Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Tirumoolanathar||Ambal / Thayar:||Kripambigai|
|Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tirumoolasthanam||District:||Cuddalore|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (26 km)||Kumbakonam (50 km)|
|Tiruvarur (69 km)||Ariyalur (70 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
When the Saiva saint Tirumoolar – composer of the Tirumandiram – was traveling from Chidambaram to Tiruvidaimaruthur, he halted at this place for several days, and consecrated a Lingam and worshipped Lord Siva. As a result, this place came to be known as Tirumoolasthanam, and the name of the Lord itself derives from the saint’s worship, as Tirumoolanathar.
Sani wanted to get Vinayakar under his spell, and so he chased Vinayakar around. Realising that the only way out was to be under Lord Siva’s protection, Vinayakar came here and sat to the south of the Lord. As a result, Sani had to accept defeat and become subservient to Vinayakar. Because of this sthala puranam, this place is considered a Sani dosham parikaram sthalam, and is also referred to as Chinna Tirunallaru. Vinayakar here is also said to have defeated an ogress, and so goes by the name Kodunkol Ozhiththa Ganapati.
The structural temple here is from the 10th century Chola period – specifically 968 CE – built in the time of Aditya Karikala Chola, the brother of Raja Raja Chola I. Inscriptions in the temple also refer to various kings from the Chola dynasty, including Vikrama Chola, Rajendra Chola II, Kulothunga Chola III, Rajendra Chola III, and Raja Raja Chola III.
There is no raja gopuram at this temple, and neither is there a dhwajasthambam. A bali peetham placed on a beautifully carved pedestal is followed by the Nandi mandapam. The main shrines are housed inside a mandapam beyond this. Two Vinayakar murtis flank the entrance to the mandapam, though it is quite clear that these are not original to this temple.
The mandapam itself is quite simple, with a Nandi followed by the garbhagriham. On the right is the Navagraham shrine, and Amman shrine. Various vigrahams and bas relief images fill the inside of the mandapam. Interestingly, the Amman shrine has a separate Nandi facing Her, which may indicate Pandya influence on the temple.
Several bas relief images adorn the outer walls of the mandapam and garbhagriham. This is also where one can see several inscriptions.
In the koshtam are Vinayakar, Dakshinamurti, Ardhanareeswarar, Bhikshatanar, Uma-Sahita murti in the western koshtam (which is practically unheard of), Brahma and Durga. In the prakaram, there are shrines for Vinayakar (and on the northern wall of this shrine is a bas relief of Sani, referencing the puranam in this regard), Murugan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai, and Chandikeswarar.
Sani is present in three places in this temple – in the Navagraham shrine, in a bas relief next to the Navagraham shrine, and on the northern outer wall of the Vinayakar shrine in the prakaram.
There are various bas relief images of deities such as Bhairavar, and also from some puranams, on the outer walls. Yet another bas relief depicts Tirumoolar worshipping Lord Siva. The architecture of some of the sculptures and bas relief images are very refined and nuanced, though these may be from later Chola periods as well.
Other information for your visit
Vighnaraja Sarma Gurukkal: 95975 90324
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