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Tuesday, January 21, 2014


music fountain at sittannavasal the latest arrival
Sittannavasal Monument and its Cave Paintings
 Sittannavasal (சித்தன்னவாசல்) is a small village in Pudukkottai district and is world famous for its fresco paintings in the rock-cut Jaina cave temple. Sittannavasal has an important place in the history of Tamil Nadu. The megalithic monuments such as stone-circles, urn burials and cists spread in the plains of this village testify that this area was inhabited by pre-historic man. Sittannavasal is known primarily for its mural paintings in the Jaina rock-cut cave temple called Arivar-koil. These paintings are second only in importance after Ajanta paintings in the art history of India. There is a natural cavern, called Ezhadippattam (ஏழடிப்பட்டம்), with polished rock beds of Jaina ascetics. These rock beds contain Tamil inscriptions. The oldest is a Tamil Brahmi (தமிழ் பிராமி) inscription, the oldest in the district, and was being considered till recently as belonging to the 3rd century BC. According to the recent study by Iravatham Mahadevan, it is dated to the 1st century BC. Sittannavasal is perhaps the only place where you can find inscriptions in Tamil from the 1st century BC to the 10th century AD. The Navach-chunai (நவச்சுனை), with its submerged cave temple, would interest those who are adventurous. There are a number of explanations or interpretations about the derivation of the name. One of such explanations says that Sittannavasal is a corruption of ChiR-Ran-nal-vaa-yil (சிற்றண்ணவாயில்) (‘abode-of great- saints’). Another explanation says that this hill, once a part of a suburb of Annalvayil, could have come to be called Chirrannalvaayil (சிற்றன்னவாயில்) (ChiRu-annal-vaayil – சிறு-அன்னல்-வாயில் ‘smaller-Annal-Vaayil’). Yet another version interprets that the name could be a derivation from Siddhaanaam-vaasah , a word of northern origin, becoming Siddhannavaasah and then Sittannavasal . In the Tamil Brahmi inscription mentioned before, the name of this place is mentioned as ‘ChiRu-posil’ (சிறுபோசில்). 02_Map_apge_6.JPGAPPROACH The Sittannavasal village is 12 kilometers north-west of Pudukkottai, in the Pudukkottai– Annavasal route. One can reach the village and the monuments by taking a diversion from the Pudukkottai-Annavasal road, 2 km before Annavasal to the right. An arch put up by the Government welcomes the visitors to the village. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Sittannavasal is one of the oldest inhabited sites in the district, perhaps the oldest. Megalithic burial sites in this village testify that the areas around the hillock having been inhabited by iron-age men. Just before the beginning of the Christian era, this was a flourishing centre of Jaina influence, where Jainism flourished for over 1000 years, from 1st century BC to 10th century AD. During 7th – 9th centuries, the Arivar-koil, the rock-cut cave temple, had been excavated. There is nothing much known after that. THE MONUMENTS Sittannavasal is a world famous site in the district. In the village is a large rocky hillock which is about 200 feet in height and run north to south. There are four interesting monuments on and around this rocky hill. The Arivar-koil (அறிவர் கோயில்) On the western side of the hill, in the northern side, is the celebrated Jaina rock-cut cave temple called, Arivar-koil (temple-of-the-Arhat-s). It has relics of paintings of 9th century AD. These paintings are second only in importance after Ajanta paintings and have an important place in the Indian art history. The Ezhadippattam (ஏழடிப்பட்டம்) On the eastern side is the natural cavern called Ezhadippattam with polished rock beds where Jaina ascetics practiced severest penance, for more than a thousand years since 1st century BC. It contains a 1st century BC Brahmi inscription and innumerable other Tamil inscription. The Megalithic burial sites There are megalithic monuments like urn-burials, stone circles and cists in plenty, near to the hillock. The Navach-chunai (நவச்சுனை) To the north of the natural cavern, on the eastern slope of the rock is a small rock-cut temple submerged in a tarn, called Navach-chunai. It requires some amount of rock-climbing and trekking to reach there. Presently, the Jaina cave temple, the natural cavern called Ezhadippattam, and the megalithic burial sites are protected monuments and are under Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). There are ASI staff available in the Jaina cave temple and Ezhadippattam. There is an entry of Rs. 5 for an Indian citizen and Rs. 100 (US $2.00) for foreigners, for both the monuments. The monuments will be open during 9AM to 5PM. REACHING THE MONUMENTS 01_Sittannavasal_hill_Page_10-11.JPG On the road before one takes a turn to enter Sittannavasal and on the roads leading to the monuments, there are remains of megalithic burial sites. Following this road, off the main road, one reaches the foothills of the hillock at which the road takes a left turn. It is from here one starts the climb to the Jaina caverns containing stone beds. Further traveling on the road would take you to the western slope of the central hillock. From here one makes a short climb of some steps to reach the Jaina cave temple, and its world famous mural paintings. Visitors are suggested to start with the Arivar-koil and then visit the Ezhadippattam. THE ARIVAR-KOIL (THE JAINA CAVE TEMPLE) The Arivar-koil, a Jaina cave temple, with its mural paintings belonging to the 9th century AD or earlier, is one of the best-known monuments in the district. 04_Front_view_p13.JPGThere is still some uncertainty regarding the origin of this temple. The temple in its architectural style resembles the cave temples built by the Pallava king, Mahendra-varman (600 – 630 AD). It is claimed that Mahendra-varman’s territory did not extend beyond Tiruchi, and Lalitankura-Pallavesvara-griha on the Rock Fort in Tiruchi is the southern most temple he had excavated. It is also known that there are cave temples of this period and of similar style in the Pandya country where the Pallava power was unknown. One such cave temple, dedicated to Siva, with relics of paintings, perhaps belonging to the same period as that of Sittannavasal, is at Tirumalaipuram, near Tirunelveli. In the absence of any foundation inscription it would not be possible to ascertain the builder of this temple. From an inscription dated 9th century, which refers to repair and extension on the temple, one can surmise that this cave temple is anterior to this date. THE SITTANNAVASAL PAINTINGS This Jaina cave temple is world famous primarily for its mural paintings. The ceiling of the sanctum and ardha-mandapam of this cave temple contain beautiful paintings. These paintings are of the classical or Ajanta style with variations in the handling of the materials by the artists. They furnish a connected link between the Ajanta paintings (4th – 6th century AD) and the Chozha paintings of 11th century at Thanjavur. The sculpture and the matchless paintings of the cave are worth studying in detail. Originally the entire cave temple, including the sculptures was covered with plaster and painted. The paintings are now found on the ceiling, top part of the pillars and the beam above the pillars. All these paintings, which would rank among the great paintings of India, are barely visible now, mainly due to vandalism with in the last 50-60 years. These paintings include, as its subject matter, the Jaina Samavasarana, and in it the khatika-bhumi including a lotus tank, flowers, animals, bhavya-s and dancing Apsara-s, a royal couple and hamsa-s. THE SAMAVA-SARANA IN JAINA TRADITION Jainism is one of the oldest living religions of the world. The ultimate goal of every Jain is the attainment of nirvana or liberation of soul from the bondage of karma-s. Even though there is no emphasis on worship of Gods in Jainism, it teaches the worship of all liberated souls, which have advanced in their spiritual journey irrespective of the level of their achievement. So the worship of the great souls or heroes occupies an important place in the life of Jain-s. According to the Jaina tradition there are 63 Salaka-purusha-s (‘Great-Souls’). It includes 24 Tirthankara-s, 12 emperors (Chakravarti) and 27 other heroes. Of these the Tirthankara-s occupy the most prominent place and are venerated as Devadi-deva-s (‘God-of-Gods’). They are in a sense the religious prophets of the Jain-s. A soul attains the position of a Tirthankara after doing good actions. Every Tirthankara, before getting his enlightenment had to go through numerous births in different forms. Five important events in the life of a Tirthankara are important, and are depicted in the temples and narrated in Puranam works. They are the birth, the renunciation, the realisation (attaining kevala-gnana), the first sermon and nirvana (liberation of soul). The Tirthankara after obtaining Kevala-gnana delivers a sermon in a specially designed audience hall called Samava-sarana. Gods and goddesses, human beings, birds and beasts come to witness the grand scene of the Lord’s discourse. The parallel in Saivism to this hall is called as devasiriya-mandapam as can be seen in the Thiruvarur temple. Samava-sarana, the most attractive heavenly pavilion, is a favourite motif for representation in the Jaina temples. Bhavya-s are those fortunate people who become entitled to attend the divine discourse in the Samava-sarana structure. They have to pass through seven bhumi-s or regions before they occupy their seat to hear the divine discourse. Among these, the second bhumi is called the khatika-bhumi (region-of-the-tank). It is a delightful tank with fishes, birds, animals and men frolicking in it or playing in it. The bhavya-s are said to get down into the tank, wash their feet and please themselves by gathering lotus flowers, while animals such as elephants, buffaloes and birds and fishes are frolicking about and pleasing themselves too as best as they can. This tank is the one painted on the ceilings of the cave temple. THE DISCOVERY This Jaina site and its paintings were first noticed by S. Radhakrishna Iyer, a local historian, and were recorded in his book ‘General History of the Pudukkottai State’ (1916). The impact of Radhakrishna Iyer’s reference to the Sittannavasal cave temple and its murals was, however, inhibited by the comparatively regional character of his book and its readership. He himself was not likely to have realised the full importance of Sittannavasal while describing it. The publication in 1920 of Jouveau-Dubreuil’s monograph on Sittannavasal was, as a result, accorded the status of a ‘discovery’. While Iyer’s notice predates the Dubreuil’s, it is the latter that received attention beyond the educated and ruling circles of the erstwhile State. To Dubreuil and the renowned iconographer Gopinatha Rao who collaborated with him in Sittannavasal during the years 1918 to 1920 must be given the credit of placing Sittannavasal before the archaeological world. In 1942, Dr. S. Paramasivan and K. R. Srinivasan were engaged in cleaning the paintings. They noticed a patch of old painting representing conventional carpet design, over which a new layer of painting was superimposed. This superimposed layer was probably the work of Ilan-Gautaman, mentioned in the inscription. The new layer spread into the garbha-griham and all over the ceiling of the ardha-mandapam, the pillars, the corbels and the beams. This new layer is laid over a ground of plaster over which the paintings that we see today and admire are put up. THE PAINTING TRADITION The Sittannavasal paintings carry on the tradition of the well known Ajanta frescoes (2nd century BC-6th century AD), Srilanka’s Sigiriya (Srigiri) frescoes of the fifth century AD and the Bagh frescoes in Madhya Pradesh of the sixth and seventh centuries AD. Sittannavasal is, therefore, an early example of the post- Ajanta period, and in merit it compares well with Ajanta and Sigiriya. We may safely say that Sittannavasal is one among the earliest frescoes so far known in South India, and that they are the only example of early Jaina frescoes. The technique employed is what is known as fresco-secco, that is, the painting is done on a dry wall. (In the Europe mural paintings are done on a moist wall and are called fresco-bueno). In this process the surface to be painted is first covered with lime plaster, then coated with lime-wash and the painting done on it. According to Dr. S. Paramasivan, who had made thorough analysis of the techniques of Sittannavasal paintings, the following pigments have been employed: lime for white, lamp black for black, ochres for yellow and red, terre verte for green, etc. Thus mineral colours, which are of a permanent nature, have been employed. But the information-board put up by the ASI states that vegetable dyes have been employed for the paintings. In 1937-39, Maharaja of Pudukkottai had the paintings cleaned. After cleaning the paintings, they applied a preservative coating, and strengthened the painted plaster wherever it was loose, by injecting suitable cementing material without retouching any part of the paintings. THE CAVE TEMPLE - A GENERAL DESCRIPTION The cave temple lies on the west face of the hillock. It stands beneath an enormous scarp, which seems likely to fall down upon it. There is an air of somber forlornness about it, altogether appropriate for the severe religion of ultimate mortification of which it has been a centre from ancient times. From the road, a walk of about hundred feet over the sloping rock takes the visitor to the cave temple. The plan and construction of the temple is simple. It resembles other rock-cut cave temples of 7th century in plan and style. Originally it consisted of only a garbha-griham and an ardha-mandapam in front, facing west. Both of them are excavated from living rock. According to an inscription dated 9th century, a mukha-mandapam was added during the Pandya time. But it must have collapsed, due to neglect. Presently, there is a pillared veranda in front of the cave. This structure is added much latter, in 20th century. THE PILLARED VERANDA Visitors enter the cave temple through a pillared veranda. This is the latter addition by the Maharaja of Pudukkottai at the instance of Tottenham, the British administrator, in the 20th century. The pillars were brought from the ruins of the Kudumiyamalai temple and the roof-slabs from the quarry of adjoining place called Panangudi. The moulded plinth here is original Pandya. It may be surmised that the mukhamandapam built by the Pandya king must have collapsed. Some point out the debris lying about to prove this. This veranda is bereft of any detail, except for a famous inscription. This 17-line Tamil inscription on the surface of the rock on the southern flank of this pillared veranda is of great importance giving us some clue to the dating the cave temple. It says that a Jaina acharya named Ilan-Gautaman, also called ‘the acharya from Madurai’, repaired or renovated and embellished the ardhamandapam and added a mukha-mandapam in front of the cave temple, which is called in the inscription ‘Arivar-koil’ (‘temple of the Arhat’) in Annalvayil village during the reign of the Pandya King Srimaran-srivallabhan (815-862 AD), also called Avanipasekhara. THE ARDHA-MANDAPAM Crossing the front veranda one enters the rectangular ardhamandapam. It measures 22.5 feet long, 7.5 feet wide and 8.5 feet high. It is slightly taller than the garbha-griham. The façade of this ardhamandapam consists of two massive pillars in the middle and two pilasters, one at either end. The pillars are squarish at the two ends and octagonal in the middle. The pilasters are also of the same design. The rock above the pillars and pilasters is carved in the form of a massive beam. All these pillars and pilasters carry large corbels (potikai) with horizontal roll ornamentation or flutings, with a plain band in the centre. On either side of the doorway to the garbha-griham are ornamented pilasters enclosing two niches, one on either side. These pilasters are smaller but of the same type as the pillars. They have, on the upper cubical parts, lotus medallions carved in bold relief. On the northern and southern walls of the ardha-mandapam are niches. In the northern niche is a figure of a Jaina acharya seated in the dhyana (meditative) pose, cross-legged, with the hands placed one over the other, palms upwards, resting on the folded legs. There is a single umbrella over the head of the image, which proves that it is not that of a Tirthankara. On the southern wall, placed in a similar niche, is the figure of Parsvanatha, the twenty-third Tirthankara. He is also seated in the same posture, but with a fiveheaded serpent spreading its hood over his head instead of an umbrella. The figure of the Parsvanatha on the southern niche. An acharya is a religious teacher and spiritual preceptor. He is the person who administers religious vows for practice by the disciple initiated by him. Tirthankara-s are those liberatedsouls who establish and organise the sangham and whom the Jain-s worship as Devadi-deva-s (God of Gods). According to the Jaina tradition there are 24 Tirthankara- s. The 23rd Tirthankara is called Parsvanatha and he is supposed to be lived in the 8th century BC. There is an inscription at the bottom (east face) of the pillar near northern figure. It contains the word ‘thiruvasiriyan’, denoting that the figure represented is an ‘asiriya’ that is acharya. It is on the ceiling, the walls, the beams, the cornice and the pillars of this ardha-mandapam that the best known of the Sittannavasal paintings are found. Those on the walls have completely perished and parts of those on the ceilings, the beams and the upper parts of the pillars alone survive. The paintings on the ceiling Canopies of different floral patterns are painted on the ceiling over the two images in the ardha-mandapam. That over Parsvanatha has both natural and conventional lotus flowers, the former in full blossom against a lotus-leaf background. That over the acharya has only a conventional lotus-pattern. In the centre up to the borders of the carpet canopy is painted an exquisite composition, ‘The Samava-sarana’, a lotus tank with the Bhvya-s collecting flowers and animals and fish frolicking. The ‘Samava-sarana’ composition The scenes of this composition are from the Samava-sarana, one of the delightful heavens of the Jain-s, explained before. The painting shows bhavya-s diverting themselves in a pool, full of flowering lotuses, called khatika-bhumi. The flowers with their stalks and leaves, and the birds, fishes, makara-s, bulls and elephants are shown with a perfect simplicity, charm and naturalness. The pose and expression of the bhavya-s shown in the picture have a charm and beauty, which compel attention. Two of them are shown together in one part of the tank (scene one in page 26). One is picking lotus flowers with his right hand and has a basket of flowers slung on the other. He is represented in a deep red colour. His companion carries a lotus in one had, the other is bent gracefully, the fingers forming the mrigi-mudra (‘deer-gesture’). His colour is orange, showing the merit of the soul. The third bhavya, an extremely beautiful figure, also orange in colour, is apart from the others (scene two in page 27). He carries a bunch of lotus over his left shoulder and lily over his right. The three figures are naked except for their loincloths. The hair is neatly arranged and the lobes of the ears are pendant. Paintings on the pillars The painting on the pillars also have been ruined to a large extant and only the outlines of three figures are traceable today, that too only on the upper part of the pillars. There are portraits of dancing girls on both the pillars. These two animated figures, with their broad hips, slender waists, and elaborate ornaments, recall the beauty of the apsara-s of mythology; their pose and expression suggest rhythm and dynamic movement. These portraitures of dancers in Sittannavasal must rank as one among the best in the whole of India. There is also remnant of a painting of a couple on one of the pillars. On the front face of the southern pillar is a beautiful picture of a dancer, her left arm stretched-out in lata-hasta pose, gracefully (figure in page 29). She has her right arm bent at the elbow, in front of her bosom with its palm presenting pataaka. Her ears are adorned with patra-kundala (known as olai in Tamil), rings set with gems, and her arms decked with bracelets and bangles. Even more graceful is the other dancer on the front face of the northern pillar (figure in page 30). She has her left arm starched in lata-hasta pose, while her right arm is bent at the elbow, in front of her bosom with its palm presenting pataaka. The headdress and the ornaments of this dancer are very distinct. The hair is decked with flower garlands. The painting on the other face of the southern pillar represents a man and a woman, possibly the builder, and his queen. The man has an elaborate kiritam (diadem on the head), a patra-kundala (rings set with gems) in the ear. There is also an umbrella raised over both. His demeanor and his diadem indicate his royal status. In front of these two is another figure in red, unfortunately much defaced and beyond recognition. Paintings on the cornice and beam There are also paintings on the corbels, beam and cornice. On the corbel are scroll designs with lotuses. The painting on the cornice, which projects in front of the mandapam, is made up of carpet designs with lotuses. The surface of the cornice in front of each of the two pillars bears a hamsa (mythical swan). On the northern wall, below the cornice on a patch of plaster, are the figures of a trident, fruits and flowers in yellow and red. THE GARBHA-GRIHAM From the ardhamandapam, a door way, 5 ½ feet by 2 ½ feet, approached by a flight of steps flanked by surul-vyali-s (balustrades sculptured in the form of vyali-s with curled trunks) leads to the garbha griham. The garbha-griham is a square of 10 feet and 7 ½ feet high. On the back wall of the garbha-griham are three images carved in relief in a row. All of them are in the same dhyana (meditative) posture. The northern and central figures have ‘mukkodai’ (‘triple-umbrella’), indicating them to be Tirthankara-s, while the southern has a single umbrella, and probably represents a Chakravarti or an acharya. On the ceiling of the garbha-griham is carved a wheel with hub and axle representing the Dharma-chakra (‘Wheel-of-the- Law’). The ceiling of the garbha-griham is also painted. The Painting on the ceiling The painting above the three images in the inner shrine is intended to serve as a canopy. The design suggests a carpet, with striped borders and irregular squares and circles interlinked. Within the squares are conventional lotus flowers, and inside the circles are crosses with bulbous ends. On the upper sides of the horizontal arm of the cross are human figures and on the lower sides lions. In the rest of the area of the ceiling is the lotus pond Samava-sarana, similar to that in the ardhamandapam, is painted. TAMIL INSCRIPTIONS NEAR THE CAVE TEMPLE According to T. N. Ramachandran, there are four different inscriptions in Tamil characters of the 13th century AD, on the living rock to the south of the cave temple. It is reported by Dr. A. Ekambaranathan and Dr. C. K. Sivaprakasam in their book ‘Jaina Inscriptions in Tamilnadu’ (1987) that there are 7 different inscriptions in Tamil characters of 7th – 10th centuries on the rock surface to the south of the cave temple. But only two inscriptions are available now. They too are unfortunately fragmentary, but appear to refer to works executed in regard to this cave temple. From these it can be surmised that the Pudukkottai tract, in which Sittannavasal and adjoining Narttamalai fall, constituted a land where Jainism flourished for over 1000 years from the 1st century BC onwards. THE EZHADIPPATTAM The Ezhadippattam is the name given to a natural cavern where over more than a thousand years since 1st century BC, Jaina ascetics practiced severest penance such as kayotsarga (meditation till salvation in standing posture) and sallekhana (fasting unto death). There are innumerable inscriptions here. But all these inscriptions are barely visible now, due to vandalism within the last 50-60 years. The cavern is near the top of the centre of the hill and on its eastern side. But the only approach is from the west, over the top of the hill. It is said that, originally this path to the cavern, along a narrow ledge in which precarious footholds are cut in the rock, was difficult and dangerous. Proper steps have now been cut, and an iron railing provided. Presently the ASI had installed an iron barricade at the mouth of the cavern to stop vandalism. The cavern is roomy but low. The floor is marked out into spaces for seventeen beds, each with a sort of stone pillow. They are highly polished. Similar arrangements can be found in other parts of India like Lomas Rishi cave of Gaya, Khandagiri- Udayagiri caves of Bhuvanesvar and many places in Tamilnadu like Anamalai, Alagarmalai, Tiruvallam, etc. In Pudukkottai itself, similar beds are there in Aluruttimalai of Narttamalai hills and Kudumiyamalai. Most of the beds here are inscribed. One of them, the largest, is perhaps the oldest since it contains an inscription in Tamil in the Tamil Brahmi script of the 1st century BC. This is one of the oldest lithic records of South India. The inscription reads as follows: eriminatu kumizh-ur piranta kavuti-i tenku- cirupocil ilayar ceyta atit-anam It mentions that one Ilaiyar of Tenku-chiru-posil made this seat for Kavuti born at Kumuzhur in Erumi-naadu. It is believed that the Kumuzhur in Erumi-naadu refers to a place in the present Vellore district. By the other beds, names of other Jaina ascetics practiced sallekhana are inscribed. Thus, there are number inscriptions of 7th to 10th centuries AD. These inscriptions show that for about 1000 years from the 1st century BC this cavern was a resort of Jaina ascetics. THE NAVACHCHUNAI The Navach-chunai is a tarn situated on the eastern slope of central part of the rocky hillock. It is about one kilometer north of the Ezhadippattam, at a somewhat lower level than it. Reaching there requires a lot of rock-climbing and trekking and would need somebody to guide. The pool takes its name from a naval-maram or jambutree (Syzygium Jambolanum) close by. Like the Talai-aruvisingam tarn of Narttamalai (on the Mela-malai), this contains inside, a submerged rock-cut shrine. Stylistically it is a late Pandya temple (13th century AD). It contains a Siva lingam in the centre and a narrow passage to walk round. The water is occasionally baled out, and the lingam worshipped. This is locally called the Jambunatha’s cave. THE MEGALITHIC BURIALS Megalithic burial is a typical mode of disposing the dead in most part of Tamilnadu in the past. Some suggest the period 3rd century BC to 1st century AD is considered to be when this was practised. It may be remembered that this period is also the period of Sangam. Loosely called ‘dolmans’, these are stone-capped burial monuments with chambers and similar interment arrangements in stone. These monuments are found in many places in Tamilnadu like the districts of Chengalpattu, Vellore, Pudukkottai, Ramanathapuram, Salem, Coimbatore and Tirunelveli. Locally known as Pandava-kuzhi (‘pits-of-Pandava-s’), mandavar-kuzhi (‘pits-of-the- dead’), kurangup-pattadai, or kurangup-pattarai (‘monkey’s-workshop’) and mudu-makkalthaazhi (‘burial-pots-of-the-old-people’). The last name is the most widely used. BURIAL CUSTOMS IN SANGAM LITERATURE There are mentions about the various burial customs like urn-burial in the Sangam literature. Mani-mekhalai, one of the twin epics of the post-Sangam period, enumerates classes practising different modes of disposing of the dead, namely, those who cremate (Suduvor), those who simply expose the body and leave it to decay (Iduvor), those who bury the dead in deep graves (Thodukuzhipaduppor), those who entomb the dead in strong low vaults (Thaazhvayin-adaippor) and, those who inter them in urns and cover them up (Tazhiyir-kavippor) (Mani-mekhalai vi, 67-68). Though the first mode of cremation came to be adopted under the influence of Vedic culture, the other methods were also being practised. Exposing the dead body to natural decay was in vogue till recent times. Burial is common even today in Tamilnadu. MEGALITHIC BURIAL SITES IN PUDUKKOTTAI The Pudukkottai district was a home of the pre-historic man. A very large number of megalithic burial sites have been found in the district, generally near watercourses. One can see a number of burial sites even today in several places like Ambur-patti, Ammachatram, Annavasal, Kizhaiyur, Melur, Mootamapatti, Narangianpatti, Perungalur, Peyal, Poyyamani, Puttambur, Sathyamangalam, Sengalur, Sittannavasal , Tayinippatti, Tekkattur, Tiruppur, Vadaguppatti, Vattanakuruchi and Vilappatti. They are easily identifiable by the appearance of a circle of laterite or granite stones and small boulders on the surface of the spot. A few burial sites, belonging to the 1st century BC – 1st century AD, have been excavated, revealing pottery and ornaments, some of which are exhibited in the Government Museum at Pudukkottai. GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE BURIAL SITES Excavations have revealed three types of burials in Pudukkottai region. They are (1) grave-burials; (2) urn-burials and (3) burials in deep stone-chambers formed of stone slabs (cists). 1. Grave-burials This mode of burial is simple, where the body interred in a horizontal posture. Some experts feel that this was adopted by the poor. There is another view that women were buried in this way and men were normally buried in urns. The finding of urn-burials side by side with these sites might have contributed to this view. 2. Urn-burials The urns were earthen pots, large enough for a man in a sitting posture. They varied in size, the largest measuring 4 feet in height and 3 feet 6 inches in diameter. P. T. Srinivasa Ayyangar, who was among the people who did excavations here, writes: ‘The dead men were placed in a sitting posture in an earthenware pot. The pot was then let into a pit and half filled with sand and rice, and other grains on a tray were placed before the dead man. His stone tools were also inserted at the sides of the pot. The foodstuff and the tools were no doubt, intended for the use of the dead man in his post-mortem life, for they believed in life of the spirit of men after death. Then more sand was poured into the pot till it was full and the pot covered with an earthenware lid. The pit was then filled in and a stone slab placed on it. Then more sand was poured and another stone slab, this time very large and oval in shape, was placed above the grave and upright stone about a cubit long planted all round the slab….’. Most urns did not contain any ornaments, but some did, such as bracelets made of bronze or chank shells, nose-rings, and cornelian and glass beads bored with a hole. Some times elegant bronze vessels were found. In some places iron swords, daggers, spear-heads and arrow heads with spiked or hollow handles, valari-s, and other weapons were found buried round the urns with their point downwards. Less usually similar but smaller and more elegant weapons were found inside the urns themselves. The urns generally contained human bones, and two in the Pulvayal forest contained complete skeletons, seated and holding short swords in their right hands, while the left arm rested on the thighs. In one of the Pulvayal urns was found a sword 18 inches long with human teeth adhering to the blade which bore embossed decorations near the handle. 3. Burials in subterranean chambers formed of stone slabs (cists) A number of burials of this type have been excavated. The main burial chamber, as large as 8 feet square and 7 feet deep, was placed at about 2 to 3 feet below floor level. In addition were elaborate smaller chambers and partitions, and access between chambers in the form of man-holes. The slabs that enclose the cists project to a height of two to three feet above the ground. All finds of any importance were found at a depth of about four to five feet below the ground level and only in the two partitions of the main chamber. Surprisingly no traces of human bones were found, but only some baked earthenware utensils and iron weapons of different sorts. Among the findings were corroded weapons, saucer like iron vessel about 7 ½ diameter, thin bronze plates and a stoneball, evidently a missile. THE MEGALITHIC BURIAL SITES IN SITTANNAVASAL There are extensive Megalithic burial sites near the hillock in the Village. It contain both cist and urn burials. The visitors are suggested to visit these burial sites while they are returning from the visit to the other monuments. One can locate them on both the sides of the road leading from the monuments to the main road, after about 100 meters from the Ezhadippattam. More of such burials can be located on the left side of the main road, leading to Pudukkottai, after about 200 meters from the junction. Some of these were excavated in 1934-35. Specimens of garnet, red jasper and rock crystal have been picked up near the foot of the hill. Pieces of pottery coated inside with molten and coloured glass, and loose pieces of coloured glass have been found in the fields opposite the hill. These indicate that in olden times glass making was probably a flourishing industry in these parts. OTHER INTERESTING SITES Along the western base of the hill, and beneath the central and southern parts of it, lie a stone and brick temple of Siva in ruins, and shrines to Ayyanar, Pidari, and other village deities. From this one may infer that there must have been a village close to the hill on the site now covered by the dry fields. There is a Trigonometrical Survey station on the central rock, at a height of 700 feet. Appendix - 1 THE PANDYA INSCRIPTION The 17 line inscription of Ilan-Gautaman, who is hailed as the acharya from Madurai, is in Tamil verse and is found on the southern flank of the cave temple. This 9th century inscription is inscribed during the reign of the Pandya King Srimaran-srivallabhan also called Avanipasekhara (815-862 AD).

Thursday, August 22, 2013

thirumeeyachoor the place where the Lalitha Sahasranamam was originally sung.

moolavar:    meganatha swamy,mihara aruneshwar,muyarchinathar,
uthsavar:     panchmurthy,lalithambiga 
 amman thayar  :soundharya nayaki   
 thala virutcham : :mantharai,vilvam  
 theertham   :surya pushkarani    
 history   :  2000 years old    
  name   : tirumeeyachur   
 district   :tiruvarur    state   : tamilnadu

The glory of Lord of the temple is praised by Saint Gnanasamabandar in his Thevaram hymns.  This is the 56th Shiva temple on the southern banks of Cauvery praised in Thevaram hymns.
Rathasapthami is grandly celebrated in the temple in January-February. All Shiva and Devi related festivals are also observed
Lord Shiva is a swayambumurthi in the temple. Mother Lalithambika is seated on the Sri Chakra Raja Simhasana-throne with Her merciful Abhaya Hasatha Mudra-assuring all protection to devotees- with Her folded right leg placed on the left as an Empress. Mother Lalithambika is all powerful. They rays of Sun fall on the Lord from Chithirai 21 to 27 – April-May. Special Surya puja is performed during these days.
The temple is open from 7.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 4.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Devotees perform special pujas and Homas dedicated to Lord Meganathaswami on their birth star days for longevity.  60th and 80th birth days are celebrated in Lord’s shrine.  Women awaiting marriage pray to Lord Kalyana Sundarar with garlands for early happy results.  Those suffering from diseases offer Pirandai rice on lotus leaf as nivedhana and eat it as Lord’s Prasad for relief.
Lord Meganathaswami is a swayambulinga.  Those chanting Lalitha Sahasranama and Lalitha Navarathna Mala sitting in the Mother’s shrine are bestowed with all grace and prosperity in life.  This is the birth place of Garuda, Aruna the charioteer of Sun, Vali, Sugriva, Yama and Saneeswara.  Hence, people perform Ayush Homa and Mrutyunjaya Homa in this temple for longevity.  They also offer Pirandai Rice nivedhana placed on a lotus leaf to Lord and eat it for cure from diseases.
Sun worshipped in the temple for relief from a curse and got back His glittering power.  Mother Kali had worshipped Lord and Mother here.
Sage Kashyapa had two wives Vinatha and Karthru.  They prayed to Lord Shiva seeking child boon.  Lord gave them an egg each and asked them to keep it safe for a year.  Garuda was born from the egg of Vinatha.  Later Garuda became the Vahan of Lord Vishnu.  As nothing came out from her egg, Karthru hurriedly broke it only to find a disfigured child.  She sought the pardon of Lord Shiva for her hasty action.  Lord Shiva not only pardoned her and blessed the child to become the charioteer of Sun bearing the name Aruna and the Sun rise would be called Arunodhaya.  Aruna became a Shiva devotee and performed severe penance for His darshan.  Sun mocked at Aruna that one with physical defects cannot reach Kailash for Darshan.  Aruna did not give in his efforts and succeeded finally.  Lord Shiva granting darshan to Aruna, cursed Sun too to lose his shining.  Shocked Sun placed Lord Parameswara and Mother Parvathi on an elephant, worshipped them and got back his shining power.  That Lord Shiva is Lord Meganatha in this temple under the Gajabrushta Vimana designed as the back part of an elephant.  There are three Kalasas on the Vimana.  The name of the place Meeyachur has the story of Sun recovering his shining power. 
Presiding deity Meganatha Swami is facing east.  Mother Lalithambika, also praised as Soundarya Nayaki is seated on the Sri Chakra throne majestically as an empress.
As Mother Meenakshi in Madurai and Sri Andal in Srivilliputhur, Mother Durga in this Meeyachur temple is holding a parrot.  Durga with a parrot is rare in temples. 
Durga in Tirusuhula Nathar temple in Chennai Tirishulam and in Chinnamanur Manickavasagar Temple in Theni district have this feature.  Mother Durga with 8 hands in Tirumeeyachur temple is praised as Sukha Brahmma Durga Devi.  Proably, this name ought to have been derived after the name of Sukha Brahmma Rishi with a parrot nose, son of Sage of Veda Vyasa.  She looks all smiling though standing on demon Mahishasura – a Shanta Swarupini.  It is believed that this parrot is taking the message of the devotees to Mother Lalithambika through Durga Matha.  Even today, devotees can see a parrot flying from Durga shrine to Lalithambika shrine during evenings. 
Lord Hayagriva is the disciple of Mother Lalithambika.  He taught the greatness of Lalitha Sahasranama to Sage Agasthya.  Sage asked Hayagriva which was the suitable place to chant this great hymn.  Lord said that the sage should visit a place on earth where Mother graces in the name of Manonmani.  Sage, with his devout wife Lopamudra came to Tirumeeyachur and chanted Lalitha Sahasranama before Mother Lalithambika.  Pleased with his devotion, Mother appeared before the sage and his wife in the form of Navaratnas-nine precious stones.  Sage Agasthya worshipped Mother with his own hymn Lalitha Navaratna Mala.
There are two Shiva shrines in the temple. Lord is in Linga form.  Saint Tirugnana Sambandar had sung the glory of Lord in the shrine under the Rajagopuram and Saint Tirunavukkarasar had praised the Lord in the Ilankoil in the north prakara of the temple.  This is a temple of Mother importance. 
Yama the God of death and the deity of Sadhya Star worshipped Lord Shiva performing abishek with 1008 conches.  These conches have the power of granting longevity.  Yama brought the sacred plant Pirandai belonging to the creeper category to earth.  He offered rice nivedhana prepared with this pirandai to Lord.  This is followed now by devotees for relief from diseases and for longevity. 
Though Mother Lalithambika was dressed with all jewels as an Empress, one jewel,  anklets at Her feet were absent.  A devotee woman had a dream as if she was fixing the anklet to Mother. She immediately offered the anklets to mother.  Following this incident, now, devotees seeking wedding, child and education boons offer anklets to Mother Lalithambika.  
The devotee can have the darshan of the shrines of Lords Brahmma,Vishnu and Lingodhbava (Shiva) standing in between the two Vimanas.  Lord Chandikeswara graces with four faces.  The sculpture of Kshetra Puraneswara is very beautiful.  The Mother part of the sculpture appears angry from one side and smiling and soft from the other side.

Dreaded demon Pandasura was harassing sages and Devas.  They surrendered at the feet of Mother Parasakthi for protection.  Responding to their appeal, Devi rose from a Yaga Gunda, mounted on the Sri Chakra Rath with the name Lalithambika, waged the war against the demon and destroyed him.  She was  very furious then.  Lord Shiva asked Mother to go to Earth, assume the name Manonmani and perform penance and shed her fury.   Mother came to this place and became soft and merciful.  She created Vak Devathas-deities ruling words- and asked them to sing Her praise with 1000 names.  This became the holy Lalitha Sahasraname beginning with the words, Sri Mathre meaning “Mother of prosperity”.
Lord Shiva in the temple is a swayambumurthy. Rays of Sun fall on Lord from Chithirai 21 to 27 in April-May. Surya Puja is performed during these days in the temple. 
Karththuru, vinathai are the two wives of kashyapa maharishi. They had a fight in between them about the black spot on the tail of uchchaisiravas – indra’s horse. Repenting they came to thirumIyachchUr and worshiped the Lord. The Lord blessed then and gave them an egg each, asked to preserve for an year to get splendid sons. They got garudan, arunan respectively.
When arunan took the form of mohini (charming girl) sun despoilt her. When aruNan pleaded to the Lord, He cursed sun to get darkened. As per His advise, sun worshiped the Lord at thirumIyachchUr for seven months.
Surya Bhagavan is believed to have workshipped Lord Siva as Gajaaruda seated on an elephant among thick clouds. Hence the Gajruda Vimana Still as his darkness did not change, he cried in grief, ”he migura”.
Hayagrivar conveyed to sage agasthiyar lalita sahasranamam
The Goddess got angry at the sun for shouting in Their abode. The God pacified her saying sun was looking for relief.(This Pacifying scene is depicted by the sculpture ) One of the key attraction of this temple is this sculpture where Lord Shiva is holding parvati’s cheeks …its said that Lord is pacifying the mother of universe. In one angle the sculpture godess appears to be in anger on the other angle she looks romantic.By His Grace sun was cured. The pacified Goddess does austerities getting the name sha.ntanAyaki.
As told by him agasthiyar came to this temple and worshiped the God in the “Amla phalAdi krana puja” as done by the sun and saluted “srI lalitAmbika”. yama dharma rAja worshiped the Lord here.
Sage Agastya is believed to have sung Lalita Navaratnamala in praise of the Goddess. He has also composed a hymn named Rahasyanamasahasram. Saivite saints Tirugnana Sambandar and Tirunavukkarasar have sung in praise.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sri Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Thirupattur.

It is inferred that a person can change his fate by seeking blessings at Sri Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Thirupattur.
Mythlogical references relate that Lord Shiva blessed Lord Brahma, that every devotee who visits this Temple, and has Darshan of Lord Brahma would see their wishes fulfilled.
Mythological references recount Lord Brahma’s overwhelming pride as the Creator of the Universe. Lord Brahma felt that He was more prevailing than Lord Shiva – since He had the supremacy of creation.
This sense of pride provoked Lord Shiva, who destroyed Lord Brahma’s Fifth Head, and also cursed Him that He would lose His power of creation.
After loosing his fifth head and all his powers, Lord Brahma realized his mistake since his privileged duty of creation was affected and so worshipped Lord Shiva at various places.
During the course of His pilgrimage, Lord Brahma visited Thirupattur and worshipped Lord Shiva with a Shiva Lingam under a Magizha tree with water from the nearby tank, now called Brahma Theertham.
He also installed 12 lingams around in this place and worshipped Shiva for a long time.
Being moved by Lord Brahma's prayers, Lord Shiva, on Devi Parvathy’s appeal, gave Him darshan under the Magizha tree and liberated Him from His curse, so that He could start His privileged duty of Creation again. Hence Lord Shiva is called Sri Brahmapureeswarar here.
Also Devi Parvathi gave back Lord Brahma all His sheen and that’s why the Devi called Brahma Sampath Gowri.
Lord Shiva also blessed Lord Brahma that He would have a separate shrine at this temple. He also advised Lord Brahma that since Brahma himself had His destiny rewritten here; He should rewrite the destiny of His devotees visiting this temple.
Since the fate of Lord Brahma, the Creator, Himself was changed by Lord Shiva at Thirupattur, one can expect a turning point in life by praying at this temple.
The Temple finds mention in the hyms of the revered Saivite Saint Sundarar.
The presiding deity is Lord Brahmapureeswarar in the form of Swayambu Lingam.
The presiding deity is Devi Brahma Sampath Gowri.
There is a separate shrine for Lord BrahmaThe idol of Lord Brahma is in meditative pose sitting in Padmasana on a lotus.
Abhishekam to Lord Brahma - Timings

On all days except Thursday
08:00 am
On Thursday
06:00 am
The Temple complex consists of the 12 Shiva Lingams, installed and worshipped by Lord Brahma.
The Temple Complex also has the Jeeva Samadhi of Yogi Patanjali, the founder of Yoga.

The temple is under the administration of The Hindu Religious And Charitable Endowments Department, Government of TamilNadu.

The Legendary Connection between Sri Bitchandarkoil, Thirukandiyur, Tirupattur
Mythological references interpret that Lord Brahma considered Himself as overwhelming and dominating amongst the Hindu Trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva; since He was the Creator of the Universe.
This demonstration of pride provoked Lord Shiva, who cut off Lord Brahma’s 5th head and also cursed Him to wander in the Bhoolokha (Earth).

Sri Bhikshandar Kovil
Having cut off Lord Brahma’s 5th head, Lord Shiva got the Brahmaharthi Dhosham, and the plucked head of Brahma stuck to his palm. Lord Shiva started out on a pilgrimage to liberate Himself from the curse by begging for food with Lord Brahma’s skull as the begging vessel.
But whatever food was put into the vessel immediately disappeared. It was at Bitchandar Koil; that Lord Perumal requested Devi Lakshmi, as Poornavalli Thayar to offer food to Lord Shiva. Devi Lakshmi filled the vessel with food to end Lord Shiva’s hunger.

However, Lord Brahma’s skull was still stuck to Lord Shiva’s palm. At the behest of Vishnu, Shiva bathed at Thirukandiyur and prayed to Goddess Kamalavalli and Lord Vishnu. It was at Thirukandiyur that Lord Shiva finally attained salvation and got rid of the stuck head. The water tank in the Temple is hence referred to as Kapaala Theertham.

Having lost His 5th Head, and His powers, Lord Brahma started out on a pilgrimage of Lord Shiva Temples.
During the course of His pilgrimage, Lord Brahma visited Thirupattur and worshipped Lord Shiva with a Shiva Lingam under a Magizha tree with water from the nearby tank, now called Brahma Theertham.
He also installed 12 lingams around in this place and worshipped Shiva for a long time.
Being moved by Lord Brahma's prayers, Lord Shiva, on Devi Parvathy’s appeal, gave Him darshan under the Magizha tree and liberated Him from His curse, so that He could start His privileged duty of Creation again. Hence Lord Shiva is called Sri Brahmapureeswarar here.
Having set out on a long pilgrimage, Lord Brahma had lost his complexion and good appearance. Devi Parvathi blessed Lord Brahma, and gave Him back all His sheen.
Hence the Devi is venerated as Devi Brahma Sampath Gowri - The one who gave Lord Brahma's wealth back.
Since the fate of Lord Brahma, the Creator, Himself was changed by Lord Shiva at Thirupattur, one can expect a turning point in life by praying at this temple.
In brief,
  • Sri Bhikshandar Kovil is where Lord Shiva’s hunger ended.
  • Sri Thirukandiyur Temple is where Lord Shiva was relieved of His curse.
  • Sri Brahmapureeswarar Temple is where Lord Brahma was relieved of His curse.
    Lord Vinayakar
    Widely reverred as the Remover of Obstacles, Lord Vinayakar is traditionally worshipped at the beginning of any ritual or ceremony.
    There are 7 idols of Lord Vinayakar within the main Temple Complex
    Sri Vinayakar : at the entrance to Sri Brahmapureeswarar Shrine
    Sri Sannathi Vinayakar : entrance to the Temple complex
    Sri Karpaga Vinayakar : behind the Jeeva Samadhi of Maharishi Patanjali
    Sri Narthana Vinayakar
    Sri Vinayakar : near Sri Kala Bhairavar Shrine
    Sri Vinayakar : in Devi Brahma Sampath Gowri Shrine
    Sri Vinayakar : adjacent to Sri Saptha Maataagal at Maharishi Patanjali Shrine
     Presiding Deity : Sri Brahmapureeswarar (Lord Shiva)
    In the form of a Swayambu (self manifested) Lingam
    Since Lord Shiva absolved Brahma of His sins, He is known as Brahmapureeswarar in this temple. 
    The sanctum sanctorum of Sri Brahmapureeswarar) is 300 ft from the main entrance.
    There are 7 entrances leading to the sanctum sanctorum, significant of the 7 days of the week
    Yet the sanctum is filled with natural light and the Presiding Deity can be seen clearly from the main entrance.
    Also, sunlight falls directly on the Presiding Deity three days in a year - on the 15th, 16th and 17th day of the Tamil month of Panguni.
     Pradosh is observed in the evening twilight on the 13th day (Trayodashi tithi ) of each lunar fortnight.
    It is the worship of Lord Shiva for the fulfillment of our desires.
    The basic disciplines to be observed on this day are:
    • Ahimasa (non-injury)
    • Satya (speaking the truth)
    • Brahmacarya (continence)
    • Daya (compassion)
    • Ksama (forgiveness)
    • Anasuyata (absence of jealousy).
    Pradosh on a Monday is known as Som Pradosh or Chandra Pradosh. Pradosh on a Saturday is known as Shani Pradosh. Som Pradosh and Shani Pradosh are considered as highly auspicious.

    Tamil New Year - 1st day of Tamil Month of Chitrai
    Chitrai is the 1st month in the Tamil calendar.
    And the Tamil Panchang marks this day as the beginning of a new year.
    Events at the temple include:
    Reading of the new year Panchangam
    Special Abhishekam
    Distribution of Buttermilk and Paanagam to the devotees.
    * Paanagam is a sweet drink made with jaggery, with a touch of lemon and ginger.

    Tamil Month of Aadi - Pooram Nakshatram
    This day marks the first major event at the Temple.
    Special Abhiskhekam is performed for Devi Brahma Sampath Gowri. Germinated Whole Green Gram is distributed as prasaadam to the devotees.

    Tamil Month of Aavani - Vinayaka Chathurthi
    Vinayaka Chathurthi marks the birthday of Lord Ganesha, who is widely worshiped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.
    This festival is celebrated on the 4th day of the waxing moon.

    Tamil Month of Puratasi - Navarathri Festival
    The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshipped.
    Throughout the 10 day Navarathri festival, special Abhishekams are perfomed for Devi Brahma Sampath Gowri. And special Alangarams are also done for all the 10 days.
    * Alangaram refers to the adornment of deities in Hindu temples. The three important things needed for an Alangaram are silk clothing, jewellery and flowers.

    Tamil Month of Aippassi - Pournami
    Pournami is the Full Moon Night of every month. And is considered most auspicious in Lord Shiva temples.
    Annabhishekam is performed for Lord Brahmapureeswarar.
    Abhishekam is a process of bathing the deity. Annabhishekam means covering the Shiva Lingam with cooked rice.
    It is believed that performing Annabhishekam to Lord Shiva on this day frees one of all their problems.

    Tamil month of Karthigai
    Shank Abhishekam is performed for Lord Brahmapureeswarar on every Monday of the Karthigai month.
    Karthigai Deepam, the festival of lights is celebrated on the Full Moon day of the month of Karthigai. The Lord is taken around the Temple praharam in a chariot.

    Tamil month of Margazhi - Pournami
    Special Abhishekam is performed for Lord Nataraja Perumal. And the Lord is taken around the Temple praharam in a chariot.

    Tamil month of Thai - 1st Day of Thai
    Special Abhishekams are performed for Panchamurthi - Lord Vinayakar, Lord Murugan, Lord Brahmapureeswarar, Devi Brahma Sampath Gowri, Sri Chandikeswarar.

    Tamil month of Maasi - Maha Shivarathri
    Mahashivarathri, the Great Night of Lord Shiva is celebrated from the 13th night (Trayodashi tithi ) to the 14th day of the Tamil month of Maasi.
    Lord Shiva is considered the Adi (first) Guru from whom the yogic tradition originates. According to tradition, the planetary positions on this night are such that there is a powerful natural upsurge of energy in the human system
    Special Abshishekam is perfomed to Lord Brahmapureeswarar on 4 occasions throughout the day.

    Tamil month of Panguni
    The ten day Brahmotsavam festival is celebrated during this month.
    On Puram Nakshatram day of Panguni month, Lord Brahmapureeswarar is taken around the Temple praharam in a chariot.
    Lord Brahma is the originator and the generator of all mankind.
    He represents the universal mind, as creation is the work of the mind and the intellect.
    He is considered as "Brahm", the Supreme God.
    Students, teachers and scholars worship the Creator to seek His blessings in acquiring knowledge.
    People meditate upon Lord Brahma to attain peace of mind.
    Brahma Mantra forms part of meditation on the Lord
    Om Namo Rajo Jushei Sristau
    Sthithou Sattwa Mayayacha
    Tamo Mayaya Sam-harinei
    Om Brahmanyei Namaha
    Lord Brahma is the Creator of the Universe. He created the universe with its three nature gunas (qualities) - positive, negative and dormant. Lord Brahma represents Om, the eternal bliss. Lord Brahma is the supreme god, who brought all things to form. I bow to that Divine God Brahma.

    Sri Brahma Gayatri
    Aum Vedathmanaaya Vidamahe
    Hiranya Garbaya Dhimahi
    Tanno Brahma Prachodayat

    Sri Brahma Gayatri
    Aum Parmeshwaraye Vidmahe
    Paratattvaye Dhimahi
    Tanno Brahma Prachodayat
    Sri Brahma Gayatri
    Aum chatur mukhaya vidmahe
    Hamsarudhaya dhimahi
    Tanno brahma prachodayat
    “Let us meditate on the glorious lord with four divine faces, who is seated on a pure white swan. May that great Brahma, Creator of the Universe, inspire and illumine our mind and understanding.”

    Brahma Bija Mantra
    "Aum Satchit Ekam Brahma"
    “Om Eim Hrim Shrim Klim Sauh Satchid Ekam Brahma”
     Tirupattur is located 30 kms from Trichy in TamilNadu, on the Trichy Chennai National Highway 45.
    It is 10 Kms from Samayapuram towards Chennai.
    Landmark : After you cross Siruganur towards Chennai, there is a left detour from the main highway, towards Tirupattur.
    There is a signboard on the highway, which shows the way to Tirupattur.
    The temple is 4 Kms away from the detour on the highway.
    By Air
    Air India, (, Air India Express ( and have regular flights connecting Chennai and Trichy.

    By Rail
    Trichy is well connected by rail. Being centrally located, almost all trains to the southern region of the state pass through Trichy. You can access Southern Railway’s official website, for more details.
    By Bus
    There are a number of Government Transport Corporation Buses, and also a host of private luxury bus operators from Chennai to Trichy.
    The distance is 320 Kms, and the travel time is approx 6 hours.
    The entire stretch is a Tolled 4 Lane National Highway No.45.
    Other Temples at Trichy
    Samayapuram – Devi Mariamman Temple – on NH 45 (
    Srirangam - Lord Ranganathaswamy Temple (
    Thiruvanaikovil – Sri Jambukeshwarar & Devi Akhilandeswari Temple – on NH 45 (
    Rockfort – Sri Vinayakar Temple; and Sri Thayumanavarswamy Temple, Big Bazaar, Trichy (
    Devi Vekkaliamman Kovil – Woraiyur, Trichy (
    Gunaseelam – Lord Prasanna Venkatachalapathy, Musiri Road (

    Temple opens at
    07:00 am
    Ucchi Kalam - Mid Noon Puja
    11:30 pm to 12:00 noon
    Temple closes at
    12:00 noon
    Temple opens at
    04:00 pm
    Sayaratchai - Evening Puja
    06:00 pm to 06:30 pm
    Artha Jamam - Night Puja
    07:30 pm to 08:00 pm
    Temple closes at
    08:00 pm

    Abhishekam to Lord Brahma - on all days except Thursday
    08:00 am
    Abhishekam to Lord Brahma - on Thursday
    06:00 am

    The above are the regular timings of the temple.
    On festival days, the timings are extended.