Nedumpuram Tali - Nityavicharesvaram.
This ancient Shiva temple is located in Talappilli taluk of Thrissur district. The temple can be approached from the Tali Road Bus stop in Pattambi - Nelluvaya route. The temple is located about 2 kms away from the bus stop. There is also a bus plying up to Tali from Vadakkancherri and Thrissur at selected timings.
Structure & Architecture - Temple Layout
The temple faces east. The approach road to the temple is very wide and from a distance itself one can see the imposing structure of the temple. The mukhappu is enclosed by planks fixed to wooden brackets sloping up from the dwarf wall below. The entrance has cow-guard to prevent animals entering the premises. The mukhappu encloses a nandi facing Shiva. The vaathilmadom structure is two storeyed and tiled. The shrikovil built entirely of laterite blocks, is square in plan with an attached mukhamandapa. The principal shrine has a dvitala tiled roof. The roof over the mukhamandapa serves as the shuka-nasa coming out of the two storeyed sanctum. A flight of eight steps leads to the mukhamandapa and the granite sopana has hasti-hasta banisters, carved with an arch enclosing a figure of Ganapathy and a poorna kumbha on one of the sides. Two dvarapaalas made out of granite, guard the entry to the mukhamandapa. The Shiva linga is placed in the inner chamber on a high pedestal. It is worth noting that the main shrine is without a namaskara mandapa.
Built on a high adhishtana (basement), the Nityavichareswara is an impressive structure. The exterior of the shrikovil is plastered over (may be at a later date) and ornamented with decorative panjaras (niches) and corbels. The pyramidal tile roof is crowned by a stupi.
The upadevatas enshrined in the temple are Parvathy, Ganapathy, Ayyappan and Naga devatas.
Ganapathy is housed in a separate structure in the south-west corner (kannimoola) in a separate shrine. The ornamental fluted pranala is in the north. A koovala (vilva) tree stands behind the Ganapathy shrine. This is a very rare sight as usually no trees are planted inside the naalambalam. The shrine of Krishna is accommodated in the north-west corner of the Vaathilmadom structure facing west and there is small namaskara mandapa 6' x 6' in front of it with a pyramidal roof. The well is located in the North east corner of the naalambalam with the thidappalli adjoining it. The shrikovil is of laterite construction plastered over with ornamental niches, corbels etc. at close intervals.
The sankalpa of pratishta here is that of Shiva after the Daksha yaga i.e. Aghoramoorthy. The pratishta of Krishna facing Shiva is said to appease the anger of Shiva.
Lord Shiva in this temple is known as THIRU MAA THALIYAPPAN (the great lord of Tali) and this temple seems to be one of the two royal temples of erstwhile Nedumpuraiyur Nadu, the other being Nedumpura Shiva temple (Kulashekharanallur).
Three poojas constitute the daily ritual. Apart from the traditional bali offerings, there are no separate shribali procession. The only celebration in the temple is for Shiva rathri. Ashtami rohini is celebrated for Sri Krishna.
On the corridor of the Vaathilmadom structure on either side of the basement are a good number of lithic inscriptions which throw light to the antiquity of this temple and also to royal traditional practices in vogue. The oldest inscription about the devadasis in the Cera country is housed in this temple.
The temple is associated with a number of Cera inscriptions. An epigraph dated in the 17th regnal year (A.D. 934) of Kodai Ravivarman refers to the temple as Nityavicharesvara and the village as Tali. The inscription registers a transaction between the residents and officers of the temple of Nityavicharesvara at Tali regarding the distribution among the temple servants of 300 kalams (1 Kala = 5 Paras) of paddy received from the two villages - Ukkiramangalam and Iyanamangalam. Out of 300 kalams of annual paddy levy, 109 kalams were set apart for food offerings and temple servants, 114 kalams for feeding Kandarvikal (nattuvans) and Nangaimar (dancers), 16 kalams for karnam (accountant). It is engraved in one of the eight inscribed slabs, all placed side by side on either side of the vaathilmadom corridor.
Another inscription (TAS - Vol VIII p 40 and ARE 38/1994) in the 11th regnal year of Cera King Bhaskara Ravi Varman refers to the patinettu naattaar (officers of 18 districts) of Nityavicharesvaram and refers to the ownership right of Santivritti lands and the daily quota of paddy to be supplied to the temple for food offerings. The transgressor of the agreement is to be fined 25 kalanjus of gold.
Another inscription mentions a Kumaran Iravi of Manavaadu as ruling the district. Further, it appears that Nedumpuraiyur nadu was a large geographical-cum-political entity south of the Bharatha puzha within which Tali was located. None of the inscriptions refer to the foundation of the temple. As such it can be inferred that the temple was built before A.D. 900. The temple also contains some records of the time of Cera monarchs Ko Indesvaran Kodai (Indu Kothaivarman) and Ko Bhaskara Ravi Varman.
Eastern side entrance - long shot
Eastern side entrance - vaathilmadom
Mukhappu - closer view
Vaathilmadom from inside the nalambalam
Shrikovil with mukhamandapom
Shrikovil - southern side
View from south - west corner
Last Revised (contents): 22 july, 2001
Last Revised (design) : 6 october, 2004