(Last Updated on : 19/01/2011)
Lord Ayanar is the major deity among the Gramadevatas. He is an ancient divine being. The priests who conduct his pujas are non-Brahmins. His temples are bordered by his colorful statues and his companions are shown riding elephants or horses. Aiyanar is considered to an incarnation of Lord Shiva
. The temples dedicated to this deity are found mostly in Tamil Nadu
. In the temple Ayanar is depicted in the sitting posture. His two wives Paranai and Pudkalai are seen on his both sides. The inhabitants of the villages have an annual festival in his honour, usually after the harvest.
Aiyanar shrines are located at the peripheries of rural villages he is seen with a sword riding a white horse. One his important companion Karuppusami is also portrayed along with him. Aiyanar cult is believed to be an ancient clan-based Dravidian cult who worships nature. Blood sacrifices are common at these shrines.
Aiyanar is worshipped in non-agamic manner and is associated with sacrificial offerings of pure vegetarian items. Aiyanar is worshipped in open surroundings. This worship represents a non-Vedic form of adoration.
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