Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Edaganathar||Ambal / Thayar:||Elavarkuzhali, Suganda Kunthalambigai|
|Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Pandya Nadu)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tiruvedagam||District:||Madurai|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Madurai (20 km)||Sivaganga (25 km)|
|Dindigul (49 km)||Virudhunagar (56 km)|
Tiruvedagam is about 20 km from Madurai, and 5 km from Sholavandan.
Sthala puranam and temple information
Koon Pandyan, the ruler of Madurai, was highly supportive of Jainism. He devoted most of his times with Jain monks and used to spend from the exchequer for their benefits, ignoring the people of his kingdom. As a result, Saivism started to decline in his realm.
Sambandar visited Madurai at the request of the queen of Madurai. The Jains were upset at this, and set fire to his ashram. Knowing their evil designs, Sambandar sang ten pathigams directing the fire towards the King’s palace. This caused the King to be infected by small pox. The Jain monks tried their best but could not cure the King, who was left with no other alternative but to turn to his own people.
Taking pity on him, Sambandar visited the king, and applied Vibhuthi (sacred ash)from the Meenakshi Temple, Madurai (Sacred Ash) on the king, singing Manthiramavuthu Neeru (Sacred Ash is the medicine). The King was cured instantly. The Jains did not believe this and alleged that this was witchcraft, and arranged a contest to decide the superiority of one religion over the other. Both the Jains and Saivites were to write a verse on a palm leaf and float it on the river Vaigai. The owner of the leaf which swam against the current and reached the bank would be superior.
As expected, the verse written by Sambandar was able to float against the current and reached the banks. As the Eadu (leaf) swam against this place is called Thiru Eadagam (Thiruvedagam). This incident is also considered as marking the start of the resurgence of Saivism in the region.
Sattainatha Siddha is believed to have taken Samadhi here. He was normally carried by the local kids as he did not want to step on the Siva Lingams even by mistake. He used to treat devotees’ stomach ailments with a mix Vibuthi (sacred ash) in rice soaked in water. This “treatment” is followed even today by the devotees.
The prasadam here is made of roots from the river bed along with curd rice and mustard. The prasadam is kept in front of the Lingam and the belief is that consuming the prasadam thereafter provides relief from stomach-related illnesses.
At Vinayakar’s sannidhi, his vehicle – the rodent – can be seen with its ears open. This iconography is considered extremely rare. Vinayakar is also believed to have ensured that the leaf floated by Sambandar reached the bank upstream, and so he is named Vaadhil Vendra Vinayakar (the Vinayakar who won the debate, in a manner of speaking!).
Dwarapalakas – and not Dwarapalakis – guard the Amman Shrine. But once in a month, the Dwarapalakas are dressed as women, in sarees.
Sundarar prayed to Siva from a boat in the river as did not want disrespect the Lord by walking over his land which Sambandar had set foot on.
Other information for your visit
The Meenakshi Amman temple is said to be surrounded by two sets of temples, called the Ull-Avaranam (inner-garland) and Veli-Avaranam (outer-garland). The Ull-Avaranam is comprised of the Adi Chokkanathar to the north, Immayilum Nanmai Tharuvaar to the west, Mukteeswarar to the east (also called Airavatanallur since Airavata, the celestial elephant worshipped there) and the Then Tiruvaalavaai temple to the south. The Veli-Avaranam is comprised of is comprised of Tiruparankundram to the south, Tiruvedagam to the west, Tiruappanur / Sellur to the north and Tiruppuvanam to the east.
There are a total of 5 Paadal Petra Sthalams in and around Madurai, and all of them can be covered in one day, if driving. Of course, there are several more temples as well. See our map for more.
Near this temple, around Sholavandan, are also some temples of note.
Tirunelveli (Nellaiappar Temple) and Kutralam (Kutralanathar Temple) are each 155-165 km from Madurai, and Tirunelveli-Kutralam is about 55-60 km. Also definitely worth going to, is Tenkasi (6 km from Kutralam), where the famous Kasi Viswanathar temple is located.
There are a lot of accommodation options in Madurai to suit all budgets. Madurai is also serviced by rail connectivity to several places in Tamil Nadu, and is connected by an international airport, to various metros and cities in India as well as Dubai, Colombo and Singapore.