Lord Dakshninamurti of the Govindavadi village
Govindavadi, a small village near the well-known temple-town of Kanchipuram in Kanchipuram District has become famous because of its shrine for Lord Dakshinamurti, a manifestation of Siva as the bestower of knowledge and who is also the presiding deity of planet Jupiter or Brihaspati.
CHENNAI: Govindavadi, a small village near the well-known temple-town of Kanchipuram in Kanchipuram District has become famous because of its shrine for Lord Dakshinamurti, a manifestation of Siva as the bestower of knowledge and who is also the presiding deity of planet Jupiter or Brihaspati.
Dakshinamurti is seen in a seated posture with two sages called Snaka and Sanandana flanking the image. Since this deity faces south, there is an entrance to this temple-complex on the southern side which is the one in use today. However, the sanctum for Siva, worshipped here as Kailasanatha, with a flag-post (dvajastambham) and a Nandi mandapam in front has another entrance on the eastern side.
The mandapam in front of the main Lingam has pillars of the Chola times, revealing that this temple was constructed in that glorious era, a fact attested to by inscriptions found here. The shrine for Goddess Parvati, worshipped in this temple as Akhilandeshwari, is close to that of Kailasanatha and faces south. The other deities worshipped in this temple are Govindaraja Perumal with consorts Sri Devi and Bhu Devi, Kala Bhairava, Vinayaka, Subramanya and Navagraha.
Many inscriptions in this historic temple have been recorded. The earliest of these belongs to the reign of the great emperor Rajendra Chola I (1012-1044 AD). Dated 1021 AD, this stone record mentions a donation made to a temple in another historic place called Takkolam, not too far away.
An inscription of a later date mentions a person, Yogananda Tirtha Svami, who was always devoted to Dakshinamurti while yet another stone record registers the gift of land by an individual for worship and offerings to both Kailasanatha and Dakshinamurti.
Close to Govindavadi is the village of Kuram, famous for its two ancient and historic temples.
A 11th inscription of Rajendra Chola I has been discovered here
Name of Goddess
Parvati in this temple is worshipped as Goddess Akhilandeshwari
Two important deities
Both Kailasanatha and Dakshinamurti are important deities here
Know Your City
Govindavadi can be reached by turning off the National Highway from Chennai to Bangalore after passing Kanchipuram. It is 18 km from Kanchipuram on the Thiruttani Road.
The writer is a historian who focuses on temple architecture