Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Vedapureeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Vedanayaki|
|Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tirukazhithattai||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Kumbakonam (13 km)||Mayiladuthurai (27 km)|
|Tiruvarur (42 km)||Ariyalur (53 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
This temple was in a dilapidated condition until a few years ago, when it was renovated by the locals with the support of certain well-wishers connected with nearby Veppathur, and government officials.
The four Vedas became haughty in the belief that they were the greatest force in creation. So, Brahma cursed them, as a result of which they were reborn in this place as vilvam trees. Regretting their pride, they worshipped Siva and Parvati while still in the form of trees, and were relieved of the curse. This also gives the moolavar and Amman their names here as Vedapureeswarar and Veda Nayaki.
Suryan is said to worship Siva twice a year here, by ensuring his rays fall directly on the Lingam. This happens during both Uttarayanam (3rd to 13th of the Tamil month of Chithirai, ie April-May) and Dakshinayanam (1st to 10th of the Tamil month of Avani, ie August-September) for 10 days each time. Special pujas are conducted on these days, starting at 6 am.
While there is no raja gopuram, there is a bali peetham and Nandi mandapam upon entering the temple. Inside, are a maha mandapam, ardha mandapam and garbhagriham. In the koshtam are the usual deities – Vinayakar, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga. The presence of Vishnu in the rear of the garbhagriham koshtam suggests this could be a very old temple. In the prakaram also, the usual shrines are there for Vinayakar, Murugan with his consorts, Chandikeswarar, Sapta Matrikas and the Tevaram foursome (Appar, Sundarar, Sambandar and Manikkavasagar).
The inscriptions in the temple refer to Sundara Chola and his son Rajaraja Chola I, indicating this temple should be at least from the 10th century, if not earlier. In the southern part of the garbhagriham, there is a bas relief depicting Sundara Chola and his wife worshipping Siva. Inscriptions here also refer to contributions by Eezhathupatta Kodumbalur Siriya Velaan (a reference to the Kodumbalur Velir, with whom readers of Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan will be familiar with), who was the army general in the time of Sundara Chola, and who died in battle in Lanka, during the Cholas’ invasion of that land. There is also a bas relief of Kodumbalur Velaan, who is believed to have consecrated this temple.
There are also several bas-relief carvings on the outer walls of the garbhagriham, and also various inscriptions, which are as described earlier. In addition, these inscriptions also mention Parantaka Chola I, and Sembian Madevi and Gandaraditya Chola who made contributions to the temple through donation of gold coins.
Other Information for your visit
While the temple receives formal puja only once a day, it is open through the day. There is a caretaker inside the temple, who also tends to the cows in the temple, and is able to let visitors inside.
N Asokan: 79046 04030
Below are some more pictures from our friend Kadambur Vijay. The reason for including these are that these were taken prior to my visit in October 2021, when the tin roofing was not there, and therefore presents a much better view of the exterior of the temple.