Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sankaranyeswarar Temple, Thalaichangadu, Nagapattinam

Sankaranyeswarar Temple, Thalaichangadu, Nagapattinam
Sankaranyeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple located in the village of Thalaichangadu in the Tharangampadi Taluk of Nagapattinam district in Tamilnadu. The temple is believed to have been initially constructed by the Chola king Kochenganan and renovated in the following centuries. Vishnu is believed to have worshipped Shiva at this place. The temple has been praised by Sambandar in the Thevaram. This is the 162nd Devaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 45th sthalam on the south side of river Cauvery in Chozha Nadu. Thalaichangadu is also known as Pancharanya Kshetram. Vishnu worshiped Shiva here to acquire the greatest of all Shankhs (Conch) Panchajanyam.

Etymology
The ancient Tamils have given the names of the natural plants to the land as well as the city that depends on it.  Hence, the meaning of ‘Thalaichangadu’ can be understood, if it is separated as ‘thalai+changu+kaadu’.  ‘Changu’ flowers (shell-like flowers) were grown abundantly in the gardens here and were sent to these temples and also to the surrounding temples.  The inscription informs that the name ‘Thalaichangadu’ must have come into vogue because of these flower gardens.

Legends
Lord Vishnu, in order to protect this world and its inhabitants, had worshipped Sankaranyeswarar and attained Panchajanyam (Talai Changu), the greatest of all Sangu (Conch). procured the Conch as his weapon. Hence, there is a separate sanctum for Lord Vishnu in this temple. It is interesting to note that the legend associated with this temple is the same as in Thiruvalampuram.

History
This is one of the oldest temples of Lord Shiva built by King Ko-Chenganan Chozha known as Maadakkovil. The temple inscriptions reveal that the Queen Sembian Madevi, mother of King Uthama Chozha has made abundance of contributions to this temple. The Pancharanya Kshetrams Tiruthalaichangadu, Tiruvengadu, Tiruchaaikkadu, Thirumaraikadu and Thiruthalaialangadu are known as Shankharanyam, Swetharanyam, Vadavaranyam, Vedaranyam and Vilvaranyam respectively.

The Temple
The Lord of this place stands at three feet height as a swayambu Moorthy. The temple is structured in conch-shape. The darshan of the three prime deities Brahma, Vishnu and Siva is available in the same Siva temple. The Prime Deity and the Pradosha Lord separately bestow grace on the devotees.  The cosmic billionaires, ‘Sanganidhi’ and ‘Padumanidhi’ receive us at the front portals of the temple itself.  The Chola king Kochenganan has built many Siva temples.  Of these he has built temples with narrow entrance where the elephant cannot get in.  This is one such ‘Maadakkovil’- temple with narrow entry.

This is a Maadakkovil built at an elevation and the tank is located across the temple. This temple occupies an area of about 2 acres. The temple has the ‘Somaskanda Structure’.  That is, when we enter the temple, on the left side is the sanctum of Lord Siva, in the center is the Lord Murugan’s sanctum and on the right is the sanctum of Ambal.  It is significant that Tiruthalaichangadu in its temple pattern follows the line of the temples in Thiruvenkadu, Tiruchaaikkadu, Thirumaraikadu and Tiruttalaiyaalankaadu.  

Lord Vishnu, in order to protect this world and its inhabitants, had worshipped Sankaranyeswarar and attained Conch as his weapon.  Hence, there is a separate sanctum for Lord Vishnu in this temple. The Consort of Lord Shiva is called as Soundara Nayaki. The temple houses separate shrine for Saint Pattinathar. Sannadhi for Natarajar, Somaskandhar, Naalvar, Ijvaraheswarar, Cauvery and Agasthiyar are located in this Temple.

Moolavar is in the shape of Sangu and Karuvarai is little large. In Koshtam, Narthana Vinayagar, Dhakshinamoorthy, Lingothbhavar, Brahma, Durgai (Durgai is not in the niche - Little taller kept little outside) can be seen. In Artha mandapam, Sculptures of Naalvar and Ko Chengata Chozhan with his wife can be seen. Sthala Vriksham is Purasu and Theertham is Sanku theertham and Cauvery. There is a Vallaba Vinayaka temple and Cauvery temple nearby.

Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 am to 12.00 noon and from 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm.
Festivals
Five days Vaikasi Visakam festival is celebrated in a grand manner. During Kantha Sashti, Laksharchanai is performed for one day.
Singers
The temple has been praised by Sambandar in the Thevaram. This is the 162nd Devaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 45th sthalam on the south side of river Cauvery in Chozha Nadu.
Prayers
Women come here for begetting issues. Those women observe ‘Pournami Vratam’ (vow on the full-moon day), consume a small amount of the sandal-paste that has adorned Ambal’s body and pray to beget child. After the birth of the baby, they adorn Ambal’s image with sandal-paste and worship. Women devotees throng this temple mainly seeking boons for children.
Contact
Arulmigu Thalaichangadu Sankaranyeswarar Tirukkovil,
Thalaichangadu – Aakkoor Post – 609 301,
Tharangampadi Taluk, Nagapattinam District
Phone: +91 – 4364 – 280 757
Connectivity
This town is also known as Shankharanyam and is located 2 km South West of Thiruvalampuram (Perumpallam) on the route between Sirkazhi and Poompuhar, near Tiruvengadu near the Aakkoor Railway Station. It is located on the way from Mayiladuthurai to Poompuhar via Aakkur. It is located at a distance of 16 kms east of Mayiladuthurai and 5 kms from Aakkoor. Nearest Airport is located at Trichy.

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