We the devotees believe totally in God and go to temples regularly ~ it is not simply a habit but a belief – totally immersed belief – the one of surrendering ourselves in the Lotus feet of the Lord. When we visit the various temples, often we feel sad over the poor maintenance and derelict attitude of those managing the temples. The Vaishnavaites call them ‘108 Divyadesams’ – similarly for Saivaites there are 275 – ‘Paadal Petra Stalams’ – of which 32 are in the Tondai Nadu. Some are big, some small – all equal in divinity …. In the city of
is the famous Thiagarajaswamy temple at Tiruvotriyur. This temple is several centuries old,
eulogized by poets, scholars and devotees alike, affirms the splendor of Chennai ’s
religious tradition and spiritual ethos. India
Tradition holds that this Shiva stala was the first temple ever on the face of the earth and was called ‘Adipuri’ (‘the primordial town’). In the same vein, the moolavar here is called Adipureeswarar. Shiva is present as Agni or fire. He is also present as a swayambu lingam of earth covered with a kavacham removed only on the occasion of the Karthikai Full Moon. The place “Thiruvotriyur” existed many centuries earlier to the formation of Chennapatnam.
By some accounts it is stated that the great grammarian Pannini sat in penance here and worshipped with staunch devotion obtaining the sutras which formed the basis of his exponential treatise on Sanskrit grammar. From 1835 to 1858, Sri Ramalinga Adigalar visited Otriyur everyday, for 23 years and received the blessings of Sri Thiagarajaswamy. Sri Ramalinga Adigalar composed 31 verses on Shiva titled Ezhuttariyum Perumal Maalai’ and 102 verses on Shakthi titled ‘Vadivudai Manikka Maalai’.
Now this place is in news for wrong reasons…… Historians, archaeologists and devotees are up in arms against the renovation of Thyagarajaswamy temple, popularly known as Sri Vadivudai Amman temple, in Tiruvottiyur ~ reports The Hindu newspaper.
The Tirupati temple had planned to cover Vijayanagara inscriptions with gold sheets but the courts dismissed the idea. The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department had replaced the flooring in the Parthasarathy temple with granite but devotees objected to it, Dr. Nagaswamy said. According to S. Swaminathan, author of several books on temples, the inscriptions serve as proof of our history. “There are methods for the preservation of 1,000-year-old inscriptions. The stones have remained there for centuries. What is the need to move them now? Can an executive engineer replace a stone in the Taj Mahal?” he said.
T.R. Ramesh, president, Temple Worshipers Society, said a few slabs of inscriptions were broken when they were moved without adequate care. “Damage has been done to not just the inscriptions but also to some Shiva lingams. The temple had 11 ‘ekadasa rudra’ Shiva lingams that are now in a shambles,” he said.
An official in the HR&CE department, which manages the affairs of the temple, said the stone inscriptions on the floor near the Durgai Amman Sannidhi in the Aadhipureeswarar shrine were removed so they could be reinstalled in a suitable spot. Similarly, lingams behind the Aadhipureeswarar Sannidhi were removed to be placed on a dais. “The flooring in the temple is being redone,” the official said, adding “the inscriptions were placed wrongly on the floor, in the past. Usually, they are found on the walls of old temples. In order to safeguard the inscriptions, they are being re-installed suitably so the public can view them.”
sad state of neglect... the temple - management !!!!
On a different plane, photograph taken by a research scholar of the State archaeology department on her mobile phone has helped unearth rare Chola-era paintings at an Adipuriswarar (Lord Shiva) temple in Tiruvottiyur. The findings, archaeologists said, were rare as this is the first time paintings of the Chola era have been discovered in Chennai, which experts believe was only a peripheral part of the ancient dynasty.
A team of archaeologists and epigraphists led by S. Vasanthi, commissioner-in-charge of the archaeology department arrived at the temple, and having inspected the wall, found that the painting, and others around it, were genuine. They were confirmed as belonging to the Chola era, due to their colour and unique style. The colours yellow and red, a senior archaeologist said, were predominant in Chola paintings, while in those of the Vijayanagara era, blue — especially peacock blue — was the primary colour. While the panel or framework of the paintings is about 8.5 feet high and 1.5 feet wide, the visible portion of the paintings only stretch to 3.5 feet on the wall. An archaeologist said the painting was possibly the work of Chola King Parantaka – I (907– 951 A.D) and depicts Lord Shiva adorned with gold ornaments on his chest and waist. A unique feature of the painting, he said, was the style of the head-gear in it – a knot with flowers atop it.
The significance of the paintings, according to archaeologists, lies in the fact that during the Chola era, Tiruvottiyur and its adjoining area Thondai Mandalam, were considered a buffer area on the northern portion of the kingdom, between the warring dynasties – the Chalukyas and the Cholas, in ninth century A.D. As a result, these areas were very well maintained by the Cholas to ensure that they did not fall into the hands of their rivals, the Chalukyas. And so, the localities were well kept and beautified and temples here were elaborately painted.
All that is history as the
authorities are destroying its antiquity Temple
without concern for its heritage values.
Photos of the temple : courtesy www.vadivudaiamman.org and recent photo and news courtesy : the Hindu newspaper.