It was a fine Sunday morning and after a relaxing head bath I headed to Karur Bus stand. I saw the town bus to Karur Bus stand, leaving the bus stop. I had to catch it or spend 25 bucks for auto. I almost ran and boarded the bus just after it has started or as it is told in local slang, I boarded it in running, very much to the astonishment of those guys hanging onto the footboard. I suddenly realized I was in Karur, and not a city, to find girls in footboard of public transport systems. Well, too late. Those guys couldn’t help but staring this ‘different’ girl. Then I reached the bus stand and took the bus to Erode, which halts at Kodumudi.
It was a, not so good ride, with the Tamil movie ‘Saamy’ blasting my ear drums. An half-an-hour ride to reach Kodumudi. As usual the curious lady sitting beside on the bus, asked, “Are u a muslim or a hindu..???”. Why am I targeted..??? I asked “Why?”. She said “Your bindi is contradicting with the scarf atop the head.??”. Oh my, I said, “The scarf is to protect my crowning glory”. She said “OK”.
As soon as alighted at Kodumudi, as usual I asked the nearby shopkeeper, “Where is the temple.????”. That sweetheart directed me well. I had to walk up in the road opposite, and across the Kodumudi railway crossing and further down and then take a left. On the way, I asked another person, “Where is the temple..???”. He said “Straight and then left. Any parigaram..????”. Errrrrr.. Hmmm….. I said “No.” and continued on my way.
As I reached, I could feel the positive vibes of this great Trimurthy Sthalam (Place of 3 Gods). As the name denotes, this temple has the shrines of All 3 major Gods of Hinduism, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. It was so pleasing to see 2 huge entrances with the hoardings “Om Namah Shivayah” and “Om Namo Narayanayah”, just besides each other. Dunno why, but I felt like cursing KamalHasan, though I like him, the moment I saw this. Yet, I didn’t. It’s not a right thought to have in front of an age old temple.
Kodumudi, has a great legend attached to it. It was here the great Saint Agasthiyar sang upon the Magudeshwarar (Shiva) here. Agasthiyar stood on the nearby rock located within the Cauvery River and saw this place. The whole place appeared as a huge Shiva Lingam to him. He decided that, placing his feet on the land would equal to placing his foot on the Lingam, and sang from the rock itself. This rock is still there to be called as the ‘Agasthiar Paarai’. It could be easily reached from Kodumudi temple via ‘Parisil’ – circular boat. But the gentle man oarsman there said, “Come with few more guys and gals, coz it isn’t safe for a girl to go alone. The ghost Muni living there, would slap any gal who comes there alone”. Ok. I couldn’t force him. I asked another lady there who said, “There might be anti-social elements there. Don’t go alone there”. Well, no choice, I returned into the temple.
I went in to meet Ishwaran (Shiva) first. He was so gratifying to just look at him. The speciality is that he is a ‘Suyambu Lingam’ – Self emerged. Since, Saint Agasthiar touched Shiva Lingam and prayed here, till date, his finger prints can be seen on this Lingam. I couldn’t see the finger prints clearly, so I asked if I could come in and see, the priest said, “You’ve to get the Special Darshan ticket”. It was just 10 bucks and I could see the finger prints in close-up. Great Darshan.
I came out and did Pradakshinam – circumambulated. On the path are, Cauvery kanda Vinayagar, Dhakshinamurthy, Agasthiyar Lingam, Murugan, Durga, Chandigeshwarar and unusually perhaps, Brahma as well, apart from usual Nalvar and Nayanmars. And the Bronze sculptures of Kunchitha Pada Natarajan (Dancing Shiva) without Muyalagan is a treat to eyes with his Chathurmuga (Legs forming a square) Thandavam. Other bronze sculptures are of Bhikshadanar, Chandrashekarar, Uma Mageshwarar and Thripurasamhara Murthy.
The specialty of Cauvery kanda Vinayagar is, as the name says, was found in Cauvery River. The Dhakshinamurthy here sits on Rishabam with Muyalagan beneath, very much unusual. The inscriptions of King Sundara Pandiyan could be observed. Agasthiyar Lingam was a little corroded lingam and Lord Muruga here sits on the peacock which faces the direction, opposite than usual. All the shrines have something unusual in it. And that’s what I love about it.
Then, I came out to meet his consort, Vadivudai Nayagi on his left. This way of the presence of Nayagi to the right of Shiva is called ‘Kalyana Kolam’ i.e ‘Marriage pose’. Apart from Madurai Meenakshi this is the only place where she is to his left. As I circumambulated her, I met Vallabai Ganesan with his consort, Chandigeshwari, and Saptha Madha.
Then I came out and went to meet Veeranarayana Perumal. Vishnu here is in Ananthasayanam with head at north, just like as in Sri Rangam. As a matter of fact, he is 1’ longer than he is in Srirangam, but his bed of Adhiseshan has just 2 rounds here, whereas it has 7 rounds in Srirangam. His consort Thirumangai Nachiyar is in a shrine to his left.
Then just below the Sthala Vruksham – Vanni Tree is the three-faced Brahma. The fourth face is considered to be the tree itself. This tree doesn’t bear any fruits or flowers, so the offspring of this very tree isn’t anywhere. Half of the tree has thorns whereas the other half doesn’t. This is to understand that both Brahma and Saraswathi are together here. It is said that this tree is living ever since the times of the Pancha Pandavas. Every ‘Kalasam’ – holy container of water that goes from here to Pazhani to bathe Lord Muruga there, is further blessed with the leaves of this tree.
Another specialty here is the Sanishwarar shrine here. Sanishwarar here is seen sitting on the crow, facing east, whereas in Thirunallaru itself, he is standing facing the crow. Also seen here is a Hanuman shrine.
The River Cauvery here takes a turn to east after flowing south wards until here. And its said that a holy dip here can remove all sins.
This sight of an albino kid with a black skinned kid was also unusual and my I had to get it into my frame. The sight personifies the belief, that Cauvery removes all sins. It removes the mental sin of skin color differences and bathes and embraces everyone together.
After obtaining the blessings of all the lords and gods, I walked my way back to the bus stand. I took the bus that goes to Pollachi that passes through Muththur, my next destination. It was a small sweet village, and the bus ride to Muththur was a great relief to the otherwise rather computerized eyes. I alighted at the Muththur bus stop to meet my friend, waiting for me there. I went to his place. It was a beautiful little home with my all time favourite, Kayathu kattil that replaced the sofa there. I rested for a while before we left to the decade’s old Muththur Govt. School. It was here, where not only he studied but also his dad.
Sudden nostalgia spread all over me and I missed my school days as well and got reminded of all those lovely days, of playing around the trees and climbing them and last row pranks and the great teachers. I miss them all. I love them all.
Then we returned back to his home for a sumptuous meal. A fantastic south Indian meal with rice, drumstick sambar, rasam, curd, carrot-beans fry, with 3 varities of bajji’s as well. I loved it. And her hospitality was at its max and ate my heart’s content. After a little nap and chit chat we left to the Noyyal River Dam. It was sad to see the present state of the place. The water was almost black, thanks to the dyeing units in Erode. The river is damaged to such an extent. Still, seeing the brighter side of every place, I loved the huge honeycombs here. They say the sting of 3 of these mountain honeybees is enough to kill a person. I dunno the truth behind it, yet I took the courage to stand below it for a shoot. Well, the shot came out good, courage pays...
Then we went to the Ishwaran Koil in the Muththur as it is in every other place. In Muththur he is Chozhishwarar. It must be an age old temple, the flooring and bits and pieces of inscriptions proved it. Yet in the year 2000, it was completely demolished and rebuilt with tiles and cement and the temple doesn’t have the old charm anymore. But contrary to the outside world, this temple had lovely pigeons and doves all over. I was lucky to see a pigeon drinking water for a pretty long time. Lovely sight, it is.
We then went to shop opposite to it called Selvam CoolDrinks. This place is so well known here and always too crowded. The specialty……… Home Made Icecreams. We had a cup of it and it couldnot be differentiaited from any brand, except for the packaging. I loved it, and their presentation of it with tutee-fruity atop was further enhancing the feel good factor.
It was evening 6 by then, and I caught my bus back to Karur with the blessings not only the Lords and Gods, but also my friend’s old granny.
TO REACH THERE:
From Karur: 26 km
Any bus that goes to Erode passes through Kodumudi, apart from Kodumudi buses.
From Erode: 38 km
Any bus that goes to Karur passes through Kodumudi
Buses that go to Pollachi from Kodumudi passes through Muthur
Dedicated to Arun