13. Sri Tholaiyaselvanathar Temple, Thiruchotrutturai, Thiruvaiyaru (Chola Nadu - South of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Chortruthurai Nathar, Sri Othavaneeswarar, Sri Tholaya Selva Nathar
Name of Goddess : Sri Anna Poorani, Sri Tholaya Selvi
Holy water (Theertham) : Surya Theertham, Kudamurti River/Cauvery Theertham
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Vilvam tree.
Thevaram : Thirunavukkarasar ; Thiru Gnana Sambandhar ; Sundarar
District : Thanjavur.
Location : Thiruvaiyaru.
Timings : 06:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 04:00 p.m. to 07:30 p.m
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 13th sthalam on the southern side of river Cauvery. Moovar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple. Tiruchotruturai is a small village near Tanjore town in South India. The temple has an important temple for Lord Shiva - Odhanavaneswarar temple. It is considered as the 13th among the Tevara Paadal Petra Stalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in Chola region south of Cauvery river.
- Sundarar, Sambhandar and Appar have revered the temple in their verses in Tevaram.
- It is considered as the 3rd of Tiruvaiyaru Sapta Stana temples.
- It is believed that Arunagiri Nathar, Brahma, Vishnu, Indiran, Gouthama Maharishi and Suryan worshiped Lord Shiva in this temple.
- There is no Kodimaram and Rajagopuram.
Maha Mandapam has Nandi idol facing the sanctum. In addition, the idols of Ganesha, Kasi Linga and the couple who got Akshaya bowl from the Lord, are all located in Maha mandapa.
The inner prakara (corridor) has the sub shrine of a beautiful Maha Ganapati. There are a lot of idols located across the entire prakara such as a beautiful sculpture of Adikara Nandi, Lingotbava, Navagraha, Surya, Bhairava, Sapta Mata, Pancha Lingams, Sapta Stana Lingams, three more Shiva Lingas, two Ganeshas, Ayyanar, etc.
Ganesha, Dakshinamurthy, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga along with Chandikeshwarar in a sub-shrine are present as Koshta deities on the outer wall of sanctum. The vimana and the outer wall look old and attractive.
The right side of sanctum has two big shrines - one dedicated to Arumuga Nayanar - Subramanya with six heads and another to Maha Siddhar.
The open area outside the main shrine has flag staff, bali peeta and a Nandi idol facing towards the main deity.
There is a separate shrine for Goddess Anna Poorani aka Oppilambigai. She is found in her wedding attire. A separate Nandi idol is found facing her shrine too. Small idols of Ganesha and Subramanya are placed at the entrance of the shrine.
There are inscriptions of Chola period starting from Aditya Chola I found in this temple complex.
History / Legend:As per the legend, Gautama Rishi cursed Indira and Indira got rid of his sin by worshiping Lord Shiva in this site.
As per another legend, after Lord Rama left to forest, his father, the king Dasrath came here and worshiped Lord Shiva.
Thanks to the blessing of the God and Goddess of the temple, rice instead of paddy (unhusked rice) were grown once in the nearby fields. Also the nearby lake got rice instead of water to ensure the people of this region do not experience hungry. Hence, the Lord is called as 'Chotruturai Nathar' and the Goddess is named as 'Anna Poorani' whereas the words Choru and Annam refer food/rice.
It is also said that the Lord gave Akshaya bowl for a couple to remove their poverty.
As the very name of the Lord Chottruthurai Nathar suggests, Lord not only offers adequate food to His devotees but it also means that He ensures total salvation to the souls. The place, Tiru Chottru Thurai is one among the seven places where Lord fed His devotees. This is the third among the Ezhu-seven places beginning from Tiruvaiyaru, Tirupazhanam. Saints Ramalinga Vallalar and Arunagiriar had praised this temple in their hymns. Lords Brahmma and Vishnu, Sage Gautama, Sun God and Indira worshiped Lord in this temple. Indira got a highest position. Sage Gautama attained salvation. The wedding festival of Nandhi Bahagwan and Suyam Prakasai daughter of Sage Vyakrapada is celebrated on the Punarvasu star day in the month of Panguni-March-April.
Brahmmotsavam is celebrated for Lord Aiarappar in Chithirai-April-May. On the final day of the festival, Nandideva-Suyam Prakasai and Aiyarappar-Aramvalartha Nayaki begin their festival journey in separate palanquins from Tiruvaiyaru at about 6.00 a.m. and reach Tirupazhanam where they are received by Lord Aabathsahayar and Mother Periyanayaki. They join the group and proceed to Tiruchottruthurai. They are received at the border by Lord Chottruthurai Nathar and Mother Annapoorani. Feeding takes place here. The procession continues towards Tiruvedikudi.
Once, a severe famine struck the place. A Shiva devotee, Arulalan by name, men, women and children were suffering from starvation. Arulalan cried to Lord that He should come to rescue the people to save them from starvation deaths. The priest stopped coming to the temple long back. A temple staff coming to light a lamp in the evening also fell down due to hunger. The temple was dark. Arulalar, sitting in the dark temple wept and dashed against the entrance steps and cried for help. It suddenly began to rain incessantly and the whole place was inundated with flood water. A bowl came floating in floods. Arulalar picked it up. He heard a voice saying that it was a Akshaya Patra which will never go dry and would be feeding the people to quench their hunger. Rice, dal, ghee and curry poured from the divine bowl. People’s joy knew no bounds.
Those facing delays in wedding pray to Nandhi Wedding festival celebrated in Chithirai – April-May for removal of obstacles in their case. Devotees offer vastras to Lord and Mother and contribute for the temple renovation projects.
Location: This temple is located 4 Kms from TiruKandiyur at Tiruchottruthurai and is about 13 Kms from Thanjavur. Town bus facilities are available from Tiruvaiyaru. Another paadal petra sivasthalam Tiruvedhikudi is located 3 Kms to the south from Tiruchottruthurai.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Arulmighu Tholaiyaselva Nathar Temple
Via Tirukandiyur S.O.
Phone: +91 99438 84377.