Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Sundareswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Meenakshi|
|Timing:||7 to 12 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Ariyathidal||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Kumbakonam (2 km)||Thanjavur (40 km)|
|Tiruvarur (40 km)||Mayiladuthurai (40 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
The general belief is that performing annadanam (serving food to others) on a regular basis, keeps hunger (both physical and spiritual) away. More importantly, annadanam should not be performed as an obligation, but with the wholehearted belief that it is the worship of Siva, and of Parvati as Annapurani. But what does that have to do with a temple for Siva as Sundareswarar, and why is Siva here also called Annadana Sivan?
Named Ramaswamy was born somewhere in the 1850s in Thepperumanallur (near Kumbakonam, and the location of the Rudrakseswarar / Viswanathar temple), and became a devout believer very early in life. His prime focus was to serve other devotees by feeding them through his annadanam. Through his life, he used all his earnings to feed others, which earned him the sobriquet “Annadana Sivan”, from Kanchi Periyavaa Himself, who had come to know about his work and service.
In his later years, he set up a matham at Annalagraharam, located just south of the Mahamaham tank in Kumbakonam, where he continued his service. The matham was located very close to this temple for Meenakshi-Sundareswarar. As a result, he worshipped here every day, and would also carry out annadanam here. It is believed that Meenakshi Amman at this temple appeared in front of him, and blessed him in Her form as Annapurani.
After his lifetime (1936), the matham continued to be run by a follower of Sri Ramana of Tiruvannamalai. Later, both the temple and the matham fell to the ravages of time, and the murtis of the temple ended up being buried underground, amongst the ruins.
In 2007, when the Rudramakali Amman temple nearby was being built, workers found a Siva Lingam, and upon further excavation, more murtis were found, as also the dilapidated remains of the matham. The Kali Amman temple is built on the very site of what used to be Anandana Sivan’s matham. The murtis that were found, were re-installed in this temple, which was also consecrated in the early 2010s.
The belief is that worshipping Siva and Parvati here keeps hunger at bay for the devotees, as they also get the blessings of Annadana Sivan. For this reason, the temple itself is locally called the Annadana Sivan temple.
Because this temple was re-constructed just a decade ago, one does not find any historical architecture here. However, there are inscriptions from the Chola period, as well as other written records from the time of Annadana Sivan, which indicate that there used to be an ancient temple – possibly over 2000 years old – at this site.
Other Information for your visit
Those looking to contribute to this temple can use the information below:
Contact: Sri Annadana Sivan and Rudrakaliamman Trust, 875, Sivankoil Street, Annalagraham, Ariyathidal, Kumbakonam, 612401. Phone: 9840053289 and 9003728652. Email: ariyathital_annadhansivan @yahoo.com.
For contributions: Annathana Sivankovil and Ruthramaga Kaliyaman Trust. City Union bank, Annal Agraharam Branch. Account Number: 500101011084163. IFSC: CIUB0000408 MICR: 612054017.
Phone: 9840053289; 9003728652