Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Uchira Vaneswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||VeythoLiammai|
|Deity:||Siva||Historical name:||TiruviLa Nagar|
|Vriksham:||Vizhal||Teertham:||Meignaana Teertham, Kaveri river|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 5.30 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tiruvila Nagar||District:||Nagapattinam|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (10.9 km)||Tiruvarur (47.1 km)|
|Kumbakonam (48.1 km)||Nagapattinam (51.2 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
After worshipping at Keelayur Kadaimudinathar temple, and on his way to Mayiladuthurai, the child saint Sambandar wanted to visit the temple, but the Kaveri river was overflowing. Unable to find anyone to help, he shouted ” இங்கு துறைகாட்டுவோர் யாரேனும் உளரோ ” (Is there anyone to show the way to the river bank, ie to cross the river). A hunter appeared and told Sambandar to follow him in crossing the river on foot. As soon as the hunter reached the bank, the river gave way, so that the two of them could cross it. Once Sambandar reached the other side, he wanted to thank the hunter but the hunter had disappeared. It then dawned on him that it was Lord Siva who had come in the form of the hunter. Because Siva showed Sambandar the way to the other bank, He is called Thurai Kaattum Vallar (thurai=bank, kaattum=showing).
In a similar story, Arulvithan, a Brahmin, was a staunch devotee of Siva, who would bring fresh flowers for worship to this temple, every day. One day, the river was full, and finding nobody to aid him, he started crossing it on foot with the flowers held above his head. He struggled against the currents but eventually managed to reach the other side with great difficulty. Pleased with his devotion, Lord Siva graced him by allowing the steps to the river bank (thurai) to rise above. This incident is also sometimes quoted as the reason behind Siva’s name here.
According to the sthala puranam, a demon called Kapithan was relieved of brahmahathi dosham after worshipping the Lord here.
The place gets its name from the Vizhal (a type of plant / grass) that used to grow here in abundance, and so used to be called Vizhal Nagar or Tiru Vizhal Nagar. Over time, this term corrupted to Tiruvila Nagar. Vizhal is also the sthala vriksham of this temple, and another name of the Lord here is Vizharkaattu Nathar (Uchira is the sanskrit term for Vizhal).
This temple is not a prarthana sthalam for anything specific, but devotees worship here to be relieved of all their troubles. Devotees tie the leaves of the Vizhal plant in a knot as prarthana, in the hope of having their troubles resolved.
This is a classic Chola temple with beautiful architecture set in both stone and plaster (suthai). In particular, the sculptures on the tiers of the vimanam above the garbhagriham are intricate and gorgeous.
Other information for your visit
This temple was in rather bad state when we visited it in December 2017, but renovation work was going on then (as you can see in the photos).