Sri Kannayira Nathar Temple / Kannayiramudayar Temple / கண்ணாயிரநாதர் திருக்கோயில்/ Thirukkarayil / திருக்காரவாசல் / Thirukkaravasal, Thiruvarur District, Tamil Nadu.
This is the 236th Thevaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 119th Sthalam on the south side of river Kaveri in Chozha Nadu. This place was called as Kaarayil / KanRapur during Thevaram period and now called as Thirukkaravasal and Koyilkannapur.
In Periyapuranam, Sekkizhar records that Thirugnanasambandar came to this temple after worshiping Lord Shiva of Thiruvarur.
நம்பர்மகிழ் திருஆரூர் வணங்கிப் போந்து
நலம்கொள் திருக்காறாயில் நண்ணி ஏத்திப்
பைம்புனல்மென் பணைத்தேவூர் அணைந்து போற்றிப்
பரமர் திருநெல்லிக்காப் பணிந்து பாடி
உம்பர்பிரான் கைச்சினமும் பரவித் தெங்கூர்
ஓங்கு புகழ்த் திருக்கொள்ளிக் காடும் போற்றிச்
செம்பொன்மதில் கோட்டூரும் வணங்கி ஏத்தித்
திருமலி வெண்துறை தொழுவான் சென்று சேர்ந்தார்
Thirugnanasambandar and Vallalar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple.
நீரானே நீள்சடை மேலோர் நிரைகொன்றைத்
தாரானே தாமரை மேலயன் தான்தொழும்
சீரானே சீர்திக ழுந்திருக்காறாயில்
ஊரானே என்பர் ஊனமி லாதவரே
செங்கமலை வாணியுறை காறாயில் ஆயிரங்கண் சிவன் செம்பாதி
Moolavar: Sri Kannayiranathar, Sri Kannayiramudayar
Consort: Sri Kailasa Nayagi
Some of the salient features of this temple are….
The temple is facing east. Dwajasthambam, balipeedam and Rishabam are after the entrance. Moolavar is of swayambhu. In koshtam Dakshinamurthy, Mahavishnu, Brahma and Durgai. Olai suvadi / Palm leaf is in the hands of Dakshinamurthy.
In Prakaram Sundarar, Vinayagar, Many Shiva lingas, Maha Vishnu, Arumugasamy, Saraswathy, Gajalakshmi, Bhairavar. Natarajar and Mariamman images are in outer prakaram.
In Thyagaraja sabha Peruman Aathi vidangar is on a little elevated level. Sitting in Veerasinga asana posture and Nadanam / Dance as Kukkuda nadanam. Maragatha Lingam is in the silver box / pezhai under safe custody. Abhishekam will be don during morning hours.
Opposite to Thyagaraja sabha Moolavar Sundarar sannadhi ( But now the image is kept in front of Thyagaraja ). Urchavars are Katchi thantha Nayanar with Rishabam, Ambal and sundarar. Ambal is in a separate sannadhi facing south.
The sanctum sanctorum consists of sanctum, antarala and artha mandapam.
HISTORY AND INSCRIPTIONS
Since Thirugnanasambandar has sung hymns in praise of lord Shiva of this temple, the original temple might be existed before 7th Century. The same was reconstructed as stone temple and extended by Vijayanagaras and maintained by the Nattukottai nagarathars.
The Maragatha Lingam belongs to this temple was stolen of on August 2nd 1992 and the same was recovered back ( from Villupuram ) by the Tamilnadu Police department, Idol theft wing S Selvaraj DSP. The same was handed over to the temple in December 2009.
The inscriptions recorded from this temple belongs to Rajakesari varman Rajarajan, Parakesarivarman Rajendra Chozha and Thiribhuvana Chakravarthy Rajaraja.As per the inscriptions Lord Shiva was called as “Karayil Mahadevar”. This place was called as Arunmozhideva valanattu Puliyur Nattu Karayil.
Rajaraja Chozha-I’s 27th reign year inscription records the construction of Thiruloka thiru mandapam. 28th reign year inscription records the gifts to “Thirumurai Paduvar” / gifts to the people who are reciting the Thirumurai ( Thevaram ).The same king’s 3rd reign year inscription records the gift of 35 ma land by the Village sabha.
Rajendra Chozha-I’s 3rd reign year inscription records the endowment of worship, for the same a land was gifted to this temple after purchase,
Rajarajan-II, period inscription records the gift of land to the Othuvars who are reciting Thirumurai, at “Thirukkai Kotti mandapam” ( Clapping hand while reciting hymns ) for their food.
This place was once a “Kar Akil” trees forest, hence called as “Karakil Vanam”, the same was got corrupted to the present name of “Karayil”. In Sanskritthe same was called as “Panasaranyam”, “Kalaakaruvanam” “Thevatharuvanam”, “Kapalapuram”, “Brahma Puram”, “Kapithavanaapuram”, ( Person called Kapithan did service and worshiped Lord Shiva).
Lord Shiva gave darshan to “Kapala Munivar”. Out of saptha Vidanga sthalams, this is the Adhi Vidanga Sthalam, where Thyagaraja graces in a big temple and Nadanam is called as Kukkuda nadanam. ( The others are Thiruvarur – Veedhi Vidangar, Ajapa Natanam, Nagapattinam ( Nagai karonam), - Sundara Vidangar, Vici Nadanam, Thirukaravasal – Adi Vidangar, Kukkuda nadanam, Thirukkuvalai ( Thiru kolili ) – Avani Vidangar, Brunga nadanam, Thirunallar – Nagara Vidangar, Unmatha nadanam, Thiruvaimur – Nlla Vidangar, Kamalana nadanam and Vedaranyam ( Thirumaraikadu ) – Bhuvai Vidangar, Hamsapada nadanam. It is believed that all Vidanga Shiva Lingas are gifted by Indra to Musukunta Chakravarthy. It is believed that Lord Shiva blessed Patanjali with 7 types of dances.
This legend is associated with the Vinayagar on the banks of Brahma Theertham. As per the legend, a merchant carried “jathikai” bags for sale and stopped at temple for taking rest. Vinayagar took the form of a child and asked the merchant what he is carrying ?. The Merchant lied that he was carrying “Kadukkai”. After hearing, Vinayagar disappeared. The merchant checked and found all the Jathikai had turned to Kadukkai. The merchant begged to pardon him for telling lie, Vinayagar pardoned him and changed back all the Kadukkai in the “Jathikai”. From then onwards This Vinayagar was called as “Kadukkai Vinayagar”.
In another legend, when the Kumbabishekam was in progress, a blind lady was standing on the banks of “Vellaiyaru” hearing the sounds. She felt very sad for not able to see the Kumbhabhishekam. Lord Shiva gave her the eyesight with 1000 times more brighter then the normal. The Blind lady was very happy and worshiped Lord Shiva. Hence Lord Shiva is called as “Kannayiranathar”.
Lord Shiva gave darshan to a Thasi, hence Lord Shiva is called as “Katchi Kodutha Nayagar”. It is believed that Musukuntha Chakravarthy and Indra worshiped Lord Shiva of this temple. Indra worshiped Lord Shiva on Purattasi Pournami day. Hence special poojas are conducted on that day every year.
It is believed that if one drink theertha from “Sesha Theertham” on all pournami dayswill get rid of the deceases. To get cured eye related deceases Oil ( Thailam ) and Athi fruit are given as prasadam in this temple.
POOJAS AND CELEBRATIONS
Apart from regular poojas, special poojas are conducted on Vaikasi Brahmotsavam in the month Vaikasi ( May – June ), Aani Thirumanjanam in the month Aani ( June – July ),Vinayagar Chathurthi in the month Avani ( Aug – Sept ), Navaratri in the month Purattasi ( Sept – Oct ), Skanda Sashti and Annabhishekam in the month Aippasi ( Oct – Nov ), Thirukarthigai in the month Karthigai ( Nov – Dec ), Thiruvathirai in the month Margazhi ( Dec – Jan ), Thaipoosam in the month Thai ( Jan – Feb ), Maha Shivaratri in the month Masi ( Feb – March ) and monthly pradoshams.
The temple will be kept opened between 07.00 hrs to 11.00 hrs and 17.00 hrs to 20.00 hrs.
The mobile and Land line numbers +91 944 03391 and +91 4366 247 824
HOW TO REACH
This place is on the bus route Thiruvarur to Thiruthuraipoondi.
Thiruvarur to Thirunellikaval town bus passes through this place.
Frequent buses are available from Thiruvarur and Thiruthuraipoondi.
The temple is 14 KM from Thiruvarur, 30.2 KM from Mannargudi, 53 KM from Kumbakonam, 69 KM from Thanjavur and 344 KM from Chennai.