The Nagarathar heritage
INAIYARRA ILAIYARRANKUDI: S. A. P. Jawahar Palaniyappan; Kumudham Publication, 306 (151), Purasawalkam High Road, Chennai-600010. Rs. 100.
THE GLITTERING pages, illuminating pictures, interesting information, unique style and beautiful get-up these are the constitutive factors pertaining to this book. It deals with the first Siva temple built by the Nagarathar the Chettiar community of "Nattukottai" at Ilaiyarrankudi.
Their contributions by way of promoting and patronising Saivism through the construction and renovation of temples for Lord Siva, establishing several academic institutions to foster higher education and serving the noble cause for literature and indigenous music can never be underestimated.
This work commences with a historical account of the Chettiars of Nattukkottai including their growth and prosperity in Chettinad and overseas.
The temples they have built and the list of their native villages with illustration show their generosity. To substantiate the main title of this work prominence has been given extensively to exemplify the imminent role of the Nagarathars in re-building the Siva temple in Ilaiyarrankudi. The events connected with this are narrated like a novel. The subsequent pages deal with the temple and its presiding deities.
The hymn Abhirami Andadi is also included and the benefit for chanting each verse is mentioned. Incidentally the lives of four Nayanmars belonging to the Nagarathar community are portrayed. However, the said saints were not conscious of their birth but dedicated their life to Lord Siva and fellow devotees for their redemption.
The quintessence of Saiva religion and philosophy is well ordained in the Sivapuranam hymn of Saint Manickavachakar. Probably this may be the reason to include this here.
The outer and inner structures of the massive residential buildings of the Nagarathars are fascinating with aesthetic appeal. Their role in the print media is highlighted towards the end.
The pictures of Gods, Goddesses, saints, sages and other individuals are excellent.
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