Monday, June 27, 2011

Venerated Villeeshwarar

Let's digress from Avvaiyar to visit the long forgotten Villeeshwarar Temple. The great kings and emperors who ruled the southern region of India built a lot of temples that were a hive of a lot of activities. They were such great visionaries to build some of the magnificent structures on earth. One such great emperor was Karikaala Peruvalathaan (Karikaalan). He was the one who built the Kallanai which is the oldest surviving dam in the world.

He has built a lot of temples across South India. More surprising information is that he has built 36 big temples in Kongu region (Coimbatore and the surrounding places) and 360 smaller temples. The famous Patteeshwarar temple at Perur was built by him.

One temple that was almost forgotten and nearly lost is the Villeeshwarar Temple at Idikarai. Idikarai is a small village near Coimbatore about 10 km towards Mettupalayam. This temple can be reached by via Thudiyalur, Sengalipalayam route towards Idikarai.

This temple is 29th of those 36 temples Karikaalan built. The temple was built by Karikaalan and later renovated by Vikrama Cholan during the 13th century. The sanctum sanctorum is Lord Shiva, the name Villeeshwarar is because this was once a land full of Vilvam trees. Even the temple's sacred tree is the Vilvam tree. The name Vilveshwarar got transformed to Villeeshwarar, likewise there is another story associated with the name for Lord Villeeshwarar. The tribe that used bows (Vill) worshipped this Lord and so the name Villeeshwarar stuck.  The main deity in the temple is Lord Villeeshwarar, the Goddess is Vedhanayagi, along with Lord Subramaniyar.

The Idikarai village has also such interesting legends about its name. People say that the name of the village is Irukarai meaning two banks of the river. There are small hills nearby call the Kurudimalai, Paalamalai, Ponn-oothu malai and water from these hills flow down as a small tributary of Noyyal that flowed in between this place forming two banks resulting in its name Irukarai, later transformed into Idikarai. There is even a song that describes this place 


குருடிமலை மிசை மீதிலே
பெருகியே வரும் பருகமா நதிக்கரையதனில்
வீற்றிருக்கும் இருகரை எனும்
துறையூர்ப் பெருமானே

 
Kurudimalai Misai Meedhilae
Perugiyae Varum Parugamaa Nadhikaraiyadhanil
Veetrirukkum Irukarai Enum
Thuraiyur Perumaanae

 

meaning, the Lord Shiva who resides in the Irukarai place that has a river that flows from the mountains of kurudimalai.

Now let's look at the pictures of this temple

The Lord Villeeshwarar Shrine


View of the temple corridor from near the Lord Villeshwarar Shrine



Exit to the corridor from  Lord Villeshwarar Shrine

The place where Lord Dakshinamoorthi's statue will be place



Lord Villeshwarar Shrine's Vimanam


These walls contain inscriptions


Another view of  the Lord Villeshwarar Shrine Vimanam




Shrine for Lord Vinayagar, yet to be completed


The Lord Villeshwarar Shrine Vimanam different views in the following pictures





















Goddess Vedhanayagi Shrine





Goddess Vedhanayagi Shrine and Lord Subramaniyar Shrine











The Vilvam tree inside the temple

Temple Walls






Carvings at the entrance of Goddess Vedhanayagi Shrine







The Kodimaram made out of a single stone





Lord Vinayagar sculpture in the Kodimaram



Kodimaram - another view

Once upon a time, this place was a hive of activity. But later, it became a long forgotten place and the temple that Karikalan was left to ruins. Fortunately, the good hearts of people in an around this place contributed to the renovation of this temple. However, the renovation is still incomplete and requires a lot of help. This renovation effort is being headed by Mr. Rajagopalan, a retired manager from LMW. People who are interested in contributing to the renovation, may contact him directly on his phone number - +91 98942 43633

More to come, until then...