24. Sri Someswarar Temple, Pazhayarai, Kumbakonam (Chola Nadu - South of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Someshar
Name of Goddess : Sri Somakalambigai
Holy water (Theertham) : Soma Theertham and also one created by Garuda, vehicle of Lord Vishnu
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Gooseberry (Nelli)
Thevaram : Thirunavukarasar
District : Thanjavur.
Location : Kumbakonam.
Timings : 06:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 04:00 p.m. to 08:30 p.m
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 24th sthalam on the southern side of river Cauvery. There are several temples in the vicinity of Pazhayaarai - Patteeswaram, Darasuram, Satthi Mutham. The Vadatali temple houses Dharmapureeswarar & Vimalanayaki, while Pazhayarai houses the grand Somanathar temple now in ruins. Vadatali is also known as Vallalaar Kovil. It is considered to be the 24th in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom located south of the river Kaveri.
- It is considered as one of 275 Paadal Petral Stalams.
- Garudan and Adhisheshan worshiped Lord Shiva of this temple.
- Appar made Shiva Lingam appeared after he prayed on fast, which was hidden by Jains (samanars).
- This is the birth place of Mangaiyarkarasiyar and Amarneedhi Nayanar.
- This place was once called as Arunmozhidevechuram. King Rajendran was brought up under the care of Queen Kundhavai in this place. Also this place was once capital for the Chozha King Manimudidevar. He was the intrumental to appear the Shiva Lingam to Appar.
- Chozhas had done renovations to this temple.
This town is surrounded by lush green fields and by the Mudikondan and Arisilaaru rivers. The entire area abounds in archaeological remains of ancient buildings. The Keezhttali and Metrali are the other Shiva temples in Pazhayaarai.
Legend has it that Chandra worshiped at Pazhayarai. Sundarar has sung praises of the Metrali temple.
There are several carvings of great beauty in this temple (now in a poor state), dating back to the period of the later Cholas. Mention must be made of those depicting fights between a lion and a warrior, the slaying of Hiranyakasipu, and the lifting of the Kailasa Parvatam by Ravanan.
The Somanathar temple resembles the Vikrama Choleeswaram temple at Tirukkachi, the Airavateswarar temple at Darasuram, and Tribhuvaneswaram at Tribhuvanam. It is dated as a monument initiated by Vikrama Cholan and completed by Rajaraja II (1130 - 1160. Its outer wall has the remains of a 7 tiered gopuram along the likes of those at Chidambaram and Tiruvarur. The gopura vasal, in two tiers, resembles that at Tiruvarur. The dance panels depicting the Bharatanatya Karanas, on the wall faces of the entrance, bear the same architectural and iconic features as are noticed at Chidambaram, Darasuram and Tribhuvanam.
Its inner prakaram encloses an area of about 50000 sq ft, and it has a Tiruchutrumaaligai. Interestingly, Ardhanareeswarar occupies the rear niche of the sanctum, as opposed to Lingodbhavar. The ratha (chariot) mandapam in front of the Somanathar temple is chariot shaped and the life like images of horses and elephants pulling these are of great beauty. The vast Somanathar temple is thus a veritable art gallery with several interesting features added over a period of time.
History / Legend:Moon (Chandra) prayed here to get back his radiance called Kalai day by day and for remedy from breathing troubles. Sage Tirunavukkarasar observed fast in the temple. There are just a few houses in the place almost in a dilapidated condition. The monument of Sri Sivaprakasa swamigal is here. The temple is praised by Saint Arunagirinathar in his Tirupugazh hyms.
The story of the place (Sthalapurana) has 15 chapters. The idols of Sri Kailasanathar and Mother Durga in the great hall (Mahamandapam) are very beautiful. Pazhayarai was the second capital of the later Chola kings.
It is said that worshiping in five places around this temple in a single day on the Dakshinayana Punyakala day -
4) Patteeswaram and
5) Avoor would be very beneficial to the devotee.
Dakshinayana period covers six months commencing from July-August to December-January – in the Tamil calendar from Aadi to Margazhi. The Aadi Amavasya day (New moon day) is considered very auspicious when all Hindus perform Tarpan in memory of their forefathers.
Garuda, the eagle vehicle of Lord Vishnu got a nectar pot from Devendra and passed through this place to free his mother from slavery. He was intercepted by some demons when three drops of nectar fell on this place. The three drops became a Shivalinga, Mother Goddess and a holy spring. Garuda bathed in the spring and won. A holy spring made by Garuda individually is called Jadayu theertham.
Location: These twin sivasthalam temples are located at a distance of 3 Kms from Darasuram railway station, which is situated on the Thanjavur - Kumbakonam section of the Southern Railway.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Arulmigu Someswarar Temple,
Pazhayarai, Patteeswaram Post,
Pin code: 612 703.
Phone: +91 98945 69543.