Tuesday, 13 October 2015

THE COOUM – A CULTURAL MAPPING- ON DAY TRIP TO COOUM/ THIRUVIRKOLAM, SIVAPURAM, KESAVARAM ANAIKKATU/DAM, KESAVARAM SHIVA TEMPLE, IDAIYARPAKKAM, SITRAMBAKKAM AND SENJI

12th October 2015.
We 36 heritage enthusiastic, young & too young, Journalists,  Students, Bankers started our journey to find out COOUM, what it means to us?. As far as  the Chennaities Cooum is considered a dirty sewarage  river. After our journey to  few of  the temples and heritage sites associated with Chozha and Pallava Period along the Cooum river, reveals us that Coouam is a sacred river  similar to Ganga and Cauvery.  The Kusithalai river splits in to two, ie the water flows through the Kesavarm Anaikattu / Dam’s  16 sluices is called as River Cooum).  The Cooum is not a perennial river. The water flows only during monsoon that too the water  collected  between  Kesavaram Dam to Chennai. It was under stood during the 1996 flood the sluices gates were opened to let the in to Cooum and  the water flowed to the brim level. 

When we started from T Nagar, TTD  it was drizzling after the down pour  from 02.00 hrs. The drizzle stopped after Poonamalle and  it was cloudy and warm throughout the day.  We are able to cover the places as planned.

COOUM alias THIRUVIRKOLAM – SRI THIRIPURANTHAKESWARAR TEMPLE
First stop was at Cooum otherwise called as Thiruvirkolam. we had the dharshan of Sri Tharkathamman  or the ellaiamman at the entrance of Cooumm Village. It was told that Kali of Thiruvalangadu was made as Kaval Thievam here. Pooja is conducted to  Saptha mathakal, who are the main deities of this temple. 
LOCATION OF THE TEMPLE : CLICK HERE
Tharkathamman temple – Ellai kaval theivam 
 Tharkathamman temple Vimanam 
Tharkathamman temple Entrance view 
We had the dharshan of Sridevi and Boodevi samedha Sri Kariamanikka Perumal at the left side entrance of Shiva Temple. One of the interesting feature is on the left side of the sanctum entrance  A Dharma Chakra with base is installed. Actually this belongs to Buddhist religion  and the locals worship as Chakkarathalwar.  It was told that a 10 feet standing Buddha was unearthed in this village and now  the same is kept at Amaravathy gallery of Chennai Museum. The mandapam pillars are of Pallava Period.
 Dharma chakkaram- A Buddhist religion symbol ( worshiping as Saakkarathalwar) 
 An uninstalled Dwarabalakar 

Sanctum vimanam of Sri Kariamanikka Perumal Temple

SRI THIRIPURANTHAKESWARAR TEMPLE
This is the 14th Devaram Padal Petra Shiva Sthalam of Thondai Nadu. Even though I had been to this temple earlier,  this  visit is very important to learn about the cultural and heritage values of the temple.  We tried to read the inscriptions. In one of the inscription states that,  tax was collected  on fishing and Paddy as an income to the temple. During my previous visits I did not noticed the Jeevasamadhi of Sri Kazhukachalam swamikal  and donations to this temple and nearby Shiva Temple at Ilumpayankottur.  We happened to  see another tablet inscribed in Telegu on the banks of temple tank. This states that about donation  of a land to grow flowering plants to Lord Shiva ( Telegu people may help us the contents of this inscription).  Iraivan here is Suyambu and Theendathirumeni. Archakars wouldn’t  touch Shivalingam.  Sticks in being used for garlanding. The temple tank is with  water and called Agni Theertham and it was told that frog or fish  not lives in this pond.

The History of Cooum river goes like this. Lord Shiva started  from Kailash  to burn Thiripuram made by the ausras through the chariot, sun and moon as wheel, Meru as bow, vassuki as string, Brahma as Charioteer and Vishnu as Arrow without worshiping  Vinayaga before proceeding. So Vinayaga  breaks the axle of the  chariot and Chariot had fallen down. Shiva jumped on the ground with bow. The river Cooum started flowing  from the point where the bow’s tip touched the ground.   Achirutha Vinayagar sannadhi  is on the north west corner of the temple. We had our breakfast at Thiruvasaka mandram and Coffee/ tea was hosted by Su. Manivasakam of Thiruvasakam mandram.  Next in our list was SIVAPURAM  on the banks of River Cooum.
CONTACT DETAILS :
Mr Su. Manivasakam of Thiruvasaka Mandram  may be contacted over his mobile 9443253325.
LOCATION OF THE TEMPLE.CLICK HERE
 Natarajar
 Thiripuranthakar temple vimanam 
 Acherutha Vinayagar sannadhi 
  Lingothbavar
 Vishnu in Koshtam 
 Lotus flower paton what for this? and what it is?
 Bairavar 
 Sri Kazhukachala Swamykal Jeeva Samadhi 
 Temple view 
 Amman sannadhi with Dwajasthambam and palipedam 
 Bell – this was donated to temple in the year 1921 and still in working condition 
 Temple Tank 

 Rajagopuram – view from east

 Kulothunga Chozha Period inscription
Telegu inscriptions. Telegu scholars may please comment on this 

SIVAPURAM SRI KAMAKSHI SAMEDHA SRI THEERTHEESWARAR TEMPLE.
The Lord Shiva is Sri Theertheeswarar and Ambal is Kamakshi.  In Koshtam Vinayagar,  Dhakshinamurthy, Lingaothbavar ( Vishnu in varaga avatharam with four hands and Brahma flying  on his vahanam bird annam), Brahma and Durgai ( Not standing on the Makishasuran’s head ).  Vinayagar, Sandikeswarar and Nandhi with palipedam are in outside the sanctum
The sanctum vimanam  was constructed completely with stone of Gajaprasta style.  The Dwarabalakars are at the entrance of the sanctum. They are not chiseled  to the proportion ( considering the head body is not to that proportion and short) , but are looks cute. On the right side Dwarabalakar’s  (near ) leg the relief of snake swallowing an elephant or an animal. ( similar to Rajarajecharam of Thanjavur Muka mandpam dwara balakar).
The temple has the inscriptions of RajarajaChozhan and Rajendra Chozhan. The inscriptions speaks about Canal dug from Cooum  to the temple, an  idol was given by King Rajaraja to this temple and descriptions of thirupali and many more.   
TEMPLE TIMINGS
The temple will be kept open between 07.30 hrs to 12.00 hrs and 15.00 hrs to 19.00 hrs
CONTACT DETAILS :
The temple is being manintained  by Mr Dhamodaran, a retired VAO and his mobile number is 9965886184 and he promised to open the shrine at any time for dharshan.
LOCATION OF THE TEMPLE :CLICK HERE
 Temple view  
 Sanctum with vimanam – a stone structure 
 Nandhi in Mandapam
 Vinayagar in koshtam  
 Dhakshinamoorthy   
Muyalakan
View of Kallala Tree – snake, Pokkanam ( Thiruneetru pai)-See the fire
 Sandikeswarar  
 Lingothbavar– Vishnu – in varaka avatharam with 4 hands and Brahma flying on his vahanam anna paravai
 A Beautiful Brahma- see the dress and frills of his dress and mala around his neck 
 Durgai not standing on Makishasuran – see the style of standing and the dress 
 Dwarabalakar – left side 
 Dwarabalakar on the right side Dwarabalakar - not in proportion 
 Dwarabalakar - not in proportion – relief of snake swallowing an animal
 What is this chakkara – with lotus relief 
Rajarajan period inscriptions – highlighted 

KESAVARAM ANAIKKATTU / DAM.
After  Sivapuram  Lord Shiva’s dharshan, we started our trek on the bound between  Kusasthalai river and Cooum river  to Kesavaram Anaikattu/Dam where actual Cooum starts. A dam was constructed and opened on 10-10-1947. The dam was constructed on the river Kusasthalai ( koratalai aru) to divert the water in to River Cooum.  It was under stood that these sluices last opened in 1996 due to flood in the river.LOCATION OF THE DAM : CLICK HERE
 The bound between Kusasthalai River and Cooum river 
 Kusasthalai River
 Cooum River start point – Kesavaram Dam 
 Cooum River start point – Kesavaram Dam - Inscription ( Kesavaram Anaicut, crest raiser  10 - 214 -13 date 10-10-1947)
 Cooum River start point – Kesavaram Dam - our people are on inspection 
 Cooum River start point – Kesavaram Dam
Cooum River start point – Kesavaram Dam - on the left Kusasthalai river continues and Cooum starts.

KESAVARAM SRI KAILAYA ESWARA MUDAIYA MAHADHEVAR TEMPLE
After Kesavaram Anaikkattu,   we continued  further  to Kesavaram Shiva Temple on the south banks of the river Cooum. To reach this temple we have to negotiate through the bounds of paddy field. The rain in the previous night made our trek further more difficult.  Iraivan is called as Kailaya Erwara Mudaya Mahadevar.  The name  Kesavarm  came after name of Lord Shiva of this temple. Since this is a mukthi stalam, Shiva’s concert is not there. The temple is in a bad shape in the midst of paddy field and there is no proper approach road. The old murthies and beheaded Nandhi  are scattered around the temple. 
The temple was built with Gajaprasta vimanam, arthamandapam and maha mandapam.  Koshta murthies are found defaced. To our surprise  there was a crowd  and mutrum othuthal was in progress by the Shiva Devotees from  Old and New Kesavaram . Had the chance of  viewing  the inside stone vimanam of the sanctum above moolavar  after removing my shirt . The sanctum vimanam was constructed completely with stone.  Shed was constructed by the devotees recently to save this treasure from further damage. From the inscriptions the temple must be constructed during 12th and 13th century Chozhas.
LOCATION OF THE TEMPLE :CLICK HERE
 Trekking through paddy field 
 Trekking through un cultivated paddy field 
 Nandhi with palipedam and the shed in front 
 Temple view 
 Pillar with pathiyal view 
 Vinayakar
 Dhakshinamurthy

 Dhakshinamurthy 
 Gajaprasta Vimanam – completely of stone structure- Narasimhar on the top 

 Durgai
 The walls may fall at any time 
 The walls may fall at any time 

Moolavar Sri Kailaya Eswara Mudaiya Mahadhevar

The damaged statues scattered around the temple - Beheaded Nandhi 
 The damaged statues scattered around the temple 
 The damaged statues scattered around the temple 
 The damaged statues scattered around the temple 
The damaged statues scattered around the temple 
Trekking on the bounds of paddy fields – like walking on a rope 

IDAYARPAKKAM
We continued our journey through the paddy field bounds to Idayarpakkam. The temple has a thamarai kulam ( Lotus pond) at front. It is a small sanctum with arthamandapam/ muka mandapam.   It is a stone structure with out vimanam. The pancha thantra story reliefs  are at the north side of upper portion ( strokes & tortoise, Monkey and crocodile, etc.,   Nandhi and palipedam are at front. There is beheaded statue  and a separate head in front of the sanctum. People stated worshiping without knowing, who are they?. All the koshta  moorthams are in defaced condition. A Pillayar is kept under a Bhodhi tree. He is sitting on a padma peedam. (He could not keep his leg in front due to big belly).
This temple is  under the control of Tamil Nadu State Archeological Dept. As per the sign board, The temple is in apsidal style, was constructed during the reign of Chozha King Kulothunga – I ( 11th Century  AD). According to inscriptions the temple was called as Thirupadhakadudaiyar and the village was called as Idayarpakkam as well as Rajavidhyadhara Chaturvedhamangalam.
TEMPLE TIMINGS :
The temple is kept open for dharshan between 08.00 hrs  to 12.00 Hrs and 15.00 Hrs to 16.00 Hrs
CONTACT DETAILS :
Regular one kala pooja is being carried out by Mr S Narayana swamy and his mobile number is 9171445632.
LOCATION OF THE TEMPLE :CLICK HERE
 Lotus Pond 
 Beheaded Statue 
 A Copped head – worshiping as Mariamman 
 Temple front view 
 Nandhi  
 Vinayagar 
   Dhakshinamurthy  
  Dhakshinamurthy – Muyalakan 




 Vishnu 
 Durgai  
 Temple front view 
There is no Amman sannadhi. In the sanctum  there is a Vishnu statue- in front of Shiva Lingam,  this was unearthed during excavation
---OM SHIVAYA NAMA:---

To be continued........

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