Temple

Thanthondreeswarar, Aakkoor, Nagapattinam

Paadal Petra Sthalam where Siva ate amongst common men, as one in a thousand

Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:ThanthondreeswararAmbal / Thayar:VaaLnedumkaNNi
Deity:SivaHistorical name:Tiruaakkoor
Vriksham:Sara Kondrai, VilvamTeertham:Kumudha Teertham
Agamam:

Age (years):

Timing:6 to 11 & 4 to 8.30Parikaram:

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

Sambandar, Appar

Temple set:

Navagraham:

Nakshatram:

City / town:AakkoorDistrict:Nagapattinam
Maps from (click): Current location Mayiladuthurai (21.4 km)Nagapattinam (47.9 km)

Tiruvarur (50.5 km)Kumbakonam (57.8 km)

Location

Aakkoor is located 5 km from Tirukadaiyur and 16 km from Mayiladuthurai.

Sthala puranam and temple information

The local Chola king (in some stories, this is Kochchenga Cholan) had a mysterious disease for which doctors could find no cure. Lord Siva came to him in a dream, and ordered him to feed one thousand people for 48 days. The king took up this task, but at the end of the period, found that although 1000 seats were set out, only 999 people would come each day. He prayed to Siva for a solution, and on the last day, all 1000 seats were taken – Lord Siva had appeared in the form of an old man. The king asked the old man where he came from, but instead of replying, the old man asked his own question – Yaarukku oor (whose place?). Realizing that the old man was Lord Siva, the king dug up the mound, found a Lingam there, and built this temple at that place. The Lingam is said to have a scar indicating the place where it was struck, when the mound was dug. The king was also cured of his disease. Since Siva presented Himself as one of the thousand, He is also called Aayirathil Oruvan (one in a thousand), and his sculpture is there in the temple. The old man’s words “Yaarukku oor” got corrupted over time, and became Aakkoor.

According to another legend, Kochchenga Cholan suffered from a disease. A heavenly voice told him to locate a place that had three sthala vrikshams and build a temple there, and he would be cured. When searching for this place, an old brahmin came up to the king and asked about his problem. When the king stated what was on his mind, the brahmin (who was actually Vinayakar in disguise) asked the king to be submerged in the temple tank for one nazhigai, and that the temple he would build would be holier than Kasi. The king did as instructed, ,and was able to find this place nearby, where he found Kondrai, Betel (paaku) and Vilvam trees growing here. The king duly built the temple here, and was cured. Vinayakar here is called Poyya Pillaiyar.

Since the place was on a mound, it got the name Thanthondri Maadam (maadam is a place at a raised level).

Arunagirinathar has sung about Murugan at this temple, in his Tiruppugazh.

This is one of the maadakoils built by Kochchenga Cholan, and one of the temples where sage Agastyar has had a vision of the divine wedding of Siva and Parvati. In fact, Goddess Parvati at this temple faces east (kalyana kolam) in her separate shrine at this temple. Murugan’s shrine at this temple is shaped like a chariot. Saraswati also has a separate shrine here.

This place is the avatara sthalam and mukti sthalam of Sirappuli Nayanar, who lived his whole life here, and whose spiritual practice was simply the ceaseless repetition of the Panchakshara Mantra.

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