|Location of the temple||Tirunanaa (now known as Bhavani)|
|Lord Shiva known as||Sangameswarar|
|Female deity known as||Vedhanayagi|
|Pathigam||Sambandar - 1|
|How to reach||Bhavani is located 56 Kms from Salem and 15 Kms from Erode. Bus facilities to Bhavani are available from Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode and Salem.|
|Temple address||Arulmighu Sangameswarar Temple|
Map showing location of Bhavani Sangameswarar Temple
Map courtesy by: Google Maps
The sacred temple of Bhavani Sangameshwarar is situated at Kooduthurai or Triveni Sangamam, which marks the confluence of three holy rivers in Tamilnadu, namely, Bhavani, Cauvery and Amrutha nathi (an invisible underground water source). The temple is spread over an area of approximately 4 acres on the northern banks of the Triveni Sangamam. The temple has two major gates or entrances. The Rajagopuram in the north has 5 distinct tiers and 7 kalashas. The temple stands as an example for and is a testimony to the unity of the Saiva / Vaishnava cults, by being the abode of Lord Sangameshwarar and Goddess Vedanayaki as well as that of Sri Adi Keshava Perumal and his consort, Sundaravalli thaayaar.
Goddess Vedanayaki stands grand and gorgeous, facing east. To the right of this shrine, is that of Lord Subrahmanya. A few steps past him, is the presiding deity of this spiritual town, Lord Sangameshwarar. Here, the god is 'self-manifested' as a Swayambhu Lingam. It is of special significance that the sannidhi of Lord Subrahmanya (Muruga) is situated between those of his parents, akin to Somaskandar who is always under the love and care of his parents.
Bhavani is considered to be the foremost of 'parihaara sthalangal' of Tamilnadu. People from all over the country visit here to offer their special prayers and obeisance to atone for their sins and misdeeds from birth to death.
At the meeting point of the rivers Cauvery and Bhavani, is also the holy temple of Gayathri Lingeshwarar. It is believed that Sage Vishwamithra installed the lingam here and worshipped it, chanting the Gayathri Mantra and hence the name, Gayathri Lingeshwarar. One can see devotees performing special poojas and making offerings as 'parihaaram' here for familial peace and success.
Old belief propounds that when dead bodies are cremated here, their skulls do not burst or explode. The hundreds of shiva lingams that are believed to be lying buried under the sands of this town bestow the power to preserve the skulls of the bodies cremated here.
At the south-west corner of the temple premises is the Jujuba tree or 'Ilandhai tree', which is the 'sthala-vruksham' of this temple. Vedic speak suggests that the divine scriptures reincarnated themselves as the holy tree here for protecting the sanctiity of the place. Hindu mythology also narrates a story of how Lord Shiva gave special darshan as Swayambhu to Lord Kubera in this divine location. The tree serves as a source of delicious fruits to offer to the lord as naivedhyam, every day.
The temple boasts of a beautiful ivory 'oonjal' (swing/cradle) that was dedicated to Goddess Vedanayaki by an English dignitary named William Garo. During the days of the British Raj, Sir William Garo served as the Chief Collector of the Bhavani region. He desired to visit the temple and pray to the goddess, on hearing about her greatness, splendour, beauty and power, from the people. Since there were restrictions on foreigners entering the temples in those days, his officers found a way out for him. Three holes were made on the outer wall of the temple to facilitate darshan. Garo worshipped the goddess every day through these holes. One can see them on the wall even today.
One night, when Garo was in deep sleep in his first floor bedroom, he dreamt that a beautiful young woman, almost a replica of the goddess woke him up, held him by the hand and quickly led him out of the room. Garo was startled and he ran down the stairs. The very next minute, the structure collapsed and crashed to the ground. Garo had a miraculous escape; he felt he owed his life and everything he had to the grace of the goddess. He had a beautiful ivory cradle specially hand-crafted for the goddess and gave it to the temple as an offering with his signature inscribed on the frame.This incident happened on January 11, 1804.
The Tamizh saint-poet, Arunagirinathar has sung the praise of the Muruga here in his Thiruppugazh pathigam.,/p>
Lord Jwarahareshwarar, adjacent to the shrine of Murugan, is seen with three arms, three legs and three heads. Tamizh history states that when the Saivite saint-poet, Thirugnanasambandhar, one among the 63 nayanmaars and the third amongst the top 4, visited this holy site, a sudden fever and disease gripped his disciples. Sambandhar and his 'adiyaars' (disciples) were relieved from this illness only after praying to Jwarahareshwarar here. The southern hallway hosts the idols of the 63 nayanmaars in a golu-mandapam type of arrangement.
Almost all of the Kongu Ezhu Sthalangal (Shiva temples of Kongu naadu) including Bhavani boast of an exclusive sannidhi for Lord Saneeshwara. Devotees believe the Bhavani Saneeshwara to have great divine power.
One can have a pleasant darshan of Lord Amirthalingeshwarar as one takes a walk around the main shrine. People believe that the lord showers the blessing of a family and progeny to the childless, for a simple offering of a 'pradakshinam' (a walk around him) with a lingam on their waist.
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