Thanks to Sri Arun Vidyasankar and his father-in-law who have put together a very detailed document to help us all educate on the kshetra-mahatmiyam.
Please note that this kumbabishekam is on Sunday, couple of days from today. Please read this article, know the greatness of this temple, attend the event, if possible.
Our sincere thanks to Govt of Tamilnadu for doing kumbabishekams of few important temples in 2015.
The temple car / chariot (ThEr) has also been renovated and vellottam (dry run prior to actual run) took place.
Actual car festival is expected to be in Feb 2016 (tentatively).
As is widely known, it was saakshath Sri Mahaperiyava who was instrumental in re-building and running this temple car/ThEr early in 1930’s (details given below).
Sri Thyagaraja Temple Highlights Temple
The Thiyagaraja temple at Thiruvarur is one of the most ancient heritage sites in the entire Bharat. The current structure of the temple reflects the religio-socio-cultural history of the Tamil region for a period spanning over several thousands of years in recent past.
Thiruvarur Deities :The Moolavar is known as Sri Vanmeekanathar. Lord Thiyagaraja along with Lord Thyagesavalli represent Sri Utsava Murthys. Sri Kamalambika and Sri Neelotpalambhika are the names of two Ambals in this gigantic temple.
Vanmikanathar Legend relates to Shiva appearing within an anthill in response to prayers from the Gods.
History has it that the Thiyagaraja (Somaskanda) image at Thiruvarur was created and worshipped by Maha Vishnu Himself.
Sri Maha Periyavaa explains the history behind the world-famous Ajabaa Natanam. In great detail in His Deivathin Kural.
Ajaba Natanam : Once Lord MahaVishnu was meditating and praying to Lord Parameswararn when He was on his Adhiseshasayanam. In His yogic prayers to Lord Parameswaran, Lord MahaVishnu’s chest cavity moved in tandem with His breath. Lord Thiyagaraja’s rhythmic dance which is known as “Ajaba Natanam” corresponds to such yogic prayer induced breath of Lord Mahavishnu. Whenever, Lord Thyagarajar moves from vasantha mandapam to the chariot or to the thousand pillar mandapam to give Dharshan to His bhakthas, He dances this “Ajaba Natanam”.
First of the Sapta Vitanka Shrines: The great bhakti Musukunda Chola king brought back from Indra seven images of Somaskanda. For a detailed history of the seven vidankars (i.e., these seven Murthys are not made by chiseling by any deva or human being). Thiruvarur houses Veedhi Vidankar Thyagaraja. For a detailed description of all these seven Vitanka kshetrams, please click on
The history of this Kshetram is so voluminous that it is best learnt by reading a book. Some of the more famous historical events include:
- Manuneedhi chola king attempting to punish his own son with death in response to an appeal by a cow that lost her calf;
- Sri Sundaramurthy Swamigal’s singing of the famous “Thiruthonda Thogai”, where Lord Thyagarajaswamy Himself prompted Him with the first line “தில்லை வாழ் அந்தணர்தம் அடியார்க்கும் அடியேன்!” (e., Sri Sundaramurthy Swamigal proclaims that He is a devotee of devotees of Chdiambaram Dheekshitars who constantly worship Lord Sivakamasundari sametha Lord Nataraja);
- Lord Thyagaraja derives His name because He retained the most horrible poison that would have destroyed everyone else for Himself, but gave all the nice items that we all desire including Sri Mahalakshmi (to Lord Maha Vishnu), Airavatham the elephant, Ucchiravasu the horse, Chintamani the priceless gem and several other precious items such as amrith to Indra and other devathas;
- In appreciation for Lord Thyagaraja’s unparalleled “sacrifice” (Thyagam) without which only He and His family would have survived and all others would have perished, till date all devathas and other beings worship Him on Pradhosham day to offer our thanks and gratitude, etc.
Sri Mahaperiyava’s Visit to Thiruvarur – Two times prior to 1940 (Excerpts from Periyava’s Biography)
“…….He visited Sirukulathur village in march of 1920 and was given a grand reception by local landlord Calcutta N.R.Iyer who invited Swamigal to stay in his house. He celebrated that year’s Vijaya Yatra from that village in a grand fashion. Later he visited Thiruvarur where his disciples worshiped him eagerly and provided all amenities. Swamigal had the darshan of Thyagaraja Swamy, the residing deity of Thiruvarur, every day that he stayed in the village. Later in 1920 Swamigal stayed for a week at Vedaranya during the holy time of Mahodaya in the year 1920………”
.Renovation of Thiruvarur Car under the directions of Mahaperiyava
“………There were beautiful Cars / Chariots, intricately carved in temples in Tamil Nadu that were burnt to ashes by a few evil minded people. The car in Thiruvarur was one of the largest in our country and was very well known. The trustees of the Thiruvarur temple, Vadapadhimangalam Zamin family and other prominent landlords in Tanjore wanted to replace the Tiruvarur car with one that was as beautiful and intricately made as the one that was burnt out. After hearing the news of the destruction of the old car, our Swamigal had been persuading his disciples to take the effort to replace the car. The key person in this effort was Subbaraya Vadyar belonging to the Vedya community and was known for spending most of his wealth in renovation and service of temples. He was greatly devoted to our Swamigal and came to have his darshan often. He visited Swamigal in Thirupadhiripuliyur in October 1926 and obtained his Sri Mukham as well as rupees one thousand and one given by Swamigal, took it back to Tanjore and started collecting for this colossal effort. With the help of Narasimha Iyer, manager of Arur Devasthanam, and other friends, he collected about one lakhs within six months. When Swamigal was visiting the district of Malayala, he helped to obtain timber for rebuilding the car. The renovation / re-building of the car started and progressed fast with the involvement of hundreds of skilled artisans and sculptors and was completed within two years. During this time, Swamigal took a lot of interest and kept inquiring about the status of the work on the car. The key person who was involved in this effort, Subbaraya Vadyar later on took sannyasa ashrama and lived for a few years under the name of Sri Narayana Bramendrar. Swamigal later visited the Thiruvarur Thyagaraja Swamy temple between 1934 and 1939 en route Chidambaram to Ramanathapuram……”
As is well known, a famous saying establishes that if one is born in Thiruvarur, then one gets Moksham. ARROORA ! THIYAGESA! (and Aiyaara! Arroora!, where Aiyaara refers to Sri Panchanatheeswarar in Thiruvaiyaaru) is the chant on every bhakta’s heart. This is chanted aloud when the car is drawn and on festive occasions.
PAZHA MOZHI (Adages)
KAMALAALAYAM VATRI, KARAM PASU KARANDHU, KAL THARE ODI . These indicate the examples of expressing “impossibility” in the general parlance.
Margazhi Tiruvadhirai in December-January, Lord Thiagesar granting His Feet darshan – Pada Darshan;
10 day Panguni Uthiraim in March-April with the flag hoisting on the Hastha Star Day of the previous Tamil month Masi, with car festival on the 10th day with the significance of the darshan granted to sage Vyakrapada; 10 day Aadi Pooram in July-August;
The Bhoodha Ganas carrying paddy bags to Saint Sundararar on Masi Magam Day in February-March.
Chithiria festival in April-May are the important festivals of the temple.
Besides the above, the Pradosha Puajas are devotionally performed drawing huge crowds.
Deepavali, Pongal the Makar Sankranthi, Tamil and English New Year days are also observed with special pujas.Chariot festival : Kulothunga Chola II (1133–50 CE) enlarged the temple ritual to have fifty six festivals, some of which are followed in modern times.
The chariot is the largest of its kind in Asia and India
The annual chariot festival of the Thygarajaswamy temple is celebrated during April – May, correspondong to the Tamil month of Chitrai. The chariot is the largest of its kind in Asia and India weighing 300 tonne with a height of 90 feet. The chariot comes around the four main streets surrounding the temple during the festival. The event is attended by lakhs of people from all over Tamil Nadu. The chariot festival is followed by the “Theppam”, meaning float festival.