Nanjundeswarar Temple is a popular shrine located at Karamadai, in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu, India. This temple is basically a Shivalaya (Shrine dedicate to Lord Shiva) and follows the Dravidian style of architecture. This 16th century temple houses Lord Shiva as Nanjundeswarar (the one who had the poison) and his consort Parvathi as Ulaganayagi.
The temple complex is bordered by strong granite walls and has a five-tiered Rajagopuram at its entrance. The Vijayanagar and Nayaka kings had majorly contributed towards erecting newer structures within the complex, sometime during the 16th century.
About The Temple
The main sanctum sanctorum of Lord Nanjundeshwarar here is believed to have been carved out of a single rock. The Lord appears as a Shiva Linga made up of granite and seems to be red in colour. Devi Ulaganayagi graces from a separate shrine situated in the northern part of the temple complex. The vimana over the sanctum of Lord Nanjundeswarar is similar to the ones found in North Indian temples, having spiral structures. The metal vigraha (idol) of Lord Chandrasekara is a unique piece which shows the full image of River Ganga, unlike in other temples where the Lord is seen with just a crescent moon on his head. Upadevas like Lord Vinayaka, Subramanya, Veerabhadra, Rishabandika, Palani Andavar, Mahishasuramardini, Anjaneya and Nataraja also graces from their respective niches found on the inner wall of the temple. There are also several other artistically carved sculptures of gods and goddesses. One can find a particular sculpture where Lord Shiva is portrayed as a hunter, while Parvathi as a dancer. Maa Kali is seen gracing here in the dancing posture. There are also sculptures like the Machavallabha (Macha Avathar of the Lord) emerging out of fish, soldier armed with sword and a goat worshipping Shiva. Statues of animals such as cow, goat, elephant, swan, fish, snake, yali, horse, pig, tiger and bull are seen beautifully carved. One similarity that this temple has with the renowned Meenakshi Amman temple at Madurai, is the presence of a six 6 ft (1.8 m) elephants guarding the sanctum of Sri Nanjundeswarar. People can also find the sculptures of Rishabaruda, Balasubramanya, Kali, Brahma and Lakshmi Narayana are present on either sides of the elephants.
Legend and Stories
According to Hindu Mythology, the Devas and Asuras (demon) once competed to get the Amrita (Divine nectar), on churning the Milky ocean. Several elements came out of the ocean when churning, including the divine cow Kamadenu. One such element was the deadly Halahala, a poison which can annihilate the entire world. However, someone has to consume it, which both the Devas and Asuras feared. They immediately rushed to Mt Kailash, the holy abode of Lord Shiva, pleading him to rescue them. Lord Shiva who wished to help them, drank the deadly poison Halahala and while he was gulping the contents, Parvathi Devi grabbed his throat. This prevented the poison from entering his body, thereby retaining it in his throat itself. In Tamil language, the word “poison” is referred as “Nanju” while the verb consuming is called as “undu”. Since Lord Shiva drank the “Nanju” (poison), he got to be called Sri Nanjundeswarar.
The exact history of the temple could not be ascertained. However, few copper plated inscriptions found in the temple pertaining to the year 1479 AD mentions the grant of a village named Poosarpalaym to the Brahmins. The endowment was made by Eshwara Deva Raja, the general of Krishnadeva Raya.
The Maha Shivarathri which falls in the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May-June) is the most prominent festival of this shrine. Annabishekam is conducted here in the Tamil month of Aipasi (October-November).
Devotees visit the temple to offer worship to the Lord and the Devi seeking removal of obstacles in marriages. The blessings of the deity is said to nullify afflictions from Naga doshas. They also offer vastras to Lord, Mother and Mother Shiva Durga for the same.
How To Reach Nanjundeswarar Temple, Karamadai
The nearest airport is the Coimbatore Airport.
The nearest railway station is at Mettupalayam Railway Station.
Karamadai is approximately 30kms from the city of Coimbatore and is located on the Coimbatore- Mettupalayam Route. The temple is very close to he Karamadai bus stand.
Karamadai, Mettupalayam Taluk,
Coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu,
Pincode - 641104.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- To seek the boon of wedding
- For relief from problems due to snake planet aspects
Kailaasarana Shiva Chandramouli Phaneendra Maathaa Mukutee Zalaalee Kaarunya Sindhu Bhava Dukha Haaree Thujaveena Shambho Maja Kona Taaree
Meaning -Oh Lord Shiva who is seated on Mount Kailash, where the moon decorates his forehead and the king of serpents crown his head, who is merciful and removes delusion, You alone can protect me. I surrender to thee.
Aum Trayambakam Yajaamahey Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaath Mrutyor Muksheeya Maamritaat
Meaning -We worship the fragrant Lord Shiva, who has 3 eyes and who cultivates all beings. May He free me from death, for immortality, as even a cucumber is separated from its bond with the vine.
The temple is opened from 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. The temple remains open the entire day on the New Moon days (Amavasya).