Friday, March 4, 2016

Padikasu Nathar Temple, Alagaputhur, Thanjavur

Padikasu Nathar Temple, Alagaputhur, Thanjavur
Padikasu Nathar Temple is a Hindu temple located at Alagaputhur in the Thanjavur district of TamilnaduIndia. The presiding deity is Shiva. The temple dates to the Chola period. This place is also called Arisil Karai Puthur. The Lords name is Swarnapureeswarar and also Padikasu alitha Nathar. The goddess is called Alagammai. All the Saiva Saints have sung Hymns in praise of this Lord (Sambandar, Sundarar and Appar).

In the route from Kumbakonam to Nachiyar Koil, This temple is situated in the midst of paddy fields at the beginning of this village itself. It is at a distance of 6 kms from Kumbakonam. Kochengat Chola of Chola dynasty built this temple.

Legends
Lord Muruga punishing Brahma:
During his visit to Mount Kailash, Lord Brahmma bypassed Lord Muruga and proceeded.  Muruga intercepted him and asked who he was.  Brahmma introduced himself to Muruga and said proudly that he was the creator of the world.  Muruga asked him under what Mantra power he was doing it, Brahmma replied OHM.  Lord Muruga demanded the meaning and explanation of the Mantra which Brahmma could not.  Lord Muruga hit Brahmma on the head and terminated his job.
Coming to know of the incident, Lord Shiva asked Muruga to return the job to Brahmma which Muruga respectfully declined.  Lord Shiva demanded the meaning and explanation from Muruga which he offered perfectly. Then at the direction of Lord Shiva, Muruga returned Brahmma his post.  Though he was right, Lord Muruga regretted that he punished an elder and to make amends, he performed penance in this place.  Lord Shiva appeared before Muruga and said that it was right to question anyone when he/she commits a mistake but wrong to punish them.
Origin of Padikasu Pooja:
This is the birth place of Pugazh Thunai Nayanar, one among the celebrated 63 Nayanmars, he carry water for the abishekam of Lord Shiva, though very poor, he was determined to continue his puja to Lord.  The place came under drought and a severe famine gripped the place.  Pugazh Thunai Nayanar was not disheartened and continued his service to Lord.  Due to starvation and age, he was too weak and tired to carry the abishek water and fell fainted on the Shivalinga with the abishekam water one day.  Lord appeared in his dream and asked what he wished.  Nayanar begged the Lord to help him continue his Shiva puja and protect the people from famine.
Lord promised to give him one coin every day to help the people and continue the puja. With the assistance of Lord, Pugazhthunai Nayanar continued his pujas.  After long years of services to Lord and the people, he attained salvation in this place.  Lord made him one among the celebrated Nayanars. The priest performed 'Padikasu pooja' here; devotees believe that performing this ritual will bring prosperity.
Lord Muruga with discus & conch:
Lord Shiva planned to end the increasing atrocities of the demons, send Lord Muruga to destroy them.  When Muruga began the march, Lord Shiva and Devas offered many powerful weapons to him. Lord Vishnu gave his discus and conch. With all these weapons, Muruga destroyed the demons. So that Lord Muruga appears here with Discus and Conch.
Significance
Praises of the temple have been sung in the Thevaram. Alagaputhur is the birthplace of Pugalthunai Nayanar, one of the 63Nayanmars. Lord Shiva in the temple is a swayambumurthy. As Lord Vishnu graces the devotees with Discus and conch in temples, here Lord Muruga blesses the devotees with discus and conch. Ananda muni had worshipped this Lord.

Architecture
The Main Deity of this temple is Swarnapureeswarar and his consort at this temple is Alagammai. Lord Shiva in the temple is a swayambumurthy. The Sthalavruksham is vilva. The temple has a three tiered Rajagopuram. Images of Surya and Chandra are seen at the Rajagopuram entrance. The shrine to Shanmukhar is highly revered and it is believed that worshippers are cured of poisonous bites.

The temple is situated on the southern side of River Arasalaaru.  As a rule, Sun and Moon in the Navagraha shrine are seen facing east.  In this temple, they are face to face.  There are nine small pits opposite the shrine.  It is believed that planets are in the form of Vayu in these pits.  Those unable or failing to do the rituals regularly to their ancestors, perform pujas to Sun and Moon in this Navagraha shrine and light lamps in the pits.

There are shrines to Gajalakshmi, Bhairavar, the Navagrahas, Pugazhthunai Nayanar, Shiva, Vishnu and Murugan. The idol of Shiva is a swayambumurthy.

The tower above the sanctum sanctorum is of a three tier design.  Lord Vinayaka of the temple is praised as Swarna Vinayaka blessing from a separate shrine.  According to tradition in the temple, people worship this Vinayaka first before going to Lord Shiva.  Pugazh Thunai Nayanar appears in the front mandapa with his wife Lakshmi. Saint Sundarar with his spouse Paravai Nachiar is nearby.   There are two Bhairavas in the temple. Swamimalai is 10 km from this place.

The Uniqueness of this temple is that the Lord Subramanya is giving darshan with Chakra and Conch in his hands like Vishnu. In all his ten hand, He holds the respective Weapons and in the remaining two hands, he has Sudarshana Chakra and Sankham. This roopam of the Lord Subramanya is very rare indeed. The prayer offered to this Deity brings down any poison inflicted by the bites of any reptiles.

Lord Muruga is sitting on the Indira Peacock with his consorts Valli and Deivanai; He is praised as Kalyana Sundara Shanmuga Nathar.  The Tiruvatchi – a metal frame made aesthetically around the deity – is of OHM letter shape. Shrine of Mother Mahalakshmi is nearby.  It is rare that Mother Mahalakshmi and Muruga are next to each other in a Shiva Temple.

The heirs of Pugazh Thunai Nayanar are the priests of this temple generation after generation.  Devotee’s place two coins at the feet of Lord Padikasu Nathar and take one back with them.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 7.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Festivals
Masi Magam and Maha Shivrathri in February-March; Nayanmar Guru Puja on Kruthika and Aslesha – Aayilam in Tamil – star days are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
Singers
Celebrated Saivite Saints had praised the Lord of this temple in their devotional hymns.  This is 66th Lord Shiva temple on the southern bank of Cauvery praised in Thevaram hymns.
Prayers
Devotees praying here will have the courage to fight injustice and a sense of tolerance to bear hardships. Those facing problems in their wedding proposals and concerned about the safety and welfare of their children pray to Lord Muruga on New Moon day offering pujas and milk porridge – Paal Payasam in Tamil – for relief.
Contact
Sri Padikasu Nathar Temple,
Azhagaputhur – 612 401,
Thiru Arisil Karai Puthur,
Thanjavur district
Phone: +91- 435 - 246 6939, +91-99431 78294.
Connectivity
Azhagaputhur is 6 km from Kumbakonam via Nachiyarkovil on the Tiruvarur route. Bus facilities are available from Kumbakonam & Thanjavur. This temple is located on the way of going from Kumbakonam to Neelamangalam and also previous stop of Natchiar koil.
Nearest Railway Station is located at Kumbakonam & Nearest Airport is located at Trichy.

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