Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Veeratteswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Elavar Kuzhali|
|Deity:||Siva||Historical name:||TiruvirkuDi Veerattam|
|Vriksham:||Tulasi||Teertham:||Chakra Teertham, Sangu Teertham|
|Agamam:||Age (years):||Timing:||6.30 to 12 & 4.30 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tiruvirkudi||District:||Tiruvarur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Tiruvarur (10 km)||Nagapattinam (27 km)|
|Mayiladuthurai (37 km)||Kumbakonam (41 km)|
Virkudi is located about 10km north of Tiruvarur and 37 km south of Mayiladuthurai.
Sthala puranam and temple information
This is one of the eight ashta veeratta sthalams (or veerattanam), at each of which Lord Siva performed valorous deeds to vanquish a form of evil. This is the place where Jalandhara was overcome, often referred to as Jalandhara Samharam.
Indra, proud of his status as Lord of the devas, went to Kailasam. Not wishing him to enter, Lord Siva in the form of a dwarapalaka, stopped Indra, who attempted to use his vajrayudham. Instead, Siva opened his third eye, but did not use it because Indra sought pardon immediately. However, the heat of the third eye created a bead of sweat, which fell into the mighty ocean (parkadal), and eventually became a demon – Jalandharan – who attempted to pull Brahma’s beard. Brahma cried out in pain, and a drop of his tear also fell upon Jalandharan, making him doubly strong. Jalandharan obtained a boon of from Brahma, that his death would only be due to his wife losing her chastity. This, combined with the tutelage of Sukracharya and the powers of his chaste wife Brinda, helped Jalandhara gain enough power to keep the Devas under his control.
Jalandhara even went to the extent of demanding control over Parvati, arguing that as an ascetic, Siva had no right to have a wife. An enraged Parvati asked Siva to deal with Jalandhara, after the latter tried to trick her by disguising himself as Siva. In order to teach him a lesson, Lord Siva sought help from Vishnu. But since he was born from the ocean, Lakshmi considered Jalandhara her brother, and he was therefore not to be harmed by Vishnu. Nonetheless, a plan was hatched.
Vishnu tricked Jalandhara’s wife Brinda into believing He was Jalandhara, and made her lose her virtue. In the meantime, Siva approached Jalandhara as a brahmin, drew a circle on the ground with his foot, and told Jalandhara that the latter would die because of the circle. A haughty Jalandhara removed the circle and wore it around his neck, and it immediately became a chakrayudham, severing his neck – he no longer was protected by the chastity of his wife. In parallel, Vishnu also placated Brinda that she would form part of every worship of Vishnu. Brinda also cursed Vishnu that someday His own wife would be tricked by someone in disguise (which is what happened in the Ramayanam, with Sita), before taking her own life. Lord Siva placated Vishnu by planting a seed at the spot where Brinda died, which bloomed into a Tulasi plant (this is why Tulasi leaves are used in Vishnu worship). Tulasi is also the sthala vriksham of this temple, which is unusual as Siva temples go.
An extension of this legend is also the puranam of the Veezhinathar temple at Tiruveezhimizhalai. After the events of slaying Jalandhara, Vishnu was amazed at the power of the chakrayudham, and He requested Siva for it. He was told by Siva to pray with 1000 flowers, and while the prayers were going on, Siva took away two of the flowers. When Vishnu could not find the final two flowers, he attempted to use his eyes as replacement, when Siva reappeared and gifted Vishnu the chakrayudham, which has since then been part of Vishnu. The utsava murti of Siva as Jalandhara samhara murti at this temple, bears the chakram in one hand. However, when we visited, this sannidhi was kept closed, so we could not see this.
This is a vastu dosha parihara sthalam, and in what appears to be a very strange practice, it is believed that if a stone from this temple is used in the construction of a house, any and all problems during construction will be removed. The temple is also considered a pitru dosha nivritti sthalam.
Appar – who reveled in maintaining and cleaning temples – spent his last years to the upkeep of this temple. The temple’s festival includes Appar Peruvizha for a period of 10 days, celebrating his contributions to the temple. This is also a Tiruppugazh temple, Arunagirinathar having sung on Murugan here.
The temple is full of beautiful architecture and sculptures, from the depiction of various stories and Siva murtis on the main gopuram, to the panels and pillars inside the temple.
Other information for your visit
Contact: 94439 21146