The glory of Tirukkachur
The temple at Alakoil, Tirukkachur ... the name by itself has interesting tales to tell.
"THEVARAM" THAT contains the devotional hymns of Sundarar, Thirugnanasambandar and Thirunaavukkarasar, speak of 275 temples. One of them is in Tirukkachur, a village in Kanchipuram district. The nearest railway station on the Chennai-Chengalpattu section is Singaperumal Koil. Situated about 2.5 km away from the railway station, the temple town can be seen from the station itsself. As the `sthala viruksham' is the banyan tree in "Thevaram" the place is referred to as Tirukkachur Aalakoil. To secure nectar the Devas and Asuras churned the sea of milk with Mantramalai as the churner and Vasuki as the rope. In order to avert the submergence of the Malai (mountain), Lord Narayana assumed the form of a tortoise and prayed to Lord Siva for enough strength to accomplish the task. Kacham means tortoise and the prefix given to the names of places in the "Thevaram" made it Tirukkachur.
Tirukkachur has two temples one in the middle of the village, and another a kilometre away in the West, on top of a hillock. The former is called Kizhkoil, Kachabesam. The presiding deity is Kachabeswarar and His Consort is Anjanakshi, Umaiammai, Sundaravalli. The God and Goddess in the hill-temple are Marundeeswarar and Irulneeki Thayar.
Lord Marundeeswarar with His Consort Irulneeki Thayar.
On Indra's command, the physicians of Devas Aswini Devas searched for medicinal herbs on several mountains. Their attempt at this hill was also a failure. At last when they prayed to the Lord and Goddess of the hill, they found the herbs. So the God came to be known as Marundeeswarar. For having dispelled the ignorance that did not allow them to know the places where the herbs were concealed earlier, the Goddess came to be called as Irulneeki Thayar. When Sundarar went to Tirukkachur from Tirukkazhukundram, he stayed with the devotees outside the temple, hungry and tired. God, assuming the human form, went from house to house as a Brahmin begging for food for His beloved devotee and others too. The job done, He vanished.
Sundarar realised what had happened and sang a hymn in praise of God's compassion, and the Lord came to be called Iranthitta Easwarar or Virunthitta Easwarar. The renovation of these temples is nearing completion. Devotees may send their contributions to: Renovation Committee, Arulmigu Thiagaraja Swami Thirukovil, Tirukkachur (via. Singaperumal Koil), Kanchipuram District 603204.
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