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Ganapathy of Tiruvaiyaru



The gopuram of the temple

THE TEMPLE for Sri Abhishta Varada Maha Ganapathy, who is popularly known as Kariya Sidhi Vinayagar, is situated at Tiruvaiyaru, Thanjavur.

The word Tiruvaiyaru is associated with saint Tyagaraja. Tiruvaiyaru is also considered on par with Kailasa, abode of Siva. Also is it equal to Kasi or Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

An anecdote has it that the name of Tiruvaiyaru is derived from the names of five holy rivers — the Vadavaru, Vennaru, Vattaru, Kadamuruti and the Cauvery — thus making it the land of five rivers (Tiru Aye Aaru) and the principal deity is therefore called `Ayy Aar Appan.'

Tirugnanasambandar, Sundarar, Tirunavukkarasar, Ramalinga Adigalar and others have rendered songs in praise of this land.



The bedecked Utsavar idol... fervent prayers never go unanswered here.

According to puranic scriptures, Lord Siva (also called Panchanadeeswarar) had once administered the five-lettered Moola Mantra (Aindezhuthu Mantram) to Lord Vishnu at this sthala and hence Lord Dakshinamurthy is called `Sri Hari Guru Shivayoga Dakshinamurthy.' It is believed that saint Agasthiyar attained his dwarf-form at this abode.

Triggered by a deep-rooted urge and a desire to have a `Kailasa Darshan' of Lord Kailasanatha together with Goddess Uma Maheswari, notwithstanding his old age, Appar had undertaken a long pilgrimage on foot.

Moved by his ardent devotion, Lord Kailasanatha said he should take a holy dip in a river flowing at the foothills of the Himalayas whereby his dream would come true.

The saint followed the instructions and went to the Abhishtavaradha Ganapathy temple at Tiruvaiyaru where he had darshan of Lord Kailasanatha with His Consort Uma Maheswari in all their splendour on the sacred Rishaba.

The temple tank came to be known as Apparkulam which in due course became Uppankulam.

The temple has separate shrines for Lord Vishwanatha, His Consort Visalakshi, Goddess Durga and Lord Anjaneya. There is also a shrine for Appar Swamigal.

Devotees speak of the immense of the moolavar deity in granting their wishes and hence the name `Abishta' Maha Ganapathy.

The obstacles for the conduct of marriage or any other deed, it is believed, can be overcome with His blessings.

A visit to this temple and the recital of the `Kariya Siddhi Malai' will usher in benefits and prosperity to an ardent devotee.

The temple thrives on the modest support given by a private trust headed by its Managing Trustee, Krishnan.

The fund raised now is just enough for the upkeep and daily rituals. Brahmotsavam is also performed with the help of donations.

Sri Abhishtavarada Maha Ganapathy Seva Trust has been maintaining the temple for 20 years. A Kumbabhishekam is to be performed shortly, adds Krishnan.

Contributions for the same are invited in favour of Sri Abhishta Maha Ganapathy Seva Trust at No. 45, North Street, Thiruvaiyaru - 613 204 (Ph: 04362-26067).

V. GANESH

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