Posted by Jaishree Iyer at Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Last week my family had a small trip to my native place Tirunelveli dist after a long time. We visited kuladeivam kovil, then sankaran kovil, tirchendur, Tenkasi, ayikudibalasubramania kovil. In short it was a small pilgrimage. Last Monday we visited Sankran kovil. Sankran kovil is home to the famous Sankara Narayanar temple. The temple is also known as Sankaranayinarkovil and Sankaranarayanakovil.
This temple is a representation of fusion of two faiths Saivism and Vaishnavism. This temple is one of the big temples that can be found in the district of Tirunelveli and this is also one of the important shrines of Lord Siva in south India. The main deities in the temple are of Lord Shiva (southern portion inside the temple) and Goddess Parvathi in the name of Gomathi Amman (northern portion) with separate sanctums. There is another deity in between these two that is of Sankara Narayanar. The legend has it that Lord Siva appeared, on the request of His consort Parvathi, revealing Lord Vishnu in Him on His right side half to prove that Hari (Lord Vishnu) and Hara/Haran (Lord Siva) are one and same. To commemorate this and to emphasize the oneness of Hari and Haran ideology the deity of Sankara Narayanar (the deity depicts Siva on the rightside and Vishnu on the left side) was installed. The temple therefore is also known as Sankaranarayakovil.
Main Deity: Sankaralingeswarar, Sankara Narayanar.
Goddesses: Gomathi Amman.
Holy tree: Punnai.
Sankaran koil is home to the famous Sankara Narayanar temple. It is situated at Thirunelveli District and 56km away from Thirunelveli City.Amman went on penance on the earth to see “Lord Shiva” & “Lord Vishnu” together hence known as Sankara Narayanar.The right portion of the idol has sandal and indicates Lord Siva, with cobra around his neck & moon above his head.The left side of the idol indicates Lord Vishnu having “Sanghu” in his hand.It is very famous for “Adi Thabasu” festival.
It is known from the stone inscriptions that the construction of this temple was commenced at 1022 A.D. by Pandya king Ukkiraman. The temple tower raises upto 125 feet with 9 floors. The sacred pot on the top of the tower measures 7 feet and 4 inches. There are various others deities of lower strata installed in the corridors of the temple. One can also find beautiful paintings and stone carvings adorning the temple walls and ceiling.
Once, a deva by the name Manikkireevan took birth as a Paraiyan after being cursed by Goddess Parvathi. He was known as Kavarparaiyan. He demolished a snake pit which was inside the forest garden that he was looking after and found a snake and a Sivalingam inside the pit. Panicked by this sight he rushed to inform King Ukkirama Pandya who was visiting the nearby forest during his usual visit to Madurai for worshipping Lord Shiva and Meenakshi. On the same day, the King’s elephant collapsed on the floor after piercing the floor with its tusk and it was at this time when the King was filled with bewilderment Kavarparaiyan brought the news of the snake and Sivalingam found in the snake pit. Following this the King heard the voice of Lord Shiva ordering him to construct a temple at the spot.
Lord Siva appeared, on the request of His consort Parvathi, revealing Lord Vishnu in Him on His right side half to prove that Hari (Lord Vishnu) and Hara/Haran (Lord Siva) are one and same. To commemorate this and to emphasize the oneness of Hari and Haran ideology the deity of Sankara Narayanar (the deity depicts Siva on the rightside and Vishnu on the left side) was installed. The temple therefore is also known as Sankaranarayakovil.
Gomathi amman is one of the manifestation of Adhi shakthi. The temple is popularly known as sankaranayanar kovil and she is the consort of vanmikanathar and seen along with sankaranarayanar(the unification of shiva and vishnu).
The goddesses is a yogini who was performing her penence on the tip of the needle to please lord shiva and merge with him. Two snake kings namely "sangan" and "padman". Sangan was worshipping lord shiva and padman was worshipping lord narayana. One day they had a quarrel on who is great whether lord shiva, the destroyer or Narayana,the protector. They were trying to prove their own power and finally went to the yogini and pleaded her to give them a proper judgment.
The yogini grew out of her grace pleaded the almighty to show his universality form so that not only the snake kings but also fro every human being.By the intense penance lord shiva appears before the yogini in the form of half shiva and half vishnu showing the world that they are equal and it is with love and sacrifice they could reach them. Hence sangan and padman worshipped the lord and prayed to the yogini for showing them a way to attain the god and they stayed with her. the yogini was none ther than goddesses gomathi. Gomathi means repositary of wealth.Since the snakes stayed with the goddesses,this place is free from all venomous creatures and praying to this goddesses can eliminate the fear of venom.
One of the 18 siddhas, the great pambatti siddhar worshipped this goddesses as valai kumari and he regarded this goddesses to be the great serpant power which can make miracles in taking aspirant in yogic transformation. Pambatti siddhar samadhi is seen behind the temple.
The deity Gomathi ambal is very powerful. in my experience she made lot of wonders in my life. If we tell about our problems to her ,she will clear it, and make us very happy. She gave me a lot of things,which i need at that time. It’s very nice place to visit it. There are so many wonder's were took place in that temple. It’s a very powerful temple.
Gomathy Amman a petite statue with pleasing facial features, not more than 3-feet tall in appearance, Gomathy Amman, our family deity is indeed the pride of this place. During the month of Aadi Gomathy Amman does a penance “Aadi Thavasu” and at the end of the 10 days the lord presents hiumelf in the “Sankaranarayana” form, half Shiva and half Vishnu, and this alankara is unique to witness.
There is a Srichakram it is believed that the hole (Srichakram )before Gomathi Amman Sanadhi cures people affected with black magic –When ever I visit I used sit times in front of gomathi amamn. Even the temple tank has got lot of significance. For many people Gomathi Amman is the Kula Deivam (protecting deity of the family). It is believed that worshipping Gomathi Amman in this temple can cure many ailments and childlessness.
There is a snake pit inside the temple and it is believed that applying the sand/mud from the snake pit on one’s body can cure various diseases. Those who come visit this temple also offer miniatures of snake, scorpion and other reptiles to get rid of curses. These miniatures are sold outside and inside the temple premises. The putthu sand has healing properties it is said, so we brought home some “putthu mannu” as it is called to give to friends and relatives. Putru marundu has curing properties.We always keep it in our house. Maavilakku is an important offering in this temple .This time I cant able to offer Maavilakku.Gomathi Amman is our family deity. I always wanted to visit the temple, since it gives peace of mind to me. Whenever I visit temple, really i feel free and got peaceful mind.
Do not forget to visit the Elephant place. Thanga pavadai allangaram is very good on amman if u get chance don't miss. Really its a good temple every one should try to visit the temple at least once in their lifetime.
Great Poet Subramania Bharathiyar wrote about gomathi Amman. But some reasons it has not been complete gothrough this link-http://www.lakshmansruthi.com/tamilbooks/bharathiar/bharathi-II41.asp