52. Sri Neyyaadiyappar Temple, Thiruneithanam (Thillai Sthanam), Thiruvaiyaru (Chola Nadu - North of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Neiyadiappar, Sri Kiruthapureeswarar
Name of Goddess : Sri Balambigai, Sri Ilamangaiammai
Holy water (Theertham) : Cauvery.
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Vilvam.
Thevaram : Thirunavukarasar - 12 ; Sambandar - 5 ; Sundarar - 1
District : Thanjavur.
Location : Thiruvaiyaru.
Timings : 06:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 05:30 p.m. to 07:30 p.m.
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 52nd sthalam on the northern side of river Cauvery. Thirunavukkarasu Swamigal and Thiruganasambandar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple. Tillaistanam is a small village located adjacent to Tiruvaiyaru near Tanjore town in South India. The village has an important Shiva temple called as Neyyadiappar Temple. It is considered as the 52nd among the Tevara Paadal Petra Stalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in Chola region north of Cauvery river.
The temple has a grand 75 feet five stories tower facing the east direction. Two small sub-shrines of Ganesha and Murugan are located at the entrance. The temple's area is huge and is spread across two acres. It is believed to have been built by the Cholas as the Chola inscriptions are found in this temple. However, few pillars in the temple are supposed to be of Pallava style; there is a possibility that even Pallavas would have contributed some sections of the temple during their rule. The Sri Lankan ruler named Kayavahu had the Lord of this site as his "Kula devta".
The temple has two prakaras. The sanctum sanctorum is facing the east direction. Lord Shiva in this temple is called as Neyyadiappar or Kritapureeswarar. He is found in the form of a moderately big Shiva Linga.
Facing the sanctum sanctorum the bali peetha, flag staff and Nandi mandapa are located. There is a small artistically beautiful inner tower at the entrance of the maha mandapa.
The Goddess Balambikai who also has a beautiful Tamil name, Ilamangai Ammai, is found in a separate shrine facing the south direction and is located in the outer prakara. A separate Nandi idol is located facing the Amman shrine.
The inner prakara has the sub-shrines of Ganesha, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena, Chandikeshwara, Lakshmi and Saraswati.
The koshta images of Dakshinamurthy, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found on the wall around the sanctum sanctorum. Dakshinamurthy is found in the standing posture which is unique. All the koshta images except Durga appear to be very old. The exterior wall of sanctum sanctorum as well as the vimana have not lost the antique beauty yet.
A separate Ganesha idol is located at the entrance of Ardha Mandapa. Bhairava, Surya, Anugraha Bhairava, Chandra and seven Shiva Linga idols representing Sapta Stana sites are all located in the inner prakara..
History / Legend:Mother Balambika, as the name suggests is ever young in appearance. This is the only temple in the hymns of Tirunavukkarasr praising Ambika for Her beauty. Lord Iyarappar visits this temple thrice a year from Tiruvaiyaru. Of the Sapthasthana (seven important temples of the district) Thillaisthanam is the seventh. During festival days, devotees can enjoy the darshan of the seven palanquin processions simultaneously in this place. Saint Sundarar had included this place in his Thevaram hymns. Arunagiriar had praised Lord Muruga of this temple in his Tirupugazh hymns. The place is praised by other poets as Pugazhendi and Ottakoothar. The sculpture of Nardana Ganapathy does need a mention. Lord Dakshinamurthy graces the devotees in a standing form. Pallavas had paid their due share for the renovation of the temple. Kings of Sri Lanka had worshipped Lord as their Kuladeiva-family deity.
A cow in this region was habitually pouring its milk at a specific place. The milk impacted by Sun heat and rain changed into ghee. When a shepherd tried to check the cow, it disappeared. He could not know that it was the very divine cow Kamadenu. When people came to the spot and dug the place, they found a Shivalinga here. The news reached the King. He built a temple, performed consecration and arranged abishek with ghee each day. The ghee abishek is followed even now. Ghee means Nei in Tamil, hence the name of the Lord Neiyadi Appar. The place has another story too. A Shiva devotee had the habit of picking the palak leaves (keerai in Tamil) while returning after lighting lamps in the temple. He told Lord one day that he was lighting lamps in the temple each day and sought his mercy as he was aging. Lord replied that what mercy remains to be shown to him as he had taken the Palak leaves grown in the temple as wage for the job, according to sthala purana.
People pray here for noble characters and to be free of greed not aiming at temple and others’ properties.
Location: This temple is located 2 Kms to the west from Tiruvaiyaru.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Arulmighu Neyyaadiyappar Temple
Phone: + 91 4362 260 553.