Saturday Jun 22, 2024

Belur Sri Ashtabhuja Venugopalaswamy, Salem

Address

Belur Sri AshtabhujaVenugopalaswamy, Belur, Salem district- 636104. Phone: 98946 89629/ 96775 54839

Diety

AshtabhujaVenugopalaswamy, Amman: Maragathavalli Thaayar.

Introduction

The Ashtabhuja Venugopalaswamy Temple in Belur, Salem District, Tamil Nadu, holds deep religious and historical significance.

Name and Location:

  • The temple is known as the “Ashtabhuja Venugopalaswamy Temple.”
  • It is located in Belur, 5 kilometers north of Vazhapadi, off the Salem – Attur highway.
  • The temple is situated on the northern banks of the Vellai River.

Puranic Significance

Temple History and Legends:

  • The temple is believed to be around 1,000 years old.
  • The legend of the temple is said to be associated with Arjuna from the Mahabharata. Arjuna came to this place to perform a penance and invoked the blessings of Lord Shiva for repentance of his actions. Lord Krishna directed him to strike an arrow to the north, which resulted in clean water flowing from Aran Ootru Malai, a hill that was as white as milk. Arjuna performed an Abhisheka (ritual anointing) for Lord Shiva at the temple located opposite the Ashtabhuja Venugopalaswamy temple.

Sage Vashista and the Vellai River:

  • Another story is related to Sage Vashista, who performed a yagna (sacrificial ritual) at this place. The mount where the yagna took place is referred to as Kottai Medu. The river here is known as Vashista River after the Sage’s yagna.

Universal Mother Parasakthi:

  • The temple also has a shrine dedicated to Universal Mother Parasakthi, who appeared on Earth in various forms and incarnations, including Meenakshi. In this temple, she is depicted as an old woman and graces as Maragathavalli Meenakshi.

Beliefs

Those facing problems in marriage alliance affairs, debt burden, family disputes pray to the Lord on Makam, Visakam, Sadayam, Thiruvonam and Rohini star days seeking relief from such worries. Devotees offer Thirumanjanam (abishek in Vaishnava temples) to Perumal and Mother with new Clothes (vastras) as token of their gratitude on realizing their prayers to the Lord.

Special Features

Main Deity and Unique Features:

  • The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Ashtapuja Balamadana Venugopalan, who has eight hands.
  • Two hands represent Lord Vishnu, two relate to Krishnavatara (the avatar of Lord Krishna), and the remaining four represent Balarama.
  • The right cheek of the deity has a masculine appearance, while the left cheek has a feminine softness.
  • The deity’s left leg is adorned in traditional Indian Panchakatcha fashion with a sari, signifying femininity, while the right leg appears masculine.
  • There are depictions of a cow and calf on the right side and a cow and bull on the left side of the idol.
  • Lord Vishnu’s vehicle, Garuda, is portrayed without wings and is regarded as Jatayu, who lost his wings while trying to protect Sita from Ravana’s abduction in the Ramayana.

Symbolism of Sugarcane:

  • An interesting feature is that Lord Venugopalan is seen holding a sugarcane in his left hand, symbolizing Manmada’s (the god of love) arrow. It is believed that those who visit this temple and offer sincere prayers will be liberated from desires and lust.

Ancient Idols and Artifacts:

  • Many ancient idols at the temple, including Lord Vinayaka, are believed to date back to the period of the successful Karnataka rulers.
  • The idol of Lord Anjaneya, depicted in an Abhaya Hastha posture, is said to date back to the Vijayanagara Period.

Festivals

Vaikunda Ekadasi falling in December – January Margazhi 30days Thirumanjanam. Satyanarayana Pooja every Full Moon Day. Thirumanjanam every Rohini. Puratasi Saturdays attract big devotee crowd.

Century/Period/Age

1000 -Years old

Managed By

Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HRCE)

Nearest Bus Station

Belur

Nearest Railway Station

Vazhapadi

Nearest Airport

Coimbatore, Trichy

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