Saturday, October 16, 2021

Swetaranyeswarar Temple, Tiruvenkaadu

Location of the templeTiruvenkaadu
Lord Shiva known asSwetharanyeswarar
Female deity known asVeiyanaiya thol Umai, Panmoitha inmozhiyaal, Brahma Vidya Nayagi
PathigamSambandar - 3
Appar - 2
Sundarar - 1
How to reach The temple is 13 Kms by road from Sirkazhi on the way to Poompuhar. Town Bus facilities are availbale from Sirkazhi. It is also one of the Navagraha Sthalangal and has a seperate shrine for Budhan (Mercury)
Temple addressArulmighu Swetharanyeswarar Temple
Tiruvenkadu Post
Sirkazhi Taluk
Mayiladuthurai District
PIN 609114
Location mapTiruvengadu map
Map showing location of Tiruvenkaadu temple
Map courtesy by: Google Maps

This Shivasthalam is one of the 6 most sacred places on the banks of river Cauvery which is considered as equivalent to the temple at Varanasi. The other 5 shivasthalams are Tiruvaiyaru, Chaayaavanam, Mayiladuthurai, Tiruvidaimarudur and Tiruvanchiam. Indiran, Airavatam, Budhan, Sun God Sooriyan and Moon God Chandiran are said to have worshipped God Shiva here. From the stone inscriptions found inside this temple, it is seen that the earlier chola kings Aditya Chola and Rajaraja Chold have made a lot of contributions to this temple. There are several shrines of significance in this well visited temple, including those to Durga and Kali. The image of Natarajar here is of great beauty. Worship to Aghoramurthy - (Veerabhadrar) is said to be of significance on Sunday nights in this temple. As found in Chidambaram, there is also a shrine for Lord Vishnu near the shrine for Natarajar.

The present structure of the temple as well as the beautiful bronze images in this temple are a contribution of the Great Chola emperor Raja Raja Chola I. Some of these bronzes were recovered in treasure troves unearthed here. The Ardhanareeswarar and Chandeswarar bronzes are now housed in the Chennai Museum. Natarajar, Somaskandar, Devi are housed in the temple, while images of Subramanyar, Rishabhavahanadevar, Bhikshatanar, Kalyanasundarar, Kannappar and others are housed in the Thanjavur Art Gallery.

The Budhan Sthalam at Thiruvengadu lies about 20 Kms from Mayiladudurai towards Poompuhar, where the Kaveri flows into the sea. This is one of those temples where Shiva danced his Tandavam, and the main deity here is Swetaranyeswarar. There are a number of legends connected to this temple, the foremost being the story of the Rishi Swethaketu being saved from the clutches of death by Shiva.

It is also believed that it was here that Shiva took the fierce form of Aghoramoorthy to vanquish the demon Maruttuvan. There is a shrine to Aghoramoorthy with a huge image which is at once beautiful to look at, in terms of the artistry, and yet, terrible, as suits this, one of the most angry forms of Shiva. Here is a photograph of Aghoramoorthy, as depicted on one of the gopurams of the temple.

The goddess here has a separate temple to herself, and is known as Brahma Vidayambigai, the goddess of knowledge. Just outside her sanctum is the shrine to Budhan, the graham known to preside over knowledge.

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