Famous Ganapathi temples of Tamil Nadu - 01


Pillaiyar Patti Pillaiyar temple:

Pillaiyar Patti Pillaiyar temple, an ancient rock-cut cave shrine (carved out of Pilliyar Patti Hills made of granite related rocks) at Thiruppatthur (1 km from Thiruppatthur, Sivaganga district in the state of Tamil Nadu, is a popular Ganapathi temple. It is being managed by the Nagarathar community (Nattukkotai chettiar community of Chettinad). The presiding deity is called Karpaga Vinayagar  and the rock-cut temple that has idols of Shiva- Lord Thiruveesar and other gods is very old . According to the Agama text inscription found in the temple, its origin goes back to between the years 1091 and 1238. This temple was built during the Pandya rule and it is believed, the age of the temple is 2500 years. As many as 14 sculptures in the temple are believed to have been built between 500 BC to 1284 AD. 

In the Garbagriha which is a cave  carved out of the hill, one will find a majestic 6 foot tall stone image of Vinayagar in sitting posture facing north. He is called Valampuri Vinayagar as his Thumbikai (trunk) is curled towards his right side, which is quite unusual. This image, it is believed, was carved out in the 4th century. Ekkattur Koon Peruparanan was the sthapathi who created this image ( vide temple inscription: 2 nd and 5th century). Pilliyar Chathurthi is a ten day grand festival here celebrated with devotion and dedication. 

Since it is a rock cut shrine prathakshna - going around the Srikovil or Sanctum is impossible; this being due to absence of Prakara.


Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Pondicherry:

Manakula Vinayagar Temple  in the Union Territory of Puducherry is not only a place of pilgrimage but also a tourist attraction. Dedicated to  god Ganesa
(Pranavamurthy), it is close to the famous Arabindo Ashram established by Sri Arabindo

Manakula Vinayagar, Pondicherry. rajasthandirect.com

and subsequently developed into a bigger institution by the Mother, Sri Arabindo's  disciple. The temple had been in existence before the French Colony was established here (before 1666s).  But for the threat of British and Maratha invasion, the temple would have faced destruction during the reign of Gov. Gen.  Dupleix,  Besides, there were strong protests from the large Hindu community living in that region.
Here the idol of Ganpathi is facing east - the Bay of Bengal and is called 
Bhuvaneshar Ganapathi; now  he is called as Manakula Vinayagar as this place was filled with sand in the past. Manal in Tamil means sand; Kulam means pond near the sea. Hence the name Manalkulathu Vinayagar. Later it became Manakula Vinayagar.

Mukkuruni Vinayagar Temple, Madurai:

Any visitor to the famous Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple  can not miss a huge Ganapathi shrine located between the shrines of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar. Madurai Mukkuruni Vinayagar Ganesh Temple is believed to be one of the oldest shrines in Tamil Nadu dating back to several centuries.  It is said to be 2500 years old  and was consecrated as per Agama Sastras. According to the legend, lord Ganapathi, unable to face the criticism that he was lethargic and was not physically active,  decided to work. He took the form of a  boy and sought a job. He just demanded  moonru (three) Kurranai grains in return for his work. He completed the work and earned the grains  as wages from the landlord. Hence, his name is Mukuruni Vinayagar. 
Mukuruni Vinayagar Madurai Menshi temple. Indusladies

The Vinayagar Chaturthi Festival  held in the Tamil Month of Avani  is celebrated  here on a grand scale. Kozhakatti Prasadam (made off rice flour mixed with jaggery and grated coconut, etc.) is a major offering. Sometimes 18kg of flour may go into the preparation. On the Chathurthi day, the crowd is huge and unbelievable. During the ten day festival, a variety of Prasadams will be prepared to be distributed among the devotees.


Eachanari Vinayagar Temple:

 Eachanari Vinayagar Temple situated about 12 km from the city of Coimbatore on NH 209 is an ancient temple  dating back to 1500 AD and is being visited by lots of devotees daily from neighboring areas. The main stone idol of Ganesa is a massive one and is one of the biggest Vinayaga idols in Tamil Nadu. 

Eachanari Vinayagar Temple,near Coimbatore. Pinterest

Eachanari Vinayagar Temple, near Coimbatore. Justdial

The moolavar or main deity in the sanctum (garbagriha) of this temple was  originally intended for Peru Petteshwarar temple. It is said that when the huge idol of Vinayaga measuring 6 feet high and 3 feet in diameter was being transported in a cart all the way  from Madurai through the path in the rugged terrain  for installation at Perur Pateeswarar Temple, the axle of the cart broke. So, decision was made to construct the Vinayaga temple at the place where the cart had stopped.  Thus Eachanari turned out to be  famous for the Ganapathi temple. The most recent kumbhabishekam of this temple took place in the year 2004. A golden chariot was made in 1998 at the cost of Rs. 55 lakhs. Daily around 7 am, there will be a procession of the deity in the golden chariot. A charitable aspect of this temple is  it conducts free marriages  for the poor and needy people. Those who buy new cars, vans, trucks bring them here and take them out on the road after puja. and prayers.