Nagarathar

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NAGARATHAR KOVILGAL

Nagarathars can be divided into nine major Kovils - Ilayatrangudi, Iluppakudi, Iraniyur, Nemankovil, Pillaiyarpatti, Soorakkudi, Vairavangovil, Velangudi and Mathur. This originated from the time that the Pandiya kings gave them nine villages around Pudukottai to settle in. They built a Shiva temple at each village and those living in the same village were considered brothers and sisters and don't inter-marry except in certain exceptions.

Ilayatrangudi

Ilayatrangudi
  

The Ilayatrangudi Kovil is dedicated to Arulmigu Kailasanathar and his consort Arulmigu Nithyakalyani and lies 25 kms from Karaikudi. This place was considered the resting place for the Gods and derives its name from the Tamil word Ilaippu which means tiredness. The members of this Nagarathar Kovil are further sub divided in Pirivus (Classifications) like Okkurudaiyur, Arumbarkkuilaiyaraana Pattinasaamiyar, Perumaruthurudaiyar, Kazhanivaasarkkudiyaar and the Sirusenthurudaiyar. Those in Ilayatrangudi intermarry amongst the different pirivus within their Kovil and outside.

Iluppakudi

illuppakudi
  

The Iluppakudi Kovil is dedicated to the deity Arulmigu Thaanthonriyeesar and his beautiful consort Arulmigu Soundharanaayagi and lies 3 kms from Karaikudi. The beautiful Nagarathar temple is surrounded by Illupai trees and derives its name from them. The lingam here has been naturally formed. According to a legend, a local chieftain saw Lord Siva in his dream and was asked to build a temple. He was gifted with a Soodamani (a precious stone) by him and then started this divine task. The architecture is superb and the temple is adorned with artistic sculptures and paintings. There are no sub-divisions or Pirivus here.

Iraniyur

Iraniyur
  

The Iraniyur Kovil is dedicated to Arulmigu Aatkondanathar and his consort Arulmigu Sivapurandevi. It lies 24 kms from Karaikudi. Vishnu vanquished Iranian here and worshipped the Lord and the temple derives the name from this. Members of Iraniyur Kovil treat Pilliyarpatti as their brother Kovil and do not inter-marry. This Nagarathar temple is a magnificent piece of South Indian architecture.

Nemangovil

Nemangovil
  

The Nemangovil is dedicated to Arulmigu Jayangonda Choleeswarar and his consort Arulmigu Soundharanayagi. It lies 12 kms from Karaikudi and derives its name from the word Neamam or rules. This Nagarathar temple features over 125 beautiful sculptures. There are no Pirivus here.

Pillaiyarpatti

Pillaiyarpatti
  

The Pillaiyarpatti Kovil is dedicated to Arulmigu Thiruveesar, Arulmigu Marutheesar, Arulmigu Karpagapillaiyar, Arulmigu Sivakam and Arulmigu Vadamalarmangai. The Pillaiyar here is famous all over the globe and the unique feature of this temple is that it has been completely built inside a rock. It lies 14 kms from Karaikudi. There are no Pirivus (sub-classifications) among Nagarathar members here. They do not intermarry with Iraniyur Kovil members whom they consider brothers.

Soorakkudi

Soorakkudi


  

The Soorakkudi Kovil is dedicated to Arulmigu Desikanathar and his consort Arulmigu Aavudainayaki. It lies 10 kms from Karaikkudi. This Nagarathar temple derives its name from the Soorai trees that surround it. The unique feature here is that the Amman here is the only one with three eyes and four arms. There are no Nagarathar Pirivus here.

Vairavangovil

Vairavangovil
  

The Vairavangovil is dedicated to Arulmigu Valarolinathar and his consort Arulmigu Vadivudaiyammai. It lies 15 kms from Karaikudi. It is adorned with many beautiful classical paintings including the ten avatars of Vishnu, the presiding deities and the Pandavas. Its members are of three major Pirivus or sub-classifications like Sirukulathoorudaiyar, Kalanivasaludaiyar and Maruthendhirapuramudaiyar. The Sirukulathoorudaiyar Pirivu is further sub-divided into Periya Vahuppu, Theivanayahar Vahuppu and Pillaiyar Vahuppu.

Velangudi

Velangudi
  

The Velangudi Kovil is dedicated to Arulmigu Kandeeswarar and his consort Arulmigu Kamatchiyammai. It lies 9 kms from Karaikudi. Its members have no Piruvus (Sub-classification). The population here is very low and this is believed to be the result of an ancient curse.

Mathur

Mathur
  

The Mathur Kovil is dedicated to Arulmigu Ainootreeswarar and his consort Arulmigu Periyanaayagi. Besides their idols, this Nagarathar temple also contains sculptures of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Vivekananda and Ramana Maharashi. The unique feature of this temple is the stone lions with freely rotating balls in their mouths. The towering Rajagopuram stands nearly 70 feet tall. It has seven Pirivus (sub-classifications) like Uraiyur, Arumbakkur, Manalur, Mannur, kannur,Karuppur and Kulathur. They inter-marry within these Pirivus in the Kovil and other Kovils as well. It lies 5kms away from Karaikudi.
 

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