Friday, July 19, 2013

Kurugai Kaavalappan Koil


Alavanthar ‘misses the bus’, Vaishnavites lose the ‘Yoga Rahasya’ for ever
This 'non event' turns out to be a big curse for the Vaishanava Sampradaya
Kurugai Kaavalappan/Natha Muni/Alavanthar
Located 1km West of Gangai Konda Chozhapuram is an ancient temple named after Kurugai Kaavalappan, one of the disciples of Natha Muni. The significance of the temple relates to a historic ‘non-event’ that turned out to be a big loss for the Vaishnavites.

Alavanthar, the grandson of Natha Muni, came here to this place as directed by his preceptor Manakkaal Nambi seeking initiation of Yoga Rahasya from Kurugai Kaavalappan.

Yoga Rahasya is a secret mantra that empowers one to experience the Lord at Vaikuntam.

When he reached here, Kurugai Kaavalappan was in a yogic state sitting at the Brindavanam in the North East corner of the temple. Not wanting to disturb him, Alavanthar stood outside, but to his surprise Kurugai Kaavalappan asked if someone from the ‘Sottai clan’ (Alavanthar belonged to this clan) had come there. Kurugai Kaavalappan explained that the Lord tried to glance through his shoulders and hence he realised that it had to be someone from Natha Muni’s clan for the Lord to show such interest.

Kurugai Kaavalappan asked Alavanthar to re-visit on full moon Poosam day in the Tamil calendar month of Thai for initiation of the Yoga Rahasya as that was the day the former was to attain the Lord’s feet.

Alavanthar’s Ananthapuram trip and missing out on his appointment with Kurugai Kaavalappan

During this period, Alavanthar went to Srirangam to witness Araiyar Sevai that had been started there by his Grand Father. At the Ranganathaswamy temple, he listened to the presentation of Anantha Pura Nagar Paasuram during the Era Pathu Thiruvoimozhi festival. An excited Alavanthar moved on to visit Anantha Padmanabhaswamy at Thiruvananthapuram.

It was there that he realised that it was the day of his scheduled appointment with Kurugai Kaavalappan for the initiation of Yoga Rahasya.  Alavanthar wondered if he could get a Pushpaka Vimana like Lord Rama to immediately land at Kurugai Kaavalappan Koil. But alas, it was not to be.

Thus he lost out on an important meeting with Kurugai Kaavalappan. This turned out to be a significant ‘non-event’ in the history of Vaishnava Sampradaya as Yoga Rahasya (that was only with Natha Muni and Kurugai Kaavalappan) was lost to the future generations and went into oblivion.

The Name
As Kurugai Kaavalappan was the only disciple to be initiated with Yoga Rahasya by Natha Muni and was seen here at this place in a Yogic State, both the village and the temple came to be named after him as Kurugai Kaavalappan Koil. Over time, the place has come to be referred to as Kuruvaalappan Koil.

Deities
The handsome 11feet Moolavar deity Veera Narayana Perumal (similar to the one at Kaatu Mannar Koil, the avathara sthalam of Natha Muni) is seen in a grand standing posture along with Sri and Bhoo devi.

In memory of the legend relating to this temple, there is a separate sannidhi where Natha Muni, Alavanthar and Kurugai Kaavalappan are seen together facing south.

Festivals
Earlier festivals were celebrated in a grand manner at this temple. The plan is to revive all the festivals that were once celebrated here including the annual Brahmotsavam and the Float Festival. Currently, Maasi Magam, Vijayadasami, Vaikunta Ekadasi and Puratasi Saturdays are celebrated at the temple.

Architecture
There are two Rajagopurams at the Eastern Entrance. Alavanthar is believed to have built the sanctum while the architecture in its current form- with huge outer and inner walls - is a mix of granite and brick construction dating back to the 11th century AD and the Chozha period.

Quick Fact
Moolavar: Veera Narayana Perumal in an East Facing Standing Posture
Thaayar  : Maragada Valli Thaayar ( Separate Sannidhi)
Utsavar   : Dwarakanath
Time       : 7am-11am and 5pm-730pm
Contact   : Seshadri Bhattar @ 90252 46545

How to reach
 Kurugai Kaavalappan temple is about 1km North West of Gangai Konda Chola Puram. Buses ply every 10minutes from Kumbakonam and Jayakondam.  Auto from Gangai Konda Chola Puram Cross Road (Kumbakonam-Chennai NH) will cost Rs.40.

By train, one can get down at Kumbakonam and take a 45minute bus to Gangai Konda Chola Puram.
Also, one can get down at Vriddachalam Station and reach the temple via Jayakondam.

3 comments:

ravi raman said...

Prabhu sir...
keep it up

nice Article and very informative.

Om noma Narayanaya......

PRabhu S said...

Thank You for the kind words
Prabhu

singama said...

Adiyen Dhasan