Archive for the ‘Temples around Trichy’ Category

On my recent visit to temples around Kumbakonam and Trichy, I was fortunate enough to visit this temple. I was on my bike and set out from Srirangam for Thirupainjeli. I missed a left turn and realised it too late. On enquiry I came to know that Thiruvellarai was just a couple of kilometres away. Just the previous day my friend had told me about this Pundarikaasha Perumal Temple at Thiruvellarai. I had decided to visit it only if time permits an was low on priority. Luckily I missed that left turn to Thirupainjeli. The temple entrance is astonishingly huge and beautiful. There isn’t too many people visiting the temple and hence the atmosphere inside the temple is very calm. This sprawling temple has very tall compound walls to match its vastness. I could not spend as much time as I would have liked to. I would love to visit this temple again. You too would, if you visit it once.

Pundarikaashan Temple at Thiruvellarai

Pundarikaashan Temple at Thiruvellarai

Pundarikaashan Temple at Thiruvellarai

Pundarikaasha Perumal Temple at Thiruvellarai

Thiruvellarai near Trichy is one of the 108 Divya Desams. This temple which is even older than the Srirangam temple is considered to be the oldest among the Vaishnavite temples of the South. It is believed that this temple was built by Sibhi Chakravarthy, a forefather of Lord Rama seven generations before Him. It is believed that 64 Chaturyugas has passed since this temple was first consecrated. For your understanding, each Chaturyuga cycle comprises of four Yugas namely, Satya Yuga for 1728000 years, Treta Yuga for 1296000 years, Dwapara Yuga for 864000 years and Kali Yuga for 432000 years. Thus one Chaturyuga cycle which comprises of the four Yugas has 4320000 years. This is divided between the four Yugas in the ratio 4:3:2:1, in their chronological order.

Pundarikaashan Temple at Thiruvellarai

Pundarikaasha Perumal Temple at Thiruvellarai, View of the gopuram from inside

Pundarikaashan Temple at Thiruvellarai

Pundarikaasha Perumal Temple at Thiruvellarai

The main Deity is Pundarikaasha Perumal who is in a standing position facing East. His Consort is Shenbagavalli Thayar also known as Periya Pirattiyar Lakshmi Devi, has a separate sannadhi. The Utsavar Thayar is known as Pangajavalli. In the Mulavar sannadhi the deities present are Pundarikakshan, Bhoomi Piratti, Periya piratti, Suriya and Chandiran and Aadisheshan. There are also shrines for Lord Krishna, Vishwaksenar, Manavala Muni, Ramanujar apart from Nammazhwar, Chakarathazhwar, Nadhamunigal, Kulasekara Azhwar, Thondarippodi Azhwar and Andal.

As in Nachiyal Koil at Thirunaraiyur near Kumbakonam and Andal in Srivilliputhur, Thayar is given the first honour. The Palanquin carrying Thayar is brought first on festivals. She is given the precedence in other rituals too at this temple.

Pundarikaashan Temple at Thiruvellarai, Worship Procedure in Tamil

Pundarikaashan Temple at Thiruvellarai, Worship Procedure in Tamil

Pundarikaashan Temple at Thiruvellarai, About the temple in Tamil

Pundarikaashan Temple at Thiruvellarai, About the temple in Tamil

Here is the etymology of the name Thiruvellarai. Thiru is holy, Vellai is white and arai is rock in tamil. Since this temple was built on a small white hillock, this place is known as Thiruvellarai. The Sanskrit name for this place is Shwethagiri, shwetha means white and giri means hill/hillock.

According to the legends Garudan, Markandeya and Lakshmi worshipped the Lord here. Markandeya who was save by Lord Shiva from Yama, the Lord of death, at Thirukkadaiyur was guided to Thiruvellarai when he prayed to Lord Shiva for Moksham. Here he had the darshan of Lord Vishnu and also attained moksham.

According to a legend, Sibhi Chakravarthy – Lord Rama’s forefather was passing through this place on his way to wage a war over the Asura King Ravana. As his army neared Thiruvellarai, a white boar was continually obstructing them. An angry Sibhi Chakravarthy chased the white boar which disappeared into a ant hill. Markandeya was in a penance nearby and sibhi Chakravarthy told him about his chase of the white boar. Markandeya asked Sibhi to perform abhishegam to the ant hill as the white boar was none other than Lord Vishnu Himself. Accordingly, the king performed the abhishegam. Lord Vishnu immediately appeared to both of them and blessed them. He also asked Sibhi Chakravarthy not to go in pursuit of Ravana as he was destined to die only at the hands of the Lord Himself. Lord Vishnu told him that Ravana would be killed by Him in his later Avatar as Lord Rama. He also asked Sibhi Chakravarthy to build a temple here and said that Thayar should be given prominence here as it was Her wish. Hence this place is also known as Shwetha Varaha Kshetram. It is said that Sibhi Chakravarthi brought about 3700 Vaishnavite families from his kingdom to build the temple here. Over a period of time many of these families left for places all over south, including Karnataka, and took up the responsibilities of performing daily pujas at various temples. It is said that all the temple priests of the Vaishnavite temples of South India have their roots in Thiruvellarai. It is no wonder that this place is considered very sacred. It is said that one must visit Thiruvellarai at least once in his lifetime and have a darshan of the Lord here. “Thiruvellarai Kandeero, Kandaen Ayya”

The childless are blessed with progeny by bathing in the temple tanks here and then praying to him here. All wishes are fulfilled if it submitted to the Lord by applying turmeric at the Balipeetam.

There is a Swastik shaped tank behind this temple. This is also known as Mamiyar Mattupen theertham (Mamiyar is mother-in-law and mattupen is daughter-in-law). The shape of the Swatik Kulam facilitates some sort of privacy. If one is bathing in any one of the segments of the Swastik then they cannot be seen from elsewhere. The Swastik Tank is an ASI monument.

Swastik Tank. Pundarikaashan Temple at Thiruvellarai.

Swastik Tank. Pundarikaasha Perumal Temple at Thiruvellarai.

There are some more interesting facts that I was not aware of during my visit. Here they are

  1. There are 18 steps at the entrance of the temple signifying the 18 chapters of the Bhagwat Gita.
  2. Just before the Bali Peetam there are four steps signifying the four Vedas.
  3. There are five steps leading the Sanctum Sanctorum of Perumal. These five steps signify the Pancha Boothas or the five natural elements namely, Fire, Water, Space, Earth and Air.
  4. There are two gates near the Perumal sannadhi which are used alternately during the Dakshinaayana (period between the Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice) and the Uttaraayana(period between Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice)
  5. You have to climb a further 8 steps which signfy the Ashtaaksharam.
  6. Thereafter there are 24 steps that signify the Gayatri Mantram which comprises of 24 syllables.

You can read about this temple in greater detail at Mr. Raju’s blog here.

Location of Pundarikaasha Perumal Temple at Thiruvellarai:

Thiruvellarai is located about 20 kms from Tituchirapalli towards Thuraiyur. As you come North from Srirangam/Thiruvanaikaval take a left turn at Toll Gate. After you cross Bitchandar Kovil, a right turn will take you to Mannachanallur. At Mannachanallur take the road towards Thuraiyur. Thiruvellarai is about 7 kms from there. A left turn at Mannachanallur would take you to Thirupainjeli which is approximately 7.5 kms away.

Other Temples near Pundarikaasha Perumal Temple at Thiruvellarai :

Thiruvanaikaval

Uthamar Kovil

Thirupainjeli

Srirangam

Samayapuram Mariamman temple

Tirupattur Brahmapureeswarar temple

Temple Address:

Sri Pundarikaashan Temple,

Thiruvellarai 621 009.

Trichy District

Temple Phone Numbers: +91- 431-256 2243, +91-93451-18817

Temple Timings: 7 AM to 1 PM & 3.30 PM to 8.30 PM

Pundarikaashan Temple at Thiruvellarai. Puja timings in Tamil

Pundarikaashan Temple at Thiruvellarai. Puja timings in Tamil

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Thirupernagar is the old name for Koviladi. Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi is one of the 108 Divya Desams.

Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi

Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi

It is one of the Pancha Rangams and ranks next to Adirangam at Srirangapattinam near Mysore, which is the first of the Pancha Rangams. The Pancharangams in order are

Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple at Srirangapattinam, near Mysore

Sri Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi near Trichy

Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple at Srirangam

Sarangapani Temple at Kumbakonam

Parimala Ranganatha Perumal Temple at Indalur, Mayiladuthurai

Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi

Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi

Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi

Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi

These five Ranganathan temples are situated on the banks of Cauvery. Koviladi, like Srirangam is situated between the rivers Kollidam (Coleroon) and Cauvery. Note that this temple ranks ahead of Srirangam and is said to be in existence even before Srirangam. Kovil means temple and Adi means old or first and hence the Koviladi. The Moolavar is Appakudathan and the Urchavar is Appala Ranganathar. His Consort (Thayar) is known by the names Indira Devi and Kamalavalli. The sthala vriksham is Purasa tree or Vilva maram. The holy water or theertham is Indira Pushkarni or Mrityu Vinasini Theertham. Periazhwar, Tirumazhisai Azhwar and Tirumangai Azhwar have sung in praise of the Lord here.

Temple Chariot. Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi

Temple Chariot. Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi

Exquisite wooden carvings, Temple Chariot. Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi

Exquisite wooden carvings, Temple Chariot. Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi

Exquisite wooden carvings, Temple Chariot. Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi

Exquisite wooden carvings, Temple Chariot. Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi

Exquisite wooden carvings, Temple Chariot. Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi

Exquisite wooden carvings, Temple Chariot. Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi

Exquisite wooden carvings, Temple Chariot. Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi

Exquisite wooden carvings, Temple Chariot. Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi

The Legend connected to the temple goes thus. Upamanyu or Ubharisaravasu was a pious king and was once in deep meditation. At that time, Sage Durvasa known for his short temper and ego was passing by. Since the King was in meditation he did not take notice of the Sage. The Sage felt insulted and cursed the King to lose all his powers. The King immediately asked for his forgiveness and the Sage asked him to go to Thirupernagar which was then called Palasavanam because it was richly populated with Palasa maram, and feed one lakh people there. The King accordingly shifted his base to Thirupernagar and started the annadanam. One fine day, the Lord decided to test the resoluteness of the King, He appeared there as an old Brahmin and consumed all the food that was prepared for the day. However, the King remained calm and asked the old man reverently if he wanted anything else. The Lord who was in guise of the old man replied that He wanted at pot full of appam (a sweet preparation). The King organised the same at the earliest possible time and gave it to the old man. As soon as the Lord received the Kudam (pot) full of appam, the King was absolved of his curse and the Lord gave the King His darshan. Since the Lord asked the King for a kudam (pot) of appam, He is known as Appakudathan. The Lord can be seen holding on to a pot with His right hand in this temple. Appam is the offering made to the Lord at this temple.

Sage Markandeya was saved from death by Lord Shiva at Thirukadaiyur. His fear of death however remained and haunted him. Lord is said to have driven out the fear of death from Sage Markandeya at Koviladi. The theertham here is therefore known as Mrityu Vinasini theertham.

This temple is believed to be built more than a 1000 years ago and has inscriptions attributed to Chola, Pallava, Pandya and Vijayanagara dynasties. This goes to suggest that the temple has been built and rebuilt over various times.

Ther thiruvizha or the car festival on the Uthiram star day of the Tamil month of Panguni, Vaikunda Ekadasi around December/January, the Uriadi festivals are the important festivals in this temple.

Worship benefit at Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi includes progeny, absolution of sins, removal of all obstacles in attaining your desires, relief from malefic effects of adverse planetary positions, and development of a pleasant and humble personality.

Temple Location: Koviladi is located on the Thiruvaiyar Kallanai Road. It is about 9 Kms from Thirukattupalli, 7.5 kms from Grand Anicut or Kallanai, about 24 Kms from Srirangam and about 35 Kms from Tanjore. Grand Anicut is a very scenic spot where you can plan to spend some time if you are going to this temple as you have to pass through it if you are going from Trichy/Srirangam. Grand Anicut is one of the engineering marvels and is probably one of the oldest dams in the world built by Karikala Cholan around the First Century AD. This whole stretch between Kallanai and Thiruvaiyar is really beautiful and enjoy riding on this stretch a lot. The lush green fields on either side of the road is very scenic. This stretch is very fertile land as it lies between the two rivers Cauvery and Kollidam. Anyone will fall in love with this stretch.

Other temples nearby:

Agneeswarar Koil, Thirukattupalli

Thiruvaneswarar Temple, Ranganathapuram

Erumbeeswarar Temple in Thiruverumbur

Jambukeswarar Kovil at Thiruvanaikaval

Karumbeswarar Kovil at Thirukkanur

Temple Timings : 8.30 a.m. and 12.00 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. and 8.00 p.m

Temple Address:

Sri Appakudathan Temple,

Koviladi – 613 105,

Thanjavur district

Phone Numbers: +91- 4362 – 281 488, 281 460, 281 304

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Vaidyanatha Swamy Temple, Thirumazhapadi

Posted: December 17, 2013 in Temples around Trichy
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Sri Vaidyanatha Swamy temple is on the banks of the river Coleroon or Kollidam at Thirumazhapadi, in Ariyalur district. The Kollidam river flows northward here in the vicinity of the temple. It is at a distance of 45 km from Tiruchi. This temple is one of the padal petra sthalams. There are lot of inscriptions on the temple walls. Inscriptions say that this temple has received contributions from the kings of various dynasties viz Pallava, Chola, Pandya, Vijayanagara, Hoysala & Maratha and of course the smaller rulers of Ariyalur.

 

Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy

Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy

Vaidyanathaswamy, the presiding deity of the temple is present here along with His Consort Sunarambigai. The Lord is also known as Mazhuvadeeswarar. There is a statue of Mazhuvadeeswarar in the ardhamandapam. He is seen with an axe in His right hand along with a spear and a rope. He is said to have saved Markandeya from Yama here also.

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Mazhuvadeeswarar. Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

Mazhuvadeeswarar. Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

The majestic Rajagopuram is tall and seven-tiered facing the east. The second gopuram is five-tiered. As is the case with most temples, one can see a lot of sculptures on these gopurams.

Sundara Vinayakar,  Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

Sundara Vinayakar, Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

Somaskandar. Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

Somaskandar. Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

Four nandis in front of Brahma's Idol. Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

Four nandis in front of Brahma’s Idol. Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

Four nandis in front of Brahma's Idol. Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

Four nandis in front of Brahma’s Idol. Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

Four nandis in front of Brahma's Idol. Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

Four nandis in front of Brahma’s Idol. Thirumazhapadi Vaithyanathaswamy Temple

This huge temple complex has separate temples for Vaidyanathaswamy and Sundarambigai. There are two Nandis one behind the other in front of the Sanctum sanatorium. Another unusual sight here is there are four Nandis in front of the idol of Brahma.

These represent the four Vedas. There are no Navagraha idols in the temple. Instead, there are three pits between Lord Shiva and Nandi which devotees consider Navagrahas. Poojas to the Navagrahas is offered here.

Two Nandis in front of Lord Shiva's shrine

Two Nandis in front of Lord Shiva’s shrine

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The sthala vriksham is the palmyrah tree (Pana maram in Tamil). The entire area was once a forest of Palmyrah trees. Chembian Mahadevi, grandmother of Rajaraja the Great, hailed from Chembiakudi, which is 4 km from Thirumazhapadi. Kandaradithyam, where Kandraditha Chola was born is just about 15 km away from Thirumazhapadi.

Vaidyanathaswamy temple at Thirumazhapadi is associated with the Panchanadeeswara temple at Tiruvayaru, which is on the other side of the river and situated at a distance of about 15 km from Thirumazhapadi. In the Tamil month of Panguni on the Punarvasu star day, Nandi Kalyanam is celebrated. Lord Nandeeswara, the bridegroom from Thiruvayaru marries Goddess Swayambikai Devi of Thiumazhapadi temple. Nandi is dressed in Maratha attire and is brought in a palanquin to Thirumazhapadi, where he is received by none other than Vaidyanatha Swamy on the banks of the Coleroon. The marriage ceremony is conducted by the priests of the temple. The newly wed Celestial couple are taken in a procession through the village. As per the Hindu marriage ritual the couple goes around the ceremonial fire seven times.  Shiva took the newly wed couple to seven Shiva temples around Thiruvaiyar.  These seven temples are known as saptha sthanams.  This group of temples is very close to each other and can be covered in one session.  In the tamil month of Chittirai, the Deity (Utsavar) of Thiruvaiyar is carried on a palanquin to all these temples.  This is a very important festival in these temples around Thiruvaiyar.  These seven temples to be visited in order as follows:

1. Thiruvaiyaru

2. Thiruchotruthurai

3. Thiruvedikudi

4. Thirupponduruthi

5. Thillaisthanam

6. Kandiyur

7. Thiruppazhanam

The car (chariot) festival is celebrated in the Tamil month of Masi.

Those suffering from high fever offer boiled rice with rasam to Jurahareswarar and get relief. It is believed that having a bath in the temple tank will cure all illness. It is also believed that by visiting this temple unmarried will get married soon. Devotees firmly believe that praying at this temple will result in transfer and promotion.

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Temple Timings: 6.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.

Temple Location

 

Other Temples Nearby

Vyagapureeswarar Temple, Perumbuliyur

Sundarraja Perumal Temple, Perumbuliyur

Panchanadeeswarar Temple, Thiruvaiyaru

Harasaba Vimochanar temple, Thirukandiyur

Brahma Sira Kandeeswarar Temple, Thirukandiyur

Temple Address:

Sri Vaidyanathaswamy Temple,

Tirumazhapadi,

Ariyalur District

Tamilnadu 621851

Phone: +91 4329 292 890, +91 97862 05278.

Thiruvanaikaval is a well-known Shiva temple in Trichy. The temple was built by Kochengat Cholan, a Chola King who later became one of the 63 Nayanmars. This temple which is around 2000 years old is situated near Srirangam. Thiruvanaikaval is one of the Panchabhoota Sthalams comprising of five Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu representing the five natural elements. This temple embodies the element of water. The sanctum of Jambukeswara has an underground water stream which is forever flowing with water. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams. Inscriptions from the Chola era can be seen in this temple.

Thiruvanaikaval Rajagopuram

Thiruvanaikaval Rajagopuram

One time, Parvati ridiculed Shiva when He was in penance. Shiva denounced Her act and ordered Her to go to the Earth and do penance. Parvathi in the form of Akilandeswari as said by Shiva came to Jambu forest (Thiruvanaikoil) to perform her penance. She made a lingam out of water of river Cauvery (also called as river Ponni) beneath the Venn Naaval tree and began Her worship. The lingam is the famous Appu Lingam (Water Lingam). Siva at last gave darshan to Akilandeswari and taught her Siva Gnana. Akilandeswari took Upadesa (lessons) facing East from Shiva, who stood facing west.

Brahma the God of Creation one time loved a woman whom he created Himself and therefore was afflicted with Sthree Dosha.  He approached Lord Shiva for reprieve.  To aid Brahmma Lord left MountKailash, when Parvathi expressed Her desire to go along with Him.  Lord told Mother that Brahma is weak towards women and advised Her against it.  The Goddess proposed that She would come in His form with men’s garb and that Lord may tag along in Her form. Agreeing to the proposition, both embarked in disguise. This episode is illustrated to demonstrate the viewpoint that Lord and Goddess are but one. They granted darshan and pardon to Brahmma. During the Brahmotsavam this incident is observed on the banks of Brahma Theertham. As it is time of Brahma’s prayer to Lord and mother, no hymn music is played. Parvathi is known as Akhilandeswari which means Ruler of the world. This place is one of the Shakthi Peetas. It is said that Parvathi does puja to Lord at sometime around midday. The priest performing puja to Mother at this point in time is attired in a sari and the Coronet of Parvathi. He then comes to Lord’s shrine to carry out the midday puja. He performs abishekam to Lord and Gomatha (cow) and goes back to Parvathi’s shrine. Devotees worship the priest at this time as they consider him as Parvathi Herself.

It is also said that Parvathi performed penance on Lord here in the month of Aadi-July-August, hence Fridays in the Tamil month of Aadi (Aadi Vellikizhamai) is celebrated pompously.� The temple is open from 2.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. during Aadi Vellikizhamai. Goddess gives darshan as Mahalakshmi in the morning, as Parvathi in the afternoon and as Saraswathi in the evening. The sanctum sanctorum of Lord Jambukeswara has a stone window with nine holes, through which the devotees worship the Lord. These nine holes of the window symbolize the nine outlets in the human body.It is furthermore worth mentioning that water is constantly present in Lord Shiva’s shrine. During the rainy season the level increases.

At the time of construction of the fifth circumambulatory corridor of the temple, the Chola king had to go to war to defend his kingdom. He was thinking about the temple construction and the Lord even in the battle field. Lord Shiva came as Vibhuti Chitthar and finished the construction.  Therefore, this praharam is named Vibhuti Praharam and the walls around the praharam are known as Tiruneetran Tirumadhil. Sacred ash is Vibhuti in Sanskrit and Tiruneeru in Tamil and Madhil is wall in Tamil. There is a shrine for Vibhuti Chitthar on the banks of Brahmma Theertham. The Vibuthi praharam is over a mile long. It is two feet thick and more than 25 feet high.

Parvathi was in an angry form sometime in the past. To manage the anger, normally a Sri Chakra is mounted at the feet of the Goddess. Aadi Sankaracharya installed two ear rings in which he had put in the power of Sri Chakra.She then presented a calm and peaceful countenance to Her devotees.  He also installed the idols of Her sons Lord Vinayaka and Lord Muruga before Her shrine as a mother will not show her anger to her children.

Thiruvanaikaval. A painting depicting the legend behind the temple.

Thiruvanaikaval. A painting depicting the legend behind the temple.

 

Thiruvanaikaval. A painting depicting the legend behind the temple.

Thiruvanaikaval. A carving on a pillar depicting the legend behind the temple.

 

Pushpadanda and Maliavan were two Sivaganas serving the Lord in Kailash. They started to fight over their status in the service of Lord.  It was a bitter fight and at a certain point they cursed one another to be born as a spider and elephant.  Maliavan incarnated as a spider and Pushpadanda as the elephant.  There was a Shiva Lingam under a Jambu tree and both prayed to the Lord here for atonement of the curse. Everyday the spider would build a web over the lingam to prevent the dry leaves falling over the Shiva Lingam. The elephant on seeing the cobweb would remove them and clean the lingam with water from the nearby Kaveri. One day the spider saw the elephant clearing away the cobweb. Angered by this act, it entered into the ear of the elephant and killed it. The spider too died in the process. Only the elephant was given papa vimochanam by Lord Shiva. The spider had to take another birth for being absolved of the sin because of the act of killing the elephant. The spider was born in the Chola dynasty to king Subaveda and queen Kamalavathi as Kochengat Chozhan. Kochengat Cholan built temples to Lord Shiva. He remembered his earlier birth and how the elephant constantly disturbed the web he had built over the Shiva Lingam. The temples that he built were designed in such a way that the elephants cannot enter them. The temple at Thiruvanaikaval is the first of these Mada temples (temples built at an elevation). He built 70 of them

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Thiru Kalyanam is not celebrated in this temple.  Lord Shiva granted darshan to Parvathi while She was in penance here but did not marry Her.

A Brahmin aspiring to become a poet prayed to Goddess Akhilandeswari seeking her blessing. Parvathi materialized as a woman chewing betel leaves.  She sought his permission to spit the betel juice in his mouth because she could not dirty the temple.  The Brahmin got angry and refused to let her do it. Another devotee named Varadhan who was very fastidious about purity in the temples, visited the temple at that time. The Goddess went to this man and sought permission. Varadhan willingly permitted her to do it. He later became a famous poet known as Kalamegam. Betel nuts and leaves are offered as neivedhiam to the Goddess by those aspiring to do well in education. Lord Muruga is present in this temple in a very rare form. He is seen with a demon under His feet. Saint Arunagirinathar is believed to have approached Lord Muruga for protection from evil thoughts. The demon under His feet symbolizes the evil thoughts.

Sage Jambu who did penance on Lord Shiva at this place was given darshan by the Lord. The Lord also gave him some blackberry (Jambu in sanskrit and Naaval in Tamil) fruits as prasadam. The sage ate the fruits and consumed the seeds also. The seeds began to germinate inside his stomach and grew into a tree right through his head. The sage thus attained salvation. The Lingam created by Parvathi is beneath this tree. As Lord granted salvation to Sage Jambu, He is eulogized as Jambukeswarar.

Thiruvanaikaval. Image of Sage Jambu on a pillar

Thiruvanaikaval. Image of Sage Jambu on a pillar

The shrine of Goddess Akhilandeswari is opposite to Jambukeshwarar’s. Such temples where the Lord and His Consort are opposite to each other are known as Upadesa Sthalams. The Goddess is the student and the Lord is the teacher.

Other important sannadhis in this temple include, Saraswathy behind the Lord.s sannadhi. Chandran is present with Krithika and Rohini. There is a Panchamuga Vinayagar. Saneeswaran is present with His wife Jeshta Devi. Kubera Lingam installed and worshipped by Kubera is on the banks of the Jambu Theertham. Lord Muruga is also present in the form of Aandi just as in Palani. Pancha mukha Lingam is in Raja Rajeshwarar Sannadhi. Sahasra Lingam with 1008 small Lingams carved on it is opposite to the Navagraha sannadhi. Lord Rama on His return from Lanka after vanquishing Ravanan installed a Maragatha Lingam to get rid of the ghosts of the Asuras that were following Him.

Devotees pray to Him for marital bliss and harmony, removal of obstacles in marriage.

Temple Timings:

5.30 a.m. to 1.00 a.m. and

3.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.

Temple Location:

Temple Address:

Sri Akhilandeswari Sametha Jambukeshwarar Temple,

Tiruvanaikaval-620 005,

Trichy district

Phone: 91-431-2230 257.

The Mathura Kaliamman Kovil, Siruvachur is connected to Silapathikaram. The story is about Kannagi’s fierce vengeance against the wrong meted out to her husband  Kovalan. Kovalan was the son of a prosperous grain trader in Kaveripoompattinam. He married Kannagi who was also from a wealthy family.

Mathuta Kaliamman Temple, Siruvachur

Mathuta Kaliamman Temple, Siruvachur

Kannagi and Kovalan were a happy couple until Madhavi, a dancer entered their life. Kovalan was floored by the beauty of Madhavi and fell in love with her. He stayed with her totally neglecting his lawfully wedded wife Kannagi. His attraction for Madhavi made him spend all his wealth on her. Slowly but surely, he squandered all his wealth and was a pauper. Only then he remembered his wife Kannagi and returned home. Kannagi forgave him and gave him one of her precious anklets to sell. The idea was to regain the lost fortune by starting a business with the money raised by selling one of her anklets.

Mathuta Kaliamman Temple, Siruvachur

Mathuta Kaliamman Temple, Siruvachur

Accordingly, they came to Madurai to rebuild their life. Kovalan went to the marketplace to sell the anklet. As luck would have it, the queen of Madurai lost a similar looking anklet. Word had been sent out to every jeweler in kingdom to look out for a possible seller of the anklet. When Kovaln ventured to sell Kannagi’s anklet, he was promptly handed over to the soldiers by the jeweler thinking that it was the Queen’s anklet. He was produced before the Pandya King Nedunchezhiyan. The King was very angry and ordered the beheading of Kovalan. The death sentence was carried out without any enquiry whatsoever.

Mathuta Kaliamman Temple, Siruvachur

Mathuta Kaliamman Temple, Siruvachur

On hearing the news of her husband’s fate at the hands of the King, Kannagi was fuming with anger. She went to the King’s court and accused him of being unjust for not holding a fair trial before her husband was executed. She was distraught and threw her other anklet on the ground. The anklet broke and rubies from inside the anklet scattered on the ground. Her anklet was filled with rubies while the Queen’s anklet was filled with pearls. The King immediately realized his mistake and was apologetic. The King overcome by guilt and shame dies in the court and so does the Queen. However, Kannagi’s anger is unabated and curses the whole of Madurai to be burnt to ashes.

After the incident she wanders aimlessly and reaches a village where she decides to spend the night at a temple. She sought the permission of the Deity Selliamman for staying. Selliamman told her that Kannagi has to leave immediately as this temple was the abode of an evil magician. The Goddess went on to explain this evil magician had sought a boon from Her and made Her his slave. Kannagi decide to save the Goddess and invoked her family deity Mathura Kali Amman and got the powers to kill the magician. That evening, she killed the evil magician and relieved Selliamman from her bondage.

The magician made a dying request that his Samadhi should be at the entrance to the temple and all devotees should stamp on his Samadhi before entering the temple. The priests of this temple are believed to be in the lineage of the magician.

After the slaying of the magician, Selliamman went to the Periasamy Hills nearby. She asked Kannagi to stay here as Mathura kali Amman to stay here and bless Her devotees. She agreed to this said that she would do so only on Mondays and Fridays. The rest of the week She is said to be at Periasamy Hills with Selliamman. Even today, the first Arathi is done by the priests towards the Periasamy hills.

Worship benefits at this temple include protection from evil spell (Pilli sooniyam), Black Magic etc.

Additional information posted by Mr. N.R. Balasubramanian in the comment Section. I am adding it here so you do not miss reading it.

Billi Soonyam, Kaathu Karuppu will all fail to work and backfire on the originators. At the outset, I wish to thank you for posting this information for the benefits of HER devotees. 

The temple besides the above has many significant events. Ambal has given darshan to Aadhi Shankarar who desired for the consecration of the Goddess, besides Sadashiva Brahmendrar installed the Sri Chakram and the Siddhars worshiped HER during their penance at the Hills. Over above the King, The temple lies at the foot of the Pachamalai Hills and is the most important temple in the district. Sri Mathura Kaliamman, one of the different forms of Goddess Kali, is the main deity worshipped here. The temple is open for public worship only for two days a week – Monday and Friday.

Poochorithal is the main festival, celebrated on the first Tuesday after the new moon day in the Tamil month of Chithirai (April-May). Aadi Perukku, Navratri, Puratasi, Diwali and Karthigai Thirunal are the other main festival celebrated.

Siruvachur is situated on the Tiruchirapalli-Chennai highway.

The following information is required to be read along with the above.

This small temple is built at the foothills of Madhira malai, hence the name Madurakali Amman. Many popular legends have been associated with this deity which does not have any written records so far. The history of temple and the goddess has been established through oral history and from stone edicts discovered in Trichy district.

The temple is believed to have been built during early Chola period by Dharma Varman. The issueless king prayed to Goddess Kaliamman and a son was born to him. In gratitude to the goddess he had the temple at the foot hills built. 300 years later Srila Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra Swamigal installed the “Sri Chakra” in the Sanctum Sanctorum and consecrated it.

According to legends Goddess Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva came down to earth in the form of Kali to destroy the asura Charukan, who had been terrorizing the innocent and helpless living in these hills. After Kali destroyed him, Lord Shiva appeared and cooled her anger. He blessed Kali and asked her to stay as the guardian and benefactor of the people in the hills.

Another legend regarding the goddess’ name is attributed to the story of five rishis. The five Rishis- ‘Mudavar, Panthagar, Boumar, Arunar and Sigandeesar’ were performing penance in the hills. Each day of the week except on Monday’s and Friday’s each rishi used to take turns to perform various rituals to Goddess Kali. The goddess appeared before each of them and showered her blessings on them. Overwhelmed by the Goddess’s visit, the rishis requested her to make home under the Kumkumam tree, so that they could visit and pay obeisance. The Goddess granted their wish. Each day when one of the rishi’s prayed to her, honey dropped from a beehive above the Goddess and fall on their lips. This honey drops was regarded as divine nectar, hence the Goddess was called “Madhura Kaliamman”, Madura meaning divine nectar.

Perumaruda malai the hill behind Madhira malai is now known as Periasamy malai. A legend regarding this hill is the story of three Siddars – ‘Notchindar, Neminadar, Sambu’ who lived here. One day they came across an abandoned child and brought him up. He grew up as Boodhar and was educated by the siddhars. On completion of their earthy duties, the siddhars were transformed into honey bees, a curse of their previous birth when as shepherds they stole honey from a saint. The saint cursed them to become honey bees in their next birth to atone their sins.

The siddhars as honey bees made their home in the beehive of the tree at Madhira Malai. These honey bees made honey which fed the rishis when they came to pray Goddess Kali. This feeding of devotees through hard work absolved them of past sins. Boodhar who had come to pay respects to his teachers saw the rishis praying to the Goddess. He realised his true self and fell at the feet of Goddess Kali.She recognized him as the incarnation of Lord Narada and blessed him. Boodhar requested his teachers to pray to Kali to get back their human forms. The Goddess, pleased with their devotion blessed them and transformed them to their human form. Boodhar requested the Goddess that he should always think of her and pray to her.Kali granted his wish by giving him permission to perform rituals on Mondays and Fridays as the other days of the week rituals were performed by the rishis. Hence the practice of performing pujas to Madurakali Amman only on Monday’s and Fridays came into practise and is followed even today.

Another popular legend regarding her descent from the hills to the foothills revolves around the great Saint Adi Shankara.One day Adi Shankara was passing through the foothills of Madhira malai and rested under a tree. As he was concentrating on the Goddess, she appeared before him as a spring to quench his thirst. She showed her true form to Adi Sankara, blessed him and become an idol. Adi Sankara then consecrated this idol which is now worshipped as Madurakali Amman.

Balasubramanian NR

Temple Timings:

The temple is open only on Mondays and Fridays between 8 AM & 8 PM.

Temple Location:

Siruvachur is about 41 kms from Trichy Toll Gate on the Chennai Trichy highway. The temple is located at a distance of about 1 km from the highway. There is an arch at the entrance which you cannot miss. There are buses plying from Trichy to Siruvachur.

Other Temples Nearby:

Samayapuram Mariamman Temple

Tirupattur Brahmapureeswarar Temple

Srirangam Temple

Thiruvanaikaval Temple

Thirupainjili

Ekambareswarar and Dhandayuthapani Temple, Chettikulam

 

 

Semmeninathar temple at Thirukkanur near Vishnampettai is one of the 275 padal petra sthalams. This is on the banks of River Coleroon or more commonly known as Kollidam River. Vishnampettai is special to me because it is the village of my maternal ancestors. I have spent the summer holidays in this small village with my brother, sister and cousins. My Great grandfather started the school at this village about 125 years ago, around the year 1885. His father had earlier started the School at Thirukattupalli which later became the Sir Siva Swamy Ayyar Higher Secondary school.

Karumbeswarar Temple, Thirukkanur

Karumbeswarar Temple, Thirukkanur

The Shiva lingam here is one of the 64 Suyambhu lingams. The Lord’s concert at this temple is Soundarya Nayaki and She is also known as Sivayoganayaki. The ambal here has not got a crown but is seen to be having Jadamudi (long braided hair). The theertham here is veda theertham. This temple is believed to be over 2000 years old. This temple was actually submerged in the sands on the banks of Kollidam. It was accidentally discovered by a shepherd. There was a single sugarcane tree at the spot where the temple was unearthed. Hence He is also known as Karumbeswarar; Karumbu meaning sugarcane in tamil. This temple was originally built by the Pandyas and was later renovated several times by the Cholas.

The Great Chola King Karikala Cholan was hiding in exile here. Karikala Cholan’s father died when Karikala was very young. His mother raised him in this village to protect him from enemies. When political normalcy returned, the Chola courtiers sent the royal elephant in search of the young Prince. The elephant found him here. Karikala Cholan went on to become one of the most renowned of the Chola rulers. He built the Kallanai or Grand Anicut on Cauvery. This dam is the oldest in the world and is more than 2000 years old. It is a nice little picnic spot about 20 kms from this village. Grand Anicut is just about 17 kms from Trichy or Srirangam. Wonder why this place is not as famous as it should be.

Lord Naraiyur nambi and nachiyar thayar preside here in a wedding posture. Special importance is given to thayar in this temple and always the first privilege to given to nachiyar. The prasadam is also first offered to the goddess only and nachiyar leads the procession in hamsa vahanam. There is a statue of garuda here in a separate sannadhi. During Garuda sevai, the number of people required to carry garuda through each of the five prakarams of the temple keeps doubling from 4 to 128 people. Again while coming inside the temple, the weight keeps decreasing and the number of persons carrying keeps reducing by half to final 4 who carry it into the sannadhi. Worshipping Kal Garuda is said to free devotees from naga dosha and bless childless couples. It is the only temple among the 108 divyadesams of srivaishnavas where God Naraiyur nambi has the conch and charka in front of his face. Also, only in this temple, there are idols of the presiding deities of the 108 divyadesams of Srivaishnavas. Another specialty of the temple is only in this divyadesam, there is brahma in standing posture inside the temple. How to reach The nearest town is Kumbakonam, 10 kms away. Buses from kumbakonam to tiruvarur stop at nachiyar koil. Since there are three more divyadesams on this route, it would be ideal to hire a private car or auto. Nearest railway station: Kumbakonam Sannadhis Naraiyur Nambi Vanjulavalli thayar (same sannadhi as the lord) Kal Garuda Yoga Narasimha Hanuman Sri Ram Chakrapani Pushkarni and Vimanam The temple tank I known as Mani mukthi nadhi theertham while the vimanam is named after the lord as “Srinivasa Vimaanam” Temple timings and Contact Details The temple is open from 6.30 am to 12.30 pm in the mornings and from 4.30 pm to 8.30pm in the evenings. Contact person is Sri Gopinathan Bhattar (9443597388).

A view of the Grand Anicut

Getting back to the story of the temple, Paravathi was once separated from Shiva and had come to the earth to perform Her penance to unite with Him. She found this village at Thirukkanur suitable for the same. Pleased with Her devotion, the Lord appeared before Her as a column of fire. Due to the heat He was red in colour and hence He came to be known as Semmeninathar; sem meaning red and meni meaning body in tamil. There is a belief that visiting this temple as a couple will clear all misunderstandings and result in a happy marital life. Reuniting with estranged spouse is also one of the benefits of praying at this temple.

This temple faces east and the sun’s rays fall on the lingam on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th of April. These days are special days at this temple when Lord Surya is believed to come here and worship the Lord.

Inside the Temple, Thirukkanaur

Inside the Temple, Thirukkanaur

The nandi at this temple is seen in a very unique posture. It can be seen with its front left leg planted on the ground and ready to get into a standing position. It is in a posture ready to execute instructions from Lord Shiva. Praying at this temple is said to improve career prospects and result in job for the unemployed.

Nandi at Thirukkanur

Nandi at Thirukkanur

Those who are afflicted with chronic illness can do puja to the Lord here with the Vilva leaves and get cured. People (especially women) who are facing hurdles in getting married can overcome these hurdles by offering garland of red arali (oleander) to Soundaryanayaki and then lighting a ghee lamp in her sanctum sanctorum. The childless couple are blessed with progeny by doing abhishegam to Shiva and Ambal and offering garland of erukkam flowers (Crown flower). Generally sweets are also offered to the God and Goddess. The Ambal at this temple is made out of Salagram stone.

Parasurama had pledged to wipe out 21 generation of Kshatriyas and did so. The slaying of the Kshatriyas by him resulted in him being afflicted with Kshatriya Hatti Dosham. He had prayed at 21 Shiva temples to get rid of the affliction. This was the eighth of those 21 Shiva temples.

Painting on the Ceiling, Thirukkanur

Painting on the Ceiling, Thirukkanur

This place was once ruled by the Pandyas. The Pandyas ruled though local Chieftains who ruled on behalf of the Pandyas. The local Chieftain here was very just and had taken good care of his subjects. The Cholas waged a war on the Pandyas and reclaimed some of the lost kingdom. During this time, the local Chieftain here was captured, while his wife was let off because she was pregnant. However, the Chola rulers also said that those who helped the woman would be banished from the Kingdom. The lady who was in the advanced stage of pregnancy was not helped by anyone at Thirukkanur due to the fear of being thrown out of the kingdom. She was heartbroken and angered by the conduct of the very same people for whom they had done a lot. She cursed that the whole village be submerged by sand, and so it did happen. The villagers then moved a little further away to Vishnampettai and settled there. An ancient name for Thirukkanur is Manalmedu (mound of sand).

Click here to listen to the temple priest narrating the sthala puranam in tamil

When you visit the temple, do not miss the bath in the Kollidam. You will find locals there on the banks of the river. Be sure to enquire with the locals before entering the river as Kollidam is notorious for quicksand. It is safe provided you know the areas to avoid.

Venugopala Vidyalaya, Vishnampettai, Started by my Great Grandfather - Kittu Sir.

Venugopala Vidyalaya, Vishnampettai, Started by my Great Grandfather - Kittu Sir.

Location:

 

 

Thirukkanur is about 4 Kms from Thirukattupalli and 30 Kms from Tanjore. From Trichy/Srirangam it is 35 kms.

Click here for the location of the temple.

Other Temples Nearby:

Thiruvaneswarar Temple for Pooratadhi Birth Star

Sri Vadivazhagiya Nambi Perumal Temple, Anbil

Agneeswarar Temple at Thirukattupalli

Temple Timings: 10 AM to 11.30 AM & 3.30 PM to 5 PM

This temple is not known and there are not many visitors excepting those tracing their roots to Vishnampettai. The timings given are only indicative and the priest who goes to a couple of other temples also nearby may tweak it to suit his convenience. Hence, it is advisable to call the temple priest and inquire before proceeding to the temple.

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Semmeninathar Thirukovil

Thirukkanur, Vishnampettai Post

613 105

Via Thirukattupalli

Thiruvaiyaru Taluk

Tanjore District

Temple Priest:

Sri Vivek +91-4362-320 067, +91- 93450 09344

Entrance to Thiruvaneswarar Temple at Ranganathapuram

Entrance to Thiruvaneswarar Temple at Ranganathapuram

Thiruvaneswarar Temple, Ranganathapuram

Thiruvaneswarar temple at Ranganathapuram near Thirukattupalli is the temple to be visited by people born under Pooratadhi, Purva Bhadrapada or Poorva Bhadra Nakshathiram (Birth Star) at least once in a year for leading a trouble free and happy life.  This temple was built by Kochengat Cholan and is believed to be at least 1800 years old.

Mandapam commemorating the Visit of Shankaracharya, Ranganathapuram

Kochengat Cholan was a staunch Shiva devotee and is one amongst the 63 Nayanmars or Great Devotees of Lord Shiva.  Kochengat Cholan built or rebuilt at least 70 temples.  These temples that he built were at an elevation so as to prevent elephants from entering the temple.  There is an interesting story as to why Kochengat Cholan did this.  Thiruvanaikaval, near Trichy, was once a Jambu (Indian Blackberry) forest.  (Jamoon in Hindi, Nagapazham in Tamil).  There was a Shiv Lingam under one of the Jambu trees which was worshiped by a Spider and an Elephant.  The Elephant used to bring water in its trunk from the Cauvery to perform the ablution while the Spider displayed its devotion by weaving a web over the Lingam to protect dust and dry leaves from falling onto the Lingam.  The Elephant which considered the web as dirty used to remove the web everyday and the Spider used to weave the web again. Each of them considered the act of the other as an act of desecration.  Soon the two had a fight and both of them died.  The spider was reborn as Kochengat Cholan.  Since Kochengat Cholan or Kochenganan remembered his previous life and the “havoc” caused by the elephant, he decided to build temples which could not be accessed and disturbed by the Elephants. He called this “Yaanai Era thiruppani”.  The first of such temples he built was at Thiruvanaikaval itself – Jambukeswarar Temple.  The temple at Ranganathapuram could well be the second of those temples.

Between 1311 AD and 1373 AD, there were a few attacks by Mohammedans led by Malik Gafoor on Srirangam.  Srirangam was under Mohammedan rule for some time, when the main idols at Srirangam and Thiruvanaikaval temples were brought to this village and kept hidden.  Those idols were returned to the respective temples after Pandyas defeated the Mohammedans and regained control over Srirangam.  As commemoration of these events, this village has since then been known as Ranganathapuram or Gajaranyam (Anaika).

Thiruvaneswarar at Ranganathapuram

Thiruvaneswarar at Ranganathapuram

Kamakshi Amman

Kamakshi Amman

Elephant Statue on top of which the main shrine is built

Elephant Statue on top of which the main shrine is built

The temple is built on top of the idol of an elephant, hence Lord Shiva is also known as Gaja Aaraohana Eswarar or one who rides an elephant.  In this temple, elephant is Lord Shiva’s vehicle.  The other names of the presiding deity at this temple are Gajaranyeswarar, Aneswarar, Karivananathar & Anaikaraperumanar.  His consort is Kamakshi Ambal.  The sacred tree or the sthala vruksham here is vilvam (a type of wood apple).  Vajra theertham, Indira koobam is the theertham.  Iravatham, Indiran’s elephant was once in deep penance here.  Indiran who came in search of Iravatham was angry and use Vajrayutham on the elephant.  By the grace of Lord Shiva the weapon fell on the ground here harmlessly.  Water sprang from the place where the vajrayudham fell and that became vajra theertham.  The well inside the temple is known as Indira Koobam.  Indiran repented his act and sought forgiveness.  Kanchi Acharya, His Holiness Chandrasekhara Saraswathy was captivated by the beauty of the place and stayed here for a few days.  There is a small mandapam built to signify this event.

Thiruvaneswarar Temple, Ranganathapuram

The main deity faces East and His consort faces South.  There is an idol of Vinayakar in a separate shrine in the south west corner of the praharam (circumambulatory path).  The style and architecture suggests that this was built by the Pallavas.  The vinayakar is valampuri vinayakar.  He is seen as though he is resting his left hand on the ground and raising to His feet.  There is shrine for Murugan along with Valli and Devayanai.  There is also a shrine for Mahalakshmi.  In the North East corner there is a separate shrine for the navagrahas.

Valampuri Vinayakar

Valampuri Vinayakar

Donating clothes of seven different colours at this temple is believed to absolve one of all the sins.

Location: This temple is located at 4 kms from Thirukattupalli and about 40 Kms from Trichy and 30 Kms from Tanjore.  Grand Anicut is about 15 Kms from this place and is a good picnic spot.

Click here for the location Map

Boarding & Lodging: This is a less travelled and remote village.  Have your travel base as Tanjore or Trichy

Other Temples Nearby:

Agneeswarar Temple at Thirukattupalli.

Karumbeswarar Temple at Thirukkanur.

Appakudathan Koil, Thirupennagar

Temple Timings: It will be a good idea to call the temple priest before visiting the temple.

Temple Address:

Thiruvaneswarar Koil

Ranganathapuram village

Via Thirukattupalli

Tanjore District

Temple Priest’s phone numbers:  +91 94439 70397, +91 97150 37810

Mangalambigai Sametha Mangalyeswarar Koil at Edaiyathumangalam is the temple that people born under Uthiram star have to visit regularly.  This is the third temple that I am writing about in this series of “Birth Star Temples or Nakshathiram Temples”.  This temple is special to me as my forefathers hail from this village – my native place.  Unfortunately, during my last visit in January, my camera malfunctioned and I am unable to post photographs of this temple.  I shall post a couple of snaps after my next visit to this temple.

This place is called Edaiyathumangalam as it was once situated between two rivers; Aaru means, river and Edai means, in between. Mangalyeswarar (as Lord Shiva is known at this temple) is present with His Consort Mangalambigai.  Mangalyeswarar is facing East while Mangalambigai is facing South.  This is quite a small temple and has shrines for Vinayakar, Mangalya Maharishi, Dakshinamurthy, Bitchandar, Ardhanareeswarar, Chandikeswarar, Durgai, Nandi and Navagrahas.  Lord Muruga is also present with His Consorts, Valli and Deivayanai.

The Legend here is connected with Mangalya Maharishi who was born under Uthiram Nakshathiram.  Marriages of Agasthiyar, Vashishtar and Bhairava Maharishis were conducted under his aegis.  He is supposed to have all the powers of his penance in his palms.  He is the Guru of the Angels that bless the marriages.  At the auspicious time that is suitable for marriage, these Angels are believed to be visiting this temple to pray to Mangalyeswarar and re-energise their power to bless married women with a long & happy marital life.  Their blessings are always at the peak during Uthira nakshathiram.  It is because of this reason that the Kalyana Utsavam or the Celestial Wedding of the God and Goddess are held during Uthiram nakshathiram day in the Tamil month of Panguni.  Panguni Uthiram is an important part of the calendar in most temples.

Young unmarried women – especially those born under Uthiram – pray at this temple seeking Lord’s blessing for early marriage, removal of hurdles causing delay in marriage, long & happy marital life.  Mangalya Maharishi is the First invitee when the marriage alliance is finalised.  Devotees place the First Invitation of the marriage at the feet of Mangalya Maharishi and invite him to grace the marriage and bless the young couple.  Mangalya Maharishi is believed to attend the marriage and bless the newly weds.  After the marriage the newly weds visit this temple for thanks-giving.  Married women pray for longevity of their Husband’s life.  Elderly and destitute who have been deserted by their children are reunited with their family after worship here. People suffering from chronic pain in their feet are relived of their ailment after prayers to Mangalyeswarar.

Click here to listen to the temple priest’s narration about this temple in Tamil.

Location:

Edayathumangalam is at a distance of about 18 Kms from Trichy.  There are a couple of buses viz Route nos 75 & 75 A from Trichy Chathiram Bus Stand to Lalgudi that pass through Edaiyathumangalam. Edaiyathumangalam is at a distance of about 5 Kms from Lalgudi.  Autos charge about Rs.70/- for a one way trip from Lalgudi.

Those going by their own mode of transport need not go up to Lalgudi.  You will find an arch on the right hand side just after Valadi, take a right turn there and this road will lead you to Edaiyathumangalam.

Click here for the map

Other Temples Nearby:

Samayapuram Mariamman Temple

Srirangam Temple

Jambukeswarar Koil at Thiruvanaikaval

Bitchandar Koil

Tirupattur Brahmapureeswarar Koil

Vadivazhagiya Nambi Perumal Temple at Anbil

Temple Timings: 7 AM to 12 Noon and 4 PM to 8 PM (Check before you go there.  It is likely that the temple priest may decide to close early or open late due to some reason as there are not many pilgrims visiting this temple.

Temple Address:

Sri Mangalyeswarar Koil

Edaiyathumangalam Post

Via Valadi

Lalgudi Taluk

Trichy District

Pin 621218

Phone: 91-431-2544070,

Sri Srinivasa Gurukkal – 91-98439-51363

 

Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Thirupattur

 

There is an interesting story behind Brahma not having many temples dedicated to Him.  Once, Vishnu and Brahma had a dispute as to who amongst the two was superior.  They approached Shiva and asked Him to play Judge.  Shiva then appeared as a huge Lingam and said that whichever of the two saw the feet and the head of the Lingam and returned first would be adjudged superior to the other.  Brahma took the form of a Swan and went in search of the head while Vishnu took the form of a Boar and dug into the earth to reach the feet.  Vishnu accepted defeat and returned. Brahma was not the one to accept defeat so easily.  He saw a Thazhampu or Ketaki (common name – Fragrant screw pine) coming down.  On enquiry the flower said that it was coming from top of the Shiva Lingam.  Brahma enlisted the flower to testify before Shiva that Brahma had indeed reached the top of the Lingam.  When they both approached Shiva and claimed Brahma’s victory, Shiva was very angry with Brahma for having told a lie and with Ketaki flower for false testimony about Brahma’s “discovery” of the top of the Lingam.  He cursed them both.  He cursed that henceforth Brahma would not be worshipped and would not have Temples built for Him.  He also cursed the flower that it would not be used in any religious ritual.  There are possibly just a couple of temples where Brahma is the main deity.  There are a few other temples where Brahma is given importance and has separate shrine.  Thirupattur or Thirupidavur near Trichy is one such temple.

In my earlier post on Uthamar Koil or Bitchandar Koil and Thiru Kandiyur, I had narrated the story of Brahma’s fifth head being plucked off by Shiva and the travails of Shiva due this act and finally His absolution.  This temple at Thirupattur is connected with that same story.  Brahma went on Pilgrimage of Shiva temples after He lost His fifth head and also being stripped of the responsibility of creation.  In the course of His pilgrimage, Lord Brahma also visited this temple and installed 12 lingams around Bramhapureeshwarar and worshipped Shiva here for a very long time.  Shiva, on Parvathy’s recommendation liberated Brahma from the curse and restored the power and responsibility of creation to Brahma. Shiva also blessed Brahma that He would have a separate shrine at this temple. He also instructed Brahma that since Brahma himself had His destiny rewritten here for the better; Brahma should rewrite the destinity of His devotees visiting this temple. While Shiva was absolved of the Brahmahatti dosham at Bitchandar Koil and Thiru Kandiyur, Brahma was absolved of His sin here.

Brahma Theertham, Thirupattur

The 12 Lingams of Lord Shiva which were installed by Brahma are Sri Bhramapureeswara, Sri Pazamalainathar, Sri Pathalaeswarar, Sri Sudharaneeswarar, Sri Thayumannar, Sri Sabthagereswarar, Sri Kalathinathar, Sri Jambukeswarar, Sri Kailasanathar, Sri Arunachaleeswarar, Sri Ekambreswarar, Sri Manduganathar.  These lingams housed in separate shrines are seen around the Brahma theertham.  Brahma theertham is the pond from which Brahma took the water for performing puja to Shiva.

Names of the 12 Lingams installed by Brahma, Thirupattur

 

A view of two of the shrines housing Lingams installed by Brahma, Thirupattur. Brahma Theertham is in the foreground.

 

Brahma Pureeswarar Temple, Thirupattur

Since Lord Shiva absolved Brahma of His sins, He is known as Brahmapureeswarar in this temple.  The lingam here is a Swayambhu (self manifested) lingam.  His consort here is called Brahma Sampath Gowri (The one who gave Brahma’s wealth back) or BrahmaNayagi.

Brahma’s shrine is in the circumambulatory corridor of Brahmapureeswarar’s shrine.  The 6 ft tall deity with an eternal covering of turmeric paste or manjal kappu can be seen in padmasana posture on a lotus.

The Jeeva Samadhi of Patanjali Munivar is located near Brahma’s shrine.  A pathala lingam is also located close the shrine.

There are seven doorways through which we have to go before reaching the sanctum sanctorum of Brahmapureeswarar, which is at a distance of 300 metres from the main entrance. What is amazing is that the main deity is clearly visible from the main entrance. That’s not all. The Sun’s rays still can fall directly on the Shivalingam for three days every year viz., 15th, 16th and 17th of the Tamil month Panguni. These dates are approximately the 3rd, 4th and 5th of April.

 

Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Thirupattur, Sthala Perumai in Tamil 1

 

Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Thirupattur, Sthala Perumai in Tamil

 

More information can be had from the official Website of the Temple here.

Location:

Thirupattur (or Thirupidavur) is around 35 km from Trichy on the Trichy – Chennai Highway.  While driving from Trichy, take a left near Siruganur and the temple is about 6 km here.  It is at a distance of about 16 km from Samayapuram (Mariamman temple).

Click here for the map

Boarding & Lodging:

Have your travel base as Trichy which is just about 35 Kms from here.

Other temples nearby:

Bitchandar Koil or Uthamar Koil

Samayapuram Mariamman Temple

Ekambareswar and Thandayutha Pani Swami Temples, Chettikulam

Thirupainjili

Temple Timings: 6AM to 1 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM

Temple Address:

Arulmighu Brahmapureeswarar Koil

Tirupattur 621105

Trichy Taluk

Trichy District.

My next three posts are all interlinked.  These are about Bitchandar Koil, Thirukandiyur and Tirupattur. Before I start, I should acknowledge that I came to know about the temple at Tirupattur through Mr. Raju’s blog.  He has been doing a great job.

Uthamar Koil

It is very rare to find temples where the Holy Trinity – Brahma Vishnu and Shiva are Worshipped in the same temple premises.    The fact is that there are not many temples dedicated to Brahma.  But it is also to be noted that there is no temple without a niche of Brahma.  Thirukandiyur near Tanjore and Bitchandar Koil near Trichy are two such holy places where the Holy Trinity is present.

Shiva is known as Bitchandar at Bitchandar Koil or Purushottamar Koil. Shiva’s consort here is Soundarya Nayaki or Vadivudai Nayaki.  Vishnu is known as Purushottamar and His consort is Poornavalli Thayar.  There are also separate shrines for Brahma and Saraswati.  This is a rare temple where the Holy Trinity is present with their consorts in six separate shrines.  Brahma himself is present as Guru.  All the seven Gurus viz Brahma Guru, Vishnu Guru, Shiva Guru, Sakthi Guru, Subramanaya Guru, Deva Guru and Asura Guru are present here.  This is a very important temple for worshipping Guru.

There is a story interlinking these two places.  An extension of this story also links the Brahmapureeswarar Temple at Tirupattur near Trichy.  According to a legend, Brahma became very arrogant because He was the Creator and also had five heads – just like Shiva.  This made him feel superior to Shiva.  Brahma once visited Kailasam to meet Shiva.  On seeing someone with five heads Parvathy concluded that it should be Shiva.  Without even having a look at the face, She started performing Paada Puja.  Brahma knew that Parvati was performing the puja thinking that He was Shiva, despite which He kept quiet and did not stop Her.  As this was happening Shiva came there and immediately understood the fact that Parvati had no idea that it was Brahma.  He was very angry with Brahma and plucked the fifth head.  Since then Brahma has only four heads and is known as Chaturmukha.  Shiva also stripped Brahma of the power and the responsibility of creation.  Now, Shiva was afflicted with Brahmahatti dosham (sin due to murder of Brahmin).  The fifth head of Brahma stuck to His palm and would not come off.  He started on a pilgrimage visiting various temples to be absolved of the sin.  He used the skull stuck in His palm as the begging bowl.  The begging bowl would not fill up and Shiva was very hungry.  At Bitchandar Koil, Lakshmi as Poornavalli Thayar got rid of Shiva’s hunger.  Since Shiva came here with a begging bowl and his hunger was satisfied, he is known as Bitchandar here.  Shiva noticed that though His hunger was gone, the skull was still stuck His palm. He was only partially absolved of His sin.  Read my next post on Thirukandiyur for the continuation of this story.

Dasaratha performed a yagna here and Rama was born to him. The belief is that the childless are blessed with progeny.  Devotees believe that as per Vishnu’s instructions Brahma does not refuse anything to His devotees who pray Him here.

Chariot festivals of Shiva & Vishnu are celebrated in the tamil months of Vaikasi & Chittirai respectively.  The Utsava murthy of Lord Ranganathan from Srirangam is brought to this temple once a year and is an important occasion.  Shiva and Vishnu are taken out in simultaneous procession in the tamil month of Karthigai.

More details on the temple can be had at the official website of the temple here.

Location:

This temple is located on the Northern Banks of Kollidam near the toll gate in Trichy, on the highway towards Musiri.  This temple is at a distance of about 10 Kms from Trichy Junction. This is on the outskirts of Trichy and is well connected by public transport.

Click here for Map

Other Temples nearby:

Srirangam

Thiruvanaikaval

Rock Fort Temple

Uthiram Star Temple at Edaiyathumangalam

Travel Base: Trichy

Temple timings:

6am – 12.30pm and 4pm – 830pm

Temple Address

Uthamar Koil

Manachanallur Taluk

Bitchandar Koil

Trichy 621 216

Temple Priest: S. Varadharaja Bhattar 0431 2591 351, 99424 62145 / 98654 24167