28. Sri Kunthalanathar Temple, Thirukkurukukka, Mayiladuthurai (Chola Nadu - North of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Kunthaleswarar
Name of Goddess : Sri Kunthalambigai
Holy water (Theertham) : Ganapathy River.
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Vilwa.
Thevaram : Thirunavukarasar
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 28th sthalam on the northern side of river Cauvery. Appar has sung hymns in praise of lord of this temple. The Shivasthalam and the temple here is closely associated with another temple at Tirukaruppariyalur. Hanuman once tried to uproot the Sivalingam installed by Sri Ramar so that the Sivalingam brought by him could be installed and worshipped. For doing this offense of trying to uproot a Sivalingam, Hanuman prayed and worshipped God Shiva at Tirukaruppariyalur. Shiva, pleased with his worship, blessed him at Tirukaruppariyalur Sthalam. Hanuman thereafter built a temple for Shiva at Tirukkurukukka at this Sthalam.
Mahashivrathri in February-March, Tirukarthikai in November-December and Hanuman Jayanthi are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
History / Legend:Shiva Ajaneya: Sri Anjaneya shrine is opposite to that of Lord Shiva. Many may know that Lord Shiva Himself came as Anjaneya to help Lord Vishnu in the Ramavatara period. Anjaneya is but Lord Shiva Himself. It is said that Anjaneya graces in the temple as Shiva worships Him. He is known as Shiva Anjaneya and Shiva Bhakta Anjaneya. He enjoys more importance in the temple. A Homa is performed in the shrine on every New Moon day.
It is also a wonder that two monkeys visit the temple in Chithirai month even in this Kali age and worship Lord Shiva with Vilwa leaves. Mother Kundalanayaki graces from a separate shrine. The temple is praised by Tirunavukkarasar in Thevaram hymns. Lord Dakshinamurthy is siding slightly on the right side.
After Lord Rama vanquished Ravana in the battle of Ramayana, he returned to Ayodhya to be crowned King. Ravana, although a personification of evil, had acquired his immense powers through years of penance and devotion to Lord Shiva Hence while Lord Rama vanquished the evil that Ravana represented, he had at the same time also vanquished a devout Bhakt of Lord Shiva. To atone for killing a devotee of Lord Shiva, regardless of the justification, Lord Rama was advised to pay obesiance to Lord Shiva at Rameshwaram in South Tamil Nadu, within 2 days of the victory. His devotee Lord Hanuman was assigned the task of finding a linga suitable for the atonement-rituals. He was to be accompanied by Jatayu in his search.
Lord Hanuman and Jatayu searched high and low before finding one in Northern India, near present day Kashi. However they found it difficult to get their hands onto the lingam as it was guarded by Lord Kala Bhairava, another incarnation of Lord Shiva. A battle ensued between Lord Hanuman and Lord Kala Bhairavar with the former finally prevailing.
Back in Rameshwaram, time was running out. With no sign of Lord Hanuman or Jatayu, Lord Rama advised his consort Lord Sita to prepare a lingam out of the sea sand nearby. She did so, and this was used for the atonement rituals.
As the rituals were coming to a close, Lord Hanuman was sighted with the lingam in hand.
However on noticing that the rituals were completed without his presence, he was extremely disappointed. He tried prevailing on Lord Rama to use the lingam procured by him, for the rituals, instead of the one constructed by Lord Sita. In a bid to appease him Lord Rama suggested that if that were to be done, Lord Hanuman would have to move aside the lingam constructed by Lord Sita and place the lingam brought by him, in its place.
As hard as Lord Hanuman tried, he could not move the lingam. Finally he tried to wrap his tail around it and yank it off the ground. The force he applied was so great that the lingam did get uprooted, but landed a few miles away from Rameshwaram in a place called Hanuman Pallam (pit created by Lord Hanuman). In the process, his tail got separated from his body.
Lord Hanuman realized his folly. It was pre-ordained that the lingam prepared by Lord Sita was to be used for the rituals and sought forgiveness from Lord Rama and Sita to regrow his tail. Besides flowers, he also offered his ear rings – kundalam and secured the pardon of the Lord. As the Lord was worshiped with Kundalams, He is also praised as Kundalakeswarar.
Lord Rama suggested to Lord Hanuman that he seek forgiveness from Lord Shiva instead and suggested that Lord Hanuman visit Thirukurungaval and worship Lord Shiva there to get back his tail. Hence the place has acquired its name, Tirukurunkaval (Place where Lord Shiva was worshiped by a monkey-faced God) The testimony to this story is that it is one of the few Lord Shiva temples in the world, with a shrine to Lord Hanuman facing Lord Shiva.
It is the staunch belief of the people that village deity Chelliamman would take care of the welfare of their cattle and protect them from diseases. Those seeking child boon pray to Mother Kundala Nayaki offering bangles.
Location: This temple is located near Tirukaruppariyalur, another Paadal Petra Sthalam. Proceed from Vaitheeswaran Koil towards Tiruppanandal and reach a place called Elanthoppu. From Elanthoppu, take the branch road to Tirukkurukukka and travel about 3 Kms to reach the temple..
Temple Address & Contact Details:Arulmighu Kunthalanathar Temple
Phone: 04364 - 258 785