Adhi Vinayaka also known as Nara Mukha Vinayaka is a form of the Lord Ganesha or Vinayaka, which portrays Ganesha with a human head, prior to being decapitated by his father Shiva. This particular form of Lord Ganesha is rarely worshipped in a few dedicated shrines in India
The word “Adhi” means primordial or ancient. The name Nara Muha Vinayaka derives from the word Nara menaing human and mukha meaning face.
In this phase, Ganesha resembles his brothers Ayyappan and Muruga.
Adhi Vinayagar Temple is in Muktheeswarar temple at Thilatharpanapuri, TamilNadu which is near by Koothanoor in the Mayavaram Tiruvarur road. This temple is also called as Nara Mukha Pillaiyar. This is a unique temple in the sense that the God here, namely Lord Ganesh does not have the head of an elephant and instead has a man's face.
This is the ancient form of Vinayagar. In this temple devotees perform Thila Tharpana ritual which is the Hindu ritual of Pithur Karmas. Swarnavalli sametha Mukthiswarar temple is located at Thilatharpanapuri 2.6kms from Koothanur. Koothanoor is near Poonthottam which is on Mayavaram — Tiruvarur Road. Here you can see a Vinayakar with a Human face.
The name Thilatharpanapuri comes from two words thil meaning Gingely and tharpana is the Hindu ritual of performing pithru karmas (ritual of paying tribute to ancestors) to ones’ ancestors. It is also known as Sethalapathy. There are 7 sthalams for performing these rituals viz. Kasi, Rameswaram, Srivanchiyam, Thiruvenkadu, Gaya, Thiriveni Sangamam and Thilatharpanapuri. It is said that Sri Rama performed tharpanam for Dasaratha at this place. This place is considered equivalent to Kasi or Rameswaram. Performing tharpanam here on Amavasya day is considered special. This is a Mukthikshetram. The shrine for Aadhi Vinayakar is just outside the main temple.
The story of Shiva beheading Naramukha Vinayaka who was created by Parvati and then replacing the head with an elephant head is well known. What is less known is, Shiva had instructed his troops to fetch the head of anyone found sleeping with his head placed towards North. They found this elephant sleeping with its head towards North. Shiva named the boy Ganapati – meaning commander of his troops and granted a boon that Ganapati shall be worshipped by everybody before starting anything new.
This is the only type of Vinayagar where He has a human face. This is supposed to be the First Vinayagar that Goddess Parvathi created.
Tamilnadu – 609 503.
About the Temple
The brilliantly sculptured granite idol of Ganesnha is indeed captivating, he holds the axe, symbolizing the destruction of all desires, a rope to indicate his willingness to rescue anyone from the mire of vasanas, the modaka representing the joyous reward of spiritual life, and lotus symbolizing that all can achieve the supreme state of self-realization. The large belly of Ganesha is to convey the idea that a Man of Perfection can consume and digest whatever experience he undergoes. The tiny rat which is seated in front of the Lord amidst a rich collection of food is to indicate that a perfect man; like the rat, will have total control over his desires
Inside the small shrine one could also see the idols of Adi Sankara, Sage Veda Vyasa, Goddess Gayatri, Sadasiva Brahmendra and Saint Pattinathar. Special poojas are performed for Adi Vinayagar on Thursdays.
In the annual music festival conducted for the past 83 years almost all leading musicians have participated
Significance of the templeThis place is considered equivalent to Kasi or Rameswaram. Performing tharpanam here on Amavasya day is considered special.
Devotees believe that Maha Guru Agasthya Himself worships the Adi Vinayaka on every Sankatahara Chathurthi Day. It is also believed that worshipping the Ganesha here brings peace in the family relationships and with the blessings of the Vinayaka, children’s memory is boosted.