Sunday, November 27, 2011

Shiva Vishnu Temple, Mudichur - A temple for Marriage Prayers

Arch at the entrance of the Shiva Vishnu Temple, Mudichur
Hundreds of yellow thread hang from steel rods around the sanctum sanctorum. Each one of them has a turmeric stick tied on to the thread and a number tag attached. I try to peer closer to read a tag - B2657. Another - G3328. Why have these threads been tied here and why are they tagged? This is Vidyambigai Samedha Bheemeshwar Temple at Mudichur, where people pray for their children's marriage. All sincere prayers are definitely answered and after marriage, the couple come here and remove the yellow thread that had been tied (that's why the tag - B stands for Boy and G for Girl!) and offer abhishekam to the Lord as a token of gratitude.

So, how did this temple become a "Parihara Sthalam" ? Thats an interesting story.

Over 1300 years ago, there was a Shiva Devotee named Kameshwaran in this village. He found a Shivalingam and started worshipping it in a small shrine. In the same village, lived a man called Vishwam with his adopted daughter Vasuki. Kameshwaran and Vasuki fell in love and wanted to get married. But Vishwam was against the match. Not wanting to hurt his feelings, Kameshwaran and Vasuki prayed to Lord Shiva everyday to join them in matrimony.Hearing their sincere prayers,  Lord Shiva appeared beforeVishwam as Parameshwaran, the Gurukkal at the temple and asked him to bring Kameshwaran and Vasuki to the temple. Unable to act against the words of the Gurukkal, Vishwam did as told. Parameshwaran got the two of them married. Lord Shiva and Parvathi appeared before the couple, who were overwhelmed with happiness. Since Lord Shiva got Kameshwaran and Vasuki married here, the place came to be known as Manamudicha Nallur ( place where the wedding was conducted), which now is called Mudichur.
Nagapeetam outside the temple
Even today, hundreds of eligible men and women go around the Nagapeetam outside the temple and tie yellow threads around the Sanctum Sanctorum praying for successful marriage proposals. The Shivalingam worshipped by Kameshwaran was called Parameshwaran, after the avatar Lord Shiva took to get them married. Slowly he came to be known as Bheemeshwara which is how he is referred to today. The Goddess is a manifestation of the three devis and is called Vidyambigai.

The temple is a great example of Shaiva - Vaishnava unity. The temple complex houses Sridevi Bhoodevi Samedha Damodhara Perumal. This was a sought after Vaishnavite Shrine of Yore. It is believed that Saint Ramanuja had given a Pravachanam here on his way to Shriperumbudur. In the 1800s, Sri Appariyaar Swamy is said to have collected the "Naalayira Divya Prabandham" through manuscripts, and helped collating them for print. Some also say that since the Divya Prabandham work was completed here, the place came to be known as Mudichur.
A closer look at the Nagapeetam
The temple had been badly damaged during the Manimangalam War fought between Narasimha Varma Pallava (popularly known as Mamalla) and Pulikesi II in 642 AD after which for many many years it lay in a state of neglect. No worship happened. The temple was covered with thick bushes and there were many snakes so people were afraid to go in and pray. The only activity in the temple used to happen on Karthigai Deepam day when a huge lamp was lit on the 1300 year old lamp post opposite to the Damodhara Perumal Shrine. The lamp post stands even today tall and beautiful. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take pictures inside the shrine due to some local governance issues with the temple and so one has to personally visit to see the beauty of the shrine and the idols. It is only in the 1980s that the local youth got together to clear all the bushes, and repair and reconstruct the shrines. Today the small temples of both Perumal and Shiva and well maintained with a number of flowering plants all around the shrines.

Beautiful temple tank at Mudichur
Karthigai Deepam festival is a very important festival in this temple. Lighting of Sokka Panai and Theppam Festival happen during the month of Karthigai and it is a visual delight to watch the gloriously lit theppam floating in this beautiful temple tank. The tank is large and is fenced to prevent people from bathing in the deep waters. However, a lot could be done to clean and maintain the tank.

A picture of the Theppam Festival (Photo Courtesy : Mr. Krubha Karan)
For more details of the Theppam Festival and lovely pictures, you may access the Treasures of Tamilnadu blog here

As we enter the temple, we find the Hanuman shrine to our right, and a small shrine for Garudalwar in front of the ancient lamp post. Both Hanuman and Garuda face the Damodara Perumal temple. The left side of the temple complex is made up of the Vidyambigai Samedha Bheemeswarar temple and the shrines around it - namely for Vinayaka, Muruga, Navagraha, Chandikeshwara, Durga, Bhairava and Chandran. Most of these idols are made from Natural Moon Stone (Chandrakanta Stone) and hence are unique in their own way. 

Worshipping Chandra made from Chandrakanta stone is said to rid one of all dosas. A few metres away from the temple, is a huge Peepal Tree (Aala maram). Big enough to shoot Panchayat scenes in tamil movies. Under the Peepal Tree, is a shrine for Aalavatta Amman, a frontier Goddess for this region



How to reach the temple:


From Tambaram, take the right towards Mudichur Road. After travelling about 4 kms down the road, you will reach a church on your right side and a board which reads Mudichur on the left. Take the left turn at the Board. The road will take a natural curve towards the Aalavattamman temple and then reach the Shiva Vishnu Temple. Several buses and share autos are available from Tambaram bus stand and railway station Mudichur.

Temple Timings:


The official timings of the temple are 7 am to 10 am in the mornings and 5 pm to 8 pm in the evenings. However the temple is usually opened only by 8 am in the morning so it is advisable to go after that.

With the Karthigai Deepam festival falling on 8th December this year, do visit this temple to worship Vidyambigai, Bheemeshwarar and Sridevi Bhoodevi Samedha Damodhara Perumal and also witness Karthigai Deepam Chokkapanai, Theppam and other festivities.

Goddess Vidyambigai (Photo Courtesy: Maalai Malar)



38 comments:

  1. Good Write up Madam. Sri Vidhya Ambigai Thiruvadigaley Saranam.

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  2. Thank you so much
    Best regards,
    Priya

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  3. Madam Priya,

    A good blog with lots of useful information and a lucid writing style!

    Cinema Virumbi
    http://cinemavirumbi.blogspot.com

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  4. Your post is very good and informative. Keep more coming :)

    - Hemapriya

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  5. TN is renowned for its rich culture heritage, traditions. this post was informative.

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  6. Thanks CinemaVirumbi, Hemapriya and Sushma

    Regards
    Priya

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  7. I feel the deity looks very much like the deity in Thirumeeyachur near mayavaram if I am not mistaken. Nice article.

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  8. Very Informative. Details provokes me to make a trip. With the lucid descriptions & informations a trip can be well planned.
    keep it up
    Best Wishes
    V.Sridharan
    Trichy

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  9. Very interesting, great history

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  10. Hi Katie, The posture is indeed similar. Thanks Mr. Sridharan and Vikram

    Regards
    Priya

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  11. Beautiful story (the history, I mean) to go with an informative post!!!

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  12. Very informative post.Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Thanks so much NNNiiiXXX and Seema! Regards Priya

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  14. Beautifully written. The pictures are also good, nice post :)

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  15. Very interesting history behind this beautiful temple.. The pictures are delightful alongwith the wonderful write-up.. I would love to visit it someday, especially during the festival time..

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  16. thanks for the write up clear directions will visit the temple thank you

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  17. Hi Priya, Very informative and nice pictures. Inviting you to visit Thirumayam Sri Sathya Moorthy swamy vishnu temple and write a review on it. Few details can be found at http://www.thirumayam.com

    Thank you!

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  18. Thanks so much Mr Murugesan. Looking forward to visiting soon. Regards, Priya

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  19. Hi Priya i just visit your blog it's really awesome. I think people should go through it. i appreciate your work. Thank you for sharing such a nice information.


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  20. Hi Priya,

    Appreciate your effort and good intention in writing these blogs. Most helpful to all. Could you please provide me with the phone number & address of this temple if possible (atleast phone number). It would be of great help. Thanks..

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  21. The address of the temple is
    Shiva Vishnu Temple, Mudichur, Chennai - 600048
    Regarding phone number, I do not have the priest's numbers as there was some governance issue on the day I visited and hence no priest was willing to talk. However, you can get in touch with Mr. P Damodharan, who is not only the President of Mudichur Panchayat, but also the Trustee of the temple at 93821 14777. He will provide all the necessary information and guidance.

    Best wishes, Priya

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  22. Hi Priya...
    THe blog was good initiative..which helped me to visit the temple yday.
    Brief description of my visit to the temple, hope this would help first timers............
    1. Reach Tambaram bus stand. From there share auto go to Mudichur it shoud take around 15 mins costing Rs10/-.The share auto will drop on the main road. From there we walked for 15-20 mins to temple talking direction from the locals over there.
    The pujari asked us to buy archanai plate along with yellow thread which is tied over turmeric that is available in shop few meters away from the temple.(Rs30/-)
    At 6pm there was deeparthanai then archanai was performed. Currently there is no tag given by the temple to identify our thread so we had to write in a paper (name ,DOB.... to indentify our thread) and tie it along with the thread. We should tie the sacred yellow thread only with two knots.
    The pujari said once wedding is fixed:
    1. We need to come back identify the thread (remember what we wrote on paper)
    2. Ask our spouse to put the 3rd knot.
    3. Then perform archanai to Goddess Vidhyambikai
    4. Give the sacred thread to any married woman outside our blood relation.

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  23. I have visited the temple several times off late. Very interesting to know the history of the temple through this blog.
    Great work.
    - Kiruba Sankar Vasudevan

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  24. is there any auspicious day to do speedy wedding pariharam in this temple

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    Replies
    1. Generally Fridays are very crowded. But no prescribed day as such

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  25. Hi mam, How far it is from Chennai airport ? or which is the nearest airport for this temple?

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    Replies
    1. It is about half an hour drive from Chennai airport which is the nearest airport to the temple

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  26. I just visited this temple today (14/6/15) which kindled my interest in knowing the history of the temple. Your blog helped me. Thanks Priya...

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  27. I just visited this temple today (14/6/15) which kindled my interest in knowing the history of the temple. Your blog helped me. Thank you mam...

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  28. very informative,good efforts thank you ,to day i visited this temple very nice to see

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  29. Can i visit this temple with my lover ?

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  30. Hi priya , i am Ganesh thanks a lot

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  31. Hi priya , i am Ganesh thanks a lot

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  32. Betiji very informative and thanks a lot and the God blessings always should be showered on you. Keep the same .

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