- March 31, 2021
🛕 Karpaka Vinayakar Temple (Pillaiyar Patti Pillaiyar Temple) is an ancient rock-cut cave shrine dedicated to Ganesha, located at Thiruppatthur (1 km from Thiruppatthur bus stand or Thiruppatthur Tiruthali Nathar Temple (One of the Thevara temples), Sivaganga district in the state of Tamilnadu, India. In the cave temple, there are rock-cut images of Siva and other gods as well as several shrines. The Agama texts found on stones in the temple help date the temple between the years 1091 and 1238. A unique Tamil image of Pillaiyar found in the temple helps to verify this dating.
🛕 The presiding deity of the temple is Karpaka Vinayakar. As of today, the Pillayarpatti Nagarathar worshipers are involved in conducting daily worship services in the temple, as well as maintaining it. People from all over the state come to the temple for the worship of Pillayar, the Lord of Wisdom. It is one of the 9 temples of the Nagarathar Chettiar community of Chettinad, Tamilnadu. The Kozhukkattai nivedhana is made from 18 measures of rice on the Vinayaka Chathurthi festival day.
🛕 Pillaiyarpatti temple is a rock – cut temple located about 12 km’s from Karaikudi on the Karaikudi Madurai road. It was built after hewing a hillock by the early Pandiya kings and the image of Karpaga Vinayaka and that of a Siva Linga were carved out of a stone by a sculptor called Ekkattur Koon Peruparanan who put his signature on a stone inscription found even today in the sanctum. He put his signature in Tamil Language which was in use between 2nd and 5th century AD. It can be concluded that the icon of Karpaga Vinayaka must have been carved around 4th century AD.
🛕 The Ganesh Chathurthi / Vinayaka Chathurthi festival is celebrated for 10 days in a grand manner every year during the months of August and September. During that time, great numbers of pilgrims gather and participate in the Car Festival. Like all Shaivite temples, Pillayarpatti temple also has Lord Shiva as its presiding deity. The lord’s name is Arjuna Pureeswarar. This temple is most Karpaga Vinayagar Koil is one of the oldest cave temples or rock cut temples in Tamilnadu.
🛕 This lovely temple is in Pillayarpatti, which is flanked by Pudukkottai and Karaikkudi. Pillaiyarpatti town derives its name from ‘Pillayar’ – the Tamil name for Lord Ganesha. Karpaga Vinayagar Temple’s presiding deity is Karpaka Vinayakar or Desi Vinayaka Pillaiyar and he is depicted with two arms and a trunk bent towards his right in the Valampuri mode. The image of Ganesha is massive, towering at 6ft, and is a superb bas relief in an excavated cave. The temple’s inner sanctum is bathed in golden light thanks to the flickering oil lamps that illuminate the sacred space. The magnificent idol is covered in gold but one can only see the complete idol in all its glory during the Abhishekam or holy bath.
🛕 Karpaga Vinayagar Koil is also home to rock cut images of Shiva, Lingodbhava and many others and there are quite a few other shrines. There are at least 15 inscriptions within, which help establish the temple’s antecedents. The temple is steeped in the agamic tradition and is a great illustration of the rich temple culture of the Tamilians which has endured through the ages.
🛕 Karpaga Vinayagar Temple history and growth can be traced in stages. The first stage takes us back by approximately 1600 years. This was when the innermost rock cut shrines housing Karpaka Vinayakar and Tiruveesar took form. Ganesha’s distinctive image and the characters in the temple inscriptions help ascertain the date. The pillars inside the temple are of pre-Pallava origin.
🛕 Inscriptions within the temple dating back to between 1091 AD and 1238 AD, indicate that the Pillayarpatti Nagarattar turned out to be the custodians of the temple in the 13th century AD, which was the second growth phase of Karpaga Vinayagar Koil. This was when the Vimanams and Rajagopurams were constructed.
🛕 Karpaga Vinayagar Temple’s third phase of growth is quite recent. The temple and the tank have been renovated and refurbished and look beautiful now.
🛕 Among the few places celebrating car festivals for Lord Vinayaka, Pillayarpatti is one. Two cars-rathas are used for Lord Vinayaka and Lord Chandikeswara. The Rath for Chandikeswara is pulled by women and children only. In the car streets, devotees do Anga pradakshinam-whole body circumbulating – on the 9th day of the festivals. While the car pulling begins, a sandal paste covering is offered to the presiding deity with 80 kg Sandal paste. As this event takes place only once in a year, the devotee crowd is huge.
🛕 Maha Abishekam also is performed that day. During the Uchikala puja – midday puja, on the annual Vinayaka Chathurthi day in August-September (Aavani Tamil month), a single Kozhukkattai of a giant size prepared with a quantity of 18 measure of rice, 2 measures of Dhil-Ellu in Tamil, 6 measures of Dhal, 50 coconuts, one measure of cow ghee, 100 gms cardamom, 40 kg. Jaggery is offered to Lord as nivedhana.
🛕 The whole mixture is packed in a cloth and placed in the rice basket (Anna Koodai in Tamil) in the temple kitchen. This will then be put down in a very big bowl and tied in the kitchen. The bundle will not touch the big bowl called Anda. This will be boiled for two days continuously. This will be tied in a long wood and carried to the shrine for nivedhana. Next day after the preparation is cooled; it would be made into pieces and offered to devotees and people of the place as Prasad.
🛕 Pillaiyarpatti is located near Thiruppathur, Sivagangai District of Tamilnadu. It is situated between Kundrakudi and Tirupatthur. Pillayarpatti is 12 Kms away from Thiruppatthur and 3 kilometers from Kundrakudi. Pillaiyarpatti Karpaga Vinayagar is carved out in a cave of Pillaiyarpatti Hillocks. Lord Vinayagar is carved out from the rock of the cave. Lord Thiruveesar is also carved in the rock of this cave. The temple was built under patronization of Pandyas. The age of the cave temple is 2500 years or more. There are 14 stone Sculptures in the cave (dated from 500 BC to 1284 AD). These stone Sculptures state the ancient names of Pillaiyarpatti such as Ekkattoor, Thiruveenkaikkudi, Maruthangudi, and Rajanarayanapuram.
🛕 The image of Pillaiyarpatti Pillaiyar and that of a Siva Lingam were carved out of a stone by a sculptor named Ekkattur Koon Peruparanan who put his signature on a stone inscription, in Tamil Language used between the 2nd and 5th century AD, found even today in the sanctum. It can be concluded that the icon of Pillaiyarpatti Pillaiyar must have been carved around the 4th century AD. Pillaiyar (Vinayagar), the God of Victory is the main deity here in the name, Pillaiyarpatti Pillaiyar.
🛕 This temple is the only one in Tamilnadu which contains a 6 feet rock-cut Pillaiyar deity. The Thumbikkai of Lord Pillaiyar is curled towards his right side and so the God is also known as Valampuri Pillaiyar. The Chettiyar community (Nagarathar – This temple is one of the nine important temples for Nagarathars) has kept the temple clean. Chettiars are the only community now whose sub castes are divided based on Sivan Temples. E.g. sub castes like Pillayarpatti, Elayatrankudi etc.
🛕 There is a one Pillaiyar painting, in which Pillayar’s eyes will look at us wherever we stand. The Vinayagar Sannidhi (Sanctum Sanctorum) is a cave where the 6 feet of Karpaga Vinayagar has been carved inside. As this is a cave formation, there is no provision to go around for the pradakshina. The inner sanctum is well illuminated with oil lamps and the whole idol is covered with gold. It is only during the Abhishekam, or the holy bath, when one can see the full idol in its pristine glory.
🛕 Karpaka Vinayakar idol is facing north which is said to be the direction of Lord Kubera – the God of Wealth. Karpaga Vinayagar idol is in meditation posture here with Shiva Lingam at his right hand (most Ganesha idols usually have Mothakam in the right hand); hence Ganesha is also called Yoga Vinayagar (Ganesha with meditation and all fortunes), the one who grants success to all requests of his devotees. Karpaga Vinayagar Temple also enshrines Tiruveesar, a Shiva Lingam carved into the cave wall, and Marudankudi Eesar with his consort Vaadaamalar Mangai. A five-headed snake wearing a lingam on its neck is an important carving here. The temple also enshrines Pasupatheeswarar (who showers all wealth), Nagalingam (who gifts offspring to human beings), and Goddess Karthyayini (who arrange marriages).
🛕 The inscriptions within this temple dates back between 1091 AD and 1238 AD. There are 14 Agama texts found on stone sculptures in the cave from 500 BC to 1284 AD. According to the stone sculptures the ancient names of Pillaiyarpatti are Maruthangudi, Ekkattoor, Rajanarayanapuram, and Thiruveenkaikkudi. The temple features two Rajagopurams, a vimana, and a beautiful temple tank. Karpaka Vinayakar Temple is also known by the names Desiga Vinayaga Pillaiyar Temple, Vinayagar Cave Temple, and often Pillayar Temple.
🛕 Scholars say that Lord Vinayaga is the Lord of wisdom, which is confirmed by the head of elephant in the shape of sacred Mantram “OM”. When we draw a line from the broken left tusk, starting upward, then turning left to wards right ear and after passing through the bended left tusk up to the tip of trunk, Tamil alphabet “O” appears. The Lingam in the hand indicates the alphabet “M”. Together they form “OM”. This is confirmed by the lord here “Valampuri Pillayar”. As Vinayagar satisfies the wishes of his devotees like Karpagam tree, he is also known “Karpaga Vinayagar”.
🛕 Here Lord Vinayaga appears with 2 hands unlike in other places where he is seen with 4 hands. Also he is seen seated without Angusapasam, with his legs folded and stomach not touching the Asanam in the form of “Artha Padma” Asanam. The deity of this temple is known as “Marudeeswarar” as Marudha tree (In Sanskrit Arjuna Virutcham, the Botanical name is Termanalia Arjuna) worship is followed in this temple which indicates that this temple in an ancient temple. The sculpture of Pasupatheeswarar, “A cow worshipping Lord Siva by offering his milk” is the special feature of this temple. Also Kubhera the Lord of wealth had worshipped at this temple.
🛕 To illustrate the information that one where controls his five senses will be able to understand God, a sculpture of five headed snake wearing a Lingam on its neck is found here. The five head of the snake indicate the five senses while the Lingam indicates God. Also adding to the spirituality Goddess Laxmi, Saraswathi and Durgai are found together at the same sport. Unlike other places, the three Lingams of Thiruveesar Marudheesar and Senchadeswarar and the three Goddess Sivagami Amman, Vadamalar Mangai Amman and Soundara Nayagi Amman all appear together at the same place and bless the devotees.
🛕 It is believed that by worshipping Karthyayini Amman at this temple women get relived from Sevvai dosham which prevent them from getting married. “Sabda Madha” has a separate Sannidhi known as Sakthi Sannidhi at this temple. This is an ancient cave temple built during Mahendra Pallava period 1600 years ago. Presently, the temple is under the administration of Nagarathar community. There are four Arjuna Kshetras in South India – Tirupudai Marudur in Tirunelveli district, Tiruvidai Marudur in Thanjavur district, Sri Shailam in Andhra Pradesh and Pillayarpatti in Sivaganga district.
🛕 There is a beautiful temple tank in front of the temple and there is an entrance from the east side also. There is a small shrine outside the temple above a small rock. The maintenance of the temple premises is also a major reason for drawing people here and all the glory belongs to the Chettiar community who have renovated the entire temple and taken care of it.
🛕 The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
|Thiruvanandhal Abhishekam||06.00 A.M – 06.30 A.M|
|Kalasanthi Abhishekam||08.30 A.M – 09.30 A.M|
|Uchikalam Abhishekam||11.30 A.M – 12.00 P.M|
|Maalai Santhi or Sayaratchai||05.00 P.M – 06.30 P.M|
|Iravu Santhi or Arthajamam||07.45 P.M – 08-30 P.M|
|Those who are interested to perform the Abhishekam may contact the administration well in advance (Contact No: 04577-264240, 264241, 264182, 264797)|
|06.00 A.M – 1.00 P.M||04.00 P.M – 8.30 P.M|
|Sabari Malai & Thaipoosam Seasons|
|(November to January 20) 06.00 A.M – 08-30 P.M|
🛕 The 10 day annual Vinayakar Chathurthi festival is observed here during August – September. On the 9th day of Vinayaka Chathurthi, Desi Vinayakar is covered with about 80 kg of sandal wood paste (Santha-na-kappu). Another ten day festival in honor of Kongu Nachiyamman, a village deity whose processional image is housed in the temple, is celebrated in the month of Vaikasi (May – June). Margazhi Thiruvathirai Festival is also held here in honor of Lord Nataraja and Sivakami during December – January.
🛕 During all monthly Chathurthi days, Lord Vinayaka is taken in procession mounted on the Mooshikha Vahanam around the temple. He also comes in procession on the Tirukarthikai Deepam day in November-December with Lord Chandrasekhara and Mother Umadevi. Chokkapanai will be burnt in the shrines of Lord Vinayaka and Marudangudi Nayanar.
🛕 Vinayagar Chathurthi celebrated every year on Aavani is the important festival of this village. The birthday of Lord Ganesha is celebrated with pomp and splendor at the village of Pillayarpatti with celebrations extending over 10 days. The festival will begin with Kappukattu and flag hoisting on the first day, cultural programmes are conducted from 6th day onwards. During the day and night, Lord Vinayaga is taken around in procession through the streets where he is seated in different vahanams every day.
🛕 This festival begins 9 days earlier with flag hoisting. The ninth day of the festival is slated by a chariot procession. Theerthavari is celebrated on the 10th day. During the midday puja, a preparation called Kozhukkattai in Tamil in a big size is offered as nivedhana. Five Gods come in procession on gold and silver Vahanas at night.
|1st day||Silver Mushika Vahanam|
|2nd day||Simma Vahanam|
|3rd day||Boodha Vahanam|
|4th day||Kamala Vahanam|
|5th day||Siver Rishaba Vahanam|
|6th day||Silver Elephant Vahanam upto Kagamugasura Samkaram and then in Golden Bandicoot Vahanam|
|7th day||Silver Peacock Vahanam|
|8th day||Horse Vahanam|
|9th day||Car, Elephant Vahanam|
|10th day||Theerthavari will be celebrated in the morning. During night the Procession of five Lords seated in silver and golden Vahanam will take place.|
🛕 Devotees pray here for removal of obstacles in marriage proposals, for child boon and for good education. Devotees perform abishek to Lord Vinayaka and offer vastras.
🛕 Pillayarpatti is located on the Tiruputhur-Karaikudi road in Sivaganga district. It is 9 km far from Tiruputhur and 18 km from Karaikudi on the Madurai road. Bus facilities are available. Pillayarpatti is situated at a distance of 71 Kms from Madurai and 12 Kms from Karaikudi on Thirupathur – Karaikudi state highway.
🛕 This Temple is located at a distance of 1 km form Thiruppatthur bus stand. Frequent Bus services are available from major cities like Chennai, Madurai, Karaikudi, Devakottai, Tiruchirappalli, Sivagangai, Rameswaram, Sivakasi, Paramakudi, Theni, Kodaikanal, Coimbatore, Dindigul, Palani, Pudukkotai, Aranthangi, Salem, Nagore, Nagapattinam and Bangalore.
Karpaka Vinayakar Temple,
Pillaiyarpatti, Sivagangai District,
Tamilnadu – 630 207
Phone: 04577-264240, 264241, 264182, 264797