Courtesy:Smt.Sukanya Karthick



Happy with this, Sage Agasthya agreed to move to South India. Lord
Shiva gave him five tasks to accomplish:
1. To provide a Jeevanadhi (a perennial water source) to South India
2. To put an end to Illvalan and Vatapi, the rulers of the city of
Manimathi, who were cruel to Brahmins and subjects
3. To support Rama in vanquishing Ravana
4. To create a Sangam for Tamil literature
5. To enhance medicine through the age old secrets of the Rishis



There are two versions of how River Cauvery came into existence. The
first version is that Sage Agasthya carried the water of seven holy
rivers in his Kamandalu, and when he was meditating, Lord Ganesha came
in the form of a crow, and toppled the Kamandalu, thus facilitating
the creation of River Cauvery.

The other version is that Cauvery(Kaveri) was Vishnumaaya born as the
daughter of Kavera Maharishi and Sage Agasthya took her as his second
wife after Lopamudra, the daughter of the Vidharbha King. Vishnumaaya
agreed to marry Agasthya with the condition that she would run as a
perennial river in order to help her father attain Moksha. Agasthya
agreed to the condition and took her in his Kamandalu and the rest is
as above.


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Once River Cauvery came into existence, Sage Agasthya proceeded with
the killing of Illvalan and Vatapi. They were the sons of Sage Durvasa
and Ajamukhi, the sister of Shurapadma. In order to rid himself from
the Brahmahathi Dosha, Sage Agasthya created a lingam right in the
middle of the river Cauvery with sand and started meditating before
the same. Since this Ishwara was in the middle of the river (நடு + ஆறு
) he came to be known as "Nattatreeswara".(நட்டாற்றீஸ்வரர் )


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It was the first day in the Tamil month of Chithirai (April 14th
usually) when Sage Agasthya came out of meditation, having been rid of
Brahma Hathi Dosha. When he tried to dissolve the lingam made of sand,
he found that it had hardened and he was unable to move it from where
he had installed it. At this point, he heard Lord Shiva instruct him
to leave the Lingam where it was, for the Lord had decided to stay
there in the middle of the river, to rid all those who worshipped him
on the first day of Chithirai from all the Doshas that they have been
afflicted with.





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Sage Agasthya happily left the Lingam where it was. Since it had been
installed on a small hillock in the middle of the river, all that he
could offer to the Lord was porridge made of Bajra and yoghurt.
(கம்பங்கூழ் ). Till date, this ritual is being followed. Mr Gandhi,
the Secretary of the temple trust, tells us that on the first day of
Chithirai, a minimum of one lakh people gather at the Nattatreeswarar
Temple for worshipping the Lord and relieving themselves of all
doshas. He says they grind around 15 bags of Bajra brought all the way
from Tiruvannamalai and prepare about 150 drums of porridge. This is
then mixed with 5000 litres of curd brought specially for this purpose
from Erode and offered as prasadam to all the devotees who visit on
the first day of Chithirai.






How does one reach the temple? The Coracles waiting to take visitors
to the Nattatreeswara Temple. During the months when the river is in
full flow, the only means of reaching the temple is by coracles
(பரிசல் ). The boatman charges Rs.10 per person for two way
transportation. But during the month of April, the flow of water is
reduced, the dam is closed and people can either walk across the river
or drive down.

Mr. Gandhi, further mentioned that efforts are on to construct a
bridge at a cost of Rs. 2.25 crores across the river to the temple,
with the support of the Electricity Department and approvals from
Water Resource Organisation. He narrated how they were able to
establish that the temple was exactly in the middle of the river not
just length wise but also breadthwise. The river is 760 kms long out
of which this temple is located at 380 kms from either side thereby
making it the exact central location.


Not just this, there are several other interesting features in the temple.


Sthala Vriksham : The sthala vriksham at this temple is the Athi Maram
(Fig Tree). It is indeed a wonder how this tree grows on a rock in the
hillock. It is also equally amazing that no new branches have sprouted
in this tree for several decades. There is a Ganesha installed under
the Sthala Vriksham facing the Cauvery, and is called "Kaveri Kanda
Vinayagar".

Walking Muruga:

Lord Muruga is found here in a walking posture with a parrot in his
hand. It is believed that when Lord Agasthya came here to worship Lord
Shiva, Lord Muruga went forward to receive him and hence is found in
this posture. The Parrot in Muruga's hand is believed to be Saint
Arunagirinathar.

Goddess Nallanayaki:

The Goddess is known as Nallanayaki and is found in a seperate shrine.
Adi Pooram is celebrated in her shrine with great festivity when 108
Sankabishekam is performed.

Clean Cauvery Yatra:

Mr. Gandhi further mentioned that about 350 ascetics from different
mutts have been proceeding on an annual Clean Cauvery Yatra for three
years now, with a mission to spread awareness about cleaning the river
Cauvery. They start their yatra from Talacauvery and go up to
Kaveripoompattinam, visiting and worshipping at various shrines along
the way. They perform special prayers and poojas at the Nattatreeswara
Temple, as it makes up the midpoint.


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How to get here:

Nearest Railway Station: Erode

By Road: From Erode, proceed towards the Kodumudi - Karur Road. After
about 13 kms, you will reach Chavadipalayam Pudur. At the four road
junction there, proceed east for about 2 kms to reach the banks of the
Cauvery from where you have to take the coracle to the temple. There
is a board at Chavadipalayam pudur junction.

Temple Timings:

6.30 am - 12.30 pm
3.30 pm - 6 pm
On the first day of Chithirai, the temple is open through the day.

Contact Details:
Mr. Gandhi, Secretary - 98420 22017





Source:K.N.Ramesh