Adhi Vinayagar Temple


There are numerous Ganesh Temples in our country. Lord Ganesh temples built in all states in our country endowed with rare features. There is a temple of Lord Ganesh in the universe with special feature at Mundkatiya near Gowrikund and Kedarnath Jyothirling exists in Uttarakhand State where the lord appears without head and differs with other Ganesh idols. This temple is not become popular since it is far from the normal public, imagining the form of Ganesh with the trunk and the deity appears in the temple appears without head It is evident that the origins of the shrines of Lord Shiva, Maa Parvathi and their abode namely Kedarnath, Gowrikund and Mount Kailash located near Mundkatiya in Uttarakhand. The story narrated in the story of Lord Ganesh at Mundkatiya. The temple located in the northern states of our country.

There is another unique Temple of Lord Ganesh in the southern part of our country in the State of Tamil Nadu in the form of Aadhi Vinakayar in the Arulmigu Muktheeswar Temple located at Poonthottam Village. The temple was built around 1400 years ago. Lord Ganesh appears with human face and without trunk in this temple un-like other temples. Lord Ganesh in this temple is popularly known as “Aadhi Vinakayar”. The temple pertains to Lord Shiva in the form of Muktheeswar and the temple is popular to be the Ganesh Temple. The location of the temple can identify with the present name of Sithalapathi rather than the earlier name Thilatharpanapuri.

Entrance of Muktheeswarar temple(Adhi Vinayagar Temple), Thilatharpanapuri, TamilNadu

Lord Vinayak can be seen in a separate shrine near the entrance of the temple. There is a small shrine of Adhi Vinayagar in the temple complex. Lord Ganesh appears with a beautiful human face and it is the only place having such fame. Lord Ganesh in the form of Aadhi Vinayagar is the principle deity in this Temple and it is believed that worship of the deity will solve all problems. Lord Ganesh is the remover of all hurdles in the life and so called as Vignaraja. The temple is famous for performing festival on Sankata Hara Chaturthi of every month.                                                                                       

Narrating the legend on the emergence of Lord Ganesh, Maa Parvati desired to take bath in Harisol Mahanadi to invite Lord Shiva into their abode Kailash. She created a boy from the four flour of her body and gave life to the figure. She asked him to guard outside to the door while she took bath and prevent the entry of unknown persons. Lord Shiva came to Kailash to meet Maa Parvathi. The boy obstructed Lord Shiva to enter into Kailash. Shiva gets angry and beheaded the boy. Hearing his shout, Parvati arrived and she gets tears for his death.                                                         

In order to convince Maa Parvathi, Shiva sent his groups to search out a head of a creature found facing to the south. It is to be noted even today the living are suggested not to put their head towards north and only the head of the deceased bodies kept towards north. The head of an elephant found by the groups and they brought the head. Shiva attached the head to the body of the boy and gave him life. Lord Shiva and Parvathi named him as Vinayaka and made him the head of Masses (Gana). Vinayak called to be Ganapathi since he is the commander of the Masses. Ganesh gained a boon as the Primary Deity of worship before worship of all the Gods.

Lord Shiva in the form of Mukthiswarar accompanied with his consort Maa Parvathi in the form of Swarnavalli and their son Lord Ganesh in this temple. The Village with the  name of Thilatharpanapuri changed to the present name Poonthottam located on the Mayavaram to Tiruvarur Road. Lord Ganesh has to be worshipped before worshipping of other Gods Primary worship to the Lord is a practice since time immemorial and his parents Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvatihe bestowed to him. Aadi Vinayagar or Nara Ganapathi is not the principle deity in this temple but become famous to be the Nara Ganapathi temple. The idols of Sun (Surya) and Moon (Chandra) are installed together and they will simultaneously worship the Lord Muktheeswarar in this temple.                                     

It is believed that Pitru Dosh occur when the souls of the ancestors and the departed fathers do not get peace due to non performance of Pinda Shradh besides bad deeds of the ancestors in their life, bad deeds of the children of the departed and lack of fulfilment of their desires. Rameswaram, Thilatharpanapuri, Thiruvenkadu and Srivanchiam are considered to be very auspicious places to perform Tila Tarpan to the ancestors. Thila” means gingili seeds and “Tharpan” means performing rites. Tila Tarpan is a ceremony that is offered to departed ancestors by male descendants and the New moon day or Amavasya is the auspicious day to perform Tila Tarpan. It is believed that all the days are considered to be the auspicious days Amavasya at this place to perform rituals to the deceased ancestors. “ The temple considered as a Parishar Sthalam for conducting Tila Tarpan on par with Rameswaram. It is said that along with Tilatarpanam, giving alms to the poor on the new moon day frees one from Pitru Dosh. The ancestors will be pleased with the two offerings bless for a happy and peaceful life. The temple has a tank to take bath called Chandra Teerth.

As per legend it is belie ved that Sri Rama along with his consort Sita and Laxman left  to Dandakaranya to perform wilderness as per the desire of Kaika, wife of Dasaradh. They have learnt about the demise of their father King Dasaradh at this place. Sri Ram who worried that his pooja’s are not fulfil the desire of his ancestors and they have not accept the Pind offered by him. He has prayed to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared and asked Rama to go to Mantharavanam take bath in the Hari Sol Mahanadhi and then perform the Pitru Tharpanan.

Rama followed the advice of Lord Shiva and tt is believed that the four Pinda (rice balls) kept for Pinda Pradhan became four Shiva Ling. Rama perform the ritual as per the system of the ritual. Lord Shiva presented salvation to Dasaradh here. It is also believed that Lord Rama performed the rituals of the dead bird “Jatayuu” when he intercepted Ravana while he abducted Sita and inform the abduction by Ravana. In the outer bailey pilgrims may see the idol of Rama performing the Tila Tarpan and also the four lingams known as Pitru Lingams.

It is believed that darshan of the Lord solve household problems and gets prosperity besides salvation. The temple is open from 6-00 am to 12-00 pm and again from 4-00 pm to 9-00 pm. Mayiladuthurai Railway Junction is located at a distance of 18 km from the temple. Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Bus facility is available.