Monday, November 5, 2007

Thiruvalanchuzhi Sri Swetha Vinayakar

Sri Vellai Pillaiyar (Swetha Vinayakar or Nuraippillaiyaar) Temple is situated at Thiruvalanchuzhi, a village located just 6 kms near Kumbakonam, Tamilnadu, India.

Swetha Vinayakar, a white colored statue of Ganesha is the diety of worship here. Though this is a temple for Lord Shiva, Swetha Vinayakar is the important diety of Thiruvalanchuzhi.

Legend has it that the Devas, forgot to worship Lord Ganesha before starting to churn the "Paarkadal" (Ksheera Saagaram). Hence, they were only able to get the Alakala Poison out of it.

Later Indra, the king of Devas realised that, it was because they did not worship Ganesha before starting their mission.

Lord Indra created this idol out of the foam (Kadal Nurai) that was generated from the milky ocean (Ksheera Saagaram) churned by them, in their quest for the celestial nectar Amrudham.

After they worshipped this idol made of foam (Nurai in Tamil), they were able to take out the Amrudham from the Ocean.

As the diety is made of the foam, there is no Abhishegam etc., performed here.

Durvasa Muni is said to have carried out a yagnam here, and the Devas who attended it are said to have established several Siva Lingams in this temple.

As the trunk of Lord Ganesha is twisted towards his right hand side, the place is said to have got the name "Thiru Valam Suzhi".

It is also believed that once Kaveri went back into the earth and people were worried without the existence of holy river. A Rishi by name Heranda Muni went inside the small passage where River Kavery went inside the Bhumi and sacrificed himself.

After this incident, River Kavery came back to the surface near this shrine, and made a complete circle towards the right and hence the village got the name Thiruvalanchuzhi.

There are several interesting sculptural features in this vast temple. Inscriptions reveal that Raja Raja Cholan had made several endowments here. There are also inscriptions from the period of Parantaka Chola I.

There are lots of quotes in the history about the sculptures of this temple. There is a huge window like structure carved out of a single stone which is facing Lord Ganesha. It is said that we also have to get the Dharshan of Lord Ganesha through this window.

It is said that the ancient sculptors, when they approach the Kings to demonstrate their skills and to get an opportunity to work for the kings, they used to tell the king that except the window of Thiruvalanchuzhi temple, they can do any kind of sculpture.

Located enroute to Swamimalai from Kumbakonam, Lord Ganesha is a feast to watch at Thiruvalanchuzhi.


  1. Good work Sarvanan,
    A suggestion,
    Along with these good topics, May you write about the relevant deity on auspicious day, like about Iyyappa on Karthigai 1st and about Mysore Chamundeeshwari during Dasara, etc..
    For people very sentimental like me it will be great to see the deity on auspicious days in the inbox and also once the site viewers know that you will present relevant topics on specific days especially, no one can afford to miss your website.
    All the Best..........

  2. Hi Saravanan,

    Excellent work done. My poorveegam is in fact thiruvalanchuzhi though I have never lived there and have visited the place only very few times. As far as I can remember the white pillayar (nuraip pillayar) is not "valanchuzhi" and there is a separate valanchuzhi vinayagar statue inside. Am I correct?
    Once again congratulations on your excellent work

  3. Beautiful presentation. It is crisp and simple. This enables readers to instantly start reading. Yet the writeup covers all the main aspects. Thank you.Please add a note how to reach the temples from the nearest town.
    Keep it up.

  4. Remba arputhama iruku.Itha padikum podu manasuku oru nimadi kedaikuthu.Nama nechadu naduhum pola theriudhu.Ungal ulapuku mika nandhri.


  5. அன்புள்ள சரவணன் ஸார்,

    திருவையாறு அருகில் உள்ள ஐய்யாரப்பர் ஆலயத்தைப் பற்றி இதே போன்று வரலாற்றை எதிர் பார்க்கிறேன்.

  6. Good work.. I went today only and enjoyed the dharsham. Inside the temple i saw a Kali devi, which was worshipped by Cholas before war. This is only a important information.

  7. The Ganesha in Thiruvalanchuzhi is simply great. Though it looks like a Ganesha dipped in Vibuthi, once your learn the brief history of the idol, it only keeps you suprising. The important thing in any temple is to visit the deity and pray BUT with faith. Without faith even in your thought, it would not give you the true feeling. Though this Ganesha's idol is small, its creation and history is really great.

    B. S. Roop Kumaar.

  8. Dear Saravanan Sir,

    Very nice writeup about the temple. THanks! I am planning to visit the temple when I go to kumbakonam this year. Do you by any chance know the temple timings? Do they close for the afternoon or is the temple open all day?

    Thanks again!


  9. As far as I know, they do close for the afternoon. It is the practice in all the temples. Please try to be there early in the morning.

  10. I went to this temple on sunday 24th October 2010. It was very nice to see this Vellai vinayagar made of Kadal nurai. The temple will be closed by 12.30 pm noon and reopen on evening by 4 pm.


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  12. I visited the temple yesterday. Its really huge. It's one of the biggest temple I have ever seen. I have been to Kumbakonam quite a few times, but have never heard of this temple. I happened to mistake it to Swamimalai and went in. I was surprised to see the size of the temple. Unfortunately, there were no priests when I visited. The "Garba Griha" was kept closed.

    Also a visitor in the temple showed me a Kali idol. Looks like Raja Raja Chola used to pray this kali before any war.

  13. Dear Sir,
    We are a very spiritual family residing in Tirunelveli. Your presentation on Thiruvalanchuzhi gave me the feeling as though I had personally visited the temple.I had visited it once and would like to be there often too. Thank you for your sincere work.
    Ashwin Sridhar, Tirunelveli

  14. M.Swaminathan S/o Muthusamy IyarFriday, May 04, 2012 6:24:00 PM

    அன்புள்ள சரவணன் ஸார்,
    அழகாண அ௫மயான ஆலயம் என்ெசந்த கிராமத்ைத பற்றி விவரித்தர்காக நன்றி