Friday, August 19, 2016

Aatkondanathar Temple, Iraniyur, Sivaganga

Aatkondanathar Temple, Iraniyur, Sivaganga
Aatkondanathar Temple is 25 kms from Karaikudi on the Pillaiyarpatti road, near Keelasivalpatti. It is one of the 9 Kovils of the Nagarathar Community. It is located at Iraniyur. This Kovil has got its name as Vishnu worshipped Lord Shiva after killing Iraniyan. This Kovil is famous for its architectural marvel. The Iraniyur temple is said to be nurtured by a Nagarathar belonging to subsect of the Illayathangudi temple, the Thiruvetpurkudiyar. His younger brother agreed to take care of the Pillaiyarpatti temple. As a result, no marriage is permitted between members of Irani Kovil and the Pillaiyarpatti temple.

Legends
Lord Narasimha incurred a dosha for killing demon Hiranya.  He worshipped Lord Shiva here for relief.  Lord Shiva granted darshan to Lord Narasimha and cleansed him of his dosha. As requested by Vishnu stayed here in the name of Aatkonda Nathar. He is also praised as Narasimheswarar for the relief he granted to Lord Narasimha.
The Temple
Lord Aatkonda Nathar is a swayambumurthy.  We believe in the tradition of worshipping the Vimana and Towers of the temple respecting them as the very deity inside when the doors of the temple are closed. The temple has the wonderful structure facilitating darshan of the deity and also the Vimana simultaneously from the front mandapam. People celebrate their 60th and 80th birth days here. Special abisheks are performed to Lord on Masi Magam star day in February-March.
Mother Shivapurandevi graces the devotees with two hands only facing south. When Lord Vishnu took the Narasimha incarnation in a furious form, Ambica, sister of Lord Vishnu also became furious which reflected at nine spots in pillars in the mandapam in front of the shrine, the symptoms visible even now. There is also an Ashtalakshmi Mandap in the temple.

Lord Bhairava in the shrine near that of Ambica appears with long side teeth with his dog vahana turning left. Karthika Champaka Sashti festival is dedicated to him in November-December. He graces from the sanctum sanctorum for six days during this festival and taken in a palanquin procession. Students pray to Lord Bhairava for achieving high ranks in studies.  Lord Dakshinamurthi graces in the goshta mandapam shouldered by 4 lions.
Kubera the lord of wealth and Vayu Bhagwan had worshipped in this temple according to the history of the place. Both appear on a Horse Vahanam. There are also shrines for Navagrahas the nine planets and Mother Gajalakshmi. As this is the place where Lord Shiva helped Lord Vishnu cleansing his dosha for killing Iraniyan, the place is named Iranianur.
This is the one of the Ashta Bhairava Sthalas. Sri Vithaka Vinayaka is the Sthala Vinayaka. The Vimana the tower above the sanctum sanctorum is of one petal type - Ekadala Vimana. Against the general tradition of Lord Muruga appearing with his consorts Valli and Deivanai together on a peacock Vahana, quite differently, the three grace the devotees separately sitting on their own peacocks. 
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Festivals
Karthikai Champaka Sashti and Tirukarthikai in November-December; Margazhi Tiruvadhirai in December-January and Maha Shivrathri in February-March are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
Prayers
People with high temperament pray here to correct themselves.  Devotees also pray for security of job, high yield in farming and progress in business. Devotees offer Vadamalai to Lord Bhairava and perform abishek to Lord and mother offering vastras.
Contact
Sri Aatkondanathar Temple,
Iraniyur, Sivaganga District
Tamilnadu – 623 212
Phone: +91 – 4577 – 265 645
Mobile: +91 – 98424 80309.
Connectivity
The devotee has to reach Tiruputhur from Madurai (60 km) on the Thanjavur road. He then has to travel further 12 km from here to Keelasivalpatti for which bus facility is available. Iraniyur is 4 km from Keelasivalpatti. As bus facility is rare, autos may be hired. Nearest railway Station is located at Karaikudi and Nearest Airport is located at Madurai. 

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