Karpaga Vinayagar koil is one of the oldest Cave Temples (Rock Cut) temples of Tamilnadu and situated at Pillayarpatti, which is between Pudukkottai and Karaikkudi. The town of Pillaiyarpatti is named after 'Pillayar' - the tamil name for Ganesha, and this ancient temple houses rock cut images of Shiva, Lingodbhavar and others as well as several other shrines. Steeped in the tradition of Agamic textsthe temple bears testimony to the vibrant temple culture of the Tamil people, passed down through centuries.Antiquity: Over 15 inscriptions are found within the temple, that help establish the age of the temple. The Sculptor who designed the figure of Load Vinayagar also had registered his signature as “ EKKATTOOR KONE PERUMPARANAN” ( Perunthatchan) is in Tamil letters which was in use between 400 BC and 500 BC. From this we can take for granted that is was carved just before 500 BC. From the history of divine architecture and from stone sculptures and from the available documentary evidence Pillaiyarpatti KARPAGAVINAYAGAR figure alone is the first Pillaiyar in the world.
Pillaiyar is the presiding deity here, and he is portrayed with two arms and a trunk curled towards his right in the valampuri mode. This 6 feet tall mammoth image of Ganesha is a bas relief in an excavated cave, off of a hill in the precincts of the temple. Scholars says that Lord Vinayaga is the Lord of wisdom, which is confirmed by the head of elephant in the shape of sacred mantram "OM".
Here Lord Vinayaga appears with 2 hands unlike in other places where he is seen with 4 hands. Karpaga Vinayagar is not having Mothakam (Sweet) at his right hand.He is in meditation ( having Lingam at his right hand ) for welfare of the entire Universe. Since he is Yoga Vinayagar (Vinayagar with Meditation and all fortunes) he grants all good thinks we request. Vinayagar’s trunk is curved at the right side ( Valampuri Vinayagar) which is also a unique feature. Lord Karpaga Vinayagar is seated facing northern side. In view of this those who pray to him get success after success. 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 word Vinayaga means "Incomparable Leader" . Chanting of sacred mantrams by the student learning Vedas and agamas in the Vedaagama School create a divine atmosphere.
The deity of this temple is known as "Marudeeswarar" as Marudha tree (In Sansscrit Arjuna Virutcha,worship is followed in this temple which indicates that this temple in an ancient temple. The sculptur of pasupatheeswarar, "A cow worshipping Lord Siva by offering his milk" is the special feature of this temple. Also kubheran 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 sculplure 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 sprituality Goddess Laxmi, Saraswathi and Durgai are found together at the same sport.Unlike other places the three Lingams Thiruveesar, Marudheesar and Senchadeswarar and the three Goddess Sivagami amman, Vadamalar Mangaiamman and Soundara Nayaga amman all appear together at the same place and bless the devotees.It is believed that by worshipping Kathyayini amman at this temple women get relived from sevvai dosham which prevent them from getting married. "Sabda Madhar" whom importance due to changing time are provided with a seperate sannidhi known as Sakthi sannidhi at this temple.
The grandest of festivals is Ganesh Chaturti in the month of Aug - September, where a ten day celebration brings much gaiety to this temple town. Each day's celebration is marked by much splendor as Pillayar is taken in procession around town on several of his mounts, as are the other Pancha Murthys. The ninth day of the festival is marked by a chariot procession. In addition, the ten day festival in the month of Vaikasi (May - June) is held in honor of Kongu Nachiyamman, a village deity whose processional image is also housed here. The Margazhi Tiruvadirai festival is celebrated in honor of Nataraja and Sivakami (Dec - Jan).
Devotees who observe Chathurthi Fast for a year come to Pillaiyarpatti on Avani Sukkilaptcha Chathurthi day (Festival) and fulfills it. They observe fast on Chathurthi day in front of vinayagar sannaidhi and take part in “ KumnaJebam” and receive holy pot of chanted holywater and take bath taking for granted that they bathe Loard Vinayagar seated in their hearts. Observing of Vinayagar Chathurthi Fast for one full year brings all blessings and wealth to devotees and it is also a proved fact.
"VINAYAGAR CHATURTHI" , The festival will begin with Kappukattu and flag hoisting on the first day, cultural programs 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.
1st day - Silver Muueshika Vahanam
2nd day - Simma Vahanam
3rd day - Boodha Vahanam
4th day - Kamala Vahanam
5th day - Siver Rcishaba 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 - 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.
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