Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Idamkondeeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Brihadsundara Gujambikai|
|Timing:||6 to 10 & 5 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Vaippu sthalam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Kalyanapuram||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Kumbakonam (11 km)||Mayiladuthurai (28 km)|
|Tiruvarur (40 km)||Thanjavur (52 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
It is generally accepted that there are three Siva sthalams with the Arjuna tree (Terminalia Arjuna, yes, even the botanical name is called Arjuna!) being the sthala vriksham by which Siva or the place is known. In ancient terms, these three places are Mallikarjunam, Madhyarjunam and Tiruppudarjunam, referring to their order of north-south orientation. Today we call them Srisailam (where the moolavar is Mallikarjunar), Tiruvidaimaruthur (the Arjuna kshetram in the middle) and Tiruppudarjunam (near Tenkasi).
Madhyarjunam or Tiruvidaimaruthur is famous for the Mahalingeswarar temple there. However, the moolavar at this temple at Kalyanapuram, is said to be the original deity of the Tiruvidaimaruthur temple, who gave way (Tamil – Idam) for Mahalingeswarar to occupy the Tiruvidaimaruthur temple. So, at this temple, Siva is called Idam-Kondeswarar, or the one who gave way. The sthalam itself is therefore also referred to as Adi Madhyarjunam, or the first Madhyarjunam.
This is a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam, finding mention in one of Appar’s pathigams.
Sage Kashyapa (local puranams talk of Kachchaba munivar) decided to perform penance in order to receive a vision of Siva and Parvati’s celestial wedding. A celestial voice informed him that he would receive this vision at a place where he saw many Lingams. As the sage was looking for a suitable place, he came here, and noticed that he could see several Siva Lingams on the ground, which disappeared as quickly as they had appeared. Realising that this was the ideal place, he started his penance here. In due course, a Siva Lingam arose, and the sage was able to get a vision of the celestial wedding. The sage was able to also persuade Siva in the form of Lingam, to stay here. So, this Lingam came from Tiruvidaimaruthur, giving way for Mahalingeswarar to reside there. For this reason, Idamkondeswarar is regarded as an elder brother / version of Mahalingeswarar (interestingly, Amman’s name here and at Tiruvidaimaruthur are the same).
Since Siva and Parvati appeared in their kalyana kolam (wedding attire), this place gets the name Kalyanapuram. However, this location is often (incorrectly) referred to as Veppathur.
The temple is fairly small, but quite well maintained, even though it receives formal puja only once a day. Going by the architecture here and the design of pillars in the maha mandapam, this appears to be a later period Chola temple, possibly from the 11th century.
The temple has all the usual koshtam and prakaram deities, and additionally, a shrine for sage Kashyapa in the temple, in the northern side of the prakaram. The Navagraham shrine appears relatively recent, but the murtis in the Navagraham show nuanced craftsmanship, as is also the case with the various koshta murtis.
Other Information for your visit
A caretaker lady is present usually through the day, and is able to show visitors around at most times that the temple is officially open, even if the gurukkal is not in the temple.
Phone: 97878 74248
Watch templepages.com Sriram’s narration and walk around of this temple, below: