Sunday, June 25, 2017

Avinasiappar Temple, Tiruppukoliyur (Avinasi)

Location of the templeAvinasi
Lord Shiva known asAvinasiappar, Avinasi Lingeswarar
Female deity known asKarunambikai
PathigamSundarar - 1
How to reach This Shivasthalam is situated 40 Kms from Coimbatore and about 14 Kms. from Tirupur. The nearest railway station is at Tirupur. Another paadal petra sthalam Tirumurugapoondi is about 5 Kms. from here.
Temple addressArulmighu Avinasiappar Temple
Avinashi Post
Avinashi Taluk
Tiruppur District
PIN 641654
Location map of Avinasi
Map showing location of Avinasi
Map courtesy by: Google Maps

Known by the name 'ThiruppukkoLiyur' during the period when the Thevaram (devotional hymns in praise of Lord Shiva) was composed, Avinashi is one of the prominent Shiva Sthalams of Kongunadu. The temple is spread over an area of approximately 1.5 acres with a magnificent seven-tiered Rajagopuram in the east, beckoning to and welcoming devotees from all over. There are two praaharams or circumambulatory passages inside the temple. Two endearing statues of the elephant-headed god Ganesha in the form of 'Narthana Ganapthy' are on either side of the Rajagopuram entrance. The pillars in the inner Mantapam are adorned with majestic sculptures of Veerabhadrar, Oordhwa Thaandavar and Mahakali Amman. Stepping into the inner praaharam, one comes face to face with the shrine of Lord Avinashiyappar, the primary god of this temple.

Here, the lord is in the form of a 'Swayambhu Lingam' or a self-manifested lingam. At the north-west corner of the inner praaharam stands Lord Muruga and at the north-east corner, is the shrine of Kaaraikkal Ammaiyaar. The idols of the 63 nayanmaars also add interest and importance to this praaharam. The Kaalabhairavar here deserves special mention. The 'aimponn' statue of the cosmic dancer, Lord Nataraja draws devotees and creates a sense of richness, beauty and grandeur in their hearts. It is believed that Lord Brahma worshipped Shiva here for a 100 years, Indra's elephant Airavata worshipped for 12 years, demoness Thataka for 3 years and Naagakannika for 21 months.The shrine of Goddess Karunaambika is found to the right of Avinashiyappar's. The goddess showers grace and mercy on her devotees, true to her name. With her beautiful, benevolent and merciful appearance, she blesses her devotees like a mother.

The porch behind the shrine of Amman has a carving of a scorpion. Devotees light lamps and pray to this, with the belief that it would protect them from venomous creatures and cure them of mental illnesses such as anxiety, nightmares and the like.

Thiruppugazh Sthalam

Avinashi has special significance with regard to Thiruppugazh. The temple plays a proud host to the shrines of Lord Subrahmanya, Baladhandayudha Paani and the artistic, hexagonal shrine of Senthilnathan. The Utsava-Moorthy or the procession idol of Lord Muruga has one face and two arms and is seen with his consorts, Valli and Deivaanai. There is also a Utsava-Moorthy of Kumara Subrahmanya. The Tamizh Saint, Arunagirinathar has sung three pathigams or verses on the Muruga here, in his Thiruppugazh.

The temple is enriched by three ground water sources namely, Kashi Ganga (a well), Nagakannika Theertham (a well) and Airavata Theertham. The sacred tree is the mango. The Avinashi temple car is one of the biggest amongst the temple cars in Tamilnadu and is popular for its size and craftsmanship.

History of the place

When the nayanmaar Sundarar visited this Sthalam, he happened to hear two distinct cries- one joyful and the other, grieving and sorrowful from two houses, located opposite to each other. Puzzled, he enquired what was happening. He was told that two 5-year old Brahmin boys from the two homes had gone for their daily ablutions and bath in the nearby stream and that one of them was swallowed by a crocodile. The joyful cries came from the house of the surviving boy, where his family was making arrangements to perform his Upanayanam (the sacred thread ceremony) and the grieving cries came from the house of the deceased boy. The parents of the latter got to know about Sundaramoorthy Nayanmaar's visit and sought his help. Sundarar, overcome by pity and grief, wanted to go to the stream and propitiate the crocodile. He sang the verse, 'ettraan marakken'.

'உரைப்பார் உரைப்பவை உள்க வல்லார் தங்கள் உச்சியாய்
அரைக்காடு அரவா ஆதியும் அந்தமும் ஆயினாய்
புரைக்காடு சோலைப் புக்கொளியூர் அவிநாசியே
காரைக்கால் முதலையைப் பிள்ளைதரச் சொல்லு காலனையே'
thereby almost demanding from the Lord that he bring the child back to life. At that moment, by the infinite grace of the God, water gushed in and filled up the drying stream, bringing the crocodile with its flow. The animal spat out the boy as a healthy 10-year old. Avinashi or ThiruppukoLiyur is famous for this miracle.

About half a kilometer to the south-west of this temple, is a lake known as 'Thamarai Kulam' or the lotus pond. There's a temple dedicated to Sundarar on its shore. This temple is famous for its historical sculpture of an enormous crocodile, with a little boy coming out of its mouth (muthalai vaaippillai). On the day of Panguni Uthiram festival, the Utsava-Moorthy of Lord Avinashiyappar is brought here. The Thiruvilayaadal tale of 'muthalai vaaypillai' is enacted and celebrated as a festival in itself on this day. Other important events of this temple include Vaikasi Vishakam and Aruvatthumoovar, the procession of the 63 naayanmars.

The 6 theerthams of this temple are

1. Kasi Gangai Theertham
2. Theppakulam
3. Nagakakannigai Theertham
4. Thirunallaru
5. Thamaraikulam and
6. Iravathathurai.

The most important Festival of this temple is the annual Car Festival celebrated in the Tamil month of Chithirai (April-May). This Festival is one of the biggest event in this region, celebrated for 11 days. The Lord will be carried in different carriers in the first four days. The Car pulling is the Prime attraction of this festival and the grand function will be completed with the function of pouring turmeric water.

6 poojas are offered everday in this temple. They are:

1. Temple opening : 5.00 A.M
2. Ushat Kalam : 5.30 to 6.00 A.M
3. Kaala Sandhi : 8.00 to 8.30 A.M
4. Uchikalam : 12.00 to 12.30 P.M
5. Sayarakshai : 5.30 to 6.00 P.M and
6. Artha Saman : 7.30 to 8.00 P.M

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