Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Idankazhi Nayanar||Ambal / Thayar:||–|
|Timing:||7 to 12 & 1 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Kodumbalur||District:||Tiruchirappalli|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Tiruchirappalli (42 km)||Pudukkottai (46 km)|
|Karaikudi (74 km)||Dindigul (77 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
In addition to being the home of the beautiful Moovar Koil and the equally architecturally impressive Muchukundeswarar koil, Kodumbalur is the avatara sthalam of Idankazhi Nayanar, one of the 63 Saiva Nayanmars mentioned in Sundarar’s Tiruthondar thogai, and whose life is celebrated in Sekkizhar’s Periya Puranam, a hagiography of the life of the 63 Nayanmars.
For a long time, there was no separate temple for Idankazhi Nayanar. Then a small temple was established in his birthplace of Kodumbalur, about 300 years ago. This was pretty much just a single shrine temple. Then in 2009, a proper temple was constructed around this shrine with a freshly crafted murti of the Nayanar. It is this structural temple we see today.
As is the case with temples for the Nayanmars themselves, it is Idankazhi Nayanar in the sanctum of this rather simple temple. Outside the temple and facing the sanctum, is a very large Nandi. Inside the temple premises, the only other shrine is on the southern side, for Siva, with a separate Nandi in front. In keeping with the atmosphere and context of the place, a couple of mystics seem to have made the temple their home!
From about the 8th century (ie pre-Chola period), Kodumbalur was the capital of Ko-Nadu, the land of kings (ko in Tamil means king). Loosely translated, Kodumb-alur means the place from which Konadu was ruled.
Idankazhi Nayanar is said to have lived in the 8th century or so, prior to even Aditya Chola I. Some sources may be misinterpreting the Periya Puranam, when they say that the Nayanar was an ancestor of Aditya Chola I. Some accounts say he descended from the Yadavas of Dwaraka (and migrated to the south along with Sage Agastyar). Other versions say he belonged to the Kalabhras, who ruled in Tamilakam between the 3rd and 7th century CE.
Prior to being recognised as a Nayanar, Idankazhi was a chieftain / king with his capital in his birthplace of Kodumbalur, belonging to the Velir community (similar to the Kodumbalur Velir, the head of Sundara Chola’s army, in Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan). He was an ardent Siva devotee himself, and helped build several Siva temples in the lands he ruled over.
There was another Siva devotee who took upon himself, the task of feeding Siva devotees every day. He did this despite his dwindling finances, and even resorted to thieving, in order to keep up his service. On one occasion, he stole from Idankazhi’s royal granary, and was caught by the guards, who took him to their ruler. Upon ascertaining the facts, and realising that the thief was his fellow-devotee engaged in noble deeds, Idankazhi not only let the man go free, but also offered his entire granary to the devotee, for use in feeding others. This is said to be the main deed for which Idankazhi was elevated to the status of a Nayanmar.
Guru puja for Idankazhi Nayanar is celebrated on the day of Krithika nakshatram in the Tamil month of Aipasi (October-November). The temple follows the Sangama style of worship for the Nayanar.
Other information for your visit
The temple does not have any formal opening and closing times, so it can be visited at most times of the day.
Less than 1km from this temple are the two other important temples of this region – Moovar Koil and Muchukundeswarar koil.