26. Sri Veerateswarar Temple, Tirukkurukkai, Mayiladuthurai (Chola Nadu - North of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Veerateswarar, Sri Yogeswarar
Name of Goddess : Sri Ganambigai
Holy water (Theertham) : Trishul Ganga and Pasupathi.
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Kadukkai, Arithagivanam.
Thevaram : Thirunavukarasar
District : Nagapattinam.
Location : Mayiladuthurai.
Timings : 07:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 03:30 p.m. to 09:00 p.m.
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 26th sthalam on the northern side of river Cauvery. Appar has sung hymns in praise of lord Shiva of this temple. There is a lotus flower design in the Avudayar-the seat or peeta on which the Linga is placed. This is one of the eight places (Atta Veeratta Sthalas) where Lord Shiva played heroic events. He burnt the cupid (Manmatha) in this place. Rathi and Manmatha are in the temple as procession deities. The place has the reputation of Sage Theerthavagu bringing Holy Ganga for the consecration of the temple.
Sri Vinayaka of the temple is praised as Lord Kurungai Ganapathi. Of the eight places known as Atta Veera Sthalas of Lord Shiva, this is the place where cupid-Manmatha was burnt, hence Lord is praised as Kama Dahana Murthy. He appears in a sitting posture with His left leg folded, right hanging down, right hand assuring His devotees – with Abhaya Mudra – and the left hand on the left leg.
It is worthy to note the places linked with the history of this temple in Kurukkai. This is the place where Manmatha attempted to disturb the penance of Lord. Kanganam Puthur is the place where he decided to disturb the penance of Lord Shiva and tied the vow thread in his hand. He drank the milk at Palakudi. Took his bow at Villinur. Aimed at the Lord at Kavalamedu. Those who followed him at Ivanallur suggested action from here. As the place was not suitable, Manmatha came to Mettu Korkai and tried directions. Finally, he applied the arrow on Lord from a corner.
Masi Magam in February-March; 10 day Kamadagana utsav and Brahmmostsavam are the important festivals of the temple with Pancha Murthy procession. Margazhi Tiruvadhirai in December-January with Lord’s procession is the other great festival. Monthly pradosha days occurring on the 13th of new moon and full moon fortnights; Navarathri in September-October, Deepavali in October-November; Pongal or Makara Sankranti falling almost on January 14 in each year; Tamil and English New Year Days are also observed devotionally in the temple.
History / Legend:While Lord Shiva was in medidation the world could not bear the heat emanated from his penance. The Devas approached Lord Muruga to disturb the Lord’s concentration, which he refused. Finally, they approached Cupid for the purpose, which, without realizing the consequences, ventured to play with the Lord. His arrows fell on the Lord, who, opening the eyes saw the Cupid and burnt him. His wife Rathi begged the lord for his life. Answering her prayers, the Lord gave Cupid his life and sent him to the world above called Devaloka.
The ancient Siva Temple here is dedicated to Sri Veeratteswarar or Yogeeswarar. The village where this reputed shrine standa is five kilometers north-west of Nidur railway station which is on the Madras-Thrichy main line. The sacred tank popularly called Soola Theertham in front of the temple is considered as holy as the Ganges.
The ancient temple covers an area of 2.5 acres. It was renovated by the Adheenakartha of the Dharmapura Adheenam. There are several stone inscriptions here giving valuable information about the temple. The temple has a beautiful tower in the front, two prakarams, two sancta and two beautiful vimanams, one for Swamy and one for Ambal with stucco figures on them. There is a separate shrine for Sri Durgaparameswari Amman. The Moolavar, Sri Veeratteswarar is a Swayambu Lingam. A novel feature of this Lingam is that it has a beautiful lotus like structure on the top known as the ‘Vishnu Peetam’ Saint Appar had worshipped the Lord here and composed several sacred Padhigams in His praise, of which the under mentioned stanza is an impressive one. Poojas are performed four times daily by hereditary Brahmin priests according to the principles of the Agama Sastras.
The temple own a rishabam, a peacock, a swan, a bandicoot and a parrot vahanam all made of wood. The place is held very sacred since according to a popular belief it was here that the Lord in Yogic posture opened His third eye on the forehead and burnt Kama or Cupid to ashes. Navarathri, Vinayaga Chathurthi, Sivarathri and Masi Magham are the regular annual festivals celebrated by the temple. The Manmatha festival commemorating the mythological incident is celebrated with great éclat attracts a large number of devotees from far and near. Legend has it that being unaware of the divinity that characterized the waters of the Soola Theertham, Saint Dheergabahu Munivar stretched out his hands as usual towards the Heavens to receive the Noly Ganges water.
But at once he was shocked to see his long hands grow short. His pathetic appeal to Lord Vinayaga was of no avail. In a state of despair, he began to knock his head against a stone but there shot out of the stone a hand to protect his head and bless him. Dheergabahu who was so blessed came to be known as Kurungai (Kurumkai – short hand) Munivar. The village’s name is Kurungai which later on got corrupted into Kurukkai or Korukkai. The glory of this sacred sthalam is supposed to have been narrated to the Devas by the reputed Sage Vyasar. The affairs of the temple are managed by the Adheenakartha of the Dharmapura Adheenam who is the hereditary Trustee of the temple.
The inscriptions are found on the mandapam and Chandeswara shrines. Most of the inscriptions refer to gifts of lands to the temple. However, a few are of interest. An inscription in the twenty-ninth year of Kulothunga III records the gift of paddy for mention the expenses of maintaining the servants of Thiruppalliyarai, the construction of a guhai called Thirunavukkarasu Thirukkugai for feeding the destitute apurvins who visited it and the Mahesvaras who attented the festival of Thiru Vaikasl Thirunal.
It also refers to the recitation of Thiruth Thandagam in the temple. The nineteenth regnal year of Kulothunga III. Another inscription of the same king (Kulothunga III) records a gift of money by a lady to some other temple. The last named Araiyan Umaiyalvi belonging to Periya Ahapparivarman gifted for offerings to the temple of Thiru Chamundisvaramudaiayr and to the images of Thiruppalliyaraiaa Nachiyar and Atkondanayaka Deva set up by her in the temple at Panaiyur in Kurrukkainadu.
There is a pit 200 meters from the temple which is referred as "Vibhoothi Kuttai" in Tamil. As per the legend, it was here Manmadhan was burnt to ashes by Lord Shiva. White ash is found in this pit and has the distinct odour of holy ash, or vibhuthi. The surrounding areas has red colored mud or sand.
Those seeking wedding boon offer Kalyana Malai to Lord. Devotees perform special sandal abhishek to Mother Ambica and offer vastras to both. They also perform abishek with turmeric powder, cosmetic powder and oils, milk, honey, curd, green coconut, panchamirtha and lime fruit juice. Some undertake Annadhana-feeding visitors and public. They also contribute for the renovation of the temple.
Location: This temple is located about 12 Kms. from Mayiladuthurai. One has to travel on the Mayiladuthurai - Manalmedu bus route and get down at a village known as Kondal. The sivasthalam is about 3 Kms from Kondal. Town Bus facilities are available from Mayiladuthurai.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Arulmighu Veerateswarar Temple