June 18, 2014

Chori Muthu Ayyanar Temple - Papanasam

Site Name:  Chori Muthu Ayyanar Temple
Site Type: Hindu Village Deity Temple
Location:  Karaiyar, Papanasam, near Ambasamudram town, near Tirunelveli city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights:  A rare temple as well as a popular temple for village deity
Nearest Railway Station: Ambasamudram
Nearest Airport: Tirunelveli
How to reach: Well connected by road from Tirunelveli and Ambasamudram; a lot of buses are available for this town as this is a popular picnic spot
Hotel: Few options in Ambasamduram and Papanasam; more options in the nearby city Tirunelveli
Restaurants: Only few options in Ambasamudram and Papanasam

Ambasamudram is a picturesque town located on the banks of the beautiful Tamrabharani river and on the foothills of the Western Ghats. The nearest city of Ambasamudram is Tirunelveli. It is located in Tamil Nadu state in South India.The town has a lot of scenic spots and temples. Papanasam is a smaller town located near Ambasamudram which offers a lot more scenic spots, dams and wonderful waterfalls. Let us explore an important temple located in Karaiyar area in Papanasam - Chori Muthu Ayyanar temple.

Chori Muthu Ayyanar temple is a very important and popular temple in Papanasam and surrounding regions. Ayyanar is worshiped as a village deity; he is none other than Shasta, the son of Lord Shiva. Lord Ayyappan is the incarnation of Shasta or Ayyanar.

The temple is large with so many village deities and many sub shrines. It is located well on the banks of the river Tamrabharani.

The main shrine houses the main deity Chori Muthu Ayyanar along with his two consorts, Poorna and Pushkala. Generally, the deity's mount is found facing the main shrine. However, in this temple, there are many statues such as elephant, horses and bulls found facing the main shrine. The idols of Sapta Matas are also found within the main shrine.

Adjacent to him, the shrines of Sangili Bhoodathar - a popular village deity of southern Tamil Nadu and Mahalinga (Shiva) are found. A small idol of the sage Agastya is also located in Sangili Bhoodathar's shrine.

The backside of the main shrine has the idol of Sangili Bhoodathar Balakan. It might be the son of Bhoodathar. He is also a village deity.

There is an important shrine in this temple with so many village deities - Pechi, Sudalai Madan, Brahma Rakshashi, Irulayee and Irulappan.

On the banks of the river, the sub-shrine of another rare village deity named Pattavarayan along with his consorts Bommakka and Dimmakka is found.

The bas-relief image of Mandiramurti, a guardian village deity and two separate shrines of Doosi Madaswamy and Thalavai Madaswamy are also located in this temple.

Not sure if we can get to see so many village deities in one temple anywhere else.

Happy travelling.

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