Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Sri Tiruviramisvaram-Udaiyar Temple / Thiru Rameswaramudayar Temple, Agara, Chamarajanagar District, Karnataka.

The visit to this temple at Agara was a part of our Chozha period temples Visit on the ancient trade route from Chamarajanagar to Kollegal ( Gangapadi ), in Karnataka State. Agara.-Agara, a village in the Yelandur taluk in the Mysore District. Population 4,261. It has four old temples dedicated to Ramesvara, Narasimha, Varadaraja and Durga. Except Varadharaja temple the others were renovated during recent years.

In the Tamil inscriptions, the village is named Durgaiyur- agaram and in the Kannada Durgagrahara, thus showing that it derived its name from the goddess Durga of the place, though latterly the first portion was left out and the place came to be known as merely Agara. It will be seen from the Kannada and Tamil names of the village as given in the inscriptions that agara is only a Tamil corruption of the Sanskrit agrahara.

Moolavar  : Sri Rameswara.
Consort    : Sri Parvata Vardhini

Some of the Salient features of this temple are.....
The temple is facing east with a Rajagopuram base Pillars. The Pillars has the bas-reliefs of Ganga & Yamuna ( Kodi penkaL ). A balipeedam is in front of Sanctum sanctorum. Stucco images of Lord Shiva with Parvati, Vinayagar and Murugan are on the top of the front mandapam.
In prakara Nagars, Dakshinamurthy, Navagrahas, Chandikeswarar and Hanuman. Ambal is in a separate sannidhi on the left side of the main temple / Moolavar. An anthill with nagars are in front of the Ambal sannadhi.

In the navaranga / artha mandapa of the Ramesvara temple, has two entrances with porches on the east and south, are kept figures of Surya, Ganapati, Chandesvara, Virabhadra, Narayana and Dakshinamurthy. The Dakshinamurthy is a seated figure, about two feet high, bearing a snake, an antelope and a book in three hands, In a shrine the remaining hand being in the abhaya hastam.

In a shrine in the prahara is the goddess of the temple, known as Parvata vardhini, a standing figure, about five feet high, with four bands, the upper hands holding a noose / pasam and an elephant-goad / angusam, and the lower in the varada and abhaya hastam. This goddess in similar to the one in the Gangadharesvara temple at Turuvekere.

The temple consists of sanctum sanctorum, antarala, artha mandapam and a mukha mandapam. A two tier vimana is over the sanctum. The temple was reconstructed during recent years with out disturbing the padabandha Adhisthana. The inscriptions are found on the adhisthana.

The original temple was believed to be constructed during Kulothunga Chozha-I, period.  There are about 50 inscriptions recorded from this temple. The inscriptions belongs to Vira Someswara Deva, Vira Vallalan, Vira Pratapa Chakravarthi etc.  The lineage of Vira Vallalan is Vira Ballala-I – VishnuVardhana – Narasimhan-I, – Vira Ballalan–II – Vira Narasimha-II – Vira Someswara – Narasimha-III – Vira Ballala-III. All the Kings Contributed to this temple.

As per the inscriptions Lord Shiva was called as Tiruviramisvaram-Udaiyar and this place was called as Virudharaja bayangara Chathurvedi Mangalam also called as Durgaiyur Agara, which is now called as Agara.

The Ramesvara temple has also several inscribed slabs scattered in the compound, and several more  built into the roof of the shrine of the goddess. Fragments which have fallen from the walls have been replaced by others, thus adding considerably to the difficulty of decipherment. The displacement of the stones, even of the basement in some places, leads to the conclusion that the temple must have undergone restoration at some former time. The oldest record here seems to go back to the 11th century. 

The 13th Century inscription records the endowment of grant of lands to the god Tiruviramisvaram-Udaiyar by Manchapovan after purchase from Siman. It also records the gift of 6 gadayanas from out of Tax income for celebrating Panguni Uthiram festival. 

A 13th Century inscription records the grant of 100 kuli land along with the tax income by Nachiyar who purchased for 200 gadayanas from Siyagan from out of his share of 200 kuli for burning perpetual lamp to the deity Tiruviramisvaram-Udaiyar.

A Fragmentary inscription records the gift of gold for burning a perpetual lamp, and the same was received by the Koil Stanapatigal.

The slightly damaged 13th Century inscription records the rule of Viravallaladeva, it also records Kuttadudevar, Danayakar, Malianan, Ganganan and others the head of 6 religions met at the Tirukavanam of the temple of Tiruviramisvaram-Udaiya-Nayanarand gave an undertaking to the mahajanas, who endowed the wet and forest lands in the village Kungar as devadana to god Durgaiyur-agaram.  The boundaries of the lands are specified.Also the signatories of the grant like the Dannayaka and Malliyannan are mentioned.

A Fragmentary inscription record  mentions the individual’s name Bhaskara Bhattar and the village Kellur. All the other details are lost.  

As per the Sthala purana gives a different derivation. It says that a king of the name of Vishnu Sharma, who, when on a visit to the place, was bitten by a cobra, got rid of the poison by his prayers to the deities Rameswara and Narasimha, and that thence forward the village became known as Agara ( free from gara or poison ).

Since orukala pooja is conducted the closing and opening times are unpredictable.  

This place Agara is on the bus route Chamarajanagar to Kollegal. 31.2 KM from Chamarajanagar, 7 Km from Kollegal, 61.8 KM from Mysore and 147 KM from Bangalore.

LOCATION OF THE TEMPLE : CLICK HERE ( GPS Co-ordination   12.1172637,77.0735208 )

REFERENCE : Mysore District Gazetteer

Ambal Sannadhi

Kodipen & Dwarapalaka reliefs on Pillars
Ant hill with Nagas
Loose sculpture
Loose sculptures

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