Sunday, February 21, 2016

Annamalaiyar Temple – Sixth Prakaram

Annamalaiyar Temple – Sixth Prakaram
The sixth Prakaram is considered to be the mada veedhis (perimeter streets) of Arunachaleswarar Temple. These mada veddhis are: Car Street (east), Thiruvoodal Street (south), Pey Gopura Street (west), and Big Street (north).
The sixth prakaram is the outer prakaram which is known as Car Street. The sixth prakaram is used by the temple authorities only at the time of festival. Rajagopuram, Thirumanjana gopuram, Pei gopuram & Ammaniammal gopuram are located in between sixth and fifth prakarams.
Outer most enclosure Wall
This is the big Thiruchutrumadhil or wall of enclosure. The wall is nearly 30 feet high, 7 feet wide and measuring 700×1500 (that is 700 feet from south to north and 1500 feet from east to west) connecting the four outer gopurams of the temple. Bull images made of bricks and mortar placed on the walls at equal distance make this wall highly decorative.

Some outer faced niches of the wall contain certain Vinayaka images. They are historically significant because of their modern origin. The inscriptions found on the wall are illegible and fragmentary. Probably the stones containing them were misplaced or brought from some other ruined temples. 

On the top of the wall on either side of the eastern gopuram, there are many idols of kings. They may be probably the images of the king who might have constructed this outer wall. It is not known if he was a Hoysala or Vijayanagar ruler.

Thirumanjana Gopuram
For brief details, please refer below link;
Southern Outer gopuram Base & Spire:
The base of southern outer gopuram is somewhat later than that of the western base. This has a distinctive appearance on account of the way in which it is coloured. Though the pillars, etc., are dark and the walls light, instead of the reverse, the coloring seems to be confined only to the inner side.
It is the narrow west of all the gopurams of this court. It differs from the western one in having a yali above the frontal lotus projection of each of the corbel clusters of its upper course. It lotus centres are somewhat more prominent13. Some of the niches are definitely wider than in the western gopuram of this court. The spire is later than the base.
The spire of the southern outer gopuram was probably built between those of eastern gopuram. This is the most modern of all the four gopurams of this court because of the heaviness of its plastering and the bursting of its figures out of their background. Its appearance of modernity is due to changes introduced during some restoration of its pilaster. These indicate that it may be older than the western and northern spires.
For brief details, please refer below link;
Western Outer Gopuram – Base & Spire (1516 A.D):
The bases of all gopurams of outer court ascribed to Krishnadevaraya, this one seems to be in accordance with his taste. He built this base while building the spire of the western gopuram of the middle court. All the niches of this base are narrow and empty. The vase ornaments seem to support pavilions, probably square.
The greatest difference between this base and those of the middle court lies in the presence in its lower course of pillars and niches. In the upper course too subsidiary niches appear surmounted by kudu with yali. The vase ornament nearest the gateway is replaced by a pillar supporting a small pavilion ornament.
The spire is said to have been built in 1740 A.D. The Dvarapalakas are taller than the windows they stand beside and are present on each storey from bottom to top together with smaller figures in front of the niches of all the principal rectangular pavilions as well as of all the niches of the bottom storey and the niches of the corner pavilions of other storeys near the bottom.
In general appearance of this spire closely resembles the pre – Vijayanagar spires of the much smaller northern and southern gopurams of the middle court from which it differs richly in the presence of empty slit like niches on either side of the principal pavilion ornament of each storey and in the great enlargement of the kudus of the pavilion on the earlier side of this one15. There is no room on this spire for a pair to the pavilion on its inner side.
Ammaniammal Gopuram
For brief details, please refer below link;
Northern Outer Gopuram Base & Spire (1740 A.D):
The base is apparently somewhat later than the eastern one. The corbel lotuses are more elaborate than those of the eastern one and the objects surmounting the vase ornaments and the pillar by which these are placed on either side of the gateway are supported by yalis. The bases of the vase ornaments are flanked by elaborated scrolls and the main niches by elaborate relief decoration. The main niches are surrounded by the rectangular type of pavilion ornaments, the others by kudus.
The spire is said to have been constructed by a bhakta Ammaniammal about 1810 A.D. Ammaniammal was an ascetic. She built the spire with her strenuous efforts. She was trained in yogic practices. It is said that she had a remarkable power of knowing the exact amount that one possessed and was able to get one portion of it. Such amounts had been used in the construction of the spire.
There is a mutt in her name in the northern Orravadai street with a statue of her installed nearby. It is much like the west outer is gopuram but larger with the principal pavilion of each. The storey is flanked on either side by narrower pavilions, and the roofs of which are completely covered and hidden by their greatly enlarged kudus.
Raja Gopuram
For brief details, please refer the below link;
Eastern Outer Gopuram Base:
The base is apparently somewhat later than the southern base. The rows of petals in the corbel lotuses of the upper course are more widely separated from the south gopuram. The scrolls on either side of the bases of the vase ornaments are more widely separated. Many of the niches contain images particular in the upper course. According to Dr.Mees “They have been inserted obviously a little or much later.
The spire is said to have been completed by Sevappa Nayak of Tanjore about 1690 A.D. In its bare severity, it resembles the western spire of the middle court which might to have been erected over 150 years earlier. But this resemblance is somewhat deceptive. Both these spires appear to be more or less devoid of pilaster, but very little brick work is actually exposed in this one. Originally the earlier one was plastered in the same severe manner. Inspire of its severity, the decoration of this spire is more elaborate than the earlier one. On the pavilion ornament bases, the narrow niches are flanked by more numerous and elaborate pillars.
On the roofs of the forward standing pavilion the kudus are much larger, occupying the whole height except on those at the corners and flanked on the larger rectangular ones by a subsidiary pair. In addition, the spaces between the roofs of these pavilions are occupied by miniature barrel roofs, each with a pair of kudus occupying their full height.
The additional parts, prakaram, which were added to the temple by building enclosure walls, are compared to the bodily sheaths annamaya, pranamaya, manomaya, vijnanamaya and anandamaya kosas depending upon the enclosure walls. In the Thiruvannamalai temple there are three open prakarams and one closed court in the centre.
If mada veethi, is taken into account the bigger temple will have the usual five prakarams. Accordingly the mada veethi represents the annamaya kosa; the three open courts one inside the other represent manomaya kosa, pranamaya kosa and vijnanamaya kosa; and the closed court represents the anandamaya kosa.

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