Akkur – Sri Thanthondreeswarar Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Thanthondreeswarar Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar:   Sri Thanthondreeswarar, Sri Swayambhu Nathar

Ambal:  Sri Vaalnedungkannammai, Sri Katka Nethri Ambal

Sthala Theertham:  Kumudha Theertham

Sthala Virksham:  Sarakondrai, Vilva and Paakku trees

Devaram:  Thirugnanasambanthar, Thirunavukarasar

Sthalapuranam:

There are six stone inscriptions in this temple dating back to the periods of Chola kings Rajathirajan and Rajarajan, Pandiya king Kopperunsingan, and Vijayanagara king Veera Krishna Devar.

The historical name of this place is Shankharanyam.

There are two temples called “Maadam” in the Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams. “Maadam” refers to the fact that the temples are situated on top of a man-made hill. These are “Thoonganai Maadam” at Pennakadam and the “Thanthontri Maadam” at Aakkur (this temple).

According to legend, it is believed that during the construction of this temple, King Kochengat Cholan had developed some ailments. He prayed to Lord Shiva for a cure. It is believed that at this point the lord’s divine voice was heard saying that the king should feed 1000 people for 48 days (“Annadhanam”). Following the lord’s instructions, the king started feeding 1000 people every day. However, for 47 days, he noticed that only 999 people were participated in the banquet. He once again prayed to Lord Shiva to tell him about the shortfall of one person. To satisfy the king, it is believed that on the last day, the lord himself came in the form of an old man holding a stick in his hand to complete the count of one thousand people. For this reason, the lord here is known as “Aayirathil Oruvar” (one among one thousand in Tamil).

Since the king had never seen the old man before in his life, he enquired about his whereabouts. Instead of giving a direct answer to the king, the old man countered with a question “Place? Whose place?” (“Yarukku Oor?” in Tamil) and disappeared in an anthill. The king realised that the man is none other than Lord Shiva himself.

When they removed the anthill, they found a Shivalingam there. During its extraction, a cut was formed on top of the lingam which can still be seen.  A beautiful sculpture depicting this event can also be seen in the temple.

This temple is also believed to be one of the places where Lord Shiva gave his wedding dharisanam to Sage Agasthiyar. For this reason, Goddess Parvathy’s shrine is located on the right side of Lord Shiva’s shrine (similar to their wedding posture).

Other than the shrines of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathy, shrines and idols of lords Vinayakar, Murugan, Saraswathi, Viswanathar with Visalakshi, Sirappuli Nayanar, Moovar, Sundarar with his wives Sangili Nachiyar and Paravai Nachiyar, Mahalingam, Balamurugan, Arunagirinathar, Gajalakshmi, Kailayanathar, Parvathavarthini, Vayu Lingam, Theyu Lingam, Kochengat Cholan, Appu Lingam, Navagraham, Chandikeswarar, Kalabairavar, Bairavar and Suryan can be seen in the corridors.

In the “koshtam” (place surrounding the sanctum sanctorum), idols of Agasthiyar, Narthana Vinayakar, Dakshinamurthy, Lingothbavar, Brahma and Durgai can be seen.

There is a separate shrine for the procession idol of “Sri Aayirathil oruvar”. This lord is very famous but, due to security reasons, this idol has been transferred to some other place for safekeeping. A photograph of the lord is kept in its place.

In this temple, the shrines of both Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathy are facing east.

It is believed that King Kochengat Chola built about 70 “Madakkoils”. The distinguishing feature of a Madakkoil is that it is not easily approachable by an elephant. He built these temples at an elevation and there are a few steps that need to be climbed before seeing the lord. Also, the sanctum sanctorum’s (Karpagragam) entrance is narrow such that no elephant can enter it.

There is a separate shrine for Goddess Saraswathy here.

The shrine of Lord Murugan is in the form of a chariot and it looks very beautiful.

In his hymn of this temple, Saint Thirugnanasambanthar praised the learned brahmins and the devout devotees of Aakkur village.

This is the birth place of Sirappuli Nayanar, one of the revered 63 Nayanmars. It is believed that he always served food to devotees without saying “no” to anyone and at any time. It is believed that he attained salvation here.

Saint Arunagirinadhar has sang songs in praise of Lord Murugan of this temple in his revered Thirupugazh.

It is believed that those seeking “santhana prapthi” (child boon) can pray to the lord here.

Devotees also believe that by worshiping the lord here,  obstacles from their marriage proposals will be removed.

Some of the important festivals celebrated in the temple are –

Vinayakar Chaturthi in the Tamil month of Aavani (Aug-Sept),

Thiru Karthikai in the Tamil month of Karthikai (Nov-Dec),

Thiruvadhirai in the Tamil month of Markazhi (Dec-Jan),

Makara Sankranthi in the Tamil month of Thai (Jan-Feb) and

Shivrathri in the Tamil month of Masi (Feb-Mar).

108-conchs abhishekam is performed to the lord in the Tamil month of Karthikai on all Mondays (Somavaaram).

Sirappuli Nayanar’s “guru poojai” on the Pooradam star day in the Tamil month of Karthikai (Nov-Dec) is also celebrated in a grand manner.

Pradosham and Pournami are also observed regularly.

This is one of the 276 Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams and 46th Shiva Sthalam on the Southern bank of the river Cauveri in Chozha Nadu (Thenkarai).

Lord Shiva in this temple is a Swayambumurthi (self-manifested).

This is the birth place of Sirappuli Nayanar, one of the revered 63 Nayanmars.

This temple is counted as one of the 70 Maadak Koils built by King Kochengat Cholan.

This east facing temple has two corridors and its main tower (Rajagopuram) has 3-tiers.

There is no flag post (“Dhwajasthambam”) in this temple.

The last consecration ceremony (Maha Kumbabishekam) took place on 10.05.2010 and prior to that on 06.04.2001 and 15.09.1960.

Other Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams near this temple are –Thalaichangadu, Valampuram, Thiruppallavaneecharam (Poompuhar), Chayavanam, Thiruvenkadu, Kezhai Thirukkattuppalli, Thirukkalikkamur (Annappan Pettai), Pariyal Veerattam, Thiruchempon Palli, Nani Palli, Thirukkadaiyur and Thirukkadaiyur Mayanam.

Route:

Aakkur is situated at a distance of about 17 kms from Mayiladuthurai on the Mayiladuthurai to Tharangambadi route. The temple is behind the Aakkur bus stand.  It is about 5 kms from Semponar Koil.

Temple Timings:

From 08.00 AM to 11.00 AM and 05.00 PM to 08.00 PM.

Temple Telephone Number:

098658 09768 and 097877 09742. 075022 22850.

Temple Address:

Sri Thanthondreeswarar Temple,
Akkur Post,
Tharangambadi Taluk,
Nagapattinam District,
Tamil Nadu – 609301.

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