Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Odhanavaneswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Annapoorani, Oppilaambikai|
|Vriksham:||Vilvam||Teertham:||Kudamurutti, Surya Teertham|
|Timing:||7 to 12 & 4.30 to 8.30||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tiruchottruthurai||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Thanjavur (13.4 km)||Kumbakonam (35.9 km)|
|Ariyalur (36.7 km)||Perambalur (60.6 km)|
Tiruchotruthurai is located 7km from Tiruvaiyaru and 14 km from Thanjavur.
Sthala puranam and temple information
At one time, this town was undergoing a great famine. There was no food anywhere for anyone. The temple priest stopped coming, and one of the servants was able to light the temple lamp only once a day. Arulalan was a resident of this town, and after desperate attempts to get food for the people, he lost all hope. He came to this temple and banged his head against the wall, attempting to offer his life as a sacrifice so that people could get food. Pleased with his selflessness, Lord Siva made it rain heavily, and in the floods, a vessel came floating, which Arulalan picked up. Then a voice told him that this vessel – an Akshaya patram – would feed everyone and would never go empty. Arulalan promptly used it to sate the hunger of all the people of the town. For this reason, Siva here is also known as Chotruthurainathar (Choru / Soru = food in Tamil).
This is one of the Sapta Sthanam temples associated with Tiruvaiyaru. During Nandi’s wedding at Tiruvaiyaru, food was supplied from here. To mark this, even today, this temple supplies food for the the Tiruvaiyaru annual Nandi Kalyanam festival.
Today’s Thanjavur district – which is broadly the region that constituted the majority of the core Chola empire at one time – is considered the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu. This is borne out by a saying in Tamil – சோழ வளநாடு சோறுடைத்து (Cholavalanadu Sorudaiththu) – which means that the Chola country is abundant in food / grain. There is another meaning attributed to this. The Tamil word Soru, which is regarded as food in this context, also has the meaning of spiritual power. The Chola country is equally famous for the Kaveri river, and the temples that abound on either side of the river, resulting in a rich spiritual quotient for this region. Even today, those who have visited this region might recall a sense of contentment and fulfilment that arises, when one visits temples here. This temple is equally capable of this interpretation, that Chotruthurainathar is the pinnacle of spiritual pursuit.
Other information for your visit
This is one of the temples forming part of Tiruvaiyaru Sapta Sthanam festival, which celebrates Nandi’s wedding. Read our separate feature on the festival, here. All seven temples are located relatively close by, and except for Tiruvaiyaru (which is a large temple) they could be covered in about 6 hours. Alternatively, an entire day can be spent leisurely visiting all seven temples, including Tiruvaiyaru.