Kokileswarar, Tirukozhumbiam, Thanjavur

Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:KokileswararAmbal / Thayar:Soundaranayaki
Deity:SivaHistorical name:Tirukkozhambam
Vriksham:ArasamaramTeertham:Gomukthi Teertham, Madhu Teertham

Age (years):

Timing:9 to 12 & 4 to 6Parikaram:

Temple group:Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)
Sung by:

Sambandar, Appar

Temple set:



City / town:TirukozhumbiamDistrict:Thanjavur
Maps from (click): Current location Mayiladuthurai (18 km)Kumbakonam (21 km)

Tiruvarur (35 km)Nagapattinam (56 km)


Sthala puranam and temple information

This is one of the temples connected to the story of Siva’s marriage to Parvati. During a game of Chokkattan, Parvati upset Lord Siva, and so He cursed her to be born on earth as a cow. When She pleaded with Him, He assured her that She would be reunited with Him, with the help of her brother, Lord Vishnu. Therefore, She was born as a calf at Tiruvavaduthurai, and would graze around nearby villages. Once, the cow worshipped Lord Siva at Tirukozhumbiam, where her hoof hit the Lingam by mistake, leaving a mark on it (which can be seen even today). In Tamil, the hoof is called “kozhumam”, and so the place gets is name from that. Siva here is also referred to as Kozhumanathar.

After Brahma uttered untruths about having seen the top of the pillar of fire, his powers of creation were withdrawn from him. So, Brahma undertook a pilgrimage to various Siva temples as penitence, and to regain his role as creator of life. This is one of the places that Brahma is said to have offered worship at. Brahma also created a tank here, which is today the temple’s Teertham, called the Brahma Teertham.

A scholar named Chandan had been cursed by Indra to take the form of a nightingale (Kokilam in Tamil). The bird worshipped Lord Siva here to be relieved of the curse, and hence the Lord here is named Kokileswarar, and one of the ancient names of the place is Kokilapuram.

This is also one of the places Indra worshipped at, to be relieved of the curse he received from Sage Gautama.

The original temple here is said to have existed since ancient times. The structural temple is believed to have been built during the time of Parantaka Chola in the early 10th century, as evidenced by the oldest inscriptions in this temple, followed by subsequent additions done by Gandaraditya Chola and Sembian Madevi. In those times, this place was called Chola Chaturvedi Mangalam and Thooya Chaturvedi Mangalam. There are also inscriptions relating to Kulothunga Chola I, Vikrama Chola and the Vijayanagara dynasty – specifically, Krishnadevaraya. The temple boasts of fabulous, intricate architecture from the Chola period. In addition to the usual sub-shrines, there are also sub-shrines and bas reliefs for several deities including Agastyar, Sattanathar and Suryan.

Other information for your visit

We visited this temple early in the morning – around 6 am – unaware of the temple timings, which are quite limited. However, there were people nearby who were able to call someone to open the temple for us to be able to visit and offer worship.


Phone: 04364 232055


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