Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Kadambanathar||Ambal / Thayar:||Avudai Nayaki|
|Timing:||7 to 12 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Possible Vaippu Sthalam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Kadambar||District:||Kanchipuram|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Kanchipuram (19 km)||Tiruvallur (64 km)|
|Chennai (87 km)||Vellore (89 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Known as Kadambar or Kadambar Koil, this place is named after the temple here for Kadambanathar. The temple and its sthala puranam are connected to the Uthiramerur Balasubramanian (Murugan) temple. Kadambar (or Kadambar Koil) is the place where the Cheyyar river, which flows from west to east, briefly flows from south to north.
The temple and the village are located on the banks of the Cheyyar river (also called Uttira Varuni, which is also the Teertham of this temple). In ancient times, the banks of the river were full of thick forests, suitable for sages to perform their penance; the place was called Kadamba Vanam as it was full of Kadamba trees.
Sage Kashyapa also established his ashram close to Uthiramerur (located nearby), but two demons named Malayan and Makaran, who had received boons of longevity, started harassing the sages including Kashyapa. Unable to stand this, the sage worshipped Siva, who deputed Murugan to deal with the matter. Murugan reached the ashram and, calling out to the demons, advised them to stop, but they refused. So Murugan sent His vel (spear) to stand guard at the entrance to the ashram, to protect the saints. Then, he proceeded to fight the demons, first killing Makaran. This enraged Malayan, who jumped in to fight, but was also beheaded by Murugan with the sword given by Lord Siva. After these events, Murugan came here to Kadambar Koil, where He worshipped Siva and established a temple for His Father. Siva asked Murugan to settle nearby, which Murugan did at Ilaiyanar Velur. Murugan is also known as Kadamban (as he is worshipped with his favourite Kadamba flower), and since he worshipped Siva here, the Lord is named Kadambanathar.
Although this is not officially counted as one of the Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam temples, the Tamil bhakti saint Sambandar has sung here.
Buddhisena, a brahmin from the Pandya country, took the ashes of his father Gunaseelan, and was on his way to Kasi, when he stopped here one day for his morning Sandhya Vandanam. As he kept the pot aside, he noticed a beautiful fragrance emanating from the pot. He opened it, to find that the ashes had turned into flowers. At the same time, a celestial voice told him that this place was as holier than Kasi. So, Buddhisena decided to immerse the ashes here, while still fulfilling his father’s wish. Due to this sthala puranam, this place and the Cheyyar river behind it are considered equivalent of Kasi, and is favoured for performing pitru-tarpanam.
According to one puranam, after worshipping at several places including Kedarnath, Kasi, Kalahasti, Tiruvalangadu and Kanchipuram, this is where Parvati worshipped, and her wish of remaining with Siva forever was fulfilled.
Given that Sambandar has sung on this temple, the temple can be placed in the 7th century, perhaps much earlier as well. This heritage and the sthala puranam here more than make up for the absence of any significant art or architecture at this temple. Even so, the two Nandis here – the one next to the bali peetham and the just outside the garbhagriham – are both intricately crafted. The latter is also quite a large murti, which is atypical of this region.
Other information for your visit
The following temples can be covered as part of a trip to Uthiramerur:
- Vaikunta Perumal temple
- Sundara Varadaraja Perumal temple (adjacent to the Balasubramaniar temple)
- Balasubramanian temple (Murugan)
- Kailasanathar temple
- Kadambanathar temple at Kadambar Koil
In December 2020, Uthiramerur became popular for a brief while across India when PM Narendra Modi mentioned the Uthiramerur inscriptions as an example of the grassroots level governance that was practiced in Chola times, and how that unique principle had been a characteristic feature of governance in India even during ancient times. These inscriptions are housed in the Vaikuntha Perumal temple, which abuts the town bus stand (on the right hand side of the road, when coming into Uthiramerur from NH45).
Sidelight: [Food] A couple of hundred meters before the Sundara Varadaraja Perumal temple, on the left had side of the road, is a small eatery called Iyer Mess, run by a brahmin family, which serves really tasty breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Kannan Gurukkal: 96550 3550