32. Sri Manokkiyanatha Swamy Temple, Thiruneelakudi, Mayiladuthurai (Chola Nadu - South of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Manokyayanatha Swamy, Sri Vilvaaranyeswarar, Sri Bharmanayagar, Sri Neelakandeswarar, Sri Thailabpriyangeswarar, Sri Kaamathenupureeswarar
Name of Goddess : Sri Aribhamasthini & Sri Bhakthabeestathaayini
Holy water (Theertham) : Devi, Markandeya and Brahma Theerthams
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Vilwa – leaves having five petals, Jack Fruit Tree
Thevaram : Thirunavukarasar
District : Nagapattinam.
Location : Mayiladuthurai.
Timings : 06:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 05:00 p.m. to 08:00 p.m
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 32nd sthalam on the southern side of river Cauvery. Appar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple. This Shivastalam is located near Aaduturai and Tiruvidaimarudur - near Kumbhakonam. Tiruneelakkudi is considered to be the 32nd in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom located south of the river Kaveri.
Legend has it that Varuna and the celestial nymphs offered worship here. It is believed that the half of the sesame oil offered during the abhisheka rituals, gets absorbed by the Shiva Lingam. This temple with 2 prakarams covers an area of about an acre; stucco images on the vimanams here are worth mention. Two Ambal shrines dedicated to Umaiyammai and Azhagammai are seen in this temple.
- This temple classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam.
- Iraivan is called as Neelakandar, he who drank the poison that came out while churning the Paarkadal.
- Vashistar, Kaamadhenu, Devamathar, Markandeyar worshiped Lord Shiva of this temple.
- No abhishekam is done to Moolavar. All the thailam applied is absorbed in the baanam itself.
- Naivedhyam is Jack fruit.
- To get rid of fear of death, Erumai and Blue colour pattu cloths are offered to Iraivan.
- There are two Ambal sannadhi.
The Linga is a Swayambu – that which exists of itself. The body of the Linga is rough and not soft. The leaves of the Vilwa Tree have five petals against the usual 3 petals found in this tree generally. It is here Rishi Markandeya got the boon of Chiranjeevi status – total freedom from death. There are two Goddesses here, Oppilamulai Amman (Anupamasthini) in a wedding pose and Bakathapeeshtapradayini – gracing the devotee of his/her desires, in a penance pose. Lord Vinayaka in the temple is praised as Nardana Ganapathi.
It is in this holy soil, Dakshayini joined the Lord again after returning from Daksha Yaga. Varuna (Lord of rain), angels worshipped here. Brahma, Devaganda, Vasishta, Soorapanma, Kamadenu performed penances here and got relieved of sins. A place praised in the hyms of Appar Swamigal in his Thevaram. When the Jains tied Appar and threw him, he worshiped Neelakandeswara in his celebrated hymn Kallinodu Aman Kaiyar in this temple.
A celebrated Shiva sthala having holy springs Brhmma theertham, Ksheeragundam, Devi theertham and Markandeya theertham. The antiquity of the temple goes back to more than 2000 years.
History / Legend:Of the six centers in the human body known as Mooladhara, Swadishtana, Manipuraka, Anagatham, Vishuddhi and Aggna, Thiruneelakudi represents the Mooladhara position helping the devotee to raise the Kundalini Sakthi.
Rishi Markandeya wanted to lengthen his longevity. Devarishi Naradha advised Markandeya to worship Shiva in Thiruneelakudi which he meticulously followed. The Lord appeared before him and asked him of his desire. Markandeya told the Lord his wish and got back eternity of longevity. The grateful Markandeya took the Lord in a palanquin to Ilandalai, Enadhimangalam, Thirunageswaram, Thirupuvanam, Thiruvidaimarudhur, Maruthuvakudi and other places. The Chithirai Thiruvizha (April-May) is celebrated remembering this event.
The first thought that strikes a devotee on hearing the name of Tiruneelakudi is the oil abishek to Lord. Pots and bowls of oil poured on the Shivalinga dries off then and there and it appears as if no such abishek was done even for a year. There is no clue till now where the oil disappears. The Shivalinga is ever rough on the surface despite such continuous oil abishek. It is said that such large quantity of oil is used to bring down the poisonous effect on His neck (Neelakanda) when he devoured the Halakala poison that emerged when the milk ocean was churned to protect the world. With the Vilwa tree –Pancha Vilwa tree - with its five petals, the jack tree in the temple has also its own sacredness. The fruit should be cut and offered to Lord as nivedhana and then only taken to homes by the devotees. Taking them direct without offering to Lord will end in some punishment. It is proved by experience to those who wanted to test this condition.
The Shiva Linga is not soft despite abisheks of years. A turf also appears on the Shivalinga. This is the sacred place where Sage Markandeya was blessed with immortality. Mother Dakshayani attending the Yajna of Daksha against the wishes of Lord, performed penance here and joined Lord again in this sacred Tiruneelakudi.
Lord Brahmma, Sages Vasishta, Devakanda, Surapanma and Kamadenu the divine cow worshipped Lord Neelakandeswara and got relieved of their curses. Saint Appar sung his soul touching Thevaram hymns. It is mentioned in the Sthalapurana – local history – that while Appar sung the ‘Kallinodu Avan Kayyar’ hymn meaning ‘when tied with the stone’ he mentioned only Lord Neelakandeswara of the temple. The story of Appar thrown into the sea by the Jain backed king into the sea tied with a stone and the very stone becoming a floating cork taking Appar to the shore unharmed is an outstanding experience of a devotee saved by Lord Shiva. It is an epic by itself.
Couple separated due to various reasons prays to Lord Neelakandeswara for their re-union and a renewed family life. They also pray for longevity and perform remedial pujas to Lord for relief from the adverse aspects planet Rahu. Many pray for wedding, child, mental peace, job opportunities and success in trade efforts.
Location: This sivasthalam temple is located 13 Kms from Kumbakonam. The temple is located on the road side at Tiruneelakudi on the Kumbakonam - Karaikkal road. From Mayiladuthurai, travel upto Aduthurai on the way to Kumbakonam, and then take a branch road from there to reach Thiruneelakkudi (3 Kms from Aduthurai). Thenkurangaaduthurai, another paadal petra sivasthalam is located at Aduthurai.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Sri Neelakandeswarar Temple,
Pin code: 612 108.
Phone: 0435 2460660 & 9442861634.