|Ardhanareeswarar_temple, Tiruchengode en.wikipedia.org|
|Ardhanareeswarar_temple, Tiruchengodee, Mandabam (hall) en wikipedia.org|
108 Theerthangal or water bodies and among them, the most important one is Ammaiappar Thertham at the feet of Lord Arthanareeswarar temple. In the ancient work of Silapathikaram the place is mentioned as 'Neduvelkundru'. Muttuswami Dīkshitar, a famous trinity of Carnatic music, wrote compositions in praise of Arthanāreeshwaram. Tamil sant Sambandar composed the Tiruneelakanda Pathigam here, to help devotees get rid of ailment. Saint Arunagirinathar also composed ''Thirupugazh'' on Lord Subramanya here on the hill.
The deity here is also known as Madhorubagan and Ammaiyappan (mother-father). The famous Chenkottu Velavar Temple, dedicated to Lord Murugan, is also situated on the same hill
|Way to the hill top, Ardhanareeswarar_temple, Tiruchengodeen..arthanareeswarar.com|
|Ardhanareeswarar_temple, Tiruchengode epuja.co.in|
|Ganesa temple (Ucchi pilliyar kovil), Tiruchengode .youtube.com/|
|Lcation map, Tiruchengode. TN .shivatemples.com|
four separate historical chariots that carry the utchavar deities through the streets. They include Lord Ganesha, Sengottuvelavar (Murugan), Arthanāreeshwara and the last one Adikeshava Perumāl (Vishnu). The largest chariot being that of Arthanāreeshwara donated to the temple by Nagamalai Gouder in 1699; the chariot of Sengothuvevar was donated by Chennaraja Chikendar in 1628 and the rest two were made by Kondabhupathi, the ruler of Kongunādu, in 1628.
According to the Hindu mythology it was Adi Kesava Perumal, a form of Vishnu enshrined here, instructed Gowri to perform the Kedara Gowri Vratam. The Goddess did this vratam (austerity) and united with Shiva as Ardhanareeswarar, an embodiment of male-female equality, implying Shiva can not function alone without Sakhti (goddess). Once on a visit to Kailash Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma, Indra and sage Birungi first worshiped Parvati (Shiva's consort) except sage Birungi, who tried to see Lord Shiva first. Parvathi Devi, who became furious stopped the sage to proceed further. Lord Shiva blessed Birungi with a third leg which enabled the sage to get blessed by the lord. Realizing her mistake, Parvati wanted to placate Shiva and with lord's approval, did penance on a hilltop. On completion of this penance, Goddess Parvati demanded a portion for her in Lord Shiva's sacred body so that she could bless the devotees along with the lord. This manifestation of half man (right side) and half woman (left side)- Arthanaareswarar personifies simultaneous worship of both Parvati and Shiva in one idol. In reality, it implies the creation of living things.
|Stone-carved serpent,, Ardhanareeswarar_temple .tamilbrahmins.com|
Another fascinating feature of this holy place is performing ''Girivalam'' - the practice of going around the holy hill barefoot clock-wise. It is done on the full-moon days by a huge crowd and it is a 7 km stretch to complete the circle. Generally, it might take about 1.5 hours to cover the distance. Women and children also participate in this ritual as part of their prayer.