Saturday, December 3, 2011

Temples Near Thiruvarur - Part II

Absorbed by the divinity of Vidanga Murthi, woshipped by King Musukuntha, Devendra asked Visvakarma to make six more Vidangas resembling the one at Thiruvarur. With the Divine Grace of Thyagaraja, Musukunda identified the original Vidanga among the group of seven Vidangas. The disappointed Indra was convinced later by the Lord and asked to worship them in six places around Thiruvarur namely, Thirukaravoil, Thiruvoimur,Thirukuvalai(Thirukkolili), Thirunallaaru,Vedaranyam and Nagapattinam. These Temples are therefore known as "Saptha Vidanga Sthalams"

Thirukkolili (Thirukkuvalai) is 35 km southwest of Thiruvarur. Buses are available from Thiruvarur and Kachanam on Thiruthuraipundi road. The nearest railway station is at Thirunellikkaval, 20 km from this place. Since Navagrahas {"Kol"} have worshipped Shiva here and stand in the same row unusually , those who visit this place are believed to get rid of "Navagraha Dhosha". Since the effect of Graha is nullified/reduced the place got the name, "Kol ili" Both Swami and Ambal sannadhis face East. Thyagaraja sannadhi is on the right of Sanctum where Brahmapureeswara is the main deity.Bheema freed himself from the "Dhosha" of killing Bagaasura by worshipping at Thirukkuvalai. Inscriptions date back to the period Kulothunga Chola and Sadaya Varman Sundara Pandian are found in this Temple.They talk about their donations offered to oil the lamps inside the Temple.

Lord Brahmapureeswara of Thirukkuvalai is sung in Thevaram Hymns by all the three acharyas. Sundara Murthi Nayanar was feeding Shiva Devotees at Thiruvarur for which he used to pray the Lord to give him Paddy/Gold so that it could be possible for him to carry out the Holy Task. During his visit to Thirukkuvalai, Sundarar prayed the Lord to show way for this noble cause. There was another devotee called Kundaiyur Kizhar,residing at Kundaiyur, about a km away from Thirukkuvalai, equally interested in feeding Shiva Bhakthas. Shiva appeared in his dream and told him that he was blessing him with a mountain size of paddy to be handed over to Sundarar. On hearing this, Sundarar was delighted and wondered how it could be shifted to Thiruvarur. He sang a "Padhigam" in which he prayed the Lord to arrange for the shipment of paddy to Thiruvarur. As a Miracle, the Shiva Bootha Ganas shifted the entire paddy overnight and laid them in front of each house at Thiruvarur.

Kundayur comes under the list of "Vaippu Sthalam" as a separate Padhigam is not available on this place. Sundarar has referred this place in his Hymns on Thirukkuvalai. The Temple at Kundaiyur is small but old. The sthala vruksham(Holy Tree) is also very old. Pilgrims visiting Thirukkuvalai should also make a visit to this Temple. The main deities are called Rishabhapureeswarar and Mangalambigai and there are sannadhis for Meenakshi and Sundareswarar in the prakaram. The trees near these sannadhis cover them like Umbrellas

Thiruvoimur, another Vidanga sthalam is about 7 km from Thirukkuvalai. The famous Subramanya Temple at Ettukudi is on the way. Etti is the Holy Tree here and hence the name. Valmeeki rishi worshipped Shiva here The moorthi of Subramanya is very special as the whole weight rests on the legs of peacock with fine craftmanship. His shrine is located between the sannadhis of Soundhareswarar and Anandhavalli.

Thiruvoimur is known as Leelaahaasyapuram in Sanskrit. A three tier Raja Gopuram is at the entrance and the area of the Temple is 180 x 144 feet Among the theerthams , Soorya Theertham on west, Paapamega Prasanda maarutha Theertham in front, Indra Theertham and Harichandra Nadhi deserve special mention here. The Sun God worships Voimur Nathar on 12th and 13th days of the Tamil month, Panguni when his rays fall over Swami and Ambal(Paalinum nan mozhiyaal/ Ksheeroba Vachani) Saiva Acharyas Sambandar and Appar have sung Thevaram inpraise of Voimurnathar. Neela Vidanga Thyagaraja Sannadhi is on the right of Voimur Nathar.Bhairava sannadhi on the Prakaram is a must for the visitors. Dhakshinamurthi on the Deva goshta is graceful.

Naminandi Adigal, a Nayanmar, hailed from Thiruneiper , not far away from Thiruvarur. He used to light the lamps at Thiruvarur Temple with ghee. As some Jains made mockery at his act and dared to light the lamps with water, Naminandi Adigal could do nothing except praying the Lord. He heard a voice from the sky asking him to light the lamps with water from Kamalalayam Tank . The lamps thus lighted by the Nayanar stood throughout the night to tell the world how great his devotion was.

The birthplace of the Nayanar has a Shiva Temple which is in dilapidated state. The compound wall has collapsed. It is strange why this small temple is ignored by the locals and other devotees who regard the 63 Nayanmars in high esteem. There exists a small sannadhi for Naminandi Adigal with folded hands in the prakaram. There is also a separate shrine for him on the main road which is of recent origin. Philanthropists from Thiruvarur and other places should come forward to save the Shiva Temple from destruction. This temple at Thiruneiper is located close to the main road that leads to Thiruthuraipoondi.

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