A Day Trip to Desur – 4

தமிழக சிவத்தலங்கள் (ஆசிரியர் ஜீ ச முரளி) is a Tamil book on the Siva temples in Tamil Nadu. Its a priceless treasure, worthy of all reverence. The author, Sri G C Murali has given details of 2600 plus Siva temples in different parts of the state…

From this book, I came to know that the Tadaagapureeshwarar temple at Matam village was built when the local king had a dream, wherein he was ordered by Lord Siva to dig a pond for the benefit of the locals and the pilgrims who passed that way. As mentioned in an earlier post, Matam village is in the traditional walking path between Kanchipuram and Tiruvannamalai. The King, in obedience to the command, had a pond dug, and while digging, they found a Siva Linga. And so it is that a temple was built there, and the Lord given the name Tadaagapureeshwarar (Lord of the town by the Pond).

After going around the temple, we left for Desur, which is a few kms from Matam. On the way, we stopped at Siyamangalam, where there was another ancient temple… Also under renovation…

This is a very special temple, being one of the early rock-cut temples of Pallava period. Known as the Avani-bhajana Pallaveshwara temple, this was built by King Mahendravarman the first, who was also known as Avani. Mahendravarman, who ruled during the period 6oo-630 AD, is known for his fine rock-cut temples, at Mahabalipuram, Siyamangalam, and Trichy… He was a devotee of Siva, and a follower of Appar.

The Siyamangalam temple tower (Gopuram) is built on top of the rock in which the shrine carved.

This temple has fine reliefs carved on rock, and the one on Lord Nataraja is the precursor to the Cholan bronze… Here, a four-armed Shiva dances in bhujangatrasita karana with right leg extended, front right hand in the protective gesture and rear right hand holding a lamp with fire (for source, click here )

The temple sanctum is locked. Through a gap, we can peer, and we see a very graceful idol in the sanctum. In the temple, we also spot a carving of Vamana Avatara of Lord Vishnu….

Inside this Siyamangalam temple complex is a Murukan temple built on top of another rock. Steps have been carved out on the rock, welcoming the brave among the pilgrims…

You can see a couple of courageous visitors, who have ascended that rock…

So that was a glimpse of the Siyamangalam temple. Now known as the Sthambeshwara temple – the Lord of the Pillar…

Coming out, in the horizon, we see the towers of Ranganatha temple of Tirumalpadi… Little specks of gold, seen against the backdrop of the hills…

We leave Siyamangalam, and head for Desur… On the way, we cross a village deity procession…

Next stop,  Desur village….

** To be concluded


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6 Responses to “A Day Trip to Desur – 4”

  1. Sundhar Says:

    I am mesmerized by all these. What treasures we have and how they could languish without propercare.

  2. Vegetarian Yogini Says:

    Some of these temples would put Taj Mahal to shame, I dare say. But maybe it’s better without ignorant tourists around them after all.

  3. gjv prasad Says:

    this has been a mentally relaxing fascinating trip for me

  4. shyam Says:

    Dear Sir

    Excellent coverage and analysis

    Your blogs prompt us to plan our weekends for such fantastic experiences

    Best wishes for more eye-openers


  5. Shiv Says:

    Very Good Post, Sir.

    You must have a collection of great photographs by now. Thank you for sharing these photographs.

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