Monday, October 23, 2017

Vigirthanatheswarar Temple, Venjamaakudal

Location of the templeVenjamaakudal
Lord Shiva known asVigirthanatheswarar
Female deity known asVigirtheswari
PathigamSundarar - 1
How to reach To reach this Shivasthalam, one has to travel south-west 16 Kms from Karur on the way to Aravankurichi and go in a branch road about 10 Kms. The temple is located on the east bank of river Kudaganaaru.
Temple addressArulmighu Vigirthanatheswarar Temple
Venjamaakudal Post
Via Moolappadi
Aravakurichi Taluk
Karur District
PIN 639109

Once, the dam across River KudaganAru near the village of Vedachandur breached and the river was in spate. The flood waters gushed, sweeping away homes, temples, people, children and their belongings. The entire village including a centuries old temple, was destroyed. The granite blocks used to build this temple were washed away by the raging waters over several kilometers.Later, in 1982, people of the Erode Arul Neri Thirukkoottathar group took interest in rebuilding the temple, raised lakhs of rupees and performed a grand kumbhabhishekam on 26-2-1986.

About the temple:

At the confluence of the two rivers KudaganAru and ChittrAru, is the quaint village of Venjamaakkoodal. It is said that the place got its name from the Tamizh word 'koodal' meaning 'merge or confluence' and from Venjan, the name of the hunter King who ruled over the tribe of that land. This ancient temple is believed to be over 1200 years old and sits on the lush eastern banks of Chittraaru. The granite lamp-post or Deepasthambham, a traditional feature in the Kongu Naadu Shive temples welcomes one to the temple. The Raja Gopuram has 5 tiers and its grandeur is aptly matched by the long, wide and airy corridors. The presiding deity bears the name Vikirtha Natheshwarar and his consort, Vikirtha Natheshwari. A downward flight of 17 steps comes into view as one enters the temple through the Rajagopuram, leading to the praaharam. Being a river bank and a low-lying area, it becomes evident as to how and why the temple was so badly ravaged by the flood waters. Down the steps, one comes face to face with the roomy mantapam, the customary sacrificial altar and a statue of Nandi. The shrines of Swami and Amman can be accessed from the outer passage way.

Idols of the four prominent Saivite Nayanmaars, Appar, Sundarar, Sambandar and Manickavaachagar followed by the other nayanmaars complete the inner praaharam. On the pedestal of each naayanmar are given details of his/her origin, tribe or tradition, period when he lived, birth star etc. The south-west corner draws our attention with Lord Ganesha as Sthala Vinayakar, Pancha Lingas and the north-west corner, with a shrine of Lord Muruga with Valli and Deivanai.

The shivalingam in the sanctum is 5 ft tall, facing east. The idol of Ambal is about 2.5 ft in height, in a standing posture, also facing eastward. The outer wall of the temple is decorated with pictures of Kamadhenu performing abhishekam to the lingam with milk from her udder. The entry doors to the main shrine are specially embellished with beautiful carvings of devataas (gods) from the different Kongu temples.

Ithihaasa puraaNas give the idea that Lord Indra, the king of Devas came here and offered worship to Lord Shiva to seek redemption from his sins. Ancient Tamil literature highlights that Venjamaakkoodal is also one of the places where Sundaramoorthy Nayanmaar received gold as gift from Lord Shiva. The story goes that Shiva was so impressed and pleased by Sundarar's hymns that he came in the guise of an old man with his two sons. He brought them to an old woman (none other than Goddess Parvathi) and pledged them for a price to get an equal amount of gold to offer to Sundarar as reward for his Bhakti and poetic excellence.

Lord Muruga here is endowed with 6 faces and 12 hands. He is facing west, seated on a peacock with his devis Valli and Deivanai. Saint-poet Arunagirinathar has sung the praise of this Muruga in his Thiruppugazh pathigam.