Sunday, 28 July 2019

Rare musical idol of ''Sapthaswara Sri Anjaneyar'', Vanamutti Perumal temple, Kozhikuthi, near Mayiladuthurai, TN

Vanamutti Perumal temple, Kozhikuthi, TN .templeadvisor.com
In my previous posts I reported on the presence of a rare Vishnu temple in Kozhikuthi village near Mayiladuthurai, Nagapatnam Distt. TN in which the main deity (Moolavar) in the sanctum is made of fig tree (athi wood). The name of the temple is Vanamutti Perumal temple and is a ''Divyadesam'' shrine.  There is yet another attraction in this temple and it is Lord Anjaneya  (Hanuman) who has a separate shrine. In this kshetra  he is known as ‘Sapthaswara Sri Anjaneya’. What is so special about him here? It is quite fascinating that he is made of  a hard stone (ignious rock) that produces  seven different musical notes when struck. When tapped  at different places, the idol produces ‘sa ri ga ma pa tha ni'. Indeed, a tough job done by the talented sculptor; perhaps, it is a rare one in the whole of India.  

When it comes to architectural wonders in rocks, Hindu temples stand apart and  the impressive work is a sermon in rocks. They  stand as a testimony to our early generation of sculptors who made wonders on rock using their wand - sharp chisel. Hindu, Buddha and Jain temples contain thousands of intricately carved sculptures  of exceptional beauty done with meticulous care, At the Big Shiva temple in Thanjavur, behind the Subranaiyar shrine on the outer walls around  the structure roughly five and half feet above the ground are countless tiny holes as small as  those in the stitching needles through which you can pass the thread. They go around the wall between two  carved layers of rock. Centuries ago, our sculptors were well advanced in their skill in dealing with all kinds of rocks and  knew the art of  how to chisel out the right image with details. You need immense dexterity to do this kind of complicated job on rocks. 

Nanuman idol temple.dinamalar.com
Kozhikuthi Vanamutti Perumal divyadesam.com
In some centuries-old   Hindu temples we have come across stone musical pillars that may baffle our imagination.  The four 'musical pillars with  a central pillar' (surrounded by 48 small cylindrical pillars) at Nellaiappar temple, Thirunelveli, TN, the five musical pillars (they are monolithic) of Meenakshi temple, Madurai and  musical pillars at Vittala temple in Hampi, Karnataka  are worthy of mention. Here, different  rock pillars produce different  notes. Though equally a tough task, in the case of musical pillars the sculptors  choose the whole  stone pillars one by one and chip out the outer layer with care  and work on it to produce a different sound in ascending order. If some thing goes wrong, they can choose another stone pillar and continue the work on it.  But in case of  a stone idol or an image, making different parts produce different notes is beset with many problems. If a mistake is done by the sculptor by accident, he has to choose the right rock for the  new job, discarding the old one. He has to start all over, initially carving  the required image of the deity. In this case Anjeneya, the image has to come out well in right proportion without any blemish or broken chips. Then the worker has to choose the parts carefully to gently chisel  out the outer surface  to produce a particular sound. Mind you, sounds/vibrtions from adjacent parts should not overlap or interfere.  Besides a time-consuming work, the sculptor needs special skill, patience and right planning without compromising on quality. (pleae note,  images of  Anjeneya of this temple  are not available and I regret my inability to post his image here).  
Generally speaking,  in all Hindu temples only one side of the sanctum (the direction of God's face) is open and the rest are closed. But in this shrine the main entrance takes you to the back portion of the Lord. Lord Hanuman’s tail is seen raised up to his head and there is a small bell at the  end of the tail. The musical Anjaneya idol of this shetra is rare and one of a kind in India!!
Kozhi Kuthu  Van Mutti Perumal, Dinamalar: Bakthi weekly Magazine dated 18 july 2019. 
http://www.templeadvisor.com/temples-in-india/hindu-temples/vanamutti-perumal-temple