Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Aamravaneswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Azhaguammai, Balambikai|
|Timing:||6 to 11 & 4.30 to 7.30||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Vada Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Mandurai||District:||Tiruchirappalli|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Tiruchirappalli (18 km)||Thanjavur (49.7 km)|
|Perambalur (51 km)||Ariyalur (53.1 km)|
Mandurai is located about 20km from Trichy and 12km from Tiruvanaikka / Srirangam, to the north of the Kollidam river.
Sthala puranam and temple information
Mandurai is said to be the birthplace of Sage Markanedeyar. There are two stories about how Mandurai gets its name. One is from this place being a mango grove, and Lord Siva in turn is the Lord of the grove – hence Aamravaneswarar. The second relates to the legend of the deer, to whom Lord Siva bestowed a mango tree (see puranam below).
A sage committed a sin and was cursed to be born as a deer (maan, in Tamil), to other deer that where originally demons but also cursed to be born as deer. Left to be hunted down by its herd, the deer (sage) repented for his actions. Taking pity on him, Lord Siva hunted down the other deer (demons) and freed them from their curses, and also saved the young deer which was then fed by Parvati. Lord Siva also bestowed a mango tree to the young deer, which was now released from its curse and was back as a sage. The sage requested Siva and Parvati to remain here, which they did as Aamravenswarar and Balambikai.
Unable to bear the scorching heat, Usha left her husband Suryan to go back to her father – Vishwakarma. Not wanting to reduce the heat generated, Suryan created Chaya, as a replica of Usha, to carry out wifely duties. Usha took the form of a horse, and came and prayed to Lord Siva here, to be united with her husband. Over time, Suryan understood the differences between the original and the replica wife, and also learnt from Vishwakarma that Usha was not in her father’s place either. In order to be reunited with Usha, Suryan therefore reduced his heat, and eventually, they were reunited.
This is one of the places where Brahma was relieved of his sin of lying (of having seen the head of the pillar of fire that Siva emerged as). Similarly, Suryan and Chandran were relieved of their sin of having participated at Daksha’s yagam (also read here, the story of what happened to Suryan there). Indra – who acted with impropriety towards Ahalya – was also pardoned after worshipping Lord Siva here. It is believed that devotees who worship here are relieved of their sins, whether committed knowingly or unknowingly.
Adi Sankarar has visited and worshipped at this temple, and there is a shrine for him – as Guru – facing south, in a koshtam.
Worshipping at this temple is considered especially beneficial for those born under the Moolam nakshatram.