Thursday, January 12, 2017

Aaranya Sundareswarar Temple, Keezhtirukkaattuppalli, Nagapattinam

Aaranya Sundareswarar Temple, Keezhtirukkaattuppalli, Nagapattinam
Aaranya Sundareswarar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Keezhtirukkaattuppalli Village in Nagapattinam District of Tamilnadu. This Shivastalam located adjacent to Poompuhar and Thiruvenkadu is known as Keezhtirukkaattuppalli to distinguish it from Melaittirukkaattuppalli near Thanjavur. This is one of the oldest temples located on the northern banks of river Cauvery. It is just 1 km away from another Thevara Shivasthalam Tiruvengadu and 11 kms from Sirkazhi.   

The distinguishing style of construction of Sri Dakshinamurthy shrine provides the rumble of sea can be heard at all times. This is the 66th Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 12th Sthalam on the north side of river Cauvery in Chozha Nadu. Thiruganasambhandar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple.

Legends
Devas appealed to Indira to protect them from the atrocities of demon Vruddhasura with the might of the boon he obtained from Lord Brahmma. Indira fought the demon and killed him and incurred the evil effect of the killing. He also lost his kingship of the Devas. As advised by his Guru, Jupiter, he came down to earth to worship Lord Shiva for remedy. He came to this jungle region-Aaranyam, found a Swayambulinga and performed pujas. Pleased with his devotion, Lord appeared before Indira and said that the effects of both good and bad deeds had to be experienced by all. Lord stayed here then as Aaranyeswarar. Brahmma is said to have created 10 Shivalingams here and worshipped Shiva.
The Temple
The temple is facing west and has no Rajagopuram. Presiding deity is called as Sri Aranya Sundareswarar with his consort Goddess Sri Akilanda Nayaki. Lord in the temple is a swayambumurthy. As Lord Shiva was in the midst of a jungle – Aaranyam – He is also called Aaranyeswarar and Kattazhagar in Tamil - Lord of the Jungle.  Mother in a separate shrine is facing south.  As all prominence is for Lord alone, there is no shrine for the Navagrahas the nine planets. The manner in which the temple is constructed is said to cause a sound resembling the sea to be heard in the Dakshinamurthy shrine.

At the four corners surrounding the temple are four Theerthams. There are shrines to Shiva in the form of two Shiva Lingams referred to as Muniyeswarar and Bhramhesar. There are also shrines to Skanda, Bhairavar and Surya. There are seven Lingas in the Temple of which one Linga has two Banas, a different form in this temple. Lord Dakshinamurthy is seated on a square shaped peeta facing west with 6 disciples though in temples he appears with four disciples, Sanakar, Sanathanar, Sananthanar and Sanathkumarar. He is also praised as Rajayoga Dakshinamurthy.  

Lord Vinayaka, praised as Nandu Vinayaka was worshipped by a cancer - Nandu in Tamil to regain his original Gandharva personality. The Nandu is his peeta.  He does not have his Mouse vehicle with him as the Nandu plays the role. Lord Aaranyeswarar also has his name after a sage of the name who worshipped here. The sculpture showing the sage worshipping Lord Shiva while Mahakalar is blowing the conch is in the prakara. There is a shrine for Dasalingam in the prakara having seven Lingas. There is one Linga with two scars.

The vimana above the sanctum sanctorum is called Dwaidala Vimana. Dasalinga is in the prakara. There are seven Lingas here with one having two Banas on the Avudaiyar. This is a rare and different Linga not commonly seen in Shiva temples. Mentioning this form in his hymn, saint Sambandar says “Lord having Dasalinga with him”.  Tiruvengadu, known for Mercury planet worship is just a kilometer far from here. Sthala Vriksham is Panneer tree and Theertham is Amirtha Theertham.

Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 8.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and from 6.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Festivals
Shivarathri in February-March; Aipasi Skanda Sashti in October-November; Arudra Darshan in December-January and Vinayaka Chathurthi in August-September are the festivals celebrated in the temple. The festival image of Shiva from Thiruvenkadu is brought here in procession on a horse mount on the 2nd day of the month of Thai (Capricorn). 
Singers
This is the 66th Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 12th Sthalam on the north side of river Cauvery in Chozha Nadu. Thiruganasambhandar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple. Sambandar is said to have visited here after visiting Tiruchaaikkadu at Poompuhar.
Prayers
Seeking pardon for sins committed unknowingly and to regain the lost position, people pray in the temple. Devotees perform abishek to Lord and Mother and offer vastras. Those who had been demoted from positions and those deprived of promotions despite honest and hard work perform special pujas to Lords Dakshinamurthy and Aaranyeswarar offering vastras. They believe that they will recover their losses.
Contact
Sri Aaranyeswarar Temple,
3/288, Sannadhi street,
Tirukattupalli, Tiruvengadu – 609 114
Nagapattinam District
Phone: +91 – 4364 – 256 273
Mobile: +91 – 94439 85770 / 98425 93244
Connectivity
This Shivasthalam is located 1 Km west of another Paadal Petra Sthalam Thiruvenkadu. Sirkazhi is 25 km from Mayiladuthurai. The temple is further 11 km from Sirkali. Bus facility is not convenient. Devotee can travel to Thiruvenkadu by bus. Autos can be hired from here to the temple, 1 km from this place. Nearest Railway Station is located at Sirkazhi and Nearest Airport is located at Trichy.

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