Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Erumbeeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Soundaranayaki, Madhuvaneswari, NaRunkuzhal Nayaki (Sugandha Kuzhaleswari), Rathnambikai|
|Vriksham:||Vilvam||Teertham:||Brahma Teertham, Padma Teertham, Madhu Teertham, Kumara Teertham|
|Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|City / town:||Tiruverumbur||District:||Tiruchirappalli|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Tiruchirappalli (11.2 km)||Thanjavur (50.8 km)|
|Pudukottai (58 km)||Perambalur (62.9 km)|
Tiruverumbur is located 13km from Trichy, on the highway to Thanjavur.
Sthala puranam and temple information
The hillock on which this temple is built, is said to be one of many created during the duel of strength between Adiseshan and Vayu over mount Meru.
Tarakasuran, having captured devalokam, was tormenting the devas. Unable to overcome him, they prayed to Brahma, who advised them to pray to Lord Siva at this place. To avoid being identified by the asura, the Devas took the form of ants to worship Siva here. The ants found it difficult to climb, The Lord himself helped the ants by changing into an anthill and bending to one side, so that the ants could offer flowers and perform worship properly. After accepting their worship, He had the asura destroyed by Murugan. Since Siva was worshipped by ants, He is called Erumbeeswarar (Erumbu in Tamil means ant), and the place takes the name Tiruverumbur. Even today, ants can be seen crawling on the Lingam, and eating the remnants of any prasadam, etc.
The moolavar presides here in the form of an anthill of irregular shape. Therefore, abhishekam is not performed directly on the Lingam, but only after covering it with a metal cover. The Lingam is not smooth, but has a rough and uneven texture to it. The Lingam in the garbhagriham is split into two – denoting Siva and Sakti – and is called the Sivasakti Lingam.
The architecture and iconography in this temple are exceptional. The two dwarapalakas are depicted as one being angry and the other appearing peaceful – indicating that by worshipping here, the devotee gives up his anger and attains peace. Bhairavar here is a Swarna Bhairavar, but appears extremely angry. Murugan’s shrine houses a six-sided (shatkona) yantram. Suryan is present with both his wives – Usha and Chaya – as part of the Navagrahams.
This is considered as one of three places where Siva bent Himself to enable his devotees to worship Him. The other two are at Tiruppanandal and Virinjipuram.
Indra, Brahma and sage Agastyar, among others, have worshipped here. Karan, the brother of Trisiras, is also believed to have prayed here. Rati, the wife of Kama, is said to have worshipped here with a specific purpose – that her beauty should not give rise to egotistic behaviour by her!
In religious literature, this temple features in the Tevaram as well as Manikkavasagar‘s Tiruvasagam, and Ramalinga Swamigal’s Tiruvarutpa. In these and other literature, the temple / place are also referred to by other names including Ratnakoodam, Tirverumbipuram, Erumbeesam, Brahmapuram, Laskhmipuram, Madhuvanam, Ratnakoodapuram, Manikoodapuram and Kumarapuram.
The core temple is considered to be over 2000 years old. The structural temple is Chola, and this is one of six temples built by Aditya Chola I in the late 9th / early 10th century to celebrate the Chola victory in the battle of Tiruppurambayam.
Sembian Madevi, Sundara Chola and Raja Raja Chola I have has contributed significant funds and support to the further construction of this temple, as evidenced by the inscriptions here. Those inscriptions refer to the place as Srikantha Chaturvedi Mangalam and Then Kailayam, and the Lord as Then Kailaya Mahadevar – this place is regarded as the Kailasam of the South.
The temple is a protected monument of the ASI, but there are no entry fees.
Other information for your visit
Trichy is the nearest major city, and is served by an international airport. Being in roughly the geographical centre of Tamil Nadu, Trichy is well connected by trains to the rest of the state and with other destinations as well.
There are several accommodation options in Trichy across all budgets.
Phone: 0431 6574738; 0431 2510241