Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Siva's Gift to Child Prodigy

Those who chant the names of the Lord attain all wishes. Such devotees even get many things they never aspired.When the child prodigy Thirugnanasambandar who became one of the four Acharyas of Saivism went to a place called Thirunelvoil Araththurai(now known as Thiruvattathurai),Lord Shiva blessed him with Palanquin & Umbrella,made of pearl.Sambandar accepted them as God's Grace and started using the same during his pilgrimages.

This place is one among the "seven thurais"{Aadithurai,Thiruvaalanthurai, Thirumaanthurai, Aaduthurai,Thiruvathittathurai(Thittakkudi),Thiru- varathurai,Thirukkaithurai} on the banks of the river,Niva.All the seven temples are worshipped by Saptharishis.

This is located 3 miles off Pennadam railway station on Villupuram-Tiruchi route.It can also be reached by road from Pennadam on the road leading to Thittacheri.There is a historic temple enroute at Erayur.This was known as Maaranpadi wherein Shiva offered water to Sambandar when the later was thirsty.Renovation work is in progress and it may take several months to complete it.

After crossing Erayur,one has to take a diversion after say 3km on Thittakkudi road and reach Thirunelvoil Arathurai.Although the village is fairly populated, very few people were seen inside the temple.Renovation work has been undertaken in this temple also.This may also take not less than six months for completion.

This temple belongs to Chola period and the outstanding sculptures bear testimony to the great skill possessed by the sculptors.Bhikshadana,Ganapathi, Nataraja,Dhakshinamurthi,GangaVisarjanamoorthi,Ardhanareeswara,Bhairava are the noteworthy sculptures not to be missed. Tharukavana Rishi pathni is also shown along with Bhikshadana in the panel. All these outstanding sculptures are housed in Deva goshtams around the sanctum.Moolavar is called Arathurainathar and the Ambigai is known as Anandhanayaki.The Lord is sung by Sambandar,Appar and Sundarar in their Thevaram Hymns.

Nearest place for stay is Virudhachalam and the Pilgrim's plan should cover places like Pennadam and Thirunelvoil Arathurai which are located nearby.