Thursday, April 17, 2008

Awesome Avinashi!!!

After a long time, a post about Avinashi in the month of Chithirai seemed appropriate. Avinashi is one of the celebrated Shaivite temples and is considered as the first of the seven Thevaram Sthalams in the Kongu region. The temple is a about 40 kilometres from Coimbatore and a few kilometers from Tiruppur. The word Avinashi means indestructible and the sanctum sanctorum Lord Shiva stands as the indestructible force here. The temple is also known by its various names, Karunaiyaathaal Kovil (Merciful Mother's Temple referring to Goddess Parvathi the consort of Lord Shiva), Dakshina Varanasi (Varanasi of South), Thirupukkozhiyur. The temple is over 1500 years old and has been sung by Manickavaasagar, Sundaramoorthy Nayanar, Thirumoolar and Arunagirinathar in their respective works.

There are inscriptions that the temple received a lots of endowments from the Cholas and Pandyas. There is even a legend that Sundaramoorthy Nayanar on his way to Thiruvanchikulam to meet the Chera King, Cheramaan Peruman, Sundarar happened to visit Avinashi. While walking through the streets of Avinashi, he heard conflicting voices from two of the opposite houses one blooming with happiness and joy and the other with a gloomy and melancholic voices. Sundarar came to the know the reason for the discordance. He came to know that the incident took place some three years ago, when two boys of the same age went to bathe in a nearby tank and one of them devoured by a crocodile that emerged from the tank.

The surviving boy had his "Upanayanam" (A thread ceremony to mark the beginning of studenthood) held. And so there was joy in that house. While on the other house people were sad because had their boy been alive, they too would be celebrating his "Upanayanam" too.

Sundarar was able to understand the pain of the worrying family and he sung out a soulful song, praying to Lord Shiva to resurrect the dead child. Lord Avinashiappar heeded to Sundarar's prayers. The empty tank started to fill in with water from which emerged the crocodile and regurgitated the child as a fully grown boy of 8 years. And there filled happiness in the other home to as their boy was brought alive. There is a sculpture in the Kodimaram (flag mast) and inside the temple explaining this incident. There is even a temple for Sundaramoorthy Nayanar nearby and the tank, called the Thamaraikulam, from which he revived the boy. The temple is on the shores of the Thamaraikulam and this event is commemorated during the 'Mudalai Vaai Pillai' Utsavam on Panguni Uththiram.

The most special thing of all is the temple's car. It is one of the biggest cars in South India. Same as Thiruvarur, Avinashi boasts the biggest car and the auspicious festivals that are held as done in Thiruvarur. The Avinashi car is known for its fine wooden carvings. The old car was destroyed in the recent fire accident, and a new one was built. The car festival is conducted during the month of Chithirai called the Chithirai Thiruvizha.

Some of the pictures of this magnificent temple.

The majestic Avinashi temple Gopuram

Another view of the temple Gopuram

Close up view of the temple Gopuram

Side view of the temple Gopuram

The view of the Amman Temple Gopuram

A close view of the Avinashiappar Temple Gopuram

Gopurams and Vimanams from inside the temple

The temple Gopurams and the Vimanams

The main temple Gopuram from inside

The Chandikeshwari Temple and the Vimanam of the Amman temple

Old inscriptions on stone

View of the outer prakaram

View of the outer prakaram and the main Gopuram

Another view of the outer prakaram and the main Gopuram

The majestic Avinashi Temple Car in all its grandeur and splendour

View of the Temple Car from the side

Another view of the temple car

Avinashiappar Car and the Amman Car

View of the intricate carvings on the car

Another view of the intricate carvings on the car

Another view of the intricate carvings on the car

Lets try to visit this magnificent Temple for this Chithirai Festival and look the car in all its grandeur and splendours and get the blessings of Lord Avinashiappar.

More to come, until then...


Priya Venkatakrishnan said...

i had no idea about this temple.

as you said, ther samayaa irukku!!

swami and amman padam kedaicha adhaiyum podunga!! it will be complete!!

R.Prabhu said...

Yes it is indeed a magnificent temple and the thaer is third biggest in Tamil Nadu. Will surely post the swami and amman padam once i get it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks !!!. I enjoy reading your blogs especially the rich insights you share about our great saints and various aspects of our hoary culture .

R.Prabhu said...

Hi Anon,
Welcome and thank you very much for coming by. Its great to hear that you enjoyed the content. Thank you very much for the encouragement and support!

Anonymous said...

its like midas touch - even ordinary things becum great when they come to ur blog - the way u explain the greatness of temples and all--unga website ku vandadum they all becum great in our eyes, becoz we are all ignorant of the greatness of these temples

R.Prabhu said...

Hi Anon,

Thank you very much, welcome to my blog and its great to hear that you really liked the content. thanks once again for the support!

ManiK said...

Very nice temple, thanks for your introduction, I have visited twice this temple. 1000 years old temple, visited by sundarar is great about the temple. In thondai nadu "Thirukalu kundaram" is the temple very old, visited by "Thiru nana Sambhandar and Manikavasagar".

R.Prabhu said...

Thank you very much Mani.

Anonymous said...

Excellent pictures. Excellent post as well. I am so blessed to born in India. So many wonderful Temples,etc. Thank you for sharing your Temple experiences. Keep posting.


R.Prabhu said...


Thank you very much for coming by. We all should be proud of being Indian!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the good article. Waiting to read more :)


R.Prabhu said...

Hi Swapnamithra,

Welcome to my blog!!! Sure will post more in the days to come!!!

Thanks once again!

Nurie said...

Hey Prabhu, it's been months since I came here, I'm just starting my holidays.. wow the gopuram has 7 tiers, I've yet to see one Shivan temple in my place that has 7 tiered raja gopuram..!

Great entry~!

R.Prabhu said...

Hi Nurie,

It's good to see you after a long time. You will be more amazed if you see the Sarangapani Temple, Madurai Temple and Srirangam.


Vijay said...

hi prabhu

Very nice post and great pictures. if you have any closeups of the pillar/ wall sculptures pl do share.

when you have time pl visit my site on sculpture.


R.Prabhu said...

Hi Vijay,
Thank you very much. Your site is simply awesome, it brings out the essence and the beauty of the temples and places of architectural and historical value.

Ramanathan Iyer said...

Hi Prabhu, Your post about Avinashi Thirukkovil is excellent. I have
lived in Avinashi for about 20 yrs.

R. Prabhu said...

Thanks Ramanathan! It's good to hear from a person who have lived in place of this great temple!

முத்துகுமார் கோபாலகிருஷ்ணன் said...

Hi Prabhu, It is a nice article, How can I contact you. it is regarding the temple and more details about history of this temple.

R. Prabhu said...

Hi Muthukumar,

You can reach me over email at rprabhu(dot)mca[at]gmail(dot)com