Monday, June 18, 2007

Kaval Deivam - Guardian angel

During a recent trip I happened to capture a picture of Ayyanar (Kaval Deivam-guardian angel). The statue of Ayyanar with his whip and Karuppusami,(his most important companion with a moustache and an aruval-a large sickle) - are eternally vigilant and stand guard on the outskirts of most villages in Tamil Nadu.

Ayyanar shrines are usually located at the peripheries or boundaries of rural villages and the deity is seen riding a horse with a sword. Weapons such as a trident or a lance are also associated with the shrine.

Ayyanar temples are not architecturally elaborate but are signs of continuing traditions — of craft, myths, rituals and caste politics.

Ayyanar is a regional Tamil male deity who is popular among the rural social groups of South India, specifically Tamil Nadu. In the old Tamil literature he is mentioned as Sathanar and in Vedic stories, Ayyanar is considered as one of the several local manifestations of Sastha.
The deity is also popular among vast majority of South Indian & Sri Lankan (read Dravidian) Hindus and some Buddhists in Sri Lanka. He, along with his two female consort deities, is the central deity surrounded by 21 associate folk deities identified as the Kaval Deivam (guardian angel).


Anonymous said...

Have always seen these huge idols during my my long drives to rural India.
Nice pic with a short description.Good read...
Thnx Ramesh :)

Dhivya said...

hey nice post...

maybe u want to check out