There are very few temples for Saraswati, Goddess of Speech .There are three levels of speech, Gayathri,Savitri and Saraswati.Gayatri is at the Conceptual level,Savitri is at the point of vocalising and Saraswati is responsible for Speech.She is also the Goddess of Wisdom. She is full of Sathva Guna,symbolised by White attire of Saraswati.The temple of Mahasaraswati is at Koothanur also called as Thirukkothanur.This temple is quite ancient. The town was gifted by Rajaraja Chila Il, to great Tamil Poet Ottakkoothar.
Koothanur is the birthplace of the Tamil poet Ottakoothar. There is another reason for the name of this place which is Rajaraja Chola II gifted this village for koothan’s poem because he is a great poet. So this village is called Koothan + oor = Koothanur. In India, Koothanur became an important tourist spot. Vijayadasami festival is celebrated in Koothanur which is one of the most important festivals in this temple.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koothanur
The temple was built by a renowned Tamil poet of yore, Ottakoothar, and the town itself is named after him as Koothanur. Koothar was gifted this land by the Chozha kings, under whom he had served as the chief court poet. Kulothungan, Vikraman, Rajarajan II were all glorified by the presence of Ottakoothar in their court. It was on this land that he raised a temple to Vani, without whose grace he would never have been half as good a poet. However, the truth is that the land was indeed chosen by Saraswathi herself for the very purpose.It was a time when Dakshayini had been reborn to Parvatharajan as Parvathi. Having attained a suitable age for marriage, she of course chose to unite with her lord, Parameshwara. Intending to please Shiva with her severe tapas, she went into a forest filled with sacred Vilva trees and began her penance to gain Shiva’s hnd. The place known as Vilvavanam was soon blooming and blossoming with flowers and birds. Such was the benefit of Parvathi’s presence and her intense penance.
Immensely pleased with Parvathi, Shiva decided to approach Parvatharajan and ask for her hand in marriage. However, there was one major flaw in the plan- Ganga. The second wife of Shiva, eternally sat in his matted locks, trickling down the Himalayas and flowing across the bosom of Bharatha. In the event that Parvatharajan came to know of this existence of another woman in Shiva’s life, it would be a very sticky situation indeed. Therefore, to avoid further disasters, Shiva turned Ganga into a young girl and himself into a Brahmin. He then handed over Ganga to Bhaskara Muni to take care of her while he supposedly went on a pilgrimage tour. Bhaskara Muni, who himself was involved in a penance to please Shiva, accepted the responsibility and took care of Ganga like his own daughter.
One day, by the playings of fate, Bhaskara Muni went down to the Arisol Aaru (river) to do his daily ablutions. Having forgotten to bring his Kamandala with him, he shouted to Ganga, “Oh Daughter, can you please get me my Kamandala from the ashrama?” Ganga too obediently brought out the Kamandala to Bhaskara Muni. Suddenly, at that very moment, realizing her previous self, and to the utter surprise of Bhaskara Muni, Ganga joined into the Arisol Aaru, Bhaskara Muni was totally flabbergasted at the sight and could only blink in return. Things turned out to be more complicated, when Shiva returned back as the Brahmin and asked Bhaskara Muni for his daughter back. The Muni remained silent out of fear, not letting a word out. But when Shiva threatened him that he would complain to the King about this, things got really nasty and Bhaskara Muni narrated the unfortunate turn of events. He was trembling with the fright and the sheer shock of the sudden disappearance of a young lady. Not wanting to test his devotee any further, Shiva appeared before Bhaskara Muni in his true form and blessed him. The place where Ganga merged with the Arisol Aaru came to be known as Rudragangai. Since Gauri had performed her penance there, it is also known as Gaurivanam. Eons passed by, peaceful and quiet, until one day, at Brahma Loka a verbal battle broke out between Brahma and Vani. “It is because of me that Brahma Loka has attained so much popularity and fame”, argued Brahma. “No way dear, it is due to my presence that the flag of Brahma Loka flies high. The moment I leave, the place loses its sheen”, defended Saraswathi. Quite soon, the tempers rose high and in a fit of rage, the cursed each other. As a result of the curse, they were born to a Brahmin named Punyakeerthi, as daughter and son. The son was named Bagukanthan and the daughter, Shraddhai. When they had attained a marriageable age, Punyakeerthi, as a responsible father, took efforts to find suitable matches. It was then that Brahma and Saraswathi realized their previous positions, and aghast at the complexity of the situation they prayed to Shiva to save them from this.Saraswathi”, cried a voice from the heavens, “Go to the Rudragangai River near Gaurivanam and merge in there with the waters. In the times to come, you will soon be honored with a temple near Arisol Aaru. Stay there as MahaSaraswathi and shower your grace on those who come to you.
Brahma too was relieved from the curse. “Mahadeva, it would be really great if you think over your previous curse of me not having any temple on earth”, he requested Shiva. “Brahma, though you will not have any temples on earth, in all Pitr Karmas you will be invocated with the Brahma Pooja. People will worship you this way”, offered Shiva and disappeared.
And so Saraswathi went to the Rudragangai and merged herself with it. It is a different story that much later when Yamuna was suffering from the doshas of the people who bathed in her, Krishna suggested that she be relieved of them by bathing in the Rudragangai and meditating on Shiva. And so Yamuna too joined into the Rudragangai. With the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswathi into the Arisol Aaru, the place came to be known as Dakshina Triveni Sangamam.It was on such a sacred spot that Koothar chose to build his temple for Sakalakalaavalli, the Mistress of all Arts. Located on the Mayiladuthurai-Thiruvarur route, near a village named Poonthottam, Koothanur is a small work of wonder. With a three-tiered gopuram, the humble temple is located by the Koothanur Agrahaaram.
Koothanur Saraswathi Temple is open from 7 AM to noon. From 4 PM to 08:30 PM.
Address: Kumbakonam Main Road, Koothanur, Tiruvarur District, Tamil Nadu.
Contact details. You may contact Srim Raju Kurukkal at 094443 50759. He is at Thirumeyachur ,which is about fifteen minutes away. He shall guide for Darshan at Mahasaraswati temple at Koothanur and also at Thirumeyachur.
Parking Facilities: Ample car parking around the temple compound is enough to accommodate a lot of vehicles
Nearest Airport: Trichy International Airport – 126 km
Nearest Railway station: Thiruvarur – 21 km. One can cover Koothanur,also called Thirukkothanur from Myladuthurai,which is about half an hour’s drive and Kumbakonam ,which is about an an hour.Good hotel facilities are available at Kumbakonam, Myladuthurai ,Thiruvarur..