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Thursday, January 25, 2001

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Rare images discovered

By Our Staff Reporter

NAGERCOIL, JAN. 24. Rare images of Parasurama and Adi Shankara, carved on the pillars of the Bhoothalingam Swamy Temple in Bhoothapandy near here, were found during the renovation of the temple by the Kanyakumari Historical and Cultural Research Centre recently.

According to Dr. S. Padmanabhan, general secretary of the centre, the Travancore manual, written by Nagamayya, maintains that the place Bhoothapandy was founded by one of the Pandya kings.

Quoting Kerala Mahatmiyam in which the Pandya invasion of the Chera kingdom (Kerala) was referred to in a mythical form, Dr. Padmanabhan said the Pandyas had invaded the Chera kingdom with an army of `Boothas' (terrible forces) but they were defeated by Parasurama, said to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

The boundary of Chera and Pandya kingdoms was fixed at Bhoothapandy as a compromise.

According to the Shaiva tradition, Siva is worshiped in various forms-as earth at Kanchipuram, water at Thiruvanaikkavu, fire at Thiruvannamalai, air at Kalahasthi and ether in Chidambaram.

They are known as panchaboothasthalas. As per the legend, the panchaboothas worshiped Lord Siva as Boothalingam at Bhoothapandy.

It is said Lord Rama had erected a temple for Siva in Darisanamkoppu near Bhoothapandy to get redemption from `strihatya' (slaying of woman). Dr. Padmanabhan said the name of the place was derived from the Tamil words, `thiru', `saram' and `corppu'.

The wickedness of Thadakai, the evil character, were captured on the pillars of the Darisanamkoppu Temple.

Adi Shankara could have visited Bhoothapandy to worship Lord Siva, claimed Dr. Padmanabhan.

Another important image found in the temple is that of Lord Ganesh in dancing posture.

The centre had also brought to light the images of Appar, Sambandar, Sundarar, Manickavasagar, Pattinathar, Ramanuja at the Suchindram Temple and also the image of Vyagrapada Vigneswari at Vadiveeswaram.

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