonam.

Tirukkandiyur Veerattanam Temple at Tirukkandiyur near Tanjavur: This temple dedicated to Shiva is an ancient one, and has been sung by the Saivite Saints. It features a shrine to Bhramma.

Tirukkarangudi Azhagiya Nambi Temple at Tirukkarangudi near Tirunelveli: This is a huge temple with massive walls, and a huge gopuram, and mandapams with exquisite works of art. The Vijayanagar and the Naik rulers have contributed greatly to this temple which is one of the 108 sacred Sree Vaishnavite Shrines sung by the Alwar Saints.

Tirukkarukaavur Mullaivananathar Temple at Tirukkarukaavur near Kumbakonam: This temple dedicated to Mullaivananathar and Karu Kaatta Amman (Shiva and Parvati) is located in a hamlet near Kumbakonam. An ancient temple, it has been sung by the Saivite Saints of the last millennium.

Tirukkazhukunram Vedagiriswarar Temple at Tirukkazhukunram near Madras: This temple covering 12 acres is built on top of a hill - the four hills here representing the Vedas - Vedagiriswarar being Shiva. The Pallava Emperors built it 1300 years ago. At the foot of the hills is the ancient temple of Bhaktavatsalar. The hill temple is associated with the feeding of kites at an appointed time everyday. This temple has been sung by the Saivite Saint Poets. Tirukkazhukunram is about 70 kilometers from Madras.

Tirukkottiur Sowmya Narayana Temple at Tirukkottiur near Madurai: This is an ancient shrine, with a beautiful ashtanga vimanam and a number of sculptured images. The presiding deity here is Vishnu - as Paramapadanathan. This is one of the 108 sacred Sree Vaishnavite shrines and has been glorified by the words of the Alwar saints. Tirukkottiur is situated close to Karaikkudi near Madurai.

Tirumalai Mahadevar Temple at Tirumalai near Kanyakumari: This temple is closely associated with the Ramayana as Rama is said to have worshipped here. The sanctums to Shiva and Perumaal are built in the Keralite style with copper plated roofs. Tirumalai Naikkar of Madurai is said to have been named after this deity.

Tirumarainathar Temple at Tiruvadavur near Madurai: This ancient temple with awe inspiring towers and artistically carved pillars is dedicated to Veda Nayakar - Shiva and is located at Tiruvadavur the birthplace of the Saint poet Manikkavachakar.

Tirunageswaram Naganathar Temple at Tirunageswaram near Kumbakonam: A large and beautiful temple dedicated to Nageswarar - Shiva located close to Kumbakonam. This shrine is special to Rahu one of the nine celestial Gods (Navagrahams).

Tirunallar Darbharanyeswarar Temple at Tirunallar near Kumbakonam: This is an ancient temple listed as one of the 7 Vidanga Stalams, or shrines special to Tyagarajar, and is better known for its shrine to Saneeswaran or Saturn. It is a well visited temple. Tirunallar is a part of the Pondichery Union Territory.

Tiruppachur Shiva Temple at Tiruppachur near Madras: This beautiful temple of Shiva is at Tiruppachur near Tiruvalangadu and Tiruvellur, a railhead to the West of Madras.This temple remains locked most of the time owing to the lack of adequate patronage and staff as per accounts of the villagers nearby. This temple is very ancient and is associated with Karikala Cholan and later with the Saivite Saints who glorified it with their poetry.

Tiruppadirippuliyur Temple at Cuddalore near Chidambaram: This temple dedicated to Pataleeswarar - Shiva has been in existence since the 7th century AD; however the existing structure is largely a result of renovations from the 19th century. Artistically carved pillars are seen in this temple, which has been glorified by the poems of the Saivite Saints.

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