42. Sri Karkadakeswarar Temple, Thirunandudevankudi (Nandankoil), Mayiladuthurai (Chola Nadu - North of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Karkadakeswarar (Karkadam – Nandu)
Name of Goddess : Sri Arumarunthammai, Sri Apoorvanayagi
Holy water (Theertham) : Navabashanam.
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Nangai tree.
Thevaram : Sambandar
District : Nagapattinam.
Location : Mayiladuthurai.
Timings : 09:00 a.m. to 01:30 p.m. and from 04:00 p.m. to 07:00 p.m.
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 42nd sthalam on the northern side of river Cauvery. Thiruganasambandar has sung hymns in praise of Lord shiva of this temple. This is a vast temple surrounded by a moat near Tiruvidaimarudur. Much of this area is surrounded by fields and shrubs. Close by is the Tiruvisalur temple dedicated to Yoganandeswarar (Tiruviyalur). It is speculated that the original name of this now non-existent village must have been Tiru Nandu Devan Kudi.
There are two shrines to Ambal here, Arumarundu Nayaki and Apoorva Nayaki. The moat surrounding the temple is the Tirumaruvum Poikai. This vast temple has been in a ruined state, even in the late 1970s. It has been described as a 'pathetic spectacle of fallen glory and local indifference'.
This temple covers an area of over 72,000 sqare feet. The legend of a crab offering worship to Shiva, is depicted in a panel on a stone pillar. This ancient brick and mortar temple was converted to a stone temple during the rule of Kulottunga I (1075-1120). The Ambal shrine also came into being then, as seen from inscriptions from the year 1117. Inscriptions from the period of Vikrama Chola and Rajadiraja II are also seen here. No later inscriptions are seen, and the temple seems to have gone into a state of insignificance after the Chola rule.
Sri Vinayaka of the temple is worshipped as Karkadaka Vinayaka. Lord Muruga with His consorts Valli and Deivanai graces from a shrine in the prakara. Lord Nataraja appears in a Sudha Sculpture. There is no shrine for the Navagrahas the nine planets. As Indira realized his mistake and corrected (Thirundhuthal in Tamil), the place is named Tirundhudevan Kudi, the name is not familiar with the people of the locality. They know the place as Nandu Koil only.
It is believed that the vegetation covering the temple may be of medicinal value. It is speculated that in the days of its glory, this village would have been a medical care center with an Ayurvedic dispensary, providing herbal remedies to various ailments.
Maha Shivrathri in February-March and Tirukarthikai in November-December are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
History / Legend:Sage Durvasa was engaged in his Shiva Puja when a Gandharva (a community in the celestial world) mocked at his old age appearance. The sage did not mind it. Yet, the Gandharva continued the mischief and even called him by clapping hand moved before him as a cancer-Nandu. Angry sage cursed him born a Nandu. Realizing his folly, he sought the pardon of the sage. He was advised to perform Shiva Puja to gain his original form. He came to this place as a Nandu, bathed in the pushkarini, picked up flowers and worshiped the Lord.
Meantime, Indira the king of Devas also came to this place to perform Shiva Puja as advised by his Guru to acquire a power to conquer the demons. He used to bathe in the pushkarini and did Shiva Puja with 1008 flowers. Every day he found one flower falling short. He saw the Nandu doing puja with one flower. He thought that he was the only one worthy of doing Shiva puja and a Nandu was not qualified for the puja and tried to kill it with is sword. Lord made a hole in His Linga body to help the creature to escape Indira’s attack. Yet, the Linga was injured by the sword cut. Lord appeared before Indira and said that one cannot succeed by arrogance but by humility alone. As Lord granted salvation to Karkadaga-Nandu, He is praised as Karkadakeswarar.
Those belonging to Ayilya star are advised to pray in this temple as often as they could or on their star days or on their birthdays. It is said that the Swaymbulinga in the place was buried under the sand due to heavy floods during the reign of a Chola king who was attacked with paralysis. No treatment yielded results. He was praying to Lord Shiva for remedy. An aged couple practicing medicine came to his court and offered him the sacred ash with water. Surprisingly, the king was cured instantly and stood up majestically. He begged the old couple to stay with him as doctors of the royal family in the palace but they refused. He offered them gold and other gifts which too they declined to accept. The king promised them that he would give them anything they wished. They brought the king to this spot and asked him to build a temple for Lord Shiva. They merged with the Shivalinga there.
Realizing that the couple were none other than Lord Shiva and Mother Parvathi, the king built the temple at the place. Worshiping Shiva here ensures all cures from any illness.
There are two Ambigai's in the temple. When the king built the temple, he could not get the original Amman idol. He made a new one and installed it as Arumarundhu Nayaki – Goddess of rare medicine. Within a few days, the original idol also appeared. Installing that too, he named her Apoorva Nayaki who is the principal Goddess of the temple.
This is the temple for remedies needed for Punarvasu (Punarpoosam), Pushya (Poosam) and Ayilayam (Aslesha) star natives falling under Cancer sign in the zodiac. We can see a hole on the Linga made by a cancer (nandu) and an injury scar caused by Indira. Planet Moon is in a shrine at the entrance of the temple in meditating form as Yoga Chandra. Those undergoing Moon main period in their life are advised to offer white vastras (clothes) to Chandra if they have adverse aspects.
Aslesha-Ayila star under Karkadaga-Cancer Rasi natives have naturally medicinal powers. They also have the confidence that they can achieve this through divine backing. They should pray to Lord of this temple on their star days, new moon days, Tuesdays, Saturdays and on Ashtami days in the new moon fortnight. People of other stars too may depend on Lord Karkadeswara and Arumarundu Nayaki for cure from prolonged diseases.
There are temples dedicated to each of the 12 Rasis (Lunar Zodiac Sign) and each of the 27 Nakshatras (Birth Star). The Karkadeswarar temple is for Kataka or Karkata Rasi and Ahilyam or Ashlesha Nakshatram in particular. It is believed that people born under this rasi and nakshatram should visit this temple regularly and benefit from His blessings. People born under Ashlesha Nakshatram and/or Kataka Rasi are advised to light Nallennai vilakku (Sesame or Gingely Oil lamp) and worship Lord Shiva on ashtami (eighth day from New Moon or Full Moon), New Moon days, Tuesdays and Saturdays apart from Ahilya Nakshatram thithis to be blessed with prosperity, good health, peace of mind and overall happiness in life. People not born under this star or Rasi can also worship on the above mentioned days to be cured of any chronic illness.
Location: This temple is nowadays known as Nandaangkovil. The temple is situated surrounded by paddy fields and is located 2 Kms from another Paadal Petra Sthalam Tiruviyalur (Tiruvisainallur). Town bus services to Nandaangkovil is available from Kumbakonam.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Arulmighu Karkadeswarar Temple
Phone:+91 99940 15871 and +91 435 200 0240.