Situated in Thenkasi near Kutralam is Ariyar kudi, Arya Kuti – the abode of noble people, popularly known as Ayikudi, is this beautiful temple for Young Bala Muruga Peruman, in Thirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu, on the banks of Hanuman Nadi.
The main deity is a beautiful small moolavar idol of Balasubramanya Swamy believed to have been found by a villager in the nearby Mallapuram Eri. A similar looking Utsavar Murti of this temple is Muthukumaraswamy, standing next to a peacock on a Padma peetam. Both the Moolavar & Utsava Murtis are so beautiful and the darshan of Karunamurthi Bala Muruga is a treat to all the bhaktas who visit this temple.
This Lord Muruga temple is on the banks of Hanuman adi, depicted under five trees. The main Sthala-Vruksha is Arasa Maram or the Pipal tree. The other four being Vembu – Neem tree, Karuvepilai – Curry leaf tree, Madhulai- Pomegranate Tree and Mavilangu are the sthala Vrukshas.
The importance of this temple is that many Devatha are worshiped in this Sthala. On the right side of the Moola Vigraha are Mahadeva, Mahavishnu, Ambikai, and Ganesha and on the left side of the Moolavar is Aditya (Surya) and these are the Pancha-Devatas of this temple. The main Moolavar SanNadi is of Balasubramanya is located under the Pancha-Vrukshas and in the middle of the Pancha Devathas. Sri Rama & Hanuman are always remembered on these riverbanks. The temple is known for attaining Karya Siddhi or success in endeavors and Pillaiperu or childbirth for bhaktas who visit and participate in the pujas and sponsor Hanuman Nadi Padi-Payasam.
On the way in search of Sita Devi, Hanuman was very thirsty. He did not want to go in search of water. It is believed that with the sharp edge of his tail he created a river and quenched his thirst. Hence the Nadi(river) here is called Hanuman Nadi. Sri Rama drank water from this Nadi and rested on its banks. Since this temple and the Nadi are devoted to Lord Subramania and Sri Rama, the nama Rama-Subramanian is a popular name given to children belonging to this area. Earlier days many pundits got down into the Nadi and did ablutions in the water. The water was used for ceremonies and ritual cleansing by devotees. The sweet tasty water from this Nadi is believed to cure diseases and gives complete wisdom and long life to the Bhakta.
Once upon a time there lived a Bhakta in Ayikudi Kezh (lower) Agraharam, who become a saint and attained siddhi in this area. His Kaushika vamsa descendants made his Samadhi on the banks of the Hanuman Nadi, where he had propagated Hindu Dharma and his Bhakthi for Sri Rama and Lord Subramanya, and planted the first Pipal tree there. The Balasubramania vigraha was later found and was installed on his Adhishtaanam with Subrahmanya Shadaksharikalpa Agama Sastra traditions and a small temple was built and pujas conducted by the descendant families.
Until 1931 the top of the temple was only made by coconut & palm leaves. The Travancore Maharaja who happened to visit this area appreciated the devotion of the villagers and decided to help in completing this temple. In about mid 1800s the temple management was taken up by Travancore Samsthanam and they renovated the temple building the roof and Gopuram, Mayil Mandap, Mani Mandapam, Praharams and Padithurais around this with all the Pancha Vrukshas and the Pancha Devatas. Then the Utsava Murti was made and grand festivals were arranged by the government, which the villagers enjoyed and participated. Until 1947 the temple was under the Travancore government management.
Special ways of Prayer:
The Arasa leaf Vibhuthi Prasadham ( Holy Ash) available in this temple is very powerful. Padi Payasam, Kavadi, Pallkudam are some of the important ways in which the devotees show their love to the Lord. According to legend, on the steps leading to the Hanuman nadhi Sri Balamuruga takes payasam along with other children
Skanda Shashti Soora Samhara festival, Chithirai Vishu, Vaigasi Vishakam, Masi Makam, Thaipusam are special festivals of this temple. Hanuman Nadi Padi Payasam, Palkudam, Kavadi are important forms of worship in this temple. This temple Arasa Elai Vibhudhi Prasadham that is the holy ashes given folded in a pipal leaf, is very popular and auspicious. This is one temple where several deities are adored and divine Balasubramanya bestows all boons to bhaktas who visit this shrine.
Ayikudi, Balasubramanya Swami Temple
Ayikudi P.O, Tenkasi Taluk
Tamilnadu -627 852