|God Name||Sankaranarayana Swamy,Sankaralinga Swamy|
|Goddess Name||Shri Gomathi Amman|
|Morning Time From||5:30 am|
|Morning Time To||12:15 pm|
|Morning Time Break||Just few minutes|
|Evening Time From||4:00 pm|
|Evening Time To||9:30 pm|
|Evening Break||Just few minutes|
|Temple Person Name||Temple Office|
|Temple Tank||Naga Sunnai Theertham|
|Bus Stop||Sankaran Kovil|
The temple is dedicated to Sankaranarayanar, who is the combined manifestation of Shiva and Vishnu. This temple was built by Ukkira Pandiya Thevar in the 11th century AD. This temple also called as Avudaiamman Kovil or Davasu Kovil. According to mythology, once the devotees of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva quarreled with each other to determine whose god is powerful. Then Lord Shiva appeared as Sankaranarayanar to mark his devotees to understand that both Hari and Shiva are one and the same. So it is held sacred by Saivites and Vaishnavites as well. Hence this temple depicts the concept of Hari and Haran being one God. The temple of Sankaranarayana is situated on 4.5 acre site in the heart of the Sankarankovil Town. It is one of the Pancha Bootha Sthalas in the South Pandiya country. With an imposing Rajagopuram, rising to a height of 135 feet with nine tiers, this temple is surrounded by high walls and the tower has many beautiful images. Lord Sri Sankaranarayana is the main deity in this temple. 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 Sankhu in his hand. The Sankaralingam enshrined in the temple was found during the unearthed from a ‘puttru'(Ant Hill) and was consecrated as Sri Sankaralinga Swamy in the temple. During March and September months, the rays of Sun fall on Sankaralingam for three days from 21st of the respective months. The goddess of the temple is Arulmigu Gomathi Amman. Goddess Gomathi is said to have worshipped the Lord at this place. The temple also has a separate shrine for Lord Sarpa Vinayaka. The ant-hill sand is offered as Prasad, people believe that is capable of curing all the diseases. Devotees facing problems due to the presence of poisonous creatures in their houses as lizards, scorpions and snakes offer silver pieces embossed with the images of such creatures for solution.
TEMPLE HISTORY :
Serpent King Naga was a staunch Shiva devotee. Paduman, also a serpent, was a staunch Vishnu devotee. Both were frequently debating about the supremacy of their respective Lords. They went to Mother Parvathi for a verdict. Ambica took to penance praying to both Lords to grant a joint darshan to establish the truth that both were only equal. Responding to Mother’s penance, both granted darshan jointly as Sankara Narayana. Shiva also granted a darshan to Mothr Parvathi as Sankaralingam. In the days that followed, this Linga was covered by an anthill. The two serpents also were in. A devotee while demolishing the anthill, cut the tail of one serpent which began to bleed. The incident was immediately communicated to the Pandya king. He immediately built this temple. Lord Sankaranarayana shrine is in between the shrines of Lord Shiva and Mother Gomathi. The right side of the deity belonging to Lord Shiva has Agni the fire, Ganga, crescent moon and the turf, ear ring, Rudraksha on the chest, Mazhu the weapon of Lord Shiva and tiger skin clothing in waist. Sangan is holding the umbrella in the Tiruvasi – the frame around the Lord. On the left, belonging to Lord Vishnu, appears with His gem studded crown, a hanging ear ring-Kundalam-tulsi bead and Lakshmi mala in chest, a conch and the silk-peethambara around the waist. Paduma is holding the umbrella in this side. Tulsi theertha is offered as Prasad during morning pujas. Vibuti the sacred ash is offered during other pujas. Garlands of Tulsi and flowers are offered during the pujas. Vilwa for Shiva and Tulsi for Vishnu are used in pujas. Lord Shiva is fond of Abishek-bathing while Lord Vishnu is fond of attractive dressing. Lord Sankaranaraya always appears in His best Alankara-dressing. Abishek in the shrine is offered to Lord Chandramouleeswara the Spatika Linga-crystal Linga. Pujas are offered to Him on Shivrathri and new moon days. He comes of the shrine to grant darshan to Ambica on Aadi Thapasu festival day. Gomathi: Go means cow and Mathi Moon in Sanskrit. Maidens from the celestial world came along with Ambica in the form of cows to help Her penance. With a face as radiant as the Moon and being owner of cows, Ambica is called Gomathi. She is also praised as Aavudayambikai being the Tamil version of Gomathi. Mother is dressed with flowers on Mondays and golden skirt on Fridays. Those facing problems in wedding efforts and concern about children’s welfare pray to Mother Gomathi lighting lamps made of rice flour mixed with ghee. Sri Chakra, personifying the glory and power of Shakti is installed either under the peeta bearing Ambica or in front of the peeta. Here, Sri Chakra is installed in the Mandap before Ambica. This is called Agna Chakra. Those with depression and confusion sit on this Chakra and pray to Ambica. They believe they would be freed from confusions.
GREATNESS OF TEMPLE :
Aadi Thapasu festival: Thapas means penance. Mother Parvathi took to penance to have the darshan of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu combined as Sankara Narayana. This is the festival called Aadi Thapasu running for 12 days. As this is a festival exclusively for Ambica, She alone comes in the car procession. On the last day, Ambica goes to the Thapas Mandapa with a bag of sacred ashes – Vibhuti. Lord Sankaranarayana grants darshan to Ambica in the evening and enters the temple on the elephant vahan together. While Annabishekam is performed in Shiva temples in Aipasi-October-November, this takes place here on the first day of Aipasi and also in Chithirai-April-May with a prayer that the year should begin without shortage of food grains in the beginning of the year (Chithirai is the fist month of Tamil year) and Aipasi happens to be the beginning of auspicious days. It is also noteworthy that Vaikunda Ekadasi in December-January is celebrated with equal festivity as in Vishnu temples for which a Sorga Vasal is constructed in the temple. Lord Vishnu grants darshan in a palanquin in reclining form. There is a shrine for Lord Vanmeeka Nathar in the Shiva prakara. Lord Shiva in this shrine appears in an ant-hill form, his true form. It is designed as if He is sitting on a serpent with its head above Him as an umbrella. Vanmeekam means ant-hill. As Lord Shiva is in the Vanmeekam, He is praised as Vanmeekanathar. Those afflicted with adverse snake planet aspects, pray in the shrine spraying turmeric powder. There are five Naga idols before this shrine. Devotees perform abishek to these idols with milk. Tooth pain prayer: As a tradition, Lord Lingodhbava or Lord Vishnu grace on the goshta wall around the sanctum. In this temple, this slot is occupied by Lord Yoga Narasimha. Those suffering from tooth ache pray here with abishek for relief from pain. Special pujas are offered here on Purattasi Saturdays in September-October. There is a shrine for Lord Sarpa Vinayaka – Vinayaka with a Serpent in hand. Those facing adverse effects serpent planet Ragu, worship here at Rahu Kalam time (4.30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.) on Sundays. To protect children from poisonous bite, devotees offer Arugampul (a variety of grass) garlands with Milk porridge (Payasam) as nivedhana to Lord Sarpa Vinayaka. As a custom, on the Skanda Sashti festival of destroying demon Surapanma, Lord Muruga appears with a single face only in the Subramanya form. He graces with six faces that day in this temple. The wedding festival of Deivanai is celebrated the next day.
TEMPLE’S SPECIALITY :
Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu grace the devotees together from the sanctum sanctorum. During March and September months, the rays of Sun fall on Sankaralingam for three days from 21st of the respective months.
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