33. Sri Soundareswarar Temple, Thirunaraiyur, Kattumannarkoil (Chola Nadu - North of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Soundareswarar
Name of Goddess : Sri Thiripurasundari
Holy water (Theertham) : Karunya Teertham.
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Punnai.
Thevaram : Thirunavukarasar ; Sambandar
District : Cuddalore.
Location : Kattumannarkoil.
Timings : 06:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 04:30 p.m. to 08:30 p.m.
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 33rd sthalam on the northern side of river Cauvery. This temple has got Appar and Thiruganasambandar devara Pathikam. This shrine is associated with Pollaappillayar - who is connected with the legend regarding the recovery of the Tirumurais from the Chidambaram temple by Rajaraja Cholan and Nambiyaandaar Nambi.
Three tier Rajagopuram is facing east. There are shrines for Lord Vinayaka, Lord Muruga, Mother Gajalakshmi, Navagrahas the nine planets, Sani Bhagwan, Bhairava and Sun God. Polla Pillayar in the temple is a swayambumurthi.
Vaikasi Thiruvadhirai in May-June, 13 day Rajarajan festival and Vinayaka Chaturthi are the festivals celebrated in the temple. The Nambiandar Nambi (Vaikasi) festival, sponsored by the Tiruppanandal Matham witnesses the chanting of the Tirumurais. Other festivals include Navaratri and Skanda Sashti. Images of Rajaraja Chola and Nambiyaandaar Nambi adorn this temple.
History / Legend:Nambi Andar Nambi, who collected and saved the sacred Thevaram hyms from pests and edited them, while young, was watching his father offering nivedhanas to Polla Pillar-Vinayaka. He wanted to know whether the Lord would accept only the nivedhana offered by his father and not his. The time came to Nambi to take charge of the priesthood of the temple. He offered nivedhana to Pillayar and insisted Him to consume the offer. But Pillayar was silent and Nambi began to weep. He dashed his head at the feet of Vinayaka and cried. Pleased with his Bhakti, Vinayaka accepted the nivedhana of Nambi and consumed it.
King Rajaraja Cholan did not believe this miracle and came with different nivedhana and asked Nambi to offer it to Lord Vinayaka. Pillayar was smilingly silent. Nambi sang the Irattai Mani Malai hymns with a touching prayer. Polla Pillayar ate the nivedhana in the presence of all. The indebtedness to Nambi by the saivite devotees is endless as we would have lost the treasure of our Thevaram Bhakti literature to pests but for the painstaking efforts of Nambi. The idol of Nambi and king Rajaraja also are in the temple.
Sage Durvasa known for his temperament was on an intense penance to have the darshan of Lord Shiva. A Gandharva from the celestial world caused hindrance to Rishi’s penance. The Rishi cursed him to become a Narai-crane. He also refused to accept his apology and suggest a relief. The Gandharva appealed to Lord Shiva for relief. Lord said that he would be relieved of the curse if he performed abishek to Him with Ganga water fetched each day from Kasi. As a bird, he flew to Kasi each day as fast as he could, fetched Ganga Water in his mouth, performed abishek and got the relief. As Narai the crane bird was granted salvation here, the place is named Narayur – Thirunarayur.
Lord grants all that the devotees wish.
Location: This temple is located 17 Kms from Chidambaram enroute to Kattumannargudi via Kumaratchi and one has to get down at a bus stop known as Thirunaraiyur. A branch road from this bus stop goes to the temple which is about half a km from here.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Arumighu Soundareswarar Temple
Phone: 94425 71039, 94439 06219.