Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Rajendra Chozheeswarar Temple, Ilayankudi, Sivaganga

Rajendra Chozheeswarar Temple, Ilayankudi, Sivaganga
Rajendra Chozheeswarar Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Ilayankudi Town in Ilayankudi Taluk in Sivaganga District of Tamil Nadu. Presiding Deity is called as Rajendra Chozheeswarar and Mother is called as Gnanambigai. This Temple is considered as Avathara and Mukthi Sthalam of Ilayankudi Maranar, one of the 63 Nayanmars. The Temple is considered as Thevara Vaippu Sthalam as Devaram hymns had a mention about this Temple. The place was called as Indira Avathara Nallur in ancient times.

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It is believed that this temple was originally a Buddha Vihara but later got converted to Jain Temple and subsequently into Hindu Temple when Buddhism and Jainism lost its relevance among the local populace. The adjacent pond to this Temple is called as Thevoorani. This pond derives its name from Therar Oorani (Therar means Buddhist Monk). Jains from this place was eliminated by Shaivites in 10th Century and established this Temple. There is an idol of Mahaveerar kept outside of the Temple.
The Temple
This is an east facing temple with an entrance arch. Presiding Deity is called as Rajendra Chozheeswarar and is facing east. He is housed in the sanctum in the form of Lingam. Mother is called as Gnanambigai. She is housed in a separate south facing shrine. Utsava Idol is Somaskandar. Lord Dakshinamoorthy in the Goshta wall appears with only two disciples.
There is a shrine for Lord Muruga, located in the front Mandapam of sanctum. He is gracing the devotees without Mother Valli. As Indira installed the Shivalinga and worshipped here, it is said that his daughter Deivanai alone is with Lord Muruga. There are separate entrances for the shrines for Lord Shiva, Mother Gnanambigai and Lord Muruga.
Saint Ilayankudi Maranar has a shrine in the temple. He was praised by the people as Annadhana Prabhu. His service to Lord Shiva was through this service to society. He is praised as healer of Hunger. Maranar’s home and the land he cultivated are near the temple. His land is praised as “Mulai Vari Amudhu Alitha Nattrangal” meaning, the land that produced rice for nivedhana to Lord.
There is a shrine for Venkatachalapathi behind the sanctum. There are shrines for Mahaganapathy, Lord Muruga with his consorts Valli & Deivanai, Navagrahas, Saneeswarar, Suryan and Chandran in the prakara. Sthala Vriksham is Vilwam Tree. Theertham associated with this temple is Deiva Pushkarini.
Temple Opening Time
The temple remains open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and from 4.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Maha Shivrathri in February-March; Aipasi Annabishekam and Skanda Sashti in October-November; and Tirukarthikai in November-December are the festivals celebrated in the temple. Mara Nayanar and his wife Punithavathi come in procession in the same Chapparam along with Lord and Mother on Guru Puja day. This is an important event in the temple. Palak with stems – Thandu Keerai in Tamil, is offered as nivedhana to Lord.
Literary Mention
The Temple is considered as Thevara Vaippu Sthalam as Devaram hymns sung by Sundarar had a mention about this Temple. The Temple is mentioned in 7th Thirumurai in 39th Patikam in 1st Song.
தில்லைவாழ் அந்தணர்தம் அடியார்க்கும் அடியேன்
திருநீல கண்டத்துக் குயவனார்க் கடியேன்
இல்லையே என்னாத இயற்பகைக்கும் அடியேன்
இளையான்றன் குடிமாறன் அடியார்க்கும் அடியேன்
வெல்லுமா மிகவல்ல மெய்ப்பொருளுக் கடியேன்
விரிபொழில்சூழ் குன்றையார் விறன்மிண்டர்க் கடியேன்
அல்லிமென் முல்லையந்தார் அமர்நீதிக் கடியேன்
ஆரூரன் ஆரூரில் அம்மானுக் காளே
People pray here for food security and to cultivate in them the traits of being selfless and helpful to society. Those aspiring excellence in education and academic pursuits pray in Mother’s shrine. As Nayanar attained salvation through his Annadhanam service, people follow this nivedhana practice as a prayer commitment.
Rajendra Chozheeswarar Temple,
Ilayankudi – 630 702
Sivaganga District
Phone: +91 4564 268 544
Mobile: +91 98651 58374
The Temple is located at about 250 meters from Ilayangudi Bus Stand, 12 Kms from Paramakudi, 12 Kms from Paramakudi Railway Station, 13 Kms from Paramakudi Bus Stand, 26 Kms from Kalayarkoil, 32 Kms from Sivaganga, 62 Kms from Karaikudi, 74 Kms from Madurai and 81 Kms from Madurai Airport. The Temple is situated on Paramakudi to Karaikudi Route.