Last Sunday I visited Karur to attend an engagement function and took the opportunity to visit this temple. Since It was night I could not get good photos. This temple is the foremost of padal petra sthalams in kongunadu. Thirugnanasmbandar,Arunagirinathar,Karur devar have all sung about this temple.The thiruvisaipa of Karur devar was composed here.
How to reach:
Karur is a small place and the temple is very well known. It is in the middle of the town .
History and legends:
Lord Brahma had become arrogant as he was doing the creation.So to teach him humility the lord directed kamadhenu the celestial cow to come here and pray to him and in turn take over the duty of brahma.The cow used to shower milk on a Shiva lingam daily and once accidently trampled on it. The Shiva lingam has a dent on the head due to this.Brahma’s ego was reduced and he performed puja to Shiva here and was given back his duties.The Sangam era king Muchukundha chakravarthy is supposed to have lived here and had received the invitation to Lord Muruga's wedding with Devayani at this place.
Pugazh Chola Nayanar. Eripatha Nayanar , Karuvur Thevar,Sivakami Andar all great Nayanmars have lived here and done service at this place .
Karuruvurar lived here. Some jealous priests complained to the king that devar was doing puja in the vama marga by offering meat and liquor to the lord in the temple.The charge proved baseless and in anguish the siddhar merged into the Siva lingam and this caused the tilting of the lingam.
As you enter the main rajagopuram you see outer praharam with a 100 pillared kalyana mandabam which is called Pugal chola mannar hall.
The Pugal chola mannar kalyana mandabam
The dwajasthambam is seen below with Kamadhenu sculpture seen licking a calf.
The next entrance leads us o the main praharm where there is the sannidhi of Lord Shiva as a majestic Siva lingam which is tilted to the left. The base (Aavudiar) is square.This is the Aanilai appar
The koshta vigrahas are all unique and well carved. We have Ardhanaarishwara in the back, along with Ganesh , Durga, Brahma,Dakshinamurthy and Nataraja also.
There are also sannidhis for vinayaga,Arumugham ,Mahalakshmi and the north west corner has a second sannidhi for Shiva and his consort.
There is aside entrance leading to the ambal sannidhi which is unique in that there are two sannidhis for the ambal Alankaravalli facing North , Soundarya Nayaki facing east .
Both praharams area huge and well maintained. The main Shiva temple also has well lit enclosure for Chitraguptan and also a navagraha sannidhi and a Bhairavar sannidhi.The huge Bhairavar statue in bronze is exquisite in size and detail as also the nataraja.
The temple is famous for removing obstructions to marriage and is hence very popular