Ancient Temple Near Chennai Shiva Parvathi Kalyana Kolam: Thirumazhisai Othandeeswarar

4 Feb 2018, dilip Comments: | Views: 5104 | | Category: Temples of Chennai

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 Above-The Five Tier Gopuram - Just on the Main Road

Below - Snapshot of Map Showing three Temples where Agasthiyar had worshipped Lord Shiva under Azhinjal tree

The Temple Dwajastambam Seems Ancient

While returning from a work in Thirumazhisai towards Chennai by Car, I was surprised to see a big gopuram on the main road and just adjacent to the Gopuram a pond with Water (most of the temple tanks in Chennai are dried – but good to see water in some). When I asked my colleague to read out the name written in Tamil, he read it as “Othandeeswarar Temple”. I asked the driver to take a “U-turn”. I am happy that I have asked the driver to take a “U-turn” , so that I can share about this Beautiful Ancient Temple today.

Thirumazhisai is situated about 25 kms west of Chennai. It is on the main road to Thiruvallur from Poonamallee.

The temple is facing east with a temple tank in front. The 5 tier Rajagopuram is on the south side. Palipedam, Dwajasthambam and Nandhi mandapam are on the east side facing moolavar. In the outer prakaram sannadhi for Sri Gangatheswarar, Navagrahas, Vallidevasena Siva Subramaniyar and Saneeswarar.

The Temple looks quiet Ancient. Some of the features which stuck me are - First, The sanctum is in the form of semi circular which is called as Gajabirustam ( back side of the elephant ). This type of Semi Circular Gopurams are seen in Ancient temples like Tirusulam, tiruverakadu, Paraurameswarar temple etc. Second, The pillars in the the Sanctum have some inscriptions in Tamil. Third, Uma Maheshwar are in Kalyana Kolam in this temple – similar Kalyana Kolam can be seen in the nearby Vedapureeswarar temple of Tiruverakadu. Third, this temple is one of the 3 places of then ‘Thondai Mandalam’, where Sage Agasthiyar had worshipped Lord Shiva under Azhinjal tree. They are Azhisoor near Kanchipuram, Thirumazhisai near Poonamallee and Nootretteeswarar Temple Chinnakkaavanam (an interesting travelogue on this temple) near Ponneri. As shown in a Google Map extract these three places fall almost in a straight line.

The Legends

So going back to the time of Agasteeswarar - who was on trip to South India, the Legend Goes like this - 

The legend about Vedapureeswarar Temple Tiruverkadu which is around 10 kms from this temple, goes like this- during Lord Shiva’s wedding everyone including Gods, Devas and Saints gathered at Mount Kailash to witness the celestial event. Because of this, the whole earth tilted towards North, where everyone gathered. May be something like - the Indian Plate getting tilted under the Tibetan Plateau ( read someting about it in Geography - but that is quiet quiet long back) Lord Shiva directed Sage Agasthiar to go towards South to balance the earth. Sage Agasthiar prayed the Lord saying that he will not be able to see the God’s wedding. Lord Shiva granted him a boon that from wherever He prays the Lord, he can have the dharshan of His wedding. Sage Agasthiar on his way stayed at Thiruverkaadu and worshipped Lord Shiva and had the Dharshan of Lord Shiva’s wedding. One can see Lord Shiva and the Goddess’s in ceremonial wedding posture just behind the Shiva Lingam inside the sanctum. 

Sage Agasthiyar along with his disciples came walking towards south of Thiruverkaadu and stayed in this place, which was a forest filled with Azhinjal trees. As Azhinjal tree is considered most sacred, Sage Agasthiyar installed a Shiva Lingam and worshipped Lord Shiva here. God, pleased with Agasthiyar’s prayers gave dharshan of His wedding ceremony to Agasthiyar and all his disciples.Sage Agasthiyar overwhelmed by the mercy of the God, requested God to take abode in this place in Kalyaana Kolam (posture as just wed couple). As wished by Agasthiyar, Lord Shiva and Parvathi took abode here as Uma Maheshwara just behind the Shiva Lingam, worshipped by Agasthiyar. It is really rare that Shiva Paravathi are present in Kalyana Kolam and that too in two near by temples (10 kms apart). 


As time roll by, the place again became a dense forest. An ancient Chozha king called Karikaal Chozha was ruling this Thondai Naadu having Kanchipuram as his capital. He was troubled by people called Kurumbars near his frontier. He was passing through this forest on his elephant for a battle against them. While crossing this forest, he found that his elephant couldn’t move further as some wild creeper encircled its leg. The king got down from the elephant, took his sword and whipped to cut the creepers off. He was shocked to find blood oozing out from the place where he hit the sword. He found the beautiful Shiva Lingam, which was earlier worshipped by Agasthiyar at this place.

Realizing the sin committed by him by slashing on the Lord’s idol itself, he immediately took his sword and cut his arm. The Lord was pleased by the devotion of the king and made him get his arm back to normal. The king after winning the battle against his enemies came back here and built this temple for Lord Siva. Since, the Lord gave back the hands to the king the deity got the name 'Kai Thandha Piraan' (in Tamil means 'God, who gave hands').

It is believed there is a scar on the Shiva lingam even today.

About The Temple

The Temple is definitely 1000 years old (may be 1000 - 2000 years old).The Senguntha Mudaliars built many new portions and also renovated the tank. 

Lord Ganesha gives dharshan here as Devaraja Ganapathi facing the main entrance. The main deity (Shiva Lingam) is facing east here, behind which Lord Shiva and Parvathi are seen here in Kalyaana Kolam, blessing the devotees. Beautifully sculpted Dwarapaalakas are seen on either side of the sanctum, guarding the Lord. The pandit said the lingam is swayambu.

The temple has a very vast outer Praakaaram with huge Dwajasthambha near which Sri Nandhigeswarar is facing the Lord. The Goddess Sri Kulirndha Naayagi is facing South holding Angusam and Paasam (weapons) on hand and showing Abhaya Hastham, blessing the devotees. Sri Maha Bhairavar is present north east to Sri Ambaal and is facing south. In the outer Praakaaram, there is another shrine for Lord Shiva called Sri Gangadareswarar. It is believed that Sri Gangadareswarar was installed and worshipped by Sage Pulasthiyar, who was the disciple of Agasthiyar.

There is a separate Shrine for Lord Murgan along with Goddess Valli and Devasani -could be a later addition. Originally Azhinjal tree was the Sthala Viruksham for this temple. But, as Azhinjal trees are not found here at present, Vilvam and Paarijaatham are considered Sthala Virukshams for this temple.

Timings of the Temple are - 6 am to 11:30 Am and 4 pm to 8 pm.

The temple is around 26 kms from Chennai Central Main Station and can be seen in the Google Maps below- 

The Temple is quiet surprise find to me and really enjoyed having darshan and writing about the temple. So if you are follower of Lord Shiva or interested in the ancient temples - do visit the Temple. Om Namah Shivaya!!!

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