Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Gangadeshwara temple at Thakkolam is a very unique temple in every sense. It is in the north side of Thakkolam. Thakkolam is a holy place and is believed that lord Brahma and Vishnu did deep penance to Shiva. This placed is referred as Thiruvooral in Thevaram. This ancient temple looks very beautiful. Thakkolam Jalanadeeswarar stala, which is called Thiruvooral, is the twelfth of the thirty-two Siva sthalas in Thondai Valanadu. The temple is at least 2000 years old. The presiding deity at this temple is Siva also called Jalanadeeshwarar or Thirivurul Mahadevar. His consort is GiriRaja Kannikamba. The temple is located at Thakkolam in Vellore dist. of Tamilnadu. The presiding deity is believed to be made of mud by Dhakshyaini the consort of Lord Shiva and the daughter of Dhaksha. As Dhakshayani herself makes the lingam the lingam is not touched by anyone including the temple priests. The Shiva lingam here is on Navapashanam (poison). The theerthum (tank ) is ''Parvathi sathya Gangai'' Theertum and kusathalai nadhi
There are shrines for Lord Muruga, Dhakshinamurthy, Veerabadhra, Durga, etc. Camden, Yuma, and Guru every one has worshipped to lord Shiva in this temple. Brahma and Vishnu are seen seated while Goddess Durga strikes an elegant pose, with one hand on her waist. One of the specialties of this temple is the Yoga Dakshina Murthy. Yoga Dakshinamoorthy in Thakkolam has His own glories. One gets the feeling of taking to a living person while standing before this statue. Nowhere else you will find Dhakshina Murthy in uthkadi yoga asan posture. Hence he is known as Yoga Dakshina Murthy. This is a very special Dhakshina Murthy. During the transit of Guru, devotees throng this place. They say that they are blessed with prosperity and peace. Said to be the third most popular place where special poojas are performed for ``Gurupeyarchi'', Thakkolam is on the Arakkonam- Perambakkam bus route.
There are some mysteries associated with the main deity. The color of the moola lingam changes during both the Dakshinayana and Uttarayana seasons. This is a wonder. The color becomes white during Dakshinayana and red during the Uttarayana. Uttarayana is the six-month period between Makar Sankranti around (January 14) and Karka Sankranti around (July 14), when the Sun travels towards north on the celestial sphere. The period from July 14 to January 14 is known is Dakshināyana (दक्षिणायण). During uttharayana there is a plenty of rainfall, in dakshirayana there is not much rainfall in this area. This has been the practice for many centuries.
The formation of the Lingam:
When Dhakshyani in spite of lord Shiva’s objection went ahead to meet her father to talk on as why she and her husband were omitted in the guest list for the grand yagna. Instead of talking to her, she was insulted by her father who was consumed by ego. Daksha considered that he was superior to lord Shiva. As Shiva did not bow to daksha during in one of the yagna's this was his perfect revenge. Dakshayani in a bid to stop the yagna jumps in to pyre. When this was informed to lord Shiva, his father-in-law exasperated him. Lord Shiva creates Veerabadhra and Maha Kali from a stand of his hair to destroy Deksha. Veerabadhra kills Daksha by cutting his head off. Brahma and Vishnu plead to Veerabadhra to revive Daksha. Veerabadhra as per their wish revives Daksha and replaces Daksha's head with that of a goat. Daksha understands his mistakes and ask for lord’s forgiveness. The ever-loving lord forgives him and he is blessed. Mean while, Dakshayini went around visiting many sthalas and offered worship to make amends her disobedience in attending the yagna despite the Lord’s disapproval. Daksha was performing penance praying to the Lord on the banks of river Vrindha. When Dakshayini reached the banks of the river Vrindha, she made a Sivalinga with the sands of the riverbank. At that time, the river started flooding. To save the lingam from being washed away, she embraced it with both her hands. The impressions of her chest can be seen on the Sivalinga. As Daksha worshipped the Lord with loud cries here, it was called ‘Dakhan olam’, which, in course of time, became Thakkolam, we learn from the puranas.
The transcriptions on the walls of the temple also gives another interesting story. Once Dheergadhar the son of Vedic rishi Uditya and Mamathai who is also the nephew of Guru Bagavan (Uditya's elder brother) found Kamadenu near to his ashram. Since it was a practice to honor guests in ancient times, he requested Kamadenu to have supper with them. However, Kamadenu refused. Kamadenu is not supposed to eat at anyone's place with out Indira's permission. Deergadhar tried to tie the kamadenu. Angered by his action, Kamadenu cursed him. Kamadenu cursed him that going forward he will only involve in bad activities. In retaliation Dheergadhar also cursed Kamadenu to loose all its powers and to live a normal cow's life. Uditya Rishi and mother Mamathai were upset by their son’s behavior. As per Narada Rishi, they reached this place and worshipped lord Shiva. It is said that sage Uditya worshipped a Shivalinga made by him inside the cave for redemption of his son from the curse. Lord Shiva showed up to them and advised him to worship Nandhi. As per Uditya's request, Nandhi brought river Ganga (in the form of a spring). Dheergadhar did the abishekam to lord Shiva and his curse was removed. Similarly in order to remove the spell from Kamadenu, she has to perform milk abishekam on lingam’s head. Even Kamedenu performed the Milk abishekam her spell was removed. Even today, one can see spring flowing thru' nandi's mouth which pass thru' lingam's base.
Manikyavacakar also worshipped the Shiva here. Thirugnanasambandhar has sung about the Lord at Thiruvooral, in the 7th Century itself. The greatness of the Lord here can be found in the inscriptions of the Pandyas, Cholas and the Pallavas. Even Sage Arunagirinadthur has sung in praise of lord Murugan of this temple. This place is of a lot of importance. As this place has served as battle field for the Cholas and Rashtrakutas. As a witness to the war one can see a renovated compound wall inside the temple. The temple beauty is something to look for. This is one amazing place near Chennai, if you have the time do visit the temple to see the change in the color of the lingam. The entire temple is of architectural splendor.
This temple has so much history and mystery attached to it. If you are in the vicinity please visit this temple! May Shiva bless us all!