Karpaka Vinayakar Temple
|Karpaka Vinayakar Temple|
The Pillaiyar murti adorned in gold kavacham, or armor
|Proper name||Arulmigu Karpaka Vinayakar Kovil|
|Location||Thiruppatthur, Sivagangai District|
Karpaka VinayakarTamil: கற்பக விநாயகர்
|History and governance|
|Date built||4th century|
In the cave temple, there are rock cut images of Siva and other gods as well as several shrines. The Āgama texts found on stones in the temple help date the temple between the years 1091 and 1238. A unique Tamil image of Pillaiyar found in the temple helps to verify this dating. The presiding deity of the temple is Karpaka Vinayakar.
Pillaiyarpatti is located near Thiruppathur, Sivagangai District of Tamil Nadu. It is situated between Kundrakkudi and Tiruppatthur. Pilliyarpatti is 12 Kilometers away from Thiruppatthur and 3 kilometers from Kundrakkudi. Pillaiyarpatti Karpaga Vinayagar is carved out in a cave of Pillaiyarpatti Hillocks. Lord Vinayagar is carved out from the rock of the cave. Lord Thiruveesar is also carved in the rock of this cave. The temple was built under patronisation of Pandyas. The age of the cave temple is 2500 years or more. There are 14 stone Sculptures in the cave ( dated from 500 BC to 1284 AD ). These stone sculptures state the ancient names of Pillaiyarpatti such as Ekkattoor, Thiruveenkaikkudi, Maruthangudi, and Rajanarayanapuram.
The temple opens at 6 in the morning and stays open till 1 PM. The shrine is again opened at 4PM and is open till 8.30 PM. The Vinayagar sannidhi (Sanctom Sanctorum) is a cave where the 6 feet of Karpaga Vinayagar has been carved inside. As this is a cave formation, there is no provision to go around for the pradakshina.
It was built after viewing a hillock by the early Pandya kings. The image of Pillaiyarpatti Pillaiyar and that of a Siva Lingam were carved out of a stone by a sculptor named Ekkattur Koon Peruparanan who put his signature on a stone inscription, in Tamil Language used between the 2nd and 5th century , found even today in the sanctum. It is believed that the icon of Pillaiyarpatti Pillaiyar must have been carved around the 4th century AD.
This temple is the only one in Tamil Nadu which contains a 6 feet rock-cut Pillaiyar deity. The Thumbikai of Lord Pillaiyar is curled towards his right side and so the God is also known as Valampuri Pillaiyar. The chettiyar community (Nagarathar - This temple is one of the nine important temples for Nagarathars) has kept the temple clean. Chettiars are the only community now whose subcastes are divided based on Sivan Temples. e.g. subcastes like Pillayarpatti, Elayatrankudi.
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. There are deities in this temple such as goddess Karthiyayini (who arrange marriages), Nagalingam (who gifts offspring), Pasupatheeswarar (who showers all wealth). Vinayagar Chathurthi is this temple's most important festival. It is 10 days long. Kappaukkattutual and hoisting temple flag begin before 9 days. On the 9th day car festival and much celebrated decoration of sandal covering ( Santha-na-kkappu) to Pillaiyar takes place.
Festivals and administration
As of today, the Pillayarpatti Nagarathar worshipers are involved in conducting daily worship services in the temple, as well as maintaining it. People from all over the state come to the temple for the worship of Pillayar, the Lord of Wisdom. It is one of the 9 temples of the Nagarathar Chettiar community of Chettinad, Tamilnadu.
The Ganesh Chaturthi / Vinayaka Chaturthi festival, is celebrated for 10 days in a grand manner every year during the months of August and September. During that time, a large of pilgrims gather and participate in the Car Festival. Like all Shaivite temples, Pillayarpatti temple also has Lord Shiva as its presiding deity. The lord's name is Arjunapureeswarar. This temple is most famous for the rock cut Vinayagar (Ganesha) sitting majestically inside a cave.