Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Vedapureeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Mangayarkarasi|
|Timing:||10 to 12 & 6 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tiruvedikudi||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Thanjavur (11 km)||Kumbakonam (37 km)|
|Ariyalur (39 km)||Tiruchirappalli (62 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Before the pralayam, the demon Hayagriva stole the Vedas and hid them under the ocean. Lord Vishnu took the form of a human with a horse’s face (also called Hayagreeva) and retrieved the Vedas after vanquishing the demon. However, the Vedas felt they were impure due to the contact with the demon, and so they worshipped Lord Siva at this temple in order to regain their purity. (In some puranams it is the demons Madhu and Kaitabha, and Vishnu takes the matsya avataram. This part of the story is also connected with the puranam of Devanatha Perumal temple at Tiruvaheendrapuram.)
Brahma, who is called “Vedi” as he is the guardian of the Vedas, stayed here and worshipped Lord Siva at this temple. This is also attributed as one reason for this place be named Tiru-vedi-kudi, and the moolavar to be named Vedapureeswarar. This is also perhaps the reason this place was considered to be populated with vedic brahmins, who officiated at Nandi’s wedding.
It is believed that the moolavar was found in a marsh of plantain trees, and so was earlier called Vazhai Madu Nathar.
Sambandar had a vision of Siva’s marriage to Parvati here. Therefore, this temple is considered a prarthana sthalam for those seeking to get married. Sambandar’s pathigam even talks about this place as such a prarthana sthalam. In a related puranam, a Chola king was having difficulty getting his daughter married, and so worshipped at this temple. Soon after that, the marriage took place, and in recognition of this, the king renamed his daughter Mangayarkkarasi, after the Amman at this temple.
At one time, this place was called Parakesari Chaturvedimangalam. The core structural temple is Chola from the late 9th and early 10th century, ie the time of Aditya Chola I, with additions by later Cholas and other dynasties, right up to the Thanjavur Nayaks and Thanjavur Marathas. All of these dynasties are mentioned in the inscriptions in the temple. The second prakaram from the garbhagriham was built by the Vijayanagara dynasty.
In an unusual iconographic depiction, Ardhanareeswarar is portrayed with Parvati on the Lord’s right (as it is at the Kalyana Sundareswarar temple at Velvikudi). The four Vedas are represented by the four Nandis on the outer wall of the temple and on the vimanam over the garbhagriham (see post headline image), facing the four cardinal directions. Vinayakar in the maha mandapam is seen with his head tilted to one side, apparently listening to a rendition of the Vedas – he is called Veda Vinayakar.
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.
Phone: 93451 04187