03. Sri Paraithurainathar Temple, Thiruparaithurai, Kulithalai (Chola Nadu - South of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Tharukavaneswarar, Sri Paraithurai Nathar
Name of Goddess : Sri Hemavarnaambal, Sri Pasumponmyilambal
Holy water (Theertham) : Cauvery
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Parai Tree.
Thevaram : Thirunavukarasar - 1 ; Sambandar - 1
District : Karur.
Location : Kulithalai.
Timings : 06:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 04:30 p.m. to 08:30 p.m
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 03rd sthalam on the southern side of river Cauvery. Appar and Thiruganasambandar has sung hymns in praise of Lord shiva of this temple. Thirupparaithurai is a village located near Trichy and Karur cities in Tamil Nadu state of South India. It has an important Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is considered as the third among the Tevara Paadal Petra Stalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in Chola country south of Kaveri river.
- The site is also called as Tarukavanam in Sanskrit language. During the period of Raja Raja Chola II, it was called as Rajagambiranallur.
- It is located on the banks of the river Akanda Kaveri (the widest point in the course of the river Cauvery).
- It is one of the seven Sapta Stanam temples in this region.
- The sun's rays illuminate the sanctum on the 18th day of the Tamil month of Purattasi.
- Appar and Sambandar have sung the hymns of the deity.
- As the site had the forest full of Parai (Taruka) trees, it got the name Paraithurai or Tarukavanam.
- It is believed that the temple was built during the reign of Parantaka Chola I in 10th century AD (however, the temple was present in a different form (probably as a brick temple) at least from the 7th century AD).
The sanctum santorum of Paraithurai Nathar, the shrine of Pasumpon Nayaki and a small mandapa are all located on a raised platform (mada koil architectural style). The mandapa pillars have two beautiful bas-relief images of Nataraja with his one leg raised towards the sky and the dancing Kali. The sanctum santorum has a small Shiv Linga idol. At the entrance there is a Ganesha idol. In the maha mandapa, there is a small Nandi idol facing the sanctum. The sanctum is facing the east direction. Outside the maha mandapa, there is a separate shrine for the Goddess facing the south direction. The Goddess is found in the standing posture. A small Nandi idol is found facing this shrine too. In addition, the maha mandapa has a shrine for Nataraja-Sivakami and a collection of various bronze idols; the beautiful idol of Bhikshatana is notable one.
The architecture of the inner prakara depicts the antique beauty of the temple. The prakara has raised pillared platform (thinnai) on either sides. The idols of Sapta Mata, Pidari, Nalvar, Ganesha, 63 Nayanmars, Appu Lingam, Vayu Lingam, Teyu Lingam, Ayyanar, Sona Lingam, Subramanya with his consorts, Vishnu, Mahalakshmi, Bhairava, Surya, Chandra, Nava Graha, Gangala Murti and Durga. The small shrines of Somaskanda, Ganesha, Subramanya with Valli-Devasena and Gaja Lakshmi are also found in this prakara. The idol of Subramanya inside the shrine is particularly very beautiful.
The Goshta idols which are found on the outer walls of the main shrine are notably beautiful. Especially, the idol of Dakshinamurthy is found in a small mandapa-like structure and looks very attractive. The idols of Brahma and Ardhanareeswarar are also very attractive. There are also idols of Ganesha and Durga found on the outer walls. The Chandikeswara idol found in a small shrine as usual in the typical South Indian Shiva temples is also beautiful in this temple.
The outer prakara is an open space with a lot of trees. Two shrines are found here - Kanni Vinayak and Dandayudapani. The holy tree of the temple is also found here with a small Shiv Linga idol. It is believed that this tree cures cancer disease. The flag post, dwajastambha and bali peetha are also found in the outer prakara facing the main shrine.
History / Legend:Lord Shiva as Bikshadana graces in the Mandap as a procession deity. The 12 zodiac signs are drawn on the roof of the mandap. Worshiping Lord Shiva and Lord Bikshadana standing under the zodiac sign would relieve the devotee of all the adverse effects caused by planets, it is believed. Lord Bikshadana also has His place in the prakara-corridor.
In days of yore, the region was a jungle dense with Parai trees from where the Shivalinga was found and the temple built here. Lord was named Paraithurai Nathar. There is a Shivalinga under the Parai tree behind the sanctum sanctorum. It is said that Lord appeared from this place. Mother Pasumpon Mayilambikai and Lord Nataraja grace from their shrines in the prakara facing south. During the Vaikasi (May-June) Brahmmotsavam, Lord Nataraja comes in procession not accompanied by Ambika. The system seems to be different here.
The temple is praised in the hymns of Saints Gananasambandar, Tirunavukkarasar and Arunagiriar. The Cauvery near the temple is revered as Akanda (wide) Cauvery. The river bifurcates at a distance of 2 kms from here as Cauvery and Kollidam. Kadai Muzhukku, a bath in Cauvery at Mayiladuthurai on the last date of Aipasi (October-November) is taken by devotees while the first on the first Aipasi takes place in Paraithurai. It is the firm belief of the devotees that this bathing would cleanse them of their sins. Lord Muruga with His consorts Valli and Deivanai grace the devotees from a shrine in the prakara sung by Saint Arunagiriar while Lord Dandayuthapani wearing sandals graces from a shrine nearby. Those seeking wedding matches worship Varahi, one among the Saptha Kannikas offering abishek and lighting lamps.
The region was once known as Tharukavanam. The sages of the place were too proud that they were supreme in all aspects. Their wives excelled them in pride thinking that they alone were chaste and most beautiful. Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu decided to teach them a lesson. Lord Shiva took the form a handsome beggar Bikshadana while Vishnu appeared with alluring beauty as Mohini. While the Rishis were enticed by the beauty of Mohini and followed Her, the Rishi Patnies (wives) followed the beggar shedding their chastity pride. Seeing their wives following a beggar, the Rishis understood that there was some magic and began to chase the Bikshadana and fought him with all the skills they had but failed and were defeated. They understood that the handsome beggar was none other than Lord Shiva, fell at His feet and begged His pardon. Lord Shiva became their Guru and appeared here as a swayambumurthy.
Lord Paraithurainathar gracefully offers all remedies to all diseases including skin and cancer. Stammering in children is cured. Those facing problems in wedding proposals pray to Mother.
Location: This sivasthalam temple is located at Tirupparaithurai (near Tiruchirapalli) which is located on the Trichy - Karur state highway. The temple is very near to Tirupparaithurai bus stop.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Sri Paraithurai Nathar Temple,
Phone: +91 99408 43571