Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Neelakanteswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Amrithakaravalli|
|Vriksham:||Vaagai||Teertham:||Brahma Teertham, Amara Teertham|
|Timing:||7 to 11.30 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Vada Karai)||–|
|City / town:||Iluppaipattu||District:||Nagapattinam|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (16 km)||Kumbakonam (44 km)|
|Tiruvarur (60 km)||Nagapattinam (70 km)|
Iluppaipattu is located on the southern bank of the Kollidam river, about 18 km from Mayiladuthurai and 22 km from Sirkazhi.
Sthala puranam and temple information
When the deadly halahala poison emerged from the churning of the ocean, in order to save the world from its effects, Lord Siva consumed the poison. However, Parvati – in order to ensure nothing happened to Siva – held his neck such that the halahala was stuck there, turning His neck blue – and hence, Neelakanteswarar.
As She stopped the poison from doing further harm to the Lord, She is known here as Amrita Valli (Amrita = nectar). Due to this puranam, this place is regarded special for women to worship at, for longevity of their husbands.
This temple has a Mahabharatham legend associated with it as well. During their 13-year exile, the Pandavas traveled to various places, and one will recall the incident at the pond where each of the Pandavas drank the poisoned water and were rendered unconscious, until Yudhishtra answered the Yaksha’s questions (known as Yaksha Prashnam).
The Pandavas reached this place, after that incident, and each of them installed one Lingam here. Therefore, unlike most temples, there are 5 pradhana (presiding) deities / Lingams at this temple with separate shrines. These are: Neelakanteswarar, Mahadeeswarar, Padikarai Nathar, Parameswarar and Mukteeswarar, installed by Yudhishtra, Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva, respectively.
Only the first two – Neelakanteswarar and Padikarai Nathar – have consorts and Nandis. Also, not all of them face east or west; Padikarai Nathar and Mukteeswararface south. It is believed that Siva appeared and gave pratyaksham to the Pandavas here.
This temple also has 2 Vinayakars – Valampura Vinayakar and Idampura Vinayakar – which by itself is special. It is believed that Draupadi worshipped these Vinayakars.
This is considered one of the Maadakoils constructed by Kochchenga Cholan.