30. Sri Mahalingeswarar Temple, Thiruvidaimarudur, Mayiladuthurai (Chola Nadu - South of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Mahalingeswarar, Sri Maruthavaneswarar, Sri Maruthavaanar
Name of Goddess : Sri Birukanth Sundarakujambigai, Sri Perunalamulayammai, Sri Anbirpriyalambal
Holy water (Theertham) : Kaarunyamirtham
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Marutha Tree
Thevaram : Thirunavukarasar ; Sundarar
District : Nagapattinam.
Location : Mayiladuthurai.
Timings : 05:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 04:00 p.m. to 09:00 p.m
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 30th sthalam on the southern side of river Cauvery. Moovar have sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple. Thiruvidaimarudur Mahalinga Swamy Temple is one of the Panchakrosha Sthalas. The Ammbal Shrine is one of the Sakthi Bheetas. Chakkara Maha Meru is installed here. Uma, Vinayaka Muruga, Thirumal, Lakshimi, Saraswati, (Deities), Vashista, Agasthya, Pattinathar, Badragiriyar, Romarishi, Kapila, Markandiya rishi, (Saints). Sivavakiya (Siddhar) Varagunadeva, Sukeerthi, Veerasena, Chitrakeerthi, Uvanasuvan, Maandada, Vasuman., Anjatthuvasan (Kings), Nandagan (Brahmin), Vedas, Airawatha (Elephant vehicle of Indra) and others are bestowed with grace by the Lord. The below saints Appar, Sundarar, Manikkavasakar and Sambandar were visited and praised the lord. Also Pattinathar and Karuvoor Thevar Sung Psalms about the Deity.
- This temple classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam.
- Generally in all Shiva temples, the main deity will have a specific name but here it is called Mahalingam (Big lingam) since legend says that Lord Shiva worshipped Himself here in the process of teaching and demonstrating the Saivite worship procedures to the seven great sages.
- The Shiva Lingam here is a swayambhu (self manifested) facing east. This is referred to as Madhyarjuna Kshetram and is said to be on par with Varanasi (Kasi). The main deity is called Mahalingeswarar or Madhyarjunar. The pooja is first performed to Mahalingaswamy in this temple and then only to Vinayakar. Here Vinayagar Himself is worshiping Shiva.
- Once when Parvathi devi playfully blind folded Shiva, the whole universe was in total darkness and deep trouble but Thiruvidaiarudhur alone was illuminating as a fire with the Jyothirmaya Sri Mahalinga Swamy.
- This huge temple, in a sprawling campus of 20 acres, bejeweled with 7 lofty towers, 7 praharams and many ornate mandapams is one of the greatest Saivite shrines in Tamilnadu.
- The Ambal Shrine is one of the Sakthi Peetams and is on the right side of the Swami shrine, that is on southern side as a KALYANA KOLAM – a rare one. Chakara Maha Meru is installed here.
- Lord Shiva blessed Markandeyan by appearing before him in the form of Ardhanareeswarar.
- All Navagrahas are facing Suryan.
01. Tiruvalanchuzhi with its grand temple dedicated to Vinayaka,
02. Swamimalai with its revered shrine to Subramanya,
03. Thiruvarur the greatest of the Vitanka Stalams with Somaskandar,
04. Tiruvavaduthurai with its shrine to Nandikeswarar,
05. Sirkazhi with its shrine dedicated to Bhairavar,
06. Thiruseingalur (Thiruvoypadi) with its shrine to Chandikeswarar,
07. Suryanar koil with shrines to the nine celestial bodies Navagrahas
08. Alangudi known for its Dakshinamurti
09. Thirukkadaiyur for Ambal
10. Thirunallar for Saneeswaran
11. Patteeswaram for Durgai and
12. Chidambaram for Natarajar shrine respectively,
thus the entire Chola Nadu is treated as one temple.
There are 3 temples having Marudha tree (anjanam) as their Sthala vruksham. They are:
01. Malligarjuna (Thalai-top) at Srisailam, Andhra;
02. Madhyarjuna (Idai-middle) at Thiru-Idai-Marudur (here) and
03. Sputarjuna (kadai-end) at Thiruppudaimarudur Ambasamudram (Thirunelvelli Dt).
This place is named as Idaimarudur as it is in between Srisailam and Ambasamudram. It is also called Shanbagaranya, Saktipura, Tapovana, Muktipura etc.
This temple has three famous praharams:
01. Aswamedha pradhakshina praharam – Going around this will give the effect of doing Ashwamedha yaga. This should be at least half a KM and is quite divine and popular here like Thiruvannamalai girivalam. Those in ill health believed to have been caused by evil spirits, are said to find relief through prayers offered in this shrine and through circumambulation of this outermost prakaram.
02. Kodumudi praharam – Going around this will give the effect of going to Kailash.
03. Pranava praharam – Going around this will give Moksha.
There are as many as 35 Theerthams associated with this temple.
There are 3 places where a sacred well is in the form of a lion (Singa kinaru). Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Vrinchipuram and this place. It is called KrishnaKupam.
Karunyamitra theertham on the east side of the temple, where Chittirai vizha Festival is important is the best known theertham.
Bana theertham on the north east of Banapuram established by Rama where a bath in Vaikasi Pournami is very holy
Parachara theeertham (pidari kulam is its present name) at the junction of north and east streets where a bath in Marghazi is sacred
Soma theertham (now called Ayyanar Theertham) to the east of Karunyamitra theertham where a bath in Somesvara removes all sins
Rudra Theertham to the south of the sanctum
Kalyana theertham is the river Kaveri where the Idiols are bathed during “Thai Poosam”
Padma theertham to the south east of Somatheertham
Indhra theertham to the south of the temple
Pandava Theertham (Not traceable), Agni theertham, Kanaka theertham and Ganga Kupam are some of the several holy theerthas that adorn this town.
This temple is surrounded on four corners by lingams dedicated to Viswanathar, Rishipureeswarar, Aatmanathar and Chokkanathar and hence the name Pancha Linga stalam. One of the interesting beliefs held here is that an abhishekam performed to Chokkanathar to the accompaniment of the megaraagakurinji raaga would result in a bountiful monsoon.
There are also Lingams dedicated to each of the 27 nakshatrams (Birth Stars). All these 27 birth stars installed a Lingam each and worshipped Lord Shiva here. This is the temple for performing parihara pooja (remedial pooja) for the malefic effects of the Birth stars.
Note: Apart from this, One can seen individual lingams for every star in Thiruvotriyur (North Chennai) temple.
Apart from these, there are Agashya lingam, Kasyapa lingam, Romesa lingam, Chola lingam, Chera lingam, Sahasara Lingam and Pancha Bhuda lingam
The consort of Shiva is worshipped as Perumulai Naayaki or Brihad Sundara Kuchambal. The Ammbal Shrine is one of the Sakthi Bheetas. Chakkara Maha Meru is installed here. Within the Ambal shrine complex, there is a separate shrine for Mookambika in the posture of doing penance built in the North Indian style. She is mentioned as Pidari Parameeswari in inscripitions. The main Mookambika temple is in Karnataka on the banks of the river Chowparnika and the other is, this one on the banks of the river Cauvery. Though the structure has been built in later days the goddess must have been there in olden times.
History / Legend:Once Varaguna Pandiya’s horse accidentally trampled upon a Brahmin and killed him. The sin due to this, Brahma hathi (Hathi- sin caused by a murder) followed him wherever he went. The King prayed to Somasundarar at Madurai seeking relief from this sin. Lord Somasundarar appeared in the King’s dream and directed him to pray Him at Thiruvidaimarudhur for relief. Thiruvidaimarudhur was under Chola rule and they were bitter enemies of the Pandyas. There was a war between the two in which the Cholas were defeated. The King then visited the temple at Thiruvidaimarudhur as per the Divine guidance and prayed to Lord Mahalingeswarar. He entered the temple through the Eastern entrance and the Brahmahatti and the ghost could not enter the temple and waited outside the temple for the King to return. As advised by Mahalingaswamy, the King left by the Western Gopuram (Tower) and hence got rid of the Brahmatti dosham and the Brahmin’s ghost. The Brahmahathi is waiting outside still in the south ornamental entrance (south thorana vayil) with head disheveled and face immersed betwixt the knees. The king was relieved of his malady.
There are two Puranams – Sthala purana written by Sivakkolundu Deshika of Kottaiyar, Marudavana Puranam.
There is an Ula written by Mahavidvan Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai.
The Thevaram, Thiruvasagam, Thiruvidaimarudur Mummanikkovai, Thiruppazh, Thiruvidaimaurudur Pathirruppathanthathi, Thiruvidaimaurudur Kalambakam, Thiruvidaimarudur Nondi Natakam contain sufficient information about the temple.
Kandapuranam, Lingapurana, Brahmavaivartham and Sivarahasya mention the glory of the Lord. Sambandar has sung the glory of Samba Dakshinamurthy who is also enshrined here along with his consort.
When Aadhi Sankara visited Thiruvidaimarudhur, he desired that the Mahalinga at the temple should itself declare the truth of Advaita so that the doubt in regard thereto lingering in the minds of some people might be dispelled. In response to the Jagadguru’s prayer, the Lord Siva appeared out of the Mahalinga, raised the right hand, and proclaimed the truth of Advaita three times thus: “satyam advaitam; satyam advaitam; satyam advaitam”.
A vimana over the entrance of the local Sankara Matha was put up, and within it were installed sculptured figures of the Mahalinga with the right hand raised and of Adi Sankara with palms joined. In the central courtyard of the Matha a shrine was constructed and in it was installed Sankara-paduka.
Ammuni Ammal, lover of Maratya king Pratap singh lit laksha deepam (1,00,000 lamps) and donated a Pavai Vilakku, a lamp in the shape of herself. The lamp measures 120 cm (height), 411 ¾ cher (Weight) in brass, designed and made by Kannara Aryaputra Patther. Her story is inscribed at the base of the lamp.
Sage Agasthya, along with the other sages came to Itaimaruthur and performed tapasya meditating on Goddess Umadevi. Goddess Uma also appeared before the sage. The sages accordingly worshipped the Goddess and requested that they would like to see the Lord also. Umadevi, for the sake of the sages, went in Sivatapasya. The Lord granted Her wish and appeared before Her and the sages. After appearing before them, the Lord began worshipping the ‘Jothi Lingam’. The surprised Umadevi asked the Lord: “ O Lord! It is the practice that Brahman and other deities worship thee. But, thou art worshipping thine own self!” The Lord replied: “Uma Devi! We are the Ultimate who worship and accept worship. It is because these sages have forgotten to worship us, we are worshipping ourselves. That is why I’m worshipping myself.” The Legend says that from that day onwards the sages performed worship according to the ‘Kaamika Law’ and received great benefits.
Temple Car: It is one of the biggest Thers (Temple Car) of Tamilnadu. It measures 89 feet from top (tip of the Kalasams) to bottom (ground level).The octagonal lower part of the ther, measuring 14½ feet (length) and 14½ feet was carved beautifully. The axles (cuboids) on the outer surface of the wheels measure 29 feet (length), 1¾ feet (width) and 1¾ feet (height). The rampant wooden horses which fastened in front of the Ther measure 25½ (length) and 8 feet (circumference of the body). The Kodimaram (flag post) on the Ther measures 24 feet (height). The inner large rope (Ul vadam) tied around the Ther measures 800 feet. The outer cable (large rope- Vadam) used to pull the Ther by 5000 people (man power) measures 1000 feet. The pedestal on the Ther measures 14½ x 14½. The wooden sculptures such as Panchamurtis, Kayilayakkatchi, Narasimhamurti, Bairava, Chandra, the worship of Mahalingeswara (seated beneath the Maruda tree) by Vinayaka and Ambikai, His Holiness Gurumaha sannidhanam and other sculptures are worth mentioning here. The Ther was donated to the temple by Amarsingh’s son Pratap singh(Simha) in 1800 AD. He had presented a silver Ratha (chariot) also. There is a small wooden Ther for procession during the Tamil month Adi.
Location: This famous sivasthalam is located 9 Kms from Kumbakonam en route to Mayiladuthurai. Town bus facilities are available from Kumbakonam. There is also a railway station at Tiruvidaimarudur on the Kumbakonam - Mayiladuturai section of the Southern Railway.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Sri Mahalinga Swamy Temple,
Pin code: 612 104.
Phone: ++91 435 246 0660, +91-9790525781.