Friday, January 6, 2017

Alanduraiyar Temple (Vadamoolanathar Temple), Keezha Pazhuvur, Pazhuvur, Ariyalur

Alanduraiyar Temple (Vadamoolanathar Temple), Keezha Pazhuvur, Pazhuvur, Ariyalur
Alanduraiyar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the village of Kilpaluvur in Ariyalur District of Tamilnadu. The temple dates to remote antiquity and is associated with the 7th – century saint Tirugnanasambandar. It is believed that Parasurama worshipped here to get rid of the sin of killing his mother. The original brick temple was rebuilt in stone during the time of Parantaka Chola I and Uttama Chola. Panguni Uthiram is the famous festival celebrated here. This Temple is also known as Vadamoolanathar Temple. This place formed a part of the capital of the Paluvettaraiyar. It was called as Sirupaluvur, a Brahmadeya village in Kunra Kurram. This temple was worshipped by the Malayali Brahmins during the period of Saint Sambandar. This is the 109th Devaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 55th Shiva Sthalam on the north side of River Cauvery in Chozha Naadu. 

The word Pazhu or Aalamaram in Tamil means Banyan tree and hence the name Alanduraiyar for Lord Shiva here. The place is known for large number of banyan trees. Hence, the place is known as Tirupazhuvur.

Parvathi penance on Lord Shiva:
In a playful mood, Mother Parvathi covered the eyes of Lord Shiva with her hands.  As the eyes of Lord Shiva are Sun and Moon, the world became dark suddenly. The activities of the world came to a standstill.  All the sages and Devas were confused not knowing what to do. Lord Shiva told Parvathi that even playful acts, if caused hardship to others, was but a sin and asked her to leave him for earth and perform penance. The Lord also assured that he would come and join her in the Yogavanam here. Mother Parvathi completed her penance, made a Linga in sand and worshipped him standing by one leg. Lord came here and took his consort. This Yogavanam is now named Kila Pazhuvur. As Mother Parvathi performed Thavam (penance) here, she is called Arunthavanayaki.
Parasurama Tank:
Parasurama is also associated with this temple. Tradition speaks of his penance here to the concealed Siva Linga under the banyan tree for the atonement of his sin of killing his mother at the behest of his father. The tank he created here is known as Parasurama tank.
The place is part of the ancient settlement of Perumpaluvur ruled over by Paluvettaraiyar chieftains who had connections with the Chera clan. The Saivaite saint Thirugnana Sambandar of 9th century in his Pathigam on Paluvur describes the vast settlement of Brahmins from Chera country in this place and the Sthalapuranam echoes about priests from west coast ("Anthanarkalana Malayalavar Ettum Bandham Malikinra Pazhuvoor Aran").

The settlement at Perum Paluvur consists of two units; Kilappaluvur and Melaipaluvur, the former with 2 Siva temples and the latter with one temple of Siva, the Avani Kandarpa Iswara Grham. According to local inscriptions, Kilappaluvur was known as the brahmedaya of Sirupaluvur as distinct from Mannuperumpaluvur or Melaipaluvur which then comprised of both the modern villages of Kilaiyur and Melaipaluvur. Kilappaluvur is 5 km east of Kilaiyur and the two Siva temples are the Pasupathisvaram or Maaravanisvaram (only four walls of the Sri Kovil exist) and the famous Tiruvalandurai-nallur-Udaiyar temple which is partly in ruins.

Palu, Vata and Aal all means the banyan tree and the place would have once been a forest of banyan trees. Hence it came to be known as Paluvur or Alandurai and the God is also known as Vatamulesvarar in inscriptions. The temple had its existence in the 9th century, vouched by the Pathikam of Sambhandar. The most glorious period of the temple was from the period of Parantaka I (907-953 A.D.) through 10th and 11th centuries. There are about 27 inscriptions spread over the above period. An inscription of historical significance is the one in Parantaka's 12th regnal year (919 A.D.) which relates to a gift of 90 sheep for a lamp in the temple of Thiru-Alandurai-Mahadeva at Sirupaluvur in celebration of the great Chola victory at the battle of Velur over the combined forces of the Pandyas and Ceylonese. This led to the expansion of the Chola Kingdom.

The Temple
The temple which is located south of the Trichy-Ariyalur road faces east. A temple tank exists in the front side. The temple is an eka-tala vimana with a spherical sikhara. The garbha griha is 14 ft. square with an ardhamandapa projecting 6 ft. from east to west. Further up is a mukha mandapa extending a further 30 feet. The Mukha Mandapam (main hall) contains images of Shiva as Kala Samhara (defeater of death/time), Ardhanari (half man, half woman), Kalyana Sundara (bridegroom), Gangalamurthi and Bhairava. Gajalakshmi is seen in the west entrance of the temple. In the Alanduraiyar temple, Parasurama is seen in a lying form.

The Devakoshtas have Dakshinamurthi in the south, Lingodbhava in the west and Brahma in the north. Of these, Lingodbhava presents a magnificent panel of 3 figures. Brahma on the north side is slightly damaged. The pranala and the well are located on the north side. Images of Ganesa and Durga on Mahishi adorn the niches in the ardhamandapa. Among the sculptures in the mukhamandapa, Ardhnarishvara is in a striking pose with the attendant bull.

In the roofed verandah surrounding the temple there are stone images of Durga, Chandesvara, Sambandar, Appar etc. and the Saptamatrukkal - Kaumari, Mahesvari, Brahmi, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indrani and Chamunda to the accompaniment of Virabhadrar and Ganapthi at the two ends. The bronze figures of this temple also deserve mention. That of Rishabha Vahana devar is one of the earliest and grandest metal images of the Chola period. Another bronze of Tripurantaka from the same temple is also worth mention among early Chola bronzes.

The tower is of a five tier structure facing east. There are two inner corridors - prakarams. There are shrines for Kamala Ganapathy, Murugan, Panchabhoodha Lingas, Mahalakshmi and Lingodbhavar, 63 Shiva devotees called Nayanmars, Shiva Durga and Saptakannikas- 7 maidens. Lord Shiva is Swayambumurthy here. Panguni 18, Sun Worship the lord with his ray fall. Renovation of the temple was done during the period of Paranthaka Cholan. Fragrant oil (Sambrani Thailam) is applied on the Shivalinga. As the Shivalinga is too small, a cup is placed upside down to facilitate darshan. Abishek is performed to this cup only.

An inscription of 913 A.D. in the reign of Parantaka I mentions 1.5 kalanju gold and three kalam of paddy as korru to Alayure Cakkaai for enacting three scenes of the Sakkai Kuthu (Chakyar Kuthu) on the Asvati day of the festival in Aipasi in the temple of Tiru Alandurai Nallur. Parantaka I had married a princess from Chera family at Kodungalloor and Ala is a place in Kodungalloor. This is a clear indication of social and cultural integration which was prevalent in southern India in the 10th century.

Another inscription of 984 A.D. in the 15th regnal year of Uttama Chola mentions that the local chieftain Paluvettaraiyar Maravan Kandan as having built (probably rebuilt) the temple of Vatamulesvarar. Today what remains of the temple may be those of this reconstruction and are well over 1020 years old as on today. The present name of God here is Vatamulanathar and his consort is known as Arunthavanayaki Amman.

Temple Opening Time
The temple is opened from 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
The temple is praised in the hymns of Gnanasambandar, Vallalar and Arunagirinathar
Recover from the sin of Brahmahatthi dosham and People pray here for union with their separated life partners. After taking bath from Parasurama Theertham, Abishek is performed to Lord Shiva.
Sri Alanduraiyar (Vadamoolanathar) Temple,
Kilapazhuvur, Ariyalur District
Mobile: +91 – 99438 82368
Kilappaluvur is located in the Trichy – Ariyalur route leading to the ancient Chola capital of Gangaikondacholapuram, at a distance of 5 km from Ariyalur and 53 km from Trichy.

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