Somanatheswarar Temple Somangalam Kanchipuram - History, Timings, Festivals & Address!

Somanatheswarar Temple Somangalam Kanchipuram


Somanatheswarar Temple Somangalam Kanchipuram

Somanatheswarar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Somangalam Village in Kanchipuram District of Tamilnadu. Presiding Deity is known as Somanatheswarar and Divine Mother Shakti as Kamakshi Amman. This temple is one of the Navagraha temples of Chennai (or Thondai Mandalam) devoted to Sri Chandra Bhagavan (Moon God). Somangalam is a Chaturvedimangalam, a village donated by the Kings to the Pundits of the four vedas to conduct various yagnas and regular poojas.

This beautiful temple is one among the Navagraha temples of Chennai (or Thondai Mandalam) dedicated to Chandran (Moon).
The Navagraha Temples around Chennai are:
1. Kolampakkam – Agastheeshwarar Temple (Surya)
2. Somangalam – Somanadheeswarar Temple (Chandran)
3. Poonamallee – Vaitheeswarar Temple (Angarakan)
4. Kovur – Sundareswarar Temple (Budhan)
5. Porur – Ramanatheswarar Temple (Guru)
6. Mangadu – Velleeswarar Temple (Sukran)
7. Pozhichalur – Agastheeshwarar Temple (Sani)
8. Kundrathur – Nageswarar Temple (Rahu)
9. Gerugampakkam – Neelakandeswarar Temple (Kethu)

Somanatheswarar Temple Somangalam Kanchipuram History

Somangalam, a village near Kundrathur, one of the suburbs of Chennai close to Porur, is a place of great antiquity. The two little known Chola temples in Somangalam, one for Vishnu and the other for Siva and the Tamil inscriptions found on their walls bear testimony to this suburb’s connections with the Cholas. The name Somangalam has continued to exist for more than a thousand years as evident from the Chola lithic records. The other ancient names of this village were Rajashikhamani Chaturvedimangalam and Panchanadivana Chaturvedimangalam indicating that it was peopled by scholars who were well-versed in the four Vedas. It was situated in the ancient territorial sub-division of Maganur Nadu in Chengattu-k-kottam in Jayankonda-Cholamandalam.

This temple is said to have been built by Kulothunga Chozha in 1073 AD during his 3rd year of reign. According to inscriptions found here, this place was referred as ‘Jayankonda Chozha Mandalathu Senkaattu Kottathu Maaganoor Naattu Somangalamaana Rajasigaamani Chathurvedhi Mangalam”. Those days the places gifted (tax free) to Vedic Brahmins by ancient kings were called Chathurvedhi Mangalams.

The inscriptions found in the temple also reveal the information about the local lake which got damaged and about the repair works done to it. Also, there is information about the cows donated to the temple to fetch revenue to light the lamps in the temple, every evening.

Somanatheswarar Temple Somangalam Kanchipuram Legends

Chandra Bhagwan got rid of Dakshan Curse here

As per Hindu Mythology, once Sri Chandra Bhagwan got cursed by Dakshan. Due to this curse, he lost his divine power and forgot all 16 forms of arts he had acquired. To get rid of this curse, he is said to have created a pond in this place called Soma Theertham (Vinai Theerthan Kulam, the tank that eliminates all bad karmas) and took bath in this Pond located at about half a km to the west of this temple and worshipped Lord Shiva here.

After this, he got back his beauty and wisdom. As Sri Chandra Bhagwan worshipped Lord Shiva here, Shiva here is known as Somanatheswarar and the place came to be known as Somangalam. This temple is a parihara sthalam for those having any Dhosham related to Chandra Bhagwan. Chandra Bhagwan has a separate shrine in the temple facing west.

Somanathar attained Jeeva Samadhi here

Sources say that a sage named Somanathar attained Jeeva Samadhi at the feet of Lord Nandikeswarar, who is believed to have guarded Soman against any disturbances while doing penance.

Theerthams

Soma theertham (Vinai Theerthan kulam) at half a km to the west of the temple, created by Moon God and Chandeeswara Theertham adjacent to the temple created by Chandeeswarar.

Nandhi Unique posture of facing east instead of facing Lord Shiva

There lived a king called Somakaanthan in this part of the country, who wished to build 108 Shiva temples throughout his country. While he was in the middle of the construction work for this temple, he had his enemies marching towards his territory for war. The king was shocked to hear this, because he was never prepared for a war at that time and had engaged all his soldiers in the temple construction work.

With much grief, he prayed Lord Shiva here to save him. Shiva was pleased with his devotion in constructing the temple, directed Nandikeswarar to fight against the king’s enemy. Nandhi turned towards east and blew away the entire troupes of the enemy just with his forceful breath. Lord Shiva made Nandhi to face east permanently to make sure that there were no further attacks to the king’s country by enemies. Here one can see Nandhi unusually facing east instead of facing the Lord in the sanctum. This is one of the very unique features of this temple.

This ancient temple was built by the Chola king, Kulothunga, in 1073 A.D. Presiding Deity is known as Somanatheswarar and Mother is known as Kamakshi Amman. This has the Gajaprashta (look of the back of an elephant) vimanam. It is believed that 108 Shiva temples have been built by the same king. Thirumazhisai, Somangalam, Manimangalam Dharmeshvarar and Mannivakkam (Maniaandi, as it is called) are some of the temples of that group in this region. This has Somanatheswarar as the main deity with the Chandra adorning Shiva.

Inside the main sanctum, there is a unique statue of Lord Muruga in Brahma Sastha form with Gindi in one hand and Aksha Mala in another hand. Once Brahma was put behind bars by Subramania himself and he took charge of the work of creation for 3.75 Naazhi. During that period babies were born beautifully and so Murugar is also called Azhagan. It is said that there was a separate Kandhaswamy temple housing this Subramaniar and when the temple became dilapidated in due course, He was brought into this temple.

Natarajar as ‘Chathura Thandava Moorthy’ is present in the sanctum which is again very unique and rarely seen anywhere. Chathuram (square) is the shape of moon god that coincides with the Chathura Thandavam of Natarajar. There are separate shrines for Ganesha, Surya, Bairavar, Dhakshinamurthy, Vishnu and Goddess Durga. There are inscriptions belonging to 5 different time periods but some of them have been painted over in the process of renovation.

In the outer praharam there are idols of Saptha Mathas, the first in the row being Jeshta Devi, the Ambal of Lord Saturn a rare idol. Sri Jyeshta Devi is said to be the elder sister of Sri Mahalakshmi, who evolved earlier to Sri Mahalakshmi when the mighty ocean was churned. Also present is Maandhi with buffalo head born to Jeshta Devi and Saneeswaran. Vinayagar, Dhakshinamurthy, Mahavishnu, Brahma, Sandikeswarar & Durgai are seen on the outer walls of the sanctum.

The Sthala Viruksham for this temple is Sarakondrai Maram which is found on the northern side of the sanctum. There is a small shrine having small Shiva Lingam below this tree and is called Vruksha Lingam. An image of a tree is carved on stone above this Lingam. A few dilapidated idols are seen near Sthala Viruksham. The Theertham for this temple is said to be Sandeeswarar Theertham, which is believed to be created by Sri Sandikeswarar.

Another Theertham is Soma Theertham, which was created by Moon God is present a little away from the temple. There is a small temple for Vinayaka just outside the main temple. As you enter the gate which is in the south to the left you see the main sanctum of Lord Shiva and a small Sannidhi for Vinayaka. This main Sannidhi has the statues of Brahma and Murugan on the left.

The main Sivalingam is imposing and serene with the garbagruha very cool on a hot day. You can see the Nandi outside this complex facing east away from Siva next to the main Sannidhi. In front of the main gate is the imposing Sannidhi of Kamakshi Devi facing south. Between the Sivan and Kamakshi sannidhis to the North West is another separate Sannidhi for Murugar with his consorts in the outer praharam built later in 1935.

To the Eastern sides facing the Siva shrine are the sannidhis of Chandran and Suryan flanking the gate. You can see the Chandran Sannidhi below with a navagraha Sannidhi on the left. The walls of the Somanatheswarar temple are studded with sculptures and inscriptions. Noteworthy are the carvings of the vahanams or mounts of the respective deities on the pedestals. Chola era images of Dakshinamurti and Durga as Mahishasuramardhini are also seen here.

The earliest epigraph in this Siva temple is dated 1,174 A.D. (of the reign of Rajadhiraja Chola II), registering the gift of cows and providing the ancient name of this deity as Someshwaram Udaiyar. An interesting lithic record, of the time of Kulothunga III, dated 1,192 A.D., refers to breaches in the bunds of a lake in Somangalam for two years in succession. The lake bunds were repaired by one Kaman Kandavanavan, who also bore the expenses towards the annual repair of the tank. Several other inscriptions in the reign of this later Chola monarch are seen here.

This temple is a Parihara Sthalam for those having any Dhosham related to Chandra Bhagavan. Chandra Bhagavan has a separate shrine in the temple, facing west. Here one can see Nandhi unusually facing east instead of facing the Lord in the sanctum. This is one of the very unique features of this temple.

Somanatheswarar Temple Somangalam Kanchipuram Opening Time

The Temple will be open from 8 AM – 10 AM and 5 PM – 7 PM – It is preferred to visit the temple only in the mornings since the evening timing is not sure. The temple is strictly closed between 12 pm and 4 pm.

Somanatheswarar Temple Somangalam Kanchipuram Prayers

People with Chandra and water related Dhoshams, mind and water related problems like Cold, Asthma, mental sickness etc., can worship Somanatheswarar and Chandra here to come out of their problems. Also it is believed that Lord Somanatheswarar blesses people with timely marriage, progeny, peaceful and healthy life.

How to Reach Somanatheswarar Temple Somangalam Kanchipuram?

The Somanatheswarar Temple is located in Somangalam, Chennai suburb. Buses are available from Kundrathur bus terminus to Somangalam. The temple is within a km from the Somangalam bus terminus. Somangalam lies at about 35 kms south west of Chennai city. One can take the route from Tambaram via Kishkintha to reach Somangalam. The better alternative is to take the road from Pallavaram going to Kunrathur. After reaching Kunrathur junction, one has to take left (towards south) to reach Somangalam.

Somangalam is about 10 kms from Kunrathur. Also plenty of busses ply from Porur directly to Somangalam. Somangalam is in the Kundrathur – Padappai road and can be reached from Tambaram as well. It is 6 kms from Kishkintha. After Kishkintha, while proceeding straight the road divides into two and you have to take the road at the left. Go beyond Sairam Engineering College and you will see a road to the left to Dhanalakshmi Engineering College. Go straight further and you will reach Somangalam and the temple. 

Somanatheswarar Temple Somangalam Kanchipuram Address

Somanatheswarar Temple,
Somangalam, Kanchipuram District,
Phone: +91 – 44 – 2717 8330.

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