Name of the Temple

Tirukkadavur Sri Amritaghateswarar Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Amirtha Kadeswarar

Ambal: Abhirami Amman

Sthala Theertham: Amirtha Pushkarini, Ganga Theertham

Sthala Virksham:Vilwam

Devaram: Tirunavukkarasar, Gnana Sambandar and Sundarar

Sthalapuranam:

Lord Brahmma went to Kailash to have the Gnana Upadesa (wisdom learning).  Lord Shiva gave the seeds of Vilwa tree to Brahmma and asked him to sow them in earth in various places.  Where the seed germinates within one hour into a tree shall be venue of teaching, said Lord Shiva.  It happened in Thirukadayur.   Shiva the teacher of Brahmma is worshipped as Adhi Vilwa Vana Nather in the temple having His own shrine. The Devan began to consume the nectar without offering prayers to Lord Vinayaka who simply hid the pot.  They realized their folly and prayed to Vinayaka, got it from Him and placed it in this Thirudayur for Shiva Puja.  When opened it was Shiva Linga.  As Lord Shiva appeared here as a Swayamnu Linga from the Amirtha-nectar pot He is worshipped as Amirtha Kadeswarar. Lord Mahavishnu wished to perform Shiva Puja before serving the nectar to Devas. According to rules Shiva Puja should be performed along with Ambica.

Lord Mahavishnu took off all His ornaments to represent Mother Ambica.  She rose from these ornaments.  Completing the Shiva Puja, He served the nectar to Devas.  It is believed that the ornament of Lord Vishnu is the home of Mother Mahalakshmi.  As Ambica-Abirami wa born of the jewels, Vishnu is praised as the Mother of Ambica also, though generally She is widely praised as the younger Sister (Yoga Maya) of Lord Mahavisnu. The wonderful mercy of Mother Abhirami is evident from an event that saved Her devotee from capital punishment. While in deep prayer in the temple with his mind set on the graceful face of Ambica, Her devotee Subramanian, when enquired about the Thithi of the day by king Sarfoji, said it was a full moon day though it was a new moon day.  The king said that if he failed to prove that it was full moon day, he would be hanged. Unfazed by the order of the king, his faith completely at the feet of Ambica, Subramaniam began singing the Her glory in 100 verses in Andhadhi poetic style.  Andhadhi – first and last – that is the last word of the preceding verse will be the first word in the next verse.  This is generally sung in 100 verses.  When Subramaniam was singing the 79th verse, Mother Abhirami threw Her Thadanga – ear rings in the air which shone as a full moon.  This event is celebrated in the temple on the New Moon day of Tamil Thai month – January-February.  Mother Abhirami grants darshan from her flower palanquin.  These hundred songs are now celebrated as Abhirami Andhadhi chanted by devotees as a daily routine.

On this festival day, this is chanted with an Arati for each song.  When the 79th song is chanted a powerful electric lamp is switched on representing the full moon appearing from Her Thadangas-ear rings. Devotee crowd is naturally huge on this day.

Sage Mrigandu and his wife Maruthuvathi were praying to Lord Shiva for child.  The sage performed severe penance.  Lord said that the sage couple would have a son with all wisdom and noble characters but his life would too short spanning just 16 years. He was named Markandeya.  When he entered the age of 16, his parents were sad.  Knowing the problem, Markandeya took a pilgrimage to all Shiva Sthalas.  He came to Tirukadayur.  This was the 108th temple of his pilgrimage.  That also happened to his day of destiny.  While he was praying to Lord, Yama directly came there to take his life.  Seeing Yama, Markandeya embraced Lord Amirtha Kadeswara with all his might.  When Yama threw his rope on Markandeya, it fell and covered Lord also, who in all fury hit him and destroyed him with His trident.  Turning to Markandeya, Lord said that he would ever be 16 only without death.
As Yama was no more, there was no death in the earth.  Mother Earth could not bear the amassed weight of beings living long without an end.  She appealed to Lord Shiva telling her difficulty.  Lord shed his anger and restored Yama to life in this sacred bhoomi.  Lord is praised as Kala Samhara Murthy.  His left leg is on Adishesha the divine serpent.  He is holding His trident on Yama underneath.  Nearby is Gundodhara dragging Yama with a rope.  But Yama is not visible during darshan.  During the puja time, when the peeta is opened, we can see Yama.  The darshan of Lord with trident is called Samhara style and that with Yama is called Anugraha style.  Devotees can worship Lord Amirthakadeswarar in both forms.  Mother Balambika as a little girl appears with two hands with Mothers Lakshmi and Saraswathi nearby. As the Akash Rahasya – sacred philosophy – in Chidambaram, there is a Yantra in the right wall of the shrine called Tirukadayur Rahasyam.  Worshipping Lord Papa Kareswarar and the presiding Lord, people also worship this yantra for longevity.

Yama appears in the shrine of Kalasamhara Murthy in a worshipping posture with his buffalo vahan nearby. Markandeya brought Ganga water for his Shiva puja.  To facilitate his Shiva Puja, Lord made Ganga spring in a well near the Brahmmapureeswarar temple adjacent to Thirukadavur cremation ground.  Markandeya was happy to use this water for the abishek of Lord.  Even today, this is the water used for abishek in the temple.  Devotees are not allowed to bathe in this spring.  The Ganga spring appeared on the Aswathi star day in Thai month (January-February). Devotees are allowed to bathe here only on this day each year. It is said that a jasmine flower belonging to Pinjilam variety also came along the Ganga spring which blossoms throughout the year used only for the archana of Lord.  Others cannot use it.  It is also said that archana with one flower is equal to an archana with 1008 flowers. Poornabishekam for those completing 100 years, Kanakabishekam (90 Years old), Sathabishekam (80 years), Beemaratha Shanthi (70 years) and Manivizha (60 years) are performed for longevity with Ayush Homam.  In such celebrations 16 Kalasas and nine varieties of corns and pulses are placed invoking the presence of nine planets. After the rituals, the water in the Kalasas-pots is poured on the person and his wife as Prasad abishek by their relatives.  This washes away any sin attached with such aged ones.  Then they have to worship Lord Brahmma Pureeswarar whose temple is near the Thirukadvur cremation ground.  For this celebration no day, date and auspicious time formalities are observed as they take place in the presence of Lord in the temple. The symbol of the rope thrown around Markandeya along with Linga, is still on the Linga which would be visible during abishek times.  The evening pujas in the temple begin with Lord Adhi Vilva Vana Nathar.

Here is the cave tunnel used by Markandeya to bring the Ganga water for Lord’s abishk. Devotees, according to tradition, begin their worship with Lord Papa Kareswarar worshipped by sage Agasthya and Lord Punya Kareswarar worshipped by Sage Pulasthya and proceed to other shrines.  There is a shrine for Lord Punya Kareswarar.  Papa Kareswara temple is opposite this shrine with holes on the wall. he scar caused by Yama’s rope is visible on the Shivalinga.  The idol of Lord Kalasamharamurthi is made of copper expressing all anger with trident upside down on Yama, hitting him by the right leg and facing south. Many Siddhas were living around this holy place, Pambatti Siddha being prominent.  There is no Navagraha shrine in the temple.  Those performing pujas for Navagrahas the nine planets, offer it to Lord Kalasamharamurthi only. Of the celebrated 63 Saivite Nayanmars, Kaari Nayanar and Kungiliakalaya Nayanar attained salvation in this sacred land.  Subramanian the author of Abhirami Andhadhi then known as Abhirami Pattar was also a native of this place. Majority of the devotees perform their birth days, Sashti Aptha Poorthi (completing 60 years) Ukra Radha Shanti (completing 59 years) Beemaradha Shanti (completing 70 years),Sathabishekam (completing 80 years) seeking Lord and Mother blessings.

Devotees completing their 60 years for celebrating their Sashti Aptha Poorthi called Mani Vizha in Tamil, include not only those from Tamilnadu but from states of India and countries of the world.   People celebrate their 50th wedding day and for relief from adverse aspects of planets.  Mother Abhirami is all merciful and powerful.  She grants boons of prosperity, wedding, child and distinction in academic pursuits.

People worship Lord Kalasamhara Murthy for longevity.  Many pray to Lord  Amirthaladeswarar for mental peace and relief from confusions.  They also pray for job opportunities and profits in trade and industry.

Route:

Thirukayur is 26 km far from Mayiladuthurai on the Nagapattinam road. Frequent bus facility is available. From Sirkali it is 30 km.

Temple Timings:

6.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.

Temple Telephone Number:

04364 287429.

Temple Address:

Sri Amirtha Kadeswarar Temple,

Tirukadayur-609 311.

Nagapattinam district