Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Sundareswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||x|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 4 to 6||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Vaippu Sthalam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Kundaiyur||District:||Nagapattinam|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Tiruvarur (23 km)||Nagapattinam (24 km)|
|Kumbakonam (63 km)||Mayiladuthurai (64 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
This is a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam that finds mention in one of Sundarar’s pathigams. The temple is located just 1km from the Tirukkuvalai Brahmapureeswarar Paadal Petra Sthalam temple, but hardly gets many visitors.
The moolavar here is called Rishabhapureeswarar, though the temple is commonly referred to as the Meenakshi-Sundareswarar temple or, simply, the Kundaiyur temple.
Kundaiyur Kizhar, a landlord in this town, was a devout Saivite and had much respect for Sundarar. In addition to his local services, he would periodically send paddy and rice in large quantities to Sundarar, to be used for feeding devotees in Tiruvarur. Once, the place was affected by a severe drought, and there was no harvest. Kizhar was distraught, and prayed to Siva here to help him continue his service. The Lord appeared in his dream and indicated that he should not worry. The following morning, there were mounds of grain outside his house. As it happened, Sundarar was visiting the area, so Kizhar invited the saint to witness the miracle. Sundarar, too, was stunned, and as a sign of his gratitude, prayed to Siva at Tirukolili (Tirukkuvalai), who assigned his ganas to transport the grain overnight to Tiruvarur. The Masi Magham festival held in the Tamil month of Masi (February-March) at this temple, celebrates this incident. This puranam is also dealt with in one of the hymns of Eyarkon Kalikama Nayanar.
This small temple with just two prakarams, is from the 10th century Chola period. The temple has a main eastern entrance opposite the temple tank, and a smaller southern entrance as well. Amman’s shrine is in the maha-mandapam, and the first prakaram (around the garbhagriham) has some koshtam deities. The outer prakaram has separate shrines for Vinayakar, Murugan, Bhairavar and Suryan. There is also a separate shrine here for Kundaiyur Kizhar, acknowledging his contributions and his connection to the sthala puranam of this temple.
The temple has two lemon trees which are its sthala vrikshams, which fall like a canopy over two shrines – one each for Siva and Parvati as Sundareswarar and Meenakshi Amman. It is said that the trees are male and one female, but both yield fruit. [We were given a freshly plucked lemon fruit each as prasadam. Notably, these were extremely fragrant, and did not go bad for at least 3 weeks.]
Other information for your visit
The priest and his aged father (also a priest) live in the house next to the temple. Given how few devotees visit this place, they are more than eager to open the temple for devotees.
Agastheeswarar Gurukkal: 94880 03384