Friday, February 3, 2017

Tirukattupalli Aranyeswarar Temple, Nagapattinam

Tirukattupalli Aranyeswarar Temple, Nagapattinam
Tirukattupalli Aranyeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple located at Keezhai Tirukattupalli in Nagapattinam district of Tamilnadu. The presiding deity is Shiva. He is called as Aranyeswarar and his consort is known as Akhilandeswari. It is one of the shrines of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams - Shiva Sthalams glorified in the early medieval Tevaram poems by Tamil Saivite Nayanar Tirugnanasambandar. This Shivastalam is located 1 km before Thiruvenkadu while going from Sirkazhi/ Mayiladuthurai.



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. Bhrama is said to have created 10 Shivalingams here and worshipped Shiva.

The Temple
Lord in the temple is a swayambumurthy. There are seven Lingas in the Temple of which one Linga has two Banas, a different form in this temple. The vimana above the sanctum sanctorum is called Dwaidala Vimana. Dasalinga is in the prakara. The design of the temple is such that it causes a sound resembling the sea to be heard in the Dakshinamurthy shrine (sea is more than 6 kms from here).



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.  As Lord Shiva was in the midst of a jungle – Aaranyam – He is also called Aranyeswarar and Kattazhagar in Tamil - Lord of the Jungle.  There are shrines to Shiva in the form of two Shiva Lingams referred to as Muniyeswarar and Brahmeesar.


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. 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. Theertham is Amudha Poikai; at the four corners surrounding the temple there are four Theerthams.


Lord Aranyeswarar 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. The shrine for Lord Subramanya inside this Shiva temple is famous. Mentioning this form in his hymn, saint Gnanasambandar says “Lord having Dasalinga with him”. Tiruvengadu, known for Mercury planet worship is just a kilometer far from here. 


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 annual Kanda Shasti festival is celebrated here with a lot of enthusiasm.
Literary Mention
Saints Sambandar and Tirunavukkarasar had sung the praise of the Lord of the temple in their Thevaram hymns. This is the 12th Lord Shiva temple on the northern bank of Cauvery praised in Thevaram hymns.
Tirugnanasambandar describes the feature of the deity as;
பிறையுடை யான்பெரி யோர்கள்பெம்மான் பெய்கழ னாடொறும் பேணியேத்த மறையுடை யான்மழு வாளுடையான் வார்தரு மால்கடல் நஞ்சமுண்ட
கறையுடை யான்கன லாடுகண்ணாற் காமனைக் காய்ந்தவன் காட்டுப்பள்ளிக் குறையுடை யான்குறட் பூதச்செல்வன் குரைகழ லேகைகள் கூப்பினோமே.
Prayers
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. 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.
Contact
Sri Aranyeswarar Temple,
3/288, Sannadhi street, Tirukattupalli,
Tiruvengadu – 609 114
Nagapattinam District
Phone: +91 – 4364 – 256 273
Mobile: +91 – 94439 85770 / 98425 93244
Connectivity
This Siva sthalam is located 1 Km west of another Paadal Petra Sthalam Thiruvenkadu and is about 11 Kms from Sirkazhi. Sirkali is 25 km from Mayiladuthurai. Bus facility is not convenient. Devotee can travel to Thiruvenkadu by bus. Autos can be hired from here to the temple.  Nearest Railway Station is located at Sirkazhi and Nearest Railway Station is located at Trichy.

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