Kasi Viswanathar Temple-Sivaksi
Kasi Viswanathar Temple-Sivaksi

Kasi Viswanathar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in Sivakasi, a town in Virudhunagar district in Tamil Nadu. Kasi Viswanatha Swami temple is an ancient temple in Sivakasi. The presiding deity is Kasi Viswanatha Swami (Lord Shiva) and Visalatchi Ambal. The temple Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture. This temple would have been started to build in 15th century and ended in 16th century by thePandiyan King ‘Arikaysari’ Parangkushan who is also been called as ‘Parasara Muni’. A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines. The walls of the temple have been written in the temple of Tavasam, Thiruvasagam and Thiruppakal. The inner roofs and pillars are all beautiful carvings. The memento is located on the left of the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine. The temple has a three-tiered gopuram (temple tower). The temple has a pillared hall from the entrance leading to the flagstaff hall. The sanctum is located axial to the entrance facing east. The image of Kasi Viswanathar in the form of lingam is housed in the sanctum. The main gate of the temple is set to go to the shrine of Lord Vishnunatha Swami from the hall of the temple and is 24 feet high. At present, the newly set up is packed with Everslower, a workmanship. This place is the roof of the royal palace of the roof of the 136 feet high with 9 floors. The right of the main entrance facing the Sivakami shrine is the temple water tank. There are smaller shrines of Ayyappa, Dakshinamurthy, Arumugar, Durga, Navagrahas and Nataraja in the precinct around the shrines of Kasi Viswanatha and Visalakshi.

History

A view inside the Kasi Viswanathar Temple
A view inside the Kasi Viswanathar Temple

According to Hindu mythology, a Pandya king Harikesari parakkirama Pandian wanted to construct a temple for Hindu god Shiva at Tenkasi and went to Kasi to bring a lingam, the most common iconic representation of Shiva in South India. After coming to his palace with the great lingam, he stayed under the grove of a vilva tree, the favourite tree of Shiva. When a cow carrying the lingam refused to move from the spot, the king realised that it was a divine wish of Shiva, and he placed the lingam in the place where the cow halted. The place where the “shivalingam brought from Kasi” was installed came to be known as Sivakasi. Since he brought the lingam from Kasi,it was then known as the Kasi Viswanath Temple.

Sivakasi was founded in the early 15th century CE. Between 1428 and 1460, a Pandya king Harikesari Parakkirama Pandian ruled the southern part of Madurai region, comprising the modern day Sivakasi and its surroundings. Sivakasi was a part of Madurai in the 16th century.  Madurai became independent from Vijayanagar Empire in 1559 under the Nayaks and the temple started receiving gifts from the rulers of the dynasty. There are no signs of historyAfter the conclusion of the Nayak regime in 1736, and Madurai was repeatedly captured several times by Chanda Sahib (1740 – 1754), Arcot Nawab and Muhammed Yusuf Khan (1725 – 1764) in the middle of 18th century. In 1801, Madurai came under direct control of the British East India Company and the Madras Presidency.

During the 1800s, Nadars, then business business, established their business site in the city. At the end of the 19th century, the Nadars’ rapid rise as a business community lead to confrontation with the Maravars. The Nadars were denied entry to the temple and when they tried to enter in 1899, it led to a series of riots which became to be known as the Sivakasi riots. A total of 22 people have been killed, 800 homes and a large chariotin the center of the town burned during riots. Eventually the riots came to an end after the intervention of the military in mid-July 1899. The temple is Maintained and managed by Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Opening time

Morning 6.00 A.M – 12.00 P.M

Evening 4.00 P.M – 08:30 P.M

Festival

  1. April – Chitra Poornima Festival
  1. May – Brahmma Festival – 10 days Vilagam festival will be held for Murukan in the shrine of Lord Subramanian Valli Deva.
  1. Jun – Thirumenjana festival – Thirumenagar puja and festivals will be held for  Arulmigu Natarajar 10 days.
  1. Audi – Dabasu Festival – Arulmigu Visalakshi Amman will be held for 14 days.  Karthikayat festival – Murukapperuman is celebrated.
  1. August – Source Festival (Pittu Festival) – 10 days will be held at Arulmigu Vishwanatha Swamy Temple.
  1. Purattasi – Navarathri Festival – Navarathri Kolu Puja is celebrated for 10 days at Kolu Mandap.
  1. october – Kantha Shashti Festival – Thirumurugaperumman is celebrated with seven anointing  of Sundaysham and Lord Krishna with anointing Arjuna.
  1. November – Thirukarthigai Festival
  1. December – Thiruvadiyar Festival – The festival is celebrated in the temple on the occasion of the festival of Arutra, the pilgrimage in Poonthar, the Ayyappan Temple Special Pooja worship, Tiruppavai – Thiruvambha festival.
  1. January – Thaipusath festival – Thirumurugan’s milk festival – Karthikai festival is celebrated by Lord Arulmigu Murugan.
  1. February – Sivarathri Peruvilayam – Nataraja Murti in the morning special Anishekam, night shift, 5 jama pujas, lectures and concerts.
  1. March  – Uthirath Festival – Thirumurugaperummu is celebrated in Madurai

By Bus

The Tamilnadu State Transport Corporation operates daily services connecting various cities to Sivakasi. The State Express Transport Corporation operates long-distance buses connecting the town to important cities like Chennai, Tirupur and Thoothukudi and so on.


By Train

Sivakasi Railway Station is located in the rail head from Madurai to Senkottai.The Southern Railway operates daily express trains to places like Chennai, Tuticorin, Kanyakumari,Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Guruvayoor, Tirupathi, Mumbai, Trivandrum, Mysore, Howrah and Nizamuddin.


By Air

Nearest airport is Madurai international Airport. Madurai Airport is located at about 61 kms away from Sivakasi.

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