Konerirajapuram is 22 kilometers away from Kumbakonam en route Karaikkal. This is a small village and famous for the world’s largest Nataraja idol (about five feet and five inches). Incidentally, legend says that it is a suyambu (self-made) idol. I was flabbergasted when I read about this temple and the temple priest further confirmed the story.
|I gladly noted that the temple’s Kumbabhishekam had taken place recently. I felt blessed J|
Kandaradhittha chola and his wife Sembianmaa Devi, grandparents of the famous Raja Raja Chola decided to make a Nataraja idol out of 5 metals (gold, silver, brass, copper and bronze) and dedicate to a Shiva temple. He is well known for his service to Lord Shiva, by building huge temples in his empire. He appointed a metallic sculptor and gave instructions. The sculptor made many idols, but the king was highly dissatisfied. Finally, the king was agitated and gave a deadline. He also added that if the sculptor is unable to make an idol that meets the king’s expectations, he would be killed.
The sculptor was a family man and was worried for his family. He did not understand why the king was rejecting the idols and was naturally frustrated. He was making the mold when an old man and woman came and requested for some water. The irrigated sculptor said, “There is no water her. All I have is this metallic liquid. If you want, you can drink it” and continued with his work. The old couple smiled in response and started drinking the metallic liquid. The sculptor was shocked and regretted for not serving his guests properly.
Later, he cried in delight when he noted that the old man was turning into a Nataraja idol. The lady beside transformed into His wife Shivakami. The sculptor had Goosebumps and was still in trance after seeing the divine transformation when the king walked inside.
“Are you trying to fool me? From where did you steal this idol?” asked the king. His anger was evident from the shrill of his voice.
“Honorable King, I did not steal this idol. Lord Shiva Himself presented with His wife in front of me as old couple. They requested for water, but I offered only the metallic liquid. They drank it and transformed into these idols. These are self-made, king!” the sculptor narrated in the middle of tears of joys.
The king refuses to believe the sculptor. He takes his mighty sword and cuts the idol’s left leg. Soon, blood start oozing from it. The king realizes his mistake. Lord Shiva appears in front of him and says that the king’s love for Him failed him from seeing the sculptor’s misery. He also added that the king refused to understand that human beings are born with limitations. The king was soon affected with cancer. The lord asked him to pray to Lord Vaidyanathan.
The king begged his pardon and requested the lord to stay in the idol form forever so that he has serve the Lord forever. The Lord agreed. He also gave moksha to the sculptor.
|The Temple Pond in the front|
PS: If you are planning a trip to Kumbakonam, Murugan Residency (I stayed here) and Sitthi Residency (Opposite to Murugan Residency) can be a really good option to stay. Do not miss the famous Kumbakonam Degree coffee… And for travel, if you are looking for a good taxi service, you can contact Shankar - 9524724442.