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Devara Sthalam Devara Sthalam

Thirumuruganpoondi – Sri Thirumuruganathaswamy Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Thirumuruganathaswamy Temple 

Period of origin

 Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Sri Thirumuruganathar

Ambal: Sri MuyangupoonMulayammai

Sthala Theertham: Shanmuga Theertham, Gnana Theertham, Brahmma Theertham

Sthala Virksham: Gurukkathi, Mullai

Devaram: Sundaramurthy Nayanar

Sthalapuranam:

This is one of the 276 Thevara Paadal Petra Sthalams and 2nd Shiva Sthalam in Kongu Nadu. Lord Shiva graces in the temple as Swayambumurthi (self-manifested) The temple is west facing. There is no main tower (Rajagopuram) here. A large stone Sthupam (Lamp Pillar) is present in front of the temple, as in most of the Kongu Nadu Shiva temples. This is an ancient temple and believed to have been built in the 9th Century CE. The temple is now maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and is declared as a National Heritage Monument.  The temple has an interesting legend.  Proud of his prowess gained through rigorous penance, demon king Soorapadman tortured the Celestial Gods (Devars) and imprisoned them. Fearing for their lives, the disturbed Devars approached Lord Shiva to seek his help. Lord Shiva sent Lord Murugan with a large number of soldiers headed by lieutenant, Veerabhahu to destroy Soorapadman and his associates. After a fierce battle, Lord Murugan destroyed the demon and relieved the Devars. It is believed that Lord Murugan got Brahamahathi Dosham due to the killing of the demon king Soorapadman and others in the battle. This battle was referred to as “Surasamharam”.

To seek respite from this dosham, Lord Murugan installed a lingam at this place and worshipped it. Since this lingam was installed by Lord Murugan, it was given the name “Thirumuruganathaswamy”.   It is believed that while coming to worship Lord Shiva, Lord Murugan left his divine spear (Vel) and his mount peacock outside the temple. Because of this, Lord Murugan’s idol inside the shrine does not have the Vel and the peacock with him. It is believed that the Brahmmahati (the sin accrued by the killing of a Brahmin) that left Murugan is now in form of a square stone under a neem tree near the temple. Another legend associated with this temple is that of Saint Sundarar, one of the most celebrated saints of Saivism. It is believed that Saint Sundarar received valuable gifts from king Cheraman Perumal for his poetic excellence.

When Sundarar was travelling with his gifts near this place, Lord Shiva felt the need to listen to his compositions. He decided to play a little game with the saint and sent his Boodhaganas (the Lord’s army) in the guise of hunters to rob the Saint off all his valuables. Sundarar complained and prayed to a nearby Vinayakar to help him recover the gifts. Lord Vinayakar in turn directed him to this Shiva temple. Sundarar went to the temple and rendered a pathigam blaming the Lord for not protecting him from the hunters. Through his song, he expressed that the Lord’s divine presence in such a notorious place was meaningless. He demanded Lord Shiva’s immediate action to help him get back his valuables. Lord Shiva enjoyed the Saint’s composition and returned the stolen goods. This incident is celebrated as a festival called ‘Vedupari’. There is a separate place in this temple where it is believed that the Lord gave Saint Sundarar back his valuables (Pon maraithu vaidha idam). Interestingly, the King Cheraman Perumal who brought Saint Sundarar to this place later became a revered Shiva devotee occupying a place among the 63 celebrated Nayanmars.   Ambal is in a separate temple adjacent to Moolavar’s shrine.

Shrines for Saneeswarar, Navagrahas, Bairavar, Pancha Linganms, Suryan, Sandikeswarar, Dhakshinamoorthy, Bhavaneeswarar, 63 Nayanmars, Durgai and Lingothbavar are in the corridors. You can see two Sundarar idols at the entrance of the Lord Shiva’s shrine –  one sad and the other joyous, depicting his state of mind prior to and after the incident. Lord Shiva’s idol is also there as a Hunter (Veduvan). Sages Agasthyar, Markendeyar and Dhurvasar are believed to have worshipped the Lord here. Sage Durvasar is said to have brought the Mullai tree – the Sthala Vriksham from Karpaka Lokam (Heaven). There is also a hall in the outer corridor (Prakaram) called Adalvallan Sabha where the Lord is believed to have performed the “Brahmma Tandava” dance. There are three springs in the temple – the Shanmuga Theertham, Gnana Theertham and Brahmma Theertham. Saint Arunagirinadhar has also sang in praise of Lord Murugan of this temple in his revered Thirupugazh.

Lord Murugan’s idol inside the sanctum Santorum has six faces and it has the distinguishing feature of being carved out of a single stone. There is a shallow well opposite to Lord Vinayagar’s temple. It is believed that once in every 12 years’ water gushes out of this well. Just across the road, there is another Shiva temple which houses Sri Madhavaneswarar and Goddess Mangalambika. This temple is considered to be the original Thirumuruganpoondy temple. It is believed that devotees can be relieved from mental ailments and can get respite from the evil effects of curses by worshipping the Lord at this temple. This temple is also famous as a Parikara Sthalam for Kethu Dosham and Brahmahathi Dosham. It is also believed that devotees can recover their lost items by reciting Saint Sundarar’s Pathigam of this temple.

It is believed that taking a dip in the Shanmuga Theertham grants the boon of childbirth to the childless couples. It is also said that the Pandya King Maharadhan performed pooja here and was blessed with twins. The “Vedupari Urchavam” in the Tamil month of Thai (April) is very famous here. The annual Brahmotsavam is celebrated in a grand manner in the Tamil month of Maasi (May). Soora Samhaaram, Thai Poosam, Pankuni Uthiram, Skantha Shashti are also significant festivals celebrated in this temple.

Route:

45 kms from Coimbatore and 5 kms from Avinashi and Tiruppur. Nearest airport is at Coimbatore.

Temple Timings:

05.30 AM to 12.45 PM and 03.30 PM to 08.15 PM.

Temple Telephone Number:

04296- 273 507

Temple Address:

Sri Thirumuruganathaswamy Temple,
Thirumuruganpoondi, Avinasi-Taluk,
Tiruppur District
Pin code: 641 652.

Categories
Devara Sthalam Devara Sthalam Uncategorized

Thiruchengode – Sri Arthanareeswarar Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Arthanareeswarar Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Sri Arthanareeswarar 

Ambal: Sri Bagam Priyal

Sthala Theertham: Devatheertham

Sthala Virksham: Iluppai Tree

Devaram: Thirugnanasambanthar

Sthalapuranam:

This is one of the 276 Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams and 4th Shiva Sthalam in Kongu Nadu. Moolavar is Swayambhumurthy (self-manifested) constituted of Nava Bashanam. This temple is located at the top of a hill, at a height of about 1900 feet and there are about 1200 steps to reach the top. You can either choose to climb the stairs or take the motorable road. Vehicles are going right up to the entrance of the temple. The moolavar sannathi is facing the west. Lord Mahavishnu and Adiseshan are believed to have worshiped this Moolavar. This is an ancient temple and according to the inscriptions on the walls it must have been built about 2000 years ago.

The hill, that this temple is on top of, is mainly composed of sand stone and is reddish (senniram) in colour. This is why the place is called Sencode. Another reason for the name Sencode could be that the hill is a straight formation (Senguthana malai). Other names of this hill are Nagagiri (nagam meaning snake and giri meaning malai) and Vayumalai (wind). As per mythology, Adisheshan (the serpent on whom Sri Mahavishnu rests) and Vayu (lord of the winds) fought among themselves frequently to test their superiority. During one such struggle, against Vayu’s severe wind, Adhiseshan failed to hold on to the Mount Meru.  Three portions of Meru Malai came down to earth with Adisheshan’s blood strain. One such piece is this hill. Since it was believed to be red in colour due to Adisheshan’s blood strain, it is also called as sencode. An interesting fact is that this hill itself is considered as the Lingam. In front of this hill, on the west side is the statue of a large Nandhi – seven feet in length and four feet in height.

The distinctive feature of this temple is that the idol of the main deity is six feet in height with the right half depicted as male and the left half as female. The male portion of the idol has jadamudi (knot of hair), thandam (baton), Silambu (anklet) and Rudraksham mala whereas the female portion has a Kazhal at the leg and Thali around the neck. Due to the androgynous nature of the idol, the deity is known as Arthanareeswarar. The lord is also known as Madhorubagan and Ammayappan.  It is claimed that this rare posture of the Lord as prime deity can only be found in this temple in the whole of Asia. This temple also has an emerald lingam “Maragatha Lingam” and a small statue of Birunki Maharishi in front of the Moolavar.

As per mythology, it is believed that whenever Sage Birunki used to visit Kailash, he would take the form of a small insect and perform his worship by flying around Lord Shiva only. He would ignore the Ambal even though they were both sitting together. Angered by this, Ambal cursed Sage Birunki. Lord Siva intervened and pacified Ambal by explaining to her that Ambal is inseparable from Shiva. This legend is believed to be another reason behind this unique union of Swamy and Ambal as it represents the synthesis of masculine and feminine energies of the universe. Another reason for the origin of the androgynous nature of the lord is attributed to the belief that Ambal worshiped this Maragatha Lingam. Daily three times Pooja is performed to this Lingam and these poojas are believed to be performed by the Ambal herself.

Another legend associated with Thiruchengode is that when Saint Thirugnanasambanthar visited this place he found that the people were adversely affected by “vishakaichal“ (Viral Fever) due to “vishakkatru” (hazardous pollutants in the air). He sang the “Thiruneelakanda Pathigam” to relieve the people from their suffering. There is no separate Ambal Sannadhi as the Moolavar is of Arthanareeswarar. Senkottu Velavar shrine is on the back side of the main sanctum sanctorum. Mahavishnu, with his consorts Sreedevi and Poodevi, have a separate shrine here. Mahavishnu is worshiped here as Adikesava Perumal and a Battachariyar performs the daily poojas as per Vaishnava traditions. There is a small “Neer Ootru” (fresh water spring) under the Swami’s foot which has water in it always. This is called Devatheertham and is distributed to the devotees as prasadam. Here Lord Murugan is called “Senkottu Velavar” and is also a self-manifested idol constituted of “Vellai pashanam” (white poison).

According to the legend, once, in a contest between his brother Ganesha and himself, Lord Muruga lost the prize of the divine fruit (Gnana pazham). Angry with his parents, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi, Lord Muruga left Mount Kailash and came to south India and reached Thiruvavinankudi and thereafter reached Nagachala Hills (Tiruchengode) and took residence here and blesses devotees as Sengottu Velavar. A sixty feet long relief of Adiseshan inscribed in the hill on the way to the temple is very famous here. This relief of Adiseshan is revered by people hoping to mitigate the ill effects of “Sarbha Dosham”, Raghu Dosham, Kala Sarbha Dosham and Kalathira Dosham. The sculptures found in the hallway in front of the Senkottu Velavar shrine have intricate design and exquisite workmanship. The pillars in the hallway are beautifully chiselled with a number of rock reliefs. Overall this temple exemplifies the artistic expertise of ancient Tamil Nadu. Arthanareeswarar is considered to be the lord of the star “Sadayam” so special poojas are conducted on the days of Sadaya Nakshatram. It is believed that if one walks around the hill on a full moon day, he will get the benefit of visiting Mount Kailash and Vaikunth. It is also believed that serpent related Doshams are relieved by worshiping the Adiseshan here.

A special 21 day Pooja (Kedara Gowri Viradam) is performed in September – October (Puratasi month) by women for the longevity of their husbands and marital bliss. This temple celebrates the Vaikasi Visaga Festival every year in a grand manner. The special feature of this festival is that there are four car chariots – the first one for Lord Vinayagar, the second for Lord Sengottu Velavar, the third for Lord Arthanareeswarar and the fourth for Lord Aadhikesava Perumal. Great poets and saints like Arunagirinathar, Ilango Adigal, Kaviraja Pandithar have immortalized this temple in their divine poems. Saint Arunagirinathar has also composed Thirupugazh on Lord Senkottu Velavar here.

Route:

Thiruchengode is 20 kms from Erode and 35 kms from Namakkal. Nearest airports are at Coimbatore and Trichy both are at a distance of about 130 kms. Nearest major railway station is at Erode.

Temple Timings:

06.00 AM to 06.00 PM

Temple Telephone Number:

04288 255925, 93642 29181.

Temple Address:

Sri Arthanareeswarar Temple

Arthanareeswarar Hills

Thiruchengode

Namakkal District

Tamil Nadu

Pincode:637 211.

Categories
Devara Sthalam Devara Sthalam

Bhavani – Sri Sangameswarar Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Sangameswarar Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Sri Sangamuganatheswarar

Ambal: Sri Vedhanayaki

Sthala Theertham: Cauvery, Bhawani, Surya, Deva and Gayatri Theertham

Sthala Virksham: Ilanthai

Devaram: Thirugnanasambanthar

Sthalapuranam:

This is one of the 276 Devara Padal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 3rd Sthalam in Kongu Nadu. Lord Shiva in this temple is a Swayambumurthi (self-manifested). The town, the Goddess of this temple and the nearby river all have the same name – Bhavani. Bhavani is mentioned in the Hymns as Thiru Nana whereas it is now called Kooduthurai by the locals. The temple was built at the confluence of rivers Cauvery, Bhavani and ‘Amutha Nathi’, an invisible underground water source. So the Lord Shiva here is called as Sri Sangameswarar (Sangamam meaning confluene). The temple is situated at the foothill of Padma Giri and is surrounded by four hills – Naga Giri, Veda Giri, Mangala Giri and Sanga Giri. The temple has a beautiful five-tiered main tower (Rajagopuram) with two corridors. Bhavani Sangameshwarar temple is an ancient one, having been built by the first Pallava King, Mahendra Verman. The bird’s eye view of this temple shows it as an island surrounded by the two rivers. It is also said that a British dignitary by the name of William Garo donated a swing / cradle (Oonjal) made of ivory after he miraculously escaped from the collapse of his Rest house in the year 1802.  He felt that he was saved by the Goddess herself and became an ardent devotee after this incident. His signature can be seeThe legend is that Kuberan, the lord of wealth was visiting various Shiva temples when he saw an Ilandhai tree on the banks of Cauvery. He was astonished to see that a deer, a tiger, a cow, an elephant, a snake and a rat were drinking water without any sign of enmity.  He felt that the peace and prosperity of this place could be due to the worship and penance performed by the holy men (Gandharvas) who inhabited this place.

It is believed that Kuberan heard a voice from the sky saying that this was the place where the Vedas had originated and that he would find a Shivalingam beneath the Ilandhai tree. He was also advised to worship the Shivalingam to seek the Lord’s blessings. Kuberan worshiped the Lord and was blessed with a darshan. The tree is still there and bears a lot of fruits. Another legend associated with this place is that Sage Vishwamithrar is said to have installed another lingam on the banks of the river and worshipped it by chanting the Gayathri Mantram. Hence this lingam is called “Gayathri Lingam”.

At the entrance, shrines of Kottai Vinayagar on the left and Kottai Anjaneyar on the right can be seen. Inside the main tower, shrines of Raja Ganapathi and Lord Muthukumaraswamy (Murugan) are present. Shrines of Lord Vinayakar, Lord Murugan and his consorts, Goddess Gajalakshmi, 63 Nayanmars, Jurahareshwarar (in dancing posture), “Pancha Bhootha” Lingams, Kasi Viswanathar, Goddess Visalakshi, Amirthalingam, and Jeshtadevi can be seen in the corridors. Separate shrines for Lord Adhikesava Perumal, Goddess Soundaranayaki and Yoga Narasimhar are also present in this temple. Bhavani is a famous Sthalam for performing rituals to satiate one’s ancestors. Here Parikarams are also conducted for all dhoshams, including Nagadhosham. During Adi Perukku day, large number of devotees can be seen taking a dip at the junction of rivers Cauvery and Bhavani.

Daily Komadha Pooja (Cow pooja) is performed in this temple for the welfare of the populace. Cows are revered in Hindu mythology because every body part of a cow is attributed to a separate Hindu gods or goddesses. Saint Arunagirinathar in his Thirupugazh praised lord Murugan of this temple. Lord Dakshinamoorthy’s shrine is beautifully architected with intricate reliefs and iconographical sculptures. The procession idols of all the 63 Nayanmars are beautifully arranged on a few steps (displayed like a “Navratri Golu”). Surprisingly, Thirumuruga Kripananda Vaariyaar also finds his place as the 64th Nayanmar. There are two identical stone statues in front of the Ambal shrine. When water or milk is poured on them, it looks as if one of the idols is smiling while the other is shedding a tear. This exemplifies the artistic excellence of the era. It is believed that those who take a dip at the confluence spot of rivers Cauvery and Bhavani during the Solar and Lunar Eclipse can attain moksham (salvation). It is also believed that worshiping the Amirtha Lingam in this temple can grant the boon of childbirth to couples.

The thirteen-day long Car festival (Ther) in the Tamil month of Chithirai (April-May) is the most famous festival celebrated in this temple. It attracts lakhs of devotees from across of the country. Pradosham Pooja is conducted grandly. The 18th day of Tamil month Aadi (July-August) is called “Adiperukku” and it attracts large number of devotees who perform poojas on the river banks. Taking a dip in the river and performing rites during Amavasyas, especially Thai Amavasya and eclipse days are traditionally followed in this temple.

Route:

Bhavani is 16 kms away from Erode and about 55 kms away from Selam. The nearest Railway station for Bhavani is Erode. It is on the main Chennai-Trichi-Coimbatore bypass route. Nearest Airport is at Coimbatore which is 100 kms away.

Temple Timings:

05.30 AM to 01.00 PM and 04.00 PM to 09.00 PM.

Temple Telephone Number:

(04256) – 230192.

Temple Address:

Sri Arulmigu Sangameswarar Temple,
Bhavani Kudal,
Bhavani – 638 301,
Erode District.

Categories
Devara Sthalam Devara Sthalam

Kodumudi – Sri Magudeswarar Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Magudeswarar Temple -Kodumudi

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Sri Magudeswarar

Ambal: Sri Vadivudainayaki

Sthala Theertham: Kaveri, Bharathwaja Theertham, Brahma Threertham and Deva Theertham

Sthala Virksham: Vanni Tree

Devaram: Thirugnanasambanthar, Thirunavukarasar, Sundaramurthy

Sthalapuranam:

The temple is situated on the banks of the river Kaveri. There are three adjacent temples inside the same premises for Lords Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.  All the three towers are east facing. The temple has epigraphs from the time period of King Sundarapandiyan Kesari’s rule.

According to the legend there was a competition between Adiseshan (the serpent on whom Sri Mahavishnu rests) and Vayu (Lord of the Winds) to determine who is stronger. Lord Indiran prescribed certain rules to conduct the competition. They put Mount Meru at the centre and it was held tightly by Adiseshan, Vayu blew the wind with all his might to push Adiseshan. In the ensuing struggle, Meru’s peak (Magudam) split into 5 pieces and fell in five different places.

It is believed that the pieces came down as 5 different gem stones – Red Corel at Thiruvannamalai, Ruby (Manickam) at Rathinagiri (Thiruvatpokki), Emerald (Maragatham) at Engoimalai, Sapphire (Neelam) at Pothigaimalai and Diamond at Kodumudi. As per legend the Diamond that feel at Kodumudi became the Swayambulingam (self-manifested lingam) and the rest of the stones became hills. Since the origin of the lingam is from the Meru, the lord is called Magudeswarar.  It is also believed that Sage Agasthiyar installed and worshiped the idol of Lord Shiva and his finger prints can be seen on the deity.It is also believed that Kodumudi is the place where Lord Shiva performed a dance for Sage Bharadwajar.It is also said that both these sages were blessed with Lord Shiva’s wedding darshan here.

Near the Ambal Shrine, there is a separate shrine for Goddess Saraswathi. Amongst other deities, Idols of Lord Dakshinamurthy, Hanuman, Navagraham are in the corridors. Lord Mahavishnu is named here as Pallikonda Perumal and Veeranarayana Perumal. The mythological significance of Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma temples inside this premises is that they are believed to be worshiping Lord Shiva. 

Devotees throng the place in large numbers for performing ritual ceremonies (Tarpan/Shradh) for their ancestors on the new moon day on the banks of river Kaveri. Devotees can also be seen celebrating their 60th birthday here with Poojas (Ayushya Homam) for longevity.This is a place for Serpent (Nagar) worship because Adiseshan was responsible for the origin of this temple. Majority of the devotees come here seeking relief from the adverse effects of Naga Dosham and they install a small stone Nagar under the Vanni tree.

Historians are not able to estimate the age of the ancient Vanni tree of the temple. Under this tree, there is Lord Brahma’s idol with three faces. The age of this tree may be more than 3000 years.  It is believed that if a leaf from this tree is put in a pot of water, the water’s purity lasts for years. Interestingly, certain portion of the tree has thorns and certain portion are devoid of any thorns. It also does not blossom or bear any fruits. Although Lord Brahma is said to have four faces, in this temple Lord Brahma’s idol has only three faces and the Sthala Viruksham (Vanni Tree) is said to be his fourth face. It is believed that those who take a dip in the river Kaveri and worship the Lords Shiva and Vishnu, will be cured of diseases and will get relief for their ailments.

It is also said that one of the Pandya Prince’s fingers were not growing enough. The King prayed to this Lord after taking a dip in the river and soon his son’s fingers grew to normal size.  To show his gratitude, the King constructed the three main towers (Gopurams) and renovated this temple. Because of the association with Pandya kingdom, this place is also called Pandikkodumudi. Those afflicted by Raghu Dosham (adverse effect of planet Raghu) and those facing obstacles in marriage or child birth may pray here for relief. For longevity and betterment of life, people perform Poojas (abhishekam) to Lord Vinayakar using an equal number of pots of water as their age. “Chithirai Thirunal” festival is celebrated for 11 days in the months of April-May and is the main festival of this temple. Devotees also come in huge numbers on the “Aadi Perukku” day in July-August. Special Poojas are performed in this temple on new moon, full moon and “Pradosham” days. 

Route:

40 kms from Erode and 25 kms from Karur. Kodumudi has a railway station on Trichy to Erode route.  Nearest airport is at Coimbatore and Trichy both are at a distance of about 110 kms. 

Temple Timings:

06.00 AM to 12.00 Noon and from 04.00 PM to 09.00 PM. 

Temple Telephone Number:

04204-222 375

Temple Address:

Sri Magudeswarar Temple,
Tirupandikodumudi (Kodumudi),
Erode District, Tamil Nadu-638 151.