– By Dr. A Pranesh
Brahmapureshwar/Karaviranathar temple is located at about 11 kms from Thiruvarur on Thiruvarur -Kumbakonam road. There is a small town named Thirukannamangai, where we can sight Bhaktavathsala Perumal temple on the left side of the road, while driving from Thiruvarur. Further 2 kms down, we get a small village called Vadakandam. Taking a left turn there, we reach the temple. It is better to enquire about the temple there, as no boards or sign posts for the temple can be seen.
This temple appears to be more than 1000 years old. This is the 91st Lord Shiva temple on southern bank of river Cauvery which is praised in Thevaram hymns. The consort of Shiva here is called Minnambikai/Prathyaksha nayaki.
It is believed that Brahma worshipped Shiiva here and hence the name Brahmapureshwar. Since this place was called Karaveeram, Shiva is Karaveeranathar here.
The three celebrated Shaivite saints- Sambandar, Tirunavakkarasar and Sundarar have praised this temple in their hymns.
Once the ladies of celestial world met Shiva and Parvathi at Mt.Kailash and sought a wedding boon. Lord Shiva himself made a Linga, installed at this place and advised the women to worship. They all worshipped accordingly and were rewarded with suitable match. Hence this Linga is said to be Swayambhu.
Shiva appointed Sage Gautham to take care of the linga and the latter performed many penances. Pleased with the sage, Shiva asked him about his wish. So Gauthama requested lord that after his death also he should continue worshipping the lord here, but no one should see his mortal body. His wish was granted. The sage became a Karaveera tree after his demise. If unmarried women water the sacred tree (Karaveeram) on new moon days and worship Lord Brahmapureshwarar, there is a belief that their marriage would be materialized before the arrival of next new moon day.
A donkey, once did penance to have darshan of Shiva. Desperate for not getting darshan for a long time, the donkey decided to end its life by jumping into the sea at Nagore. But suddenly it heard a big sound behind, and turned back to see Lord Shiva. According to the legend, nothing was built from this temple up to Nagore, so that the donkey could have a clear sight of lord Shiva from Nagore.
The temple facing east is on about 5 acres of land and has an interesting tower. To the right of the Brahmapureshwarar, is the temple of Minnambikai. We don’t find any flag post in this temple.
There are small shrines for Surya, Chandra and Shaneshwara in the front of main temple on the northeast corner. There are idols of Ganesha and Subramanya on either side of Brahmapureshwarar in the sanctorum.
In the temple of Minnambikai, there are Saptamatrikas and Lingas on either side of the main deity.
The southwest corner has a small shrine for Ganesha who is also called Raja GanapathI.
The Northwest corner has a shrine for Subramanya.
On the southern wall of the temple has Dakshina Murty idol. Interestingly the southern tower also has Dakshina murthy idols.
Western wall has lord Narayana and the western tower also has Narayana with
Sridevi and Bhudevi
Northern wall has an Idol of Brahma and the tower also has Brahma with his consorts.
The eastern tower is adorned with Shiva and his consorts. The temple has many deities like Durga, Subramanya,etc. around the circumbulate area. There is also a pond in front of the temple known as Brahma theertham.