Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Uktavedeeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Amrita Mugizhambikai, Mridumugizhambikai, ParamaLa Sugandha Nayaki, Arumkannavana MulaiyaaL|
|Vriksham:||Utthaala Maram (type of fig / athi)||Teertham:||Kaveri river, Sundara Teertham, VadakuLam|
|Timing:||6 to 11 & 5 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Kuttalam||District:||Nagapattinam|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (9 km)||Kumbakonam (29 km)|
|Tiruvarur (43 km)||Nagapattinam (58 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Uthrasanman wanted to go to Kasi to worship Lord Siva. But Siva wanted him to know that this place was equivalent to Kasi and so deputed one of his ganas to take the form of a serpent and scare the devotee. But Uthrasanman invoked the Garuda Mantram, making the snake faint. Then Siva Himself came down in the form of a snake charmer, and provided relief to the snake.
Realizing that only Siva could break the spell of the Garuda Mantram, Uthrasanman fell at the Lord’s feet, and worshipped Him here as he would at Kasi. This incident is depicted on the southern side of the main shrine in the outer prakaram (to the right of Dakshinamurti).
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 this place, as the daughter of sage Bharatha. (Read about the Siva-Parvati marriages here.) This is also the central point of the Kuttalam Pancha Krosha Sthalams.
Prior to the wedding, Lord Siva came here. Not wanting to be affected by the heat, He wore footwear and brought the Uddala tree (which gave him shade) with Him from Indralokam. After the wedding ceremonies, He left his footwear by the Uddala tree here, and both remained here after the wedding. There is an image of footwear by the tree, the temple’s sthala vriksham, which is believed to be those worn by Siva. Because of this temple’s association with the celestial marriage, it is a prarthana sthalam for those seeking to get married.
Siva kept His word that He would marry Parvati on earth, so he is also known here by the name Sonnavaaru Arivaar (the one who keeps his promise).
The ancient name of this place is Tiruturutti. Turutti in Tamil denotes a place like a mound or an island. Even today, the place is located between the Kaveri river and the Manjalaru river. The name of the place today – Kuttalam – derives from the Uddala tree.
It is said that Agni worshipped Siva here, because everything he (Agni) touched was being destroyed. After being blessed, he is said to have become a useful form of energy. Vikrama Chola‘s wife – Komala – suffered from small pox, which was cured after worshipping at this temple. It is said when Parvati came to be born here, Vinayakar accompanied here. So he is known as Thunai Vanda Vinayakar.
Sundaramurti Nayanar regained his complete eyesight that he had lost (due to Sangili Nachiyar‘s curse at Tiruvotriyur, and had been partially restored at Kanchipuram) after bathing in temple Teertham. There is a shrine for Sundarar near the Teertham, which bears his name. He also sang a pathigam afterwards, at Velvikudi.
This is a Chola temple, and has some excellent architecture as well as plaster (suthai) sculptures. According to one interpretation of inscriptions from the time of Raja Raja Chola I, this temple was constructed by Sembian Madevi.
Other information for your visit
Phone: 94878 83800
Temple video (walk around) and narration in Tamil, by Sriram of templepages.com:
In May 2022, the temple had its Kumbhabhishekam. Here are some pictures after the event – a much cleaner temple premises, though some of the colours are admittedly a bit garish! PC: Sriram (Templepages.com).