24. Sri Airavatheswarar Temple, Thiru Edhirkolpadi, Mayiladuthurai (Chola Nadu - North of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Irathavareeswarar, Sri Madhyaneswarar
Name of Goddess : Sri Sugunth Gunthalambigai, Sri Malar Kuzhal Maadhu
Holy water (Theertham) : Iravadha Theertham.
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : -
Thevaram : Sundarar - 1
District : Nagapattinam.
Location : Mayiladuthurai.
Timings : 06:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 04:00 p.m. to 08:00 p.m.
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 24th sthalam on the northern side of river Cauvery. Sundarar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple. Ethirkolpadi is where Shiva was received by Bharatha Maharshi with the Poornakumbham, when he arrived for the marriage. However, this place has an earlier legend too, according to which, Airavata, the white elephant of Indra prayed to Shiva at this place. Hence, the main deity is called Airavateswarar and his consort is Malar Koozhal Nayaki.
It is believed that the Rajagopuram of the temple was built earlier by Mallappa Naicker. Presently it is a three tier structure facing east. Entering into the temple, there are the Balipeeta and the Kodimaram-flag post. Mother’s shrine is on the right of the front Mandap. Ambika is small in stature in a sitting posture. Presiding deity is just opposite. Lord Muruga, Naalvar the four Saivite saints, Mother Gajalakshmi, Lord Kala Bhairava and Sani Bagwan shrines are in the prakara. Lords Bikshadanar, Balaganapathi, Nataraja, Dakshinamurthi, Lingodhbava, Brahmma, planet Rahu and Mother Durga are in the goshta walls.
History / Legend:Indira the king of Devas arrogantly neglected the garland presented to him by Sage Duruvasa. The garland was the one offered to Lord Shiva in pujas. His Iravadham elephant too was equally indifferent as its master. Angry Sage cursed Indira that his head would be chopped off by a weapon in the hands of Pandya king. Shocked and trembling, Indira sought the pardon of the sage. The sage said his crown would fall down saving his head.
Iravadham came down to earth and wandered among many places worshipping Lord Shiva and finally got relieved of the curse in this place. As Iravadha worshipped Lord Shiva here, He is praised as Iravada Easwarar. Mother is worshipped as Sugantha Kundalambika and Malar Kuzhal Nayaki in Tamil. Indira too got back his position. Don’t change your mind, be determined to worship Lord at Ethirkolpadi” says Saint Sundarar in his celebrated hymns. It is noteworthy that that the Bhakti relationship between Lord Shiva and Sundarar was as one between bosom friends. As Iravadham worshipped here, the sanctum sanctorum is vast enough that an elephant can enter in it. People organize wedding receptions in the temple hoping that the couple would be close to each other as Lord Shiva and Mother Parvathi.
Sage Bharatha, as head priest, conducted the wedding of Lord and Mother at Tiruvelvikudi and invited them to his place Tirumananjeri. He arranged a grand reception to the divine couple. He welcomed (Ethir Kollal in Tamil) the divine couple with due honours. Hence, the place is named as Ethirkol Padi. Presently it is known as Melakoil.
Majority of the devotees pray for recovery of things lost, restoration of positions lost, those suffering from stomach problems and those for recovery of losses in business and facing delays in wedding matters. It is believed that Lord would relieve them from their sufferings as He did in the case of Indira and his Iravatha elephant.
Location: This sivasthalam temple is located very near to another paadal petra sthalam Tirumananjeri. Tiruedhirkollpaadi is known to local people as Melai Tirumananjeri. Bus services to Tirumananjeri is available from Mayiladuthurai. By engaging an auto at Kuththalam, one can visit all the 4 temples viz., Tiruthuruthi, Tiruvelvikudi, Tiruedhirkolpadi and Tirumananjeri easily within half a day.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Arulmighu Airavatheswarar Temple
Phone: 04364 - 235 487