Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Vijaya Natheswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Mangalambikai, Mangala Nayaki|
|Timing:||8 to 12 & 5 to 7||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Vada Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tiruvijayamangai||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Kumbakonam (13 km)||Ariyalur (36 km)|
|Thanjavur (37 km)||Mayiladuthurai (47 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
The puranam of this temple is connected to the episode of Kiratarjuneeyam in the Mahabharatam. During the Pandavas’ 13-year exile, Arjuna went separately to worship Lord Siva at Punnagavanam. One day when he was in penance, he saw a wild boar, and shot an arrow at it. When he went to retrieve his kill, he saw a hunter there, whose arrow had also hit the boar, who was claiming it as his kill. A fight ensued between the two claimants, which the hunter eventually won, and then revealed himself to be Siva in disguise. He was also pleased with Arjuna’s valour, and granted him the Pasupatastram.
However, Parvati felt Arjuna did not deserve it, until Siva convinced her using the matsa-rekha in Arjuna’s palm. As a result, Arjuna received the Pasupatastram. A handful of temples claim that these events took place at the location of those temples – this is one of them. Arjuna is also known as Vijaya, and as he worshipped Siva here, the Lord is named Vijayanatheswarar – the Lord of Vijaya (Arjuna).
Another interpretation of Siva’s name here is that since Vijaya (Arjuna) pleased Siva with his prowess at archery, Siva was called Vijaya Anandeswarar, and over time this became Vijaya Natheswarar. The Siva Lingam here has scars on it, as evidence of the fight between Siva as the hunter, and Arjuna.
Some online information suggests that there is a confusion as to whether this place or the nearby Govandaputhur is the correct Tiruvijayamangai. This is incorrect. The place where the temple is located is called Vijayamangai, while the village is named Govandaputhur (Go-Karandha Puthur).
Following from the sthala puranam here, this temple is a prarthana sthalam for success in all kinds of endeavours, including education, business and work. Siva here is also worshipped for general betterment in life.
When Appar came to worship at this temple, the Kollidam river was in spate, and so Appar sang his pathigam from the banks of the river itself. Vinayakar and Murugan wished to listen to the pathigam, and turned south to face the saint. They are depicted facing south, in the temple. Arunagirinathar has sung about Murugan in this temple, in his Tiruppugazh.
The temple is from the medieval Chola times, and though the architecture here is limited, it is typical of the Chola period. However, one point of difference (which this temple shares with the Great living Chola temples in general), is that the vimanam above the garbhagriham is taller than the front gopuram (which has only one tier). Also, the koshtam has only one murti – that of Dakshinamurti – which could well be a later addition. This suggests that the original structural temple could be from the very early part of the medieval Chola period (since koshta deities were a later addition even during that dynasty’s reign). Subsequent modifications were also made by other Chola kings, and the temple’s inscriptions refer to some of them, including Uttama Chola, Raja Raja Chola I, Rajendra Chola I, Kulothunga Chola I and Kulothunga Chola III.
Other information for your visit
In addition to several other smaller and/or interesting temples, there are 4 Paadal Petra Sthalams and 2 Divya Desam temples in the vicinity, including this temple. These are:
Vilvavaneswarar, Tiruvaikaavoor, Thanjavur
Saatchinathar, Tiruppurambayam, Thanjavur
Vijaya Natheswarar, Tiruvijayamangai, Thanjavur
Ezhuthari Nathar, Innambur, Thanjavur
Andalakkum Aiyan, Adhanoor, Thanjavur
Valvil Raman, Tiruppulaboothangudi, Thanjavur
Phone: 94435 86453; 93443 30834
Temple video (walk around) and narration in Tamil, by Sriram of templepages.com: