Exciting Hindu idols made of emerald!! - South India

Emerald (Maragatha) Lingams, TN Temples 
Emerald lingam, Tamil Nadu. koodal.com

Above image: Rs.50 cr (roughly  8 million worth) Maragatha lingam recovered, 2 people arrested - Tamil  Nadu News Headlines in Tamil..... 

Geologically speaking,  Beryl is a mineral composed of beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate with the chemical formula Be3Al2Si6O18 and may contain traces of vanadium and chromium and is often found in tin and tungsten ore bodies. It's hardness is 7.5–8 on the 10 point Mohs scale of hardness  and it means it is not easily breakable and has tough resistance.  The  crystals of Beryl  grow in hexagonal form  and their size may range from small  to several meters. Pure Beryl is colorless and is often found tinted by impurities. It's color may vary from  green, blue, yellow, red, and white; stones with shades of green are common. In India, it is known as Maragtha or Maragatham in Tamil. Beryl of various colors is found most commonly in Granitic-pegmatites (Igneous rocks), but also occurs in Mica Schists (metamorphic rocks).

Maragatha linga Natarajar, Uthirashosgamangai.hindu-blog.com

Emerald Natarajar, Uthirakosamangai  facebook.com. 
Above image:  Emerald Natarajar, Uthirakosamangai (near Ramanathapuram; 17 km from Paramakudi). It is the  largest green emerald stone in the world, out of which the idol of  the comic dancer was carefully made.About 5.5 foot tall the rest is made of an arch. The idol is covered with paste all through the year except on the day of Arudhra dharsan. No playing of percussion instruments near the shrine as the vibration might damage the gemstone.  The sadal paste will be removed for s few hours on that day and later, a fresh coat of paste is applied on the entire idol. Enshrined in a small sanctum with a small hole, this famous temple has Sahasralinga with thousand lingas  in a big mantdab -hall.   .............
Astrologically, Emerald is also associated with the eighth planet Mercury (Budha) in the Solar System. Lord Budha (Devanagari: Budh; Tamil: budhan) is considered as the god of the planet Mercury. This gemstone is closely associated with  the worship of Lord Shiva, the god of destroyer.  According to the Hindu mythology,  Lord  Budha (Mercury) is considered as one among the nine Navagrahas (planets). Lord Budha, representing green color and emerald,  is  the god of merchandise and protector of merchants. It has been a long-held belief that worshiping Lord Shiva in the form of emerald Lingam ( in Sanskrit, Linga means a 'mark' or a symbol, which points to an inference. Thus the Linga is  the symbolic of Lord Shiva who is Omnipotent and formless. He will remove all miseries and sins (doshas) and will also bring prosperity, improve health, enhance learning and education and may give a chance to have  with king or the ruler. Centuries ago, the Indian  rulers  used to worship Shiva Lingam carved out of Emerald stone to gain divine power. In the traditional Indian society, the linga is rather seen as a symbol of energy and potential of God, Shiva, himself, has no beginning (aathi) and  no end (aantham). The lingam is distinctively anionic.

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Above image: Emerald Lingam, Siddhar Bogar Samadhi, Palani Murugan Temple (Source: Artist Shilpi.Blogspot).........

It is believed that the Chola King Musukuntha (12th Century) received  seven emerald Siva Lingams from Lord Indra, the King of the Gods, God of Weather and War for his personal worship. Instead of being selfish, the generous king had all the seven maragatha lingams intalled in 7 Shiva temples  - at Nagapattinam, Thirukaravasal, Thirukuvalai, Thirunallar and Thiruvaymur -mostly in Tamil nadu.

The pouring of milk (Abisekam)  over the Saptha Vitanga Thyaga is done periodically and the used  milk has medicinal properties. Likewise the sandal paste (part of anointing ritual)  applied around the emerald Siva Lingams has high amount of medicinal properties.

The following are the temples of Tamil Nadu where the Maragatha lingam is worshiped and daily prayers and poojas are done:

Sirukarumpur,  Sirukarumpur, near Kaveripakkam, Vellore District, Kamatchi Sametha Thiripuranthaka Eswarar Temple: Emerald Shiva Lingam is one thousand years old but is missing.

Maruthasaleswarar Temple, Thiru Engoimalai  near Musiri, Trichy District : The emerald Siva Lingam is more greenish, a very old one and of considerable antique value.

Nanjundeswarar Temple, Najankoot, Mysore: Emerald Shiva Lingam supposedly installed  by Muslim Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan.

Mangaleswari Sametha Mangalanatha Swami Temple, Uthirakosamangai, located near Ramanathapuram town  in Tamil Nadu. Here the idol is about 5 1/2 feet tall is covered with sandal paste due to its fragile nature. The temple has spatika lingam as well.

Siruvapuri Balasubramania Swamy Temple,located on the north western side of Chennai city is about 33 k.m. away from Chennai and has large number of idols of Hindu gods carved out of Emerald. Some are big.