Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Muniyappan Temple, Mettur, Salem

Muniyappan Temple, Mettur, Salem
Edithaangi Muniyappan Kovil is one of the famous Hindu temples located near to the Stanley reservoir. It was built by a British engineer during the period of designing Stanley reservoir. It is an ancient and very popular village deity of Mettur. He is also known as "Aiyanar" (Revered Father). The word Muni is generally taken to mean an anchorite, or one who has taken a vow of Mauna (silence).

It is frequently used for a sage who has supernatural powers which he displays in his blessings and curses. This interpretation is inappropriate when the phrase is seen in the combination of Muniyappan. The word muni stands for Munnai (fore) and appan (father). Therefore it is believed the words Muniyappan and Aiyanar refer to an ancient Dravidian cult of ancestor worship.

Blood sacrifices at these shrines are very common. The huge and terrifying images are accompanied by larger than life figures of attendants and animals. Smaller terra cotta horses and iron spears, offered by devotees in fulfillment of their vows, usually crowd the front yard of these shrines. In the centre of the shrine, there is usually a grouping of triangular shaped an iconic stones or Neolithic stone implements, or some other form of a pandukal monument such as a dolmen.

The new cult of Ayyappan is the Sanskritized Brahminical Hindu version of the Aiyanar cult. Because of the dominant presence of Muniyappan shrines everywhere, the Salem district is known as the Land of Muniyappan. The Temple is about 13 kms from Mecheri Badrakaliamman Temple.

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