Villianur is the small town situated near Pondichery in the Union Territory. Mainly it houses two temples, one for Bhagwan Shiv and the other for Sri Maha Vishnu.
As per the legend, the Chola King Dharma Bala who was afflicted with leprosy got cured by worshipping Bhagwan Shiv at this place. To offer his gratitude to the Bhagwan, he had constructed a temple at the place named Vilwa Nallur which later became Villianur. Villanur was also called as Kamisam, Vilva Puri and Vilva Managaram earlier.
Sri Kameeswarar Temple
This temple is for the worship of Bhagwan Shiv in the name of Sri Kameeshwar. His consort Sri Parvathi Devi is worshipped as Sri Kokilamba.
As per the legend, Sri Brahma and Bhagwan Sri Vishnu had tried to find the head and feet of Bhagwan Shiv. Sri Brahma took the form of swan and Sri Vishnu took the form of Varaha. The swan flew up to find the head but any amount of soaring could not yield the result. Sri Varaha dived down and could not see the Holy feet. So, Sri Vishnu came to Bhagwan Shiv and told Him that He could not find the feet. However, Sri Brahma did not wish to admit His failure. So He told Bhagwan Shiv that He had seen the head.
Bhagwan Shiv knew that Sri Brahma was lying. So, He cursed Brahma that there would be no temple for Brahma for people to worship. Brahma had repented and requested Bhagwan Shiv for salvation. Sri Shiv had asked Brahma to do penance near Muthar river to get rid of His sins.
Hence, it is believed that Sri Brahma had done penance and worshipped Bhagwan Shiv at this place.
As per the legend, Bhagwan Naasimha, Lord Indra, Bhagwan Surya, Adi Sesh, Manmatha and Chandra had also worshipped Bhagwan Shiv at this temple.
In the Deeparadhana Mantra starting with “Rajadhi Rajaayaa Prasahya Saahine”, there is a line with the word “Kaameswaroa vai” in the middle. It is believed that the word depicts Sri Kameswara of this temple.
It is believed that the temple was built in 12th Century by Chola Kings and later developed by Vijaya Nagara Kings.
The temple Rajagopuram is five tiered and is facing east. The South Gopuram is seven tiered. It is believed that the French Government had earlier used the South Gopuram as the monitoring tower.
The entire temple covers the land admeasuring 4.3 acres.
The main sanctum is inside the ornate Mandapam with exquisite sculptures. Sri Kameswarar is in the form of Shiv Ling and is facing east. The Shiv Ling is self-manifested. Sri Kameswarar is also called as Sri Mirameeswarar, Sri Narasinga Nathar, Sri Naduvazhi Nathar, Sri Vaidhya Nathar, Sri Vilvaka Senar.
On the 9th, 11th and 19th day of Panguni month, sun rays directly fall on the Shiv Ling.
His consort Sri Kokilamba is in a separate shrine in the main sanctum and Her shrine is facing south. Sri Kokilamba is also called as Sri Kuyilammai and Sri Muthammai. It is believed that Sri Adi Sankaracharya had installed Sri Chakra at the entrance of this sanctum. Every Friday, special puja is done for this Sri Chakra. It is believed that lighting 48 lamps in prayer to Sri Kokilamba for 48 days would alleviate all the problems.
There are two Nandhi Dev facing Bhagwan Shiv. Between the big Nandhi and Bhagwan Shiv, there is a small Nandhi. The small Nandhi is on a rotating plank and is called as Prasava Nandhi also. Devotees seeking progeny worship this Nandhi and offer their Puja for the fulfillment of their wishes. During the puja, they turn the Nandhi towards the direction of their house.
In the Mandapam containing Main Sanctum, there are small shrines dedicated for Sri Vinayaka, Sri Muruga, Sri Durga, Sri Chandikeswara and Sri Navagrahas. Sri Muruga at this temple is also called as Sri Muthu Kumara Swamy.
Sri Kala Bhairava at this temple is depicted without His vahan.
The temple tank is situated in the second precinct of the temple. It is called as Brahma Theertham and Hruthapa Nasini.
The Sthala Vruksha of the temple is the Vilva tree.
The temple is open from 06.00 A.M to 12.00 Noon and from 04.00 P.M to 09.00 P.M. Puja at the temple is done by way of Usha Kala Puja at 05.30 A.M, followed by Kala Santhi at 08.00 A.M, Uchi Kala Puja at 11.30 A.M, Saya Raksha at 04.30 P.M, Malai Puja at 06.00 P.M, Artha Jama Puja 1t 08.30 P.M and Palli Arai Puja at 09.00 P.M. The Puja is done in the sequence of Abhishekam, Alankaram, Archanai, Neivedyam and Deepa Aradhana.
All Mondays, Fridays, Chathurthi days, Sashti days, Krithika Star-days, Pradosham, Shiv-rathri, Amavasya, Pournami days are considered very auspicious. Annual Brahmothsavam is conducted in Vaikasi month which occurs in February-March with Therottam, the procession of temple car.
In Margazhi month, Arudra Darshan is celebrated in a grand manner. During the Pournami day of Chitra month, special puja is done for the sixty-three Nayanmar Deities.
Sri Uu Ve Swaminatha Iyer, the Tamil Scholar had discovered the ancient palm-manuscript written by Sri Veera Raghava Kavi eulogizing the temple and published it as Villai Puranam. It is believed that Sri Arunachala Kavirayar had composed the hymn named Villai Muthu Kumara Swamy Pillai Thamil.
It is believed that praying to the Deities at this temple bestows alleviation of leprosy effects and blessing of marriage. Once their wishes are fulfilled, devotees offer vastram (clothes) to the Deities as the sign of gratitude.
Sri Varada Raja Perumal Temple
This temple is ascribed to the worship of Sri Maha Vishnu. The temple is just near Sri Shiv Mandir. Sri Varada Raja Perumal Temple is also called as Sri Bhuvana Kshetram.
The presiding Deity of this temple is Sri Varada Raja Perumal. He has four hands with Shank, Chakra and is showing abhaya hastha (protecting hand) to the devotees.
His consort Sri Mahalakshmi is called as Sri Perundevi Thayar. Every Friday, special puja is done to Sri Thayar seeking Her blessings.
The main sanctum is in the form of an ornate Mandapam with beautiful painting adorning the roof and the pillars.
There are separate shrines for Sri Andal Devi and Sri Narasimha Murthy in this temple. The twelve Alwars are in a separate sanctum.
This temple is said to be ascribed to Thenkalai sect of Vaishnavism.
It is believed that this temple was built by Chola Kings in 12th Century A.D and later developed by Pandia Kings.
The Rajagopuram has sculptural depictions of Dasha Avathar of Sri Vishnu. The outer wall of the temple also has depiction of Dasha Avatars. Sri Rama Pattabhishekam is also depicted inside the temple.
The temple is open from 06.00 A.M to 12.00 Noon and from 04.00 P.M to 09.00 P.M.
All Ekadashi functions including Vaikunda Ekadashi, Janmashtami, Sri Rama Navami, Aadi Pooram, Karthika month festivals and Dhanur month festivals are celebrated in the temple. Annual Brahmotsavam is celebrated in July. Special dedicated functions are held for worshipping Sri Manavala Mamunigal.
Devotees perform Anna Prasaana (first feeding of solid food to the babies) at this temple as they consider it auspicious.
Villianur is easily reachable from Pondichery town. Local buses are available at high frequency. Taxis can also be booked.