• Hello All

    My trip to the southern temples this time took me to Nagaraja Kovil (Nager kovil), Kanya kumari and Suchindram from my regular trip to Chendur.

    So some interesting things came up.

    Nager Kovil:

    While at Nager Kovil, it was interesting to note that the temple had a 3000 year odd history (according to the officials) and has a unique kind of soil that turns blue (dark) and while (Pale) every 6 months!

    The place is sorrounded by water and the lingam (swyambu) is mostly under ground.

    The Krishna has a tower and Shiva has a thatched roof which makes it possible for the 'Naga' Raja to pay his visit time and again.

    Other enthu's: There is an excellent song in thirupugazh on this temple too.
    Words of note:
    Thanaye inai naagayil vaazh perumaale - meaning the Lord who is equal to only Himself is at this place Naagai.


    Myth: I guess wiki can help with it.

    What I saw, a temple on a rock mound called Kailasanathar temple (behind the main temple), had lots and lots of ancient writings.
    So whats new about it ?

    They are written on blocks not disturbing each other, each version seems to vary with the time lines. Malayalam also is written in there in these carvings. Which explains Travancore Kings domination in later century. There is wealth of information there, any takers?

    White Nandi and a Huge hanuman are prominent, for some reason I believe they are not the ancient ones, for me it sounded more in the 17th century kings works. One reason for my theory is, bhairavar is in between Rama and Hanuman.

    They are comparing the white nandi with periya kovil, clearly, the comparers have not seen periya kovil!

    Rama and Sita in seated position - interesting idols - Hanuman and Lakshmana standing next.

    Curiously most temples here have a Rama in them. Which could reveal that the Lord either walked through these parts or returned through them. It seems quite far from our Rameswaram point, so where in did Rama make his entry from Lanka (if we assume lanka today is what it was then).

    A very large vinayaga (much similar to Chendur ganapathy), named as 'Neela kanta vinayagar'.

    So any one who knows the back ground of these temples ? For my part, I believe there is a clean mix of Chola - Pandya - Chera architecture and customs (though chera seems to have its wings even now).

    - Reporting from Kanya Kumari
    - Ravi

    PS: Tomorrow I would be visiting 'Guhanathaswamy' temple, supposed to have been built by our own RRC!!!

    Any news on that ?
  • A doubt, though elementary :

    Does "Naagai" mean Nagar Kovil or Naagai Pattinam ?
  • I believe it is Nager Kovil. But will research more.

    - R
  • Dear Ravi

    You are visiting an ancient belt which has been featured extensively in my latest novel in progress - cherar kottai.

    Nager koil - Originally a Jain settlement later converted to Hindu. The ananthakrishna you see is actually the nagaraja image.

    Suchindram - Good deal of work has been done. KK Pillai.

    Guhanathaswami temple has an important inscription of rajaraja that talks about Kazhikkudi sri vallabhap purunchalai, once again the center stage in my novel.
  • Hi Gokul

    Thanks for the info.

    You got a buyer :-)

    I would be interested in knowing more about the later day additions and temple boundary extensions in later times for Suchindram.

    On Guhanatha temple, we have the nava graha's along with their shakti's another unique feature for the temple.

    I visited Thiruparan kundram, it has same traits of later day extensions of temple.

    For example: The vaahanas in the lower junction are facing durga instead of Muruga.

    There is another mayil vaahanam that is on the top that faces the lord, which is seated with the Nine brothers.Seems to me that it is the original temple boundary.

    Somaskanda is behind the sivalinga, it sounds odd that the baby is there for his own mairrage :-)

    Vaarahi in the temple is feeding 8 cubs.That must be a later day addition. Very unique statue.
    Garuda , Rahu Ketu are seated separate without their main units.

    Bhadrakali is very similar to the one at meenakshi temple.

    - R
  • Dear ravi

    Dr jaybee clarified this just last week. Its not varahi but shiva :
    tiruvilaiyadal purnam. Panrikku paal koduthal.

    Btw, would you have this somaskanda and panri family photos
  • Always Nagai is Nagappattinam

    Karai mali kadal naagai - appar

    vanga mail kadal naagai - sambandar

    vangam sungam ida thollum velai then naagai - Sundarar

    > Does "Naagai" mean Nagar Kovil or Naagai Pattinam ?
  • Yes , Naagai is Naga-p-patinam.

    Here is Kaalamegham.

    " Kathu kadal soozh Naagai* kaathendran cha-th-irithil
      Athamik-k-kum podhu arisi varum,
      ku-thi ulaiyil ida oor adangum,
      ore aappai annam ilayil ida velli ezhum "

    * Naagai town sorrounded by wailing ( ka-th-u) sea  can be only Naga-p-patinam, not Nagarkoil.

  • Hello VJ

    I dont think these can be photographed.These are inside the main prakaram.

    The somaskanda is inside the main prakaram, where the linga is facing the parankundram mairrage celebration, behind the lingam is this carving (I believe it is later chola or pandya reign - not sure).
    But the very fact that somaskanda was present during the mairrage of Lord Subramanya itself is very interesting and to some extent validates my theory of the Lord's avatars in various times. There could be a list of avatars such as Dasavatar for Lord Muruga. Lord Muruga is not the same at all the temples, he is an avatar.

    The vaarahi cannot be Shiva, it was very prominent on her weapons that it was vaarahi. She is near the Pathanjali and Shiva himself on pillars.

    This is vaarahi for sure, I could assume that the piglets are 8 directions in symbolization.

    Parankundram temple is really fascinating place for architecture, history and religion at one place.

    The carvings are similar to Oppiliappan and Namakkal Narasimhar.

    Need to dig in more.Unfortunately, I dont think we can.

    - R
  • Guhanatha swamy temple had sculptures on the wall that looked similar to the periya kovil 'man in hat' carving, except no hat, everything else was similar.

    Any one else observed this? Are there any other places like this?

    - R
  • What was the history of this place between Cholas and Nayakkars of Tanjore. Any light from the group?

    Thirupugazh falls in 1400's.

    History of Naaga patinam (from Gov site)

    In ancient times, "NagaNadu", "Nagappattinam" referred only to Sri Langa. Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka had close links with this town Nagappattinam. "Animangalam Copperplate" of Kulothungachola notes that "Kasiba Thera" [Buddhist Monk] Renovated the Buddhist temple in 6th century AD with the the help of Buddhist monks of `Naganadu' This `nagar annam vihar' later came to be known as `Nagananavihar'.

    Pallava King Rajasimha [690-728A D] permitted a chinese king to build Buddha vihar in Nagappattinam. Hence there existed a chinese built budha vihar inNagappattinam. According to Anaimangalam copper plate of Kulothunga I , sriVijayathunga Varman of sri Vijaya kingdam built Raja Raja Perumpalli in the name of Raja Raja Cholanand [Rajendra Chola Perumpalli] in the name of Rajendra Chola in1090A D. This budha vihar also called Sudamani vihar'.Excavations were conducted by the Archaeological department at Vellipalayam in Nagappattinam and more than 300. Budha statues were unearthed and kept at the Museum in Chennai. This dilapidated Budist tower was razed down 200years ago.

    Nagore was called so because it was inhabited by the Nagars. TheNagappatinam Kayaroganam Shiva temple existed even in the 6th century ApparSambandar and Sundarar were associated with this temple ;Kayaroganam Shivatemple is based on the "Laguleesa Pusuptha Cult" .Soundaraja Perumal ViashnavaTemple is one of the notable features of Nagappattinam. This favorite town of Chola Kings was also celebrated latter;by Vijaya Nagara Kings. Portuguese had a commercial contact with this town during the Tanjore Nayakkas rule [Sevvppa Nayakkar] and [Acchuthappa Nayakkar] Portguese commercial centure was eastablished in 1554;' Since then christianity began to take root under the commercial contact, 10 -villages are taken control of by Portugese traders With the advent of Portugese Velankanni Church came into existence.

    - R
  • Ravi,

    I was there in the previous week at Thiruparankundram and I did notice the unique-ness of the sculpture and the misnomer below the sculpture.

    Dr.Jaybee corrected by informing about the "Pandri-kuttikalaku paal kodutha thiruvilayadal"(giving milk to the piglets in the form of a Mother pig). I really dont remember seeing the weapons of Varahi on that sculpture.
    If you could share the picture of this sculpture, it would be great as I dont have that pic with me.

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