Sri Kaya Nirmaleswarar Temple, Attur, Salem
Sri Kaya Nirmaleswarar Temple is located in the Attur Fort region near Attur town in Salem District of Tamilnadu. This is one of the Pancha Bootha Sthalams installed by Vasishta on the banks of the Vasishta River representing Fire (Agni) element.
The main deity is a Swayambu lingam in the name of Kayanirmaleswarar / Vasishteswarar with Goddess Akilandeswari. Sthala Vriksham is Vilvam Tree in this Temple & Theertham is Vasishta in this Temple.
Sage Vasishta, Kula Guru of Lord Rama was here for while intending penance and pujas to Lord Shiva. He had to face obstacles. Maharshi Narada advised the sage to perform his penance and pujas with water and flowers. The sage created a river named after him – Vasishta Nadhi. He then began to find a suitable spot for the pujas. His legs stuck at a place and he found something above the ground in the form of a Shiva Linga just coming out.
When he was preparing the pujas, he found the object slightly damaged caused by the hit of his leg. He was annoyed. A voice told the sage that he could continue the pujas and a miracle will happen when he showed the Aarati. It happened. When the sage showed the Aarati, it reflected on the Shivalinga. That miracle light drove the illusions of those who disturbed his penance.
The sage begged Lord to stay there itself and drive the illusion darkness in people’s mind. Lord obliged. Kayam means body, here the body of Lord. Nirmalam means clarity. Thus Lord Shiva assumed the name Kaya Nirmala Easwarar. The temple began to grow with the pious services of kings, chieftains and devotees. It is standing majestically in size and fame today.
The five tier Raja Gopuram with its glorious Shiva Mudra stands majestically drawing the devotees. Reaching the sanctum sanctorum after Nandhi Darshan, despite the dim light inside, Lord appears clear and bright to the eyes of the devotees especially during the Aarati puja as if reflecting in a mirror. It is rather the light in the heart of true devotees reflecting on the Lord, or it means that the dark heart becomes bright by the grace of Lord.
Mother Akhilandeswari is all merciful gracing the devotees with her four hands. Devotees throng the shrine seeking wedding and child boons. As Lord granted darshan to sage Vasishta in the form of a Jyoti, the place is revered as Agni Sthala. Darshan representing the other elements of universe, Appu, Vayu, Akasha and earth are in the surrounding places.
Lord Vinayaka offers darshan to the devotees in many forms in the prakara in many names. Besides their darshan in the sanctum sanctorum, Lord and Mother, graces as Lord Shiva and Mother Parvathi as in Their Kailash abode. Lord Muruga appears in two forms as Bala Muruga and Muruga with His consorts Valli and Deivanai.
Lord Bhairava graces as Chaturbhuja (4 hands) Bhairava, Ashtabhuja Bhairava (8 hands) and Swarna Akarshana Bhairava, thus all Gods appear in different forms in the same temple. There are also shrines for Mothers Mahalakshmi, Durga & Maha Saraswathi, Dakshinamurthi, Lingodhbava, Brahmma, Ayyappan, planets Sun and Sani Bhagwan, Nagas and Naga Kannikas. Sri Anjaneya from his shrine appears as if blessing the devotees.
It is a wonder to see the Aarati Deeparadhana reflecting on the Shiva Linga as if in a mirror. As Lord granted darshan to Sage Vasishta in the form of a Jyoti, the place is revered as Agni Sthala.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 7.00 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Besides fortnightly Pradosha and Somawar (Monday) pujas, the temple celebrates Maha Shivarathri in February-March in a grand way.
People pray to Lord and Mother for wedding and child boon. Realizing their wishes, devotees offer vastras to Lord and Mother and light ghee lamps in the shrines.
This temple is located very close to Attur bus stand. Attur lies on NH 79. Attur is well connected with other cities & towns. It is located on NH-68. Three State highways originate from Attur; SH – 30 Attur – Thuraiyur – Musiri, SH – 79 Attur – Rasipuram – Erode, SH – 157 Attur – Perambalur.
Attur is well connected with Salem on the east (north-east) at 45 kilometres on the Salem – Ulundurpet via Kallakurichi NH 68 which in turn connects to Chennai through arterial NH 45 at Ulundurpet and NH 47 (Salem – Kanyakumari via Coimbatore, Cochin, Trivandrum)at Salem with a number of bus routes.
Attur town have two bus stands. Attur is well connected by bus services to Salem, Coimbatore, Chennai, Trichy, Erode, and Pondy. Train services are also available between Attur to Salem, Attur to Virudhachalam and Salem – Chennai Egmore express train runs via Attur. Pondicherry – Bangalore AC express train is expected to run shortly and runs via Attur.
Newly proposed route to Ariyalur via Perambalur will turn Attur railway station to Attur Junction. Land acquisition has been done and stopped due to insufficient funds. There are direct buses to Coimbatore via Avinashi.
Attur is landlocked and depends on the Port of Chennai for most oceangoing freight. Nearest airport is Trichy which is 120 km away from the town. Chennai airport is 264 km from Attur.