Koil - Sankara Narayana Temple
and Hara are one and the same. Differences between them, are none, although
shapes they take differ and dwellings they made vary. Each has his office
august, yet dissimilar in function and purport. To match the nature and tenor of
work, they differ significantly in life styles. One is given to ostentation -
aadambara, whereas the other is the simplicity incarnate - niraaadambara. To see
these diametrical opposites in one form is indeed a sight marvellous. Its
conception defies description and fills the soul with sampurnanand.
state was ardently desired by Mother Parvathi once. She desired to feast her
eyes with Vishnu and Siva in one single form - two persons in- one murti. But
how to? In order to fulfill her ambition, she embarked upon doing penance.
Though it seems simple, very hard to endure. She did. It was a hard 9-day
penance and started in the month of Adi; and on the full moon day, there
appeared before her, the SANKARANARAYANA form, as she desired. It was a grand
sight and this eyeful spectacle she enjoyed, became the cause of emergence of a
holy temple called Sankaran koil. It is an ancient temple, vast in occupation
and splendid in sculptural adornments.
The temple complex has three main shrines - one of Sankara Narayana - two gods
in one form, exemplifying the truth - Siva and Vishnu are same, and another for
Gomati Amman, the local name for Mother Parvathi and the last one for Maheswar
in his usual LINGAKARA. An annual festival called Aditapas is celebrated on a
grand scale in commemmoration of that great event. Crowds overflow the little town
and they participate in the ritualistic worship with great ardor. It is believed
that many chronic diseases take to flight, if one prays and fasts at the holy
feet of Mother Gomati Amman.
It lies midway between Tenkasi and Srivilliputtur, both are equally famous towns
for holy shrines. And 55 km off Tirunelveli, one of the famous district head
quarters town in the South.