Top Places of Worship in Coimbatore
Important Places of Worship in and around Coimbatore
There are several places of worship in Coimbatore as mentioned in the above paragraphs. Although most of them are the temples, the mosques and churches are also places of religious action and festivities. A few of the important temples that are also major tourist attractions are:
Sri Vasavi Kannika Parameswari Amman Temple
This temple on Vysial Street is dedicated to Goddess Sri Vasavi. She is believed to be an incarnation of Mother Goddess. The structure of the temple has many notable features. The sanctum sanctorum or the Garbha Griha is constructed with red ruby granite, a rare stone to be used in temple constructions. The celestial vessel or the Khalasam is a three dimensional structure. There are other temples within the main temple housing Rama, Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman. There are also temples dedicated to Sri Raja Rajeshwari, Sri Murugan, Sri Ganesh and the Navagrahas. Since this is the temple of the Mother Goddess, the festival of Navaratri is celebrated with great splendor.
Perur Patteeswara Swamy Temple
This temple is located on the Siruvani Road which is just six kilometers from Coimbatore and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. He is the celebrated presiding deity of the temple and is known as Patteeswarar. Shiva has his consort Goddess Parvati, who is known as Panchanayaki. The famous idol of Swayambhu Lingam, the statue of the Lord in his cosmic dance form is worshipped in this temple. This temple is located by the banks of river Noyyal and is popularly known as Kanchi Manadi in the local dialect. It is regarded as one of the most holy places associated with the worship of Lord Shiva or Shivasthalams in the Kongu region. At times, the temple is also referred to as Arulmigu Patteswarar Thirukoil.
The architecture of this Perrur temple is very unique. It is a masterpiece of fine sculpture that depicts art in the most enchanting forms. There is also a popular legend associated with the construction of this temple. Once the calf of the holy cow Kamdhenu was playing amongst the Asaru trees in the jungle and her feet got stuck in the mud. Her mother Kamdhenu came to her help and tried to free her calf by digging in her horns into the soil. Soon she realized that her horn was covered with blood. She understood that there was some unusual in the place and began to pour her milk on the area. This way the Abhishek or worship of the Lingam of Lord Shiva took place here. With the discovery of this Shiva Lingam, a temple was later built in this place.
The Garbha Griha that enshrines the Lord was built by Karikala Cholan, a Chola monarch. During the later years the Hoysalas and the Vijaynagar kings contributed in a major way in developing and building the temple to its present form. When each of these dynasties was in power, they made significant contributions to enhance the architecture of the temple. This resulted in a rich blend of architectural finesse and a combination of different schools of sculpture. Inside the sanctorum, you will find images and statues of Kamdhenu and Bhoga Shakti. There is a circumambulatory passage inside the temple that envelops the sanctum sanctorum and houses as many as 63 images of Shaivite saints along with Sahasra Lingam or a Hundred Lingams of Lord Shiva, Bhairavar, Surya and the Chandra.
Another noticeable feature of this temple is the Kanaka Sabha or the Golden Hall built by Alagadri Nayaka of Madurai during the 17th century. It is a wonderful presentation of Dravidian architecture that has a gold plated statue of Nataraja. One can find prominent figures of the Indian soldiers at the entrance of the temple. This temple is very popular with the pilgrims as there is a belief that after 144 days following the death of a person, if the mortal remains are brought in here, they are turned into white stones.
Panguni Uthiram is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Perur Temple. It is an annual festival celebrated during the month of March. There is also a cultural festival Perur Natyanjali that falls during the month of September. Leading artists from all over the country take part in this prestigious dance festival. The other festivals that are celebrated with great fervor in this temple are Chitrai or the Tamil New Year, Aadi, Purattasi or the Navaratri, Ayppasi, Karthigai, Margazhi and Panguni are a few of them.
Marudhamalai Murugan Temple
This temple is situated at a height of around 600 feet at a distance of twelve kilometers from the Coimbatore railway station. It is dedicated to Lord Murugan who is worshipped in the form of Dhandayuthapani. The site of the temple is beauteous place due to the slopes of the hillock (Marudhamalai) that is filled with shrubs and bushes having a lot of medicinal properties. Devotees flock to this temple with a firm belief in the miracles that basically are related to these medicinal plants and the temple ambience. It is not only the physical, but mental miseries and attachments are also believed to be taken care of when one goes on a pilgrimage to this temple. The two springs Marudha Thirtam and Pambatti Sunai are said to have cured a number of diseases with their holy water. The Pambati Siddhar Cave, believed to have belonged to a devout snake-charmer is also a great pilgrimage destination and is located just on the eastern slope of the temple. This temple also celebrates a number of festivals like the Tamil New Year, Vaikasi Car Festival, Adipperukku, Karthigai Deepam, Margali Puja and Aruthira Darisanam.
This temple on the foot of Velliangiri Mountains is located thirty kilometers west of Coimbatore. The temple is unique due to its yogic practices. There is also another major feature of this temple – it does not worship any particular deity of any religion. The main focus is on spiritualism through enlightenment and this is attained through yoga. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is regarded as a master, mystic and a yogi. He is believed to have consecrated the temple.
This is a temple located on the slopes of the Western Ghats forty kilometers from Coimbatore. The holy Velliyangiri Hill basically falls on the way to Siruvani and is amongst the five that are believed to symbolically represent the five faces of Lord Shiva. The uniqueness of this temple is that the devotees can get the holy Darshan or view of the Panchalinga only in this temple. It is also an exciting trekking exercise for the pilgrims when they climb the hill on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri on the month of May to observe the Agninashatram period.
Avinashi Lingeshwarar Temple
This temple is also dedicated to Lord Shiva and is very famous with the devotees of Lord Shiva or the Shaivaites. Alternately known as Karunaiyaaththaal Temple Dakshina Varanasi, this temple is located 40 kilometers away from Coimbatore and 5 kilometers from Tiruppur. The word Avinashi means indestructible and this is the very concept that is focused on the construction of the temple. Inside the Garbha Griha, the presiding deity of Lord Shiva stands tall as an indestructible immortal force. The temple dates back to the 15th century and was built by Sundarapandiya. It is considered to be the first of the seven Thevaram Sthalams in the Kongu area.
The stone carvings and inscriptions on the temple bear great artistic excellence. They provide a good deal of information on the rulers who had ruled the region – the Cholas, Pandyas and the Hoysalas. We also get to know that these rulers had made some significant contributions towards the development and building of the temple. A shrine dedicated to Goddess Karunambika is situated to the right of the Garbha Griha. Devotees believe that by worshiping the scorpion symbol sculpted behind the statute of the Goddess relieves the person from worries like that of the fear of poisonous snake bites and bad dreams. A number of celebrations take place in his temple like the Chithirai Thiruvizha and the Car Festival. The Car of this Temple is believed to be one of the biggest cars on Southgern India due to its massiveness and fine wooden carvings.
Masani Amman Kovil
This temple is considered to be an important pilgrimage site and is also popular by the name of Anaimali Masani Temple. It is situated between Pollachi and Palakkad and is 45 kilometers away from Coimbatore. There are vast stretches of lush green-lands surrounding the temple and the green plains are intersected by the crisscross pathways and rivulets. Just behind the temple you will find the Anaimalai Hills along the meeting point of Aliyar River and Uppar stream. The presiding deity of the temple is Goddess Arulmigu Masani.
The posture of the idol is also unique as the deity has four hands, two are placed on the ground and two are raised above. The fifteen feet idol is in a lying posture and on the two right hands, she holds a skull and a snake, and on her two left hands she holds a tiny drum with a trident. Other deities like Neethi Kal and Mahamuniappan are also worshipped in the temple. According to the legends, Lord Rama had spent a few days in a graveyard after the abduction of Sita. Women happen to be a major part of the devotees who visit this temple particularly on the Tuesdays and Fridays. The most important annual festival of this temple is the eighteen day Kundam Thiruvizha.