Mayuranatha Temple, Mayavaram

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Location : Mayavaram, Tamil Nadu
Popularly Known As: Banaras Of The Poor Of The South
Presiding Deity: Lord Mayuranatha


Mayuranatha Temple is located in Mayavaram, which is popularly known as the "Banaras of the Poor of the South". The temple is situated at a distance of about 2 miles from Mayavaram junction. Mayavaram is also known as 'Sudavanam', 'Sikliandipuram', 'Brahmapuram', and 'Brahmavanam', etc.

The Legend
There is a very interesting story behind the origin of this place and the temple, which goes like this Daksha, father of Goddess Parvati did not invite his daughter to the 'Yaga' (kind of Puja) being conducted by him. His son-in-law Lord Shiva got furious over the issue and vexed at the disrespectful attitude of Daksha towards him, Lord Shiva sent Veerabhadra, a minor deity, to go and desecrate the sacrifice conducted by Daksha.

Lord Shiva instructed Parvati that she should not attend the Yaga. However, the Devi attended the Yaga, disobeying her Lord's prohibition. While Veerabhadra was desecrating the Yaga, a peahen got injured and ran immediately to Parvati Devi and took refuge under her. Parvati Devi repented very much for having disobeyed the Lord. To wash off the sin, she entered the fire. At the time of entering the fire, she was thinking about the peahen to which she gave refuge and so in the next birth she took the form of a peahen and came to this place.

Goddess Parvati conducted penance for many years and at last attained re-union with Lord Shiva. Hence the place came to be known as "Mayuram" or 'Mayavaram" (Mayuram means peahen). The Lord of the temple came to be known as "Mayuranatha". The Devi is known as "Abhayapradambika", "Abhayambika", "Anjalanayaki", "Anjalai", etc., meaning one who gave refuge to the peahen.

One can see a mango tree whose leaves were consumed by Parvati during penance in the form of a peahen. Saivite saints "Tirujnana Sambandar", "Tirunavukkarasar", and "Arunagirinathar" the author of "Tiruppugazh", have sung in praise of the Lord and the Devi.

Another Legend
According to another legend, a Brahmin by name "Nathasarma" and his wife "Anavitai", who desired to merge themselves in Lord Shiva, undertook a pilgrimage. After visiting many holy shrines of Lord Shiva, they came to Mayavaram as advised by Lord Mayuranatha himself in a vision.

Nathasaram installed a Shiva lingam on the left side to the Lord and his wife installed another to the right side of the Devi. Both of them conducted penance for many years and at last their cherished desire was fulfilled. Since then it has become customary for all who visit this temple to offer worship first.

About The Temple
The Mayuranatha Temple is a beautiful temple measuring about 719 feet by 527 feet. There is an imposing Gopuram, 164 feet high adorning the entrance in the east and it has nine storeys.

Shrines Dedicated To Lord Ganesha
There are 3 shrines dedicated to Vinayaka (also known as Lord Ganesha) under different names. "Peria Vinayaka", i.e. "Big Vinayaka" is known as "Sthala Vinayaka" and he is enshrined on the southern side of the flag-mast. "Agastya Vinayaka" is the second one and the tradition is that it was Sage Agastya who installed this Vinayaka and conducted worship. The other Vinayaka goes by the name "Kalanjia Pillaiar", i.e., "Granary Vinayaka", probably to guard the granary and to keep it full always. He is enshrined near the temple granary.

One can find few temples dedicated to other Gods of lesser importance. At Mayavaram there are many holy Teerthams (also spelt as Teertha) and the river Kaveri flows nearby. "Vrishabha Teertham" (also spelt as Teertha) is a particular bathing ghat in the river Kaveri.

HOW TO GET THERE

Air: The nearest airport is at Tiruchirapalli (Trichy).
Rail: Mayavaram is a railway junction on the Chennai-Tiruchirapalli main line.
Road: Mayavaram is well connected by road with all the important cities and towns of the state. Buses run by state government and private operators are available at regular intervals. For local transportation, taxis and auto rickshaws are also available.

WHERE TO STAY

Accommodation is available at the small budgeted hotels and choultries in Mayavaram.



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