The Kaveri at Thiruvaiyaru
|Elevation||38 m (125 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Thiruvaiyaru (also spelled as Tiruvaiyaru or Tiruvayyaru) is a panchayat town in Thanjavur District in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Thiruvaiyaru is situated on the banks of the river Kaveri, 11 km from Thanjavur. Thiruvaaiyaru has an old Siva temple dedicated to Panchanatheeswar. Though pilgrims flock to this temple throughout the year, Thiruvaiyaru is more renowned for its association with Saint Thyagaraja, who, along with Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Sastri, comprised the Trinity of Carnatic music. Thiruvaiyaru means Five Rivers around the city. The Five Rivers are Arisilaaru, Vennaaru, Vettaaru, Kudamuruttiyaaru and Kaveriaaru.
Tiruvaiyaru is the headquarters of the Tiruvaiyaru taluk. Tiruvaiyaru is a small, quiet town. However, its modesty belies its importance as a pilgrim centre. On the highway from Tanjavur, you pass five bridges over the Vadavar, Vettar, Vennar, Kudamurutti and Cauvery, the five rivers from which Tiruvaiyaru gets its name (tiru = sacred; ai = five; aaru = river). The presiding deity of the Shiva temple here, Panchanadeeshvarar (in Tamil, Ayyarappan ' both mean the same thing, `the Lord of the Five Rivers') also gets his name from them. Tiruvaiyaru is considered as holy as Varanasi and bathing in the Cauvery here is as guaranteed to rid devotees of sins as bathing in the Ganges.
Near the Shiva temple is the one-roomed house where Thyagaraja composed some of his greatest works. On the banks of the river is the samadhi of the saint composer and it is here that the greatest music festival in the country takes place annually. Nearby are the Samadhis of some of the other saints like Shiva Prakasha Swamigal and Bangalore Nagaratnamma, who actually identified and rebuilt the samadhi of Sri Tyagaraja.
The Thyagaraja Aradhana festival is held in January when most of the leading exponents of Carnatic music come to perform and are watched by thousands of ardent fans of classical music. A huge complex is now under construction at this site to accommodate the large audience that come to the concert in ever increasing numbers every year.
The vast temple in this town, known as "Dakshina Kailasam" (Southern abode of Siva), built in an area of approximately 60000 square meters, boasts of 5 prakaram (outer precincts used for religious purposes) and many 'mandapams' (great halls). Several inscriptions in the temple affiliates the temple to the Cholas, Pandyas, and other rulers. Karikala Chola, Rajaraja the great, Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan, and Krishna Devarayar are associated with Thiruvaiyaru. The temple has two distinct divisions called 'Uttarakailasam' and 'Dakshinakailasam'. Uttarakailasam was built by Rajaraja Chola's chief queen Dantisaktivitanki alias Lokamahadevi in the late 10th century who also made several endowments. It was called Lokamahadevi Isvaram Udaiyar Mahadevar after the queen herself. She endowed several musical instruments during the time of Rajaraja while his daughter Gangamahadevi alias Arumoli Chandramalli gifted several fly-whisks to the presiding deity. Dakshina kailasam was renovated by Rajendra Cholan's queen. The Tevaram trinity (Appar, Sambandar, and Sundarar) have composed more than 100 songs on the presiding deity of this temple town. The town is called as "Ai-aaru" (ஐயாறு), meaning five rivers, by them. The Tiruvaiyaru temple has also a shrine for Aatkondar or Kala Samharamoorthy, which is unique in the world. A Homa Kund started by saint Shri Adi Sankara can be found outside the shrine of Aatkondar. In the Kund a sort of incense-like called "Kungaleyum" is dropped in it. It is believed this wards of scorpion stings or some such bites and also gives longevity of life. The Kungaleyum is available from vendors around there hand-packed in loose papers.Thiruvaiyaru is beautifully described by "Kalki Krishnamurthy" in his much acclaimed novel "Ponniyin Selvan".
This temple is among the six temples in cauvery river bank which are equivalent to Kasi. The list of temples on cauvery river bank which are equivalent to have powers of kasi visvanatha temple are mentioned below
As of 2001[update] India census, Thiruvaiyaru had a population of 14,535. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Thiruvaiyaru has an average literacy rate of 76%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 81%, and female literacy is 70%. In Thiruvaiyaru, 9% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Agriculture (Rice, Sugarcane, Banana) more fertile land for cultivation.
- Amalraj Matriculation Higher Secondary School,
- Srinivasarao Higher Secondary School
- Balaganapathy Vidhya sala School
- Government girls Higher Secondary School,
- St.Joseph's High School,
- Immaculate Matriculation School
- Saraswathi Ambal Aided Primary School
- Avvai primary school
- Rajah's College of Tamil Studies and Music
How to get there
By Air: The nearest airport to reach Thiruvaiyaru is at Tiruchirapalli, which is located at a distance of about 56 km. Regular flights are operated from this airport. Thus, the place is well connected to the major cities of the country by air.
By Rail: Nearest railway station is situated at Thanjavur, which is very well linked to the important cities such as Chennai, Trichy, Madurai, Coimbatore, Nagore etc.
By Road: There is a direct bus service from Thanjavur, which lies at a distance of 13 km from Thiruvaiyaru.
Near Towns in the Thiruvaiyaru Taluk
- Thanjavur - 11 km
- Thirukkattupalli - 18 km
- Kallanai - 33 km
- Poondi Madha Kovil - 23 km
- Ariyalur - 33 km
- Kumbakonam -37 km
- Kandiyur - 2 km
- Mathur - 5 km
- Chennai - 335 km
The Aiyāṟappar temple, an ancient temple to Siva
- K. M. Venkataramaiah, International School of Dravidian Linguistics. A handbook of Tamil Nadu. International School of Dravidian Linguistics, 1996 - History - 544 pages. p. 360.
- S. R. Balasubrahmanyam. Middle Chola Temples: Rajaraja I to Kulottunga I, A.D. 985-1070. Thomson Press (India), 1975 - Hindu temples - 424 pages. p. 89.
- Archaeological Survey of India, India. Dept. of Archaeology. Annual Report on Indian Epigraphy for ... Manager of Publications, 1995. p. 7.
- Tiruvaiyaru Panchanadeeswarar -Aiyaarappar Temple - hivastalam
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Thiruvaiyaru
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "List of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies" (PDF). Tamil Nadu. Election Commission of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
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