Sri Perungaraiyadi Meenda Ayyanar Temple, Kulamangalam, Pudukottai
Sri Perungaraiyadi Meenda Ayyanar Temple is one of the famous temples in Pudukkottai District, Tamil Nadu. It is located at Kulamangalam in Alangudi Taluk. The temple’s history is dated back to 18th century. The temple is in the bank of Villuni River.
The temples history is dated back to 18th century. The exact year in which the temple is constructed is not known. The temple is currently maintained by the Tamil Nadu State Government.
Like in many Ayyanar temples, this temple also located in the border of the village as a means of securing and assuring wealth and health for all. The temple is in the bank of Villuni River.
An elephant Idol facing opposite the Horse Idol
As per the researchers, there used to be a big Elephant idol facing opposite to the Horse idol in this Temple. This was considered one of the significance of this Temple, since it is very rare practice to construct an Elephant idol in an Ayyanar (The Horse) Temple that too facing opposite of the Horse idol.
It was learned that during one of the heavy monsoon season, the flood in the Villuni River had completely destroyed the Elephant idol thus by leaving only the base of the Elephant idol. This temple is taken care by Tamil Nadu government.
World’s Biggest Horse Idol
The Horse Idol is of mammoth 37 feet height with the front legs are in the Air and the others in the ground. The Idol is facing the South side. It's one of the finest creative of the ancient Tamilians. The structure is so unique in its construction and Devotees believe that it is the biggest Horse idol in the world.
A two days grant festival is celebrated during Masi Magam or Masi Makam. Though there are regular Pujas in the temple, considerable number of devotees visits on Monday and Friday of every week throughout the year.
On these festival days, garland as big as the height of the Horse Idol wore to it by devotees who had it as a promise upon realizing their prayers. Every year there would be minimum more than 1000 garland, hence leaving only the Horse nose visible. Separate iron rods are built to hang the garland, thus by protecting the idol not damaged by the heavy weight.
Devotees from the nearby villages and from various part of the State gather in thousands on these days to worship the Ayyanar and get his blessings.
On these festival days, garland as big as the height of the Horse Idol wore to it by Devotees who had it as a promise upon realizing their prayers. These garlands are not made by natural flowers since it takes up to a week for a person to thread a one. The agents who specialised in making these huge garlands start advertising and accepting the orders two/three months before the festival itself.
This is a custom found nowhere else in the world. Every year there would be minimum more than 1000 garland, hence leaving only the Horse nose visible. Separate iron rods are built to hang the garland, thus by protecting the idol not damaged by the heavy weight.
The Temple is recently renovated by contributions from devotees and it was initiated by the former Alangudi MLA Mr. A. Venkatachalam. A new Temple Mandapam is constructed to add to the beauty of ancient Kuthirai (The Horse) which also got re-painted as part this. After the renovation, the Maha Kumbhabhishekam happened on 22, May 2010. There were around 20 thousand people gathered on that day do get the blessings of Ayyanar.
K. R. Periyakaruppan, the minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments of Tamil Nadu was an honourable guest of this festival.
The Maha Kumbhabhishekam was followed by a grand Annadhanam (lunch) for all the devotees. There were 400 cooks involved in preparing the meals. More than 1500 devotees came forward to serve the delicious vegetarian food to the gathering.
By Bus: Bus services are available to Kulamangalam from all places in Tamil Nadu, However from Thanjavur Bus stop there are many buses to Kulamangalam which is 30km away.
By Train: Thanjavur Railway Station is major railway station 6km near to Kulamangalam. From here buses and autos are available.
By Flight: Nearest airport to Kulamangalam is Trichy Airport which is 83 km away. From here taxis and buses are available to reach the temple.