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Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Temple Which Is Open For Darshan Only In The Midnight Of Monday's - Sri Madhyapureeswara Temple, Parakkalakkottai, Thanjavur

Podhu Aavudayar Temple or Madhyapureeswara Temple is a Hindu temple at Parakkalakkottai near Pattukkottai in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is dedicated to Shiva. According to Hindu legend, once two sages Vankobar and Mahakobar debated on virtues of brahmacharya and compared it with that of married life. Unable to decide between the two, they prayed to Shiva to act as the judge. Shiva appeared to the sages at Parakkalakkottai and gave his judgement.

Sri Madhyapureeswara Temple Entrance Archway
Sri Madhyapureeswara Temple Entrance Archway
There is no Vimana above the Lord as generally seen in temples. As Lord Podhu Aavudayar is blessing the devotees in the form of a tree, its branches and leaves are praised as the Vimana. In the sanctum sanctorum, Mother Gajalakshmi has a place in front of the Lord with two elephants on either side. Pujas are performed to both simultaneously. As Lord Shiva is the principal deity, there are no shrines for Ambigai, Lingodhbavar, Muruga, Brahma, Durga, Chandikeswara, Bhairava and other deities. There are shrines for Lord Veera Sakthi Vinayaka, Peddha Perumal (guardian deity) only outside the temple. Lord Vinayaka is facing west. Deities Vankobar in fine attire and Mahakobar as an ascetic are under a tamarind tree in idol form. After the midnight puja on Mondays and opening of the temple for public darshan, the first honour (Mudal Mariyadhai) goes to the eldest person of the place with Shiva puja Prasad. The temple takes Re. 1 from the person. Then the abishek chandan with betel nuts are given to all devotees by an employee of the temple. Then follows Annadhana- feeding till dawn.

Sri Madhyapureeswara Temple
Sri Madhyapureeswara Temple
Lord Shiva blesses the devotees in the form of a tree. He has a form (Rupa), He is formless (Arupa) and form-formless (Linga). There is no Linga form in the temple. While opening the temple, a part of the tree is dressed with sandal, vastras as to a Shivalinga. The shrine is covered with a white curtain showing only the Linga form. The feet of the Lord are installed in front of tree where Lord granted darshan to sages. The timing of the temple is strange. On Mondays the temple is opened at 10.00 p.m. night. Pujas and other procedures are followed till 11.00 p.m. Darshan is not allowed during this time. It is again closed at 11.30 p.m. and reopened at 12.00 p.m. after pujas to Nandhi, Vinayaka, Peddha Perumal, Vankobar and Mahakobar for public darshan. The temple is closed before dawn then. On Makar Sankranti -Thai Pongal day alone, the temple is opened at early morning and kept open till 7.00 p.m. The rays of Sun fall on the Lord that day. No other Shiva related festival as Tirukarthikai, Shivrathri, Annabishekam is celebrated in the temple.

Door Of Temple Sanctum Sanctorum
Door Of Temple Sanctum Sanctorum
Lord Dakshinamurthi is the Lord of Jupiter planet gracing on the goshta walls of Shiva temples under a banyan tree. As Lord Shiva graces here in the form of a Tree itself, the temple assumes Guru-Jupiter importance. The leaves of Arasa Maram-Peepal tree is given as Prasad. It is believed that these leaves, if preserved in houses will bring prosperity and ensure high farm yields if placed in fields. Devotees pray the very doors of the temple and the tree as Lord Shiva. Those facing delays in marriage and seeking child boon use to tie Mangalsutras and cradles in the tree.

Main Deity Sri Podhu Aavudayar
Main Deity Sri Podhu Aavudayar
There is also a strange practice among the women of the place, offering Brooms (Vilakkumaru in Tamil) for hair growth. They make the brooms from the coconut tree leaf stumps. As these thin sticks are long, women believe that they will also have long hair. Successful devotees offer liberal contributions to the temple. On Mondays in Karthikai-November-December, they offer all farm produce as paddy, pulses, household items, clothes, cosmetic items and gold coins and even the simplest husk. Large tents are built to receive the contributions. Brooms make mountains.

Lord Shiva In The Form Of A Tree
Lord Shiva In The Form Of A Tree
Two sages Vankobar and Mahakobar had a doubt – which is sacred, marital or ascetic life. They went to Chidambaram and prayed to Lord Nataraja for enlightenment of the subject. They were asked to come to this place where He would deliver His judgment. They came here and sat under a tamarind tree. After pujas were over in Chidambaram, Lord Shiva came here and stood under the banyan tree. He gave the verdict that both paths of life are good if righteously followed. Lord then merged in the tree. As He was common (Podhu) to both sages, He was named Podhu Aavudayar and Madhyapureeswarar.

Sri Madhyapureeswara Temple Tank
Sri Madhyapureeswara Temple Tank
On Mondays, the temple is opened only at midnight and closed during the day. There is no Ambica Shrine in the temple. Lord Shiva is in the form of Vellala tree. On Thai Pongal day alone, the temple is open from early morning till night for the whole day. Rays of Sun fall on Lord that day.

Temple Location:

Podhu Aavudayar Temple or Madhyapureeswara Temple is a Hindu temple at Parakkalakkottai near Pattukkottai in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is dedicated to Shiva.

Temple Address & Contact Details:

Sri Podhu Aavudayar Temple,
Parakalakottai,
Thanjavur District,
Tamil Nadu.
Phone: 04373 283295 ; 248781.

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