Thiruvalanchuzhi is just a kilometer away from Swamimalai. This temple is famous for the Vellai Pillayar. This Vinayakar is also known as Norai Pillayar as He is made out of froth from the Ocean. The main deitiy here is Sadaimudinathar (or Kabardeeswarar) and his Consort is Periyanayaki. River Cauvery curves gently to the right at this place, hence the name Thiruvalanchuzhi; Thiru means holy or sacred, valam means right and chuzhi means curve.
Sage Dhurvasa is believed to have performed a yagna here which was attended by 22 great sages. They installed the lingams they were worshipping in this temple. There are several Shiva lingams associated with the sages in this temple. In the outer praharam (circumambulatory path) there is a shrine dedicated to Ashtabhuja Mahakali or Kali with eight arms. Raja Raja Chozhan was a staunch devotee of this Kali and always prayed to Her before setting out on war or when faced with making important decision.
There is a Legend connected with the origin of the Shwetha Vinayakar or Norai Pillayar which goes thus. Sage Dhurvasa honoured Indran by presenting him a special garland which he had obtained from Lakshmi. Indran, after receiving the garland placed it on the head of Iravatam, his elephant. Iravatam, threw it on the ground and trampled it. Sage Dhurvasa was very angry with the brash behaviour of Indran and cursed him. He cursed Indran that he and his followers would be deprived of all their strength, wealth & power.
Soon, Asuras defeated the Devas and took control of the world. Indran then appealed to Brahma and Brahma said that he can regain all that he has lost by churning the celestial ocean to obtain Amrutham or the holy nectar. Since this was an arduous task and could not be accomplished by the Devas alone who were weakened by Sage Dhurvasa’s curse, Vishnu suggested them to take the Asuras into confidence and enlist their participation also in this task. Asuras agreed to the same on the condition that they would be also be given a portion of the Amrutham.
The Ocean was churned by using Mount Mandara as the pole and Vasuki – the king of serpents – as the rope. The Devas held the tail end and the Asuras held the other end and started the churning. However the Mount mandara started to sink and Vishnu in the avatar (incarnation) of Koorma or tortoise balanced the Mount Mandara on his back and prevented it from sinking. As the Ocean was being churned, Vasuki started spitting deadly poison known as Ala kala Visham. This poison was so deadly that it could destroy the whole world. Shiva came to the rescue by consuming the poison. Paarvati then held His throat and stopped the poison there. Shiva’s throat became blue due to the poison and then on He has also been known as Neelakantan; Neela, meaning blue and kanta, meaning throat.
These hurdles they were facing, was worrying the Devas. Sage Narada told them that they were facing these obstacles because they had not prayed to Lord Vinayaka before they started the churning. Lord Vinayaka must always be invoked before starting a new venture. Hurriedly, the Devas and the Asuras made a small vigraham or idol of Vinayakar using the froth from the ocean. They prayed to Vinayakar and resumed the churning. Now they did not face any hurdle.
Dhanvanthari then appeared from the Ocean with the Armrutham. With the help of Vishnu, the Devas consumed the same. The Asuras were denied their share as they were tricked by Vishnu, who in His avatar as Mohini, undertook the task of distributing the Amrutham amongst the Devas and the Asuras. Thus Indran got back his power and wealth.
Indran then worshipped this idol everyday and started carrying this idol of Vinayakar wherever he went. Once, when he came to the banks of the Cauvery, he placed this idol on the ground before taking bath. On his return he could not move the idol from that place. Indran accepted the “Divine Will” and left the idol at that place, which is the present day Thiruvalanchuzhi. On a particular day every year, the pooja is believed to be preformed by Indran himself at this Temple.
This temple is noted for its immense size and architectural brilliance. Interestingly, you find a shabby-looking mandapam that seems to have been hurriedly built. The story behind this is that a King who once stopped by, ordered the temple priest to perform abhishegam (ablution). Since this idol is made of froth, no abhishegam is offered. Decoration is made only to the outer frame which is made of silver and gold. Pacha karpooram is the only offering made to Him. The priest was in a quandary and prayed to Lord Vinayaka to present a solution. Just then a voice from the sky rebuked the King and asked if the King wished that He be dissolved in the abhishegam waters. King pleaded forgiveness. The Divine voice ordered that the King should build a mandapam before sunset on the same day if he has to be pardoned. The King did as ordered and was forgiven. This mandapam is known as “mannippu mandapam”.
Chathurthi is an important day. No prizes for guessing that Vinayaka chathurthi is the most important festival here.
Thiruvalanchuzhi is one of the Parivara sthalams.
This temple is just a kilometre away from Swamimalai. Thiruvalanchuzhi is about 7 Kms from Kumbakonam. As you proceed on the Kumbakonam – Tanjavur road, after about 6.5 Kms from Kumbakonam you will find an arch on your right hand side. You will also see a sign board indicating entrance to Swamimalai. Take the right turn here, the temple is less than half a kilometer from here.
Other temples nearby:
Papanasam 108 lingams
Boarding & Lodging:
Kumbakonam is the nearest town at just 7 kms from here. Accomodation is available in Swamimalai as well. You have these small eateries as well as couple of hotels at Swamimalai.
Temple Timings: 6 AM to 12 Noon and 4 PM to 8 PM
Arulmigu Valanchuzhinathar Thirukoil
PIN – 612302
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