I came back that long way of 1.5 km to the bus stand and waited for the town bus no.97. It took its own time. Finally it came and I had to stand half the way. I took a ticket to Thirupparaithurai with the least idea as of where to get down. I passed through Perugamani, about which I had already written. Actually Pettavaithalai is situated in between Sirugamani and Perugamani. There I got a place to sit and I enquired the co-passenger to let me know if Thirupparaithurai comes. As usual, the locality (i.e.,
Luckily here the bus stopped just 100 m away from the temple. But I had my fingers crossed as it was already 12.00 noon and smaller temples close earlier for ‘Nadai Moodudhal’ or temple closure for noon. It’s believed that Gods take a little nap at that time.
Well, not so lucky. I ended up looking at the closed Sanctum Sanctorum of Paraithurai Nathar also called Tharukavaneshwarar. It had just closed by 11:30 or so. I just walked upto the door and came out. The temple was open, except the Sanctum Sanctorum and here too was a wedding that had just taken place and the whole group was having the wedding lunch in the temple’s mandapam. On my way out I saw a little lighted room on the side. I peeped in to see if I could find someone. And ahoy I did…!!! I met Mr. Pazhaniyandi the Meikkavalar of the temple. I enquired him if I could meet the priest. He said the priest had left and enquired where I was from. When I said I was bitten by the wanderlust and came here exploring, he said he could open the Sanctum Sanctorum for me. Wow!!! I said why not and I had a nice darshan of Tharukavaneshwarar aka Paraaithurai Nathar and Pasumpon Mayilambikai aka Hemavaranaambikai.
A speciality here is that in the Tamil month of Purattasi on the 18th the sunlight directly falls on the lingam in the Sanctum Sanctorum thus giving a solar prayer.
I asked him the lore and legend of the temple. That’s my favorite part in temple tours. I get to know my history and the rich cultural heritage of my dear
Well, this place was an
The Sanctum Sanctorum of Tharukaavaneshwarar has a suyambu lingam that is it was createdby itself and not man-made. All of the Saiva Nalvar have sung hymns on this temple. This temple was built in the Chozha reign some 400 yrs back. It was renovated during the Kanaadhu Kaathan time by Naagappa Chettiar. There is a sculpture of him in the Nandi Mandapam.
After chatting with him and gaining so many details, I looked into the circumambulation passage. It was pitch dark in there with no lights. I gave the passage a freaky look and stared back at Mr.Pazhaniyandi. He said, ‘You may go and have a circumambulation done while I wait for you. I’ll close the temple after u leave.’ That was so sweet of him, isn’t it..??? So I sported into that dark passage.
But as I went in it was not that dark. Since I was coming in from scorching sun at 12 noon, the whole interiors appeared so dark for me. It was not lighted as well. There were these occasional lights from the gaps of the ceiling. It was pleasant inside there but with no one besides in that dark surrounding, it was slightly freaky, too.
As I circumambulated the east facing temple I offered my prayers to Sapthamadha on the eastern wall. For a change, rather unusually there was a statue of Ayyanar - the village god, here. Then as usual in all Shaivaite temples, there were the Saiva Nalvar. Then I prayed Naagar, the snake God. Then I prayed Vigneshwarar and Nardhana Ganapathy in the south facing side.
Then comes the specialty. The shrine of Dakshina Murthy. Its an awesome shrine with an intricate work. The ‘Simhathoon’ pillars are exquisitely carved with lions that hold the whole pillar and the leaves on the tree behind Him were so intricate. Care had been taken to show each and every leaf than the tree as a whole. This shrine looked amazing and stood out from the rest despite of the freaky darkness and lighting that was lesser than a zero watt bulb.I think I’m gonna go this temple just for this shrine, once again. Let’s see…!!!
Then on the east facing walls were the several shrines including Somaskandhar, Valli Deivanai samedha Subramaniar, and the lingams of the elements of nature – Appulingam - Water, Theyulingam - Fire, Vaayulingam - Wind.
Ardhanareeshwarar was on the western side. On the northern side were Durga, Lakshmi, Mahalakshmi. On the south facing wall were the shrines of Mahalakshmi, Gajalakshmi, and a separate special shrine for Chandikesar. Then were the Navagraha in which only Sanishwara stands with his Crow. And I was again standing in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum.
There Mr. Pazhayandi was waiting for me and wondering where I had gone. A sweet and caring man he was. Then he showed me a ‘Chakra ’ – a cyclic relief on the ceiling. That was called the ‘Rasi Chakra’ or the Moon-Sign cycle. He said, if someone offers their prayer to Paraaithurai Nathar standing below their respective Moon-Sign the wishes would come true. Isn’t that incredible…??!!!
I came out and circumambulated in the outer passage. As usual the whole place was green and lively.
There was a shrine of Kanni Moola Ganapathy at the North-Western corner.
Centrally placed in the Western side was the ‘Sthala Vruksham’ or the tree of the temple ‘Paraai Maram’. There was an elegant lingam placed below the tree and the tree was showering its flowers and leaves on the Lingam. It was a pleasant and peaceful sight to keep seeing forever and feel so relaxed. There was also a man sitting there and relaxing and meditating here.
Further ahead on the South-Western corner was the shrine of Sri Dhandayudhapani.
Then ahead was a small Mandapam where the wedding lunch was going on which instantly triggered my stomach as well. Now, home or hotel…??? My cook would have taken efforts and prepared my lunch and having my dinner out wouldn’t be justified at all. So I drank some water and caught the bus back home…
At the back of my mind was the thought, ‘What if anyone in this moderately packed bus has Swine Flu’…???!!!!
TO GET THERE:
From Trichy: 20 km in NH 67 en-route to Pettavaithalai and Kulithalai
From Karur: 57 km in NH 67 via Kulithalai, Pettavaithalai
From Kulithalai: 19 km in NH 67 en-route to Trichy
Frequent buses available from Trichy and Karur.
Pettavaithalai is the nearest railway station. And town bus no: 97 from Pettavaithalai, drops you right in front of the temple.
P.S: I know the pics are dark n bad... Without my camera this was all I could manage with my cellphone camera... Again, dedicated to my Samsung D780. ROTFL... :D