19th February 2017.
Utilizing the opportunity of attending the inauguration of the Salem HistoricalResearch Centre, which functioned as Salem Varalaru Thedal Kuzhu, visited the heritage sites in around Belur near Salem on 19th February 2017. More than 100 participants which includes, Scholars, enthusiasts and College & School students attended this Heritage walk. After the inauguration function, visited the Historical important sites like, Sri Than Thontreeswarar Temple, Sri Theerthagireeswarar temple, an inscription stone which speaks about the village Kurichi donated to Sri Theerthagireeswarar at Kurichi, an inscription pillar in the midst of field at Chekkadipattu, which is the evidence of Nayakars direct rule in this area, a Thannasi/ Komari Kal, Mookkaruppu battle the only evidence inscription pillar standing in the midst of a millet field, a Paranthaka Chozha – I, inscription at Angala Parameswari Temple and Sri Ashtabuja Bala Madhana Venugopala Swamy temple.
A Royal treatment was given to all the participants by the organizers. I extend my sincere thanks to the organizers Mr. Aragalur Venkatesan Pon, Mr Kalaiselvan, Mr Srinivasan, Dr. Ponnambalam, Mr Jeevanarayanan, Mr Periyar mannan and other organizers. It was a nice experience to interact with the history Scholars like Mr Veeramani Veeraswamy, Mr Sugavana Murugan, Mr Mani, Mr Edappadi Amudhan and the facebook friends.
SRI THAAN THONTREESWARAR TEMPLE, BELUR
This temple is the earth sthalam, one of the pancha bootha sthalams, on the banks of river Vashista aka Neevaa aka Vellaru in Salem district. ( The other pancha bootha stalangal are water – Ethappur, Sri Sambamurtheeswarar, Fire – Attur, Sri Karyanirmaleswarar, Air- Aarakazhur, Sri Kamanatheeswarar and Space - Kookaiyur, Sri Sornapureeswarar ).
Iraivan : Sri Thaan Thontreeswarar ( Swayambu )
Iraivi : Sri Dharmasamvarthini.
Some of the important features of this temple are …
The temple is facing east with a 7 tier Rajagopuram. In front of the Rajagopuram, there is a 4 pillar mandapam, a Garuda thoon and a mandapam ( This may be Sri Pachai Kandha Swamikal’s madam, which has to be explored )
The Sanctum sanctorium consists of sanctum, Artha mandapam, maha mandapam and Vasantha mandapam. In maha mandapam Dwajasthambam, palipedam and Nandhi ( The special feature of the nandhi is both front legs are folded, which is very unique ). The front mandapam pillars has the reliefs of Ijurakeswarar, Milaku Chettiyar, Pachai Kandha Swamykal, Vashista Muni, Athikara Nandhi, etc,. The front maha mandapam pillars are of Nayak period Yazhi pillars and a rotating stone ball is inside it’s mouth is a special attraction.
In the outer prakaram sannadhi for Pancha bootha lingas, Nayanmars, Kalyana Vinayagar, Naagars under dried Sthala Viruksham, Subramanyar, Jayeshta Devi with Manthan and Agnimatha, Kaliyuga Subramaniyar, Gajalakshmi, Navagrahas, Dhandayuthapani with Vinayagars on both sides under Vanni tree, Kanampulla Nayanar ( it was believed that he is one of the 63 Nayamnmars who lived here and worshiped lord Than Thontreeswarar ), Pichadanar, Bairavar, Chandran and Suryan.
Dwarabalakars are at the entrance of the sannadhi looks cute. In koshtam Vinayagar, Dhakshinamurthy, Lingothbavar, Brahma and Durgai. In arthamandapam urchava moorthams. Every one is a master piece of its kind ( it was believed that the icons, Chandrasekar, Uma Maheswarar, Saba Nayagar and Vinayagar are unearthed while ploughing the land behind the temple ). In Saba mandapam, Nearby Vazhapadi Shiva temple’s Natarajar looks very nice and the muyalakan holds a knife, which is very unique, The lamp lady looks awesome. Moolavar is about 3 feet height, little rough and believed to be swayambu.
Ambal is in a temple like sannadhi on the left side of Shiva facing east. Sudhai dwarabalakis are at the entrance. Ambal is in standing posture with four hands. The upper hands holds the flowers and lower right hand in abaya hastham and the left hand in vara hastham.
Even though it is claimed that the temple is of 5000 years old, from evidences found in the form of inscriptions, the temple must be more or less 1200 years old. The sanctum was constructed by Chozhas and front mandapam was constructed by Nayaks.
There are 5 inscriptions documented so far in side the temple complex. The inscriptions belongs to the period of Athithan- II aka Athitha Karikalan, ( 959 AD), 3 nos of 11th century and a 20th century. As per the inscription the Belur was called as Veliyur. The inscriptions mainly speaks about the donations given to the temple.
As per the legend Arjuna had done penance here and prayed lord shiva, for water to worship him. Lord Shiva shot an arrow which hits the hill in front of Belur. Water flowed from the place called Vellaru and hill was called as Arunutru hill. Vashista Maharishi established 5 temples ( latter called as pancha bootha temples ) along the river and worshiped Lord Shiva, hence the river was called Vashista river.
THE TEMPLE TIMINGS:
The temple will be kept open between 07.00 Hrs to 12.00 Hrs and 16.30 Hrs to 20.30 Hrs.
Siva Gurukkal may be contacted through his mobile 9629607409
HOW TO REACH:
The temple is about 30 KM from Salem and 6 Km from Vazhapadi.
Town bus and share autos are available from Vazhapadi.
Jeyeshta Devi with Manthan and Agni matha ( Jyeshta has the trimmed stomach )
The original sthala virukasham was jack fruit tree, which changed to Kattu iluppai due to curse of Vashista Maharishi ( (பலா மரமாக இருந்து வசிஷ்டர் சாபத்தால் காட்டிலுப்பையாக மாறியது )
This relief is above the Palipedamon the ceiling, is a rare one, which represents to leave aanavam, kanmam, maayai, maamayai and thirothaayi before entering the temple. ( பலிபீடத்திற்கு நேர் மேலே உள்ள சிற்பம், வேறுகோயிலில் காணமுடியாத அபூர்வ சிற்பம். இது ஆணவம், கன்மம், மாயை, மாமாயை, திரோதாயி என்ற இம்மலங்களின் உருவகம் இது ) .
Natarajar – on the left Manikkavasakar
This Natarajar belongs to Vazhapadi Shiva Temple, kept here for safety reasons. . Please note that muyalakan is holding a knife similar to the Natarajar & Muyalakan available at Nallur, which is a rare one. ( இந்த நடராசர் வாழப்பாடி சிவன் கோவிலை சேர்ந்தது. பாதுகாப்பு கருதி இங்கு வைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. முயலகன் கையில் கத்தி, நல்லூர் நடராஜர் சிலையில் உள்ள முயலகன் போன்று உள்ளது ) .
Mr Veeramani Veeraswamy and his ancestor Sri Pachai Kandha Swamy
A relef of a lady on the arthamandapam pillar – see the hair style
Dhandayuhapani under with his brother Ganesha under vanni tree
Mr Veeramani Veeraswamy explains at Golden Chariot
Inaugural function - Book release
A section of my friends
FOR MORE PHOTOGRAPHS: CLICK HERE
…. To be continued ( Sri Theerthagreeswarar Temple )
---OM SHIVAYA NAMA---