Avudayar Temple, Thiruperunthurai, Pudhukottai.  

Posted by Shamala Krishnan

  1. Avudayar temple:

    The temple is 14 kms from Aranthangi of Pudhukottai District and dates back to 8th century AD.

    Interesting facts about the temple…

    * Although the main deity is Athmanadhar and Sivalokanayaki Amman, there is just a platform,{avudayar} in the main sanctum.

    * Another interesting fact about this temple is that, there is no Dwajasthambam, Nandhi and Chandikeswarar, which are common in any other regular temple. There is a small pot like thing on the Avudayar which appears like a Linga.

    * At the back of Avudayar we see 27 stars in the form of light. After the pooja, offering of Rice and Bittergourd is placed the on the small platform in the front inside the sanctum, and the steam from it is the offering for God.

    * Goddess Sivalokanayaki is seen in separate sanctum. Here again, in this sanctum we see avudyar with paadam on it. We can have a darshan from outside through small ventilators in the wall.

    * It is said that Lord Siva took the place of a Guru and preached Panchakshara manthra to Vadhavoorar in this temple. He has been known as Manikkavachakar, ever since. He also attained his mukthi at this place.

    * As we enter the temple, we see Manikkavachakar idol placed to left in small, slightly raised sanctum. We need to follow a particular sequence for worship in this temple. We pray to Manikkavachakar first, then main deity and finally we come to Manikkavachakar sanctum again. As we go around, we see Vinayakar, Veerabadharar, Natarajar, and Subramanyar.

    Story Behind Construction of this Temple.

    King Arimardhana Pandian asked his minister Thirvadhavoorar to buy Arabian horses and gave him money. He reached a place called Perunthurai to buy horses. (There is a dock and hence the place is known as Perunthurai.) There was a veda patasala in this place and ThirVadhavoorar was impressed by the guru and the way they were reciting Vedas. He forgot his mission. He felt that the God himself was like a Guru in this place. He started clearing his doubts about many things. He felt God is nothing but some power which is (omnipresent) everywhere, and not bound by time or kaala. Vadhavoorar asked the means to reach god? Guru did not reply to his question.

    One has to search, and feel the presence of eternal power. One day when he saw the Guru he saw the Aura behind him. He felt the Aura like thing that appears is the Almighty. He utilized the money (with which he was supposed to buy horses) to construct the temple.

    Initially, only a platform like thing was built and offering of rice was kept on the platform. The steam was considered as God (Siva) for him. It is the same platform which still present inside the sanctum and the same rituals are still followed. In the later years, Pandaya kings extended the temple with beautiful sculptures and pillars. The pillar sculptures reflect the richness, clothing style, ornaments and culture of those days.

    Important aspects about the temple

    * Teertham is Brahama narayana teertham.

    * Sthala vruksham is Kurutha maram. Sthala purana says by applying mud near the sthala vruksham leprosy can be cured.

    * Manikkavachakar sang hymns on the Lord Siva of this place.

    * Arunagirinadhar sang on Lord Murugan here.

    * This is the same place where Thiruvachakam was sung by
    Manikkavachakar. This is considered as 8th Thirumurai in saiva madham

    * There is carving of a monkey and udumbu to the top of the shelter which means our mind is a monkey and it should be controlled. Our thought about god should be firm like the grip of udumbu. We see many sculptures which convey some meaning, one can visit, feel and enjoy all this only in person

Viralimali, Murugan temple. Pudhukottai  

Posted by Shamala Krishnan

  1. Virali malai Murugan Temple:

    The place is 42 kms from Pudhukottai. The temple is on the top of a small hill.

    The deities seen here are Sivalinga known as Vswanadhar, Goddess Visalakshi .Lord Subramanyar as Aumugha perumal, with 16 hands is seen on peacock. Valli and Devayanai are along with him to either side.

    Teertham is saravana Poigai which is in the ground level. Sthala vruksham is Kura tree.

    As per purana Muni’s are worshipping Lord here in the form of Kura tree and hence the name Virali for this place. On our way to temple we have the darshan of Idumban, and Siva in the form of Linga known as Meenakshi sunderaswarar in a cave temple.

    Kasyapa muni, Vasishtar and Naradha muni worshipped the Lord here to get rid of there sins and were blessed.

    There is idol for Naradha muni in this place and during festival times they take him on procession which is unique.

    Other deity’s presnt in the temple are Vinayakar, Arunagirinadhar, Chandikeswarar, Dakshinamurthy, Natarajar, Dandayudhapani, and Navagraha.
    Arunagirinadhar sang Thirupugazh on Lord Subramanyar of this place

Thirupunavoil siva temple, Pudhukottai district.  

Posted by Shamala Krishnan

  1. Thirupunavoil:

    This is one of 275 Siva Devara temples.

    The place is 25 kms from Avudayar koil.

    Main deity is huge Swayambu linga known as Pazampadhi nadhar and his consol Katchani mulammai. The Lingam is next to Bragadeeswar temple lingam in its size.

    Sthala vruksham is Punnai and teertham is Lakshmi teertham. There is a big Nandi in the front of Dwajasthambam. The temple has huge ground and as we go around we see Pancha Vinayakarunder separate roof, Chaturmukha lingam kapila muni with his sons under different roof.

    Dakshina murthy is different here, by keeping his both legs down. There is a separate sanctum and gopuram. We see Ganapathy in a small sanctum as we go around the temple. We see Vishnu and Anjaneyar as koshta deivam at the back of Siva temple. Opposite to Lord Subramanya with Valli and Devany.

    As we procced we see chathurdasa lingam under a roof and Navagraha in different. Goddess in separate sanctum is seen. To the corner of the temple premises we see kali.

    Sundharar sang hymns on Lord Siva of this place. Arunagirinadhar sang Thirupugazh on Subramanyar of this temple. Thirumal, Brahma, Parvathy, Indra, Surya, Chandran, Yama, Vayu, Agasthiyar have worshiped Siva of this place.

Bhuvaneswari Avadhootha vidya peetam, Pudhukottai.  

Posted by Shamala Krishnan

  1. Pudhukottai Bhuvaneswari Avadhootha vidyapeetam.

    This is a place we see Adishtanam of Sri Sadhasiva Brahamendra Saraswathy swamigal known as Sri Judge Swamigal. The Adishtanam which we see now was developed to this extent by Srimad Santhanandha Swamigal deciple of Judge Swamigal. The place has gained popularity as Bhuvaneswari peetam. Lot of Yaga and Yagnams were performed here by Srimad Santhanandha Swamigal.

    Here the idols of all deities are huge. Bhuneswari devi and big Sri Chakkra in front is seen as we enter.

    There are deities like Abeeshta varadha ganapathy, Sidhargal, Pancha mukha Heramba ganapathy, Parahamsa sadhguru santhanandha Swamigal, Pancha mukha brahma, Dharma Sastha, Gyana Skandhan, Dakshina moorthy, dakshina kali, Kasi Viswanadhar and Kaivalyanandha Swamigal.

Thiru Gokarnam of Pudhukottai and Ettiyathali temple.  

Posted by Shamala Krishnan

  1. Thiru Gokarnam:

    The place Thiru Gokarnam is in Pudhukottai, which is 57 kms from Trichy.

    This is cave temple. The temple was built by Mahendra Pallavan which was later improved. It’s a big temple with a long corridor and the sanctums are in different levels. we see beautiful sculpture to pillar in the corridor. It was something different from normal temples.

    There are two Siva lingams installed by Kapila Muni and chandran.

    Main deity here is Gokarnaeswarar and his consort Bragadambal. We find another deity known as Magizhavanayser and Amman Mangalambikai.

    Inside the temple we see Vinayakar, Kasi lingam, Veerabadhrar, Sapthamadhar, saptha Lingam, Brahaman, and Bairavar. We see Mangala teertham near Amman sannidhi.

    We have to climb few steps to reach Subramanyar sanctum. Here we get darshan of Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswthy and Pazani Andavar.

    As per Purana, once Brahma was thinking he was the supreme power. Lord Siva was not happy about his thought and he disqualified Brahma from his work creation. This led to lot of confusion, and Brahma realized his mistake and he requested Lord Siva to resque him.

    Lord Siva asked him to do meditation at Thiru Gokarnam and get back his power of creation. Goddess Sridevi and Bhoodevi also worshipped Siva of this place.

  2. Ettiathali:

    This village is about 8kms from Aranthangi of Pudhukottai district. The temple dates back to some 2000 years.

    Lord Siva of this place was worshipped by Agasthaya muni.
    Main deity is Swayambu Lingam known as Agastheeswarar and his consort Akilandeswari.

    Purana says once Agasthyar was traveling from kasi to Rameswaram, he had to perform his daily rituals so he stopped at this place, to do his Siva pooja. There is a pushkarani near by. He performed pooja and he had to stay back for the night in the temple.

    At the same time King Kalingarayan was there with his force in the same village in a matt. As per his fate he was in the grip of Ashtama sani period and he performed pooja at Rameswaram, and Lord Sani pooja at Thirunallaru as per guidance of his jyothish.

    On his way back as it was night he stayed in this village for that day. King and Agasthya muni when they met here, to get rid of Lord Sani’s grip on him, King was asked to built a temple for the Siva lingam, in this place. He asked him to install Navagrahas. Here Sani is placed visible to Agastheeswarar from inside to NE direction.

    Another unique thing is Ragu and Kethu are exchanged there place unlike the normal trend.

    We see Goddess Akilandeeswari in a sanctum near the main Deity Agastheeswarar, and the Goddess Akila near the Navagraha.

    Purana says Lord Siva had Kalathra dosha and when Agasthya muni worshipped Lord Siva, he was out of the dosha. So, Muni installed Goddess Akilandeswari near the main sanctum. Goddess Akila, known as Navagraha Nayaki is near the Navagraha, so the grahas are considered powerful.

    As per purana Kalathra dosham and Sani dosham can be rectified by worshipping Lord Agastheeswarar of this place.

Thiru Meyyam Vishnu and Siva temples, Pudhukottai district.  

Posted by Shamala Krishnan

  1. Thiru Meyyam:

    This is a cave temple about 20 kms from Pudhukottai.
    This temple is one of 108 Divya Desam.

    Pudhukottai District is the only district where we find lot of cave temples in Asia. All the temples were mostly to pallava regime. Here we find temple for Lord Vishnu and a temple for Lord Siva also in the same mountain in two different caves. Here the mountain itself is considered as Vishnu and Siva, which is one more example for Siva and Vishnu are one and the same.

    The temple was built by Narashima Pallavan. The temple is older than Sri Rangam temple and hence it is known as Adi Rangam.

    Main deity is Sathyagiri nadhan in standing posture, and his consort Senbagavalli or Uyavandha Nachiayar. Utsavar is known as Meyappar.

    Jack fruit tree is sthala vruksham of the temple. As we go around, we see Chakkratzwar, Andal, Krishna, Lakshmi, and Narashimar sanctums.

    Inside the cave here we see Anantha sayanam of Vishnu Moorthy, carved to the mountain rock. Here we find Perumal in relaxing posture which is about 30’ length and this is supposed to be the lengthier idol in Asia.

    He is relaxing on 5 headed snake known as Adiseshan, and at the back to the rock we see Garuda, Chitrguptan, Markandeyar, Brahma, Devas, Rishi, Kinnaras, and rakshasas Madhu, kaitabar. Bhooma devi is seen sitting under the leg, Lakshmi Devi on his chest with his left hand holding her close to him, and the right hand on Adiseshan in the form of patting him.

    Purana says Madhu, Kaitabar came to attack Vishnu, Bhoodevi and Sridevi were afraid of asuras and we see Bhoodevi hiding under his leg and Sridevi to the chest. Adiseshan in anger spelled out poison air and defeated them. This incidence is also carved beautifully in the cave temple.

  2. Sathyagereeswarar temple, Thiru Meyyam.

    Lord Siva temple was built by Mahendara Varma Pallavan.

    This was the first cave temple he built immediately after his change from Jainism to Hinduism. Main deity here is Sathyagirieswarar and his consort Sri Veuvaneswari.

Seethanajchery, Kancheepuram district.  

Posted by Shamala Krishnan

  1. Seethanchery

    This is our home town. The temple here is Siva temple.
    The village is 25 kms from Kancheepuram. This is the only big temple to nearby villages.The temple was renovated and Kumbabishekam was performed some 3 years back. Recently families who belong to the village are showing interest in developing. Regular pooja’s are taking place in recent years. The temple was constructed during Pandya period.

    Main deity is Swayambu Lingam known as "Sree Kaleeswarar" and "Goddess Sivakama sundari".

    There are beautiful stone carvings to the main entrance pillar. We see dwajasthambam and nandi in front facing main deity Lord Siva. We find pillars with neat and peculiar carvings on a platform to both side of the main entrance of the sanctum.

    As we go around the inner prakaram, we see "Vinayakar, Subramanayar", and "Goddess Sivakama Sundari" in prakaram."Dakshina moorthy", "Lingothbavar", and "Brahma" are seen on side walls of main sanctum.

    There is a carving of a cow delivering a calf from the side of neck. This sculpture is relating to purana of the temple.

    As we go around the outer circle of the temple we see Sthala Vruksham Mani punga with Nirtha Vinayakar and a tank for the temple.

    Purana says once a merchant was passing through that place which was like a forest and he happen to see the cow delivering calf from neck and milk pouring down to ground.

    This was peculiar and not a normal thing. He informed the village people about it. They came and started looking around the place where milk was poured and they found a Siva Lingam which was named as Sree Kaleeswarar.

    As per purana "Lord Krishna" worshiped Lord Siva of this place.

Kurathazwar temple, Kuram, Kancheepuram.  

Posted by Shamala Krishnan

  1. Kuram: Sri Adi kesava perumal.

    The place is about 10kms from Kancheepuram. There are mini buses plying from kancheepuram. The place is on the route from Arakonam to Kancheepuram. We come across Kuram gate halt and from there the place is 3 kms.

    Main deity is Adikesava perumal in sitting posture with Sridevi and Bhoodevi. There is separate sanctum for Pankajavalli thayar to right and Andal sannidhi to right.

    There is a separate sanctum for Chakratazwar and Anjaneyar within temple premises. There is a separate temple for Kurathazwar in the same premises.

    As per purana says kurathazwar is avatara of Lord Vishnu in kaliyuga. Srivatsangamithrar {Kurathazwar} was ruling Kuram. He was devotee of Lord Varadaraja perumal of Kanchi and used to help needy people and Annadhanam was performed for pilgrims who visited Kanchi.

    The palace main door has bell hanging to it, and the sound of the bells can be heard till Kanchi. Normally the door of the palace is closed only after the doors of the Varadaraja swamy doors are closed.

    One day there was a delay in closing the temple door, and the doors of the palace door was closed before. Goddess Perundevi Thayar heard the bell sound and enquired about the sound to Perumal Varadarajar.

    When she came to know about the sound she wanted to meet the King. Thiru Kachi Nambi went to Kuram to inform about the invitation of Thayar. Srivatsangamitrar was surprised to hear this, and there was a transmission in this time and he left all the wealth and took to sanyasa ashram to dedicate his life for the service of Lord.

    Lord Srirama as Azwar in this Yuga was able to render his service to Lakshmana who dedicated himself to Sri Rama in Tretha yugam.
    Purana says by worshipping Kurathazwar here in this place any ailment of eye, is cured.

    This year upto 2010 is celebrated as 1000year of his birth anniversary.

  2. There is Lakshmi Hayagreevar temple and Andavan Ashram adjecent to Adi Kesava perumal temple.