Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Du(R)ga(T)chi,which is called as Thukkach Temple Kerala,India

 Du(R)ga(T)chi,which is called as Thukkachi by the locals.This place is located between Naachiyar Koil (on Kumbakonam-Thiruvarur road)and Poonthottam(on Mayiladuthurai-Thiruvarur road).
The name of the place got derived from Goddess Durga. As she is the protector and ruler of this place, it is known as Durga Aatchi (ruled by Durga).Sri Durga sahasranamam hails Her as "Graama Devatha"and "Grahagraamapi rakshini" This magnificent temple belongs to Vikrama Chola's period(1117-1135 A.D.)There is a separate shrine for Goddess Durga.What we see today is a dilapidated structure overwhich plenty of plants have grown. The damaged idol of Durga has been shifted and kept separately.The exclusive shrine for Durga faces South which is rare.If attempts are not initiated,the whole shrine may collapse sooner or later. Since the Sthala Purana is not available,more about Durga Devi and Her separate shrine are yet to be known. A new idol of Durga Devi needs to be installed in Her shrine after renovation.
The Main deity of this Temple is Sri Aabathsahayeswara and His consort is Sri Soundaranayaki.This place was once called "PaadhiriVanam"as it had many "paadhiri trees.Lord Shiva and Parvathi Devi were worshipped by many Rishis here under the Paadhiri Tree. One such tree under which Shivalinga & Parvathi are installed can be seen in the Praakara.Locals conduct poojas here once their desires are fulfilled.
Vikrama Chola got rid of ven kushtam after worshipping the deity for 48 days.Since the Lord has helped/blessed the king in this way,He was called Aabathsahayeshwara.Then the King constructed the temple with seven Praakarams with granite stones.Only 3 Gopurams are seen of which two have damaged extensively.Deep rooted trees pose danger to the remaining structures.

There is a shrine for Sri Chamundeswari in the praakaram facing south and worshipped on all important dates. She (has jwala kesam) is well decorated.She answers the prayers in the absence of Durga Devi. Special poojas are conducted during Rahu Kalas and on Fridays to cross all obstacles in this birth.
Another south facing shrine is meant for Sri Sarabeswarar.This deity is considered as old as the one in Thirubuvanam.Poojas are conducted to Him on Sundays during Rahukalam to get rid of diseases,enmity etc. "Naarasimhanga lolupayai""Nrusimha sarma vasanayai""Narasimhaanga raktha paana samuthsukayai""Sarabayai"are the names found in praise of Durga in Sri Durga sahasranamam.Narasimhamurhi with folded hands can be seen at the feet of Sarabeswara.
Pradosham,Karthigai Somavaram and Mahasivarathri are celebrated for Aabathsahaya,Navarathri for Ambal and Panguni Uthiram for Subramanya.
There are two Bhairavars(Maha Bhairavar & Kaala Bhairavar) in this temple.People conduct Parihaara pujas here to free themselves from the bad effects of Sani.As there is no Navagraha peeta for the people of this village only few grahaas are installed,that too facing the same direction.

The sculptures in this temple are masterpieces of Chola art.Hence it is our primary duty to save the temple from extinction.HR&CE which manages the temple has to take immediate steps as pillars have fallen at many places and the roof may collapse at any time.

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