In this Thadikombu temple, those with prayer obligations to Madurai Azhagar can give the same. Those poor in education, suffering from lack of memory, pray to Lord Hayagriva and Mother Saraswathi from their Prakara shrines. On Tiruvonam star day, with honey, coconut, and a Nivedhana made of jaggery powder and ghee and cardamom garlands, they perform special pujas to Lord Hayagriva. Lord Dhanvanthari has a separate shrine. Abishek is carried out on new moon days with oil and herbal paste known as Lehiyam. Chakarathalwar graces with deities attributed to Gayatri Mantra. Graces with Ashtalakshmis by Lord Narasimha. Shrines for Vishwaksenar, Twin Vinayaka, 10 forms of Lord Vishnu’s incarnation, Lakshmi Narasimha, Venugopala, Anjaneya and Swarna Bhairava are also visible.
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The Soundaraja Perumal Temple is considered to be as sacred as the Kallazhagar Temple near Madurai in Thadikombu, a beautiful village 10 km south of Dindigul. Perumal is located in the sleeping pose of Arulmighu Soundaraja in this temple and it is said that this position was previously known as Thaalamaapuri. The Sthala Vriksha is the Vilva flower, even though it is a Vaishnava temple.
The sage Mandugar was doing penance near the river Kudaganaru. Thalaasuran, a demon, tried to ruin the efforts of the sage Lord Azhagar from Thirumaliruncholai (Temple of Azhagar) killed the devil and protected the penance of the sage. The sage prayed to the Lord to remain and bless the devotees, so in this Thadikombu temple, Azhagar gives darshan as Soundaraja Perumal.
This Thadikombu temple is supposed to be as important as the temple of Azhagar near Madurai and history states that it was constructed by the Vijayanagar Empire’s Achutha Devarayar 500 years ago.
In this temple, where vows that must be fulfilled in Azhagarkoil can be fulfilled, there is an idol of Hayagriva, who is believed to give good education to devotees. The Swarna Aakarsha Bairavar here is believed to solve the economic problems of individuals.
The sculptures in this temple refer to the artistic ability of the builders and it is surprising to see even minute details sculpted with such finesse, such as the nail tip, Muscles , nerves, and eyelashes. Chithirai Tiruvizha is celebrated in an elaborate way for five days and thousands participate in the ten-day Aadi Pournami Peruntiruvizha.
Speciality of the Thadikombu Temple:
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The temple is noted for its unique and minute workmanship in its sculpture.
Sculptures of luscious elegance
The Thadikombu temple can well be called a treasure house of rarely executed Indian sculptures. They’re talking volumes. Graces to Mother Soundaravalli from a different shrine. Lord Vinayaka and Vishnu Durga and prosperity deities at Her Temple, Sanganidhi, and Padmanidhi graces. The Mother’s shrine can well be called a sculpture museum. The sculptures include Lord Vishnu weighing the three realms, Lord Narasimha, Vaikundanathar, Venugopala, Lord Vishnu on Garuda, Anjaneya bearing Lord Rama on his shoulders, Chakarathalwar, Oordhvathandavar, Oordhvakali, Akora Veerabadra, Rathi, and Karthaveeryarjuna (Lord Shiva’s celestial dance).
Lord Soundararaja Perumal graces in a standing form from the sanctum sanctorum with his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi. As it is believed that Madurai’s Lord Kallazhagar also has links with this place, a festival of the Lord visiting the Kudaganaru River is celebrated in the Vaigai River as in Madurai. The festival reflects Sage Mandukya ‘s blessing of the Lord.
A deep is lit at the feet of the Lord on every Tiruvonam Star day. The deity of the procession would follow the lamp that was brought before him. Those fortunate to have this darshan are believed to be relieved of their sins.
The festivals celebrated in the temple are the 5-day festival in the month of Chithirai (April-May) and the 10-day Adi Poornima-July-August, attracting immense crowds of devotees.
Lord Alagar will have 12 days of Special Pooja during the Chitra Month. Lord Alagar will be processing Ethir server on the full moon day of the month.
The ‘Vaikunda Ekadasi’ festival, celebrated with religious fervor at Perumal temples, was marked by special pujas, Aradhana’s, and the opening of Sorga Vasal.
Those who have lost their belongings, and those willing to restore broken relationships, give Karthaveeriarjuna lighting ghee lamps with lime fruit garlands. Every Thursday at the Mandap here, when devotees perform turmeric abishek for early wedlocks, Sri Andal graces. People assume that if they pray for it, they would also get foreign suitors. The temple of child boon, academic success, business growth, etc. is also thronged by devotees.
Soundararajaperumal Temple, situated in Thadikombu, a village near Dindigul in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple, built in the Dravidian style of architecture, is believed to have been built in the 16th century AD by Achyuta Deva Raya. Vishnu is worshipped as Soundararaja Perumal, and as Soundaravalli, his consort Lakshmi.
The temple is known for the Ranga Mandapam, which features sculptures of rare life-size. There are two inscriptions in the temple which date from the Nayak period. The temple has a raja gopuram (gateway tower) of five levels and is enshrined within a granite wall. The complex contains all the associated shrines and water bodies.
It is assumed that Soundararaja Perumal appeared to be Mandukya the sage. Six daily rituals and three annual festivals are observed in the temple. The chariot festival, celebrated during the Chittirai Tamil month (March-April), is the temple’s most prominent festival. The temple is maintained and managed by the Government of Tamil Nadu’s Hindu Religious and Endowment Board.
Mandukya means frog-once a sage was cursed in the place around the temple to be in the shape of a frog. A demon troubled him, and the frog worshipped Vishnu for salvation. Vishnu was satisfied with the dedication and, by killing the devil, rescued the frog. Vishnu decided to remain at the place where the frog that went on to become a temple was saved.
Dindigul was the scene of heavy fighting during the 15th century and people migrated to Thadikombu in large numbers.
During the 16th century, the temple is thought to have been founded during the rule of Achyuta Deva Raya (1529-1542 CE), Krishna Deva Raya’s younger brother. During the reign of his predecessor, Aliya Rama Raya (1485-1565 CE), construction allegedly began. During the time of Thirumalai Nayak (1623–59) in 1629, the outer halls and the sculptures were included. It is also learned that the temple priests were named by a chieftain by the name of Sundaresan. It is also assumed that the temple, a hall called Sundarapandya, may have existed from the earlier Pandyan period and could have been extended by the kings of Vijayanagar.
Inscriptions on the sacrifices made to the maintenance of the temple are from different ruling empires. The Garuda Mandapa includes a damaged inscription from the Rama Raya era in the temple. An inscription in Pandya Madap’s Sundara indicates the conduct of the Kallazhagar marriage festival in Madurai. Other inscriptions state that Thadikombu is considered by the people of Madurai as their northern settlement.
Architecture in the
The temple is situated in Thadikombu, a village in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, on the outskirts of Dindigul. With a 90 ft (27 m ) tall raja gopuram (temple tower), the temple occupies an area of 1.5 acres (0.61 ha) and is surrounded by rectangular granite walls on all four sides. All four sides of the temple are paved in such a way that during festive occasions the movement of the temple car is accommodated.
The temple’s main entrance faces the east, and there is a four-pillared open hall at the temple’s entrance. There are two precincts in the temple. The temple is a Madakovil, with its Plithe built about 2 m (6.6 ft ) in height on an elevated platform. The parapets on the steps are adorned with curled yalis, the Vijayanagar sculptures facing the lion.
Sanctuaries for his consort, Soundaravalli, Andal, and Viswaksenar are also in the first precinct. All the inner sanctuaries face east, leaving the Viswaksenar sanctuary, which faces south. The Dwajasthambam (flagstaff) and a hall are situated from the gateway tower to the sanctum in an axial orientation. The portrait of Chakrathazwar is located in the south-western corner of the second precinct. In the Anna Mandapa, the images of Dasavatara, the ten avatars of Vishnu, are found.
The presiding deity is housed in a standing pose in the sanctum and has a height of 1.5 m (5 ft). On either side of him, Bhudevi and Sridevi are situated. Also located in the sanctum is the image of the festive god. There are musical pillars in the Kalyan Mandapa, each of which produces various musical sounds. The same is found in the temple of Meenakshi Amman, Thanumalayan temple, the temple of Kasi Viswanathar, Tenkasi, the temple of Krishnapuram Venkatachalapathy, and the temple of Azhwar Tirunagari.
Noteworthy is the image of Ganesa standing holding Angus in his hands, Vishnu Durga containing exceptional features, and Anjaneya occupying pillars. Vaikuntanatha, Stunanarasimha, Mahavishnu, Chakkarathazwar, Madanagopala, Manmadan & Rathi, Trivikrama, Nataraja & Kali, Agora Veerabhatra, Rama, and Kartha Veerayarjuna are the 14 life-size images of the Sundarapandiya Mandapa.
There is a beautiful architectural depiction of different forms of Vishnu in the Ranga Mandapam (also called Anna Mandapam). It is situated near the sanctuary of Soundaravalli, which leads to the sanctum.
In Alagar Koyil, Krishnapuram Venkatachalapathy temple, Srivilliputhur Divya Desam and Jalakandeswarar Temple, Vellore, identical architectural specimens of the Vijayanagar kingdom are believed to be found. During the early 1500s, the composite columns of Virabhadra carrying sword and horn were found to be additions of the Vijayanayagara kings.
Similar Virabhadra columns are found in Adikesava Perumal Temple at Thiruvattaru, Meenakshi Temple at Madurai, Nellaiappar Temple at Tirunelveli, Kasi Viswanathar Temple at Tenkasi, Krishnapuram Venkatachalapathy Temple, Ramanathaswamy Temple at Rameswaram, Srivilliputhur Andal Temple, Srivaikuntanathan Perumal Temple at Srivaikuntam, Avudayarkovil, Vaishnava Nambi, and Thirukurungudivalli Nachi Nachivalli.
Religious traditions and festivals
Image of a temple sculpture
The temple follows the traditions of the Vaishnavite tradition of the Thenkalai sect and follows Vaikanasa Aagama. During festivals and on a regular basis, the temple priests conduct pooja (rituals). As in the other Vishnu temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to a Brahmin sub-caste, the Vaishnavaite community.
Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 p.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., and Ardha Jamam at 10:00 p.m. The temple rituals are conducted four times a day: Every ritual has three phases for both Soundararajan and Soundaravalli: Alangaram (decoration), Neivethanam (food offering), and Deepa aradanai (waving of lamps).
Nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and Tavil (percussion instrument) are played during the last stage of worship, divine instructions are recited by priests in the Vedas (sacred text), and worshippers prostrate themselves in front of the temple mast. In the temple, there are rituals conducted weekly, monthly, and fortnightly. During the month of Chittirai in Tamil, the festival deity is carried in procession around the temple’s Mada lane. During the Tamil month of Aadi (July – August), similar processions are followed.
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