Pasupathiswarar Koil (Karur - Tamil Nadu)

My granny and granda badly wanted to visit some temples in and around Karur. I asked my friend to accompany us and we were 4 on almost a pilgrimage. We rented a car and our devotional day started off.

Our first destination was Karur Pasupathiswarar Koil. Located just a km from the Karur Bus-stand, this temple is the local Ishwaran Koil (Lord Shiva Temple). This temple is one of the Kongu Ezhu Sivathalangal (The 7 Shiva Temples of the Kongu region). Pasupathiswarar is also called Aanilaiappar in Tamil. This temple was during the reign of the Chola kings, however some parts of the temple seem like the Pallava architecture. It was built by Musugundha Chakravarthi along with the Abayapradha Ranganathar Koil.
The temple was given land as a gift by Rajendra Chola in 10th C. So it must be existing even before 10th C. Also Karur had business with the Romans, so the temple seems to be existing for atleast 2000 years now!!! Amazing isn’t it.? Am so happy to be a part of a civilization this old!!!
Apart from the main diety of Pasupathishwarar in the form of Lingam (As it is found I all South Indian temple), there are 4 more lingams situated in all the four other directions. So this temple is considered a Pancha Linga Sthalam.

The temple is east faced and the Raja Gopuram in the entrance is 108 ft tall.

Just as we enter there is a pillar which has some exquisite carvings on all four sides. These patterns are similar to the local Suzhi Kolams or the internationally knows Celtic Patterns. Further more as we proceed, we prayed to Vinayakar. The Maha Mandapam has several pillars and each of it has several reliefs on them. On the south a separate mandapam is located. On the north the temple’s well is located. Since this is located in Agni Corner, this water is called the Agni Theertham.

On far south is a small passage which is essentially the circumambulatory passage. This passage leads initially to the Karur Siththar Samadhi. As I said already in the Konganar article, Sithar’s are yogists who are in the high meditative state and lose their physical state and attain divinity. This is the place where the Karur Sithar lost his physical state and attained divinity.

As we take a turn the Vinayakar Shrine is located right behind the Sanctum Sanctorum of Ishwaran. Completely on the northern side of the temple, a huge Goshala in which several cows are taken care of. It is a very common sight to see several devotees feeding these cows regularly. At the turn is the Vilvam Tree which is the Sthala Vruksham (Tree of the Temple).
While taking the circumambulation, I took my granda’s hand and my dear friend took my granny’s hand. In the inner circumambulatory passage are the sculptures of Arubathu Moovar (The 63 saints of Saivism). Then there are the shrines of Kanni Vinayagar, Nageshwarar, Soundharanayaki, Arumugar with Valli and Deivanai. Facing south are Ishwaran’s consort Vadivudai Nayaki aka Sowndharanayaki. Next to it the Palliyarai of the Gods. Facing East is the shrine of Alankaravalli aka Kirupanayaki. This is one of the few temples where there are separate shrines for the 2 consorts.
Also facing south is the bronze sculpture of Nataraja (the dancing form of Lord Shiva).

There is something very special about this temple. The first pillar to the left as we come out of the Sanctum Sanctorum is a special crypt called the Nalayira Chakra Bhandhanam. Its to be read in a circular, horizontal, vertical, diagonal ways all at a time.
It goes this way,
Vaamayaamani yaasivaa
Vaasiyaanilai vaanavaa
Vaanavaapala raayava
Vaayaraavana yaamava
Which means, “Oh Shiva who has the blue colored Nayaki in the left. You have the vahana of a Bull like a Horse! Oh Aaniyappa! The honored one! You’ve cleared the darkness of ignorance. You’re handsome! You dance in the dead night! Please show me the path to heaven!!!”
The Lingam in the Sanctum Sanctorum is called Aanilayappar or Pasupathiswarar as the Pasu (Cow) poured milk onto the Lingam directly from its breast. When the cow moved, it claw hit the Lingam. This mark as a small dent is still seen on the lingam. This lingam is a Suyambu Lingam which means it was created by nature itself and no one sculpted it.
The Consort Sowdhara Nayaki is considered as a human child and not a heavenly being like Alankaravalli. She was born in Appippalayam, a small village near Karur. She grew up to fall in love with Pasupathiswarar and married her on a Panguni Uththira Thiruvizha Day. This day is celebrated every year in a grand way and considered the annual festival.

Even though I and my friend had visited the temple already, we got a special treatment this time. To be accompanied by granny and granda is special isn’t it.? And for their age, everyone in the temple treated us with special care, I must add.
From there we went to Kalyana Venkatramanaswamy Koil. I’ll tell about this later. I went to this place later in a still more funny situation. So I’d tell about this temple on another day. From there we went to…………………
Wait and watch!!!
Dedicated to Granny, Granda and Monz

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

24 comments:

  1. Beautiful temple with such a lovely carvings. I loved the Ganesh carving most.

    Jhansi Fort

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  2. That was a good read with a lot of information. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience with us. I'll be waiting to read about the Kalyana Venkatramanaswamy Koil.

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  3. Amazing temple
    I love it !!!
    The carvings are wonderful :)

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  4. Such wonderful and colorful temples.. I love them..

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  5. This is a very nice post...reminds years ago on a visit to Singapore I have seen a similar but much smaller temple in the city...It had the same Facade (Entrance)
    Thanks for sharing

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  6. @Rajesh,
    Thank you so much dear... Isn't Ganesh so cute!!!

    @Ekanthapathikan,
    You're dropping in after a long time!!! Missed you in my blog.. :(
    Thanks dear for dropping and commenting. Will come with Lord Venky soon!!!

    @Anya,
    Thanks sweetheart!!!

    @Aysegul,
    Thanks honey!!!

    @Baron,
    Oh Baron!!! Missed you!!! Where have you been!!! Long time No C!!!
    Thank you dear. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Do drop in often.. :)

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  7. Thank you I will. I got into a motorcycle accident last year that put me out of commission for a while. All's good now so see you in Cyberspace my good friend

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  8. How nice to be able to visit this special temple with your grandparents.
    I love how colorful it is.

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  9. very interesting! i have been to this temple, but it was being renovated then, and we could hardly see anything there... i wasnt aware of most of the things u have mentioned about...

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  10. @Baron,
    Oh my dear. Hope all is well now... Take care buddy. All your near and dear ones (and also your cyber space friends like me!!!) need you and wish for your healthy living. Take care buddy!!!

    @Janie,
    Yeah. Isn't it so nice to visit places with 2 generations early, that too our own near and dear ones!!!

    @Anu,
    Oh!!! So bad that you were not able to enjoy the place. Do visit again. Its a beautiful place.

    @Phivos,
    They are, sweety... Aren't they.?

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  11. great write. i love that all the temples are in such color...and the carvings...they add so much...

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  12. nice view of the gopuram...i dont hav 2 c him, coz v meet at the mirror everyde :) a friend of mine - a cinematographer tuk da pic, wit mobile.

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  13. I love this colourful temples! So much detail!

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  14. Nice post with intricate details. Nice pics too. I had visited this temple in Feb'2008 during a temple tour to Trichy.

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  15. your attention to details is very good yaar...
    you keep delivering good posts...
    am too proud to be part of such an old civilization :)

    keep blogging
    cheers !!!

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  16. @Brian,
    Thanks dear.. :) These temples are always so inspirational!!!

    @Sujay,
    Was that you in that pic... I thought it was Manoj K Shyamalan!!! Excellent pic da!!! Convey my heartiest wishes to your buddy!!!

    @Jose,
    Thanks dear.. :)

    @Ram Sir,
    You are a wanderlust. You've been to so many places!!!!!

    @Sathish,
    Thanks da.. Yeah! Doesn't it feel proud to be a part of this rich country!!!

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  17. Hello, greetings:)

    Very interesting information and lovely photos of the temples.The architecture is amazing.

    I was astounded to read that Karur did business with the Romans 2000 years back. No wonder St.Thomas came to South India in the year 52AD probably in a Roman boat.

    Many thanks for taking me around various temples and providing very interesting information.

    Best wishes:)
    Joseph

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  18. I hope you do not mind but I love your Granny and Granda. It is great to have grandparents and for you to take them on special journeys.

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  19. @Joseph,
    Thank you. It might be!!!
    Thanks a lot for dropping by and commenting!!!

    @Ocean Gal,
    Why would I mind. I rather more than glad. And when my granny and granda go thru this, they'd be gald too!!!

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  20. @Jenny,
    Thanks for dropping by and thanks for your comments. :)

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  21. Hi ,

    Nice to see so much of the details about the temple. My wife was amazed at the amount of details you depict and the places you have covered.

    You may also be interested in Arapaleeswarar (1st & 2nd century AD) temple in Kolli Hills and the Akaya Gangai falls (down 1400 steps from the temple).

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  22. FYI ... other places of interest in Tamilnadu http://www.view360.in/virtualtour

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  23. @Senthil,
    Glad to know that my blog is of some use to you. Convey my regards to your wife as well. I am very happy for your appreciation!!!
    I've been to Kolli as a kid (I think in some 5th grade!!!) with my parents. Yet to go there as a trekker and to visit the temple. Hope to go thr soon!!! :)

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