Sundareswarar, Tiruloki, Thanjavur


Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:SundareswararAmbal / Thayar:Mangalambikai, Akhilandeswari
Deity:SivaHistorical name:
Vriksham:SarakondraiTeertham:Lakshmi Teertham
Agamam:

Age (years):

Timing:6 to 12 & 4 to 8Parikaram:

Temple group:Vaippu Sthalam
Sung by:

Temple set:

Navagraham:

Guru

Nakshatram:

City / town:TirulokiDistrict:Thanjavur
Maps from (click): Current location Mayiladuthurai (19 km)Kumbakonam (22 km)

Tiruvarur (46 km)Ariyalur (56 km)

Location

Sthala puranam and temple information

This Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam is mentioned in one of Appar’s pathigams. Karuvur Siddhar has sung a Tiruvisaippaa on this temple.

Kama and Rati

The sthala puranam here is connected with the Ksheerapthi Sayana Narayana Perumal temple nearby. When Lakshmi was unable to bear the separation from Vishnu, She came to Bhulokam looking for Him. Sage Markandeyar visited this temple and worshipped Siva and Parvati in their Rishabharoodar form, and being a guru sthalam, he was able to obtain divine vision on how Lakshmi could locate Vishnu. So when She came looking for Vishnu, the sage advised Her on where to go and how to worship, in order to be reunited with Vishnu. As a result of this, Vishnu gave Lakshmi a permanent place on His chest.

Brhaspati, or Guru – the planet Juipter and the preceptor of the Devas – worshipped here, and so this place is considered a guru sthalam, as also a place for overcoming any dosham related to Guru, in one’s horoscopes.

Located northeast of this temple are Ponnur and Korukkai, both places and temples connected with the burning of Kama (Manmadhan) and his subsequent renewed life and reuniting with his consort Rati. After his resurrection, Kama, along with Rati, worshipped Siva here, and are enshrined in the temple as murtis. This is therefore a prarthana sthalam for those with strained marriages.

Earlier, this place used to be called Trailokya Mahadeviyar Chaturvedi Mangalam – Trailokya Mahadevi was one of the queens of Raja Raja Chola I, and she herself was an ardent devotee of Siva and Vishnu, having made several contributions to temples, and in particular, funding copper-based utsava murtis of Kalyanasundarar. According to another inscription, in the time of Rajendra Chola I, this place was called Rajendra Simha Valanaattu Manninattu Emanalluragiya Trailokya Mahadeviyar Chaturvedi Mangalam.

In the outer prakaram, on the western side of the temple, is a shrine for Siva, with Parvati, on Nandi – in His Rishabharoodar form facing east. Siva is seen in aalinganam form, ie, with one arm around Parvati, embracing her sideways. On the same murti, facing west, once can see a Siva Lingam. All of this is carved out of a single stone. This form of Siva as Rishabharoodar is quite unique; I have never seen something like this in any other temple. Also unique to this particular shrine, is the use of chandanam (sandal paste) along with the other usual unguents, for pujas. This particular murti is believed to have been brought back to the region by Rajendra Chola I, after one of his military conquests in the Noolambadi (Nalumavadi) region in modern-day Thoothukudi district.

As with the nearby Perumal temple, this temple too is regarded as being over 5000 years old, and also considered to be originally from the Pallava period, with renovations by the Cholas in the early/middle 11th century. However, up until 2012, the temple did not have a raja gopuram, and other significant renovations were also done at this time. Of course, this has also meant that paints have been quite liberally applied, effectively hiding some of the older aspects of the temple. However, compared to earlier, the temple is in much better condition today (this video shows the then-and-now of this temple).

Other information for your visit

Contact

Phone: 93607 69884; 94429 32145; 97866 87493

Please do leave a comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s