Garbharakshambigai Temple, Thirukarukavoor – The Temple
The Shri Garbharakshambigai Sametha Shri Mullaivana Nathar temple is spread over a wide expanse with huge towering Gopurams and a beautiful water tank in front of it. The temple is surrounded by tall coconut palms; the whole atmosphere is very calming and serene and lends the place sanctity.
The temple has a 5-tier Rajagopuram and an outer prakaram (closed precincts of a temple). There are inscriptions from the Chola Kings. The temple is 460 ft by 284 ft and has a gopuram facing east and also has an entrance facing south.
There is a garden in the southern side and a Vasantha Mandapam in the north. The sanctum of Mullaivananathar is in the second precinct and the shrine of Amman is located parallel to the Swami shrine.
The shrine is Nandi is located in front of Swami, with the Balipeedam and Dhwajasthambham located right behind the Nandi. There is a Nataraja hall and a yagasalai. There are separate shrines for Natarajar, Somaskanda, Karpaga Vinayagar and Navagrahas.
There are separate shrines for Sezhkizhar, Nalvar, Brahma, Durga, Santhanachariar, Dakshinamoorthy, Nrithivu Nayakkar, Arthanareeswarar, Mahalakshmi, Arumugan and Chandikeswarar. There are four water bodies associated with the temple. Sheerakundam (Parkulam) is the temple tank located opposite to the temple and the water is believed to be born out of the milk of Kamadenu, the sacred cow. Sathyakupam is a well located in between the shrines of Swami and Amman.
Brahma Theertham is a tank located north east of the temple - Nataraja gives Theerthavari during Karthigai Thivatharai in this tank. Vritha Kaveri is the branch of Kaveri, Vettaru (also called Mullivay) - the step shore is the bank for many of the temple occasions. The temple tree, Mullai tree is located in between the Swami Shrine and Chandikeswarar shrine.
The temple is an ancient Shiva temple. It dates back to 6th century. The three famous Nayanmars Thirunavukarasar, Thirugnanasambanthar and Sundarar have sung praise of this God and Goddess in soul stirring verses.
This temple is located on the banks of river Vettaaru, a branch of sacred river Cauvery. This is the first temple to be worshipped in Pancha Aaranya (five forest temples) sequence. The other temples are Alangudi, Avalivanallur, and Thirukollampudur.
The Swami (prime deity), Vinayagar (Ganesha) and Nandhi (Sacred bull) are Suyambu i.e, self manifested. Swamy is made up of hardened Ant Hill mud. Hence no Abishegam (holy bath) is offered to God.
Once upon a time this place was a Jasmine (Mullai) forest. Numerous Sidhars and Yogis have done penance in this place. They are said to have taught their disciples under Banyan trees.
One can still see number of Banyan trees on their way to this temple. Since this Swamy is self manifested Mullai creepers have grown around the Lingam. The impression of it has been marked over the Lingam. The temple priest will show it to you every time while he is doing Deeparadhana.
Niruthi is a Devata or God residing in Southwest direction who plays an important part in ancestors (History). Here Vinayagar is located as Nirudhi Vinayagar who wards of the evil sin committed by ancestors of the devotee.
Somaskandamurthi is one of the main aspects of Lord Siva. The representation of the child Murugan in between Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathi is mainly intended to emphasize the importance of the child in family life.
Here Subramaniyar (Murugan) Sannadhi is located in such a way that it is in between his parents God Shiva (Mullaivananathar) and Goddess Parvathi (Garbarakshambigai).
Mullai tree is the Thala Virutcham (Holy tree) in this temple. The well beside the Holy tree is sacred. Various rulers in Pallava, Chozha dynasty have endowed land for this temple and they have been marked as inscription in granite stones affixed adjacent to the Vimana of Swamy Sannadhi.
Goddess Garbarakshambigai bless for early marriage cures infertility related problem to conceive and bless for safe and trouble-free delivery. She is 7 feet tall and bless with a standing posture with a divine grace with one hand resting of the lower hip as if protecting the woman and the other with and the Abhaya Mudra symbolizing protection, peace and dispelling of fear.
The temple pond before the entrance has been created by Divine Cow Kamadhenu to feed child, Naidhuruvan and it is named as Ksheera Kundam (Milk Pond). Till now there is no maternity death reported in this village (Thirukarukavoor).
Devotees pay their respects to the presiding deity, Shri Mullaivana nathar (Lord Shiva) first, as is the custom that is followed in Shiva temples anywhere in TN and then to Goddess Garbharakshambigai.
Beauty of the Goddess:
Goddess Garbarakshambigai in Garbarakshambigai Temple is the supreme personality of Motherhood and the sanctum sanctorum (Garba Graha) of her temple is filled with the presence of her beautiful idol, which is about 7 feet tall and decked in beautiful kanjeevaram Sarees and exquisite jewellery.
She is adorned with fragrant, colourful flowers which are offered in abundance increasing her beauty. The Goddess has the most radiant smile on her face depicting positivity and a ray of hope. For the thousands who throng to her abode she is not just an idol, she is their only remaining hope.
Even a casual visitor cannot fail to be thrilled by the motherly grace and the imposing look of the Goddess here.