25 November 2009

Temples at Par with KASI.

Six Shivasthalams on the banks of river Cauvery are said to be the most sacred and on par with KASHI [Varanasi/ Benares]. They are:

1. Thiruvengaadu
2. Tiruvaiyaru
3. Chaayaavanam
4. Mayiladuthurai
5. Tiruvidaimarudur
6. Tiruvanchiam

1. Sri Swedaranyeswarar Temple, Thiruvengadu

This Shivasthalam is one of the 6 most sacred places on the banks of river Cauvery which is considered as equivalent to the temple at Varanasi. The other 5 shivasthalams are Tiruvaiyaru, Chaayaavanam, Mayiladuthurai, Tiruvidaimarudur and Tiruvanchiam.
Indiran, Airavatam, Budhan, Sun God Sooriyan and Moon God Chandiran are said to have worshipped God Shiva here. From the stone inscriptions found inside this temple, it is seen that the earlier chola kings Aditya Chola and Rajaraja Chold have made a lot of contributions to this temple. There are several shrines of significance in this well visited temple, including those to Durga and Kali. The image of Natarajar here is of great beauty. Worship to Aghoramurthy - (Veerabhadrar) is said to be of significance on Sunday nights in this temple. As found in Chidambaram, there is also a shrine for Lord Vishnu near the shrine for Natarajar.

The present structure of the temple as well as the beautiful bronze images in this temple are a contribution of the Great Chola emperor Raja Raja Chola I. Some of these bronzes were recovered in treasure troves unearthed here. The Ardhanareeswarar and Chandeswarar bronzes are now housed in the Chennai Museum. Natarajar, Somaskandar, Devi are housed in the temple, while images of Subramanyar, Rishabhavahanadevar, Bhikshatanar, Kalyanasundarar, Kannappar and others are housed in the Thanjavur Art Gallery.

Here everything is three – the presiding deity, holy water and the holy tree. Of the nine planets, Thiruvengadu belongs to Mercury. This is one among the 51 Sakthi Peethas. Thiruvengadu has the pride of being sung by the Great Four, Thirugnanasambandar, Thirunavukkarasar (Appar), Sundarar and Manickavasagar. Of the 64 Murthas of Lord Shiva, the Agoramurthy form is here. Here the Lord performed Six dances. This is also called Adhi Chidambaram. The Chidambara Rahasya is also here. Vishnu has a place near the Nataraja here as in Chidambaram. Indira, Iravadha (the white elephant) Vishnu, Sun, Moon, Agni (fire) worshipped the Lord. It is in Thiruvengadu Pattinathar had Sivadiksha, ascesticismThe Budhan Sthalam at Thiruvengadu lies about 20 Kms from Mayiladudurai towards Poompuhar, where the Kaveri flows into the sea. This is one of those temples where Shiva danced his Tandavam, and the main deity here is Swetaranyeswarar. There are a number of legends connected to this temple, the foremost being the story of the Rishi Swethaketu being saved from the clutches of death by Shiva.

Separate Sannidhi for Mercury

Of the nine planets, Mercury is the lord to bless with good education, knowledge, eloquence, music, astrology, mathematics, sculpture, medicine, scholarship in languages. A temple for Chandra (moon) the father of Mercury is just opposite to the Mercury with Chandra Pushkarani theertha. If mercury is not favourably placed in a horoscope, the native may not have children. Also he/she will have nervous debility and lack of knowledge. They have to propitiate Lord Mercury. Musicologists and film makers worship Mercury.

Pillai Idukki Amman:

When Thirugnanasambandar reached the borders of Thiruvengadu, the whole place looked like Sivaloka and the sands Sivalingas. He hesitated to place his legs on this holy land and cried Amma (Oh! Mother). On hearing his voice, Goddess Periyanayaki appeared there and took the child on her hips. The idol of Periyanayaki with Thirugnanasambandar is majestically installed in the temple.


The demon Maruthuvan, with the boons gained from Brahma misused it torturing the Devas. The Devas went to Shiva for freedom from the demon. The Lord advised the Devas to go to Thiruvengadu and live there in disguise. Shiva sent his vehicle Nandhi and defeated the demon. The demon, without losing heart, performed penance, got the trident (Soolayudham) and injured the Nandhi, which is still visible on the idol. Infuriated by the injury on the Nandhi, Lord Shiva converted his anger into the Agoramurthy form. On seeing the Lord, the demon surrendered at his feet and begged his pardon. He also prayed that those worshipping Agoramurthy would not have enemies at all.

The goddess here has a separate temple to herself, and is known as Brahma Vidayambigai, the goddess of knowledge. Just outside her sanctum is the shrine to Budhan, the graham known to preside over knowledge.

It is also believed that it was here that Shiva took the fierce form of Aghoramoorthy to vanquish the demon Maruttuvan. There is a shrine to Aghoramoorthy with a huge image which is at once beautiful to look at, in terms of the artistry, and yet, terrible, as suits this, one of the most angry forms of Shiva. Here is a photograph of Aghoramoorthy, as depicted on one of the gopurams of the temple.

Presiding deity: Swadharanyeswarar, Nataraja, Agoramurthy

Holy water: Agrni, Suriyan and Chandra theerthas
Goddess: Brahmma Vidyambal, Swetha Mahakali, Maha Durga
Hymns: Thirugnanasambandar, Appar, Sundarar and Manickavasagar
Place: Thiruvengadu
District: Nagapattinam

General Information:

6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and 5.30 to 9.30 p.m. are the Puja timings. Thiruvengadu is in Nagapattinam district. It is 10 Kms southeast of Sirkali on the Poompuhar road. Buses are available from Sirkali. Nearest Railway station is Sirkali and the airports Trichy and Chennai.


Every month is a festival month. There will be flag hoisting on Tamil Masi Month (February-March) on the Punarvasu star day and continues for 10 days.

How to reach the Temple:

The temple is 10 Kms by road from Sirkazhi on the way to Poompuhar. Town Bus facilities are availbale from Sirkazhi. It is also one of the Navagraha Sthalangal and has a seperate shrine for Budhan (Mercury)

Temple address

Arulmighu Swetharanyeswarar Temple Tiruvenkadu
Tiruvenkadu Post
Sirkazhi Taluk
Nagapattinam District.
PIN 609114

2.  Panchanatheeswarar- Thiruvaiyaaru [Dakshina Kailasam]

Thiruvaiyaru is about 15 Kms from Thanjavur and got its name due to the 5 rivers that flow through this town. The five rivers are the tributaries of the Kaveri and form a sort of network around this town. The main temple here is to the lord who shares the name with the town � Panchanadeeswarar in Sanskrit, or Ayyaarappan in Tamil. The story of how the temple came into being is an interesting one. A king�s chariot once got embedded in the ground. While digging around the wheels of the chariot to get it out, they chanced upon a lingam. A wise minister advised them to dig further, but carefully, and they were rewarded for their efforts with the idols of the goddess Dharmasamvardhini, Vinayaka, Muruga, and also a Nandi. To top it all, they also found a Siddhar (saint) deep in meditation underground. The saint advised the king to build a temple at the same place, and also told him to dig under the hoofs of the Nandi where he would find the wealth needed for building the temple.

[View of Thiruvaiyaru temple's Rajagopuram from inside the temple, the abode of Sri Panchanatheswarar (also called as Aiyarappar) and Sri Aram Valartta Nayaki (also called as Dharma Samvardhini) Amman]

This Shivasthalam is one of the 6 most sacred places on the banks of river Cauvery which is considered as equivalent to the temple at Varanasi. The other 5 shivasthalams are Thiruvenkaadu, Chaayaavanam, Mayiladuthurai, Tiruvidaimarudur and Tiruvanchiam.

Tiruvaiyaru is one of the big and famous temple for God Shiva and is known as Dakshina Kailasam. Covering an area of nearly 15 acres with 5 prakarams and a 7 tier Gopuram (Tower), the sculptural work in this temple is of special importance. More than 70 stone inscriptions from the Chola period have been found inside the temple. The samadhi of Saint Tyagarajar, one of the foremost composers of Carnatic music is in Tiruvaiyaru.

Thirunavukarasar went on a pilgrimage to Mount Kailash to have a darshan of God Shiva. In view of the hardships faced on his way, Tirunavukarasar found it very difficult to continute his journey to Mount Kailash. With his divine intervention, god Shiva made Tirunavukarasar to submerge himself in a pond and asked him to take his bath in the pond. When Tirunavukarasar emerged from the pond, he was transported miraculously to Tiruvaiyaru and god Shiv a blessed Tirunavukarasar with a vision of Mount Kailash at Tirvaiyaru.

The Thiruvaiyaru temple is one among a group of seven, collectively known as the Saptha Sthaanam temples. These temples are unique, for they are related to the marriage of Shiva�s foremost attendant, Nandi, and the part that Shiva played in this marriage.

Nandi was born to Siladha Maharshi and performed great penance to his favoured deity, Shiva. Shiva was so pleased with his worship, he not only made Nandi his prime attendant, He also got him married. The marriage itself took place at Thirumazhapadi near Thiruvaiyaru, and Shiva took his devotee around these seven temples as part of the Sapthapadi. Every year, this occasion is celebrated in April/May with the idol of the Lord starting out in a beautifully decorated glass-encrusted palanquin from Thiruvaiyaru, and taking a round of these seven villages. At each village he is received at one boundary by the Lord of that village and accompanied by him to the next village, where he is received by the next one. In such a way, he completes a full circle and returns to Thiruvaiyaru. These seven temples are: 1. Thiruvaiyaru, 2. Thiruchotruthurai, 3. Thiruvedikudi, 4. Thirupponnthuruthi, 5. Thillaisthanam, 6. Kandiyur and 7. Thiruppazhanam. All these temples are situated around Thiruvaiyaru (see the map) and it is possible to visit all these temples within 4 hours.

Location of the temple : Tiruvaiyaaru

Lord Shiva known asIyaarappar, Panchanatheeswarar
Female deity is known as Dharmasamvardhini, Thiiripurasundari

How to reach the Temple:

This temple is located 10 Kms to the north of Thanjavur. Town bus Bus facilities from Thanjavur are available.

Temple address

Arulmighu Iyaarappar Temple
Tiruvaiyaaru Post
Tiruvaiyaru Taluk
Thanjavur district
PIN 613204

3. Chaayaavaneswarar Temple, Tiruchaaikkadu (Chaayavanam)

The temple in this Sthalam is one among the six temples which are compared as equivalent to the temple in Varanaasi. The other 5 shivasthalams are Thiruvenkaadu, Tiruvaiyaaru, Mayiladuthurai, Tiruvidaimarudur and Tiruvanchiam.

This temple is one of the Maadakovil built by Kochengat Chozhan. The temple is facing east and the temple tank is in front of the east entrance. The sanctum sanctorum of the main deity Chaayavaneswarar is at an elevated site (Maadakovil). The Sannidhi for Sooriyan, Devendiran and Iyarpagai Nayanar along with his wife are located in the outer prakaram. The Sannidhi for the female deity is also located in the inner prakaram along with the main sanctum for Lord Chaayaavaneswarar.

Temple history: Athithi, mother of Indira was harbouring a desire to come to earth and worship Chayavaneswarar. Therefore, she landed on the earth. Indira was searching for the missing mother and found that she had come to earth. To fulfill the desire of the mother, Indira wanted to take the temple to his place pulling it through his white elephant Iravadha. While he made the attempt, Mother Parvathi made a sound that was sweeter than that of a nightingale, hence the name to the Goddess. Lord Shiva also appeared before Indira and told him to drop the idea of taking the temple to his place and advised him to do the worship on Earth itself and be blessed.
Iyarpagai Nayanar: Iyarpagai Nayanar is one the 63 celebrated devotees of Lord Shiva. Iyarpagai means doing something against established customs. This devotee had an abnormal trait of parting anything belonging to him to others. It is here, the devotee-attained salvation.

The Story goes like this. Lord Shiva once came to Iyarpagayar in the guise of a Shiva devotee and demanded his wife to be sent with him. Without any hesitation, the devotee offered him his wife. The wife also did not disobey the husband nor opposed his decision. The Lord said, that his relatives or others can intercept and attack Him on the way and therefore, Iyarpagai Nayanar should escort Him until He crossed the borders of the place. Iyarpagayar obliged and escorted the Lord with a sword on hand. The devotee defeated those who came to oppose. Reaching the border, the devotee was asked to return as the danger was over. While turning to go back, Iyarpagayar saw the Lord with Parvathi asking him to go back with his wife, live happily for years and come back to HIM at the end of his life. It is in this holy soil, Chayavanam, the miracle took place.

Also it is here, that Lord Muruga holds the bow and the arrow instead of his usual weapon Velayudham, readying for the war against Soorapadman. It is also said that the idol of Lord Muruga was found in the sea and taken from there to the temple. Muruga also wears the Veeragandamani (anklet) in his right leg, presented by Father Lord Shiva. Those who have fear of enemies, worship this Muruga for freedom from enemy fear. While Mother Shakthi offered the Vel to Muruga, the Lord gave him the Veeragandamani. Those who come and worship here sum up all courage to advance in life.

The temple is open for darshan from 7-00 AM to 12-00 Noon and from 4-00 PM to 7-30 PM.

The temple puja time is from 7.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Temple Telephone No. 04364-260151.

How To Reach the Temple:

Chayavanam is located in Sirkali Taluk in Nagapattinam district. Chayavanam can be reached by road on buses from Sirkali to Poombuhar. The nearest railway station is Sirkali and the airport is Trichy.
Tiruchaikkadu can also be reached from Mayiladuthurai. The temple is located about 24 Kms. from Mayiladuthurai.

Location of the temple: Tiruchaaikkadu (now known as Chaayavanam)

Lord Shiva known is known as Chaayaavaneswarar
Female Deity is known as Kuyilinim Nanmozhiammai

Temple address

Arulmighu Chaayaavaneswarar Temple
Chaayavanam Kaviripoompattinam Post
Sirkazhi Taluk
Nagapattinam District.
PIN 609105

4.  Mayuranathar Temple, Mayiladuthurai

The temple in this Sthalam is one among the six temples which are compared as equivalent to the temple in Varanaasi. The other 5 shivasthalams are Tiruvenkaadu, Chaayaavanam, Tiruvaiyaru, Tiruvanchiam and Tiruvidaimarudur.

Arulmigu Mayuranathar Temple is located here. According to the Hindu mythology, Annai Parasakthi danced in the form of a peacock and hence the place is called Mayiladuthurai. Devotees after worshipping Mayuranathar can travel from here to all the places of Navagrahas and other important temples by bus. The festival of Holy bath known as Kadai Muzhukku in the river Cauvery is celebrated in the month of Ippasi.

Mayuram means peacock in sanskrit and it was later translated as Mayiladuthurai in tamil. Lot of sidhars have lived here. Even today we find an area called Sidharkaadu, a suburb of Mayuram. Legends also tell that it was a part of Tharukavanam.

The legend goes that Daksha did not invite his daughter Parvati, and his son-in-law Lord Siva to the sacrifice he conducted. Being vexed at the disrespectful attitude of Daksha towards him, Lord Siva sent Veerabhadra, a minor deity, to go and desecrate the sacrifice conducted by Daksha. Lord Siva at the same time instructed Parvati Devi not to attend the yaga. However, the Devi attended the yaga, disobeying her Lord's prohibition. While Veerabhadra was desecrating the yaga, a peahen got injured and it immediately ran to Parvati Devi and took refuge under her. After everything was over, Parvati Devi repented very much for having disobeyed the Lord. To wash off the sin, she entered the fire. At the time of entering the fire, she was thinking about the peahen to which she gave refuge and so in the next birth she took the form of a peahen and came to this place. The Devi conducted penance for many years and at last attained re-union with Lord Siva. Hence the place came to be known as Mayuram or Mayavaram (Mayuram means peahen). The Lord of the temple came to be known as Mayuranatha.
The other names by which this place is known are Sudavanam, Sikliandipuram, Brahmapuram, and Brahmavanam etc. The Devi is known as Abhayapradambika, Abhayambika, Anjalanayaki, Anjalai, etc., meaning one who gave refuge to the peahen

The temple is a unique blend of fine sculpture and exquisite architecture; it is designed with a beautiful tank and features several gopurams and mandapams. The temple has a nine-tiered 165 ft high Rajagopuram with 5 prakarams. There are 14 vimanas with numerous stucco images.

The sculptures of Lord Ganesh, Nataraja, Dakshinamurthy, Shiva-Uma-Alinganamurti, Lingodbhavar, Brahma, Ganga Visarjanamurti, Durga and Bhikshatanar from the period of Sembiyan Mahadevi (10th century) have been well preserved in the niches.

Inscriptions from the Imperial Chola period can be found in the temple.

Brahmotsavam is celebrated in the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May-June).

Tula Utsavam, celebrated here, attracts thousands of devotees from far and near.

Festivals: Thousands of pilgrims converge here during the Thulaa (Libra) festival. A noteworthy feature of the Mayuranathar temple is the daily processional ritual to the banks of the Kaveri throughout the monsoon month of Libra. Shiva’s dance is enacted at the Aadi Sabhai on the 7th day of the grand festival in the month of Libra. The annual festival Bhrammotsavam is observed in the Tamil month of Vaikasi.

How to reach the Temple

This sivasthalam temple is located at Mayiladuturai, also known as Mayavaram and Mayooram. One of the 108 Divya Desam shrines of Lord Vishnu is also located in Mayiladuthurai and is more popularly known as TiruIndalur Parimala Ranganathan temple.

5. Vaanchinathar Temple, Tiruvaanchiyam

Six Shivasthalams on the banks of river Cauvery are said to be the most sacred and on par with Varanasi (Benares). They are Tiruvengaadu, Tiruvaiyaaru, Chaayaavanam, Mayiladuthurai, Tiruvidaimarudur and Tiruvanchiam.  Out of these, Tiruvanchiam is "one-sixteenth" more sacred than Varanasi. Lord Shiva is said to have told Parvati that he loves this place the most. The presiding deity of this sacred temple Vanchinathar is a Swayambu Lingam and the oldest among the 64 in the world.

This is one of the largest temples in Tanjavur district measuring 558 feet in length and 320 feet in breadth, with 3 gopurams (towers), three prakarams and a 5 tier main gopuram. A prominent feature of this temple is that Yama, the God of Death is having s separate shrine for Him and is given preference in the daily worship. There is a separate shrine for Bhairavar also in this temple in the inner prakaram. Bhairavar is in yoga posture, without his usual mount, the dog, is another rare feature of this temple. Next to the shrine of Bhairavar is the shrine for Rahu-kethu, both carved out in one composite sculpture which is another unique feature of this temple. Milk poured over this Rahu-Kethu sculpture turns blue. Performing prayers and worship at this shrine are said to bless devotees with marriage and progeny and cure nervour disorders.

There is no Navagraha shrine in this temple and Saneeswaran (Saturn) is housed in a separate niche.

The inner prakarams houses the images of 63 saivite saints (Nayanmars), a separate shrine for Goddess Mahalakshmi and another shrine for Goddess Mahishasuramardhini, standing beside her simha vahana. Worshipping Her with 108 lotus flowers during Rahu kalam is considered special.

The 3 sacred tanks at Tiruvanchiam temple - Lakshmi Theeratham, Naga Theertham and Chakra Theertham - were created by Lakshmi, Adiseshan and Chakrathazhwar. A holy dip in Lakshmi Theertham is said to reunite a person with his estranged family. A holy dip in Naga Theertham is said to liberate one of all Naga Doshas. It is said that by taking a holy dip in Chakra Theertham, one is absolved of Brahmahatti dosham.

Devotees are cured of illnesses after a bath in the Gupta Ganga, on the northern side of the outer prakaram. According to Puranas, a holy dip in Gupta Ganga is equivalent to one in Varanasi, Rameswaram and the Maha Maham tank in Kumbakonam. Lord Vinayakar on the banks of Gupta Ganga is to be worshipped first before taking the holy dip.

God of Death, Yama (who decides Heaven or Hell for the human beings according to their good and bad deeds) was pretty worried about Himself. He was wary and heavy with all the sins (or so, He thought) of taking away lives and wondered what he could do to atone for this. Well, Brahma allayed Yama's fears and sorrow and asked Him to scan the earth, saying, "Go ahead and see if you can spot a place by the banks of the Cauvery, where you find Sandal Trees growing in abundance; that is the holy place where you should sit for penance. Meditate on Lord Shiva and He will give you the answer."

So, Yama went and found this place called Gandhaaranyam (the fragrant forest) and sat there to do His penance. True, Lord Shiva appeared to Yama and asked Him to build a Temple . Yama built the Temple (Purana has it that Mayan built this.) and also stayed on as the vehicle for the Lord here. Lord Vanchinatha or Vancheeswarar is a Swayambu Lingam, the most ancient of the 64 Swayambhu Siva Lingams in the country. The Lord also told Yama that there will be a Temple for Him also here and that the people who visit the Lord should first offer prayers to Yama. So, we have the Temple or a Sannidhi to the Lord Yama in the first Prakaram. As you enter through the Raja Gopuram, there is the Gupta Ganga Temple Tank on your right and the Temple for the God of Death to your left. A dip in the tank is supposed to be a blessing and clears you of all the sins and a rebirth. The Sthala Vriksham is the Sandalwood tree. And the deities are worshipped with Sandal leaves and not Vilva.

The shrine for Yama is a small one where He is seated facing the South. There is a Moorthy of Kubera, in a standing posture near Him. We worship Him and enter the second prakaram. This has Vinayaka and Bala Muruga. As we enter the inner court we can see among other structures, the Sannidhi for Goddess Sugandha Kundalaambikai. There is the Kodi Maram, Bali Peetha and Nandhikeswara. In the third gopuram entrance, there are the Twin Ganeshas and Adhikara Nandhi. Inside, in the Garbha Graha the Lord Vanchinaatha gives us His darshan. There is a relief sculpture in a pillar in the first prakara; He is called the Vennai (butter) Pillayar and people with stomach ailments smear butter on His bulging stomach. One has to visit the Temple here to experience the spirituality and enjoy the beauty of the Sculptures and architecture. The style of architecture ranges from the Chola to the Nayakkar era. The Sundays of the month of Karthikai are supposed to be very blessed.

This Temple is supposed to be a very important one and the main Moorthy-Lingam is supposed to be a thousand times greater than the Holy Kasi. Here, even a Death in this small place does not have any impact on the routine Poojas conducted in the Temple. (In most other places, if there is a death in the village, the Temple remains closed until the Last Rites are conducted) .

Location of the temple: Tiruvaanchiyam

Lord Shiva known asVaanchinathar, Vanchi Lingeswarar
Female deity is  known as Mangalanayagi
Pathigam: Thriunavukarasar, Sambandar and sundarar

How to reach

This temple is located 35 Kms from Kumbakonam. This sthalam is located near Achutamangalam which is located on the Kumbakonam - Natchiarkovil - Nannilam bus route. Srivanjiyam is about 2 kms. from Achutamangalam. Nearest town is Nannilam. It can also be reached from Tiruvarur.
6.  Mahalingeswarar Temple, Tiruvidaimarudur

The Shivasthalam at Tiruvidaimarudur on the banks of river Cauvery is one of the 6 most sacred places on par with Varanasi (Benares). The other 5 sivasthalams are Tiruvengaadu, Mayiladuthurai, Tiruvaiyaaru, Tiruchaaikkadu[Chaayaavanam] and Tiruvanchiam.

This Shiva temple at Tiruvidaimarudur is about 1200 years old and is a big temple with lofty gopurams and lengthy corridors. This sivasthalam is popularly known as Madhyaarjunam. The term Madhyaarjunam tranlates into "Idaimarudhu" in Tamil language. Arjunam refers to Marudhamaram, the sthalavriksham of this temple. The temple has 3 prakarams [ corridors] and according to many legends associated with the temple, it is considered highly auspicious to do a pradakshinam [a circumambulatory walk through the corridors] on these 3 corridors.

  • Aswamedha praharam: This prakaram or corridor is the outermost prakaram and doing pradhakshinam in this praharam will give the effect of doing Ashwamedha yagam.
  • Kodumudi praharam: This is the middle corridor and doing pradakshinam in this prakaram will give the effect of visiting Mount Kailash - the Abode of Lord Shiva.

  • Pranava praharam: This the innermost corridor and doing pradakshinam in this prakaram will give mokshaa (salavation).
This temple is also known as Panchalinga Sthalam as the main deity is surrounded on four corners by temples dedicated to Vishwanathar, Aatmanathar, Rishipureeshwarar and Chokkanathar.

Because of the glory and importance of the temple at Tiruvidaimarudur, some nearby temples in the vicinity of Tiruvadiamarudur are referred as Parivara Devatha shrines. They are

  • Tiruvalanchuzi - Vinayakar
  • Swamimalai - Murugar (one of the 6 Abodes of Lord Muruguar)
  • Tiruvarur - Somaskandar
  • Chidambaram - Natarajar
  • Alangudi - Dhakshinamoorthy
  • Tiruvavaduthurai - Nandhikeshwarar
  • Tiruchaignallur - Chandikeshwarar
  • Srikazhi - Bhairavar

  • Sooriyanar Koil - Navagrahams

Significance: This temple is associated with the life of King Varaguna Pandian of Pandiya Naadu. The king was once returning to his capital after a hunting trip to nearyby forests. It was after sunset and the king was riding on a horse. He unwittingly killed a brahmin riding over him. Thus he was afflicted with Brahmahathi dosham (the sin of killing a brahmin) and further was possessed by the spirit of the dead brahmin. The king was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and offered prayers to the God to free him from the Brahmahathi Dosham. One day Lord Somasundarar of Madurai appeared in his dreams and advised him to visit Tiruvidaimarudur. Accordingly the king Varaguna Pandian visited Tiruvidaimarudur and when he entered the temple, the spirit of the dead brahmin did not have the courage to enter the sanctum of Lord Shiva and stayed behind hoping to catch the king once again when he came out of the temple. But the king was directed by Lord Shiva to exit through the west gate of the temple and was thus relieved from the Brahmahathi dosham. Even today the practice of entering the temple through the main entrance and exiting through the west gate is followed by all the visitors and devotees to the temple.

Lord Shiva gave darshan and appeared in the form of Arthanareeswarar to sage Markandeyar as desired by the sage at this sivasthalam. A separate shrine for Mookambikai, situated to the south of the shrine for presiding female deity, is of special importance at this temple. It is to be noted that shrines for Goddess Mookambikai are only at two places in India, one at Tiruvidaimarudur and the other one second at Kollur in Karnakata state.

Great Saints like Agasthyar, Adi Shankaracharya, Pattinathar, Sridhara Venkatesa Ayyaval, Bodhendra Saraswathi (59th Peedathipathi of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam), Badragiriar, Arunagirirnathar had visited this shrine and worshipped the lord. It is believed that when Adi Shakara worshipped, the Lord Mahalingeshwarar uttered "Sathyam Advaitham" three times. It is also believed that Sridhara Ayyaval a great Shiva bhatka has merged with the Lord as a joyti (light). Sri Bodhendra Saraswathi's jeeva samadhi is also situated in Govindapuram near Tiruvidaimaruthur.

There are two Puranams. Sthala purana written by Sivakkolundu Deshika of Kottaiyar Marudavana Puranam. There is an Ula written by Mahavidvan Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai. The Thevaram, Thiruvasagam, Thiruvidaimarudur Mummanikkovai, Thiruppazh, Thiruvidaimaurudur Pathirruppathanthathi, Thiruvidaimaurudur Kalambakam, Thiruvidaimarudur Nondi Natakam contain sufficient information about the temple. Kandapuranam, Lingapurana, Brahmavaivartham and Sivarahasya mention the glory of the Lord.
This temple is maintained by Thiruvavadudurai Adheenam. His Holiness Seervalarseer Sivaprakasha Deshika Swamigal (23rd Gurumagasannidhanam), adorns the throne of the Adheena and doing all kinds of spiritual (Sivatthondu and Tamilthondu) and social service.
Location of the temple: Tiruvidaimarudur

Lord Shiva known asMahalingeswarar, Marudhappar
Female deity is known as Bruhath Sundarakusaambaal, Nanmulainayagi, Perunalamulainayagi
Pathigam: Thirunavukarasar, Sundarar

How to reach the Temple:
This famous Sivasthalam is located 9 Kms from Kumbakonam en route to Mayiladuthurai. Town bus facilities are available from Kumbakonam. There is also a railway station at Tiruvidaimarudur on the Kumbakonam - Mayiladuturai section of the Southern Railway.
With this, my Posting on "Temples at Par with KASI" comes to a close.  More to follow soon.


Rajasekar said...

Madam, Wonderful blog. useful blog. you will be blessed by god by writing these kind of blogs. Let your devotional aspirations continue and god bless you

Jolly R said...

Dear Mr. Rajasekar,

Thanks for your good wishes on reading my Blog and appreciating the articles on "Temples at Par with Kasi".

With all your support and guidance and motivation, I shall strive hard to put in my best to make this Blog of mine more and more interesting and informative.

Lalitha Ramachandran.

Jaiyaram said...

Thanks again for posting this wonderful blog, I had visited these temples when I was in India, and it is good to see them as an article here, Many useful information is provided, requesting to post more such articles.

First time visit to ur blog


Anonymous said...

madam,namakaram,very very thanks from millions of persons who have seen your site,cooking and serving food is a wonderful gift,but the greater services are washing vessels and providing water to all,we have darshan and all info about various temples at our fingertips due to your wonderful blog,keep up the good work and may god bless you with long life and good health to continue this wonderful work-ramesh iyer,mumbai.

Anonymous said...

Namaskarams to all who are reading this blog. My brother-in-law, 43 years (sister's husband), is diagnosed with cancer last year and he is going through hell. The trauma that his little daughter and his wife is going through cannot be expressed in words. We are doing prayers and holding His feet to make our brother-in-law to come out of this disaster. Can anyone let me know if there is any specific temple worship, pooja which can bring down his pain and our mental sufferings

Unknown said...

Awesome Blog! Thanks for the post..

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