Friday, February 26, 2016

Goddess Saraswathi Temple, Koothanur, Thiruvarur

Goddess Saraswathi Temple, Koothanur, Thiruvarur
The uniqueness of this temple lies in the fact that it is dedicated exclusively to the Goddess of learning Saraswati. Although there are shrines to Saraswati in most Shaivite temples as well as niche shrines to Brahma, temples dedicated exclusively to Brahma or Saraswati are very rare.

It is believed that the poet Ottakkoothar erected the shrine. He is also said to have celebrated Vijaya Dasami, the day following the 9-day Navarathri festival in the Tamil month of Purattasi. There are several stone inscriptions, validating the antiquity of the temple.

Koothanur is a small village located near Poonthottam in the heart of the Temple belt of Tamil Nadu. This village is especially famous for the Saraswati Temple and its association with Ottakkoothar, the Tamil poet.

On full moon nights, children are brought here in droves and the word “Om” is written on their tongues, with a stick dipped in honey. It is believed that such children blossom into fine orators, poets and musicians.

In Koothanur village which is very near to Nannilam, an extremely rare temple for Saraswati exists. During examination times, many students come to worship Goddess Saraswathi, the goddess of Wisdom. Reaching the temple is convenient because of ample transport facilities from Kumbakonam, about 30 km away.
Many sages and savants chose the banks of the river in Koothanur to perform their penance in absolute peace. Right near the river, Harinatheswarar temple confers an absolutely peaceful for doing penance. A few feet away, Goddess Durga is found as the village protective deity. which is a rarity A nearby place known as ”Poonthottam” must have been a beautiful park full of lovely flowers in ancient times. People of the past, would have had their bath in river Arasalaaru and taken flowers from Poonthottam for worshipping the Lord.

For brief details, please refer below link;
According to the history, King Rajaraja Chola donated this temple to Ottakkoothar a renowned poet so that he could compose in peace. Hence this town came to be called as Koothanur = Koothan (the poet) + oor (village). 
Temples dedicated to the Goddess Saraswati are seldom found in India.

There are very few temples in India dedicated to Saraswathi, the Goddess of learning. Though we see her in collaboration with other deities in most other temples, a shrine dedicated to the Goddess Herself is very rare. Located in the Mayiladuthurai-Tiruvarur rail route and one and a half kilometres away from the village Poonthottam is the temple dedicated to Saraswathi – Koothanur.
The origin of the word Koothanur was a village gifted by Raja Raja Chola II to the songster Ottakkoothar. The temple has attained popularity by gaining the status of the only temple dedicated to Saraswathi. Devotees throng the place praying for their children’s education, liberation from previous births by taking a bath in the Triveni Sangamam.

The Temple
For brief details, please refer below link;
Other Temples in Koothanur:
1.     Temple for the goddess of learning, Maha Saraswathi
2.    Temple for Rama, God Protecting Dharma.
3.    Temple for Harinatheswarar, to perform penance.
4.    Temple for Durga, the benevolent and town protecting goddess.
5.    Temple for Draupathi.
6.  Temple for Malaysia Sastha, Ayyanar, the family deity of people of this town.
7.   The temple of Maha Ganapathi, (known as ‘Moola Vinayaka’ or, colloquially ‘Moolai Vinayaga’) who is supposed to be the root of Koothanur. The deity here is the favourite of youth of this own, and they celebrate festivals for him regularly.
Worship & Festivals
For brief details, please refer below link;
People aspiring for wisdom, knowledge and education come to this shrine to pray to Goddess Saraswathi. Children are admitted to schools after performing pujas in the Saraswathy Temple in Koothanur. Those aspiring for higher education, art and crafts and music visit the temple to get their desires fulfilled. Outside the temple you can see little shops selling pencils, pens, notebooks and other aids to studying. These objects are offered to the Goddess, sometimes in multiples of 100, and distributed to visitors and family by devotees.

Couples separated from each other or undergoing marriage problems come to Saraswathy Temple to pray and come together to start a new chapter in their married life. People also pray for gainful employment, profit from business development, promotion in jobs etc. According to the scriptures, those who perform rites of passage for their ancestors here on the banks of Harisol River in the month of Thai (January-February) gain great benefits from the blessing of their elders.
The rituals performed by devotees to Goddess Saraswathi in this temple are believed to be highly rewarding. For having grace of the Goddess they can offer bathing of the idol in honey, milk, turmeric power, pure oil, curd, ghee, and fruit juices. Certain devotees offer white dresses for covering the idol of the Goddess.

Another popular belief is that childless couples who consume ghee offered at the feet of the goddess will be blessed with children very soon.

The ancient poets of Tamil Nadu with names Ottakkoothar, Ovathakoothar, and Purushothaman Bharathi were assumed to have gained wisdom and skills by worshipping Saraswathi of this temple.
Literary Mention
Bhaskarar, who wrote the Sri Lalitha Sahasranama Bhashyam, said that only if a person has done good deeds in previous births he would be able to admire the Goddess. The Devi Mahathmiyam praises her as follows: Clad in a white garment, seated in Padmasana in a white lotus, holding a book in the left hand, a veena in the right hand, with eyes expressing compassion and the third eye revealing knowledge, along with the lips rendering a warm smile.
Sree Maha Saraswathi Amman Temple,
Koothanur, Poonthottam Post,
Nannilam Taluk 
Tiruvarur District - 609503
Phone: 04366-239909 91
Koothanur, a town situated in the Thiruvarur district of Tamilnadu, is approximately 25kms from Mayiladuthurai and 19 kms from Thiruvarur.
By Train:
The Temple is located west at a distance of 2 Kms from Poonthottam Railway Station which is between Mayiladuthurai to Tiruvarur.
By Road:
The temple is located at Mayiladuthurai to Tiruvarur route. Get down at Poonthottam Stop; Temple is located at a distance of ½ Km from the Bus
By Air:
Nearest Airport is located at Trichy.