Sunday, February 8, 2009

Arivalur Ayyanar -an Update -February 7th 09

Sivan temple in Ruins
Ayyanar Temple - work in progress

Frontal view of Sivan Temple

Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple Arivalur Agraharam

View of Perumal temple.

I had an opportunity to drive down to Arivalur on Saturday the 7th of February. It was a lovely drive ( almost ) . The sector Chennai to Pondicherry – on the ECR was brilliant , then to Cuddalore , Chidambaram , Sirgazhi , Vaitheeswaran Koil and Mayavaram ( Mayiladuthurai). Here we take the Road to Thiruvarur ( The birth place of the musical trinity)…. Some 5 Km’s on this road we come across the village of Elanthangudi behind which lies the sleepy village of Arivalur.
The Village is adjacent to the Agraharam and just outside both is the little shrub/overgrowth which nestles the Ayyanar Temple.There are many little temples in the Village , the biggest/oldest two are the Perumal Temple on one end of the Agraharam. This has a Chola Period Varadaraja Perumal with Sridevi and Bhoodevi and a “Thumbikkai Alwar” – as ganesha was fondly called by the vaishnavites. This temple too is in a sad state and God willing with a few savings we are able to effect in the renovation of the Ayyanar temple we hope to repair the Perumal Temple too ( This is NOT a ploy to get increased contributions so please read on) .
The other temple is a really unique and pretty Sivan temple that is not in the Agraharam but in the Village Road parallel to it. The Sivan Temple is like the Old Churches built originally like a cross with Siva at the head and parvathi on one arm , the other two being entrances….
The Temple is so badly off that we are frightened to stand as it may fall at any time. The Parvathi portion is so bad that they have removed the deity to another temple in the adjoining village. The Plan we have is to get an estimate for the re building , as I understood from the Contractor , renovation is impossible as there is no roof and the side walls have all but given way. I hope to use the Good offices of my brother , Bharat and get the HR and CE ( Hindu religious and Charitable Endowments Board) to undertake this task of rebuilding as the temple already falls under its aegis ( So here too there is no Ploy to ask for more). This temple had five smaller shrines inside it – One each for Ganesha , Muruga , Parvathi ( Sakthi) , Navagraha and Bhairavar/Guru ? .
Our Ayyanar Temple work is going on in full swing. The outer sanctum which needed a lot of work to be done especially in the ceiling has been drought down and a new one built. So too a longish Hall adjacent to it for devotees to stand and watch. The roof slab for this is to be cast the next week and the plastering with its decorative work remains.The work on the Vahanams is underway – for no Ayyanar is complete without his Horse.
Overall it appears that, God willing , we should be able to perform the Kumbabishekam on 15th March. On completion of a mandalam of Poojas the mandala abhishekam will be on the 1st of May.
Many Thanks to all of you our friends and well wishers for help already or yet to be received.
As mentioned earlier every little bit goes to making the temples in this little Hamlet more comfortable for worship. Indeed the Village has decided to renovate the other temples and jointly perform the Kumbabishekam for ALL the temples in the Village not under HRCE control.



Congrats send me an invitation for kumbabishekam.
Pl. note: u must start renovation for Lord Sivan & Lord .Perumal TEmples immediately after Lord Ayyanar KOIl kumbabishregam,
we are ready to support u .
With your permission we are putting this news in other websites, blogs yahoo groups,uzavarapani groups,,,,etc.

Unknown said...

Thank you very much. As mentioned we are moving the HR and CE ( with a bit of high level contacts ) to attend to the Perumal and Sivan Temple. These come under the purview of the Board and therefore we need to go through these channels.
Please go ahead and publish this all over. Let people know. Please also check the earlier Blogs for I had also given an account a few months ago.


Sir, go through go this URL,
Thanks. contact Smt.MAHALAKSHMI madam
who is in chennai.044-28152533/9840053289.

Unknown said...

Thank you very much for posting in the web group. This lady Smt.mahalakshmi...Who is she?
does she have an email id....or should i contact only by phone.

Vijay said...

hi sir,

Very pleased to see the renovation efforts. I run a blogsite on sculpture and art appreciation. Please have a look when you have time.

( the blog is bilingual - you can switch between eng and tamil anytime)

If you can share interesting sculptures from the temple can post as well.

best rgds

Unknown said...

I am an anthropologist conducting research on potters who make Ayyanar images. I would very much like to attend the Kumbabhishekam of an Ayyanar temple. Is the Kumbabhishekam complete in the temple you write about? If not, could you let me know when it will be. If it is now done, then congratulations. Would anyone else who knows of an Ayyanar temple coming up for kumbabhishekam or indeed any special festival please inform me? Thanks.
Dr. S. Venkatesan, University of Manchester

Unknown said...

Thank you for your comment. Yes the kumbabishekam is complete.I am giving you the contact details of shri Aravind who has written a book on ayyanaar/saastha and is in fact conducting a major event in coimbatore for ayyanaar.Please do write to him and feel free to refer my name.He will be very interested in exchanging information with you.

Unknown said...

Thank you for your suggestion. I have emailed Mr. Aravind. My research project in fact is not restricted to Ayyanars and their potter makers but also to stapathis who make stone and bronze images of gods for worship in temples. I am interested in the process by which a lump of stone or clay or metal becomes a god and the relationship between maker and the deified object. I am therefore spending some time in Mahabalipuram with shilpis and travelling with them to temple Kumbabhishekams. I am also interested in meeting sarva sadhakas who perform Kumbabhishekam rituals in temples. If you have any leads, or indeed would like to meet up I will be very grateful. Perhaps you could send me an email? My address is

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.