March 2, 2013

Vayalur Murugan Temple

Site Name: Vayalur Murugan Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Vayalur, near Trichy city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of the most popular shrines for Lord Subramanya (Murugan); the site where the saint Arunagirinathar was blessed and initiated to write his famous 'Tiruppugal'.
Nearest Railway Station: Trichy
Nearest Airport: Trichy
How to reach: Well connected by road from Trichy 
Hotel: Go to Trichy where there are a lot of options 
Restaurants: Go to Trichy where there are a lot of options

Vayalur is a small village located near Trichy city in Tamil Nadu state of South India. The nearest popular site is Uyyakondan. The village is famous due to Murugan temple located here. As the site is surrounded by lush paddy fields, it is called as Vayalur (which means a town with a lot of paddy fields in Tamil language).

Highlights:
  • Lord Subramanya blessed and initiated the saint Arunagirinathar (who lived in 15th century CE) to write 'Tiruppugal'. The famous poet composed 18 verses on this temple. 
  • Lord Nataraja, the dancing God, is in the Chatura Tandava posture - a rare form.
  • Based on the Chola inscriptions found in this temple, it is believed that it was built during the reign of Aditya Chola I in the 9th century CE.
  • The inscriptions which belong to the period of Aditya Chola, Parantaga Chola, Rajaraja I, Rajendra I and Kulothunga I are found in this temple.
  • God - Adinathar, Subramanya
  • Goddess - Adi Nayaki
  • Sthala Vruksha (holy tree) - Vanni
  • Teerth (Holy water) - Shakti Teerth

Legend:

As per the legend, the saint Arunagirinathar started his popular 'Tiruppugal' poems praising Lord Subramanya in various shrines only form this site.

As per another legend, the temple pond was created by Lord Subramanya himself with his 'Vel' weapon.

Temple Layout:

Vayalur which is also called as Kumara Vayalur, Adi Vayalur, Vanni Vayalur and Agneeswaram, has this temple located amidst the paddy fields. The temple has s small five tiered tower. In front of the tower, there is holy pond named as Shakti Teerth aka Kumara Teerth or Agni Teerth. Once we enter inside the east facing main entrance of the temple, we immediately find the holy tree - Vanni. Besides that, there is a small Ganesha idol near the flag post and bali peetha. 

The main deity is not Subramanya but Lord Shiva in the name of Adi Nathar - a small Shiva Linga idol. He is also called as Agniswarar. Nandi idol faces the sanctum sanctorum and is located near the flag post. It is due to Arunagirinathar that Subramanya of this temple became popular and people started referring the place as Subramanya temple. However, it is meant to be a Shiva temple. In the Maha Mandap, the idol of Bhairava and few bronze idols are also found. One of the highlights of the temple - Lord Nataraja in the rare chatura tandava posture along with his consort Sivakami is also found here.

Outside the main shrine, the Goddess Adi Nayaki is found in a separate south facing shrine with a separate Nandi idol facing her.

The backside of the main shrine has the shrine of Lord Subramanya - a small idol found along with his two consorts Valli and Devasena. All of them are found in the standing posture with a peacock on their backside. The peacock faces to its left towards the direction of Devasena and is called as Devendra Mayil. It is a rare sculpture.

The processional idol of Subramanya called as Muthukumara Swamy is found in a separate shrine. 

The Navagrahas deserve special mention as only Surya is found with his two consorts whereas all other eight planets are found as usual.

The Poyya Pillayar shrine in this temple is also a popular shrine. The utsava Murugan shrine, Maha Lakshmi shrine and Arunagirinathar shrine are also located in this temple.

Dakshinamurti, Ayyanar, Nardana Vinayaka, Jyeshta Devi, Nalvar, Durga and Chandikeshwara idols are also found in this temple. It is noted that Jyeshta Devi is still worshiped in this temple and few temples in this area. It is widely believed that Jyeshtra Devi is not worshiped nowadays which is not correct.

When time permits, go an visit this interesting temple associated with legends.

Happy travelling.


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