A temple steeped in legend
The kumbhabhishekam of the Lord Virudhagiriswarar temple in Virudachalam was held recently. M. BALAGANESSIN writes.
The deities at the Virudhachaleswara temple in Venganur village ... a standing example of the Lord's grace.
THE ABODE of Lord Virudhagiriswarar, considered the most ancient among all mountains, (Virudha-old, Giri-Mountain), the temple accounts for several unique images. The kumbhabhishekam of the temple, located in Virudhachalam in Cuddalore district, was held on April 29.
The construction of the temple, by itself, has an interesting legend. Vibhasithu Munivar, it is said, happened to find the earring that belonged to Lord Kubera's daughter. The jewel, dear to her, was dropped on the lap of Vibhasithu, by a bird. Kubera's daughter announced a reward of all her remaining jewellery in return for her earring. Vibhasithu gave the earring and with the reward he constructed the temple. The Vanni Maram which is the sthalaviruksha of the temple, is said to be 2,000 years old.
The temple is situated on the banks of River Manimuthar. Lord Brahma created innumerable mountains and hills in different parts of the world. But, Virudhagiri itself covered the whole Earth. Lord Brahma prayed to Lord Siva and He caused Virudhagiri to sink into the Earth. Thus, the oldest of all mountains is invisible, but the top layer of it is said to appear in the river-bed of Cuddalore at Vayalur, about four km north of Virudhachalam.
All idols of Nandi in the temple here have their ears turned downwards as if listening intently.
Maasi Magam is an important festival. It is believed that Vibasithu Munivar sought the darshan of Lord Siva, through the Nandi. On the sixth day of the Masi Magam festival, Lord Virudhagriswarar, along with His Consort Goddess Viruthambigai, appeared before Vibasithu Munivar.
The temple is also associated with the life of Sundarar, one of the four Saivite stalwarts. Sundarar, it is said, was reluctant to sing in praise of the Old Form of Lord Siva.
But, Lord Siva came in the form of a hunter, robbed Sundarar of his possessions and made him return to the temple, where the construction of a shrine for Lord Balambal (a young form of Goddess Viruthambal) was in progress.
Sundarar chanted hymns and was given 12,000 gold coins. River Manimuthar was Sundarar's safety locker where he kept the money to prevent it from being stolen.
He got back the gold coins at Kamalaalayam in Tiruvarur. Lord Ganesha appeared to testify the purity of the metal here and is hence known as Mattru Uraitha Vinayaka.The temple is also noted for Pradhosham.
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