Aavoor Pasupatheeswaram Temple Kumbakonam - History, Timings, Festivals & Address

Aavoor Pasupatheeswaram Temple Kumbakonam


Aavoor Pasupatheeswaram Temple Kumbakonam

Aavoor Pasupatheeswaram or Aavoor Pasupatheeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Hindu god Shiva, located in the village Aavoor, located 12 km south of South Indian town, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu. It is located south west of Kumbakonam on the Melattur/Thittai Highway. The temple is one of the 70 madakoil built by 2nd century Chola king, Kochengat Chola. The temple is known for the Panchabairavar, the five images of Bhairavar. The temple is revered in the verses of Tevaram, the 7th century Tamil Saiva canon by Thirugnana Sambandar. This is the 21st sthalam on the southern side of river Cauvery.

Aavoor Pasupatheeswaram Temple Legends

Pasupatheeswarar indicates God of cows. Shiva is believed to have descended for the holy cow Kamadenu that prayed to him by ablution with their milk on the Shivalingam to get relief from the curse of sage Vashista. A sculpture indicating the legend is present in the walls of the second precinct of the temple.

Another legend associates the temple with the Saivite saint Tirumular (6th century CE). Tirumular saw a herd of cows lamenting the death of their herdsmen. Being a Siddha, he entered into the body of dead herdsman, came back alive to serve as the herdsman and sung 3000 verses in praise of Shiva. The legend is closely associated with Gomukteeswarar temple at Tiruvadurai, but is also associated with other temples like Thenupuriswarar Temple at Patteeswaram and Tirukogarnam near Pudukkottai.

Another Legend, Mother Parvathi came to earth, chose this place to perform penance. The Devas – belonging to the celestial world - also came here in the form of plants and trees to worship the Goddess. The place was a jungle then. Pleased with her penance, Lord Shiva appeared before the Goddess with his Jadamudi – long hair rolled as a crown on the head. He therefore also bears the name Kavardesswarar. Patti, the calf of the divine cow Kamadenu was wise enough to know the glory of the place, made a Linga, performed abishek with its milk and prayed to Lord Shiva to stay in this place. As the Lord was worshipped by a Pasu (cow), he was named Pasupatheeswarar.

Manikudam and Aswathavanam are the other names of the place. Of the two stones brought by Vayudeva in a competition with Adisesha, one is here while the other is at Nallur, according to scriptures. The presiding deity is a Swayambu Linga.

King Dasaratha came here and finding only the idol of Lord Shiva, he installed the idol of Pankaja Valli and performed pooja invoking the blessings of both. On the Eastern wall opposite the Pankaja Valli Sannidhi, one finds the sculpture of King Dasaratha offering his prayers to Lord Shiva. An invisible voice indicated to him the location of ‘Pancha Bairava’ idols hidden beneath. Dasaratha located these unique idols and installed the idols of Pancha Bairava opposite the Pankaja Valli Sannidhi. This is a Parikara Sthalam for Pithru Dosham and Drishti Dosham. It is believed one would be liberated from these after offering sincere prayers to the Pancha Bairava.

Seeking a handsome boy, King Dasaratha invoked the blessings of Lord Muruga at this temple. It is believed that Rama was born subsequent to the prayers offered by Dasaratha here. Hence in memory of this event, Lord Subramanya is seen in a unique posture with a bow and arrow in hand.

Aavoor Pasupatheeswaram Temple

Since Kamadhenu performed pooja for Lord Shiva at this temple and he provided darshan to the sacred cow, he came to be referred to as ‘Pasupatheeswarar’.

Aavoor Pasupatheeswaram Temple Speciality

Presiding deity Lord Pasupatheeswarar is Swayambu in Linga form. There are five Bhairavars in standing form worshipping Lord Shiva. Hence the place is called Pancha Bhairava Thalam. Lord Muruga in the temple graces with a bow in hand. The place was under the rule of Chola kings in the second century. The name of the Lord is mentioned in the epigraphy.

On each of the four Sundays of Karthigai, Lord Pasupatheeswarar goes out on a street procession and Theerthavari is performed.

Lord goes out on a street procession on Thei Pirai (immediately after the full moon day) on the Ashtami day every month with Homam, Abhishekam and Anna Dhanam being a special feature on that day.

This is one of the 70 Mada Temples built by Ko Chenganan Chozhan and one finds steep steps leading up to the Sannidhi of Lord Shiva making it difficult for elephant to make an entry here. Another of the Mada Koil at Thiru Nallur is just 6kms north of here.

Greatness of Temple

Avur is the name of the place. Pasupatheeswaram is the name of the temple. This is a Madakoil type. The place is also known as Aswathavanam. As the roof of the sanctum sanctorum has a beautiful hill peak, the place is also called Manikudam. According to tradition, Vayu Deva (authority for wind) brought two hill pieces from Kailash of which one stayed here while the other at Nallur.

Lord Brahmma, seven sages (Saptha rishis), Ganas (attendants of Lord Shiva), Devas, Iyakkas, Gandharvas (all belonging to the celestial world), Indira the King of Devas, Sun, the nine planets (Navagrahas), Lord Vishnu, Emperor Dasaratha worshipped Lord Shiva in this shrine and got blessed.

A king, Darmadhwaja by name had a dip in the holy spring Brahmma theertham and was cured of his leprosy. Lord Muruga graces in the temple with a bow in his hand.

Avur is the birth place of eminent Tamil poets as Avurkizhar, Avur Moolankizhar and Perunthalai Chathanar. The celebrated Tamil Epic Manimekalai forming part of the five ancient Tamil epics, praised as Aimperum Kappiangal, was authored by Chathanar.

Aavoor Pasupatheeswaram Temple Maadakovil

Kochengata Chola was a Chola king and was one of the 63 Nayanmars (Saivite saints) of Saivism. He is believed to have attained spiritual rebirth of a spider that fought with an elephant in its previous birth over the worship of the Hindu god Shiva. He had red eyes during birth as he remained in his mother’s womb a little longer. His mother, looking into the babies red eyes said Kochengkannano (in Tamil Ko=king, cheng=red, Kan=eyes), which literally means king with red eyes and hence he was named Kochengat Cholan. 

After becoming a king, he followed Saivism and built 70 Maadakovils, temples with elevated structure where elephants cannot reach the sanctum, in the Chola Empire. The temple has an inscription (181 of 1911) dating from the 3rd year of the rule of Rajendra Chola III (1246-1279 CE) indicating grants of land to the temple.

Aavoor Pasupatheeswaram Temple History

The temple is located 10 km away from Kumbakonam, 6 km east of Thirukarugavur and 30 km south of Thanjavur. The temple has a five tiered Rajagopuram with an elevated structure for the main shrine. The images of the presiding deity, Pasupatheeswarar in the form of Shiva lingam occupies the main sanctum. The consort of Pasupatheeswarar, Mangalanayagi and Pangajavalli occupy twin sanctums facing west. 

The images of Panchabairavar, the five Bairavar statues are found in the corner facing the main sanctum. The second prakaram downstairs has a separate shrine for the Hindu god Murugan in the form Dhanush Subramaniyar. Muruga sports a dhanush (bow) instead of his regular weapon, the vel. The temple has a small tank called Braham Thirtham located outside the main entrance.

Seeking a handsome boy, King Dasaratha invoked the blessings of Lord Muruga at this temple.

It is believed that Rama was born subsequent to the prayers offered by Dasaratha here. Hence in memory of this event, Lord Subramanya is seen in a unique posture with a bow and arrow in hand.

Names of God

Sri Pasupatheeswarar, Sri Asvathanathar, Sri Aaavoorudayar

Name of Goddess

Sri Mangalambikai (Taken from temple tank), Sri Pangajavalli (Old)

Holy water (Theertham)

Kamadenu theertham is now called as Thena theertham

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham)

Peepal Tree

Important Features

  • It is considered as one of 275 Paadal Petra Stalams.
  • Pancha Bairava Sannidhi is a specialty at the temple.
  • Parikara Sthalam for Pithru and Drishti Dosham.
  • Lord Muruga with a bow and arrow.
  • Kamadhenu relieved from sabam by this temple Lord Shiva.
  • There is a separate Sannadhi for Somaskandar in which there is no Moorthy.
  • There are two Ambigai Sannadhi.

Aavoor Pasupatheeswaram Temple Opening Time

The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.

Aavoor Pasupatheeswaram Temple Festivals

On each of the four Sundays of Karthigai, Lord Pasupatheeswarar goes out on a street procession and Theerthavari is performed.

Lord goes out on a street procession on Thei Pirai (immediately after the full moon day) on the Ashtami day every month with Homam, Abhishekam and Anna Dhanam being a special feature on that day.

Brahmotsavam

In centuries gone by, Brahmotsavam was celebrated in a grand manner with Lord Shiva going out on street processions in majestic Vahanas each day. However most of the Vahanas have been damaged and only the Rishaba, Horse and Peacock Vahana are in shape currently. But similar to the Thiru Nallur temple, Brahmotsavam here too has not taken place for over half a century and the festivals that were once the pride of this temple, have lost its grandeur.

While this is a HR & CE managed temple, there is just one priest to take care of the entire temple. Mahalingam Gurukkal, who hails from Mannargudi, has been here for over three decades taking care of the pooja, almost on his own.

Some of the major festivals celebrated here;
  • Shivarathri in Vaikasi (May-June),
  • Annabishekam in Iyppasi (October-November)
  • Tiruvadhirai in Margazhi (December-January).

Singers

The place is praised in Thevaram hymns of Gnanasambandar: “Let my tongue ever sing the glory of the Lord of Avur Pasupatheeswaram, known for its fertile plantain fields entertaining the monkeys living around, wearing the sacred ash, standing majestically with his long hair, acknowledging the worship of Lord Vishnu and ever present in the minds of devotees.” This is the 21st temple on the southern banks of Cauvery, praised in Thevaram hymns.

Sambandhar’s Praise

In each of his praise, Thiru Gnana Sambandhar refers to this place as ‘Avoor Pasupatheeswaram’. He also showers verses of praise on Pankaja Valli. He refers to the palace like mansions that were seen in the Mada Streets of Pasupatheeswaram. Sambandhar talks about the sacred cows that were always seen at the temple here.

Literary Mention

The temple is revered in the verses of Tevaram, the 7th century Saivite canonical work by the three saint poets namely, Appar, Sambandar and Sundarar. The temple is revered by Sambandar in the first Thirumurai in eleven verses. He refers to the temple as Avoor Pasupatheeswaram.

"புண்ணியர் பூதியர் பூதநாதர் புடைபடு வார்தம் மனத்தார்திங்கட்
கண்ணிய ரென்றென்று காதலாளர் கைதொழு தேத்த விருந்தவூராம்
விண்ணுயர் மாளிகை மாடவீதி விரைகமழ் சோலை சுலாவியெங்கும்
பண்ணியல் பாடல றாதவாவூர்ப் பசுபதி யீச்சரம் பாடுநாவே."

Translating to

“This is the place where the blessed devotees of Shiva
Who are rich and where Shiva has raised in the temple in such a place called Avoor Pasupatheeswaram.
The place is surrounded by beautiful gardens, palaces and where Shiva's name is frequently uttered.
Let my tongue praise Avoor Pasupatheeswaram".

Aavoor Pasupatheeswaram Temple Prayers

People pray here for removal of obstacles in marriage alliances and progress in educational qualifications. Blessed by the Lord responding to their prayers, devotees perform abishek and offer Vastras (clothing) and also do feeding (Annadhanam).

How to Reach Aavoor Pasupatheeswaram Temple Kumbakonam?

The temple 12 km from Kumbakonam can be reached via Patteeswaram. Bus facility is available from Kumbakonam. Nearest Railway Station is Kumbakonam & Thanjavur. Nearest Airport is located in Trichy.

This Shivasthalam temple is located 8 Kms to the south-west of Patteeswaram, another Paadal Petra Sthalam. Avoor is situated on the Kumbakonam - Melattur - Thanjavur road. Nearest railway station is Dharasuram.

Buses / Mini Buses ply every 15 minutes from Kumbakonam bus stand and Patteeswaram to Avoor via Govindakudy (Bus Numbers: 52/67/11/72/25/8). Direct buses (484 and 48) are also available from Thanjavur via Thiru Karugavur. One can also reach the temple from Papanasam (9kms) and Sundara Perumal Koil (5kms).

Auto from Patteeswaram Durgai Temple will cost Rs. 100.

Aavoor Pasupatheeswaram Temple Address

Sri Pasupatheeswarar Temple,
Avur Post, Via Kumbakonam, Valangaiman Taluk,
Thanjavur district – 612 701
Phone: +91 94863 03484

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