Friday, September 9, 2016

Palaniyappar Temple, Belukurichi, Namakkal

Palaniyappar Temple, Belukurichi, Namakkal
Palaniyappar temple is a small temple dedicated to Hindu God Murugan located in Belukurichi village in Namakkal District. It is said that several kings have visited this temple. The Idol of the Lord Murugan in this temple is in the form of hunter where his hair knotted at top of his head. This is the place where Lord Muruga disguised himself as a handsome hunter youth to lure and marry Valli. This temple is well known because of its unique idol of Murugan with Cheval in his hand, Vajra vel, Pichuva kathi in his waist band and wearing sandals. It is about 28 km positioned on Namakkal – Sendamangalam – Rasipuram road and takes about 75 minutes to reach from Namakkal City.

Belukurichi is a small village located in Namakkal district in the southern state of TamilnaduIndia. The village is right below Kolli Hills. The name Belukurichi has its root from 'Velavan Kurinji', meaning the land and hills that belong to Velavan (Murugan) known as Palaniyappar. It is also said that the Tamil saint poetess, Avvaiyar whenever visited her friend, Valvil Ori, the then chieftain of the Kolli hills, never left the region without offering her prayers to this Lord Muruga.

The Temple
Lord Muruga here is in the form of a hunter called the 'Veduvan Kolam'. The idol is found with his hair knotted atop his head and a string of Kondrai flowers (Golden shower) are found etched around it. The idol of Lord Murugan in this temple is swayambu or said to have formed by its own. Three lines of sacred ash with a spear (Vel) in the middle are found on the forehead of the deity. This symbolizes a union of Shiva and Shakthi. A string of golden shower flowers are also found tied around his waist, from where hangs a dagger.

In his right hand he holds the Vajra vel or the sacred lance. This idol has got a unique feature wherein Lord Muruga holds a rooster (Cheval) in his left hand though resting on his hip. The Lord is facing west. This kind of a Muruga statue or idol holding a rooster is nowhere to be found in the world except this temple. However, similar Muruga idols can be seen in temples like Sikkal etc. which are not the 'Moolavar' or at the Sanctum Sanctorum.

The Lord is also depicted as wearing sandals in his feet which is another unique feature (This is also seen in Sikkal). The deity here in Belukurichi is said to have been created by Bhogar much ahead of the one in Palani, from the Pashanams of Kolli hills and hence the Lord is called Palani Appa (the one that came before Palani). Usually, when deities are depicted holding weapons, the height of the weapon does not exceed the height of the deity. However, here we find that the spear is shown taller than the deity. Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma have bestowed their powers to the Lord through the spear, which is depicting having three parts denoting each of them.

Due to this, the spear is shown taller than the deity himself. A Shiva lingam has been etched above the entrance of the sanctum. On the ceiling of the Artha Mandapa, two snakes have been depicted swallowing the Sun and the Moon.  Meditating on the Lord, sitting on a green stone right under these snakes, is said to answer genuine prayers. The Tiruchengode hill where Lord Shiva and Parvathi are found as Ardhanareeswara can be seen at eye level from the head of the peacock found in the Maha Mandapa.

It seems as though Shiva and Shakthi are watching over the son who has been created with both their features, right from their abode. The temple is said to have been built originally by Valvil Ori, who ruled this region around 200 CE. He was one of the seven philanthropists mentioned in Sanga Literature. Tales of his valour are being sung as part of folk lore even today. A statue of Valvil Ori is found at the entrance of the temple complex. Poet Avvaiyaar has also worshipped the deity here. There are shrines for Ganesha, Goddess Kumarinayaki, Vishnu, Krishna, Nagas and Shani.

On full moon days, thousands of people gather here to witness the midnight worship. It is believed that the eighteen Siddhars come here to worship him at that time. The Abhishekam and Alankarams are all completed by 11.50 pm and the doors of the sanctum are closed and all the devotees move outside to wait. At the stroke of midnight, the doors are opened. Signs of puja having been performed and visible signs of changes in the Alankaram are witnessed to this day. Once the Abhishekam is complete, sweat emanates from the deity's tip of the nose, chin and chest with three different fragrances.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 8 am to 5 pm. On full moon days, the temple is open from 8 am in the morning till 5 am the next morning.
Festivals
Kanda Shasti festival which begins today is celebrated with great festivity apart from Thai poosam, Panguni Uthiram and Krithigai. Thaipusam is a very elaborate festival here which is celebrated with big pomp and show. With more devotees turning up every year, the highlight is the temple car.
Special Pooja's will be performed during New year in January, Thai Poosam, Panguni Uttiram, Chitra Pournami, Agni Nakshatram, Vaikasi Visakam, Aadi Perukku, Aadi Krithigai, Tamil New year in April (Chithirai), Aadi - 18 in August, Vijayadasami,  Karthigai Dheepam in December, Special poojas in full month of Margali, Amavasai, Pournami, etc.
Prayers
People after bathing in Yaanai Paali theertham pray to lord Muruga here for getting remedy from skin allergies, bone problems and childless problems. People who practice yogasana can pray this lord Muruga to get excellent results. During Tamil month of Chithirai, special pooja is conducted as it is believed Siddhars worship lord Muruga here on that day.
Contact
Sri Palaniyappar Temple,
Belukurichi, Sendamangalam
Namakkal District
Phone: +91 – 95244 49931
Connectivity
Belukurichi is about 25 kilometres from Namakkal. On the Namakkal - Tiruchengode route, Belukurichi is about 13 kms from Sendamangalam. 

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