01 December 2009

Lord Shiva's Mayanams / Temples

Mayanam means cremation ground . SIVA is told to be in mayanams generally. But these following temples are told to have highest spiritual importance. Mayanams here are nothing but temples

The following are Shiva's Mayanams:

  • 1.  Kachi Mayanam   [ Kachi in tamil is Kancheepuram]
  • 2.  Kazhi Mayanam   [ Kazhi is Sirkazhi]
  • 3.  Veezhi Mayanam [ Veezhi is Thiruveezhimizhalai]
  • 4.  Nallur  Mayanam  [ Near Kumbakonam]
  • 5.  Kadavur Mayanam[Kadavur is Thirukadaiyur]

1.  Kachi Mayanam:  Ekambareswarar Temple, Kancheepuram (Kachi Ekambam)

Known as the "City of Temples", Kancheepuram is one of the seven great holy centers of ancient India. It was a royal capital once, a flourishing Buddhist and Jain center mentioned in the Tamil Epic Manimekalai, was intimately associated with Pallava and Chola Kings and was connected with the lives of saints. During the Chola period it was a seat of art, religion, education and trade. The Chola kings built several temples in and around Kancheepuram, also known as Kanchi.

Ekambaranathar temple [ஏகாம்பரநாதர் கோயில்] is situated in this holy town of Kancheepuram, one of the Panch Bootha Sthalangal of God Shiva. This vast temple covers an area roughly 40 acres. It is one of ancient temple reported to be in existence from the year 600 AD. Pallava, Chola and Vijanagara Kings have contributed to the building of this temple. The presiding deity Shiva is worshipped here as Prithvi Lingam (Lingam of Earth). There is no seperate shrine for the Female deity as is customary in all the Shiva Temples found in Kancheepuram. All the 4 famous Saivite Saints, Appar, Sambandar, Manickavasgar and Sundarar have sung the glory of this temple.

There is a sacred mango tree inside the temple which is supposed to be more than 3000 years old. This tree is the Sthala Vruksham (Temple Tree) of this temple. The four branches of this tree represents the 4 Vedhas and the tree bears 4 different type of mango fruits in 4 different seasons. Goddess Parvathi, once seperated from her husband, came to Kancheepuram and made a Sivalingam out of sand and installed it under a mango tree on the banks of a river and worshipped it and got Shiva's hand in marriage.

Location of the templeLocated in Kancheepuram Town - about 2 Kms. from Kancheepuram bus stand.

Lord Shiva known as Ekambaranathar, Ekambareswarar

Female deity known as Kamatchi Amman

Thirunavukarasar, Sambandar, Sundarar

How to reach the Temple:

Kancheepuram is well connected by train and road from Chennai, the Capital City of Tamilnadu and also from other parts of the state. It is situated at a distance of 80 Kms from Chennai by road. Kancheepuram railway station is on the Chengalpattu-Arakkonam section of the Southern Railway.

Temple address

Arulmighu Ekambareswarar Temple
Kancheepuram district
PIN 631502

2. Kazhi Mayanam [ Kazhi is Sirkazhi]Bhramapureeswarar Temple, Sirkazhi

Sirkazhi Temple is located at Sirkazhi near Mayiladuturai and the deity worshipped here is Shiva. It is a highly revered shrine with 71 (the most number of known) Tevara Patikams and is located in the vicinity of Vaitheeswaran Koyil near Chidambaram. Sirkazhi is considered to be the 14th of the Tevara Stalangal located to the North of the river Kaveri in the Chola region of Tamilnadu. It is a center for Bhairava worship, and the site of authorship of several works.

Sirkazhi is known mostly by its association with Sambandar. West of Sirkazhi is Tirukkolakka where Sambandar was blessed with a pair of golden cymbals, south of Sirkazhi is Tirunanipalli the home of his mother, and north of Sirkazhi is Aachaalpuram where Sambandar attained beatitude.

The well-known Sirkazhi Govindarajan who has rendered several recordings of Tevaram hymns hails from here. This well maintained temple is under the able administration of the Dharumapura Adhinam.

With this, my Posting on Mayanams [Temples] of Lord Shiva comes to a close.  More of other interesting Sthalams to follow soon.

The Temple: This is a vast temple complex with three different Shiva Shrines. The Bhramapureeswarar shrine is housed in the lower level, the second level houses Periyanakar with Periyanayaki on a `Thoni` and hence the name Thoniappar. Sattainathar/Vatukanathar who is also housed here. From the steps leading to the Toniappar and the Vatukanathar shrine, one can grasp the entire layout of this vast temple and its towers and mandapams. There are 22 Theerthams associated with this shrine. Three different forms of Shiva are worshipped here, the Shivalingam (Bhrammapureeswarar), a colossal image of Uma Maheswarar (Toniappar) at the upper level, and Bhairavar (Sattanathar) again at the upper level.

The temple has three vast courtyards with high walls of enclosure. There are two sets of seven tiered gopurams in the outer walls of the enclosure. The original shrine during the period of the Nayanmars included the shrine of Bhrammapureeswarar, on the southern bund of the temple tank; the Toniappar shrine on a mound west of the central shrine, and the Sattanathar shrine in the second floor reached from the southern prakaram of the Toniappar shrine by a flight of steps. The enlargement of the original temple happened during the period of Kulottunga I, Vikrama Chola, Kulottunga II and III (as in Chidambaram – 11th through the 13th centuries).

Legends: During the great deluge, Shiva 64 arts with him on a raft, he name Toniappar, and Tonipuram. Bhramma Brhama worshipped Shiva here, hence the name Bhrammapureeswarar.. Bhairavar or Sattainathar(quelled the arrogance of Trivikramar, who showed his dominance over the three worlds) is worshipped here each Friday night.

Sambandar as an infant is said to have been fed with the milk of wisdom by the divine mother Parvati on the banks of the temple tank just prior to the commencement of his authorship of the anthology of Tevaram hymns commencing with Todudaiya Seviyan.

Festivals: Special worship services to Bhairavar (Sattanathar) are carried out on Friday nights. The annual Bhrammotsavam is celebrated in the month of Chittirai, and on its second day, the Tirugnanasambandar festival is celebrated. Festivals for Ambaal are celebrated in the month of Aadi and during Navaratri.

3.  Veezhi Maayam: Nethrarbaneswarar Temple, Tiruveezhimizhalai

Tiruveezhimizhalai Temple is the 61st in the series of Tevara Stalams located south of the river Kaveri.

Legends: Parvati was reborn as Katyayani and married Shiva here. Shiva had used this Chakrayudam to destroy Jalandarasuran at Tiruvirkudi Veerattam. A panel depicts the divine marriage behind the Shivalingam; the temple is regarded as the Vimanam brought by Mahavishnu. Shiva blessed Appar and Sambandar with material resources after a bad drought.

Temple: This temple has three prakarams and covers an area of four acres. The entrance has a seven tiered Rajagopuram. The 100-pillared hall has 25 theerthams. The Nandi mandapam is also beautiful. The Rajagopuram and the Vinnizhi Vimanam over the sanctum are important. The Vowalottimandapam (100 pillared hall) has beautiful pillars and images. Appar and Sambandar established their mutts at Veezhimizhalai. Inscriptions from the period of Parantaka I (early 10th cent) are found here.

Festivals: The annual Brahmmotsavam is observed in the month of Chittirai. Other festivals include Arudra Darisanam, Kartikai Deepam, Skanda Sashti, Sivaratri, Aadi Pooram, Aavani Moolam and Navaratri.

Location of the temple Tiruveezhimizhalai
Lord Shiva known as Nethrarbaneswarar
Female deity known as Brahat Sundarakusambikai
Pathigam Thirunavukarasar, Sambandar, Sundarar

How to reach the Temple:

This sivasthalam is located near Peralam and Poonthottam. It is located about 10 Kms from Poonthottam on the north bank of river Arasalaru. Nearest railway station is Poonthottam. Another paadal petra sthalam Tiru Anniyur is located at a distance of 3 Kms to the north from here.

4.  Naallur Mayanam [ Near Kumbakonam]

Sri Kalyanasundareswarar temple is an ancient Shiva shrine. The Lingam is made of a shining metal which changes colour five times a day. The images of Shiva and Parvati on Rishaba with Vishnu and Brahma are worshipped in the sanctum. Masi Magham (Feb-March) is a major festival. Nallur has another temple dedicated to Sri Adi Kesava Perumal.

According to the legend, at Thiruvanaikaaval, a spider and an elephant both prayed to Shiva, in their own way. While the elephant poured water on the lingam in the day, the spider covered the lingam with its web in the night. Every morning, the elephant would be angry to see the spider webs on the lingam he had cleaned the day before, and the spider would be angry to see the web destroyed every morning. Finally, when they both left their bodies and passed on, the spider was born as a king, and remembered his past life. He spent his life building temples where elephants would never be able to enter the sanctum.. Other temples built the same way are at .Kudavasal, Nannilam, Chaayavanam, Thalaichangadu, Valivalam, Ambar (Ambal) and Thiruveezhimizhalai. The main deity is Kalyana Sundarar, for Shiva is believed to have granted Sage Agasthya a vision of his marriage here. Behind the lingam are the images of Shiva and Parvati shown getting married, with Brahma performing the rites of marriage on the left, and Vishnu, giving away his sister Parvati in marriage, on the right. The lingam itself is unique, for it is made of an unknown material and changes colours five times a day, and is thus also known as Panchavarneswarar. The lingam has 3 portions – the lower portion which joins the Avudaiyar, and is smooth, the middle portion, which is rough, and the top, which is again smooth, and is the most prominent part of the lingam. Each of these parts changes colour every 2 ½ hours. We were in the temple for about a half an hour, and we could sense the slight change in colour even in that short time. If you plan to visit the temple, give yourself at least 3 hours for this temple alone, so that you can really see the colour changes. To aid you all, I have taken a photo of the notice on the temple wall indicating the colours of the lingam at various times.

Location of the Temple: East of Papanasam 5 kms

God : Kalyana Sundareswarar
Goddess : Kalyana sundari
Sacred Tank : Saptha Sagaram
Sacred Tree : Vilvam
Other Names : Tirunallur, sundara giri.

5.  Kadavur mayanam ( kadavur is Thirukkadaiyur )

Tirukkadavur [Kadavur Mayanam] is one of the Attan Veerattana Sthalams of Lord Shiva.  Shiva vanquished Yaman, the Lord of Death, at this sthalam to save the life of Markandeya.

Sage Mrikandu and his wife prayed to Shiva for a child. Shiva gave them a choice  they could have a foolish son with a long life, or a short lived, but intelligent child. They chose the latter, and soon had a smart child, who came to be known as Markandeya. When, just before his 16th birthday, he learnt that he would die soon, he left home, and stayed in the temple, praying to Shiva, who was the one who had brought him to life. At the appointed hour, Yama (or Kaala) arrived to take his soul, and threw his noose of death over the child. Markandeya at once embraced the Shiva lingam, and the noose fell over the lingam. Shiva was furious and came out of the lingam, kicking Yama to death, thus stopping all death and saved Markandeya. However, with Yama�s death, there were no more deaths on earth, and Bhoomi Devi could bear the burden no more. Finally, Shiva yielded to their prayers, resurrecting Yama, and giving Markandeya eternal youth.

Thirukkadaiyur is the holy place where this legend is believed to have taken place, and here, the main deity is called Amritaghateswarar � the lord with the pot of nectar, who can confer immortality. The legend is depicted in the form of the bronze statue of Kaala Samhara Moorthy - Markandeya embracing the lingam out of which Shiva appears and kicks Yama. The lower portion of the statue showing the actual Samharam or killing of Yama is kept closed and opened only during the Aarti. Right opposite the sanctum of Kaala Samhara Moorthy is the sanctum of Yama, who is believed to be thanking the lord for allowing him to live.The goddess here is Abirami, who is believed to have answered the prayers of a great devotee of hers, Abirami Bhattar, by bringing the full moon to the sky on a new moon night. It is believed that at this temple, all the Navagrahas and even Yama owe their allegiance to Shiva, and hence prayers to Shiva can solve all problems, and in particular, increase the life span of people. The temple is at all times filled with multitudes of people who arrive to perform special pujas and homams on their birthdays, especially their 60th and 80th birthdays. Homams are conducted all day long, all around the pragaram and inside the sanctum yet there are waiting lists. This is among the most popular temples in the area.

Devotees perform here Sasthiaptha Purthi (61st. birthday, Ukratha shanthi, Bheemaratha shanthi (70th birth day), Sadhabishekam (80th birth day) birth star days, Ayush Homan (prayer for longevity) are performed in this temple. To perform pujas and prayers on these important days in life, people come here not only from Tamilnadu but from all states. Also from other countries.

Devotees visit the temple to pray on the 50th anniversary of their wedding day and for relief from planetary problems according their horoscopes. Abirami Amman is both powerful and merciful. The devotees are blessed with prosperity, marriage alliances etc. She blesses them with children and wisdom. The Kalasamharamurthy blesses the devotees with longevity; health, remedy from ailments and the devotees will be free from the fear of death. Thirukadayur is a place noted for remedies from many problems in life.

People roll around (Angapadhikshanam) the temple as a prayer commitment. Those awaiting marriages offer garlands called Kalyanamalai. Devotees also offer children in adoption so that they get child in turn. People offer Rudrabishaka for children and Sankabisheka for remedy from illnesses and those suffering from cardiac problem perfer Mrutyanja Homam for relief. Many had survived attacks after the Mrutyanja Homam. People offer Dhoti and Sari for the Lord and the Mother. They offer abisheks in turmeric powder, in water mixed with cosmetic powders, milk, curd, tender coconut, panchamirtham, lime, honey, sandal etc. People also feed (annadhanam) to the visitors. The wealthy offer liberal donations for the maintenance of the temple and its renovations taken up from time to time.


During the churning of the milk ocean to extract the Nectar, the Devas stole a bit without the knowledge of anybody and without praying to Lord Ganapathy and hid it in a secret place. To teach a lesson to Devas for ignoring him in their haste, Lord Vinayaka simply changed the place of the Nectar pot. When they searched for it, they could not get it back. Lord Shiva advised the Devas to apologise to Lord Vinayaka to get back the nectar pot. After getting the pot, the Devas went for a bath. When they returned, they could not get the pot. It has become a Shivalinga. And that Shiva Ling is Amirthakadeswarar, the presiding deity of Thirukadayur.

Jathi Malli

When Markandeya was performing Abisheka to Lord Amirthakadeswarar with Ganga Water, Ippinjilam flowers too came with the water. Ippinjilam is a flower also called Jathi Malli (Jasmine that blossoms throughout the yea).) This flower is used only for the God and should not be used for human purposes. An archana with a single flower is considered equal to 1008 archanas.

The Lingam is swayambu. The temple is west facing. If one observes closely, they could see another Linga too.

When the Lord of Death Yama, spread the rope on the Sivalinga, it caused a scar on the Sivalinga. It is still visible on the Linga. Of the 8 Attaveeratta holy temples, Thirukadayur is one because the God defeated Yama here. The Lord in the form of Kalasamaharamurthy, in the copper idol, looks furious, majestic,waving the Shoola on Yama and hit him by the left leg.

Many Siddhas performed penance here of whom, Pampatti Siddhar was one.

The nine planets have no power here, all devotees coming here perform pujas to the KalasamharaMurthy only. There will be no Rahu effects in Thirukadayur. It is also said that Goddess Abirami came from the Jewel of Mahavishnu. Brahma, Agasthya, Pulasthiya, Durga worshipped the Lord here.

Of the 63 Nayanmars, Kari and Kungiliakalaya Nayanar lived here and served the Lord. This is the holy soil that gave birth to Abirami Pattar. Thirugnansambandar sings Thirukadayur, Appar and Sundarar praised in the Saivite World as Moovar Mudaligal.

Thirukadayur administration officer can be reached on telephone No. 91-4268-287429.

Thirukadayur is 22 kms from Mayiladuthurai, 30 from Sirkali. There are many lodges in Thirukadayur for staying conveniences charges ranging from Rs. 250 to Rs. 600. In the district quarters Nagapattinam, people can choose Hotel Tamilnadu 044365-22389 - charges are very nominal

Thirukadayur lies on the Nagapattinam-Chidambaram route. Bus conveniences are available from Karaikal, Sirkali and Mayiladuthurai. Nearest Railway station is Mayiladuthurai and airport Trichy.


Yama Samharam festival is celebrated for 18 days in the Tamil month Chithirai (April-May). During Mondays in the month of Karthikai (November-December) 1008 Sankabishekam is very famous. Purattasi Navarathri and Margazhi Vidhi Padam are

one-day festivals. Adipooram, Navarathri, Poornimas, are very devotionally observed in the temple. Skanda Sashti, Mahasivarathri, Panguni Uthiram, Abirami Andhadhi recitation, monthly Pradosha days, Tamil and English New Year days, Pongal speical pujas are performed in the temple.

Presiding deity Amirthakadeswarar
Speciality Swayambu
Reputation Attaveerattasthalam
Goddess Abirami Amman
Vinayaka Kallavinayakar

With this, my Posting on Lord Siva's Mayanams[Temples] comes to a close.  More of other interesting Sthalams /Temples to follow soon.

1 comment:

Karthik R said...

Near to thirukadiyur , Kadavur Mayanam
There is one more temple
Brahmapureeswarar temple, which they call it as Mayanam.

One more thing is, Water from this temple pond is brought for abhisegam to the thirukadaiyur temple. Please dont miss this temple whenever you visit the thirukadaiyur
It is just 10mins from the Thirukadaiyur temple.

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