Friday, May 12, 2017

Sorimuthu Ayyanar Temple, Karaiyar – The Temple

Sorimuthu Ayyanar Temple, Karaiyar – The Temple
This is not the temple of Ayyanar, the village God as it looks like from the name but that of Ayyan (Aiyappan), the Sastha. There are three main deities Lord Shiva as Mahalinga Swamy, Sastha and Boothathar along with a large number of sub-deities. Lord Shiva is the prime deity of the temple and the temple is being managed by Singampatty Zamin. The temple is situated at the confluence point of Kadana and Rama Rivers. On Panguni Uthiram day Puja is performed in grand scale for 3 days.

This is one of the five important temples of Sastha along with Sabarimalai, Achankoil, Aryankavu and Kulathupuzha. Sastha is present here with all the 21 Parivara Moorthis in individual shrines. Those on Sabari pilgrimage visit this first temple to wear the mala-chain. On Aadi new moon day, devotees walk through Pookuzhi-fire pit as a prayer commitment. Bootha Natha Swamy, being called as Sangili Boothathar by locals is another main deity of the temple and he is the head of the Sastha’s Parivar.

There is a tree here called “Bell eating tree” (Iluppai Tree). When devotees hang bells over this tree as prayers, these bells disappear in course of time and it is believed that these bells are slowly engulfed by the tree. To substantiate this, we can see some bells half outside and half inside the tree. There are Sangili Bhoodathar, Mottayar, Padala Kandigai, Kumbamani as guardian deities under the tree. There is also Vinayaka nearby with two elephants on both sides. 

There is a separate shrine for Pattavarayan, one of the Parivara moorthies of Sastha, in a separate mandapam in the midst of rocks. People who have knee and other leg related problems hang a new chapel in front of the shrine. The new chappals become like old and used ones as days pass on and the disease of the person also reduce gradually.

The presiding deity of the temple is Mahalinga Swamy. Muthianar with his two consorts Poorna and Pushkala is the main guard of worship, along with his lieutenants Sangili Bhootham, Thoosi Madan, Thulasi Madan, Pechi, Isakki, Pattavarayan. The term 'Pon Soriyum Muthian' means the Lord who down pours golden-rain in the plateau. Many families worship Sorimuthu Ayyanar as their family deity. People offer chappals to one deity here named Valai Pagadai, a strange custom followed here.

Lord Dharma Sastha appears with his left leg bent and the right hanging down slightly siding on the left. Saptha Kannikas (seven maidens) are in his shrine. Those who are not aware of their family deity, pray here. There are Nandhi the bull, elephant and horse vahans. Lord Bhairava graces in the front mandapam with his dog vaahana before him. Villagers in the region come here in large numbers to worship Pattavarayan Sami for the welfare of their cattle.