Airavateswarar, Mela Tirumanancheri, Nagapattinam

Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:AiravateswararAmbal / Thayar:Sugandha Kunthalambigai
Deity:SivaHistorical name:TiruethirkoLpaadi
Vriksham:VilvamTeertham:Iravata Teertham

Age (years):

Timing:6 to 12 & 4 to 8Parikaram:

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


Temple set:



City / town:Mela TirumanancheriDistrict:Nagapattinam
Maps from (click): Current location Mayiladuthurai (9 km)Kumbakonam (32 km)

Thiruvarur (46 km)Nagapattinam (61 km)


Sthala puranam and temple information

Sage Durvasa gave Indra, for having defeated the asuras, a garland which had been used for Siva puja. A proud Indra received them and put them on his elephant, Airavata. The vines used in the garland irritated the elephant, and so it shook them off and ended up stamping the garland. Durvasar was livid, and cursed both Indra and Airavata. (The curse on Indra is interesting – it was that his head would be sliced by the sword of a king; but after much repenting, Durvasar modified it to say that Indra’s crown would fall down and save his neck.). Airvatam sought refuge under Lord Siva, and worshipped Him at many places. Finally when Airavata worshipped here, the curse issued by Durvasar was removed.

This is one of the temples in the vicinity that is connected to the story of Siva’s marriage to Parvati. After being born as a calf at Tiruvavaduthurai, She was brought up at Kuttalam as the daughter of sage Bharatha. At this place is where sage Bharatha welcomed Siva as a groom, and Parvati met the Lord prior to their wedding. This is also one of the Kuttalam Pancha Krosha Sthalams. As with all of the temples associated with the Siva-Parvati wedding, this temple is also a prarthana sthalam for those wanting to get married. (Read about the Siva-Parvati marriages here.)

This is also the place where Vishnu, who is regarded as Parvati’s brother, welcomed all the wedding guests, for the celebrations. Even today, for the annual Tirukalyanam festival at Tirumananjeri, the seeru from Parvati’s family side goes from Ethirkolpadi (this temple, see below) to Tirumananjeri.

The ancient name of the place – Ethirkolpadi – is derived from Tamil as: Ethir=opposite (face-to-face), kol=see, and padi=place. The name of the moolavar is due to Airavata worshipping here.

In consonance with the sthala puranam, the garbhagriham here is large enough for an elephant to circumambulate the Lingam. The Lingam is housed on a square avudai. Vishnu, as Parvati’s brother, faced west while the couple faced east, and so He is depicted facing west, with Lakshmi on his lap. It is said when Parvati came to be born here, Vinayakar accompanied here. So he is known as Thunai Vanda Vinayakar.

The core structural temple here is Chola, said to have been by Kulothunga Chola. There are different versions about the construction of the raja gopuram – some say it was built by Mallappa Nayakar (a Nayak ruler) while others say it was by one Vayira Mudaliar of Tondaimandalam.

Other information for your visit

The Tirumananjeri temple is located less than 1 km from here.


Phone: 04364 235487;
Senthil Kumar Gurukkal: 80121 60621

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