I first came to know about the temple at Konerirajapuram through Ms Usha Suryamani’s blog. I visited this temple recently. Konerirajapuram is situated 10 km South of Tiruvidaimarudur – on the road connecting Kumbhakonam and Karaikkal. Tirunallam – as the complex housing the Uma Maheshwarar temple is known – is regarded as the 34th temple situated in the South of Cauvery in the series of Devara Temples of the Chola Empire. People throng this temple on Tuesdays and Fridays as Worshiping at this temple on these days is said to be exceptionally beneficial. The main deity here is Uma Maheshwarar and His consort is Mangala Nayaki. The Sthala Vriksham is Bhadraksha and the holy water or theertham is Bhrama Theertham.
Since the Priest there requested me not take any photographs, I am embeding a few snaps available in flickr. Thanks to Mr. Aravind for the permission to use those snaps here.
King Pururavas was supposed to have been healed of leprosy here, and as a mark of gratitude covered the temple vimanam with gold.
This temple was reconstructed by Sembian Mahadevi, the Chola queen (of Gandaraditya). Icons of Gandaraditya Chola and Sembian Mahadevi as well as several inscriptions are seen here in this temple. These are about a thousand years old. Sembiyan Mahadevi is supposed to have made available for the maintenance of the temple and for the routine of the daily rites.
This temple is famous for the tall panchaloha (five metals) statue of Nataraja. The legend goes thus. Sembian Mahadevi wanted a tall and beautiful statue of Nataraja to be installed at the temple. Accordingly she instructed the Sthapathi to make a tall panchaloha statue of Nataraja. (Sthapathis are the long-established Hindu temple designers, who fashion the attractive Hindu temples based on the magnificent foundation of Shilpa and Vasthu.)
The Sthapathi makes a couple of Statues which are rejected by the Royal Couple. They want a statue that is tall, appealing and full of life. The Sthapathi was given and ultimatum to come up with the Statue within a stipulated time or have his head chopped off. As the deadline set by the Royal couple neared the Sthapathi got anxious and depressed. He was worried and prayed to the Lord for Divine guidance on creating a statue that would be appealing to the Royal Couple. He had the molten panchaloha (five metals) ready to be poured into the mould that he had created. At this juncture, an old couple came by and requested for some water to quench their thirst. The Sthapathi was in a state of frustration and anxiety. He was indifferent to the old couple and told them to drink up the molten metal if they were really thirsty. To his astonishment the old man really drank the molten metal and offered some to his wife too. The Sthapathi was taken aback by this and could not react. He was dumbfounded. Before he could realise what was happening, two statues of Nataraja & Parvathi stood at the spot where the old couple stood moments ago. Soon the King and the Queen arrived to check the progress of work. They were exceedingly pleased to see the statues. They were in awe of the idols; the statues looked so full of life that the nails and body hair were also visible. He asked the sthapathi how he could create such a marvel. The Sthapathi who was trembling with devotion at the Lord’s magnanimity narrated his experience to the Royal Couple. The King was livid and labeled it a lie and a figment of his imagination. He lifted up his sword, which hit the raised right foot of the Deity. Blood gushed out and sprayed on the King who developed leprosy. The Lord subsequently told the King that He will be present at this temple as Vaithyanathaswamy and instructed him to offer prayers and perform abhisheka to Vaithyanathaswamy at this temple for a period of 42 days upon which he would be cured. The King did accordingly and was cured. Praying to Vaithyanathaswamy is said to cure all diseases. Ms Usha Suryamani has cited a few instances of people known to her being cured of their illness including cancer. You can read it here.
The devotees are allowed to have a close view of this marvelous statue. The wound on the right foot where the king’s sword struck is noticeable. There is also a mole beneath the left arm. The priest explained that body hair is also there in the statue as he ran his hands over the arms of Nataraja. He however, refused permission when I asked if may be allowed to touch & feel it.
The shrine of Vaithyanathaswany is in the outer Praharam and just like in Vaitheeswaran Koil, there is a shrine for Muthukumaraswamy right opposite to Vaithyanathaswamy’s shrine.
Pooja is offered here six times (aarukala pooja) each day. The annual Bhrammotsavam in Vaikasi, Karthikai Deepam, Arudra Darisanam, Shivaratri, Aadi Pooram, Navaratri and Skanda Sashti are the important festivals celebrated at this temple with great pomp.
Konerirajapuram is located at about 3.5 Km from S. Pudur on the Kumbakonam-Thirunageswaram-Kollumangudi-Peralam-Thirunallar route. It is about 16 Kms from Thirunageswaram and 23 Kms from Kumbakonam. Aduturai is the nearest railway station. There are several buses plying between Kumbakonam and Thirunallar. You can take any of these buses and alight at S. Pudur. Autos are available from here to reach Konerirajapuram.
View Around Kumbakonam in a larger map
Travel Base: Kumbakonam
Other Temples nearby
Mangaleswarar Temple, Sirukudi
Sri Sarguneswaraswamy temple, Karuveli
Sri Neelakandeswarar Temple – Thiruneelakudi
Arulmigu Uma Maheshwarar Koil
Temple Timings: 6 AM to 12 Noon & 4 PM to 8.30 PM