THIRUCHENGODU - Siva Temple

This temple for Lord Siva in the form of Ardhanaareeswarar is situated in (Kongunadu) Namakkal district, 18 kms from Erode.

There are two temples, one in the centre of the city - Kailaayanathar temple & one temple for Arthanaareeswarar built at 1900 ft above sea level atop a hillock called Naagagiri (Naaga - snake ; giri-mountain) which has two enjoined peaks.

The Kailaayanathar temple was built by the Naayakars & the Lord here is also known as Nila Thambiraan ( one who gives darshan on land). There are shrines for all the other Saiva gods. It is also popular as a Murugar temple.

The Ardhanaareeswarar temple can be reached by climbing about 1220 steps on which are carved serpent forms.

Three serpent forms can be seen at the entrance of the hill temple. The Raja gopuram has five levels & five kalasams.

The main Prakaram can be reached by climbing down 20 steps from the entrance. The Lord atop the hill is also known as Malai Thambiraan (one who gives darshan on a hill).

There is a sannadhi for Muruga. Arunagirinathar has sung in praise of this Lord. In the main Sannadhi Lord Siva is seen with Devi in the form of Ardhanaareeswarar. There is an idol of Bringi rishi at the foot of Ardhanaareeswarar.

According to legend, Bringi munivar was a devotee of Lord Siva. Siva was seated with Parvathi by his side. Bringi rishi was not willing to offer his respects to Parvathi. He took the form of a bee & flew round lord Siva only, neglecting Parvathi. To teach the rishi a lesson, Parvathi Devi asked to share the Lord's body & hence became one with him. This form indicates that Siva - conciousness and Sakthi - energy are both equally important & are inseparable.

There is water sprouting at the feet of the Murti & this is offered as prasaadam to the devotees. The sthala vriksham is the Iluppai tree.

There is a also a shrine for Aadi Kesava Perumal along with Sridevi & Boodevi (Mangalasaasanam by Nammazhwar). Other Sannadhis - Sashti Ganapthi near the moolavar, Naari Ganapathi, Kedhaara Gowri amman, Dakshinamurthy, Nageswarar (linga form), Nalleesar (linga form).

Thirugnana Sambandar has also sung the praise of this Lord. During one of his visits to the temple, devotees who had accompanied him were struck by a sever fever. Sambandar sang the Thiruneelakanda padhikam praying to the Lord to cure his devotees. It is said that not only were these travellers cured, but also all the locals in the region.

The temple also boasts of wonderful sculptural adornments - chains hanging from the ceiling, lotus flower in the ceiling with eight parrots drinking nectar surrounded by four snakes as guardians.


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