Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Kundala Karneswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||KunthaLambigai|
|Vriksham:||Vilvam, Asokamaram||Teertham:||Ganapati Nadhi|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Vada Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tirukurakkaa||District:||Nagapattinam|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (17.5 km)||Kumbakonam (51.9 km)|
|Tiruvarur (61.4 km)||Nagapattinam (67.9 km)|
Tirukurakka is located about 10km from Sirkazhi on the road to Thalaignayiru and Manalmedu.
Sthala puranam and temple information
After the war in Lanka, at Sage Agastyar’s advice, Rama and Sita undertook a pilgrimage to atone for the sin of having killed Ravana, an ardent Siva devotee, starting with Rameswaram. They came to Thalaignayiru, where Agastyar also advised them to get a rare Lingam and install it at before sunset. Anjaneyar left to bring one Lingam from Kasi, but was stopped first by Bhairavar (the guardian of all of Kasi) for having taken the Lingam without his permission, and then by Sani, both of whom he finally overcome (by throwing him with his tail – Sani is said to have landed at Shani Shingnapur in Maharashtra). Sani cursed Anjaneyar that he would lose his tail. All of this caused a delay, and so Sita made a Lingam out of river sand, and completed the puja under Agastyar’s advice. An upset Anjaneyar argued that the sand Lingam would be affected by the elements, and so tried to move it with his tail. But not only was he unsuccessful, he also lost his tail – and his powers – in the process. He realized his error, and prayed to Lord Siva, and was pardoned. All of this took place at Thalaignayiru.
At that time, a divine voice advised him to install his own Lingam at this place (Tirukurakkaa), and pray to it, and Anjaneyar did so. To test his devotion, Siva made one of his earrings (kundalam) disappear, upon which Anjaneyar cut one of his own (he was born with it) and offered it to the Lord. (In another variation, Siva, in the guise of an old brahmin mendicant, asked Anjaneyar for his kundalam as alms, which he readily cut off and gave.) Pleased with Anjaneyar’s actions, Siva restored his tail and his powers, and gave pratyaksham to Anjaneyar, wearing the kundalam on His ears – and therefore he is Kundala Karneswarar. There is a separate sannidhi for Anjaneyar at this temple. (Watch youtube video below for a very interesting and detailed description of the puranam by the temple Sivacharyar.)
The name of the place was earlier Tirukurangukka (kurangu in Tamil = monkey), which over time has been corrupted into Tirukurakka. This is one of the pancha ka kshetrams (places with names ending with ka, a shortening of kadu or kavu – meaning forest) – Tiruvanaikka, Tirunellikka, Tirukolakka, Tirukodikka and Tirukurakka. These place names are often pronounced with a suffix “val” (as in Tiruvanaikkaval), which is often considered incorrect.
Since it was Sani’s curse that caused Anjaneyar to lose his tail, Siva ensured that all the Navagrahams reside in Anjaneyar’s tail. Therefore, there is no separate Navagraham shrine at this temple.
This is one of two temples in Tamil Nadu where Anjaneyar is depicted as worshipping Lord Siva.
It is said that the vilvam tree here yields fruit shaped like Siva Lingams, and monkeys worship Lord Siva at this temple, with this fruit, during the Tamil months of Chitirai and Vaikasi.
Other information for your visit
It is very heartening to see the temple’s rather young Sivacharyar being very involved, talking about the temple, its history and puranams. He is also engaged in social work, along with Sivacharyars from other temples.
On Google maps, there are some incorrect references to the location of this temple (and others as well). It is recommended that you follow the map above.