Friday, June 30, 2017

Engan Murugan Temple – The Temple

Engan Murugan Temple – The Temple
Engan Temple is a large temple with a beautiful 3 tier Rajagopuram on the eastern side. There is a smaller 2 tier gopuram on the southern side for Lord Muruga. The temple was built during the rule of Kulothunga II. Though a Shiva temple, Lord Muruga enjoys greater importance here. Presiding deity graces in the name of Lord Brahmapureeswarar and Mother is called as Peria Nayaki Amman. Lord Vinayaka is known as Nardana Vinayaka. In the month of Panguni (March-April), the rays of Sun fall on Lord Brahma Pureeswarar for three days.

It is noteworthy that the idols of Lord Muruga in Sikkal, Ettukudi and Enkan temples were sculpted by the same artist showing the Lord on his peacock vehicle. The idols are made with rare sculptural skill that the whole weight of the idol rests on a single leg of the peacock. Subramanyar is located in a separate shrine and is facing south. So in this temple Lord Subramanya is facing south side and resembles Lord Dakshina moorthy, so he is known as Gyana karakan, looks like Natarajar and the hall is known as Sabha mandapam. He is like kala Samhara moorthy so he is considered as Arul karakan.

The shrine of Lord Muruga is called Sabha as he has the attributes of Lord Shiva and facing south. The Sabha is a hall where Lord Nataraja performed his dance, an importance related to Chidambaram temple.  Also, Lord Muruga’s facing south has two philosophies. Lord Dakshinamurthy is a south facing God granting wisdom to devotees. Yama the God of Death belongs to the South.  Lord Muruga protects his devotees from fear of death ensuring longevity. Many had experienced these effects praying to the Lord. Lord Muruga graces from his shrine sitting on the peacock vehicle with his consorts Valli and Deivanai.

Of the six faces of the Lord, three are in front and three behind. The Lord holds Vel his special weapon, arrow, sword, discus, pasam the rope, trident, bow, armour, cock flag angusam etc. in his 12 hands.  The gap between the fingers are clearly visible, a sculptural marvel. The other wonder is that the entire weight of the idol firmly stands on a single leg of the peacock. The Utsava moorthy of Murugan is an exquisite replica of the main idol and is a treat to watch at close quarters for the sheer brilliance of the sculpting.

The sculptural work is something marvelous with no parallel anywhere in the world. Minute details such as nails and veins are intricately carved. The peacock is holding a snake in its mouth and the snake is curving with a hole. The sanctum of Brahmapureeswarar is east facing and Sanctum of Peria Nayaki Amman is south facing. There are also shrines to Dakshinamurthy, Natarajar Sivakami, Kasi Viswanathar, Bhairavar, Arunachaleswarar, Vinayaka, Saneeswara, Navagraha, Anjaneya and Aadhi Narayana Perumal.

This temple also has the Samadhi of the sculptor who merged with his beloved lord at this place. An interesting thing about this temple is a staircase through which one can climb right to the terrace and have a closer look at the gopuram. The Theerthams here are Netra Pushkarini, Saravana Poikai, Vriddha Kaveri, Brahmma Theertham and Kumara Theertham. Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) is Vanni Tree (Proposis cineraria).

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