Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Kadaimudi Nathar||Ambal / Thayar:||Abirami|
|Vriksham:||Kiluvai||Teertham:||Karuna Teertham, Brahma Teertham, Kaveri|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Vada Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Keelayur||District:||Nagapattinam|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (17 km)||Nagapattinam (52 km)|
|Nagapattinam (52 km)||Kumbakonam (54 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Brahma was cursed by Lord Siva for his pride and ego. So he worshipped the Lord at various temples, to get relief from the curse. When he came to this place, he saw a Swambhu murti Lingam under a Kiluvai tree, and began worshipping it. He also created a tank here, and performed daily abhishekam to the Lingam. Pleased that Brahma had overcome his faults, Siva granted him His vision. Brahma requested Siva to stay here forever, under the Kiluvai tree, and protect devote s till the end of the world (symbolically indicative of their lifetimes). So He is called Kadai Mudi Nathar (the Sanskrit name of the Lord here is Antha Samrakshaneswarar – one who protects till the end). The Kiluvai tree gave its name to the place as Kiluvaiyur, which over time has been corrupted to Keelayur (or Keezhiayur).
Another interpretation of the name of Siva here comes from an inscription from the time of Vikrama Chola, which refers to the Lord here as Sadaimudi Udaiya Mahadevar. Sadaimudi refers to the matted locks of Siva, which could have been corrupted to Kadaimudi.
Sage Kanva (who brought up Shakuntala as his daughter) worshipped Lord Siva here, and took a bath at the nearby Kaveri river. Later, the sage attained mukti at this place. That place is called Kanva Mahan Thurai in the present day. Interestingly, the Kaveri changes direction and flows west near this temple, which is considered highly auspicious. The temple, incidentally, is also west-facing.
The temple has some interesting architecture, iconography and structural elements. The moolavar Siva Lingam has 16 stripes – called the Sodasa Lingam. These are said to represent the 16 benefits of life that are granted to devotees who worship here. The Navagraham shrine here is hexagonal in shape with most of the planets facing outward, while Murugan’s shrine is octagonal. Dakshinamurti is depicted with an earring only on His right ear, while Bhairavar has only a left earring.
While it is believed that the temple was built by Parantaka Chola, with subsequent additions by Vikrama Chola, there are references to the Pallava king Nandivarman III (mid-9th century), which is prior to Parantaka Chola’s time.
This temple is a prarthana sthalam for reliving obstacles for marriage.
Other information for your visit
Swarnapureeswarar temple at Semponnarkoil, and Nattrunai Appar temple at Punjai, are two nearby Paadal Petra Sthalam temples very close (less than 3.5 km) to this temple. Also, the Kailasanathar temple at Tiruchampalli is a Vaippu Sthalam, located about 3km from here.
Phone: 99427 79580
Raju Gurukkal: 88709 88810