20 February 2013

Rajeshwari (Parvati Temple)

Recently this Temple, The Rajeshwari (Parvati) Temple on the Girivalam Roadway, was renovated and painted in preparation for a just completed mahabishekam function. In addition to the paintings of the interior and exterior walls, some new murals were painted on each of the outside walls of the Shrine, by a local Tiruvannamalai artist. The paintings are of: Shiva and Parvati on Nandi, Parvati with the Sage Bringi, Lord Dakshinamurti, Lingodbhavamurti, and the Goddess Durga with her foot on the decapitated head of the demon Mahisha. 

The stucco figurines adorning the gopuram are ancient and made in a pure Dravidian style. Just outside the Sanctum Sanctorum, there is a stela (stele) blackened by oil and upon which are Shiva and Parvati, sitting on the bull Nandi. 

This Shrine was originally called the Aravan Temple. The reason for the original name is unclear, it could possibly refer to the snake (i.e. aravan) adornment that Lord Shiva wears on the stele. It could also refer to the name of a warrior from the epic Mahabharata, who was on the side of the Pandavas. In the epic, it is Aravan who offers sacrifice before the first battle. For this reason he is known for granting protection to devotees and as he supervised the fire, he is often invoked by devotees who are attempting firewalking. The name Aravan could also possibly refer to the name of a Siddha Purusha of South India. 

Whatever the reason for the original name, traditionally this Temple is favoured by visitors who are seeking fulfillment of wishes or blessings in undertakings. 

Back of the Shrine with stucco figurines

View of Temple from the Girivalam Roadway

Front of Temple

Goddess Parvati with Sage Bringi

Lord Dakshinamurti with the four Rishis

Very nice Lingodbhavamurti

Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati on Nandi

Goddess Durga on Mahisha's Head

Shrine with Stele at side
Close up of Stele


Anonymous said...

some on line sources list december 15 2013 for mahadeepam,which is at variance with november 17,a date mention in this blog.kindly clarify the discrepancy,and verify the correct date for the benefit of devotees.....some ambiguity also existed in relation to the event's date early in 2012.and which was resolved by pandits around march or april.,,,thank=you.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Totally agree that it is VERY frustrating to get conflicting information about such vital information as Arunachala Mahadeepam and poornimas.

Some years (this has occurred in 2012 and 2013) there is the possibility of two possible Deepam dates, which fit the necessary astrological and other criteria.

In this case from what I understand the second date in 2013, is even more appropriate BUT as it is so late in the month of Karthigai, the first date i.e. November 17, was deemed more suitable.

In this respect (as according to sacred literature Karthigai Deepam is generally celebrated the day before Poornima), I was very careful to check the November 17, 2013 date scheduled for Mahadeepam at Shiva Sthalams -- as November 17, is the day after Poornima -- and this is most unusual.

I have been reassured by senior priests at major Tiruvannamalai Temples, by the published calendar of Arunachaleswarar Temple, and also by the online schedules of major Ashrams, that Deepam in 2013 is November 17.

Hope to write a narrative in the near future, after advice from senior priests, as to all the criteria taken into account when deciding upon the date of Karthigai Mahadeepam.