Friday, February 3, 2017

Chaya Vaneswarar Chayavanam

Mada Koil built by Ko Chenganan Chozhan
The idol of Lord Muruga is similar to the one at Tiruchendur
A separate Sannidhi for Indra at this temple 
Located 3kms West of Poompuhar is the Thiru Gnana Sambanthar and Thirunavukarasar praised Chaya Vaneswarar temple in Chayavanam. This temple is just ½ km West of Pallaveswarar temple in Poompuhar (another Thevaram temple). This is one of the Mada Koil built by Ko Chenganan Chozhan.

The legend
This is the birth place of Iyarpai Nayanar, one of the 63 Nayanmars. Both he and his wife were true Saivite devotees. Iyarpai was known to follow the path of Dharma and he would never say no to a request. To test the sincerity of their devotion, Lord Shiva made his to their house disguised as a Brahmin devotee. As was the practice in those days, the host was to take care of the guests in the best possible way.

At the end of the trip, the devotee made a shocking request of sending Iyarpai Nayanar’s wife along with him. Bound by the duty of offering a guest’s wish, Iyarpai Nayanar acceded to the request and his wife followed the devotee away from the town. Worried that the residents of the agraharam may attack the outside guest, the disguised Brahmin asked Iyarpai Nayanar to accompany them till the end of the town. 
In a grand gesture, Iyarpagai calmed the people down stating that he had given his word to the guest and that they have to help him fulfill the promise that had been given.

On his return to Chayavanam, Iyarpai Nayanar was delighted to find Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi providing darshan at his place and showcasing to the world as to how the God rewards his true devotees. In a rewarding gesture, Iyarpai Nayanar and his wife were taken to the abode of the Lord and thus he attained Mukthi at this place.

Idol of Muruga
 A special feature at this temple is the handsome idol of Lord Muruga who is a posture similar to the one at Tiruchendur as a Samhara Idol with a bow in hand and wearing anklet in the leg. It is believed that this idol was located on the sea shore at Poompuhar a few kms from here.

A separate sannidhi for Indra
Athithi, mother of Indira was keen on having darshan of Lord Chaya Vaneswarar. Startled at her sudden vanishing act, he came here and performed pooja. To fulfill his mother’s wish, Indra tried to pull the temple away to his abode through his strong elephant Iravatham. While in this process, Ambal presented a beautiful song with the words ‘Koo hoo’. Lord suggested to him that it would not be possible for him to come there and that he will bless him with a special sannidhi here at this temple for him to be ever present here providing darshan to devotees.

97 year old Balasubramanian Shivacharya had performed pooja at this temple for over 70 years. In 1977, his hand was almost broken into two following an injury but he still continued to perform pooja for many years in a devoted manner. His sincerity was such that he came to be called as ‘Jilla’ Gurukal.
Rudra Abhishekam on the last Friday of Thai
21 day festival for Indra in Chitrai
5 day Iyarpagai Nayanar festival in Margazhi

On the fourth day of this festival, the episode of Lord Chaya Vaneswarar providing darshan to Iyarpagai Nayanar is enacted at this temple.

Temple Time: 9am -12noon and 430pm-8pm, Contact Chandrasekara Gurukal @ 94431 07069 

How to reach
The temple is on the district highway 20kms from both Mayiladuthurai and Sirkazhi. Poompuhar bound buses ply every 30 minutes from Mayiladuthurai and Sirkazhi. Get down in front of the temple arch at Chayavanam.

Kethu Sthalam of Keezha Perumpallam is about 2 kms from here. Auto from Poompuhar will cost Rs. 75. Contact Auto: 91596 04647

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