8 August 2006

Vallala Maharaja

There once lived a King, Vallala Maharaja, who was deeply devoted to Lord Arunachaleswara and renovated and built a huge tower in Arunachaleswarar Temple called Vallala Maharaja Gopuram. As the King was heirless he prayed to Lord Shiva for a son. The Lord said that He (the Lord) would Himself be his son. True to His word, the Lord performed the death rites for this King as one of the duties of a son is to perform annual sraddha (death) services for the deceased father.

Even today after 600 years, on every Masi Makha (the Tamil month Masi when the star Makha is on the ascent) the anniversary of the day of the death of the King, the Lord (i.e. Lord Arunachaleswarar Temple) performs the annual sraddha (death) rites for the King!

The tradition of the Lord (murti) going to the nearby village Pallikondanpattu to perform the annual death rites is followed scrupulously by Arunachaleswarar Temple. This goes to show the glory of Lord Arunachaleswara is also the glory of the Temple.

Note: This is the direct entrance and exit between the Fifth and Fourth Prakarams. The Vallala Maharaja Gopuram was built between 1318(AD) and 1343(AD).

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