Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sattainathar Temple, Sirkazhi – The Temple

Sattainathar Temple, Sirkazhi – The Temple
The temple has a vast Prakarams (courtyards) with high walls of enclosure. There are two sets of seven-tiered gopurams on the outer walls of the enclosure. The original shrine during the period of the Nayanmars included the shrine of Brahmapureeswarar, on the southern bund of the temple tank; the Thoniappar shrine on a mound west of the central shrine, and the Sattanathar shrine in the second floor reached from the southern praharam (outer courtyard) of the Thoniappar shrine by a flight of steps.

The enlargement of the original temple happened during the period of Kulothunga Chola IVikrama CholaKulothunga Chola II and Kulothunga Chola III (as in Chidambaram - 11th through the 13th centuries). 

The temple is a holy site for Hinduism and thousands of devotees come to pay homage to the deities. Lord Shiva in the temple is a Swayambumurthy. This is a vast temple complex with three different Shiva Shrines.

The shrine of Brahmapureeswarar in the form of a Shivalingam is housed at the ground level; the first tier houses Periya Nayakar with Periyanayaki on a ‘Thoni’ (and hence the name Thoniappar) in the form of a colossal image of human form as Uma Maheswarar; and Bhairavar as Sattainathar/ Vaduganathar in the second tier.  

The Ambal is known as Thirunilai Nayagi. From the steps leading to the Thoniappar and the Vaduganathar shrine, one can grasp the entire layout of this vast temple and its towers and mandapams.

There is also an Ashta Bhairavar shrine and the temple is a center for Bhairava worship where special pujas are conducted every Friday till midnight. There is a separate shrine for Tirugnanasambandar located in between Moolavar and Ambal shrines. 

This well maintained temple is under the administration of the Dharumapura Adhinam. Main Theertham is Bhrama Theertham. There are 22 Theerthams associated with this shrine.

Urchavar is Somaskandar and Thala Virutcham of this Temple is Paarijaatham and Pavalamalli. This is the 14th Shiva temple on the northern bank of Cauvery praised in Thevaram hymns. Sattainathar is the powerful God.  This temple is named by his name. There are 47 inscriptions in this temple. 

Brahmma Pureeswarar is called as Thirukazhumalamudaiyar, Thoniappar as Thiruthonipuramudaiyar, Ammai as Periya Nachiyar, Thiru Gnanasambandar Peruman as Aludaya Pillaiyar.

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