34. Sri Amirtha Kadeswarar Temple, Thirukkadambur, Kattumannarkoil (Chola Nadu - North of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Amirthakadeswarar
Name of Goddess : Sri Vidhyu Jothi Nayagi, Sri Jothiminnamai
Holy water (Theertham) : Shakti Theertha.
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Kadamba Tree.
Thevaram : Sambandar - 1 ; Thirunavukarasar - 2
District : Cuddalore.
Location : Kattumannarkoil.
Timings : 07:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 05:30 p.m. to 07:30 p.m.
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 34th sthalam on the northern side of river Cauvery. Thiruganasambandar and Appar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple. Karakkoyil - Amirthakadeswarar Temple, Malakadambur (early name Tirukkadambur) - 608 304, Cuddalore district, Tamil Nadu is known by the name Karakkoil. From Tamil literary sources we learn that there are nine categories of temple structures dedicated to Lord Shiva. They are: 'Perunkoyil', 'Karakkoyil', 'Gnalarkoyil', 'Koudikkoyil', 'Ilamkoyil', 'Manikkoyil', 'Alakkoyil', 'Madakkoyil' and 'Punkoyil.'
Thirunavukkarasar (Appar) Thevaram mentions eight kinds of temples. They include They are: 'Perunkoyil', 'Karakkoyil', 'Gnalarkoyil', 'Koudikkoyil', 'Ilamkoyil', 'Manikkoyil', 'Alakkoyil', 'Madakkoyil' and 'Punkoyil'.
Amongst them, Karakkoil is a structure that the vimana is in chariot like structure. The structure, pulled by horses looks an enchanting appearance. This temple was built by the famous Chalukkya Chola Kulothunga-I (1070–1120 A.D.) in the year-1113 A.D. the king's 43rd governing year.
The region was ruled by Kamba and the term 'karam' in Munda language gives the meaning as Kadambur. Therefore 'karam' + 'koyil' means the temple adopting the 'kadmba' (Botanical Name: Anthocephalus cadamba) as its shrine tree.
The temple is east facing and there is three tiered rajagopuram. The nandhi and balipeetam are found in the front mandapam. The main shrine is east facing and the south facing ambal shrine.
This nine hundred year old temple is the symbol of continuing architectural tradition of the Chola craftsmen and it is one of the later Chola temples which have remained unparalleled in terms of architectural excellence to date. The architecture and sculptures exhibit consummate artistic skills. The temple vimana (shrine portion of a temple and its superstructure) is built like a chariot (ratha) like structure drawn by two horses. The left wheel is stuck to the earth since Lord Ganesha pressed it.
The manchabhadra upa-pita or pedestal forms the base. The padma banda adhisthana (socle) consists of 18 different distinct moulded tiers (from bottom up); Upana or upatala (the base), Padma (a layer of lotus motif), Jagathi (straight), Kumuda (round), Kanta (neck), Patti and Kapota (layer of lotus petals). Nagara vimana has kirtimukha kudu on each direction and a round kalasa and stupi.
There is prime deity Amirtaketeswar in the form of Shiva Lingam in the square shaped sanctum. The idol is believed to be carved out of Navapashana (solidified compound nine poisonous subtances as per Siddha procedure). The sun rays fall on the Shiva Lingam on 3, 4 and 5 of the Tamil month Panguni (March-April) and the moon rays also fall on the Tamil month Aipasi (October-November) i.e. on Annabhishekam day. The consort is Jothiminnammai (Vidyujothi Nayaki). There is a rectangular mandapam before the sanctum.
This temple comprises innumerable miniature freezes depicting stories from Ramayana, Krishna leela, Lord shiva and life history of Saivite saints (Nayanmars) from Periya Puranam. At the vimana, Lord Dakshinamurthy (Yogic form of Lord Shiva) from the Vimana looks seated on a bull under a banyan tree with a flute and veena, a hole in this statue's ear that extends to the next ear was a wonderful sculpturing. On the upper part of the right outer wall of vimana, Lord Arthanareeswara appears with the bull vehicle while Lord Ranganatha appears below. On the rear side of the outer wall, Lord Vishnu appears by holding a Shiva Linga in his hand with Sri Andal, Garudazhwar and Sri Anjaneya. Lord Gangadhara and Lord Aalinganamurthy also appear from separate wall niches. Lord Aaravara Vinayaka (Ganesha), who pressed the chariot with lot of sound and Lord Muruga with his consorts Valli and Deivanai appear in speparate shrines. Lord Saturn (Lord Sani) also appears with his unique vehicle eagle (normally crow as his vehicle).
The unique and rare panchalokha idol of Lord Vrushaba Thandavamurthi (Lord Shiva), the procession deity with 10 hands appears in a dancing form on his Vrushab or bull vehicle, while all Devas surrounding his feet. This idol believed to be a Pala dynasty idol. Pala dynasty ruled over Bengal and produced masterpieces of art of a unique style. The idol was brought to Tamil Nadu by the victorious King Rajendra Cholan I of the Bengal war and later it was placed at Melakadambur temple by King Kulothunga Cholan I. King Rajendra Cholan I also captured the Chalukya town Vathapi and brought two idols of Lord Ganesha. The first one was installed at Thiruchenkattankudi and the other one was located at Melakkadambur.
Shivrathri in February-March, Aipasi Annabhishekam in October-November, Arudra Darshan or Margazhi Tiruvadhirai in December-January, feeding of Saint Gnanasambandar by Mother Parvathi in the month of Purattasi – September-October are the festivals observed in the temple.
History / Legend:It is believed that all the nine planets pray to Lord Shiva in this temple on their respective days. Accordingly, Lord Shiva is dressed with clothes of different colours attributed to the planets. The shrine is regarded as one meant to seek relief from various planetary problems faced by devotees. The Navagraha shrine is opposite to the shrine of Mother.
Mother Vidhyu Jothi Nayaki - Vidya-Saraswathi, Jothi-Mahalakshmi, Nayaki-Durga) combining the powers of three Shaktis graces as Saraswathi with Veena in the morning, with elephant as Mahalakshmi in midday and with trident as Durga in the evenings. Hence the name Vidyajothinayaki. Mother also has the name Jothi Minnammai. Those seeking wedding and child boon worship Mother with turmeric and bangles.
Saint Tirunavikkarasar’s hymn dedicating himself to the service of Lord saying “My job is only to serve my Lord” was sung in this temple.
Lord Vrushaba Thandavamurthi graces in a dancing form on His Nandhi-Vrushab or bull vehicle- is the procession deity with 10 hands. Special pujas are performed to Him on Pradosha days – 13th day of new moon or full moon day. His darshan is available only on this day. In the peeta-stage below are Mother Parvathi, Lord Vishnu, Bhairava, Veerabadra, Lord Vinayaka, Maharshis Narada, Brungi and Mruganda, Nandhi Deva, Gandharvas a group in the celestial world known for musical skills and Boodhaganas.
Lord Vinayaka, who destroyed the pride of Indira is in a separate shrine with the name Aaravara Vinayaka as He created great noise by pressing the Rath and taking the nectar pot-Amirta Kalasa. He looks with an indignant face with head leaning left.
Before waging His war against demon Surapanma, Lord Muruga visited this temple to worship mother and get the bow. Hence, Muruga in the temple appears with a bow. Planet Mars worshiped Lord Muruga here. Mars is a procession deity here.
Lord Brhamma on the wall appears worshiping Lord Shiva. Yama the Lord of Death and his assistant Chitra Gupta are on both sides. Sage Patanjali is nearby holding Lord Nataraja on his head showing his overwhelming joy of enjoying the dance darshan of the Lord. Mother Durga appears without toe. Below Her are the Meru Mount and the Sri Chakra installed by Acharya Sankara.
Devas who churned the nectar ocean began to consume it without worshipping Lord Vinayaka who angrily took away the pot to teach them a lesson. When He passed through this place, once a Kadamba forest, a drop of nectar fell on the earth and it became a Swyambu Linga. Realizing their folly, Indira and Devas came here and begged Lord Vinayaka’s pardon who in turn advised them to worship Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva, responding to their prayers gave them the nectar and stayed here as Amirthakadeswarar – Amirtha-nectar, Kada the pot and Easwara the Lord.
Athithi, mother of Devas was worshiping Lord Amirthakadeswarar for granting the nectar to her children. Indira did not want to see his mother coming to this place each day and wanted to take the Lord to his Indraloka itself to help his mother. He changed the temple as a car and tried to pull it towards his place. Lord Vinayaka pressed the left wheel which got stuck to earth. Indira’s attempts failed to lift the car-temple. He begged Lord Vinayaka for help who agreed to let the temple if Indira installed a crore of Lingas. Indira took the challenge with pride but every piece got damaged. Realizing his pride, Indira fell at the Feet of Lord Amirthakadeswarar. Lord asked him to make one Shivalinga chanting His name thousand times. Indira made the Rudrakoteeswara Linga. Lord appeared before him and said that He wishes to stay here itself and do the worship for his mother. Indira obeyed. It is believed that Indira performs pujas to the Lord in this temple each day..
Those facing adverse effects of Mars planet pray in this temple. Also those 60 years old (Sashti Aptha Poorthy) pray here for longevity with Homas. People facing problems due to Mars aspects pray to Lord Muruga with red vastras. Special pujas are performed to Lord Muruga on Tuesdays with Homas.
Location: This sivasthalam is located at about 32 Kms from Chidambaram and about 6 Kms from Kattumannarkudi. Bus services from Kattumannarkudi to Eyyalur goes via Melakadambur and the temple is located within a short distance from Melakadambur bus stop.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Arumighu Amirthakadesar Temple
Phone: Gurukkal Selva Ganesan 09715639212 & Land line 04144 264638 and auto driver at Kattumannar Koil Ravi 9994220346.