Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Sivakozhundeeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Neelayadakshi, Oppilaanayaki, KarumkadamkaNNi, IlangkombuannaL|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 5 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Nadu Naadu)||–|
|City / town:||Theerthanagari||District:||Cuddalore|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Cuddalore (26.7 km)||Viluppuram (56.7 km)|
|Mayiladuthurai (65.5 km)||Kumbakonam (93.3 km)|
Teerthanagari is located 25km from Chidambaram and 27km from Cuddalore.
Sthala puranam and temple information
A farmer called Periyan and his wife were staunch Siva devotees, whose practice included feeding at least one other Siva devotee every day. One day, no such devotee was to be found, so the couple set out in search of one. They spotted an old man under a Konrai tree, and asked him to eat the food prepared by them. The old man agreed, provided he did some work for the couple, and so they asked him to plough the land, while they went home to bring a meal made of millet. On their return they saw the land cultivated with fully grown millets ready for harvest. When they asked the old man about this, he simply laughed and then vanished under the Konrai tree under which he had eaten. The couple realized that that the old man was indeed Lord Siva.
The above puranam also resulted in the place being called Tiru-Thinai-Nagar. Over time, this has corrupted to Teerthanagari.
Jambavan (the king of bears, from the Ramayanam) is said to have created the tank beside the temple here (called Jambava Teertham) where he used to worship every day. It is said that the tank has never been dry, and in fact has water through the year. The nearby areas are also very fertile, irrespective of the weather. Opposite the tank is a separate shine for Sanjeevi Anjaneyar.
A king called Veeracheran came here for relief from his leukoderma. His dog, which also had the disease, accidentally fell into the temple tank but came out fully cured. Seeing this, the king decided to try it out as well, and he too was cured. As thanksgiving, he constructed a temple for the Lord here. The king’s idol is in the prakaram.
The temple houses some very unique sculpture and architecture. Natarajar here is seen dancing to the music from Vishnu’s sanku, and Brahma is playing the panchamukha vadyam (percussion instrument). Dakshinamurti is depicted seated, but without Apasmara Purusha at his feet – since Lord Siva was here eating the food given by the couple! The sthala puranam is depicted on the koshtam wall as a series of small but incredibly detailed bas-relief images. Nardana Ganapati can be seen with bhoota ganas, in the koshtam! On the western koshtam, Vishnu and Brahma can be seen as separate images, worshipping Lingodhbhavar.
Until recently, only the thinai millet was offered as prasadam. Lately, this has stopped, due to shortage of thinai.
The entrance to the ardha mandapam and maha mandapam is on the south, while the eastern side of the mandapam features a grill / lattice with 35 holes. In the month of Panguni (March-April), the Sun’s rays fall directly on the moolavar, through the lattice.
The temple has inscriptions referring to Sundara Pandyan, and the Kadavar king Kopperunchinga and Kulothunga Chola I. The first two also refer to grants by those kings.
Other information for your visit
S.Venkatarama Iyer: 9786467593, 9047140464