Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Thoppai Pillaiyar||Ambal / Thayar:||–|
|Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Possible Vaippu Sthalam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Nallur||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Kumbakonam (13 km)||Thanjavur (30 km)|
|Ariyalur (42 km)||Tiruvarur (48 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
This small Vinayakar temple is quite popular, among locals and those from outside as well. The temple is located in Nallur, to the north-west of the Kalyana Sundareswarar temple in that village. In the Chola period, this place was also called Panchavan Madevi Chaturvedi Mangalam, in Nallur Nadu, a sub-division of Nritta Vinoda Vala Nadu.
The temple is located near a fairly large pond (which is the temple’s Agni Teertham). There is also a murti of a Nandi here, which is unusual. The surrounding pastures have names including Uttara Veedhi, Antara Veedhi, Somanatham, Sivalogam Udayani and Dakshinamurti Kollai. Based on these, and also information passed down the generations to the local residents today, this appears to have been the site of a much larger Siva temple in ancient times. However, that temple has vanished and what we are left with is just this shrine / temple for Vinayakar. It is possible that this Vinayakar temple was the Vinayakar shrine of the Siva temple that existed earlier. It could be that the Nandi belonged to the original Siva temple. There are also some records which suggest that the Siva temple that existed here was perhaps a Vaippu Sthalam.
There is no indication as to why Vinayakar here is named Thoppai Pillaiyar. However, His popularity is evidenced clearly, by the fact that this place receives equivalent importance and the same worship procedures, as Vinayakar does at the Ganapati Agraharam temple for Maha Ganapati (near Eachangudi).
Thoppai Pillaiyar’s murti appears to suggest the facial appearance of a child, and what makes this murti even more unique is the absence of a crown which is typically seen on Vinayakar’s head (even on stone sculptures). Locals attribute this as evidence to support the antiquity of the place.
It is believed that if the Nandi murti here (see above) is slanted, the place gets huge amounts of rainfall. Again, locals attest to having experienced this for themselves.
While not ancient, it is interesting to note the stucco images on the gopuram of the temple – three of them in particular. On the south is Natarajar in tandavam with Nandi playing a string instrument, and flanked by Sivakami Amman and Patanjali. Facing west is Vishnu with Sridevi and Bhudevi, seated under the hood of Adiseshan. On the north is Murugan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai.
The temple also maintains a Ghoshala in its premises, which was guided by Kanchi Maha Periyavaa.
It is believed that any prayers to Thoppai Pillaiyar done with 11 pradakshinams, come true. Once the wish is fulfilled, devotees come back to perform 108 more pradakshinams.
Other Information for your visit
Adjacent to the temple is the Nallur Raja Patasala, which has been recently renovated.