Saturday, December 17, 2016

Etteeswarar Temple, Paiyanoor, Kanchipuram

Etteeswarar Temple, Paiyanoor, Kanchipuram
Etteeswarar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Paiyanoor Village in Kanchipuram District of Tamilnadu. Presiding Deity is called as Etteeswarar and Mother is known as Ezhilarkuzhali. The temple is more than 2000 years old. The locals have renovated the temple in 2011.

During the days of Pallavas, Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) was a commercial capital. One Nagan, devotee of Lord Etteeswarar was a resident of the place when the temple was built in 773 A D.  He was a tenant of a piece land belonging to the temple and there were many under this occupation.  They paid the dues to the temple properly and had their wages from the Gram Sabha.  It is said that Nagan also cleaned Paiyanoor Lake at his own cost. 

There were some in Gram Sabha unkind to Nagan and sent him back without any wages. He worked in vain without any wage and had no means for food. He shed tears before Lord Etteeswarar telling his sufferings. The wage day was held before the temple. Members of the Gram Sabha again cheated Nagan. He shouted saying that all of them would have to pay a heavy price for their injustice. None took it seriously and ignored him.

After the payment session was over, they began to leave the Sabha. They were intercepted by a voice demanding them to stop. They were shocked who that was to stop them. The voice spoke again directing that the wages due to Nagan should be paid all his wage dues, else all evils would engulf their families and that they would be put to untold sufferings with serious diseases. 

They turned to the direction of voice and found a Jyoti moving slowly and disappearing in the sanctum sanctorum. They realized that it was the order of the Lord warning them of the consequences of the injustice done to Nagan. They paid his dues in total and requested him to appeal to Lord on their behalf for pardon. Nagan pardoned them, expressed his gratitude to Lord for his intervention to save him.

As devout Chola Kings built a large number of temples in the regions under their rule as Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Tiruchi etc. without Saivite, Vaishnavite discrimination to spread spiritual beliefs among the people, so did the Pallava kings around Chennai, Kancheepuram and places under their rule. They led the people in the religious path and introduced many schemes for their welfare. They also left adequate land properties for the temple for the conduct of regular pujas and festivals forever even after their period without breaks.

The temples built by the Pallavas are not only of religious importance but of historical and heritage importance speaking volumes of the reputation of temple architecture blended with Bhakti of Tamilnadu artists. Paiyanoor Etteeswarar temple is one among them. But due to change of political fortunes, the temple lost its glory. Paiyanoor was noted for its harmony among the Saivites and the vaishnavites with its Etteeswarar and Arulala Perumal temples. There is also a water source between the temples known as Bhairavar Kulam. 

According to one epigraphic note, the temple might have been built in the year 773 A D by Vijaya Nandhi Vikrama Pallavan. This is a temple built entirely with hard stones on a spacious land with all facilities. According to epigraphic details, the name of Lord of the temple is Etteeswarar. Another one, later by age, mentions the name of Lord as Paiyanoor Etteeswaram Udaya Nayanar. It also mentions the name of the place as Rajakesari Chaturvedi Mangalam (now Paiyanoor). A chieftain of Kulothunga I, Kangayan by name helped in solving a dispute about the land of the temple in the year 1098.  He also donated lands for the temple.

The Temple
The temple is more than 2000 years old. The Lord is seen here with his Divine Consort – Ezhilar Kuzhali. Sri Idai Kattu Siddhar of Thiruvannamalai has worshipped the Lord here. His idol is seen at the entrance. The lingam is tall and with a square Aavudaiyar. Nandi is Apoorva Nandeeswarar with erected ears as if keenly listening to what is going on around. Sarabeswarar here has a separate shrine and not in a pillar like in most other temples.

The Navagrahams are seen with their consorts. The Garba Griham is in Gaja Brushta form and the idols of Vallalar & Agasthiyar are also seen. The temple has shrines for Nandideva, Lords Vinayaka, Dakshinamurthy, Lingodhbava, Brahmma, Kalabhairava, Sarabeswara, Muruga, Chandikeswara and Mother Durga, four Saivite Saints, Idaikadar Siddha, Navagrahas the nine planets.

Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. and from 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Besides monthly pradosha pujas, the temple is grandly celebrating Shivrathri in February-March.
What the devotee could not obtain or achieve (Ettudhal n Tamil) would come to him/her, if he/she prays to Lord here, hence praised as Etteeswarar.  Those seeking justice in litigations and those seeking prosperity pray to Lord and Mother. Devotees perform abishek to Lord Etteeswarar and Mother Ezhilar Kuzhali and offer vastras.
Sri Ezhilarkuzhali – Etteeswarar Temple,
Paiyanoor, Chengalpet Taluk,
Kancheepuram District
Mobile: +91 99415 34893
Paiyanoor is 52 km from Chennai South, 8 km south of (OMR) Tirupporur on the Chennai – Mahabalipuram Road, 5 km north of Mahabalipuram and 22 km far from Chengalpet. Bus facility is available from Chennai, Chengalpet and Mamallapuram. The visitor should get down at Rice Mill bus stop if travelling by bus running via Paiyanoor from Koyambedu, Tambaram and Broadway. 
On OMR towards Mahabalipuram after crossing Arupadai Veedu Engineering College, at Paiyanoor junction turn right and travel for about 400 meters. Both the Shiva and Perumal temples are adjacent to each other. Nearest Railway Station is located at Chengalpet and Nearest Airport is located at Chennai. 

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