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Oruirukai place is connected to Thirumazisai Alvar and the Guru Bhakti of his Shishya which forced even the Lord to leave Thiruvika and spend a night at this place thus giving the name oru iravu irukkai - now corrupted to present name.
The legend is a moving one. Thirumazhisai Alvar who worshipped the Lord of Thiruvekka majestically reclining on his serpentine bed, was cared for by a couple. When the son Kanikannan was born to them, he became the Alvar's steadfast devotee. Thirumazhisai Alvar was staying in Kaancheepuram, Tamil Naadu, in those days. He had a disciple named Kanikannan who was very devoted to his master. Now he was a good poet also. When the local king came to know about his poetic skills, he called him and asked him to write something in praise of him. Kanikannan was a Vaishnav poet, and since these type of poets do not write for mortal beings, he refused to the king to write anything on him. Hearing this the king filled with rage and exiled him from his kingdom.
Kanikannan took it as Divine will and told every thing to his Guru. When Alvar heard this he thought that it was no use to live there and decided to leave the kingdom with his disciple. So he went to the Lord and said to Him - "Lord, My disciple is leaving and so am I. What business do you have here on the bed of the serpent? You also roll your bed and come with us."
The Supreme Lord of the Universe for whose fear the Sun shines, and the wind blows, considered His Bhakt's request earnestly and promptly obeyed him displaying the warm affection and dependence on His devotees. The three traveled some distance way from Kaancheepuram on the northern bank of the Paalaar river and stayed the night there. Since the Lord left the place, the kingdom immersed in the darkness. The King understood that he had committed a great mistake. he immediately ran toward Alvar and his disciple and asked for their forgiveness.
At last Alvar and Kanikannam decided to come back to Kaancheepuram, so Alvar went to the Lord again and said - "O Lord, Now we can go back to Kaancheepuram, so you also roll your serpent bed and come with us. Now you can spread your serpent bed there and lay down on it as usual." Again the Lord obeyed His Bhakt and followed him.
But this time He himself laid on the bed in an unusual way, head towards right and the feet towards left, as if to prove to posterity the truth of His dependence on His devotees. Even today the idol of Bhagavaan is lying in the same way in Yathokthkari Temple. The Deity here is called "The Lord who did as told."
The place where he stayed overnight came to be known as Oriravu irukkai, which later got shortened to Orirukkai. This village deity is appropriately called 'Yatoktakari' / 'Sonnavannam Cheitha'Perumal. The Utsav comes out once in a year to the street in this village where a Vinaayak Temple exists - now at the entrance to the site of the Shataabdi Mani Mandapam from the Northern side. The Temple contains a large Prahar Mandapam with two halls and a sanctum with a huge idol of Mahaa Periyava in a Rudraaksh Mandapam. The walls have exquisite carvings in granite and the sculptures are breathtaking, especially the Aachaarya Paramparaa, the Pradosh Taandav, the Nava Graha with stone chains hanging from the roof and so on.
Nava Graha are hanging with the stone chains from the roof all from a single stone!! Almost all figures and panels are sculpted from a single stone. A lion with a free rolling ball inside the mouth - reminds of similar one in Madurai temple. All the elephants there are carved from a single block of granite. Huge Nandee is also carved from a large block of granite. Oruirukkai is about 5 kms away from Kaanchee as a continuation of the Kamarajar Salai in Kaanchee. When you reach the village look for the board on the right. A short ride brings you to the Mani Mandapam.
This is a true story.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/9/09
Updated on 10/01/13