Nagappatinam – Sri Kayaroganeswarar Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Kayaroganeswarar Temple

Period of origin

Before 7 th century

Name of deity

Moolavar: kayaroganeswarar

Ambal: Neelayadhakshi

Sthala Theertham: Vedha, Pundariga Theertham.

Stalavriksham: Maa (MangoTree)

Dhevaram: Appar, Thirugnanasampanthar and Sundarar

Sthalapuranam:

Sage Pundarika as advised by Sage Kanwa performed penance on Lord Shiva seeking salvation.  Granting His darshan, Lord embraced the sage and granted salvation.  As a rule, the soul merges with the Lord attaining salvation.  But in this case Lord embraced with the body (Kayam in Tamil) with that of Sage (Aaroganam).  Hence Lord is named Kaya (body) Aarogana (embracing) Easwarar-Lord – Kayaroganeswarar.

King of serpents prayed to Lord and got a girl child.  It had three breasts in birth itself.  The king was sad to see this abnormality.  Lord Shiva assured the king that one breast will disappear when a king of Surya dynasty visited his place.  When king Shalisuhan came there, one breast of the girl disappeared.  Happy Naga king gave his daughter to Shalisuhan in marriage.  As Naga king worshipped here, the place came to be known as Nagai Karonam.  Now it is Nagapattinam.

Emperor Mushukunda got seven Lingas from Indira for the helps he had rendered him.  These Lingas were small – Vidanga in size.  The Emperor installed the Linga in Seven Places called Saptha Vidanga sthalas.  This is one such Sthalas with a Linga so beautiful made of Ruby.  Hence, the Lord is named Sundara (beautiful) Vidangar. Lord Thyagaraja is in a separate shrine right of the sanctum sanctorum.  In majority of the temple, people can see only the face of Lord Thyagaraja.  During the Vaikasi Visaka and Margazhi Tiruvadirai festivals, Lord is dressed (Alankara) showing His right hand and feet.  Lord comes in procession waving His hands to and fro and in a dancing form.  This dance is called Paara Vaara Natanam.

The eyes of Mother Ambica is blue in colour as sea showing Her mercy as vast and deep as sea.  Hence, named Neelayadakshi-blue eyed.  She is also Karundhadanganni.  She has Her own shrine with a flag post-Kodi Maram.  Ambica graces as a virgin.  Aadi Pooram is very grandly celebrated in the temple.  Her shrine is designed as a Rath.  On the festival day, Mother comes in procession in a Rath made purely in crockeryware.

As Ambica is a virgin, Lord sent Nandhi Deva to be Her guard.  But Nandhi expressed his wish to be with Lord for ever seeing Him.  Lord said that he can have His darshan though with Ambica.  Nandhi in the temple is seen with its neck turned towards Lord with one eye on Ambica and other on the Lord.  Hence, the Nandhi is known as Twin View Nandhi (Irattai Parvai in Tamil).  Those having vision problems pray to this Nandhi.

Generally, temples are closed if a death occurs in a nearby place.  In this place, the garlands and the clothes – vastras used for the Lord is placed on corpse.  A fisherman, Adhipathar attained salvation with the grace of Lord Shiva in this place. Remembering this event, as a mark of respect to the community, this practice is followed in this temple. The body is placed before the temple without closing the doors.  The garland and the vastras used for the Lord are placed on the body.

During festival procession, Lord goes round the Mada Veedhis (Streets) and return to the temple.  But Lord beginning his procession from this temple, goes to seven places – Poigainallur, Poravacherry, Sikkal, Palur, Vadagudi, Thethi and Nagoor. Maharaja Salija worshipped Lord Shiva and performed puja in these seven places. The present system is to remember this history.

Against the practice of Lord coming in the Vrushab vahan on Pradosham days,  Lord Vishnu too accompanies Lord Shiva in the guise of Mohini.  When the milk ocean was churned, Nectar came out and was served by Lord Vishnu to Devas.  Devas failed to pray to Lord Shiva who swallowed the Halahala poison to save the world. Realizing their folly, they begged the pardon of the Lord.  Showing His mercy to them, Lord Shiva danced on Nandhi.  This dance took place at the Pradosham time. Lord Vishnu’s Mohini Avtar took place a little before this time.  This Vishnu darshan is available to the devotees on Pradosham day only.

Emperor Dasaratha came to know that Planet Saturn would be splitting the Rohini star causing severe famine in his country.  He planned to fight Saturn to prevent him from doing so.  Sun God advised Dasaratha to drop his plan but to beg Saturn to change his transit route in public interest.  Saturn also admired the earlier plan of the emperor to meet him in war for the sake of his subjects without any selfish motive personally.  The planet yielded to the emperor’s wish.  Remembering this event, all the planets (Navagrahas) in the temple are facing west-the Lord.

Fisherman Athipathar was a staunch Shiva devotee.  When he went for fishing, he would offer the first to Lord Shiva.  At a stage, he was getting only one fish each day but did not break away from his commitment.  He offered them to Lord and returned without any catch.  He got a golden fish one day.  Though every one prevented him from throwing it into the sea, Athipathar resolutely stood by his commitment and threw it into the sea.  He was awarded with salvation and a place among the 63 Nayanmars. The event is celebrated on the Ayilyam star day in Aavani month (August-September).  Athipathar goes in catamaran when fishermen place two gold fishes in the net as if caught in the net.  Lord Shiva will appear on the sea shore. Athipathar performs pujas to Lord Shiva with the golden fishes.  Shiva will grace darshan to Athipathar.  So goes the festival grandly.

As a child adamantly demanding the mother to get its wish, there was a Siddha in the place called Azhuguni Chithar – crying adamantly for a wish.  He used to cry in the shrine of Mother Neelayadakshi demanding salvation.  He was the disciple of Gorakka Siddha.  He stayed in the temple, cried for getting his demand.  Mother spoke to Lord Shiva of the issue.  Lord granted salvation to Azhuguni Chithar.   His Jeeva Samadhi is in this temple.  Special pujas are performed to Siddha on Vaikasi Visakam day.  Also special pujas are performed here offering porridge (Payasam in Tamil) as nivedhana on poornima –full moon – days.

Lord Vinayaka graces His darshan wearing a serpent around His body with another one another one above His head as an umbrella.  He is worshipped as Nagabarana Vinayaka.  Those facing adverse serpent planet effects perform milk abishek to Nagabarana Vinayaka at Rahu Kalam times.  Also during the transit of these planets in the zodiac circle, special pujas are performed here to please the planets.

Lord Bhairava, usually appearing with His dog vehicle, has Lion – Simha as his vahan.  When Sage Pundarika worshipped Lord Shiva here, Holy Ganga sprang up in this place along with Lord Bhairava.  He is gracing as Kala Samhara Bhairava in this temple.  The Simha vahan is behind Him. It is believed that Lord Shiva Himself is gracing the devotees who hit Yama the God of Death.  As Lord Kala Bhairava is facing South, devotees pray to him for longevity.  As He looks furious, two smiling Vinayakas are installed before Him.

There is a shrine for Mother Ashta Bhuja (eight hands) Kali in the temple. The deities for the eight directions have their due place in the temple.  Mother Gajalakshmi in Her sitting form graces the devotees with two elephants offering abishek.  Lord Dakshinamurthi is in the ghoshta wall with His four disciples.  As the temple is on a sea shore, it is said that Lord Shiva is ruling the region as a king, hence the name Shiva Rajadhani –capital of Shiva Kingdom.

The temple is greatly praised by the three celebrated saints Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar in their Thevaram hymns.  Sundarar received gifts of pearl and diamond chains, a horse and cosmetic things. Sages Markandeya, Gauthama, Vasishta, Kashyapa, Pulasthya, Agasthya and Angirasa (Saptha Rishis) had worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple.

Behind the Linga in the sanctum sanctorum is the Somaskanda form of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva comes to the sea for a bath on the Masi Magam day in February-March. The idol of Lord Muruga is made with 12 hands with weapons.   He is praised in the Tirupugazh hymns of saint Arunagirinathar.  The Zodiac circle is in the Mandap. People pray from here for relief from planetary problems. The event of sage Pundarika entering the shrine of Lord Shiva and merging with Him is celebrated during the Arthajama Puja (the last puja of the day) on the Ayilyam star day in the month of Aani-June-July.  Sri Chandikeswara shrine is on the side of prakara.

Here Vidangar (emerald linga)called as SUNDARAVIDANGAR In this place Lord Thiyagaraja dance is called as THARANGA Nadanam

Route:

The temple is 2 km away from Nagapattinam bus stand.

Temple Timings:

6.30 am to 12 pm and 4.30 pm to 8 pm

Temple Address:

Sri Kayaroganeswarar Temple
Nagappatinam (post)
Nagappatinam (Dist)
TamilNadu
India.

Economical hotels and lodges:

V.P.K. Lodge, Nethaji Salai, Nagapattinam.
PH: 04365/240678

Balakrishnan Lodge, Neela South St, Nagapattinam
PH: 04365-242449

Balakumar Lodge, Hospital Road, Nagapattinam.
PH: 04365-242484

Luxury Hotels

Hotel Seahorse, Public Office Road, Kadambady, Nagapattinam
PH: 04365-247047

Hotel Chettinadu Nethaji Road, Opposite to Railway Station, Nagapattinam
PH: 04365-220543

Vedaranyam – Sri Vedaranyeswarar Temple

Name of the Temple

Arulmigu Vedaranyeswarar Alayam

Period of origin

Before 6th Century

Name of deity

Moolavar:Vedaranyeswarar

Ambal: Yazhia pazhitha Mozhiyal (Veenavatha vidhushini)

Sthala Theertham: Manikarnika

Stalavriksham: Vanni

Dhevaram: Appar, Thirugnanasampanthar and Sundarar

Sthalapuranam:

It is Believed that four vedas (RIG, YAjUR, SAMA AND ADHARVANA) made thapas at Naluvedhapahti and entered through the four gates of Vedaranyam temple and got Lord Shiva dharshan .

When Kaliyug started, the Vedhas left this sthalam closing for ever the front main door of this temple. People were entering the temple through a small opening in the side wall and were worshiping the deity here.Hence Appar opened the main door and Gnansampanthar closed it by singing Dhevaram songs.

The Bramotsavam festival is celebrated in the Tamil month of Masi for 29 days in the remembrance of opening the main entrance door.

There is an sculpture of Uma Maheswarar behind the Shivalingam in the sanctum. Agasthiyar is said to have obtained a vision of Shiva’s marriage here.

By worshiping here, a rat has changed its life into a king known to be Parikshith Maharaj.

Viswamithra given his body to lord Shiva by changing flesh into thread and blood into oil for the dheepadhoop.

inside the premises we can see manikarnika Theertham, Vanni with rahu and kedhu idols, mahamandapam, separate shrine for Lord Thiyagaraja, 63 nayanmars and Ramanathalingam. In the second premises VeerhathiVinayagar, Murugan, Nasikedhu, Swethakedhu, Jurakarar, Sani, Saraswathi without veena, Annapurani and durga are seen

Yaali stone with irremovable rolling pillars in their mouths, images of the 12 zodiac signs are some of the interesting features seen here.

Here Vidangar (emerald linga)called as BUVANIVIDANGAR In this place Thiyagaraja dance is called as HAMSAPATHA Nadanam(dance).

Water in all the wells at Vedharanyam taste salty and the well situated inside the temple alone gives good drinking water and used by the people.

This is the seventh Saptha vidanga place in order

A separate shrine for Ambal is seen.

Route

1. 45 kms from Nagapattinam.
2. 3 kms from Kodiakkarai

Temple Timings:

6.30 am and 12 pm and 4 pm to 8 pm

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Vedaranyeswarar Alayam
Vedaranyam
Nagappatinam(Dist)
Tamilnadu
India
(R)

Economical hotels and lodges:

V.P.K. Lodge, Nethaji Salai, Nagapattinam.
PH: 04365/240678

Balakrishnan Lodge, Neela South St, Nagapattinam
PH: 04365-242449

Balakumar Lodge, Hospital Road, Nagapattinam.
PH: 04365-242484

Luxury Hotels

Hotel Seahorse, Public Office Road, Kadambady, Nagapattinam
PH: 04365-247047

Hotel Chettinadu Nethaji Road, Opposite to Railway Station, Nagapattinam
PH: 04365-220543

Thirukuvalai – Sri Kolilinathar Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Kolilinathar Temple

Period of origin

Before 6th century

Name of deity

Moolavar: Kolilinathar

Ambal:VandamarPoonkuzhali

Sthala Theertham: Brahma,Indra,Agasthia,Vinayaga Theerthams

Stalavriksham: Thetramaram

Dhevaram: Appar, Thirugnanasampanthar andSundarar

Sthalapuranam:

Lord Shiva relieved the sins of Navagrahas.Hence the lord is called as Kolilinathar. Any type of Dhoshas made by Navagraha will be relieved here. In ancient period (In Tamil Kol means Navagraha and eli means will not affect) Thirukolele now called as Thirukuvalai.

Here Brahma made the linga in white sand and worshiped,hence Lord Shiva is also called as Bramhapureeswarar.Here we can see the linga covered with copper vessel(kuvalai in tamil)so this may be a reason for the name Thirukuvalai.

Indra and Agasthiya muni had worshiped the Lord.

In front Gopuram Bheem(one of the Pandavs) and Brahmahathi idols are seen. It is said to be the Lord relieved the Brahmahathi Dosham of Bheem after he killed Bahasur.

Here Vidangar (emerald linga)called as AVANIVIDANGAR. In this place Lord Thiyagaraja’s dance is called as Bringha Nadanam(dance).

This is the third Saptha vidanga place in order.

inside the premises we can see a separate shrines for Thigaraja, Viswanathar, Visalakshi, Indrapureeswarar, Murugan, Nalvar, Mahalakshmi and Ambal.

A Separate sannathi for Navagraha where we can see all Navagraha standing in straight line facing towards Lord Shiva

Temple Timings:

7 am to 12 pm and 4.30 pm to 8 pm

Temple Address

Sri Kolilinathar Temple
Thirukuvalai(post)
Thiruvarur (Dist)
TamilNadu
India.
(R)

Economical hotels and lodges:

V.P.K. Lodge, Opp. To Bus Stand, Thanjavur Road, Thiruvarur
Phone: 04366-222309

Meenatchi Lodge, Annasalai, Thiruvarur
PH: 04366 222279

SekarLodge, Thanjavur salai, Thiruvarur
PH: 04366 222225

Luxury Hotels

Hotel Royal Park, Bye Pass Road, Thiruvarur
PH: 04366-251020

Hotel Selvies (P) LTD,Near Bus Stand, Thiruvarur
PH: 04366-222080

Thiruvaimur – Sri Vaimurnathar Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Vaimurnathar Temple

Period of origin

Before 3000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Vaimurnathar

Ambal: Palinumnanmozhial

Sthala Theertham: Suriya Theertham

Stalavriksham: Palamaram (jack fruit Tree)

Dhevaram: Appar and Gnanasampanthar

Sthalapuranam:

The Vitanka form is that form of Lord Siva in His heavenly abode. He desired to have this form on earth also. Lord Indra once solicited this Vitanka form of Lord Siva. Vitankam is a small Sivalinga form and the Lord told Indra that this Lingam could not be worshipped in the Indralokam, a world of pleasures. However, He gave the Vitanka Lingam to Lord Indra because of his compulsion. Knowing the significance of the Lingam, Lord Indra was carrying on the poojas in an appropriate manner. But, the Lord wanted the Lingam to be in the human inhabited terrain. When Emperor Muchukuntha was ruling, people were suffering due to the attack of wild animals. So, the Emperor went off in a hunting expedition and after completing the hunt in the northern part, he came to the banks of river Kaveri. On a Sivarathiri night while he was hunting, a few sages passed that way. They told him that they were proceeding to the Vilvaaranya Kshetram to perform Sivalinga Pooja during Sivarathiri night. Scriptures do not allow animal hunting in Sivarathiri. The regretted king abandoned his kingly attire, wore ascetic outfit and went with the sages. Lord Siva appeared before the king who repented for his action. The Lord told him to retrieve the Sivalinga, which was with Lord Indra and install it in the earth for the purpose of worship. At that time, Lord Indra was seeking help to put down Vaalaasuran and he had offered as gift his elephant Iraavatham, his white umbrella and any gift asked if someone put an end to Vaalaasuran. The Lord advised the king to kill Vaalaasuran and get the Sivalingam as gift. A wise man will win even God. Emperor Muchukundan told Lord Siva: “I’ll do likewise. But Lord Indra is likely to cheat me by giving a similar Lingam like Vitanka Lingam. So, please show me how the Vitanka form would be!” Lord Siva conceded to his request and there arose a flood of light all over the place. Apart from Emperor Muchukundan and the sage, the entire Angel world thronged there. The emotion-filled Muchukundan urged the Lord: “O Lord! Thou be in the Indraloka as well as here as Thou are now. I’ll raise a temple for Thee!” The Lord accepting their plea remains here in this sacred place.

Lord Dakshinamurti in the sanctum is seen seated on Rishabam. ‘Vaaymoor’ can be taken as the derivative expression of ‘Vaaymaiyar Oor’ meaning ‘the city of those who abide Truth’. This is one of the saptavitanka kshetras. The dance of Thiagarajar-Neelavitankar is the ‘kamala natanam’ – the Lotus Dance, and the throne is ‘Rathina Simhasanam’-Gem-embedded throne. Brahma and other Devas afraid of Taarakaasuran became birds, came to this holy place, took bath in the Prachanda-maarutha Thirtham to ward off their sins, worshipped the Lord to be relieved from their sins.

Sivarathiri, Aippasi annabhishekam, Markali Tiruvathirai, and Brahmotsavam is celebrated in Vaikaasi Visaakam. The usual festivals are conducted. Pooja is offered to Lord Bhairavar in Ashtami. On the first day of the Aippasi month special abhishekam is peformed for Lord Thiagarajar.

Here Vidangar (emerald linga)called as NEELAVIDANGAR In this place Lord Thiyagaraja’s dance is called as Padma Nadanam(dance).

 

Temple Timings:

6.30 am to 12pm and 4.30 pm to 7.30 pm

Temple Address:

Sri Vaimurnathar Temple
Thiruvaimur(post)
Thirukuvalai(via)
Thiruvarur (Dist)
TamilNadu
India.

Economical hotels and lodges:

V.P.K. Lodge, Opp. To Bus Stand, Thanjavur Road, Thiruvarur
Phone: 04366-222309

Meenatchi Lodge, Annasalai, Thiruvarur
PH: 04366 222279

SekarLodge, Thanjavur salai, Thiruvarur
PH: 04366 222225

Luxury Hotels

Hotel Royal Park, Bye Pass Road, Thiruvarur
PH: 04366-251020

Hotel Selvies (P) LTD,Near Bus Stand, Thiruvarur
PH: 04366-222080

Thirukaravasal – Sri Kannayiaramudaiyar Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Kannayiaramudaiyar Temple

Period of origin

Before 6th century.  had sung in

Name of the deity

Moolavar: Naethrasagasraeswarar

Ambal: Kshamadevi

Sthala Theertham: Brahma Theertham

Stalavriksham: Karaeel and Vilvam

Dhevaram: Appar and Gnanasampanthar

Sthalapuranam:

It is believed that when Musukundha chakravarthi came from Indra’s place, he took rest in this place and kept all seven emerald lingas in this place. While he tried to take back, one Linga got struck at this place. Hence he kept the one and worshiped in this temple and named as AVANI VIDANGAR.

In every Saptha Vidangar place there will be a dance by Lord Thiyagaraja. In this place the dance is called as KOOKOODA Nadanam (dance).

Its believed that God himself call his devotee to this place. Here worshiping Lord Shiva is equal to 1000 Shiva temples.

Since Brahma had worshiped here, the Lord Shiva is also called as Brahmapureeswarar.

Lord Vishnu, Indra, Agasthiyar, Musukundha Chakravarthi, Panjapandavas and King Hemakandha had worshiped here.

Here we can see a separate shrine for Goddess Parvathi called as Kshamadevi
A Separate shrine for Lingam which Agasthiya muni worshiped seen here.

Inside the premises Thiyagaraja, Thiyagavinayagar, Viswanatha lingam, Visalakshi, Indrapureeswar, Murugan, chokalingam, Annamalaiyar, Nalvar and Mahalakshmi shrines are seen.

Koshtamoorthy Natarajar, Narthana ganapathi, Pitchandavar, Dakshinamoorthy, Vishnu, suriya and chandra are seen.

Temple Timings:

7.30 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 8 pm

Temple Address:

Sri Kannayiaramudaiyar Temple
Thirukaravasal(post)
Thiruvarur (Dist)
TamilNadu
India.

Economical hotels and lodges:

V.P.K. Lodge, Opp. To Bus Stand, Thanjavur Road, Thiruvarur
Phone: 04366-222309

Meenatchi Lodge, Annasalai, Thiruvarur
PH: 04366 222279

SekarLodge, Thanjavur salai, Thiruvarur
PH: 04366 222225

Luxury Hotels

Hotel Royal Park, Bye Pass Road, Thiruvarur
PH: 04366-251020

Hotel Selvies (P) LTD,Near Bus Stand, Thiruvarur
PH: 04366-222080

Thiruvarur – Sri Thiagarajar temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Thiagarajar temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Vanmeekanathar

Ambal: Kamalambikai

Sthala Theertham:Kamalalyam,Sanku, Kaya, Vanni Theertham

Stalavriksham: Paathiri

Dhevaram : Appar,Gnanasampanthar, Sundarar, and Manikavasagar

Sthalapuranam:

Indira had to face a battle against the demons.  He was able to win the war with the help of Emperor Mushukunda.  As a token of his gratitude to the emperor, Indira wanted to present a gift and asked what he wanted.  Mushukunda asked for the Shivalinga in Indira’s possession which was worshipped by Lord Vishnu keeping it on His chest.  Indira did not want to part with the Linga.  He made a trick with divine sculptor Mayan making six such Lingas and presented them to the emperor.  Mushukunda found them fake.  With no means to convince the emperor, Indira offered the Original Shivalinga along with the six new ones too making the total to 7.  The original Shiva Linga is in Tiruvarur.  Other six are installed in other temples all collectively known as Saptha Vidanga Sthalas.  Saptha in Sanskrit means seven.  They are installed as 1) Veedhi Vidangar in Tiruvarur, 2) as Nagara Vidangar in Tirunallru, 3) as Sundara Vidangar in Nagapattinam, 4) as Avani Vidangar in Tirukuvalai, 5) as Neela Vidangar in Tiruvaimur, 6) as Bhuvani Vidangar in Vedaranyam and 7) as Adi Vidangar in Tirukaravasal.  These Lingas are tiny in size and could be held in hand.  These places are called Saptha Vidanga Sthalas where Lord Shiva is worshipped as Thiagarajar.

A demon Satya Gupta by name was a threat to Devas.  He was caught in the aspect of Sani Bhagwan-Planet Saturn.  Enraged, he began to fight with the planets.  The planets appealed to Lord Shiva for protection.  Lord Shiva protected the planets from the demon on condition that they should ever be soft to His devotees.  Hence, the planets are on straight line facing the Lord.  Lord Vinayaka is also in this shrine monitoring them whether they are soft to Shiva devotees.  It thus became the rule that though devotees visit Tirunallru for Saturn reliefs, they should visit Tiruvarur also for worship for total relief.  Of the 84 Vinayakas in the temple, four are highly revered.  Those suffering from nervous problems and high tensions, pray to Nadukkam Theertha Vinayaka-Vinayaka protecting from trembling.  Women pray to Mattru Uraitha Vinayaka in the West Gopuram gate before buying jewels as He confirmed the touch quality of the gold awarded by Lord Shiva to Saint Sundarar.  Lord Mooladhara Ganapathi appears reclining and dancing on a blossomed Lotus near a five headed serpent.  Those practicing yoga worship here.  Lord Vadhabi Gnapathi graces the devotees from the first prakara of Lord’s shrine.  Great Carnatic Musician Sri Muthuswamy Dishitha, one among the Trinity of Carnatic Music heritage, sang the famous song “Vadhabi Ganapathim Baje” from this shrine which musicians sing first in their concerts.

Presiding Lord Vanmeeka Nathar appears gracefully wearing the crescent moon on His head.  So Mother Kamalambal grants darshan to Her devotees with this Crescent Moon jewel.  She represents Mothers Saraswathi, Parvathi and Mahalakshmi holding a flower in the right hand, keeping the left on the hip and legs on a Yoga posture as an Empress.
It is the custom in Shiva Temples to end the Thevaram hymn chanting with the word Tiru Chittrambalam as followed in Chidambaram temple, considered to be first among all Shiva temples in the state.  But the antiquity of Tiruvarur temple is more ancient, hence, this word is not chanted here.
The Car (Rath) of Tiruvarur is biggest in size and beautiful in the make.
Lord Shiva had played 364 miracles (Tiruvilayadal in Tamil) in Tiruvarur alone.  As salvation is a certainty for those born in Tiruvarur, Yama the God of Death had no work here.  He prayed to Lord and took the place of Chandikeswara.  Those with fear of death pray here.  Those joyous of the face darshan of Lord in Tiruvarur also visits Vilamal temple, 3 km from here, for Feet Darshan for complete satisfaction.   The Feet Darshan secret is said to be behind the sanctum sanctorum of Lord.
Aadi Pooram festival (July-August) is celebrated for procession deity Manonmani.  Akasha Bhairava above the Kamalambika tower is acting as a custodian deity.   Lord Bhairava of the temple is praised as Siddhi Bhairava.  Kamalamuni Siddhar Peetam is near the sanctum sanctorum of Mother Kamalambika on the right side.
Siva Surya graces from the prakara of Lord Shiva Shrine.  He looks tall.  Those facing debt burdens pray to Runa Vimochana Easwara.  Lord Thiagaraja grants darshan on the Tiruvadhirai day in December from the Raja Narayana Mandap.  There are Ashta (eight) Durga shrines in the temple.  Sri Muthuswami Dishithar had sung the glory of the Durgas in his celebrated Keerthanas.
Abishek is dedicated to Mother Mahalakshmi with gold coins on Deepavali in October-November and on Akshaya Tritiya day in April-May by devotees.

Lord Dakshinamurthi graces from the outer wall of Ambika shrine with six disciples, though generally only four are with Him in other Shiva temples.
Mother Neelotpalambal graces from a separate shrine with a maid holding Lord Muruga.  The idol of mother is beautifully made as if She is touching the head of Her beloved son Muruga.
We see Mother Saraswathi with a Veena only.  She does not hold one here but graces the devotees in a penance posture.  Lord Hayagriva, in his own shrine appears performing Shiva Puja.  He is praised as Hayagriswarar.  Students pray to Mother Saraswathi and Lord Hayagriswarar to shine in their academic pursuits.
A contest arose in the celestial world on the integrity level in people.  Yama the God of Death claimed the title.  But Maharshi Narada denied His right and said that King Manu Needhi Chola alone deserved the title.  Yama came to earth in the guise of a cow with a calf.  Prince Veedhi Vidangan was coming on the royal street of the city. The calf was caught under the wheels and was killed in the accident.  The Mother Cow (Yama) rushed to the king’s palace and sought justice from the king-Manu Needhi Cholan.  The king decided that he also should endure and suffer the pain of losing a child as the cow.  He drove the rath on the body of his son, delivered justice with life for life.  Yama appeared before the king recognizing his integrity and sense of justice to non-humans too and disappeared.  This episode is depicted in a stone rath sculpture placed in the northeast corner of the temple.
Generally, Nandhi is seen in a sitting position in Shiva temples except in Saptha Vidanga places around Tiruvarur.  All of them are metal idols.
In temples facing east, Lord’s procession also begins from east facing entrance.  In Tiruvarur, the procession begins from the northeast entrance called Vittavasal.  Emperor Mushukunda installed the Linga in the temple which he got from Indira.  But Indira wanted to take back the Linga to his own Devaloka.  It is believed that Indira is waiting at the east entrance to use the opportunity when Lord passes through this gate.  To fool Indira, the devotees are taking Lord in procession through the northeast entrance, so that he may not enter the temple to steal the Linga.  Even majority of the devotees use the northeast gate only to enter the temple avoiding the east.
Tiruvarur is the only temple that has more number of Thevaram hymns-353, Ganasambandar 55, Tirunavukkarasar 208 and Sundarar 87 and Manickavasagar 3.
It is noteworthy that Mother Kamalambikai is greatly revered as a total personification of the devotional hymn Lalitha Sahasra Nama.  Hence, the Theertha is praised as Kamalalayam.  Bathing in this Theertha on the Panguni Uthiram day in March-April is considered equal to 12 Mahamagam bath in Kumbakonam.  It should be noted that Mahamagam occurs only once in 12 years.
It is also noteworthy that Pradosha puja is performed in this temple every day – known as Nitya Pradosham – from 4.30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. though it is performed once in a fortnight in other temples.  It is said that all the Devas – 33 crore in  number (Muppathu Mukkodi in Tamil) are worshipping Lord Thiagaraja during this puja.  The devotee worshipping the Lord in the evening is blessed by all Gods, it is believed.

This temple is  Aathara Stalam.This place is called Moolatharam meaning Basal end of the spinal

Musukunda chakravarthi brought Athmalinga(Emerald Linga) from Indra and kept in this place as first linga among the Seven called as VEETHIVIDANGAR

 

Route

1. 56 kms from Thanjavur
2. 40 kms from Kumbakonam
3. 24 kms from Nagapattinam
4. 29 kms from Nagore
5. 40 kms from Karaikal
6. 40 kms from Mayiladuthurai

Temple Timings:

6am to 12 pm and 4.30 pm to 8 pm

Temple Address:

Sri Vanmeekanathar Temple
Thiruvarur (post)
Thiruvarur(Dist)
TamilNadu
India.

Economical hotels and lodges:

V.P.K. Lodge, Opp. To Bus Stand, Thanjavur Road, Thiruvarur
Phone: 04366-222309

Meenatchi Lodge, Annasalai, Thiruvarur
PH: 04366 222279

SekarLodge, Thanjavur salai, Thiruvarur
PH: 04366 222225

Luxury Hotels

Hotel Royal Park, Bye Pass Road, Thiruvarur
PH: 04366-251020

Hotel Selvies (P) LTD,Near Bus Stand, Thiruvarur
PH: 04366-222080