History & Culture

Arudra celebration at the nagadosha parihara sthalam

Sri Nageswaran temple in Kumbakonam

Sri Nageswaran temple in Kumbakonam

Arudra Darisanam is celebrated at all Siva temples during the month of Margazhi, when the star of the day is Tiruvadirai on full moon. This year, the day falls on January 10. The cosmic dance of Nataraja is the focus on this day and the deity is brought out of the temple before dawn, in a procession, dancing and swaying. Devotees gather in thousands to witness the beautiful spectacle. Although the occasion is associated with Chidambaram, it is celebrated with equal fervour and joy at other temples too. The Nageswaraswamy temple, situated in the heart of Kumbakonam town, is gearing up for the festival. An Ancient Chola temple, constructed by Aditya Chola, the temple has many special features. The presiding deities are Nageswaraswamy and His Consort Periyanayaki.

Separate niches

Referred to as a Nagadosha pariharasthalam, the temple has shrines common in Siva temples such as Ganesa, Subramanya and Dakshinamurti. Special mention should be made of Durga, Rahu, Pralayakala Rudra, Jurahara Vinayakar and Arthanariswarar, each image a beauty. Adiseshan, Dakshan and Kaarkotakan worshipped the presiding deity here. Sun also is said to have worshipped Siva here and there is a shrine for Surya, Suryakottam and Kizhkottam being other names for the temple.

The main shrine is in the form of a chariot. A beautiful horse drawn chariot, carved out of stone stands as a symbol of this architectural marvel.

Legend goes that when the pot of nectar broke, the various parts falling at different places giving Kumbakonam its name, the vilva leaves in the water landed where the temple is now located. The sthala vriksham is vilvam and Vilvanathar is a name for Nageswaran.

Tirugnanasambandar has praised Him in the Thevara padhigam, ‘Eviyidar-k-kadalidaipattu...’ When the temple was in a dilapidated state, Padagacheri Ramalinga Swamigal collected money, renovated it and conducted the consecration in 1923. Kumbabishekam was done in 1959 and 1988.

It is believed that Nataraja descends on this temple from Kailasa. He is in Ananda Sabha and has four elephants paying him obeisance. The entire paraphernalia comes in a chariot drawn by two horses. Nataraja dances to the taalam of Sivakamasundari and Venugopala plays the flute. The Arudra Darisanam will take place at 5 a.m. on January 10 (Friday) and procession aroudn the Mada Streets at 8 a.m. Special homam and abhishekam will be conducted at 9 p.m. on January 9.

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Printable version | May 16, 2022 7:07:14 am | https://www.thehindu.com/society/history-and-culture/arudra-celebration-at-the-nagadosha-parihara-sthalam/article30459423.ece