26 January 2017

Renovations and Kumbhabhishekam Yagasala at Arunachaleswarar Temple

Most of the renovation work at Arunachaleswarar Temple is complete in time for the 2017 Mahakumbhabhishekam Ceremony which is scheduled for February 6, 2017. Below are some photographs of some very smart newly painted Shrines and Mandapam.

Bairava Temple, 4th Prakaram

In the inside of the Mandapam eight pillars each support different manifestations of Lord Bhairavar, namely:- Niru Bhairavar, Kapali Bhairavar, Bhisha Bhairavar, Krothana Bhairavar, Asitharga Bhairavar, Samkara Bhairavar, Unnathu Bhairavar, and Sandai Bhairavar. 

Formerly Kala Bhairavar was situated in the second Prakara near the Palliarai (sleeping chamber of the deities). The reason for the change in location goes as follows:- 

“After an untoward incident according to a legend a child was left inside the second Prakara but when the mother came to reclaim her child after the doors had been closed she was advised by a voice from inside to come and take back her child in the following morning and reassured that her child would be safe. But the mother insisted and so the voice angrily told her to take her child and proceeded to throw it out with torn limbs—and the child was dead. This was supposed to be done by Kala Bhairavar who is the guardian of the Temple. Hence this powerful statue was shifted to the fourth Prakara. Kala Bhairavar is one of the fierce manifestations of Lord Siva.” 

Alankaram Mandapam

To the east of the Raja Gopura is a small mandapam meant for darshan of the Panchamoorties during processions. A fire on July 11, 1996 burnt the previous Mandapam to the ground. The current Mandapam built at an estimated cost of 107 lakhs was part of major restoration work of the Temple completed in time for the Arunachaleswarar Maha Kumbhabhiskeham of February 27, 2002. 

This current mandapam rises 31 feet at the Central Eastern Pinnacle and 22 feet on the North and South sides and consists of cut stone flooring. Although this current mandapam consists of 44 pillars it continues to be known as the 16 pillar mandapam (pathinaru). 

Ceiling and stonework top of pillars have been painted

Even the oldest clock and tower in Tiruvannamalai has been painted

The four below photographs are of the specially constructed Yagasala to be used during Mahakumbhabhishekam. 

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