Monday, March 6, 2017

Ayikudi Balasubramanya Swami Temple, Thirunelveli

Ayikudi Balasubramanya Swami Temple, Thirunelveli
The Ayikudi Balasubramanya Swami Temple is a small Hindu temple in the village of Ayikudi in Tenkasi Taluk in Thirunelveli district of Tamilnadu. It is located on the banks of Hanuman Nadi near Kuttralam. The place is called as Ariyar kudi or Arya Kuti – 'the abode of noble people', popularly known as Ayikudi. The temple is visited by pilgrims and tourists who come to visit Kuttralam Falls, Kasi Vishwanathar Temple, Tenkasi and Tiruchendur.

On the way in search of Sita Devi, Hanuman was very thirsty. He did not want to go in search of water. It is believed that with the sharp edge of his tail he created a Nadi (stream or a small river) and quenched his thirst. Hence the Nadi here is called Hanuman Nadi. Sri Rama drank water from this Nadi and rested on its banks. Since this temple and the Nadi are devoted to Lord Subramanya and Sri Rama, the name Rama-Subramanian is a popular name given to children born in this area. Rama Sita Anjaneya images are carved in the pillars of this temple Mandapam.

A devotee named Mallan at Nanjaipara found the main deity Idol of the temple in the Mallam River. Once there lived a Brahmin Muruga Bhakthar sanyasi who obtained Samadhi in that area. His Samadhi was built on the shores of Hanuman Nadhi. An Arasa Tree was planted at that place & his community conducted pujas and ceremonies there. The idol of Bala Subramanya that was found at Mallapuram was installed on the Samadhi of that Sanyasi and the pujas were continued.

Until 1947 this area was in the realm of the Travancore Kings. Until 1931 the top of the temple was only made of coconut and palm leaves. About 150 years ago the Travancore Royal family took up the temple management. Then the temple was renovated and festivals were organized.

The Temple
The main deity is a beautiful small moolavar moorthy of Balasubramanya Swamy, also popularly known here as Rama Subramanya Swamy. Moolavar is with four hands. The three hands illustrate shaktivaram, vajram and abhaya mudra while the fourth hand holds a peacock and the lord sits on a lotus. He is believed to have been found by a villager in the nearby Mallapuram Eri (irrigation tank).

A similar looking Utsavar Murthy of this temple is Muthukumaraswamy, standing next to a peacock on a Padma peetam. Both the Moolavar & Utsava Moorthys are so beautiful that the darshan of Karunamurthi Bala Muruga is a treat to all the bhaktas who visit this temple. The shrine also houses Vishnu, Shiva, Ambikai, and Ganesha and Aditya (Surya).

The temple architecture is very unlike a typical Murugan temple with the standard Tamil Nadu style of temple tower. Instead, it carries a Kerala style of architecture and even the temple practices have a Kerala touch to it. This is not surprising given its close proximity with the state. The Travancore Royal family took up the temple management and the temple was renovated.

Pancha Vruksha:
Interestingly, there are five Sthala Vrikshams for this temple: Arasa maram, Vembu maram (neem), Kariveppilai maram, Madhulai maram and Maavilangu maram. Also, there is a small river besides the temple. The river is called Hanuman Nadhi. The main Moolavar Sannidhi is of Balasubramanya is located under the Pancha-Vrikshams.
Pancha Devas:
The importance of this temple is that many Devatha are worshiped in this Sthala (holy site). On the right side of the Moola Vigraha (main deity) are Mahadeva, Mahavishnu, Ambikai, and Ganesha and on the left side of the Moolavar is Aditya (Surya) and these are the Pancha-Devatas of this temple. The main Moolavar Sannidhi is of Balasubramanya is located under the Pancha-Vrikshams and in the middle of the Pancha Devathas.
Earlier days many pundits got down into the Hanuman Nadi and did ablutions in the water. The water was used for ceremonies and ritual cleansing by devotees. The sweet tasty water from this Nadi is believed to cure diseases and maladies and gives complete wisdom and long life to the Bhaktas. The Padi Payasam Prasad used is made on the shores from this water.
Skanda Shashti Soora Samhara festival, Chithirai Vishu, Vaikasi Visakam, Masi Makam, Thaipoosam are special festivals of this temple. Each day of the Utsavam the Lord is decorated differently and devotees attend the festivities. The lord is taken on the Peacock on the streets as a procession around the temple. Hanuman Nadi Padi Payasam, Palkudam, Kavadi are important forms of worship in this temple. This temple Arasa Ilai Vibhuti Prasadam that is the holy ashes given folded in a pipal leaf is very popular and auspicious.
Devotees believe that those who get the Dharshan and pray to this Balasubramanya will attain prosperity. The temple is known for attaining Karya Siddhi or success in endeavors and Pillaiperu or childbirth for bhaktas who visit and participate in the pujas and sponsor the special offering of 'Hanuman Nadi Padi-Payasam'. The Arasa leaf Vibhuthi Prasadham (Holy Ash) available in this temple is very powerful.
Padi Payasam, Kavadi, Palkudam are some of the important ways in which the devotees show their love to the Lord. According to legend, on the steps leading to the Hanuman Nadhi Sri Bala Murugan takes payasam along with other children. The Balasubramanya Moolavar Pujas were conducted in the traditional way by the sangethi Brahmins and the Utsava pujas & processions were conducted by Shivacharyas.
Sri Balasubramanya Swami Temple,
Ayikudi P.O, Tenkasi Taluk,
Thirunelveli - 627 852
Phone: +91 – 4633 – 267636
Sri Ayikudi Balasubramanya Swamy Temple is a small temple situated in the village of Ayikudi on the banks of Hanuman River. The Temple is located at a distance of 1 km from Ayikudi Bus Stop, 7 kms Tenkasi, 12 kms from Courtrallam and 60 kms from Thirunelveli. Nearest Railway Station is located at Tenkasi. Nearest Airport is located at Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.

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