Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Therazhundur Aamaruviappan Divya Desam

The capital of Karikala Chozhan I 
Standing posture of Garuda alongside the Lord is a unique feature
Birth Place of Tamil  Poet Kamban

The capital of Karikala Chozhan I and the birth place of the great Tamil poet Kamban, Ther Azhundur (Thiru Vazhandur), a Krishnaranya Kshetram, is situated 11kms West of Mayavaram off the Kumbakonam Highway.

A tall and handsome 12 feet Lord Devathi Rajan is flanked on his right by Prahalad and on his left by Garuda. 

Krishnaranya Kshetram- The story of Krishna coming here to Thiru Vazhandur

Once Brahmma took away the herd of cows which were grazing around in Gokulam while Krishna was having bath on the banks of Yamuna, and brought them to Thiru Vazhandur. Krishna came back and through his powers found out what had happened. Instantly, he created the same number of cows at Gokulam. Realising his folly, Brahmma approached Krishna and requested him to give darshan at Thiru Vazhandur. Accepting his request, Krishna appears as Aamaruviyappan (Gosakan in Sanskrit) in his ‘divine form’ along with a cow by the side of his back and a calf in front of him, a beautiful sight that one is not witness to in any of the other Krishnaranya Divya Desam Kshetram. This is a speciality of this Krishnaranya Kshetram.

The other Krishnaranya Kshetrams are Thiru Kannangudi, Kapisthalam, Thiru Kannapuram and Thiru Kannamangai.
‘Ther- Azhundur’ 
King Ubarisaravasu had the power to fly, courtesy a boon he had received. With this, he had become arrogant and incurred the wrath of the rishis, whose curse resulted in the chariot coming crashing down into this place .

Another story goes that Lord Krishna’s cows were destroyed when King Ubarisaravasu’s chariot’s shadow fell on them (It is believed that Ubarisaravasu had obtained this quite special boon that anyone on whom his chariot’s shadow falls would get into trouble). Wanting to teach the king a lesson, Krishna pierced the chariot to prevent the chariot from flying any further. The Chariot came thudding down into this place and got stuck here.
Hence, the name Ther Azhundur (Ther= Chariot)

A Unique Feature- Garuda alongside Lord Devathi Rajan
Indra once presented Garuda a gold ornament and a vimanam. It is said that Garuda gave the Vimanam at this temple at Thiru Vazhandur( the Gold ornament was given to Thiru Narayanan at Melkote near Mysore). Happy at this gesture of Garuda, the Lord accorded him a special status at this temple with a position alongside him at the sanctum sanctorum, a unique feature at a Divya Desam. Normally one finds Garuda opposite the Lord but here he is seen next to the Lord Himself. 

Prahalad wants a ‘softer’ darshan!!!
Prahalad who had seen an aggressive and angry Lord Vishnu killing Hiranyakashipu in his Narasimha Avataar undertook penance here wanting to see a softer, quieter version of the Lord. Legend has it that the Lord gave darshan to Prahalad here in his not so ‘angry form’. One finds Prahalad alongside DevathiRajan, another unique feature.

Cauvery's Penance at Therazhundur
Sage Agasthya wanted to wed Cauvery. When she refused, the sage locked her here. Cauvery escaped from this place only to be cursed by the Sage who said " Let the place where Cauvery goes be in trouble'. Cauvery undertook penance here at TherEzhendur to get liberated from the curse of Sage Agasthiya.

Birth Place of the Great Tamil Poet Kamban 
This is the birth place of the famous Tamil poet Kamban ( Kamban wrote the Ramayana in Tamil). There is a separate sannidhi for Kamban at this temple. The place where Kamban resided, on the Sannidhi street, has now been turned into a beautiful new ‘Kamban Mandapam’.

Vaikasi Brahmotsavam
Chitrai Rama Navami Utsavam
Puratasi 10 day Desikar Utsavam
Aipasi Pavitrotsavam

Maasi Punarvasu -Aamaruviappan provides darshan to Lord Vedapureeswarar near the Chariot
at the Eastern end of the Agraharam

It is believed that this was the place where Sage Markandeya performed penance here to get Moksham.

Help Required for this Divya Desam

The Sannidhi Street right opposite the temple runs for ½ a km once housed Brahmins right across. Today, there are only about 3-4 Brahmin family in this entire place. The temple is running short of funds, so much so, that salary to temple staff is becoming an issue. Just a couple of months ago, the power to this temple was cut off citing non payment of bills.

However a redeeming aspect that is sure to pull devotees again and again to this temple is Srinivasan Bhattar, who greets every devotee with a smile. And his loud and clear recital of Thiru Mangai Azhvaar’s Paasurams relating to Aamaruviyappan is a sweet music to one’s ears. It has become so much an attraction that a couple of North Indian folks( no Tamil knowledge), who are working in a nearby company, have turned up here regularly to listen to the Azhvaar Paasuram recited by the Bhattar.
1 year ago(end of 2007), young children of Therezhendur used this temple tank as a cricket play ground. It was dry and with well grown grass and bushes in the corners. Today, it is a delightful sight as one enters the temple to see the tank brimming with water, although it will leave the children a little disappointed that they will not be able to play anymore in the tank.

Quick Facts
Moolavar : Devathi Rajan Grand Standing Posture, East Facing
Utsavar   : Aamaruvi Appan (Gosakan)
Goddess  : Sengamala Valli (Separate Sannidhi)
Azhvaar  : Thirumangai Azhvaar Periya Tirumozhi – 45 Paasurams
Temple Timing : 730am-12noon and 5pm-830pm

Contact: Srinivasan Bhattar / Hari Sundar Bhattar @ 80568 69235/97919 69943

How to reach
Bus : From Mayavaram, take bus going to Kumbakonam, get down at Komal Road Junction
(9 kms from Mayavaram). Take another bus to Therezhendur ( 2kms from there)

Bus Nos. 10A, 10B, 10C ply directly from Mayavaram to Ther Azhundur

There is also a direct bus (No. 33) from Kumbakonam

Auto contact numbers: 99948 51538/ 96776 38763
Auto : Auto will charge about Rs. 50 from Komal Road bus stop

Nearest Rail Head : Kuthalam Railway Station on the Kumbakonam-Mayavaram route is about 4 kms from here. (There was a railway station for Ther Azhundur before but does not exist now)

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