Sirkazhi – Bhramapureeswarar Temple


  1. image image image image image imageSirkali Bhrammapureeswarar Temple is located at Sirkazhi near Chidambaram. It is a highly revered shrine with 71 (the most number of known) Tevara Patikams. Sirkali is a center for Bhairava worship, and the site of authorship of several works.

Sirkazhi is known mostly by its association with Sambandar. West of Sirkazhi is Tirukkolakka where Sambandar was blessed with a pair of golden cymbals, south of Sirkazhi is Tirunanipalli the home of his mother, and north of Sirkazhi is Aachaalpuram where Sambandar attained beatitude.

This is a vast temple complex with three different Shiva Shrines. The Bhramapureeswarar shrine is housed in the lower level, the second level houses Periyanakar with Periyanayaki on a `Thoni` and hence the name Thoniappar. Sattainathar/Vatukanathar who is also housed here. From the steps leading to the Toniappar and the Vatukanathar shrine, one can grasp the entire layout of this vast temple and its towers and mandapams. There are 22 Theerthams associated with this shrine. Three different forms of Shiva are worshipped here, the Shivalingam (Bhrammapureeswarar), a colossal image of Uma Maheswarar (Toniappar) at the upper level, and Bhairavar (Sattanathar) again at the upper level.

The temple has three vast courtyards with high walls of enclosure. There are two sets of seven tiered gopurams in the outer walls of the enclosure. The original shrine during the period of the Nayanmars included the shrine of Bhrammapureeswarar, on the southern bund of the temple tank; the Toniappar shrine on a mound west of the central shrine, and the Sattanathar shrine in the second floor reached from the southern prakaram of the Toniappar shrine by a flight of steps. The enlargement of the original temple happened during the period of Kulottunga I, Vikrama Chola, Kulottunga II and III (as in Chidambaram – 11th through the 13th centuries).

Tirugnana Sambandar one of the Saivite Gurus was born to Shivapada Hrudayar and Bagavati Ammai.  He is regarded as the incarnation of Lord Muruga.  He is praised as Ilaya Pillayar-younger son.  He came to Brahmma Theertham with his father.  The father left the boy on the bank of the tank and went for a bath.  Hungry child began to cry for food.  Lord Shiva asked Mother Parvathi to feed the boy.  Mother not only fed the little boy with milk but with wisdom too blended in the milk.  Sambandar was happy and sat on the steps of the tank with the milk spots on the face.  Shivapad Hrudayar blamed the boy for accepting the milk from somebody.  When the father was about to beat the boy, he showed upwards the divine parents who fed him. Shivapada Hrudayar’s joy knew no bounds to hear the truth.  The little child’s first hymn “Thodudaya Sevian” was born her3e to enrich the spiritual literature of Tamil. Gana Sambandar had sung 67 pathigams of 10 verses each, Tirunavukkarasar 3 pathigams and Sundarar one pathigam on Lord of Sirkali temple.

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