Thursday, 16 April 2020

Lord Shani With Shiva Lingam On His Head and Garuda As His Vahana - Thirukodeeswarar Temple - Thiruvidaimarudur - Thanjavur

Thirukoteeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple located at Thirukodikaval in the Thiruvidaimarudur taluk of Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is dedicated to Shiva. This place is called both Thirukodikaa and Thirukodikaval. There are five kshetras whose names end with KAA (meaning temples in the midst of gardens). The other four are Thiruvanaikaa (Trichy), Thirukolakaa (Seerkazhi), Thirunellikaa (Thiruthuraipoondi) and Thirukurakkaa (Needur). The other explanation for the name is that this was the place where the curse on three crore Mantra Devathas were removed and hence the place came to be called Trikotikaa (Trikoti= three crore) which might have become Thirukodikaval over a period of time.

Thirukodeeswarar Temple Main Gopuram
Thirukodeeswarar Temple Main Gopuram
This temple is around 1800 years old. The original sanctum sanctorum in brick was constructed in the 8th century by Nandivarma Pallavan. After two centuries, Chembian Mahadevi, the Chozha Queen, converted the brick edifice into a stone one. However, the flooring originally done in brick is retained till date! The construction is such that the entire rain water collected in the temple is neatly directed towards the temple tank! She also collected all the Pallava period inscriptions from different parts of the temple and arranged them neatly on the walls of the temple. This is the only Chozha Nadu temple having Pallava period inscriptions which give lot of details about the temple, grants given, activities performed etc! This temple also received patronage from the subsequent Chozha, Pandya and Tanjavur Nayak kings.

Thirukodikaval Temple Kodimaram
Thirukodikaval Temple Kodimaram
The story goes that Saneeswarar undertook penance here invoking the blessings of Lord Thiru Kotteeswarar. Since the belief was that Sani’s vision caused sadness to people and brought evil times all around, he shut his eyes in disgust stating that he did not want to cause any more trouble to the people. Thiru Kotteeswarar appeared before Sani and preached the doctrine of truth suggesting to him that it was actually Sani who helped people realize the sins they had committed and the wrongs they had done to others. In reality, it was Sani’s contribution to their well being for only after he set his eyes on the wrong doers did they take corrective steps to cleanse the sins. Being a student who was preached by Thiru Kotteeswarar, Sani is seen here in a ‘Bala’ (small) Posture. There are several unique things about this temple. It is believed that the Lord of this temple is surrounded by 1008 Easwarans (Shiva Temples) and His name, Koteeswarar might have been derived on account of this.

Thirukodeeswarar Temple Complex
Thirukodeeswarar Temple Complex
Though Yama and Sani were the sons of Surya, They were always at logger heads. This is one temple, where Their shrines are opposite each other. Similarly, the shrines of Durvasa Rishi and Chitragupta are opposite each other. The Sani in this temple is called Balasani and there is a Lingam above His head. Worship at this temple is advised for any one going through the 7½ years of Sani period- irrespective of whether it is Mangu, Pongu or Smarana stage (waxing, waning or steady position) of Sani. This is the only temple where Garudan is the vahanam for Sani in stead of crow. Cauveri flows Uttaravahini here (flowing from South to North).

Lord Bala Shani Shrine
Lord Bala Shani Shrine
In centuries gone by, several festivals were celebrated in a grand manner including a 13 day Brahmotsavam in Panguni, Maha Utsavam in Maasi and Vasanthotsavam in Vaikasi. During the Brahmotsavam, Thiru Kotteeswarar would go on a grand procession on a different vahana each day around the streets of Thiru Kodikkaaval. In ancient times, there were over 50 vahanas at the temple. Now, this has been reduced to just a few. As part of the Brahmotsavam, Thiru Kotteeswarar on Yama Vahana and Ambal Thiri Bhuvanasundari on Yamini Vahana used to come out on a special procession.

Temple Timings:

Morning Timings : 07:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Evening Timings : 04:30 PM to 08:30 PM
On Special Occasions timings might differ.

Temple Location:

Thirukkodikkaval is located at a distance of about 19 kms from Kumbakonam on the Kumbakonam to Mayiladuthurai route (Via Kathiramangalam) and 17 kms from Mayiladuthurai. It is about 5 kms from Suryanarkoil (famous Navagraha Sthalam for Lord Suryan). Other Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams near this temple are – Kuthalam, Therezhunthur, Thirukkozhambam, Thiruvaduthurai, Thiruvelvikudi, Ethirkolpadi, Thirumanancheri, Thirumangalakkudi and Kanchanur.

Temple Address & Contact Details:

Thirukodeeswarar Temple,
Thirukkodikkaval Post,
Thiruvidaimaruthur Taluk,
Thanjavur District,
Pin Code : 609 802.
Tamil Nadu.
Phone : 94866 70043 ; 0435 2450595

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