…. Continuation of the previous post ‘visit to Arasar koil’
It was a great fun going with REACH Chandra and the other friend Suresh since I had to apply brakes every now and then with the shout from them “Raju, stop, stop…… there is a shiva lingam there, there is a temple there, there is a kali there etc….”. Immediately on seeing them, REACH Chandra used to estimate the age roughly. We encountered 3 such surprise sites.
One of them is a road side Kali relief along with a Swayambu Shiva lingam peacefully sitting under a neem tree in open space. This is just about 200-300 meters before Arasar koil temple on the right side of the toad. Chandra informs that it is atleast 1600 years old. The Swayambu shiva lingam appears to be a petrified wood (wood turning into stone) on an Avudayar.
Kannan bhattar of Arasar koil then took us to a Shiva lingam open to the sky along with a damaged Nandhi next to a School at Pathur around 2 kms from Arasar koil.
On the way back, we visited Sri Vyagrapatheswarar temple at Pulippara koil around a km from the Padalam railway gate between the railway gate and Arasar koil. Vyagrapatheswarar is a rishi with a human face and tiger legs. He worshipped Shiva in many places in this belt and the Shiva lingam used to have the marks of the foot of a tiger. Thiruppulivanam near Uthiramerur is another such temple. This temple is a typical massive Chola temple, Gajaprashta style with big mandapams, praharams and wonderful sculptures. Unfortunately, in the name of re-construction, the structure of the temple and the inscriptions have been greatly destroyed and is now standing as a typical model of “How not to reconstruct ancient structures”. I think we should support REACH foundation in a bigger way since they are the people trying their best to spread the awareness about how to reconstruct the ancient structures stone by stone at a low cost without affecting the structure and inscriptions.
More photos of the temple and beautiful pillar sculptures are here
See also the report by REACH foundation: