Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Kailasanathar||Ambal / Thayar:||Ilaneer Amman|
|Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Veliyathur||District:||Sivaganga|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Karaikudi (21 km)||Pudukkottai (50 km)|
|Madurai (72 km)||Sivaganga (76 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
In Kailasam, Siva created the holy ash – vibhuti – for the first time, through His yogic power. This vibhuti was showered on Bhulokam at various places. Vinayakar, the dutiful son of Siva and Parvati – wished to inform everyone on earth about the presence of the vibhuti and of its power. So, he came here and, after installing a Lingam for Siva as Kailasanathar, applied the sacred ash all over himself, for the first time.
Arising from the sthala puranam, there is a murti of Vibhuti Pillaiyar in the prakaram, that is perpetually covered in vibhuti. This Vinayakar receives special worship on Amavasya (new moon), pournami (full moon), Sankatahara Chaturti, Wednesdays, and days of the Hastam nakshatram. Devotees worship for success at work, and for being able construct their own homes.
Being the first place on earth that received Siva’s benediction, the sages Vageesar, Kadambar (who lived in the region) and Gnanasindhu worshipped Siva here. It is believed that they continue to come here to worship the Lord, even today.
Sage Vasishta and Kailaya Parvatha Maharishi wished to witness Siva’s tandavam, and so they worshipped Him. Siva asked both of them to come to this place, which they did, and were waiting inside the temple worshipping the Lord, expecting Him to appear from the Lingam and perform the tandavam. Suddenly, there was a flash of lightning, and when the two devotees turned to look outside, they saw Siva performing His cosmic dance in the skies!
Veli refers to “outside”, and there is one interpretation that Veli-yathur gets its name from the fact that Siva danced the tandavam outside the temple rather than inside.
During the time of the great pralayam, several places were submerged, but this is said to be one of the very few places that survived.
The temple is equally famous for the Kunthana Kala Bhairavar, and the Ottrai-Saneeswarar (which is perhaps a nod to the Perichi Koil temple, since this Saneeswarar was installed here only in the 14th century Pandya period). This temple is also regarded as an atma-gnana sthalam, and worshipping Siva here is believed to give one the supreme knowledge.
The original temple is timeless, given the sthala puranam, and the first core temple here is said to be over a thousand years old. The masonry in today’s structural temple is from 19th and 20th century, clearly a renovation by the Nagarathar community who take care of this temple, under the overall aegis of the Sivaganga Samasthanam Devasthanam.
The temple is rather simple, temple faces east, with Amman – with the most interesting name of Ilaneer Amman – in a south-facing shrine. There is no dhwajasthambam, but inside the maha mandapam that begins immediately after the entrance, is the bali peetham and Nandi.
Vinayakar guards one side of the ardha mandapam, and only Dakshinamurti is present in the koshtam. There are shrines for parivara devatas in the prakaram, including for Vibhuti Pillaiyar, Murugan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai, Chandikeswarar, Bhairavar, Saneeswarar, Chandran and Suryan. There is no separate Navagraham shrine here.
Other information for your visit
Please do read this Overview on Nagarathar heritage and temples, in connection with temples in the Chettinadu region.