Tiru Indalur – Parimala Ranganathar

Name of the Temple

Sri Parimala Ranganathar Temple

Period of origin

Before 1600 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Parimala Ranganathan, Sughandhavananathan, Maruviniya Maindhan,

Thayar:  Pundarireega Valli, Chandrashaaba Vimochana Valli

Pushkarani: Chandra Pushkarni

Vimanam: Vedha Chakra Vimanam

Mangalaashaasanam: Thirumangaialwar

Sthalapuranam:

The Moolavar of this sthalam is Sri Parimala Ranganathan. Also called as Maru viniya Maindhan, Sugantha Vananathan, and Andhiya Rangan. He is giving his seva in Kidantha (Sleeping) Thirukkolam in Veera Sayanam facing his thirumugham towards east direction. Prathyaksham for Chandiran (Moon god).

Ekadasi Vrata-fasting, that is the devotee committed to this prayer should spend the whole day only with thoughts of Lord without consuming even a drop of water. King Ambarishan was following this practice meticulously. The devotee should take food only the next day-Dwadasi the 12th day of New Moon or Full moon at an auspicious time. And that was the 100th Ekadasi-Dwadasi for king Ambarisha. People of his country and those in the palace were happy that their king will be completing a century and there were necessary arrangements for the celebrations.

But, people in the celestial world were unhappy because, Ambarishan may be elevated to their status if his 100th fasting went successfully. They did not want to lose their position for a human. They approached Sage Durvasa to undo his fasting and help retaining their positions. The sage, noted for his temperament assured the Devas to help them and came down to earth. By then, the king had finished the Ekadasi fasting. The fasting would become complete only if he took his food before the prescribed time the next day-Dwadasi. If the time ends, the fruits of the fasting also would be lost. The king did not know that the sage had come with an evil plan.

The king was about to take his food when Sage Durvasa entered his palace. The king was doubly glad to have a guest in Sage Durvasa and requested him to accept his hospitality-dining with him. The sage cunningly told him that he accepted his invitation and would be back to be with him for the lunch after a bath in the river. His plan was to fail the king. The time was fast nearing.

The king was afraid of the curse of the sage if he ate without him. He consulted the pandits in his court. The chief pandit said that if he simply consumes of few drops of water, he would complete the fasting in order. King did this and was waiting for the sage to have the full food.

Knowing this through his powers, Durvasa created a ghost to kill the king. When the ghost began chasing him, Ambarisha sought asylum at Lord’s feet. Perumal looked at the ghost angrily. The ghost began to retreat and disappeared. Realizing the devotion of the king and the power of his fasting, sage Durvasa sought the pardon of the Lord. The sage was pardoned.

When asked by the Lord of his wish after completing 100 Ekadasi fastings, king Ambarisha begged the Lord that He should stay at this place and bless the devotees. Pleased with the king’s request, Lord Vishnu-Perumal is blessing His devotees from this temple as Parimala Ranganathar.

As per legends During Thirumangai Azhwar’s visit to this Divya Desam, the temple was shut as he was late. Upset at this, Thirumangai Azhwar gets into an argument with Lord Parimala Ranganathar. When a friend keeps a thing that we want and does not want to share with us, we typically say ‘ keep it to yourself’ in jest. Similarly, here, with the Lord not allowing Thirumangai Azhwar an entry into the temple, the Azhwar asked Parimala Rangan to keep all his beauty to himself and to enjoy it on his own. Thirumangai Azhwar goes on to argue that the world will talk about the Lord in bad light as he shut the door on the Azhwar. The Lord ignores this comment of the Azhwar saying that he need not worry about it and that he will take care of any ill feelings. Despite repeated attempts to impress the Lord to allow him an entry, Parimala Rangan maintains his silence. A dejected and frustrated Thirumangai Azhwar decided that he would leave the place as the Lord was stubborn at not allowing Darshan to the Azhwar. Thirumangai Azhwar in his Paasuram (1331) says ‘Vaasi Valleer Indhalureer Vazhnthey Pomneerey….’ to mean that ‘I am leaving, you yourself live here and enjoy life’. Sensing that Thirumangai Azhwar may leave the place without praising him enough, Lord Parimala Rangan tries to prolong the argument and asks him to sing praise of him. Thirumangai Azhwar replies saying “How can I shower praise on you when you do not allow me to see you”. Lord Parimala Ranga says “ You who have sung praises of other Lords, sitting in your place, do sing praise of me too so I can listen to your sweet songs.” Thirumangai Azhwar finally falls for it and composes 10 Paasurams.

Another story goes that Chandran (Moon God) fell in love with his preceptor Brihaspati’s wife Tara and eloped with her, in the absence of his Guru. When Brihaspati found his wife missing, he sought the help of Brahmma who asked Tara to return to her husband.

Later, when Tara’s pregnancy came to light, a furious Brihaspati cursed Chandra to deformity saying that the biggest sin of life is to caste one’s eyes on another’s spouse and that Chandran would have to undergo the full severity of the curse for having cast his eyes wrongfully on another’s wife.

Another story goes that Dakshan was so taken in by Chandran’s handsome features that he decided to make him the suitor for his 27daughters. However, Chandran was interested only in one of the daughters, Rohini and mockingly ignored the others.

Dakshan found that the handsome looks had made Chandran too arrogant and cursed him to immediately lose his youth and his strong luring features.

Repenting for wrongly casting his eye on another man’s wife, Chandran requested Brihaspati to provide him an opportunity for performing parikara that could help him cleanse his grave sins.

An another greatness of this place. River Cauvery is under lords feet here. As he promised river Cauvery to increase here status, he made her as his bed at Srirangam, took her as his mother at Thirucherai and here at Thiru Indhaloor, he has taken river Cauvery above his head. Thus gave her the status of river Ganges who is on the head of Lord Shiva.

As the perumal of this place, converted the position of river Cauvery and Lord Chandra into a pious state, Thirumangaialwar calls him as a Brahmin.

The vedas were created to instruct rules for human beings to lead a happy life. The Surya and Chandra revolve around the world to give prosperity. Hence the vimaana of this place is called as Veda Chakra Vimaanam.

Sri Rangam is known as Aadhi Arangam (first) while Thirukudanthai is Madhiya Arangam (Middle) and Thiru Indhaloor is known as Andiya Arangam (Last).

Route:

2 km from Mayiladuthurai main bus stand

Temple Timings:

06:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 05:00 p.m. and 08:30 p.m.

Temple Telephone Number:

04364-223 330, 9443873620, 9942916241, 98437 31595.

Temple Address:

Sri Parimala Ranganathar Temple,

Tiru Indalur,

Mayiladuthurai.

Nagapattinam district.

Mylapore – Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Kapaleeswarar

Ambal: Karpakambica

Sthala Theertham: Kapali, Kadavul, Veda, Vali, Ganga, Velli and Rama theerthams

Sthala Virksham: Punnai tree

Devaram: Appar, Sambanthar, Sundarar

Sthalapuranam:

Vedas worshipped Lord Kapaleeswara, hence the place is known as Vedapuri.  It is also known as Shukrapuri as planet Shukra-Venus worshipped Lord here.  Lord Sri Rama stayed here, performed pujas to Lord Shiva with festivals.  The is the holy soil where Poompavail was restored to life from her preserved bones, a miracle by saint Tirugnana Sambandar.  Saint Arunagiriar has sung the glory of Lord Singaravela – Muruga in his famous Tirupugazh.  Adding to the reputation of the land, this is birth place of Tiruvalluvar whose Tirukkural is honored with translations in many advanced languages of the world.
Thalami, a researcher from Greece, visited this place 2000 years ago and had mentioned the name of the place as Malliarpa.  This was the habitat of peacocks.  As they made sounds – Arpu in Tamil – the place was known as Mayil (peacock) – Arpu, changed as Mayilappu and finally stayed with the name Mylapore.

Lord Brahmma thought that He was as great and equal as Lord Shiva as He too had five heads as Shiva.  To teach him a lesson and to check his pride. Lord Shiva nipped one head and held the skull in His hand.  Kapala in Sanskrit means skull, hence Lord Shiva was praised as Kapaleeshwara and the place Kapaleeswaram.

The first piece of literature on this holy soil was the song of Saint Tirugnana Sambandar beginning with the line ‘Mattitta Punnayam Kanal’.  These are the lines that brought Poompavai, daughter Sivanesar back to life who died of snake bite while plucking flowers for Shiva Puja.  After cremating her body, Sivanesar preserved the bones and ashes in a pot.  After the visit of Sambandar to the place, as required by the Saint Sivanesar placed the ash-bone pot before him.
One of such songs addressed to Poompavai then in ash pot said that by her death she was the loser missing the Thai Poosam festival dedicated to Lord Shiva.  The girl came alive after this song.  However, Sambandar could not accept Poompavai for his wife as requested by the father, as he himself had now become her father by restoring her to life back.  Poompavai spent the rest of her life as a virgin serving Lord Shiva and attained salvation then.

Before waging his war on demon Surapadman, Lord Muruga performed penance in this temple.  Lord Shiva and Mother Uma blessed the Son and gifted the weapon VEL to conquer the demon.  Muruga returned triumphantly as Singaravela on the demon peacock – demon Surapanma was changed a peacock vahan of Muruga.  Indira gave his daughter Deivanai to Lord Muruga in marriage.  Iravadham elephant belonging to Indira could not bear the separation of Deivanai and chose to stay with her.  Both consorts of Lord Muruga, Valli and Deivanai grant darshan to devotees sitting on Iravadham.  This is a rare darshan.

A striking feature of this ancient temple is its towering gopurams (towers) – typical of South Indian temples. The gopurams are richly-carved pyramid-like rectangular structures that serve as a gateway to temples in South India. Within the temple complex, you will also see a tank (another prominent feature of a South Indian temple complex) and inscriptions from the puranas dating back to the 13th century.

Brahmotsavam
This is celebrated in the month of Panguni (March – April). It lasts for 10 days. The idols of Kapaleeshwarar and Karpagambal are decorated with clothes and jewels, are mounted on a vahana (vehicle), and then taken around the temple and its water tank in a pradakshinam. The vahanas at the temple include the bull, elephant, bandicoot, peacock, goat and parrot (adhikaranandi). The golden chariot is a recent addition.

The more important of the individual pradakshinams are the Athigara Nandhi on the third day, the Rishaba Vahanam on the midnight of the fifth day, the real ther itself (about 13 meters in height and pulled by people) on the seventh morning, and the Arupathimoovar festival on the eighth day.

The Arupathimoovar festival is celebrated in order to honor the Saivaite devotees, namely the sixty-three Nayanmars. The idols of the Nayanmars are taken out on a procession in a palanquin that is decorated with ornaments and flowers. The Moovar (three) – Appar, Sundarar, and Thirugyana Sambandar are carried in separate palanquins. A carnival-like atmosphere has evolved around the Arupathimoovar festival. Sweets, savories, buttermilk, juices, and other food are served by devotees to the pilgrims.

The float festival or Theppa Thiruvizha
It takes place in the month of Thai (Jan-Feb). The deities are taken in a decorated raft called “Theppam” in the temple tank. The tank is colorfully illuminated all around.

Navarathiri festival
This is celebrated for nine nights or nava rathiri. It starts the day after ammavasai (newmoon day) in the month of Purattasi (Aug – Sept). Prayers for the first 3 days are for Goddess Paravathi, the next 3 days for Goddess Lakshmi, and the last 3 days for Goddess Saraswathi. On the 10th day Vijayadhasami is celebrated in a grand manner.

Vasanta utsavam
This summer festival takes place in Vaikasi (May-June). Music programmes are arranged during this festival.

Route:

Buses connect Mylapore to Chennai Central, T.Nagar, Tambaram and Broadway

Temple Timings:

5.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.

Temple Telephone Number:

0 44 2464 1670

Temple Address:

Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple

Mylapore,

Chennai-600 004.

 

Avudayarkoil – Sri Athmanatha Swami Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Athmanatha Swami Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Athmanadhar

Ambal: Sivalokanayaki Amman

Sthala Theertham: Brahama narayana teertham

Sthala Virksham: Kurundha tree

Devaram:

Sthalapuranam:

Saint Manickavasagar, then heading the cabinet of Pandya king, came to this place Tiruperundurai, now Avudayarkoil to buy horses.  He heard sounds of Shivagama Mantras there and saw a Guru sitting there.  The prime minister fell at the feet of the Lord and begged Him to teach him wisdom.  While learning, Manickavasagar plunged into deep meditation.  When he opened his eyes, he found his teacher absent in the place and understood that his Guru was none other than Lord Shiva Himself.  He spent all the money he carried for buying horses in building a temple for his Guru-Shiva and dedicated himself in the service of Lord.

As the saint failed to carry out the order of the king, he ordered the saint to be arrested and jailed.  Lord Shiva converted the foxes in the forests into horses, brought them to the king as instructed by Manickavasagar.  After delivering the horses, Lord went away.  However, at midnight, the horses became foxes and started howling.  Angry king, made Manickavasagar stand on the sands of Vaigai River in Madurai under scorching Sun.  To teach a lesson to the Pandya who acted against His devotee, Lord made Vaigai flow in spate.  King ordered to strengthen the banks to avoid a breach.  Lord also came to Madurai as a coolie for the repair work.  The king struck him with a cane for not doing the work properly.  The blow only fell on the king and every one in Madurai leaving its scar on them.  The King came to know that all that happened was Lord Shiva’s design, fell at the feet of Manickavasagar and begged his pardon.  Avudayarkoil was the ground for this Tiruvilayadal Purana story (an epic by Paranjothi Munivar speaking of the great plays enacted by Lord Shiva for His devotees).

In times past, a Pandya king brought 300 priests from Benares to attend the temple services here and to honour them he wanted to present gold brocade shawls to them. While distributing, he found one in excess and he searched for that priest in the crowd. An aged priest came forward and claimed that robe. On the next day, the king was astonished to find that garment, wrapped round the deity. Atmanadha was the priest who claimed that excess robe.

The king had given the priests lands of sustenance. But in later days a Kurumba chief Lundakshan seized those lands by might. The then reigning king wanted some proof to show that the land belonged to the priests. At that distance of time, no papers were available. Lundakshan merrily remarked that the proof that the land was his say in his intimate knowledge of the land, “Even if you dig to the length of a palm tree, you won’t get a drop of water” he said. Just then an aged priest came forward and struck the earth with a crow bar. In the first stroke itself water gushed out. The king restored the land to the priests. It is needless to say that the aged priest was none else but Atmanadha.

In Avadayar Koil, the God is bereft of any form. After passing through several thresholds devotees stand before sanctum and peep in hoping to have a glimpse of the Lingam, as is the case in all other temples. But it is empty! Only a peeta is formed and devotees are asked to pay obeisance to it. The bottom most peeta is the Sakti peeta and it represents the fusion of Shivam and Skati for realization of the Supreme truth. Since no Lingam or idol is consecrated here, the Lord is known by the name of Atmanadha- Lord of the Soul.

There are three deepas (lamps) lit in the sanctum sanctorum behind the presiding deity in white, red and green as the three eyes of Lord Shiva representing Sun (white), Agni (red) and Moon (green).  As Lord is formless, these three lamps are lit.
A Shiva form in the temple is known as Kudhirai Swami – Horse God.  For Saint Manickavasagar, Lord Shiva brought horses and delivered them to King Arimardhana Pandian.  He also rode on a horse along with other horses.  Hence he is praised as Kuthirai  Swami– Horse Swami wearing horseman dress with a whip in hand.  He is in the Panchakshara Mandap.  There are foxes too under the horses praised as Ashwa Nathar.
Every entrance in the temple has Deepas (lamps) in specific numbers.  The Thiruvasi (a metal frame in upside U shape around Lord Shiva has 27 lamps representing 27 stars, the two nearby the Jeevatma-Paramatma philosophy, 5 representing the five arts, 36 representing many philosophies, 51 letters. 11 mantras and 224 world divisions.  Those facing planetary problems offer ghee for lighting the deepas around the Thiruvasi. Boiled rice nivedhana:  Lord Shiva as Guru accepted the food offered by His disciples.  They brought boiled rice, palak and bitter gourd curry – all simple. Thus boiled rice nivedhana began.  It is offered fresh directly from the oven and taken to Lord and placed on the stone called Padaikkal with steam compressed in the rice.  The doors are closed and opened a little later.  As Lord is Formless, the steam in the rice also without a form disappears.  During the third puja at 11.00 a.m. variety of nivedhanas as Thanekuzhal Adhirasam, Vada, puddings, Dosa and porridge are offered.  On Pongal day nivedhana is offered on plantain leaf with 16 vegetable preparations, Sweet Pongal and Ven Pongal and sugarcane.
Mother Ambika performed penance here to make amends for disobeying the advice of Lord not to attend the Daksha Yagna.  She was formless then.  Pujas are offered only to the feet of Ambika as the shrine is always kept closed.  To facilitate darshan of the feet, it is arranged through a mirror.  Devotees can have only Pada-feet darshan.  The abishek theertha and kumkum is offered as Prasad.  Devotees use to tie cradles and bangles here seeking child boon. Contrary to traditional absence of pujas in temples during eclipse time, it is otherwise in Avudayarkoil temple conducting the six time puja as usual even during such occurrence.  The philosophy is that eclipses cannot stop the pujas for Shiva having no beginning nor an end – no Aadhi- no Andham.
Representing the rule that disciple should not sit before Guru but only stand, Manickavasagar, Chokka Vinayaka, Muruga and Veerabadra are standing before their Guru-Lord Athmanathar.

There is no shrine for Navagrahas in the temple but they are in pillars. While Rahu and Ketu (serpent planets) are in the first pillar, Shukara –Venus, Sani Bhagwan-Saturn, Jupiter-Guru and Sevvai-Mars are in the second pillar.  Sun with His consorts Pradyusha and Usha and Mercury (Budha) are in the third.  Moon is at the fourth pillar.  In the next two pillars nearby are Lord Kalatheeswar and Mother Gangadevi.  There are four Vinayakas in the four corners in the second prakara one of them with Mother Annapoorani facing north.  People pray here for prosperity.  In one corner, Lord Vinayaka appears in dancing posture with two others dancing with Him facing south.  Sachidanandam-peak of bliss has three stages.  The structure of the temple has these three aspects.  Mahamandap represents Sath, Arthmandapa the Chith and the sanctum sanctorum the Anandha.  While Shiva temples are generally facing east, Avudayarkoil temple is facing south.  As Lord Shiva plays the Guru part teaching Saint Manickavasagar as Lord Dakshinamurthy, the temple is facing south, it is explained.  The other Shiva temple facing south is Lord Kadambavana Nathar temple in Karur.
Saint Manickavasagar is occupying the Somaskanda status in the temple – in between the shrines of Lord and Mother.  Festivals are celebrated to Him only as the one dedicated to a distinguished devotee – Bhaktha Utsav.  It is also believed that that treating Lord and Shiva and Saint Manickavasagar as different ones is an unforgiveable sin.  Two Kuruntha trees – sacred trees of the temple – are in the northwest corner of the Thiagaraja Mandap near the outer compound wall.  Facilities are provided to circumambulate them.  The temple kitchen is at the other corner.  A devotee visiting the temple cannot afford miss the rare sculptures of the temple.

1.    Dundi Vinayaka idol
2.    2. Stone chain with a snake spinning around
3.    Udumbu-a lizard-like creature and the monkey
4.    One thousand pillars carved in just two pillars
5.    Sculptures Lords and Mothers in 1008 temple
6.    Horses of various countries
7.    27 sculptures representing 27 stars
8.    Various signs of dance art – Nattiya Kalai Mudras
9.    Pillars expressing seven musical sounds
10.    The shade of Koodalvai appearing as the neck of a cow.

There are no Nandhi or Bali peeta in the temple as both Lord and Mother are formless.  This is the place where Lord Shiva, for His devotee Manickavasagar, converted the foxes in the forest as horses and delivered to Pandya king.  Pradosha Pujas are not observed in this temple.  Celebrated Tiruvasagam authored by Saint Manickavasagar was born in this sacred temple, celebrated as the 8th Tirumurai of Saivite scriptures.  The palm leaves and the writing pin used by Manickavasagar are still safe in the temple.  A temple noted for epigraphy fame, stone floorings and  beautiful sculptures.

Inside the temple there is an idol of Lord Vinayaka with 11 hands, an idol of Goddess Kali and an idol of Lord Virabhadra with 8 arms holding the sula athwart his body. There is also an idol of Manickavachakar, which is worshipped with all ceremonial rites and rituals. Avadayar Koil is a saivite shrine.

The construction of this temple is that the rays of the setting sun always fall on the sanctum sanctorum although it is inside three Prakarams. Another important feature here is the Panchakshara Mandapam. It is also known as “Kanakasabhai”.

In the first sector Panchakshara mantra is constituted. It is customary for pilgrims to repeat atleast 108 times the mystic syllable. In the next sector are 81 padams, 224 mantras arranged as a four petalled lotus. For those interested in Saivism, this temple offers a splendid opportunity.

Route:

The place is 100 km from Tiruchi, 48 from Pudukkottai, 14 km from Arantangi and 102 from Thanjavur.

Temple Timings:

6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m

Temple Telephone Number:

04371 233301

Temple Address:

Sri Athmanatha Swami Temple

Avudayarkoil,

Pudukkottai district

Karur – Sri Kalyana PasupatheswararTemple

Name of the Temple

Sri Kalyana PasupatheswararTemple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar:  Pasupatheeswarar, Aanilai Appar

Ambal: Alankaravalli, Soundarya Nayaki, Krupa

Sthala Theertham: Thadaagai theertham, Amaravathi River

Sthala Virksham: Vanji

Devaram: Tirugnana Sambandar,Karuvurar-Tiruvisaipa and Arunagirinathar in his Tirupugazh.

Sthalapuranam:

Legend has it that Siva on sensing the conceit of Brahma as the creator of the world, sent Kamadhenu to Vanji forest in Karur to take up the duty of creation and instructed her to worship the Siva lingam hidden in an anthill at the forest. When Kamadenu was performing the abishekam to the lingam with its milk, her hoof accidentally hit the lingam and injured it. The scar left on the lingam is seen on its back even now as a depression. Kamadenu pleaded guilty. The Lord told her that He will be hailed as Pasupatheeswarar as she worshipped him at this place thus according a special status to Kamadenu. Pleased with this, Kamadenu continued the work of creation. Meanwhile, realising his mistakes Brahma took up severe penance worshipping Lord Siva in order to get back his place in Satya loka. Pleased with his prayers, the Lord restored the power of creation back to Brahma and took Kamadenu along with him. Later on a temple came to be built in that place. There is a brahma theertham created by Brahma to the north of the river Amaravathy.

Quite paradoxically, the presiding deity has two consorts, Alankara Valli (also known as Kripanayaki) and Soundara Nayaki and their sannidhis are found to the north of the presiding deity. There is an underpass from the kalyana mantapam, to reach their shrines. While Alankaravalli is a symbol of ‘kriya sakti,’ Soundara Nayaki represents ‘itcha sakti.’ The sannidhi of Alankara Valli with the Sri Chakram and the mount, lion, installed in front of her, faces east, and that of Soundara Nayaki south.

An interesting and authentic tale hangs around the second consort, Soundara Nayaki. It is said that Vadivudaiyal born to a wealthy village official in Appipalayam, at a distance of seven km to the west of Karur, was devoted to Pasupatheeswarar and was bent upon marrying Him. She performed Siva puja daily by observing all religious injunctions. Her parents could not dissuade her. On the other hand, Pasupatheeswarar assured them in their dream that he would marry their daughter on the seventh day of Panguni Uthiram festival, which will be indicated through a floral shower over entire Appipalayam. Vadivudaiyal was meditating when the whole village witnessed the downpour, and a glowing garland bedecked her. She was taken to Pasupatheeswarar temple where she merged with the lord. Even to this date, the utsava idol of Pasupatheeswarar is taken to Appipalayam, on the sixth day in the month of Panguni and returns on the seventh day with Soundara Nayaki.

Another noteworthy feature at this temple is the navagrihas. There are separate niches for Surya and Chandra in the kalyana mantapam. The eight-armed Kala Bhairavar in the same mantapam has been cast in a splendid way. At the outer prakaram are, the idols of 63 Nayanmars placed on a raised platform in a row. Out of them, Eripatha Nayanar was associated with this temple during the reign of Chola king, Pugazh Chola, and attained godly state for having killed the coronation elephant of the latter after it snatched the flower basket from an aged devotee of Siva, Sivakamiandar and trampled it. Pugazh Chola became a Nayanmar later. The idols of Eripatha Nayanar, Pugazh Chola, Sambandar and emperor Muchukunda (said to be a Chola king) are found at the corners of the enclosure around flagstaff. At the north-west corner of the outer prakaram is the sannidhi for Shanmugar, who is seen with His consorts. Proceeding further on the northern side of the outer prakaram one can see Pancha lingas.

The sprawling kalyana mantapam is a fine piece of architecture. Its supporting pillars impart a sense of rhythm and symmetry. The original floor must have been replaced with dark spark tiles at some point of time during the kumbabishekam, the last of which was held in 2006. The floor has been divided into three segments. The lower-most has the dwajasthambam, bali peetam and Nandi of a moderate size. The top-most segment leads to maha mantapam, ardha mantapam and garbagriha. The ceiling is splashed with paintings of puranic lore. The lingam, which is said to be swayambu, is five-ft tall. The highlight is the lingam is found tilted to the north. It is said that in order to enable Karuvur Thevar, one of the 18 siddhars, merge with the effulgence of Siva, the Lord tilted himself. At the south-west corner of the outermost prakaram, there is a sannidhi for him with an extended mantapam in front. His image in panchaloka is in ‘padmasana’ posture. Another phenomenon about this temple is that the sunlight falls on the lingam on the 14th, 15th and 16th day in the month of Panguni. In the small prakaram around the garba griha the walls are adorned with the images of Vigneswara, Ardhanareeswara, Brahma and Durga.

Saint Thirugnanasambandar, who has visited this temple, has sung in praise of the lord. Those songs have been catalogued under second Thirumurai. Out of the saivite quartet, Sambandar alone has visited this temple. Saint Arunagirinathar has sung in praise of Shanmugar and this sthalam in seven of his Tiruppugazh pieces.

From the inscriptions so far deciphered, it is clear that the temple existed during the reign of the king Rajendra Chola (1012-54 A.D.) since he gifted away land to this temple. For the Kongu Cholas and Kongu Pandyas, the temple was a favourite and , it the drew undivided attention of the Vijayanagar rulers too.

Though the sthala vriksham is said to be vanji, only vilva trees are seen now. The temple celebrates a plethora of festivals, the car festival being the most popular. Panguni uthiram is celebrated as brahmotsavam.

Route:

t can be easily reached both by road and rail from Tiruchi (76 km), Salem (100 km) and Coimbatore (113 km).

Temple Timings:

6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.

Temple Telephone Number:

04324 262 010

Temple Address:

Sri Kalyana PasupatheswararTemple

Sannathi Street,

Karur – 639 001.