Pillaiyarpatti Karpaga Vinayagar Kovil, Chettinad
This post is on my visit to Karpaga Vinayagar Kovil in Tamil Nadu. Read on to know what is so special about the temple. I have coincided the posting on this temple with Ganesh Chaturthi festival. It is that time of the year again when Hindus are gearing up for Ganesh Chaturthi (Aug 29th, 2014). This day is the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha. Every home celebrating this festival install clay idols of Lord Ganesha. The ritual is: after the celebrations are over the idols are immersed in water.
Belief About Lord Ganesha
Have you ever noticed the lovable elephant headed God is always depicted with His trunk curved towards left? Popular belief is that: left side of our body symbolizes the feminine side of our personality and is cool and composed by nature. The right side is masculine and is considered hot fiery and aggressive. So it is believed that Lord Ganesha depicted with His trunk turned to left, is in good mood and easy to please. No strict rules need to be followed while worshiping this idol.
What is Special About Karpaga Vinayagar Kovil
Lord Ganesha depicted with trunk to right is known as Siddhi Vinayaka and is worshiped in a special manner adhering to rules very strictly. Puja is performed after fulfilling all religious requirements. If the rules are violated the results can be disastrous. Such idols are rare.
There is one temple in Chettinad, Tamil Nadu which has this image of Karpaga (black) Vinayagar (black Ganesha). A sculptor called Ekkattur Koon PeruparananIdol carved this mammoth 6 feet tall idol out of a single black stone. Trunk of Lord Ganesh in Karpaga Vinayagar Kovil is curled towards right side. He is ‘Valamburi Vinayagar’! And devotees believe Him to be a powerful deity who makes all their wishes come true.
Another unusual factor is the idol faces north direction.
Yet another unique feature is: Lord Ganesha here is with two arms, else where in other temples Ganesha idol is featured with 4 arms.
Furthermore, Lord Ganesha is seen seated without Angusapasam. He is seen with his legs folded and stomach not touching the Asanam (seat) in the form of “Artha Padma” Asanam.
Karpaga Vinayagar Kovil, the oldest Cave Temple
Karpaga Vinayagar Kovil is one of the oldest Cave Temples (Rock Cut) temples of Tamil Nadu. Ambiance outside was very soothing. Undisturbed reflections of the gopuram (gates) of the temple looked good. History records the temple is 1600 years old. The temple’s northern tower was erected by the Pandya kings. Nagarathar community, renovated it in 1284, and added the eastern tower and an adjoining mandapam.
Devotees throng this temple in huge numbers. But to the disappointment of tourists cum devotees, authorities here are strict about ‘no photography’ rule. The temple walls reverberate with Vedic mantras recited by students throughout the day. When I reached I felt slightly disappointed about the long queue to enter it. But it moved fast. Most eye-catching feature of the idol is the golden trunk. I could stand long enough to grasp it in my eyes and mutter a silent prayer.
Several different kinds of puja takes place just outside the temple, but within the complex. I saw this family offering some kind of puja.
Location of Karpaga Vinayagar Kovil
The distance of Pillayarpatti from Madurai is 71Kms. And from Karaikudi it is 12Kms on Thirupathoor – Karaikudi state highway in Tamil Nadu.