Panchavarneswarar Temple in Varayur, one kilometer from Trichy, is over a thousand years old. It was built during the Chola dynasty. The deity of the temple is called Panchavarneswarar and Goddess Parvati is called Gandhimati. It is said that the person who built this temple was a Chola king. There are many legends about this temple.
Lord of this place graces as Swayambu Murthy. As Ichivalingam showed Brahma the five colors of gold, white, pure, black, and smoky, he is also known as Aivannaperuman. Even now we can see the Lord changing into every color for every Kala pooja. No matter where in the world Shiva Puja is performed or Shiva darshan is done, all of them come here and stay here. This temple was built by the Cholas. Panchavarneswarar Temple is the 68th temple among the 274 Shiva temples.
Once a Chola king named Karigalan who came to that town was returning through the town after conquering the neighboring country. Then suddenly the elephant that he was sitting on got mad. No one could restrain the elephant which started running here and there. Not knowing what to do, the king prayed to Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva sent a chicken to help the king. The chicken was also strong. When he flew and sat on the elephant and struck it on the head as fast as an Angus, the frightened elephant ran away and stopped under a bow tree. The hen also went under that tree and stood in front of the elephant and the religion of the elephant was completely contained. Since then, the name of the town has also become Chozhiyur. Seeing that miracle, the king thought that the place should be a glorious place and built a Shiva temple there.
Another story is that once upon a time Varayure was the capital of the Chola kings. At that time, Gandhimati, the wife of the Chola king, who once visited the country, used to walk to the Thayumanavar temple in Trichy every day. She was a great devotee of Shiva.
One day, while her mother was going to the temple, she fainted and was brought to the palace. So, she regretted that her pooja was interrupted that day and the Lord appeared to her in a dream as if he was present at the place where the temple is now.
The very next day she went to the place and saw a small Shiva Lingam appearing there as Swayambu. She immediately went there every day and built a temple for Shiva to worship the Shiva Lingam. Since Lord Shiva appeared there as Swayambu, they worshiped Shiv Lingam under the name Thanthondeeswarar.
The third story is that when the Chola king came to that city, he saw that the five daughters of Nagaraja, the lord of the underworld, brought the five Shiva lingams to the river bank and worshiped them every day. Those five women were born on earth due to a curse. Enchanted by the beauty of the women, the king wanted to marry the youngest of them and asked their permission to ask their father to tell them. Nagaraja also felt that the time had come for his women to be freed from the curse and called for permission.
The other four sisters also gave her the four colored Shivalingams they had (each Shivalingam was of a different color) to send her the Shiva Lingam which the father had given to her as a child while she was going with the king. She kept those five Shiva Lingams under the Vilva tree at the site of this temple and performed pooja. The next day they all became one Shiva Lingam. Because this temple was built around that Shiva lingam, the temple with five Shiva lingams came to be known as Panchavarneeswarar in the name of Pancha Varna Iswarar.
Lord Shiva came to this temple which has many stories and worshiped Lord Shiva. That is why the color of Shiva Lingam can be seen to change slightly in every period of worship. Garuda, sage Kashyapa, his son Kathuru and Karkodan were the ones who visited this temple and received the grace of worship.
Once a great sage named Uthanga Munivar was bathing in the Ganges with his wife when a crocodile dragged his wife away. After being dragged by the crocodile and crying for a while, he saw the body of a dead man being thrown into the Ganges by his relatives reciting mantras. Only then did he attain self-realization and understand the truth.
He sent his wife back to her Creator by means of a crocodile in the Ganges, not in the Ganges that gives Moksha, and she met her fate according to her destiny. If not, why did I come and bathe in this Ganga? He regretted that even I, who claim to be a sage, did not understand this truth. After that Sage Udanga went to various places and after reaching the southern region, he came to Panchavarneswarar Temple in Varayur and worshiped Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva, who performed his penance, also woke up He appeared to him as a Ratnalinga in the worship, a crystal Linga in the Uchikala worship, a Pon Linga in the evening worship, a Vira Linga in the First Jama worship, and a Chitralinga in the Artha Jama worship.
Once an atheist neglected to wear the robe given to him in the temple. For this, he reincarnated as a pig and plowed in the mud. He regretted his previous birth mistake. After worshiping Lord Shiva, he bathed in the Shiva Tirtha here and attained liberation from sin. History has it that Goddess Gandhimati here worshiped by Nagakanniyar in Nagaloka and consecrated by Cholamanna.
Udanga, The Sage:
Sage Udanga, who an expert in Vedas, Agamas, and Puranas came to this place, when he and his wife Prabhai bathed in the Ganges, she dragged by a crocodile and mauled to pieces. Even as a sage who realized the state of life, his mind wandered with this event. For peace of mind, he came to Vrayur and worshiped Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared to him as Ratnalinga in morning worship, crystal linga in Uchikalal worship, golden linga in evening worship, diamond linga in first jama worship, and chitralinga in artha jama worship. Because of this, he called Panchavarneswarar. This calmed his mind. He experienced enlightenment and became liberated. It considered auspicious to visit the Lord on this day as it is said that Uthanga showed five colors to Sage on Aadipapurnami.
Bhairava, Lord Saturn, and Sun reside in the same sanctum, so it a suitable place for planetary dosha removal. Abhishekam done to Bhairava on the day moon and Ashtami tithis. It believed that wherever in the world one does Shiva Puja and Shiva Darshan, one can reach the Lord in this Talat. Swami the deliverer of curses, sins, and doshas. Ambal Gandhimati and Panchamukha Vinayaka also give darshan here.
Because the rooster associated with the history of this temple, the people of this region pay a lot of respect to the rooster. Even if the enemy as strong as an elephant, he can be defeated by the mercy of this Lord. Arunagirinath has sung about this thala murugan.
Excellence based on wonder
Lord of this place graces as Swayambu Murthy. As Ichivalingam showed Brahma the five colors of gold, white, pure, black, and smoky, he also known as Aivannaperuman. Even now we can see the Lord changing into every color for every Kala pooja.
Festivals at Panchavarneswarar Temple:
Chitra Poornami, Vaikasi Brahmotsavam, Ani Thirumanjanam, Adi Poornami (on this day Lord showed the five colors to Sage Udanga), Avani Mulathruvizha, Navratri, Aippasi Poornami Annabhishekam, Margazhi Thiruvadhirai, Thaipusam, Mahashivarathri, Panguni Uthiram.
Panchavarneswarar Temple Timing:
Open from 5.30 am to 12.30 pm and from 4 pm to 8.30 pm.