ARULMIGU VIRUDHAGIRISWARAR TEMPLE, VIRUDACHALAM

INTRODUCTION

The Virudhagiriswarar Temple is located in VirudhachalamCuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. The Chief deity Virudhagireeswarar is glorified in the most famous Shaivite text Tevaram, which was written by the famous nayanmar saints, and this temple is classified as among the Paadal Petra Sthalams(Temple significance was praised by the Nayanmar Saints). The temple derived its name from the Virudhachalam Town. At this present place of temple, Lord Shiva had appeared in the form of a holy mountain, due to the prayers of the creator Lord Brahma.

Virudhagirswarar temple is one among the temples, which was built by Ma Sembiyan Mahadevi, who was a Chola queen. This temple is as famous similar to the “SRI KOLANJIYAPPAR TEMPLE” (Popular Temple of Lord Muruga), which is also located in Virudhachalam. The temple inscription tells about the importance of the Cholas, about their Shiva Bhakti and about their excellence in warfare. The temple follows six daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and celebrates three annual festivals. The annual Brahmotsavam (Chief festival), Masi Magam, and the Shiva Ratri festival would be attended by thousands of devotees inclusive of those devotees who hail from faraway places. Virudhachalam refers to an ancient sacred hill. The Vanni tree present in this temple is an old one, and the construction of the temple was done out of the funds provided by Rishi Vibasithu, who has received lot of wealth from Lord Kubera.

At the present place of the temple, the famous Nayanmar Sundarar, sung beautiful songs in praise of Lord Shiva. Shrines of Lord Vinayaka, Muruga, Shiva, Shakthi and Chandikeswara are also present there. Here Lord Shiva is praised by five names – Virudhagireeshwarar, Pazhamalai Nathar, Vruddhachaleswarar, Mudhu Kundreeswarar and Vruddhagiri. Few Rishis had the Viswaroopa darshan of Lord Shiva.

It is the staunch faith of the devotees, that those who are in trouble, if they recite the name Virudhagireeswara from their places itself, would be surely protected by the Lord.

Out of the famous 1008 Shiva shrines across the country, Virudhachalam Temple is one among them. It is also considered to be the sacred Kashi Viswanath Temple, and those who die here would surely attain salvation. Once when the king of Karnataka suffered from hunger and thirst, the Divine Mother Periya Nayaki, took the form of a young girl, fed him with tasty food and water, and blessed him. The consecration ceremony of the temple was performed in the year 2022.

There is an old saying, “Virudhagireeswara engalukku vamsa vridhi allithidu easwara”, “Oh Lord Virudhagireeswara, please bless us to give birth to a noble child”.

Lord Shiva in the form of Virudhagireeswara, is the one, who removes the evil spirits from our mind and body, and from his sacred ash, we can understand, that one day or other day, our body would be burnt into ashes, and nothing would come with us after our death. Lord Virudhagiri, being a simple god, who is also an efficient dancer, dances on the burial grounds along with the ghost assistants, and he is also called as “ISANYA”, who cheerfully does this kind of act, in order to pacify the departed souls whose body would be burnt in the burial grounds.

OM SRI VIRUDHAGIREESWARAYA NAMAHA”

WRITTEN BY

R.HARISHANKAR