The chief presiding Deity of Pillayarpatti Karpaga Vinayagar Temple is ‘Pillayar’, the Tamil name for ‘Lord Ganesh’. Hence this village got the name Pillayarpatti. ‘Pillayarpatti Pillayar Temple’ and ‘Karpaga Vinayagar Temple’ are the other famous names of this Temple. This is a rock-cut cave temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh. This is an ancient cave temple built during Pallava period 1600 years ago. This temple is one of the four Arjuna Kshetras in south india. The four Arjuna kshetras are listed below.
- Pillayarpatti in Sivagangai district, Tamilnadu
- Thirupudai Maruthur in Tirunelveli district, Tamilnadu
- Thiruvudai Maruthur in Thanjavur district, Tamilnadu
- Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh
The presiding God of this temple is ‘Lord Karpaga Vinayagar’. This name comes up as Vinayagar satisfies the wishes of his devotees like ‘Karpagam tree’. The texts found in this temple stones reveals the name of the GOD is ‘Desi Vinayaga Pillaiyar’. The word Vinayaga means “Incomparable Leader”. Lord Vinayagar appears with four hands in most of the temples.But here He appears with only two hands and a trunk curled towards His right side.So He is named by Valampuri Vinayagar. Here Lord Vinayagar looks like gigantic of six feet height and facing towards north. These appearances are felt as significant and most impressive to devotees.
Another important deity of this temple is known as “Lord Marudeeswarar” as Marudha tree worship is followed in this temple. Like all the Shaivite temples here also ‘Lord Shiva’ presides as Lingam shape with three different names. The three Lingams are ‘Thiruveesar’, ‘Marudheesar’ and ‘Senchadeswarar’ and the three Goddesses are ‘Sivagami amman’, ‘Vadamalar Mangaiamman’ and ‘Soundara Nayaga amman’ all appear together at the same place and bless the devotees. The three Goddesses namely ‘Durgai’,’Lakshmi’ and ‘Saraswati’ appears together in the same sannidhi (Deity in the sanctorum) to bless the devotees here.
Women whose birth horoscope is with sevvaai dhosam (prevent them from getting married) get relief by worshiping ‘Goddess Kaathyayini’. ‘Sabdha Madhar’ presides in a separate sannidhi name as ‘Sakthi sannidhi’ (whom importance due to changing time) are also bless the devotees. ‘Lord Pasupatheeswarar’ sculptured as ‘A cow worshipping Lingam by offering its milk’ is the special feature of this temple.‘Lord Khuberan’ (The Lord of wealth) worshipped this Lingam in this temple. A painting of Karpaga Vinayagar is placed on the wall of ‘Alankara Mandapam’.His eyes will look at us wherever we stand.This excellent painting impressed a lot to the devotees. Pillayarpatti Pillayar Temple also known as Karpaga Vinayagar Temple.
Daily pooja timings
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. From November to January this temple is open from 06.00 A.M to 08-30 P.M for Sabarimalai Lord Ayyapan devotees and Thaipoosam Lord Murugan devotees.
Five poojas are conducted daily in this temple. The timings are
- Thiruvanandal Abhishekam at 06.00 A.M – 06.30 A.M
- Kaalasanthi Abhishekam at 08.30 A.M – 09.30 A.M
- Uchikalam Abhishekam at 11.30 A.M – 12.00 P.M
- Maalaisanthi or Sayaratsai at 05.00 P.M – 06.30 P.M
- Iravusanthi or Arthajaman at 07.45 P.M – 08-30 P.M
All chathurthi days of Tamil month Lord Vinayagar is taken in procession around the temple where He is seated in Mooshika Vahanam. The most important festival of this temple is ‘Vinayagar Chathurthi’ or ‘Ganesh Chathurthi’. This festival is celebrated by Hindus every year in the tamil month of Aavani (August-September) in a grand manner for 10 days. The festival begins with flag hoisting and kaappukattu. During these days Lord Vinayagar is taken around in procession thru the streets. Every day He is seated in different vahanams (Chariots).
List of Vahanams (Chariots) and which day it took place in procession is listed below.
- 1st day — Silver Mooshika Vahanam
- 2nd day – Simma Vahanam
- 3rd day – Boodha Vahanam
- 4th day – Kamala Vahanam
- 5th day – Silver Rishaba Vahanam
- 6th day – Silver Elephant Vahanam & Golden Bandicoot Vahanam
- 7th day – Silver Peacock Vahanam
- 8th day – Horse Vahanam
- 9th day – Car festival (Chariot procession) & Elephant Vahanam
- 10th day – Five Lords seated in Silver and Golden Vahanams
The Car festival on the 9th day while the devotees pull the car (Rath), 80 kilograms of sandal paste is made-up to cover Lord Karpaga Vinayagar. This decoration of sandal covering takes place only once in a year. During the 10th day of this festival (Vinayagar Chathurthi or Ganesh Chathurthi day), a preparation called in tamil language ‘Kozhukattai’ made from 18 measures of rice, 2 measures of sesame (Ellu in Tamil language), 6 measures of dhal, 50 coconuts, 1 measure of cow ghee, 100 grams of cardamom, 40 kilograms of jaggery. This kozhukattai is prepare with big size in shape and offered as ‘Nivedhana’ at midday pooja.
Lord Karpaga Vinayagar also comes in procession on the ‘Thirukarthikai Deepam’ day in the Tamil month of Karthikai (Nov-Dec) with Lord Chandhrasekara and Goddess Umadevi.Chokkapanai will be burnt on this day.
The ‘Margazhi Thiruvathirai’ festival is celebrated in the Tamil month of Margazhi (Dec-Jan) . During this one day festival Lord Natarajar and Goddess Sivakama sundhari Amman are taken around the streets in procession.
Another 10days festival is celebrated in the Tamil month of Vaikaasi (May-Jun) for Goddess Kongunaachi Amman (a village Deity) whose processional image is also housed in this temple.
Pillayarpatti is located near Thiruppathur in Sivagangai district of Tamilnadu (1KM from Thiruppathur bus stand). Distance from Madurai to Pillayarpatti via Thiruppathur is 75KM. Distance from Trichy to Pillayarpatti via Thiruppathur is 112KM.
The National Highway NH-210 of Trichy to Ramanathapuram goes via Pudukkottai and Karaikudi. The distance from Trichy to Karaikudi is 103 km and from there another 12 km to Pillayar Patti.
Nearest Railway station is Karaikudi Junction which is just 12KM away from Pillayarpatti. From Trichy there are four daily trains passing thru Karaikudi.
The nearest Airports are Madurai and Trichy.
- Thiruppathur Periya Koil (12Km from here)
- Kundrakkudi Murugan Temple (15Km from Thiruppathur)
- Kaalaiyar Koil (13Km from Thiruppathur)
- Thirukkoshtiyur (6Km from Thiruppathur)
- Pattamangalam Koil (8Km from Thiruppathur)
- Vairavanpatti Valarolinathar Temple (Near Pillaiyarpatti 11Km from Thiruppathur)
- Vendhanpatti Nantheeswarar Temple (17Km from Thiruppathur)
- Piranmalai Mangai Pagar Temple (22Km from Thiruppathur)