thiruvalanchuzhi

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thiruvalanchuzhi overview

#12 of 102 Places To Visit in Kumbakonam
thiruvalanchuzhi
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address
Thiruvalanchuli, Tamil Nadu, India
timings
All days of the week
6:00 AM - 12:00 PM
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

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about thiruvalanchuzhi

The shrine at Thiruvalanchuzhi started out as a Shiva temple. The principal deity here is Kapartheeswarar (kapartham refers to the matted locks of Lord Shiva) and his consort is Brihan Nayaki. Over time, however, it has come to be known as a Vinayaka sthala. There are 24 Vinayaka idols in the temple, but the best known of them is the tiny, white one in the shrine straight ahead of the entrance. 

Made from a kind of sea sponge, the idol is coated with pacchai karpooram (edible camphor) and is said to absorb all the honey that is poured on it on Vinayaka Chaturthi. Yet, the deity retains his pristine white colour. Legend goes that the devas and asuras faced so many difficulties in obtaining the nectar they sought (see The greatest gathering of people because they forgot to pray to Vinayaka before they started churning the cosmic ocean. When they realised their mistake, they made an idol of Vinayaka from sea foam and consecrated it. Soon, the nectar was found. The white Vinayaka of Thiruvalanchuzhi is said to be that primordial Ganapati. The idol also has its trunk curling right (valan chuzhi). 

The temple is famous for its fine stone-work, especially the fret-work window panel in the Vinayaka sanctum, the finely carved pillars, and the tall, multi-tiered stone lamps. There are coconut groves around the temple and it is an extraordinarily peaceful setting.

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