The direction of the shiva temple entrances
  • Team,

    If we have already discussed about it let me know. I am puzzled about the
    direction in which two of the shiva temple entrances are built.

    1. Rasipuram - (this is my hometown in Namakkal District) - The Eswaran
    temple in this town is west facing. Normally all the temples will be facing
    east, however built by one of "Kadai elu vallal" Valvil Ori around 2000
    years back, this temples enterance (main Gopuram) and the Shivalinga idol
    himself are facing West.

    2. Chennai Saidapet Karneeswar Temple - The shiva Idol is facing East,
    however main gopuram is facing south (no other Gopurams in other
    directions). I think the reason may be that, initially the entrance and
    tower should have been on the East side. But when the Railway track was laid
    which is now just adjucent to the temple should have caused the British to
    move the entrance to south. Not sure my thinking is correct. Anyone can shed
    some light on this?

    Also, I would love to know is there any other temple (shiva temple in
    particular) where the entrance / idol are facing directions other than east.
  • Myliai Kapli, Thiruvanmiyur Marundesswarar - Vaitheeswaran koil Swami (to name a few) facing west.

    Can we count Natarajar (or Thiru Mollattanam is the Grbagraha?) in this list?

    There are many such thalams.

    There are thalam like Panjeshti where swami facing east and tower is for ambal fcaing south.
  • vada thirumullaivayil. Swami and ambal facing east and has an entrance too but rajagopuram facing south.
  • nataraja faces south
    amritha kadeshwarar in thirukadaiyur faces west
    kala samharamurthy in the same temple faces north
  • tirunallar

    sivan faces west


    10 ft high dakshinamurthy faces north(though outside the main temple with a separate shrine). listens to guidance given by vadivudaiamman

    Poonamalle vaideeswaran koiil

    sivan faces east.. main gopuram faces north.

    kachi ekambam

    sivan and rajagopuram in different directions.. gopuram is west facing. sivan is south i think


    sivan east and gopuram west

    thirupaasoor (near thiruvalangadu / thiruvallur)

    sivan and ambal faces east.. gopuram faces south


    sivan east , gopuram south

    many more to add
  • Hi
    just a thought on chidambaram directions

    the main sanctum of nataraja has only a south entrance

    the sanctum is on a raised platform called the sabhai which has entrances and steps on east and west

    a walled enclosure has nataraja and govindaraja shrines.this walled enclosure has one entrance on south and 2 on east( one facing govindaraja)

    this entire structure along with other shrines is within another prakaram which has east and west openings( it is in this wall that he disputed south walled door is)

    then comes the open space and outer walls of the temple complex which has entrances on all sides.

    not a very organised structure pointing to buildings over several eras

  • Good to see so many temples with different direction. However, I am
    interested to know what makes the builders or sthapathy to take diversion
    from the regular practice of facing east? Is there any specific reasons?
    Is it that if I am building a temple, I am free to choose the direction in
    which the swami / main tower to be facing?
  • natrajar and ranganathar facing south, palani facing west
    some of the holiest of our temples dont face east
    i dont think there is a hard and fast rule
    you have to know that these temples are rebuilt over centuries. recently during a excavation in thirukadaiyur they found the burial urns with bones which were several centuries earlier to temple.

    so there must have been varying reasons for the temple spot selction in the past

    > from the regular practice of facing east? Is there any specific reasons?
  • I was told by a divyadesam priest that the 'thayar' will always face
    east, irrespective of the direction faced by the 'perumal'. I have
    verified this in all the temples I visited. He said, if you are not sure
    of the direction, go to the 'thayar' temple.Sampath
  • I will add more. Thiruvanaikka and Mayuram vallalar - swami faces west.

    Trichur Vadakkunadan. Swami faces north.

    These temples were mostly swayambu are devapradishtai. ( by another God like Parvati, Vishnu) Hence the decision is by the God.

    For New temples, the swami should be facing east. If any change is to be made i think should be by very divine person. I think sthapati has no rlole here. Can any one suggest.
  • Dear All,there is special in west faing shiva temples!
    Vaideeswara swami faces west,
    thiruvanaikaval swami-west,
    srisailam swami- west,
    sattiakudi -west,
    kumbakonam kasi viswanathar west,
    adanur -west,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
  • Dear All,In most of theShiva temples Lord faces east ,only invery few temples Lord faces west,,,,,, but Ambal faces either south or east inall temples in tamilnadu.
    Buta a rare news is both Lord Shiva &Ambal facesWEST in Sattiakudi!!!!!!
    It is near Thiruvarur!
  • Fuirther to the mail on new temples.

    1.I am told that A new vaidesswaran temple built inside Ramachndra Medical college, has a west facing sivan as in the vaideeswaran temple as advised.
  • Vijayalaya Cholishvara at Narthamalai faces west. 9th century ~
  • Yes west facing...

    See fotos

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  • That is a Brilliant Query dear Katherine.

    Let me make a quick look into inconography references..

    and also check with scholars .. revert within 2 - 3 days..

    warm regards / sps

  • Just recalled ::

    Avudyarkoil @ Thiruperndurai - athmanatha swamy also west facing..

    the AROOPA LINGAM .. !!

    Aroopa ambal is also there... with foot steps along.

  • Yes, the temple faces west. It is also facing the Pallava caves, which houses Vishnu.

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