Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Trinethranathar||Ambal / Thayar:||Anjanakshi|
|Deity:||Siva||Historical name:||TiruppaLLiyin MukkooDal, Kekkarai|
|Agamam:||Age (years):||Timing:||6 to 8 & 5 to 7||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|City / town:||Tirupalli Mukkudal||District:||Tiruvarur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Tiruvarur (6 km)||Nagapattinam (26 km)|
|Mayiladuthurai (41 km)||Kumbakonam (42 km)|
Tirupalli Mukkudal is located about 6 km northeast of Tiruvarur.
Sthala puranam and temple information
In the Ramayanam, Jatayu worshipped Lord Siva to be able to bathe simultaneously at Rameswaram and Kasi. Pleased with his prayers, Siva appeared to Jatayu and told him that when Sita came this way, he (Jatayu) would need to protect her, and in the process, would attain mukti with Rama by his side. Jatayu was happy that this would happen, but disappointed that he could not bathe at Kasi and Rameswaram. So Lord Siva got together the waters of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, for Jatayu. Since the three rivers mingled here, the place is called mukkudal. Siva also told Jatayu that that bathing in the temple tank was equivalent to bathing in the 16 coastal Teerthams at Rameswaram. Because Rameswaram came here for Jatayu, the place is also called kuruvi Rameswaram. Since the waters at the tank are equivalent to those at Gaya, this place was called Gayakarai (karai=banks), which over time has corrupted to Gekarai.
A local queen named Tapovadani prayed to Parvati at this temple, for a child. Pleased with her prayers, the Goddess herself came down as a child found floating in the temple tank. The queen took the child home and raised her as her own. Upon attaining marriageable age, the young girl was married off to Lord Siva who had appeared in the guise of a brahmin.
There was a Chola king here who would eat only after praying to Lord Siva. One day, he could not find a Siva Lingam for his worship, so his horseman kept a bag of horse grain as Lingam, which the king worshipped. Later, when the servant tried to take the bag, he could not move it – the grain inside had actually turned into a Lingam. A very happy and surprised king had this Lingam installed in the temple.
Bathing in this temple’s Teertham is considered equivalent of bathing at the Mahamaham tank at Kumbakonam. Similarly, performing rites for pitrs here is considered equivalent of the same rites being done at Gaya.
Originally a Chola temple, in recent years this temple has been renovated by some members of the Nagarathar community. The architecture of the temple, particularly the kosthas and the sculptures in the koshtas as well as the prakaram murtis, are spectacular.
Other information for your visit
This is one of the temples where the priests require support. Also see here.
Update April 2021: I learnt that Ganesan Gurukkal is no more. His father Sankaran Gurukkal, who is 92 years old, lives in the house next to the temple. The temple’s duties have been reassigned to another priest from Tiruvarur, but Sankaran Gurukkal and his family continue to require support.
Phone: 84286 07448