Mahudeshwarar Temple, Kodumudi – The Temple
This huge temple complex has 3 entrances on the east side and through each gate one can enter the shrines of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. The Temple is situated on the western banks of river Cauvery. The east facing temple is 640 feet in length and 484 feet in breadth. The temple is a fairly big one with a vast empty (parking) space in front and the wide Cauvery was flowing in front of the temple; there was a good lengthy bathing Ghat. There is a Vinayagar under a big tree near the bathing Ghat.
Presiding Deity is called as Magudeswarar / Malai Kolundeeswarar / Kodumudi Nathar. Lord Shiva in the form of Swayambu lingam. During the last week of Aavani Tamil Month and the first week of Panguni Tamil Month, the sun light enters through the aperture of the Rajagopuram and falls on Lord Magudeshwara.
The Lord was worshipped by Agasthya and his finger prints are seen on the Lingam. The entrance to his shrine are guarded by Sun and Moon and Agni is present on his forehead. Dhakshinamoorthy with a single Sanakatha sage and with sadamudi is a unique depiction which you cannot see anywhere.
Mother is called as Tirupura Sundari / Mathurabhasini / Soundarya Nayaki / Vadivudaiya Nayagi / Panmozhinayaki. During the last week of Aavani Tamil Month and the first week of Panguni Tamil Month, the sun light enters through the aperture of the Rajagopuram and falls on Mother. Mother Shrine is situated in the outer prakaram of Lord Shiva Shrine. Near the Mother Shrine, there is a separate shrine for Goddess Saraswathi.
Veera Narayana Perumal Shrine:
There is a Vishnu shrine inside the premises with separate Dwajasthambam. Lord Vishnu is in the name of Veera Narayana Perumal / Pallikonda Perumal in Anantha Sayana Kolam (reclining posture) with Goddess Thirumangai Nachiyar (Maha Lakshmi) with Adhiseshan offering protective hood over him. It is a large shrine with Sridevi, Bhudevi, Brahma, Garudan, Narada, Vasudeva, Sudarsana Chakra, Anjaneyar and Vibhishana.
The Utsava Murthi is in front of the reclining Lord. The prakaram outside the shrine contains the idols of the Azhwars, Udayavar and Paramapatha Nathar. There are outdoor shrines for Thirumangai Nachiyar, Anjaneya and Saneeswarar. In the Mandapam, some of the Ramayana scenes like Viswamithra Yagna, Thadagai Vadham, removal of Ahalya Shapam and Pattabhishekam are depicted.
Brahma is without his consort Saraswathi in the shrine here. There is a belief that he is residing here alone as he is performing penance under the Vanni Tree (Shami tree in Hindi). He is having only three faces (representing Icha, Kriya and Gnana Shakthis) and the Vanni is considered as the fourth face of Brahma. This Vanni tree is considered ageless and is very holy. While one side of the tree is with thorns, the other side is without them. This is explained as one-part Brahma and other Saraswathi.
This tree does not flower or offer any fruits and only the leaves are used for all purposes. These leaves even if immersed for years in water, do not get spoiled. In fact, the devotees from this area who go for Pazhani Kavadi Yatra, put some leaves in their pot carrying the Cauvery water to Pazhani. Going around this Vanni tree for Kaal, Arai and Muzhu Mandalams (12, 24 and 48 days respectively) or the age of the person or 108 times, is considered very auspicious.
Special prayers and abishekams are performed to this Brahma on Mondays. Those who are having ill effects of Shani or those born in Avittam star (Sravishta), get lot of benefits by praying to this Brahma. It is believed to be very prosperous if you can put the Vanni leaves of the Brahma tree, some coins and one lemon in a bundle of new cloth and keep in your safe vault.
The pose of Shiva Natarajar (Kunjithapada Natarajar) is unique in this temple unlike other temples, both his legs are on the Peetam. As per one of the legends, Sage Bharadhwaja performed penance here and pleased with his prayers the Lord appeared in the dancing posture with a grand orchestra. Hence this place is also called Bharadhwaja Kshetram and there is a Theertham in his name.
Anjaneya appears with biting teeth taking the Sanjeevi hill northward– the hill that contains wealth of herbals. There is a bell on his tail.
Lord Ganesha Shrines:
Though there are several Ganeshas in this temple, the most important one is called Kaveri Kanda Ganesan (One who has seen Cauvery). Performing abishekam to the Vinayakar with number of pots equivalent to one’s age, is considered very important in this temple. Another special Vinayaka in this temple is called Vyakrapada Vinayaka as he is having the feet of a tiger and the face of an elephant. Lord Vyakrapada Vinayaka graces in a pillar in Perumal shrine. This kind of Murthy is not seen in any other temple.
It is a parihara Sthalam for Naga Dosham. The parihara hall is within the temple premises and it took about an hour and a half for the parihara pooja.
Theerthams associated with this Temple are Deva Theertham, Brahmma Theertham, Bharadhwaja Theertham and Cauvery River. The river Cauvery which flows Southward from Karnataka, turns 90 degrees in front of the temple and flows Eastward.
Nagar worship (serpent worship) is popular here as the divine serpent Adisesha was for instrumental for the coming up of the temple.
The Temple has lot of inscriptions from Pandya Kings. Pandiya kings have patronized the temple regularly and because of the connection of Pandiya kings, this Shivasthalam is called as Thiruppandi Kodumudi. Malayathvuja Pandian, Maravarman Sundarapandyan and Pandiya Kesari Varman are some of the kings who have donated land, Jewellery etc. to this temple.