Ayyavadi Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi
This temple, dedicated to Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi, is situated in a small village called Ayyavadi around 6 kilometers from Kumbakonam. Ayyavadi is located just 500 meters from the Uppiliappan temple.
Temple & Area History
According to legends, the 5 Pandavas visited this place, kept their weapons under a tree, worshiped Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi and roamed the forests. It is believed that this village was called as Aivar Padi during the time the five Pandavas worshiped here, which later changed to Ayyavadi.
Narasimha Avatar & Sarabeswara/Sri Mahaprathyangira Avatar-s
Lord Vishnu took the Narasimha Avatar to kill the demon king Hiranyakasipu, the father of Prahalada. The fierce Narasimha's anger did not subside even after killing Hiranyakasipu. Lord Narasimha began to disturb everyone, so the people prayed to Lord Shiva to save them.
Lord Shiva took a new and more powerful form (or Avatar) as Sarabeswara, with a lion's face and eagle's wings. Shakthi accompanied Lord Shiva in the form of Sri Mahaprathyangira Devi seated on one of the wings of Sri Sarabeswara. Sarabeswarara went and subsided Narasimha's anger to bring back peace. Hence both Sri Mahaprathyangira Devi and Sri Sarabeswara are believed to be more powerful.
In the Ramayana, Indrajit, the son of Ravana, performed a Yaga called "Nigumbalai Yagam" in which he worshiped Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi. It is believed he performed the Yagna from this Ayyavadi temple. If he had completed the Yaga successfully, he would have gotten the powers to kill Rama.
But it was spoiled by Lakshmana and Anjaneya before completion.
The Deity & Worship
The Devi is seated on the chariot with 4 lions, 8 arms with weapons possessing Lion's face.
Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi's worship will take away all evil forces and unsolvable problems from one's life. In this temple Homams are conducted every Full moon day and No moon day, after which huge volumes of Red Chillies are offered to the Goddess.
Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi is an important Goddess in Shakthi worship. There is a Gayatri Mantra as well for worshiping Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi. Ayyavadi temple is a rare and wonderful temple for Shakthi Devotees.