Posts Tagged ‘Devas’

Thiruvalanchuzhi is just a kilometer away from Swamimalai. This temple is famous for the Vellai Pillayar.  This Vinayakar is also known as Norai Pillayar as He is made out of froth from the Ocean. The main deitiy here is Sadaimudinathar (or Kabardeeswarar) and his Consort is Periyanayaki. River Cauvery curves gently to the right at this place, hence the name Thiruvalanchuzhi; Thiru means holy or sacred, valam means right and chuzhi means curve.

Sage Dhurvasa is believed to have performed a yagna here which was attended by 22 great sages.  They installed the lingams they were worshipping in this temple.  There are several Shiva lingams associated with the sages in this temple.  In the outer praharam (circumambulatory path) there is a shrine dedicated to Ashtabhuja Mahakali or Kali with eight arms.  Raja Raja Chozhan was a staunch devotee of this Kali and always prayed to Her before setting out on war or when faced with making important decision.

There is a Legend connected with the origin of the Shwetha Vinayakar or Norai Pillayar which goes thus. Sage Dhurvasa honoured Indran by presenting him a special garland which he had obtained from Lakshmi.  Indran, after receiving the garland placed it on the head of Iravatam, his elephant.  Iravatam, threw it on the ground and trampled it.  Sage Dhurvasa was very angry with the brash behaviour of Indran and cursed him.  He cursed Indran that he and his followers would be deprived of all their strength, wealth & power.

Soon, Asuras defeated the Devas and took control of the world. Indran then appealed to Brahma and Brahma said that he can regain all that he has lost by churning the celestial ocean to obtain Amrutham or the holy nectar.  Since this was an arduous task and could not be accomplished by the Devas alone who were weakened by Sage Dhurvasa’s curse, Vishnu suggested them to take the Asuras into confidence and enlist their participation also in this task.  Asuras agreed to the same on the condition that they would be also be given a portion of the Amrutham.

The Ocean was churned by using Mount Mandara as the pole and Vasuki – the king of serpents – as the rope.  The Devas held the tail end and the Asuras held the other end and started the churning.  However the Mount mandara started to sink and Vishnu in the avatar (incarnation) of Koorma or tortoise balanced the Mount Mandara on his back and prevented it from sinking.  As the Ocean was being churned, Vasuki started spitting deadly poison known as Ala kala Visham.  This poison was so deadly that it could destroy the whole world.  Shiva came to the rescue by consuming the poison.  Paarvati then held His throat and stopped the poison there.  Shiva’s throat became blue due to the poison and then on He has also been known as Neelakantan; Neela, meaning blue and kanta, meaning throat.

These hurdles they were facing, was worrying the Devas. Sage Narada told them that they were facing these obstacles because they had not prayed to Lord Vinayaka before they started the churning.  Lord Vinayaka must always be invoked before starting a new venture.  Hurriedly, the Devas and the Asuras made a small vigraham or idol of Vinayakar using the froth from the ocean.  They prayed to Vinayakar and resumed the churning.  Now they did not face any hurdle.

Dhanvanthari then appeared from the Ocean with the Armrutham. With the help of Vishnu, the Devas consumed the same.  The Asuras were denied their share as they were tricked by Vishnu, who in His avatar as Mohini, undertook the task of distributing the Amrutham amongst the Devas and the Asuras.  Thus Indran got back his power and wealth.

Indran then worshipped this idol everyday and started carrying this idol of Vinayakar wherever he went.  Once, when he came to the banks of the Cauvery, he placed this idol on the ground before taking bath.  On his return he could not move the idol from that place.  Indran accepted the “Divine Will” and left the idol at that place, which is the present day Thiruvalanchuzhi.  On a particular day every year, the pooja is believed to be preformed by Indran himself at this Temple.

This temple is noted for its immense size and architectural brilliance.  Interestingly, you find a shabby-looking mandapam that seems to have been hurriedly built.  The story behind this is that a King who once stopped by, ordered the temple priest to perform abhishegam (ablution).  Since this idol is made of froth, no abhishegam is offered.  Decoration is made only to the outer frame which is made of silver and gold.  Pacha karpooram is the only offering made to Him. The priest was in a quandary and prayed to Lord Vinayaka to present a solution.  Just then a voice from the sky rebuked the King and asked if the King wished that He be dissolved in the abhishegam waters.  King pleaded forgiveness.  The Divine voice ordered that the King should build a mandapam before sunset on the same day if he has to be pardoned.  The King did as ordered and was forgiven.  This mandapam is known as “mannippu mandapam”.

Chathurthi is an important day.  No prizes for guessing that Vinayaka chathurthi is the most important festival here.

Thiruvalanchuzhi is one of the Parivara sthalams.

Location:

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This temple is just a kilometre away from Swamimalai.  Thiruvalanchuzhi is about 7 Kms from Kumbakonam.  As you proceed on the Kumbakonam – Tanjavur road, after about 6.5 Kms from Kumbakonam you will find an arch on your right hand side.  You will also see a sign board indicating entrance to Swamimalai.  Take the right turn here, the temple is less than half a kilometer from here.

Other temples nearby:

Swamimalai

Papanasam 108 lingams

Boarding & Lodging:

Kumbakonam is the nearest town at just 7 kms from here.  Accomodation is available in Swamimalai as well.  You have these small eateries as well as couple of hotels at Swamimalai.

Temple Timings: 6 AM to 12 Noon and 4 PM to 8 PM

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Valanchuzhinathar Thirukoil

Thiruvalanchuzhi

Near Swamimalai

Kumbakonam Taluk

Tanjore District

PIN – 612302

Thirukadaiyur is a very famous temple in Nagapattinam district.  The presiding Deity is Amrthakadeswarar His consort is Abhirami.  This temple is associated with the stories of Markandeya and Abhirami Bhattar.

This holy place is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva saved Markendeya from Yama (the God of death).   This is one of the Ashta Veeratta sthalams.  The eight temples are as follows

1. Thirukadaiyur

2. Thirukandiyur

3. Thirukkovilur

4. Thiruvadhigai

5. Thirupparaiyur

6. Thiruvirkudi

7. Vazhuvur

8. Thirukkurakkai

Mrigandu Maharishi, a staunch devotee of Shiva led a simple life of worship and penance. He and his wife Marudhamathi had no children. The couple prayed to Lord Shiva to bless them with a child. Pleased with their prayers Shiva appeared before them and granted them their wish but asked the couple to make a difficult choice. Shiva asked them to choose between a hundred children who would not be virtuous but would live a long life & one son who would be the epitome of virtuousness and have the divine blessing, but would live only till the age of sixteen. The couple chose the latter and thus Markandeya was born to them.

Markandeya was very pleasing in his manners and behaviour, and was liked by one and all.  He was intelligent too. At that young age the boy mastered all the scriptures. His parents were proud of his achievements. However, they suddenly remembered that this boy will live only until the age of sixteen.  This realization worried them. When Markandeya inquired them of the reason, his mother could not hide the truth any longer and informed him of the conditional boon which Shiva had granted. Markandeya was very confident that Shiva would protect him.

He made a Lingam out of the wet sand on the banks of Cauvery and started his penance.  He was determined to continue until Lord Shiva appeared before him granted him the boon of immortality. As Markandeya entered his sixteenth year, Yama came to take back his life.  But Markandeya refused to go along with Yama. Yama threw the noose around Markandeya and since he was hugging the Shivalingam, the noose fell around the Shivalingam also.  An angry Shiva killed Yama.  Markandeya then implored Lord Shiva to bring back Yama to life.  Shiva pleased with Markandeya’s selflessness blessed him to be immortal.

The Shiva Lingam is swayambhu (Self manifested). The mark made by Yama’s noose is seen on this Lingam. Some believe that this Lingam is part of the pot of nectar that came out of the Paarkadal or Celestial Ocean. Devas had not invoked Vinayaka before the churning of the Ocean. An angry Vinayaka wanted to teach them a lesson and stole the pot of nectar from the Devas. Vinayakar is called KallaPillayar here, as he had stolen the pot of Nectar from the Devas.

As death was conquered at this holy temple at Thirukadaiyur, Sasthiabdhipoorthi (Completion of sixty years), Bheemaratha Shanthi (Completion of 70 years) and Sadhabishegam (Completion of 80 years) are celebrated here.

This is the place where Brahma got Gnaanopadesam from Lord Shiva. Shiva had given Brahma few Vilva seeds and told him that wherever the seeds germinate, He (Shiva) would do the Gnanopadesham.  After failing at various places, it was finally at Thirukadaiyur that the seeds germinated.  Hence the place is also known as Vilvaaranyam or Vilva forest.

Abhirami Bhattar was a staunch devotee of the Goddess. Once King Sarboji visited the temple and saw  Abhirami Bhattar who was immersed in his thoughts of Goddess Abhirami. The king inquired with the Bhattar what Thithi it was and Bhattar absent-mindedly replied that it was Pournami or full moon day, while it was actually a New moon day. The furious King ordered Abhirami Bhattar to be burnt to death. When he came back to his senses, a shocked Bhattar pleaded to the Goddess to save him.  Bhattar was made to stand on a wooden platform that was being slowly lowered into the fire below. He started singing a hundred verses in praise of the Goddess. As soon as Abhirami Bhattar recited the 79th verse, the Goddess threw one of her earrings in the sky which shone as bright as the Full Moon on a Full Moon day. Ashamed of himself, the King apologised to Abirami Bhattar. The hundred verses that Abhirami Bhattar sang that night is the famous Abhirami Andhadhi. Andhadhi means that a particular verse starts with the ending of the previous verse. In fact, Abhirami Andhadhi can be said to have no beginning or ending. The first verse starts with “uthikkindra senkathir uchchi thilakam….” and the 100th verse ends with ” …… eppothum uthikindrave”.

The main festival in this temple is the 18 day long Kaalasamhara thiruvizha in the month of Chithirai (April-may) when the entire episode of kalasamharam is enacted.

Please click this link for Mahamrutyunjaya Mantram

Location:

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Thirukkadaiyur is siruated in Nagapattinam district between Mayiladuthurai and Porayar. It is 22 Kms from Mayiladuthurai and 8 Kms from Porayar.  This is well-connected with Kumbakonam and Mayiladuthurai.


Boarding & Lodging:

There are a few options available here for an overnight stay.  Hotel Sadhabishegam is a famous hotel here that offers both boarding & lodging.

Other Temples Nearby:

Thiruvenkadu – Budhan Sthalam

Keezhaperumpallam – Kethu Sthalam

Vaitheeswaran Koil

Sri Lakshmipureeswarar Temple – Thiruninriyur

Ananthamangalam Anjaneyar Temple

Thirukadaiyur Mayanam which is behind this temple and 2 kms from here is the original temple on the sea-shore.  The Brahmapureeswarar temple has an incomplete gopuram.  It is said that this is the original temple at Thirukadaiyur.

Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Kadayur Mayanam

Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Kadayur Mayanam

Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Kadayur Mayanam

Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Kadayur Mayanam

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

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Amirthakadeswarar Devasthanam

Thirukadaiyur

Phone: 04364-287429