Kalyana Sundareswarar, Nallur, Thanjavur

Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:Kalyana SundareswararAmbal / Thayar:Girisundari, Parvatasundari, KalyaNasundari
Deity:SivaHistorical name:Tirunallur
Vriksham:VilvamTeertham:Sapta Sagara Teertham

Age (years):

Timing:7.30 to 12 & 5.30 to 8Parikaram:

Temple group:Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)
Sung by:

Sambandar, Appar

Temple set:




City / town:NallurDistrict:Thanjavur
Maps from (click): Current location Kumbakonam (12.8 km)Thanjavur (29.8 km)

Ariyalur (42 km)Tiruvarur (48.5 km)


Nallur is located about 12km from Kumbakonam, on the way to Papanasam.

Sthala puranam and temple information

Kunti, mother of the Pandavas, was cursed for having borne the children of the pancha boothas. She prayed to Narada for redemption, and he Naradar advised her to bathe in the seven oceans to redeem hereself. As this was not possible for Kunti, Narada advised her to pray to Kalyanasundareswarar at this temple. Under Lord Siva’s orders, Narada brought the waters of all the seven oceans here, and Kunti bathed in that water on Magham nakshatram (Kunti’s birth star) in the month of Masi. Bathing in this temple tank is said to have the same effects and benefits as bathing at Kumbakonam’s Mahamaham tank.

The idol of Lord Siva presents itself in five different colors during the day – copper, pink, gold, emerald and another unidentifiable colour. He is called Panchavarneswarar, for this reason.

Devotees say that on the day of the Mahamaham festival in Kumbakonam, the Lingam of Lord Siva here sweats, and is therefore fanned to keep Him cool.

The Lingam here has many holes / spots, and it is believed that these are the holes made by Sage Bringhi when he tried to bore through between the male and female aspects of Lord Siva and Parvati as Ardhanari.

This is one of the places where Lord Siva and Parvati gave Agastar a vision of their kalyana kolam. Agastyar installed a Lingam behind the main Lingam here, for his worship. Behind the main idol is a limestone form of Lord Siva and Parvati in kalyana kolam.

Periya Puranam narrates the story of Amaraneethi Nayanar, a supplier of loin cloth, whose devotion to Lord Siva was tested here by the Lord himself. He received benediction from Lord Siva here.

Appar was instructed by Lord Siva to come to Nallur to receive deeksha. It is said that Appar received Siva’s pada darsanam here. For this reason, an unusual practice followed at this temple is the blessing of devotees by placing the sadari (representative of the Lord’s feet) on their heads (normally this practice is followed only at Perumal temples).

As part of Vayu and Adiseshan’s fight over Kailasam, two parts of Kailasam are said to have fallen in this region – here and at Avoor (Pasupateeswarar temple).

On the bottom right of the inner side of the main gopuram, one can see two unique representations of Lord Siva’s 64 forms – those of Mahasadasivam (with 25 faces, and 52 arms); and eka-pada Trimurti depicting Lord Siva on one leg, with Brahma and Vishnu emerging from either side. Just as in Kasi, Siva – as Gananatha – is said to reside in the form of the Balipeetam.

The outer prakaram has a separate shrine dedicated to Ashtabhuja MahaKali (with eight arms).

It is also believed that the jata mudi (locks of matted hair) of Lord Siva is at the rear of the temple, and worship and prayers for pitrs are done here. Therefore, the temple worship practice here does not permit a full pradakshinam of the temple.

Muchukunda Chakravarti has worshipped at this temple.

The sthala vriksham – a vilvam tree – is regarded as the first of its kind on earth. It is therefore called the Aadi maram (first tree).

Arunagirinathar has sung his Tiruppugazh here.

The temple is built as a maadakoil, and therefore is connected to Kochchenga Cholan. The original temple superstructure is from the 9th century Chola period. In those times, this place was called Panchavanmadevi Chaturvedimangalam. Later additions to the temple’s structure are from the time of the Vijayanagara dynasty.

This temple is part of the Pazhaiyarai Pancha Krosha Sthalams, which is one out of four sets of Pancha Krosha Sthalams in Tamil Nadu. It is believed that visiting these six temples (Pazhaiyarai, Nallur, Tiruvalanchuzhi, Sakti Muttram, Patteeswaram and Avoor) along with this temple in a single day is be beneficial to devotees.

Other information for your visit

Nearby temples of note are:

Palaivananathar temple, Papanasam
Ramalingaswami temple, Papanasam
Gajendra Varada Perumal temple, Kabisthalam
Pasupateeswarar temple, Avoor

Also, Patteeswaram is located only about 6 km away, and has several temples of note.

Kumbakonam is the nearest town with good accommodation facilities.


Kannan Gurukkal: 04374 222863


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