Thirukadaiyur temple - Amritaghateswarar-Abirami amman Temple
Amirtaghateswarar abirami amman temple, Shiva in his manifestation as “Destroyer of Death” and his wife Parvati as Abhirami. It is located in Thirukadaiyur, 21 km East of Mayiladu thurai, Tamil Nadu in India. This temple is associate with the legend of shiva saving his young devotee. Markendeya from death, and the tale of a saint, Abirami Pattar a devotee of the presiding goddess.
Worship and festivals
Like other Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to the Shai vaite community, a Brahmin sub-caste.
Ushath kalam at 5:30 a.m.
Kala santhi at 8:00 a.m.
Uchi kalam at 10:00 a.m.
Saya rakshai at 6:00 p.m.
Irandam kalam at 8:00 p.m.
Ardha Jamam at 10:00 p.m.
There are weekly rituals like soma varam and sukra varam, fortnightly rituals like prado sham. Monthly festivals like amavasai (new moon day), kiruthigai, pournami (full moon day) and sathurthi.
Legend - (Amritaghateswarar)
Thiruk kadaiyur derives its name from the pot, called Gatam in Tamil. Vishnu, Indra, and the other Devas needed a sublime place to consume Ganesha. Hurt and offended at the unintentional slight by the devas. Stole the pot of Amrita and hid it at Tiruk kadaiyur. Ganesha created a Shiva Lingam, dedicated to his father and mother, and poured some of the Amrita over it.
As per popular legend, near the temple of Tiruk kadaiyur. There lived a sage named Mrikandu and his wife Marud mati. Asking to be grace with a child. After many years of penance, Shiva appeared to Mrikandu and Marud mati. . Chose the former, and were bless with Mar kandeya, an exemplary son, destined to die at the age of sixteen.
History - (Abirami Temple)
There are several inscriptions in the temple belonging to the Medieval Cholas. On the southern wall in the central shrine, there is an inscription from the 13th regnal year of Rajaraja. I indicating stipulation of paddy to the temple. By a merchant in return to offer of land to the temple offered. Record in the temple indicates the (ARE 242 of 1925) of a gift of paddy to the temple. Rajendra Chola for conducting eight-day temple festival annually. A third record on the same wall indicates record dated to 1054 AD from the reign of Rajadhiraja Chola. Records a gift of land by a devotee to feed 17 devotees.
The fourth record (ARE 244 of 1925) in the shrine from the period of Kulothunga Chola. I indicates the Mahasabha of Tirukadaiyur selling 1.74 velis of land that had been lying fallow for 50 years. An interesting inscription from the outer precinct from the period. Rajaraja II indicates confiscation of lands from a custodian of a temple who colluded with Vaishan vites (worshipers of Vishnu). There are several inscriptions indicating donations for performing art, drama, dance and music. The temple is maintaine and administered by the Dharma puram Adheenam. Amritaghateswarar – Abirami Temple – Thirukkadaiyur
At this temple, towards the beginning of the sixteenth century. There lived a staunch devotee of the goddess Abhirami named Subramanian. Any woman that entered the temple he would offer flowers to, worshiping her as the living embodiment of the goddess.
One day, King Saraboji visited the temple as Subramanian was meditating on the glories of Abhirami. See that Subramanian did not move. He entered the temple, the king became irritated. He asked one of the devotees in the temple who this man was that refused to recognize him. One priest told the king that Subra manian was mad. Worshiping all women as the Divine Mother and showering them with flowers.
The king, confused by the two conflicting accounts of who this man. Decided to put Subra manian to the test. Therefore, he asked Subramanian whether today was a full moon day or a new moon day. At that time, Subramanian was still absorbed in meditation on the Divine Mother, seeing her shining face in his mind. Subramanian, seeing the Goddess’ face and mistaking it for the moon, responded to the king saying that it was a full moon day when it was actually a new moon day. The king, deciding that Subramanian must be mad, ordered that he be burnt at dusk if the moon failed to appear. After some time, the king’s army awakened Subramanian and ordered him to come with them to be executed for his madness. On returning to ordinary consciousness, Subramanian realized that he had mistaken Goddess Abhirami’s face for the full moon, making him say it was a full moon day when, in actuality, it was a new moon day.
Kalaya Nayanar was an ardent worshiper of Shiva and lighted temple lamps & incense sticks with his meager earning. Family was facing severe poverty. Kalaya’s wife gave his gold ornament to sell for daily expenditure. Kalaya sold the gold and used the money for lighting the temple lamps. A divine voice detailed his affinity towards the presiding deity resulted in the wealth.
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Amirtha Narayana Perumal Temple
The temple is just 100 yards away from Amirthakadeswarar temple and is dedicated to Goddess Amirtha Valli Thayer. The temple is one of the lesser-known Thirukadaiyur temples but holds immense religious importance.
According to local folklore, the Devas were once losing a battle against the Asuras and turned to Lord Narayana for help. Lord Narayana asked them to churn holy nectar from the ocean to regain their powers. The Devas followed their lord’s instructions however, they decided to drink the nectar without worshipping Lord Ganesha before doing so. Angered by this, Ganesha hid the nectar in the Amirthakadeswarar temple. The Devas sought permission to secure nectar from the Amirthghateshwar lingam from Goddess Abhirami. While all the Devas were drinking the nectar, an Asura secretly disguised himself as a Deva and drank the elixir. Due to this, he was cut into two pieces by Lord Amrita Narayanan(Vishnu). They are seen here together in two Sannidhis as a memory of the event.
The temple is a Parihara Sthalam for treating the Rahu-Kethhu dosha. There is a belief that only the person who worships in this temple will get the full benefit of worshipping Goddess Abhirami at the Amirthakadeswarar Temple. Many revered sages like Ramanjur offered prayers in this temple.
Sri Markandeyar Temple
Located 0.5 km from the town of Thirukadaiyur, the Markandeyar temple is a shrine of Sri Markandeyar. It is believed that Markandeyar worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple and performed various pujas to please him.
If you remember the legend of Amirthghateshwar, then you will be delighted to know this is the place where Lord Shiva blessed saint Mrikandu and his wife with a bright child. The child was named as Markandeyar, and he grew up to be a noble boy. He became a staunch devotee of Shiva. After Markandeyar got the gift of immortality as a blessing from Lord Shiva, the temple was built in the memory of the event and to honour the unshakable faith of Markandeyar.
Every year, special pujas are organized in the temple on Ashwini Star day to honour the day Lord Shiva brought a pot of Pure Ganga water to chastise Markandeya. Devotees believe that if people perform Shiva Parvathi Kalyanam puja in the temple for their unmarried daughter, she will get married soon.
Sri Brahmapureeswarar Temple
The temple is at Thirukadaiyur Mayanam which just 2 km from Thirukadaiyur. It is one of the many Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams and also the 55th west facing Shiva Sthalams in Tamil Nadu.
According to mythology, Lord Shiva destroyed and created Brahma at five places known as “Mayanams”. After Lord Shiva destroyed Brahma, life on earth was severely affected. So the Devas visited this place and requested Shiva to revive Brahma. After Brahma back came to life, Lord Shiva gave Brahma the “Shiva Gnanam” in this place. Hence, it is also called the “Thiru Meignanam” making it one of the most revered Thirukadaiyur temples.
According to religious beliefs, the Pambatti Siddhar once lived in this place, who is one of the 18 holy Siddhars. Belief has it that Lord Shiva gave “Gnanam” to Brahma in this place, so anyone who worships here will defeat ignorance and gain spiritual wisdom. The water from the well near the temple finds use in Abhishekam of Amirthghateshwar lingam.