Nardana Pureeswarar, Thalayalangadu, Tiruvarur

Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:Nardana PureeswararAmbal / Thayar:Balambikai, Thirumadanthai Ammai
Deity:SivaHistorical name:Tirutthalaiaalankaadu
Vriksham:PalaTeertham:Sangu Teertham

Age (years):

Timing:8 to 12 & 6 to 8Parikaram:

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


Temple set:



City / town:ThalayalangaduDistrict:Tiruvarur
Maps from (click): Current location Thiruvarur (14 km)Kumbakonam (26 km)

Mayiladuthurai (38 km)Nagapattinam (44 km)


Thalayalangadu is located 15km from Tiruvarur and 27km from Kumbakonam.

Sthala puranam and temple information

One of the Bhikshatanar legends of Siva is where the sages at Darukavanam created hostile forces from the Abhichara yagam, to attack Bhikshatanar. One of these forces was ignorance, in the form of Muyalagan. Lord Siva is said to have overcome Muyalagan here, and celebrated by dancing on his body. This is the same Muyalagan who is seen at the foot of Dakshinamurti and Natarajar. However, Muyalagan is not killed, but stays alive. This is significant because without the presence of ignorance, one will never be able to appreciate knowledge or jnana. Since Siva danced on Muyalagan, He is called Narthanapureeswarar (Narthanam = dance).

In the Satya Yugam, Sage Kapilar wanted to obtain the Chintamani gem. In order to do so, he needed to reach this temple. As part of his worship, the sage walked on his head to reach this place. Hence the place is called Thalayalangadu (Thalai = head in Tamil).

The term “Alangadu” is used to denote banyan forests, and there are various temples in different places that are called Alangadu (but with a prefix) – eg, Thalayalangadu, Tiruvalangadu (one near Chennai and one between Mayiladuthurai and Kumbakonam), etc. Of all such places, Thalayalangadu is considered the foremost.

The moolavar Lingam is based on a square avudai. At the entrance to Amman’s sannidhi, there is a murti of Anugraha Sani, facing east, just as in Tirunallar. In the outer koshtam, there is an idol of Kali with 10 arms, facing north. The murti of Saraswati here is shown holding palm leaves (olai chuvadi) instead of the Veena. There are two separate Bhairavars in the Bhairavar sannidhi, and only one has the dog vehicle / vahanam. The Bhairavars at this temple are considered to be very powerful.

Devotees wishing to do well in arts (especially dance) worship Natarajar here. Devotees also believe that worshipping at this temple by lighting oil lamps, after first bathing in the temple’s Sangu Teertham, helps cure them of skin diseases.

In the past, Thalayalangadu was a battlefield, where the Pandya king Nedunchezhiyan defeated Chola and Chera kings. One of his titles is Thalayalangadu Cheru Vendra Nedunchezhiyan (cheru = war in Tamil). In connection with this, there are nearby places called Pandyan Thidal, Pandyan Medu, Naanalcheri (which is said to have housed people who prepared the strings for bows; NaaN in Tamil refers to the string of the bow).

This temple has all the signs of a Chola temple. There are inscriptions here that refer to Raja Raja Chola I, as well as the building of the temple’s maha mandapam and ardha mandapam by others, up to as late as the 12th century.

Other information for your visit


Vaidyanatha Gurukkal : 94435 00235

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