Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Arasilinathar – Shiva Temple, Olunthiyapattu

This place was earlier called as Thiruarasili but currently named as Oluthiyapattu. This temple has been praised by Gnanasambandar.

The Siva Lingam is very small in this temple but extremely beautiful under a canopy of rudrashka beads. There will be a scar on the lingam which is normally kept closed by a turban. This Siva Lingam is said to have disappeared during sage Vamadeva period and again reappeared for Chalukya King Satyavratan. Hence the place is called as Olunthiyapattu (Ozhinthu in Tamil means “lost” and Agapatathu means “got back”. Ozhinthu + Agapatathu = Olunthiyapattu in due course). This temple is a remedial shrine (Parihara sthalam) for anybody born in Poosam star and having dosha.  Open from 7 am to 8:30 am and from 5 pm to 8 pm daily.

Lord Siva: Arasilinathar
Ambal (Goddess): Periyanayaki
Sthala Vriksham : Arasa maran
Theertham :

How to reach
This temple can be reached either from Tindivanam or Puducherry. The place called Olunthiyapattu is located on the highway 66 from Tindivanam to Puducherry passing via Kiliyanur. Temple is located at about 2 kms inside from the highway. There are no direct buses to the temple. Auto facility is available from a nearby place called Thiruchitrambalam Koot road which can be reached by bus from Tindivanam.

Temple Legend
Sage Vamadeva was visiting various Shiva temples in order to get relief for his curse. When he was in this place, he was resting under a Arasa Maram (Banyan Tree).  He mused of constructing a Shiva temple under the cool shade of this tree and to his surprise Lord Shiva appeared in the form of a small Linga and relieved him of his curse. Since the Lord appeared as Swayambhu under the Arasa maram He is called as Arasilinathar.

But after the period of Sage Vamadeva, this Shiva linga went into the earth and disappeared. After several years, king Satyavratan belonging to Chalukya dynasty ruled this region. He was an ardent devotee of Shiva but he had no heirs to succeed his throne. He had set up an exclusive garden that grew flowers for the daily prayers of Shiva. Every day the King used to send his workers to fetch the flowers for Pooja. One day, the worker returned back to the King and reported that were no flowers in the garden. Again next day the worker came back without flowers. This has continued for few more days and the King grew suspicious that someone had been plucking the flowers stealthily. To find the truth, he hid himself in a bush near the garden along with some of his soldiers. To his surprise, he saw a deer eating away all the flowers and started chasing the deer. The deer because of its deftness escaped the chase and hid in a large cavity in a Banyan tree. The King shot an arrow which went inside the cavity of the tree, soon there was a trail of blood. The King thought it was from the deer which he had shot and checked the cavity. To his great surprise, he could not find the deer inside but was shell shocked to see a small Shiva linga bleeding. He prayed to Shiva who appeared who manifested in His divine form and let the king know that He was the one who came as a deer and the linga is the same as the one that manifested for Sage Vamadeva. The King was graced with a male child and several other prosperity by the Lord. The King constructed this temple and worshipped the Siva lingam given by the lord. The picture below shows this legend being depicted in the front arch of the temple.

Nearby Attractions
Puducherry is very close to this temple. Auroville dome will be visible from the Tindivanam-Puducherry highway.
Two more Paadal petra sthalams – Kiliyanur and Irumbai Maakalam are located at a distance of about 8 kms from this place. Thiruvakkarai another shrine is located at about 25 kms from here.

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