Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Kutram Poruttha Naathar||Ambal / Thayar:||KoalvaLainayaki, Vichitra Balambikai|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 5 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Vada Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Thalaignaayiru||District:||Nagapattinam|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (16 km)||Kumbakonam (51 km)|
|Thiruvarur (60 km)||Nagapattinam (67 km)|
Thalaignayiru is located 17-18 km from both Mayiladuthurai and Sirkazhi, and 9km from Vaitheeswaran Koil.
Sthala puranam and temple information
This temple’s puranam is closely connected with the Ramayanam, as well as the puranam of the nearby Kundala Karneswarar temple at Tirukurakkaa.
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 here 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 here at Thalaignayiru. Then, a divine voice advised him to install his own Lingam at Tirukurakkaa, and pray to it, to regain his lost powers. (You can read what happened afterwards, as part of the Tirukurakkaa temple puranam.)
According to another puranam, Indra once hurled his thunderbolt on Siva, without realizing it was the Lord. He immediately sought pardon, and it was given to him. This is another reason for the Lord’s name (in the puranams, the Sanskrit name of the Lord here is Aparadha Kshameswarar).
King Vichitrarangan and his queen Suseelai would worship Lord Siva here every day, as they did not have a child. Their perseverance paid off, and a child was born to them. A very happy king erected the temple here as a way of giving thanks.
Suryan is said to have worshipped Siva here, which gives the place its name Adityapuri or Gnayiru (Tamil for Sun). This place is also called Karuppariyalur (Karu = womb, pari = give up), and Janmanasapuri. There is a belief that devotees who pray here will give up future wombs, ie they will not have to suffer rebirth. In the Tamil puranams, this places is also called Melakazhi, since this place is upstream (mela) of Sirkazhi (Kazhi), with respect to the Uppanar river.
Just as it is in Sirkazhi, there is a separate temple and shrine located at a higher level (like a maadakoil) for Lord Siva as Thoniappar (Garbhagnaneswarar, and Parvati as Garbhagnaneswari), and Sattanathar at a higher level. Within the main temple is also a separate shrine for Siva and Parvati as Uma-Maheswarar.
This temple is of the Poonkoil type, specifically a Kogudi Koil (Kogudi is a type of mullai flower). It is believed that the temple is in the form of Kogudi.
This is a Chola temple, and has inscriptions from the time of Kulothunga Chola III, and the name of the place is called Thaninayaka Chaturvedimangalam. The inscriptions also talk about constitution and functioning of the local citizens body.
Other information for your visit
The temple is today in quite a sad state of maintenance and repair. Readers who are interested can contact the temple priest in person (no phone number available) to assess what they would like to contribute. (See other temples in need here.)