Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Swarna Moortheeswarar Temple (Siragilinather Temple), Kandadevi, Devakottai, Sivaganga

Swarna Moortheeswarar Temple (Siragilinather Temple), Kandadevi, Devakottai, Sivaganga
Swarna Moortheeswarar Temple (Siragilinather Temple) is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Kandadevi, a small village in Devakottai Taluk of Sivaganga District. It is a famous Historical Temple which comes in Ramayanam. Sri Hanuman saw Seetha Devi in Srilanka while he searched for her for Lord Rama. He returned to Rama to convey this to Lord Rama. Hanuman told to Rama that “Kanden Deviyai”. That’s why this village was named as Kandadevi. Kandadevi is situated 3 Km away from Devakottai Town.

Relationship with Ramayana:
There are a lot of places in Tamil Nadu associated with the Ramayana. One such forgotten place is the Kandadevi. Kandadevi marks an important event in Ramayana - the kidnapping of Sita by Ravana. Ravana kidnapped Sita and went on his way to Srilanka. Sita cried in distress for help but in vain. Jatayu saw Sita being kidnapped by Ravana and in distress. Jatayu ventured into the skies to save Sita and fought against Ravana, but during the fight Ravana cut its wings.

Jatayu fell to the ground after valiantly fighting against Ravana. Jatayu was holding its life hoping Lord Rama would follow to get back Sita from Ravana. As Jatayu hoped, Lord Rama found Jatayu hurt fatally. Lord Rama knew that Jatayu was his father's longtime friend and shed tears on finding Jatayu in its deathbed. 

Lord Rama narrated the incidents that happened and died in Lord Rama's hands. Lord Rama considered Jatayu as his father and performed the final rites for the dead Jatayu. Lord Rama in remembrance of Jatayu installed a Shiva lingam and named it as Lord Siragilinathar, meaning the lord without feathers. The place where Jatayu saw Sita being abducted is Kandadevi, actually Kanden Devi, meaning the Seeing Sita. Kanden Devi later got transformed to Kandadevi.

There is a place nearby called Iragusari (meaning place where wings fell - Iragu: Wings, feather, Sari - fall) where Jatayu fought and had his wings cut. Iragusari has now been transformed as Iravuseri. According to another legend Sri Hanuman saw Seetha Devi in Srilanka while he searched for her for Lord Rama. He returned to Rama to convey this to Lord Rama. Hanuman told to Rama that “Kanden Deviyai”.

Story on the name change of the deity:
The temple is now called Lord Swarnamoortheeshwarar Temple. The Goddess is Periyanayagi. The original name of the deity is Lord Siragilinathar; however there are some interesting legends that explain why the name got changed to Lord Swarnamoortheeshwarar. First one is very interesting. The King who ruled that region wanted to renovate the temple, but his kingdom did not have enough money or gold to renovate the temple. So, he took two businessmen, who were brothers, with him to get enough money from acquaintances.

When they were walking near this temple, all three of them stumbled and fell on the ground. The King immediately found it to be strange that all three have felled and ordered his men to dig the place where they fell. There he found lots of gold and precious gems. He realised it as a blessing of Lord Siragilinathar. With the treasure temple the King renovated this temple and named the deity as Lord Swarnamoortheeshwarar as the he was bestowed with gold treasure.

The next - Once there was a severe drought and no rains. All the people in the nearby village suffered and went on without food for many days. They prayed to this Lord to save their lives and it rained gold in that village. The village is named after this incident as Semponmaari - meaning (rain of gold). As a result the Lord who bestowed them prosperity was named Swarna Moorthy.

The last one is, The Lord's name in Sanskrit was called as Swarnabarneshwarar (Swarna (Gold) + Barna (Wings, Feather) meaning the Lord with the golden feather, later got transformed as Swarnamoorthy.

The Temple
Presiding deity is called as Swarna Moortheeswarar alias Siragilinather. The Amman is called as Periyanayaki Amman. This is a 350 years old Temple. The Temple is maintained by Sivaganga Devasthanam, which is one among 84 Temples. The Temple is owned by the legal heirs of Sivagangai Raja.

Behind the temple, there is a big tank called the Jatayu Theertham. The tank is so huge and covers a large area. It is said that the temple tank has never dried up even during drought or intense summer seasons.

The Aani Urchavam is very famous festival for this temple, which is celebrated in every year, during the month of June by the people of 75 Villages.
Arulmigu Swarna Moortheeswarar Temple (Siragilinather Temple),
Kandadevi, Devakottai,
Sivaganga District, Tamilnadu
Mobile: +91 94439 56357
Kandadevi is 2 km Devakottai. Devakottai is a town in Sivagangai district and is one of the oldest municipalities of Tamil Nadu. Buses namely 3A, 3C and a private bus named Ahamathiya are available from Devakottai Bus stand. Nearest Railway Station is located at Devakottai located at a distance of 10 Kms and Karaikudi Railway Station is located at a distance of 12 Kms. Nearest Airport is located at Madurai.