Saturday, December 8, 2018

Odhimalai Andavar Temple, Irumbarai – The Temple

Odhimalai Andavar Temple, Irumbarai – The Temple
This Temple is built on a hill accessed through a flight of 2000 neatly paved steps. It is believed that this hill is the highest of all Murugan Temples.  For every 300 steps there is a resting mandapam till 850 steps. After that there is no resting place till the temple. Vehicles cannot go up to the temple. The temple is facing east with peacock vahanam and Balipeedam. Presiding Deity is called as Odhimalai Andavar. Muruga stands with 5 faces and 8 hands and the Peacock has its face towards Lord’s left leg.

Five faces are Eesahanyam, Tatpurusha, Aghora, Vamadeva, and Sadyojata. This is a very rare form of Lord Muruga. Muruga in this form is known as Kauncha Murthy. He has one foot forward, as if he is ready to rush to assist his devotees. The right lower arm is in abhaya mudra & the left lower arm is in Varada mudra. In his right upper arms, he holds the sword, arrow and vajram. In his left upper arm, he holds the shield, bow and pasam.

In case, there was no peacock in the Vigraham, Lord Muruga represents Lord Shiva himself. Peacock is towards Lord’s left, which means, its Indra-mayil (Lord Indra as vahanam). Generally, in most of the temples, Peacock faces Muruga’s Right, which means they have come after Soora Samharam. This establishes that this Sthalam is before Soora Samharam, and considered older than Tiruchendur. Even today, Gurukkal stands on behalf of Indra and does pooja.

Utsavar is Kalyana Subramaniar. There is no shrine for the Goddess. Only Lord Shiva can be found. Swayambu Vinayaka graces from a shrine in the foot of the hills. There is another shrine for Vinayaga in the middle of hill path and he is gracing with 2 Nagas. After few steps from Vinayagar shrine, beneath a tree, there is a Naga statue installed, in the left side. After some 50 odd steps, there was another mandapam, with a Shiva lingam in the right side. Before the last 20 steps, another Vinayaga can be seen under a tree again.

This hill temple is constructed with Kasi Viswanatha on the right of Lord Muruga and Mother Visalakshi in the right, a form known as Somaskanda form. There are shrines for Idumban, Rajarajeswari and Saptha Kannikas, the seven virgin deities. Lord Shiva who recommended the release of Brahmma graces from a separate shrine at the foot of the hills. Sthala Vriksham is Odhi Tree. Theertham associated with this Temple is Sunai Theertham.