Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Naduthariappar||Ambal / Thayar:||Srivallinayaki, Madhumai Ammai|
|Timing:||7 to 12.30 & 4 to 8.30||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|City / town:||Koil Kannaappur||District:||Tiruvarur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Tiruvarur (16 km)||Nagapattinam (24 km)|
|Kumbakonam (56 km)||Mayiladuthurai (58 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
In Kailasam, Sudhavalli, a Vidyadhara girl, was entertaining Siva and Parvati with a dance performance. As part of this, she imitated Parvati, which the latter took offence to, and cursed Sudhavalli to be born on earth. Upon pleading, the curse was modified such that Sudhavalli would continue to be devoted to Siva. As a result, Sudhavalli was born into a Saivite Velalar family, but later, married into a Vaishnavite family. Nonetheless she continued her worship of Siva. When her husband spotted the Lingam she used for her worship, he became angry, and threw the Lingam into the well.
Not wanting to stop her worship, Sudhavalli worshipped the wooden peg on which the calf in their house was tied to, imagining it to be a Siva Lingam. One day, her husband spotted this as well, and took an axe to the peg. But as soon as he struck it, it morphed into a Siva Lingam and started bleeding, and to their surprise, Siva emerged from it. Sudhavalli was granted Sivalokam, as was her husband, despite his negative attitude to Saivism.
Vidyadharas (literally, holders of wisdom) are a category of celestials who are highly educated, possess magical powers, and attend to Siva and Parvati at Kailasam.
Both the Lord as well as the name of the place here, derive from the above puranam. Nadu-Thari in Tamil refers to a peg in the ground to which cattle are tethered (the Sanskrit name of Siva here is Vatsa-Sthamba Nathar, meaning the same; vatsa=young/calf and sthamba=wedge/peg/pillar). The name of the place was originally Koil Kandru-Aappur (in Tamil, kandru means calf, and aappu means wedge or peg used to tether cattle to). The cowshed where Sudhavalli worshipped the peg, is where the temple is said to be situated today. The Siva Lingam is said to have a scar on it – the result of Sudhavalli’s husband striking it with an axe. The temple’s sthala vriksham is the Kal Panai, which is an unusual and rare form of palm tree, found only in this region.
This temple is considered more powerful than any other Siva temple, including those like Kalahasti, Chidambaram, Keezh Velur and Nagai Karonam. Those visiting here twice are said to receive the benefit of worshipping at all Siva temples in the world. It is also believed that simply walking through this village gives the benefit of having lived here and prayed to Siva at this temple.
All lands in this village belong to the Lord Naduthariappar (and stated so on the patta documents), and no individual owns any private land here.
This temple is a prarthana sthalam for those with eyesight problems. Perhaps because of this, the name of the place has corrupted into Koil Kannappur (kannu = eye in Tamil).
While originally from the Chola period, the Nagarathar community has performed extensive renovation to this temple in recent decades. There are some unique aspects to the architecture of this temple – for instance, the Nandi and Bali Peetham at the entrance of the temple, are set on a raised platform. The sculptures (including miniatures) and various bas relief images at this temple are simply outstanding. Dakshinamurti surrounded by rishis is depicted beautifully in the koshtam, as well as Appar and Adhikara Nandi flanking the Lord. Along the perimeter of the upa-pitham around the garbhagriham, the 63 Nayanmars are depicted in miniature. Interestingly, one of the names of Amman here is Valli Nayaki. Generally, Valli is name given to one of the two consorts of Murugan.
According to the Concise Classified Dictionary of Hinduism by Kodayanallur Vanamamalai Soundara Rajan, this temple follows the worship tradition of Hidimba (from the Mahabharatam).
Other information for your visit
Phone: 04365 204144; 94424 59978