Thursday, 1 April 2021

Sri Venni Karumbeswarar Temple / வெண்ணிகரும்பேஸ்வரர் கோயில், Koilvenni / Kovilvenni / கோயில்வெண்ணி, Thanjavur District, Tamil Nadu.

This is the 219th Thevaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 102nd sthalam on the south side of river Kaveri of Chozha Nadu. This place was called as Venni during Thevaram period and now called as Kovilvenni.

In Periyapuranam Sekkizhar records that Thirugnanasambandar came to this temple after worshiping Lord Shiva of Thiruvedhikudi. But Thirunavukkarasu Swamigal puranam, Sekkizhar didn’t mentions this temple in particular but mentions as other temples on the way from Thirukarukavur to Thirunallur.

வெண்ணிமேய விடையவர் கோயிலை
நண்ணி நாடிய காதலின் நாள்மதிக்
கண்னி யார்தம் கழல் இணைபோற்றியே
பண்ணில் நீடும் பதிகமும் பாடினார்
……. திருஞானசம்பந்தர் புராணம்
Thirugnanasambandar and Thirunavukkarasu Swamigal has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple.

சடையானைச் சந்திர னோடுசெங் கண்ணரா
உடையானை உடைதலை யிற்பலி கொண்டு ஊரும்
விடையானை விண்ணவர்தாம் தொழும் வெண்ணியை
உடையானை அல்லது உள் காதுஎனது உள்ளமே
……… திருஞானசம்பந்தர்
முத்தி னைப்பவ ளத்தை முளைத்தவெம்
தொத்தி னைச்சுட ரைச்சுடர் போலொளிப்
பித்த னைக்கொலும் நஞ்சினை வானவர்
நித்த னைநெரு நற்கண்ட வெண்ணியே
…… திருநாவுக்கரசு சுவாமிகள்
Moolavar  : Sri Venni Karumbeswarar, Sri Thiyabarewswarar,
                  Sri Rasapureeswarar, Sri Venni Nathar.
Consort    : Sri Azhakiyanayagi, Sri Soundara Nayagi.

Some of the salient features of this temple are……
Rajagopuram is of 3 tiers, which was built during recent years and there is no Dwajasthambam. Balipeedam and Rishabam are after the Rajagopuram. Dwarapalakas are made of Stucco. In Sanctum Moolavar paanam is not in regular shape and there are marks of Karaumbu kattu ( Sugar cane bundle ) under rudraksha mandapam. 

In Koshtam Ganapathy, Dhakshinamoorthy, Lingothbavar, and Durgai.  In Artha Mandapam Nalvar with Sankarachariyar paintings. 
In Parakaram sannidhi for Vinayagar, Valli Devasena Subramaniar, Gajalakshmi, Suriyan, Chandran, Navagrahas and Bhairavar.

Ambal is in a separate sannadhi. Ambal is in standing posture with abhaya varada hastham. Dwarapalakis are of Stucco. A wooden pole is tied with bangles.

The Temple consists of sanctum sanctorum, antarala, artha mandapam and a mukha mandapam. A two tier Vesara Vimana is above the sanctum. The mandapam on the outer side of sanctum was built at a latter state which forms as moat / agzhi form. Sthala vruksham is Sugar cane (Not available) and Venni Plant ( Nandhyavattai ).

Sangam period Poet Vennikurathiyar, composed a song in praise of Karikal Chozha’s Venni war. Since Karikal Chozha got victory in the war, this place was called as “Ventriyur”, which was shortened to “Venniyur” and has corrupted to the present name of “Venni” During that time this place.

Karikal Chozhan defeated Cheras, and Pandya  regional /kurunila kings after worshiping Sri Pidarai Amman of this Village.

During Karikal Chozha’s period, this place was completely with Sugar cane and Nandhiyavattai plants. When he was travelling on this way, heard the hot arguments between two sages / Munivar. The King Pacified both. He learnt that there is a Shiva Linga and constructed a temple at this place.  

Since Thirugnanasambandar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple, the original temple might have existed before 7th Century. Latter reconstructed as a stone temple during Chozha’s period.

Some of the inscriptions recorded from this temple belongs to, Rajarajan-III and Kulothunga Chozha-III.  As per the inscriptions this place was called as “Suddhamalli Valanattu Venni Kootrathu Venni”. Lord Shiva was called as “Thiruvenni Udayar”.

Rajarajan-III’s period 13th Century, inscription records that a land was gifted to this temple by Nithavinodhavalanattu Veera chozhavalanattu puthur alias Thiribhuvana Chathurvedi mangalam sabha as thirunamathukani. The inscription also mentions the periphery limit of the land, the division of land depends on the produce.

Kulothunga Chozha-III’s period ( 1196 CE ) 12th Century inscription starts with his meikeerthi, records the endowment of land gifted to this temple Adhi Chandeswarar and Koothadu Nayagar. Gold was deposited in the treasury and the interest was adjusted to a land.    

An inscription without Kings name and year, records this temple was reconstructed as stone temple by Poovanur Udayan Araiyan Thiruvaiyarudayar Chozhagangar.

Most of the Chozha period inscriptions speaks about donations of land, money etc to this temple, for burning of Perpetual lamps, pooja Naivedya and service.

It is believed that Lord Shiva came through Sugarcane bundle and the sugarcane impressions can be seen on the moolavar banam. It is also believed that people with diabetes will get cured after worshiping Lord Shiva of this temple. The devotees used to offer Sakkarai pongal and sprinkle sugar mixed with wheat rava in the prakara.

Venni ( Nandhiyavattai flower ) plant is the sthala Vruksham of the temple. Hence this place obtained the name as Venni. Since Lord Shiva came through Sugarcane bundles, Lord Shiva obtained the name of “Karumbeswarar” and also called as “Venni Karumbeswarar”, combining both.

Devotees used to pray Ambal for child boon. After getting pregnant devotees performs the “Valaikappu” in this temple. The devotees used to offer bangles to Ambal as a part of Thanks giving. A wooden pole is tied here with bangles.

Apart from regular poojas, special poojas are conducted on Vaikasi Visakam in the month Vaikasi ( May – June ), Aani Thirumanjanam in the month Aani ( June – July ), Aadi Fridays and pooram in the month Aadi ( July – Aug ), Vinayagar Chathurthi in the month Avani ( Aug – Sept ), 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.

The mobile numbers +91 9626769424 and +91 9842294416 may be contacted for further details.

This place Kovilvenni is on the main road from Thanjavur to Thiruvarur before Needamangalam.
The temple is 26 KM from Thanjavur, 31 KM from Kumbakonam, 34 KM from Thiruvarur and 312 KM from Chennai.
The nearest Railway station is Kovilvenni and Junction is Thanjavur.



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