The temples of tiruchanur – the varadaraja shrine

This shrine is to die south of the shrine of Alagiyaperumal and is now known as Sundararajaswami shrine. Three inscriptions refer to the deity of this shrine. The earliest of them (IV-157), dated 1541 A.D., mentions the car festival of Varadarajaperumal. The second, dated 1547 A.D. (V-99), mentions the Brahmotsavam of this god and the Vidaiyyarri festival celebrated at the end also refers to the Yugadi, Dipavali and floating festivals as well as the Adhyayanotsavam. It is evident from these two records that this shrine came into existence some time in the sixteenth century.
This shrine consists of the Garbhagriha, Antarala, Mukha• mantapa and the Mahamantapa. The Adhishthana is high and ornate. It contains the Upana, three pattikas above it, padma, pattika, tripatta, gala cut into compartments, kapota adorned with nasikas and alingapattika. The outer side of its walls is decorated with the series-two pilasters, Icumbhapanjara, two pilasters, kumbhapanjara, one pilaster, Sala-koshtha, one pilaster, Kumbha- panjara, two pilasters, kumbhapanjara and two pilasters. The walls of the Antarala are adorned with two pilasters, kumbhapanjara, one pilaster, Sala-koshtha, one pilaster, kumbhapanjara and two pilasters. The walls of the Mukhamantapa contain 6 pilasters. The Kapota or cornice above has a row of nasikas with human heads or lotuses inside them. The roof has a low parapet decorated with makaras. The vimana is of the Ayatasra type and of the Vesara order. It is of two storeys, each containing a hara or row of kuta, panjara, kuta, panjara, sala, panjara, kuta, panjara and kuta. The griva above is low. The Sikhara is oblong and the gables at the end contain a kuta inside. The face of the sikhara is decorated with gables. There are many Vishnu images all over, moulded out of plaster.
The Mdhamantapa in front of the shrine contains three rows of four pillars each and one row of two pillars at the back. All these pillars are of the Vijayanagara style. The Mukhamantapa beyond is plain. There is a dvarapalaka cm either side of the entrance of the Antarala beyond. The walls on either side of the entrance are decorated with four pilasters. The front wall of the Garbhagriha contains a kumbhapanjara between two pilasters. Inside the sanctum in the centre is the image of Varadaraja standing in samabhanga holding Samkha and Chakra in the two upper hands, keeping the lower right in Varada and the left hanging by the side. Sridevi and Bhudevi stand on his sides.

Leave a Reply