Friday, December 23, 2016

Veeratteswarar Temple, Vazhuvur – Legends

Veeratteswarar Temple, Vazhuvur – Legends

Gaja Samhara Moorthy:

As per legend, once the sages of Darukavana were engrossed in Dharma (righteousness) and extreme austerities but had forgotten the Samkhya (Supreme Knowledge). Lord Shiva took the form of Bikshadana (handsome mendicant) to dispense the ignorance of sages and lead them to true knowledge. He entered Darukavana, begging for alms from the sages wives.  They were so enamoured of him that while granting alms, they allowed their clothes to fall off and followed him, dancing and singing, love-sick. Bikshadana was accompanied by Mohini (Vishnu disguised as Bikshadana enchanting wife).

Seeing Mohini, the sages simply stopped the yajna half way and began following Mohini. The Rishis recovered from the illusion and not knowing the stranger was but Lord Shiva, sent Agni, tiger, deer, snakes and a battle axe called Mazhu. Lord Shiva defeated and made them his ornaments. The sages performed a black magic sacrifice to create an  elephant-demon called Gajasura to attack Lord Shiva. When the elephant approached Lord Shiva, he assumed a miniscule form and jumped into the trunk of the elephant.

He then took his Viswaroopa inside the elephant’s body and came out explosively bursting through the stomach of the rogue elephant and wore its skin as a garment. Therefore, this aspect of Lord Shiva came to be called as Kirthivasa (one who wears an elephant skin as garment). Lord Shiva finally revealed his true identity and did a furious dance in front of them. Realizing their mistakes, the sages surrendered to Bikshadana. It is said that the heroic feet of vanquishing the elephant demon happened in Vazhuvur and Lord Shiva came to be called as Gaja Samhara Moorthy.

Fight between Saneeswarar and Vikrama Chola:

As per legend, Lord Saneeswara fought with King Vikrama Chola in the temple. The king was defeated in the fight and the Saneeswarar leg got injured in the fight. The king took bath in the spring and worshipped Lord Shiva for relief from Saneeswarar. Lord Shiva saved him from Saneeswarar. Meanwhile, Saneeswarar sought pardon from Lord Shiva as he fought his devotee in this temple. There is a separate shrine for Saneeswarar in the temple holding a bow.

Jyeshta Devi & Sapta Matrikas worshipped Lord Shiva here:

 As per legend, Jyeshta Devi and Sapta Matrikas worshipped Lord Shiva here. The Lingas worshipped by them can be seen in the temple premises even today.


As the place eluded (Vazhuvudhal in Tamil) destruction during pralaya floods, the place came to be called as Vazhuvur.

Vazhuvur Veerattanam:

It is said that Vazhuvur Veerattanam was surrounded by Sameevanam, Darukavanam, Patharivanam and Pipilavanam in ancient times.

Birthplace of Ayyapan:

As per legend, Vazhuvur is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ayyappa.