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Pazhamuthircholai

This shrine is very sacred to devotees of Lord Subramanya and is one of the six famous abodes of Lord Subramanya, collectively known as Aarupadai veedu. The term Azhahar and Azhahan denote both Lord Vishnu and Lord Murugan (another name for Lord Subramanya). The shrine at Pazhamuthir Cholai is small compared to other famous temples and the building is of recent origin but the temple predates it by hundreds of years. The area in which the temple is situated is surrounded by groves of trees and the river Silambar runs nearby giving an ambience of calmness and solitude.

Legends

Once Avvaiyar, the grand old lady of Tamil literature and an ardent devotee of Lord Subramanya, was on her way to Madurai. She was tired and thirsty having walked for several miles and she longed for some food and rest. She then saw a young shepherd boy sitting on the branch of a 'Naaval' tree (a tall tree bearing berry-like edible fruits). On seeing that the tree was in fruit she asked the boy to pluck some fruits for her. The boy then asked the old lady whether she wanted 'hot' fruits or 'cold' fruits. The old lady was perplexed by this question. However, in order to find out what the boy meant by hot fruit she replied that she wanted 'hot' fruit. The boy then shook the branch of the tree on which he was perched and some ripe fruits fell on the ground. Avvaiyar picked them up and finding that some grains of sand were stuck on the fruits blew on them to get rid of the sand. Seeing this the boy playfully asked whether the fruits were too hot to eat and advised her to blow a little harder. Avvaiyar was full of remorse when she realised that this illiterate shepherd boy had fooled her by his play on words. Then the boy transformed himself into his true form as Lord Subramanya and stood in front of Avvaiyar in all his glory. Avvaiyar then realised who had come to play with her. The questions then asked by Lord Subramanya in this encounter with Avvaiyar and the answers given by her in verse, form part of the rich folklore of the Tamils. Translating those verses, though would be revealing and interesting, is beyond the scope of this page.



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