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Thiruvisanallur also called Thiruvisalur (formerly known as Shahajirajapuram) is a village in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. The village is known for the Sivayoginathar Temple, a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Siva. The Tirundudevankudi Karkadeswarar Temple located nearby is also very prominent.

The history of Thiruvisanallur can be traced to the time of the Medieval Cholas who established the village as Vembarur or Solamarthanda chaturvedimangalam. There are inscriptions dating to the time of Raja Raja Chola I.

The Thanjavur Maratha king Shahuji I endowed Thiruvisanallur to forty-six Brahmins as a brahmadeya in the year 1695. Following this endowment, the name of the village was changed to Shahajirajapuram. At about this time, a Hindu saint by name Sridhara Venkatesa Ayyaval a companion of the Shankaracharya Bodhendra Saraswathi settled down in Thiruvisanallur and founded the Sri Sridhara Ayyaval Mutt.

The Sivayoginathar Temple is old and is believed to be built at the spot where eight Siva yogis(sages) attained salvation and merged with the lingam. The shrine is dedicated to Chatur Kala Bhairavar, one of the four Bhairavas. The Sthala Vriksha(temple tree) of the temple is vilva. The temple is frequented by people who were born under the sign Rishabha.

1,400-year-old sun clock mounted on the 35-feet-high inner wall , built during Parantaka Cholan’s rule does not require battery or electricity. Carved out of granite and shaped like a semi-circle, all it has is a three inch-long brass needle permanently fixed at the center of a horizontal line. As the sun casts its rays on the needle, the shadow of the needle indicates the right time. This scientific temperament of the Chola is captivating and adorable.

Tiruvasanallur is most famous for the Karkateswarar temple, the village deity of Tiruvisanallur as well as for Sridhar Ayyaval Mutt.

Sri Ayyaval was a Kannada Brahmin who lived in the 17th century. He was Divan / Priest / Advisor to the King of Mysore and yet giving in to his immense devotion to Lord Shiva, he gave up his post, wealth and left the State of Mysore with his mother and wife. He lived in a time where differences between Shaivites and Vaishanavites were at its peak, and kingdoms were used as pawns in this war of religious fanaticism. His first halt on his spiritual journey was at Trichy where despite being a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva, he took residence in a town which at that time was predominantly disposed to Vaishnavism. Some mischiefmongers, told the then King of Trichy to lead a procession of Lord Shiva of the famed Matrubhooteshwarar temple outside Sri Ayyaval's residence, but with Lord Shiva dressed as Lord Krishna as a way of testing his religious fervor. As the procession passed outside Sri Ayyaval's residence, he could only envision Lord Shiva and burst into a hymn Krishna Dwadasa Manjari showing that he saw NO difference between the two schools of thought. On seeing his pure devotion, the King sought forgiveness and requested him to take up permanent residence at Trichy.

Sri Ayyaval immediately left for Tanjore on the same day and after spending some time there, settled in a village Tiruvisanallur making daily visits to the Mahalingam temple nearby, across the Cauvery river and composing hymns on Lord Shiva. During such a time, a group of devotees taking out a procession on the festive occasion of Janmashtami went past his house, but refused to accept offerings from Sri Ayyaval, on the pretext of him being a Shaivite. Sri Ayyaval made a mental offering and went inside.

A few feet later, the procession noticed that the picture of Lord Krishna was empty, and there was just a blank frame. On realizing their folly, they sought forgiveness and spent hours and days singing the glories of Lord Krishna with Sri Ayyaval leading the way.

Likewise, on one occasion when Sri Ayyaval was unable to make his daily visit to the Mahalingaswamy temple due to the overflowing Cauvery river, he was despondently praying to the deity from the banks of the river when the temple priest was sighted offering him that day's offerings to the God, as prasad. Sri Ayyaval was overjoyed and partook the prasad. The next day when the river had abated, and he visited the temple, he again offered his gratitude to the priest for giving him Prasad, the day prior, despite the dangerous water levels. The priest was astonished and said that he did not cross the river, much less meet Sri Ayyaval. It was then that he realized that the Lord himself had given the prasad to him. Sri Ayyal burst into an extempore composition praising Mahalingaswamy, the prime deity of the temple.

On the day of his father's annual ceremony, Sri Ayyaval and his family prepared the sweetmeats for the occasion with immense piety and were waiting for the priests when he sighted a poor person passing by. He offered some of the food prepared for the ceremony, typically to be had AFTER the ceremonies to be performed by the priests, to the needy person instead. He went inside and prepared food for his father's annual ceremony all over again. Yet the priests who had arrived by then, refused to accept this arrangement and said that it was an act of immense impurity, impropriety and one they would not accept, much less perform the annual ceremonies in a due manner. They said that the only remedy was for Sri Ayyaval to take a dip in the Holy Ganges and wash off his sins. Despite his entreaties that humanity is the highest religion, and exceptions to rules and regulations CAN be made, if the situation warrants, these pleas fell on deaf ears.

In a quandary, he went to the well near his home and began praying to the Ganges deity for her divine intervention, as he was located 1000s of miles from the river in the North and it would be improper to not perform the ceremony to his father, a departed soul when preparations were all at an advanced stage and held up due to the misconceptions of the priests and nothing else.

In the meanwhile the priests left, in a huff and after much effort, he found three priests willing to come. It is believed that the holy Trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva came as priests to officiate at the ceremony. They too insisted on him taking a dip in the Holy Ganges.

Sri Ayyaval went to the well of his house and composed a beautiful 8-verse hymn Gangashtakam in praise of the holy river. Even as he was completing it, the well began overflowing with water gushing out. It contained bangles, flowers, clothes, and other auspicious things one would normally leave adrift in the river at Benares. It flowed in full fury, flooding his house, gushing out into the streets and flooding the village. On entreaties from the villagers, he prayed to the Goddess and the river retreated back into the well.

The ceremony for the departed soul went off in a grand manner.

This event of the River Ganges gushing out of Sri Sreedhar Venkatesa Ayyaval's well occurred on the New Moon Day of the month of Karthigai. Even today, people throng to his old house, which is now converted to a Mutt where regular ceremonies and worship of Sri Ayyaval takes place, to take a dip in the water from that well, as it is considered to be equivalent to take a dip in the Ganges.

Sri Ayyaval was a contemporary of Sadashiva Brahmendra and Bodhendra Swamigal.

It is said that in the later part of his life, Sri Ayyaval remained increasingly immersed in the Lord Shiva as Mahalingaswamy and one day, he rushed towards the sanctum sanctorum, brushing past the priest and blended into the idol, never to be seen again.



  1. P. V. Jagadisa Ayyar (1920). South Indian shrines: illustrated. Madras Times Printing and Pub. Co. pp. 333–341.
  2. Krishnaji Trivedi (1971). Mahatmas: acharyas, mystics, saints, sages, seers. Shivaji News Printers. pp. 52–53.
  3. Bhavan's Journal, Volume 29, Issues 13-24. 1983. p. 38.
  4. "Thiruvisanallur, Sivayoginathar Temple". 3 February 2010.
  5. "SRI SREEDHARA VENKATESA AYYAVAL - an epitome of compassion | Amritha Varshini".
  6. "SRI SREEDHARA VENKATESA AYYAVAL - an epitome of compassion | Amritha Varshini".
  7. "SRI SREEDHARA VENKATESA AYYAVAL - an epitome of compassion | Amritha Varshini".
  8. "Gangavatarana Utsavam at Thiruvisanallur". 28 November 2016.
  9. "SRI SREEDHARA VENKATESA AYYAVAL - an epitome of compassion | Amritha Varshini".
  10. "Gangavatarana Utsavam at Thiruvisanallur". 28 November 2016.
  11. "SRI SREEDHARA VENKATESA AYYAVAL - an epitome of compassion | Amritha Varshini".
  12. "SRI SREEDHARA VENKATESA AYYAVAL - an epitome of compassion | Amritha Varshini".
  13. "Gangavatarana Utsavam at Thiruvisanallur". 28 November 2016.

Thiruvisanallur Article Talk Language Watch Edit Thiruvisanallur also called Thiruvisalur formerly known as Shahajirajapuram is a village in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu The village is known for the Sivayoginathar Temple a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Siva The Tirundudevankudi Karkadeswarar Temple located nearby is also very prominent A view of the Sivayoginathar Temple from the entrance Contents 1 History 2 Sivayoginathar Temple 3 Sridhar Venkatesa Ayyaval 4 Invocation of Ganges on Karthigai Amavasai 5 Immersion with Lord Shiva 6 NotesHistory EditThe history of Thiruvisanallur can be traced to the time of the Medieval Cholas who established the village as Vembarur or Solamarthanda chaturvedimangalam There are inscriptions dating to the time of Raja Raja Chola I 1 The Thanjavur Maratha king Shahuji I endowed Thiruvisanallur to forty six Brahmins as a brahmadeya in the year 1695 2 3 Following this endowment the name of the village was changed to Shahajirajapuram At about this time a Hindu saint by name Sridhara Venkatesa Ayyaval a companion of the Shankaracharya Bodhendra Saraswathi settled down in Thiruvisanallur and founded the Sri Sridhara Ayyaval Mutt 4 Sivayoginathar Temple EditThe Sivayoginathar Temple is old and is believed to be built at the spot where eight Siva yogis sages attained salvation and merged with the lingam The shrine is dedicated to Chatur Kala Bhairavar one of the four Bhairavas The Sthala Vriksha temple tree of the temple is vilva The temple is frequented by people who were born under the sign Rishabha 1 400 year old sun clock mounted on the 35 feet high inner wall built during Parantaka Cholan s rule does not require battery or electricity Carved out of granite and shaped like a semi circle all it has is a three inch long brass needle permanently fixed at the center of a horizontal line As the sun casts its rays on the needle the shadow of the needle indicates the right time This scientific temperament of the Chola is captivating and adorable Sridhar Venkatesa Ayyaval EditTiruvasanallur is most famous for the Karkateswarar temple the village deity of Tiruvisanallur as well as for Sridhar Ayyaval Mutt Sri Ayyaval was a Kannada Brahmin who lived in the 17th century 5 He was Divan Priest Advisor to the King of Mysore and yet giving in to his immense devotion to Lord Shiva he gave up his post wealth and left the State of Mysore with his mother and wife He lived in a time where differences between Shaivites and Vaishanavites were at its peak and kingdoms were used as pawns in this war of religious fanaticism 6 His first halt on his spiritual journey was at Trichy where despite being a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva he took residence in a town which at that time was predominantly disposed to Vaishnavism Some mischiefmongers told the then King of Trichy to lead a procession of Lord Shiva of the famed Matrubhooteshwarar temple outside Sri Ayyaval s residence but with Lord Shiva dressed as Lord Krishna as a way of testing his religious fervor As the procession passed outside Sri Ayyaval s residence he could only envision Lord Shiva and burst into a hymn Krishna Dwadasa Manjari showing that he saw NO difference between the two schools of thought On seeing his pure devotion the King sought forgiveness and requested him to take up permanent residence at Trichy Sri Ayyaval immediately left for Tanjore on the same day and after spending some time there settled in a village Tiruvisanallur making daily visits to the Mahalingam temple nearby across the Cauvery river and composing hymns on Lord Shiva During such a time a group of devotees taking out a procession on the festive occasion of Janmashtami went past his house but refused to accept offerings from Sri Ayyaval on the pretext of him being a Shaivite Sri Ayyaval made a mental offering and went inside A few feet later the procession noticed that the picture of Lord Krishna was empty and there was just a blank frame On realizing their folly they sought forgiveness and spent hours and days singing the glories of Lord Krishna with Sri Ayyaval leading the way Likewise on one occasion when Sri Ayyaval was unable to make his daily visit to the Mahalingaswamy temple due to the overflowing Cauvery river he was despondently praying to the deity from the banks of the river when the temple priest was sighted offering him that day s offerings to the God as prasad Sri Ayyaval was overjoyed and partook the prasad The next day when the river had abated and he visited the temple he again offered his gratitude to the priest for giving him Prasad the day prior despite the dangerous water levels The priest was astonished and said that he did not cross the river much less meet Sri Ayyaval It was then that he realized that the Lord himself had given the prasad to him Sri Ayyal burst into an extempore composition praising Mahalingaswamy the prime deity of the temple 7 Invocation of Ganges on Karthigai Amavasai EditOn the day of his father s annual ceremony Sri Ayyaval and his family prepared the sweetmeats for the occasion with immense piety and were waiting for the priests when he sighted a poor person passing by He offered some of the food prepared for the ceremony typically to be had AFTER the ceremonies to be performed by the priests to the needy person instead He went inside and prepared food for his father s annual ceremony all over again Yet the priests who had arrived by then refused to accept this arrangement and said that it was an act of immense impurity impropriety and one they would not accept much less perform the annual ceremonies in a due manner They said that the only remedy was for Sri Ayyaval to take a dip in the Holy Ganges and wash off his sins Despite his entreaties that humanity is the highest religion and exceptions to rules and regulations CAN be made if the situation warrants these pleas fell on deaf ears In a quandary he went to the well near his home and began praying to the Ganges deity for her divine intervention as he was located 1000s of miles from the river in the North and it would be improper to not perform the ceremony to his father a departed soul when preparations were all at an advanced stage and held up due to the misconceptions of the priests and nothing else In the meanwhile the priests left in a huff and after much effort he found three priests willing to come It is believed that the holy Trinity of Lord Brahma Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva came as priests to officiate at the ceremony They too insisted on him taking a dip in the Holy Ganges Sri Ayyaval went to the well of his house and composed a beautiful 8 verse hymn Gangashtakam in praise of the holy river Even as he was completing it the well began overflowing with water gushing out It contained bangles flowers clothes and other auspicious things one would normally leave adrift in the river at Benares It flowed in full fury flooding his house gushing out into the streets and flooding the village On entreaties from the villagers he prayed to the Goddess and the river retreated back into the well 8 The ceremony for the departed soul went off in a grand manner 9 10 This event of the River Ganges gushing out of Sri Sreedhar Venkatesa Ayyaval s well occurred on the New Moon Day of the month of Karthigai Even today people throng to his old house which is now converted to a Mutt where regular ceremonies and worship of Sri Ayyaval takes place to take a dip in the water from that well 11 as it is considered to be equivalent to take a dip in the Ganges Sri Ayyaval was a contemporary of Sadashiva Brahmendra and Bodhendra Swamigal 12 13 Immersion with Lord Shiva EditIt is said that in the later part of his life Sri Ayyaval remained increasingly immersed in the Lord Shiva as Mahalingaswamy and one day he rushed towards the sanctum sanctorum brushing past the priest and blended into the idol never to be seen again Notes Edit P V Jagadisa Ayyar 1920 South Indian shrines illustrated Madras Times Printing and Pub Co pp 333 341 Krishnaji Trivedi 1971 Mahatmas acharyas mystics saints sages seers Shivaji News Printers pp 52 53 Bhavan s Journal Volume 29 Issues 13 24 1983 p 38 Thiruvisanallur Sivayoginathar Temple 3 February 2010 SRI SREEDHARA VENKATESA AYYAVAL an epitome of compassion Amritha Varshini SRI SREEDHARA VENKATESA AYYAVAL an epitome of compassion Amritha Varshini SRI SREEDHARA VENKATESA AYYAVAL an epitome of compassion Amritha Varshini Gangavatarana Utsavam at Thiruvisanallur 28 November 2016 SRI SREEDHARA VENKATESA AYYAVAL an epitome of compassion Amritha Varshini Gangavatarana Utsavam at Thiruvisanallur 28 November 2016 SRI SREEDHARA VENKATESA AYYAVAL an epitome of compassion Amritha Varshini SRI SREEDHARA VENKATESA AYYAVAL an epitome of compassion Amritha Varshini Gangavatarana Utsavam at Thiruvisanallur 28 November 2016 Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Thiruvisanallur amp oldid 1070815975, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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