Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Vaidyanatha Temples

Pandavas of Mahabharat are said to have worshipped the temples near Mayiladuthurai to get rid of their serious illness. These temples are known as "Vaidyanatha Kshetrams" where the presiding Deity is called Vaidyanatha and His consort is known as Balambikai. Those who start from Mayiladuthurai can take the road leading to Pandur via Maapadugai and Ponnur. Anniyur is the other name for Ponnur village in Thevaram Hymns. Lord Abhathsahayeswara of Anniyur Temple is also called Vigucharanyeswara and Agneeswara as He is worshipped by Agni under a Lemon Tree. Since Manmatha, Rathi's husband was burnt by Shiva with His Third eye at Thirukkurukkai, south of this place, Rathi came to Anniyur and worshipped Him. Hence the Lord is also called Ratheeswara as He blessed Rathi. He is also known as Abhathsahaya as He blessed Harichandra. Sun God had created a Pond (Bhaskara/Surya Theertham) and worshipped Sri Shiva here. Sun's rays reach the sanctum in the month of Panguni (26-30) every year to support the Legend. Pandavas too visited this place to offer their worship , hence the Name, Pandaveswara. The Temple presents a new look now following renovation and consecration work carried out recently.

Sri Vaidyanatha Swami Temple at Pandur is about 3 Km from Ponnur. Surya Pushkarani , a beautiful Pond is in front of the Temple. The Sanctum faces East and Goddess Balambika faces South. A small shrine for Shakthi Durga , facing East is on the Prakara. Bilwa Tree is the sthala Vruksham here. Brahmothsavam is said to have been conducted on the eve of Panguni Uththiram. As Lord Vishnu in His incarnation as Krishna advised Pandavas to worship Lord Vaidyanatha here to overcome the incurable disease , He is known s Pandava Sahaya Perumal whose separate shrine is nearby. Chandrangatha, Pandu, Chandikai, and Nala have also got rid of their illness after worshipping at Pandur.This temple is being renovated now and the consecration is expected to take place in another couple of months. Those desirous of making contribution to this noble cause may contact the renovation committee (Sri Radhakrishnan on 09444533738 and Sri Ramanathan on 09282233044) to get more details.

Although Pancha Vaidyanatha Kshetrams include Vaidheeswaran Koil, some people are of the opinion that there are five Temples excluding Vaidheeswaran Koil and in this process they include Panayur, 2Km away from Pandur. The Temple is in the midst of paddy fields. As the original temple was under irrepairable condition, the villagers have raised a make-shift temple in the same place by restoring the deities inside. Though the villagers want to raise a permanant structure to house the Deities, paucity of funds prevent them from doing so. Tall trees of Palm are there in front of the temple with a beautiful pond on the other side.

Another 4 Km drive from Panayur will take us to Aiva nallur. This place might have been called as "Aivar Nallur" as Aivar (Pancha Pandavas) have visited this place. The situation at Aivanallur is similar to what we have seen at Panayur. The old temple is no longer there and all Deities are housed inside a thatched shed. Some damaged idols are also seen on the banks of the pond nearby. A huge "Magizha" vruksham adorns the bank of the pond. The villagers express their willingness to build the Temple provided some philanthropists join them to take up the job.

Varagadai Vaidyanatha Temple is a huge one and it is located some 5 km from Aivanallur.One has to cross Korkai (Kurukkai Veerattanam) on the way to reach Varagadai. As the priest of varagadai temple lives at Kurukkai, it is better to check his availability at his house before proceeding to Varagadai. The Historic Temple at Varagadai carry inscriptions and structures belonging to pallavas and Cholas. Renovation work has started and compound wall on one side remains to be erected. However the renovation committee is optimistic of completing the work at the earliest to perform the consecration. The idols of Subramanya carved in a single stone and that of Dhakshi-namurthi are a treat to the eyes. Dhakshinamurthi in the Deva goshtam has a Bhaktha with folded hands instead of the usual Chanakadhi Rishis. The Nandi Mandapam has Lion Pillairs reminding us of the Pallava Dynasty.

The only West facing shrine in the group of Vaidyanathams other than the one at Vaidheeswaran Koil is at Radha Nallur. It can be reached from Varagadai (~7 Km) by crossing Manalmedu.This temple had suffered extensive damage and it is being renovated. Work on Ambal Vimanam is almost over and other vimanams and sannadhis are yet to be renovated. This pathetic situation would have been avoided had the shrine been renovated and consecrated once in 12 years as prescribed by Shivagamas. This temple is also visited by pilgrims to get cured from serious illness.

Yet another Vaidyanatha Temple is at Mannipallam, 2 km from Thirupungur on Vaidheeswaran koil- Manalmedu road. The Deity, 7 1/2 feet high is called Aadhi Vaidyanatha and the temple is being renovated.Further details can be had from 0 9444526253.

The visit to Vaidyanatha kshetrams can be completed by reaching Vaidheeswaran Koil which is a famous pilgrim centre. It is on Chidambaram- Mayiladuthurai road and also connected by train. Sidhdhamirtha Theertham inside the Temple is believed to cure incurable diseases.Since Ankaraga has worshipped Vaidyanatha Swami here, people visit this temple to seek remedy for Ankaraga Dosham.Lord Subramanya is called "Selva Muthukumara Swami" here and people in large numbers worship Him on Kruthigai days.
Sri Vaidyanatha Swami is The KulaDevatha of hundreds of families in India and abroad. We appeal to them to visit all the Vaidyanatha kshetrams as well and take part in their renovation work and daily maintenance. If there are takers to this appeal, the Vaidyanatha Kshetrams in thatched sheds can be rebuilt and restored to their old glory. It is indeed nobler than pouring money to rich places.We do not know how many of us will take the call in the right spirit.