09. Sri Chayavaneswarar Temple, Tiruchaaikaadu (Chayavanam) (Chola Nadu - North of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Chayavaneswarar, Sri Rathina Chayavaneswarar
Name of Goddess : Sri Kosahambal, Sri Kuyilinum Inia Mozhiyaal (Ambigai with voice sweeter than of a nightingale)
Holy water (Theertham) : Iravadham Theertham.
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Korai.
Thevaram : Sambandar - 2 ; Thirunavukarasar - 2.
District : Nagapattinam.
Location : Sirkazhi.
Timings : 07:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 04:00 p.m. to 07:30 p.m.
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This is the 9th sthalam on the northern side of river Cauvery. Saint Thiruganasambandar and Appar has sung hymns in praise of lord Shiva of this temple. Chai means korai in Tamil. The place was full of these type of grass, and hence the name Chayavanam / Chaikadu. This is one among, six places considered equal to Kasi.
21 day Indira Vizha beginning from Chithira Poornima-full moon day in April-May; Thanneer Pandal – offering buttermilk and water to pilgrims in the name of devotee Iyarpagai Nayanar during April-June covering Tamil months Chithirai and Vaikasi in summer to quench their thirst; public feeding on Aadi new moon day in July-August; Saint Kumara Guruparar Guru Puja in May-June, 5 day Margazhi Iyarpagai Nayanar festival in December-January with Lord’s darshan on the fourth day, are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
History / Legend: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, he 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.
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.
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 of Champagi Amman, guardian deity of Poompuhar is nearby the temple. The tank is on the south side. In the place of Kodimaram the flag post, Lord Vinayaka is in the place. As this is a Mada type temple, Nandhi is on a higher level. There are shrines of Sun, Indira, Iyarpagai Nayanar with his wife in the outer prakara. There is also a shrine for the three saivite saints. The devotee, while circumambulating the prakara can also have the darshan of Lords Vinayaka, Muruga and Kala Bhairava on a higher level and Mother Gajalakshmi and Navagrahas. In the end, they reach bats mandap through steps and the Palli Arai and Ambigai shrine.
Chola King Kotchengannan built many Shiva temples, majority of them are of Mada style. Mada temples are the ones in which an elephant cannot enter. This is also a Mada temple. 21 day Indira Vizha beginning from Chithira Poornima-full moon day in April-May; Thanneer Pandal – offering buttermilk and water to pilgrims in the name of devotee Iyarpagai Nayanar during April-June covering Tamil months Chithirai and Vaikasi in summer to quench their thirst; public feeding on Aadi new moon day in July-August; Saint Kumara Guruparar Guru Puja in May-June, 5 day Margazhi Iyarpagai Nayanar festival in December-January with Lord’s darshan on the fourth day, are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
Location: Tiruchaikkadu is situated on the Sirkazhi - Poompuhar road, just before Poompuhar. Town bus services to Poompuhar are available from Sirkazhi. Tiruchaikkadu can also be reached from Mayiladuthurai. The temple is located about 24 Kms. from Mayiladuthurai.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Arulmighu Chaayaavaneswarar Temple,
Chaayavanam, Kaviripoompattinam Post
Sirkazhi Taluk, Nagapattinam District.
Phone: 04364 - 260151.