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........ PERU UDAYAR TEMPLE

Of all these temples, that of Peru-Udayar (called Periya Avudayar Kovil) is by far the most important and deserves special mention. Located near the railway line on the banks of the shanmuga Nadi in sylvan setting, it is about four kilometres from the bus-stand reached by two stages, by buses going on the Old Dharapuram road for three kilometres and by walking one kilometre from the arch on that road. It is convenient to go by a taxi or auto rickshaw and alight at the doors of the temple. In the evening and in the pre-dawn period, sounds of birds are heard and if you have a tape-recorder, you cannot afford to miss recording these. The air here is unpolluted and good breeze can be had. The Devasthânam has put up a Kalyana Mandapam behind the temple.

The temple is dedicated to Peru Udayar or Brihadeesvarar a name that became a legend in the days of the great Raja Raja Cholo. The deity here is a swayambhu linga (i.e. naturally formed lingam) and so, local belief is that it existed even before Bhogar. Only male gods are found in the temple. A majestic figure of Dakshinamûrti, a rare Rudran and other gracious images in stone, as also the 16 old inscriptions should be taken note of.

Peru Udayar Temple Circuit:

The entrance faces south, and in the east is Vinayagar. This along with the Karuppanna Swami belong to later days. Passing them we enter in and see Bairava in the circuit facing east. The western circuit commences frim this place. Midway in this passage is a way that leads to the river.

This shrine is located in a peaceful natural setting. The puranas speak of it as 'Kannikara Vanam'. Perhaps that is the reson the Sapta Kannis and Karuppanna Swami keep watch over this places. It is said that this temple was built about a thousand years ago. the first consecration was held in 1915 and then a second time in 1962.

The niche of Brahma in the north corridor is within the walls of the inner sanctum. The Chandisa cell is towards the east. then comes the Vishnu cell in the sanctum wall.

Here one has to pause and think. It is cusomary to erect the Chandisa cell in the northeast, when the main deity faces east. Here the main God looks west and the main entrance looks to the south. Strictly speaking the Chandisa cell should be in south west or south east. But here it is in the northeast and farther in contrast to the rule that no other cell should be in a line with this, the cell of Tirumal and three others are found. About 150 years ago, certain repairs were carried out in this temple, when some cells were newly build, that of Chandisa was left untouched.

To the north of Chandisa is the Navagraha dais with iron bars all round. Then we pass in to Dakshinamurthi and Nataraja. It is very easy to fix the directions by a look at these images. Both will always look to the south.

 
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