Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Veerabhadrar||Ambal / Thayar:||–|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 1 to 9||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Vazhuvur||District:||Nagapattinam|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (8 km)||Tiruvarur (37 km)|
|Kumbakonam (38 km)||Nagapattinam (47 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
We request you to please read this short background about village temples, before you proceed.
This temple is located very close to the Mayiladuthurai-Peralam-Tiruvarur state highway, and can be seen on the left, once you take the right off the highway to go to Vazhuvur.
This temple is for Veerabhadrar as a guardian deity, but is also intrinsically connected to the sthala puranam of the Vazhuvur Veerattaneswarar temple for Siva as Krittivasar. In the sthala puranam of that temple, Siva took the form of Bhikshatanar, and together with Vishnu in the form of Mohini, destroyed the various nefarious elements brought on Him by the sages of Darukavanam, eventually, made the sages shed their pride and ego.
The story continues, that after this, the union of Bhikshatanar and Mohini took place, and Ayyappan was born as a result. Many stories refer to Vazhuvur as the birthplace of Ayyappan. In order to protect Ayyappan, Veerabhadrar is believed to have come down here, and hence this temple for Him.
There are some unique aspects to the iconographic depiction of Veerabhadrar at this temple, where the presiding deity is also called Vazhi Thunaiyan (the one who accompanies during a journey, or Marga-Sahayan).
Firstly, He is depicted with a dog alongside Him, which is usually the attribute of Bhairavar. This is presumably to give further reinforcement to Veerabhadrar as a guardian deity. Secondly, as his ward Ayyappan is also the progeny of Vishnu as Mohini, the main Veerabhadrar murti here – who is seen seated – sports a Vaishnavite Tirunamam on His forehead. There is another Veerabhadrar murti depicted standing.
Naturally, this is a prarthana sthalam for those seeking safety, as well as health and education of children.
Based on the architecture, the vimanam over the garbhagriham, the roofs of the various shrines, and the overall connection with the Veeratteswarar temple, this clearly appears to be a Chola period. Again, based on the sthala puranam, the core temple here could be extremely old, though the structural temple is likely 9th or early 10th century.
There is a bali peetham and a Nandi at the entrance, and in addition to the Veerabhadrar murtis inside, there is a small shrine for Ayyappan as Bala Sastha. All the other shrines are empty, with their murtis missing. There is no perimeter wall or fence for the temple. To the east is a fairly large pond – presumably the temple’s tank – but it was dry when we visited in October 2021 and was being used as a sports field by locals!
Other Information for your visit
There does not appear to be any regular puja taking place here, not even once a day. However, the temple is open through the day, inasmuch as there is nothing to stop anyone from going here at any time.