There is a marvelous and ancient temple for Lord Shiva at Ezhichur. The main deity here is called Sri Nallinakkeeswarar. Nallinakkeeswarar (நல்லிணக்கீஸ்வரர்) means ‘God of harmony’. Goddess here is Sri Deivanaayagi. The temple is about 1100 years old, dating back to the Chozha period.
The temple has been in existence since a very long time. It was initially built by the Cholas and later when the Vijayanagara kings were in power the temple Ezhichur and Vennagaram were presented to HH Shri Vyasachala Mahadevendra Saraswati (1498 to 1507 AD), the 54th pontiff of the Kanchi Kamakoti Matam. This has been found recorded on stone edicts which were unearthed during renovation and also in the copper plates in possession of the Kanchi Mutt and also verified recently by the ASI.
Some stone inscriptions were found in the temple on couple of stone slabs, which revealed the age and history of this temple. According to a study done by Archeological Survey of India, the temple dates back to 920 A.D. Inscriptions reveal the details of this temple during the 13th year of reign of a Chozha King ‘Koppara Kesari Panmar’ (கோப்பர கேசரி பன்மார்) identified as Paranthaka Chozha 1 and this village was then called as ‘Velimaa Nallur’ (வெளிமா நல்லூர்).
During this period, a local administrative head called Nochi Kizhaan Kaliya Perumaan (நொச்சி கிழான் கலிய பெருமான்) belonging to the village Velimaa Nallur of Velimaa Nallur Naadu, a sub division of Ootrukkaattu Kottam handed over gold to the native Naattaar (நாட்டார்) to build the temple (During the said period agriculturists were called Naattaars). Inscriptions also reveal that the Naattaar has to take responsibility to build the temple in this village using the given gold, failing which they have to pay a fine of ‘Mannjaadi Pon’ (மண் ஜாடி பொன்- a pot full of gold) to the king.
As per the inscriptions, it was found that, this village was called as Velimaa Nallur which was under Ootrukkaattu Kottam and this village itself had been the head quarter for this region (Naadu).
There is also a copper epigraph which was found in the temple belonging to 1429 AD. According to this copper inscription, there was a Vijayanagara King called ‘Veera Narasimha’. He had admirations to this temple and the village. During his period, HH ‘Sri Vyaasaachala Mahadeva Saraswati Swamigal’ was the 54th Peetadhipadhi in the lineage of Kanchi Matam.
The copper epigraph says that ‘The king Veera Narasimha seated on a jeweled throne on the banks of the river Thungabadhra, gifted Ezhuchur and Venpaakkam villages to HH ‘Sri Vyaasaachala Mahadeva Saraswati Swamigal’’.
The Seer is said to have worshipped the Lord here and also attained ‘Mukthi’ at this place. The Adhishtaanam (Samadhi) of ‘Sri Vyaasaachala Mahadeva Saraswati Swamigal’ is also found in the temple at south west of the sanctum.
The idol of Sri Chandhramouleeswarar (Lingam) is also found in the temple which was originally found placed on the Adhishtaanam. Now some bricks and lamps are kept there for identification.
The main deity Sri Nallinakkeeswarar is in the form of a grand Shiva Lingam, facing east. Sri Ganapathy is seen at the entrance of the sanctum. A shrine for Ambaal, Sri Deivanaayagi is at the left side of the sanctum, facing south. Opposite Ambaal shrine, is the shrine for Sri Shanmugar.
The Theertham for this temple is called ‘Kamala Theertham’ (தாமரைக்குளம்), which spreads on a vast area and looks so beautiful. This water from this pond is said to have medicinal properties. There are a few steps to go down to the Theertham here. Hollow carvings are found on both sides of the stone steps, to pour oil and light the lamps during festivals. The temple tank is called Surya Pushkarani and was built by Lord Surya when he came to worship Lord Shiva here.
The most important of all here is the fantastic Nandhi. The Nandhi here is said to be very unique and not found anywhere else. This Nandhi is called as ‘Rajo Guna’ Nandhi. This peculiar Nandhi has beautiful ornaments and clothing, all carved on it.
Nandhi is wearing elaborate ornaments around its neck. It wears garlands made of Rudhraaksha, an Iron chain, Salangai and a garland made of bells. Nandhi also adorns a beautiful Nethi Chutti (an ornament meant for forehead) on its forehead. It has a beautifully carved Vasthram (shawl) covering it and an ‘Ottiyaanam’ (hip ornament) too. Yaazhi is beautifully sculpted just above the legs.
It is sculpted with minutest of details as even the row of teeth of the Nandhi is so accurate. Nandhi is seen curling its tongue out reaching to its nostril on the right side. It is said that such posture is called ‘Pranayama Kolam’ (doing breathing exercise). Also the ears of the Nandhi are sculpted sharply in an unusually erect shape. It is said that the Nandhigeswarar here is in the posture of doing Prayanama and listening to the Gayathri Manthra.
It is said that HH Sri Jayendhra Saraswathi Swamigal of Kanchi Matam had visited this temple, got so fascinated by this beautiful Nandhi and also was reported to have said that He had not seen such a beautifully sculpted Nandhi anywhere else!
Thus, the Nandhi here gains much of admiration and stands as a masterpiece to the architectural excellence of our ancestors. One will need at least 5 to 10 minutes to go around and admire this Nandhi in detail.
Please note that three hoofs (legs) are visible in this picture! One of the forelegs is folded backwards and other one is in stretched position. Of the hind legs, one is folded while another leg goes beneath its stomach and this leg is seen jutting out on the other side. Similarly the tail goes underneath the belly and stretches out on its left side. You can see the right back hoof and the tail curled from beneath the Nandi on to the left side. Incredible piece of architecture, is it not… :)))
‘Penn Panai Maram’ (female Palm tree) is found behind the sanctum at the western side.
‘Vilvam’ is found at the southern side of the temple.
‘Eru Azhinjal tree’ (ஏறு அழிஞ்சல்), also called Angola tree, which is considered most sacred and medicinal and is on the south east side of the sanctum. The above are the three Sthala Vruskshams here.
According to the hereditary trustee Mr. Ramamurthy there were almost 31 samadhis in the Temple premises which are still to be unearthed properly.
Sri Nallinakkeeswarar blesses the devotees for marriage, child birth and harmony within the family.
Shrines and Deities:
Sri Shiva as Nallinakkeswarar (நல்லிணக்கேஸ்வரர்)
Devi as Deivanayaki (தெய்வநாயகி)
Sri Brahma (பிரம்மா)
Sri Mahavishnu (மஹாவிஷ்ணு)
Sri Dakshinamurthy (தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி)
Devi Vishnu Durgai (விஷ்ணு துர்கை)
Sri Gajalakshmi (கஜலட்ச்மி)
Sri Narthana Vinayagar (நர்த்தன் விநாயகர்)
Sri Gannimula Ganapati (கன்னிமூல கணபதி)
Sri Valli Subramaniar Deivanai (வள்ளி சுப்ரமணியர் தெய்வானை)
Sri Chandikeswarar (சண்டிகேச்வரர்)
How to reach:
Ezhichur is close to Oragadam near Sriperumbudur. The temple is around 3 km from the Ezhichur bus stop. Ezhichur bus stop is next to Oragadam Koot Road bus stop which comes in the Tambaram Walajabad route.
1) From Madras proceed on GST road after Perungalathur take the first over bridge turn right towards Wallajahbad. This is a six lane highway that goes all the way to Oragadam. Near the Renault factory over bridge you will see the road from Sriperumbudur joining. Proceed straight and then in about half a KM take the first small road to the left to Ezhichur . This can easily be missed. There is a provision store and bus stop on the main road. If you cross this the next building is the Maha meru peetam. So make sure you do not miss this peetam. On the left road proceed for about 2 kms and you will see a left turning cement paved road which leads you to the Temple.
2) On the Chennai Bangalore highway, in Sriperumbudur just after the Rajiv Gandhi memorial there is a road to left 6 lane which leads to Oragadam. This will meet the oragadam Koot road turn right here and take the first left to Ezhichur.
Have compiled the above information from these three sites:
Finally, a huge thanks to Smt Vidya Raju for ferreting out this incredible, wonderful and a priceless treasure from the world wide web!
Let us all visit this historic temple and be blessed!
Categories: Devotee Experiences